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Michigan Territory was a territory of the United States in the early 19th century, between June 30, 1805 and January 26, 1837, at which point it became Michigan, the 26th state of the Union. Detroit was the territorial capital.
The territory was established after a bill passed on January 11, 1805 by the United States Congress provided for the detachment of "Wayne County" from Indiana Territory, to create the Michigan Territory. (The city of Detroit is the seat of the current, much-diminished Wayne County.) In 1805 the Michigan territory included all of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, all of what is now Wisconsin and a small part of Iowa. (Wisconsin was originally referred to as Iowa County.) For the remainder of its history, the boundaries of the Michigan Territory would be in flux.
In 1818, after Illinois and Indiana joined the Union, some fragments of their territories were joined to Michigan Territory. Soon afterward, the federal government rapidly began signing treaties with local Indian tribes and acquiring their lands. Between 1819 and 1836 the federal government acquired new lands for the Michigan Territory from Michigan Indian tribes through the Treaty of Saginaw in 1819, the Treaty of Chicago in 1821, the Carey Mission in 1828 and the Treaty of Washington in 1836.
In 1834, all of the lands of the Northwest Territory that were as yet unallocated and lay east of the Missouri River (generally, the Dakotas, Iowa and the western half of Minnesota) were granted to the Michigan Territory. Meanwhile, in 1835, the Toledo War was fought because Michigan Territory wanted to retain the disputed "Toledo Strip." The Toledo area of Ohio was finally surrendered in exchange for the western section of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
In July 3, 1836 the Wisconsin Territory was separated from Michigan Territory, and the Michigan Territory shrunk proportionally, losing Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas. The territory became a state in 1837; Detroit remained the capital until March 17, 1847 when Lansing was chosen as a replacement. The population of Michigan at the time of statehood is estimated to have been about 200,000.