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Lost Documents Raise Dakota Statehood Questions





 

 

          Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.

Pierre, S.D. 57501

605-773-3212

www.sd.gov

 

 

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2018

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212

 

EDITORS/NEWS DIRECTORS:  For audio from the Governor on the historical documents, visit news.sd.gov/media.aspx and click on “Audio” under “Governor Dennis Daugaard.”

 

Lost Documents Raise Dakota Statehood Questions

 

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced today the authentication of historical documents proving North Dakota and South Dakota are actually one state. Overlooked addendums to the statehood proclamations of both states indicate the existence of a single state, “Dakota.”

 

“It’s the most incredible discovery; this raises a number of interesting questions,” said Gov. Daugaard, of the State Formerly Known as South Dakota. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to get this squared away, that’s clear.”

 

President Abraham Lincoln established Dakota Territory in 1861. Prior to the recent discovery, it was believed that the territory was divided into the states of North Dakota and South Dakota on Nov. 2, 1889, via a proclamation signed by then-President Benjamin Harrison.

 

A pair of historians conducting archival research in the Library of Congress uncovered identical addendums attached to both statehood proclamations that rescind the previously signed orders and establish a single, united state.

 

The addendum reads, in part, “I hereby affirm the creation of the state of Dakota; they were born together – they are one.”

 

Gov. Daugaard is undertaking a comprehensive process to determine how to proceed. He indicates that a special joint session of both state legislatures may be needed to determine whether to stay as Dakota, or return to their previous status as separate states.

 

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