Early Territorial Governors
James Buchanan created Dakota Territory on March 2, 1861. Two days later, Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office. Lincoln, with the help of his secretary of state, William Steward, chose the officials of Dakota Territory. The appointment of officials to territorial positions was, like all federal positions, subject to the system of political patronage prevalent at that time. The men selected were Republicans, opposed slavery, and were loyal to the Union.