The Making of the United States of America - When and How the States Came to Be
Three More Came Before the End of the Century
A Short Course in U. S. History
Reprinted with permission of Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services
Vermont - 14
Admitted: March 4, 1791
Prior time as territory: Carved from state of New York
Journey to statehood: Complicated by pre- Revolutionary land fight between New York and New Hampshire about the area. During the Revolution, the area declared itself an independent republic - known first as "New Connecticut" and later "Vermont." After much bickering with New York about boundaries, Vermont was admitted as a state, in part to offset the anticipated admission of Kentucky, a Southern slave state.
Kentucky - 15
Admitted: June 1, 1792
Prior time as territory: Carved from state of Virginia.
Journey to statehood: Launched by frontier settlers who objected to government rule by the faraway capital in civilized Virginia. After nine conventions held in Kentucky between 1784 and 1791, and four acts of separation proposed by the Virginia Legislature, the two states finally agreed on terms of divorce, which included Kentucky paying its share of a 1786 expedition against Indians.
Tennessee - 16
Admitted: June 1, 1796
Prior time as territory: 6 years
Journey to statehood: Took place without congressionally approved "enabling act," and in so doing blazed a trail for six future states that would similarly barge into the Union without first being invited. Tennessee's first two "senators" were denied entry to Congress, but the territory later lobbied successfully for admission. Its first officially recognized congressman, Andrew Jackson, was elected in August 1796.
Note: Population is at time of entry into the Union. Date of admission reflects the effective date of each state's admission, rather than the date of congressional passage. While the dates are the same in some cases, such as Florida's, the effective date typically followed the date of passage by several months.
Source: Knight-Ridder Tribune (1993)