Historical Documents Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Ohio Statehood
200th Anniversary of Ohio Statehood
March 1, 1803 - March 1, 2003
Ohio celebrates its 200th Anniversary of statehood on March 1, 2003. The history of Ohio statehood, however, begins much earlier. One of the provisions in the Paris Peace Treaty ending the Revolutionary War was the establishment of boundaries that would allow for American expansion westward. This area became known as the Northwest Territory. In 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance to establish a government for the territory and to provide a method for admitting new states into the Union once the population had reached 60,000 inhabitants.
n December 1801, the "Schedule of the Whole Number of Persons in the Territory North West of the Ohio" was transmitted to Congress accompanying a presidential message. The schedule shows that the population of the territory northwest of the Ohio River had expanded to 45,000 inhabitants. Although this number was less than the population requirement of the Northwest Ordinance, statehood supporters argued the population would soon reach 60,000. The House referred the census schedule to a select committee, "with instructions to report whether any, and what, measures ought, at this time, to be taken for enabling the People of the said territory to form a State Government for themselves, to be admitted into the Union upon the same terms with the original States."
The House Committee reported a bill enabling Ohio to form a constitution and state government and on April 9, 1802 the bill passed the House. After some changes in conference committee, the bill passed the Senate and was signed into law on April 30, 1802. In November 1802, the people in the eastern division of the Northwest Territory met to form a constitution and state government. The Ohio constitution was adopted on November 29, 1802, and it, along with a letter from Agent Thomas Worthington and the Address of the Co...