Louisiana Territory

Territory of Louisiana
Organized incorporated territory of the United States


Flag of Louisiana Territory

Flag of the United States
Location of Louisiana Territory
A map of the Territory of Louisiana
CapitalSt. Louis
GovernmentOrganized incorporated territory
 • 1805–1807James Wilkinson
 • 1807–1809Meriwether Lewis
 • 1810–1812Benjamin Howard
 • EstablishedJuly 4, 1805
 • Renamed Territory of MissouriJune 4, 1812

The Territory of Louisiana or Louisiana Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1805, until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed the Missouri Territory.

Louisiana Territory was formed out of the Indiana Territory-administered District of Louisiana, which consisted of all Louisiana Purchase lands north of the 33rd parallel. The 33rd parallel now forms the southern border of Arkansas and the northern border of Louisiana. The territory's predecessor, the District of Louisiana, as well as the District of Orleans, were formed from the lands acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, in which colonial Louisiana was purchased from France.


The Eighth Congress of the United States on March 26, 1804, passed legislation entitled "An act erecting Louisiana into two territories, and providing for the temporary government thereof,"[1] which established the Territory of Orleans and the civil District of Louisiana.

This act, which went into effect on October 1, 1804, expanded the authority of the governor and judges of the Indiana Territory to provide temporary jurisdiction over the District of Louisiana.