1 Reply Latest reply on Sep 16, 2020 2:13 PM by Cara Jensen

    Seeking a Michigan territorial proclamation dated 28 June 1820

    Ryan Noyes Wayfarer

      Hi, I have been able to verify the existence of a COPY of a Michigan Territory proclamation, dated 28 JUNE 1820 and signed in Detroit by William Woodbridge--who dubbed at the time as both the Secretary of the territory, and its acting governor.  The document establishes Bloomfield Township in Oakland County as a legal entity.  The copy would be somewhere in RG 59.4.3.  My quest however is to find the original document, because I think it might NOT have been written in Woodbridge's hand.  Might anyone reading this post have any recommendations on where to find the original--be it another record group at NARA, the Michigan Archives, Bentley collection in Ann Arbor, Burton collection in Detroit, or elsewhere? Or perhaps a better question: where should the original document be?  What is the most probable repository to look in?  Should it be in a vault in Bloomfield Township, or same in Oakland County courthouse, or same in Michigan Archives, or elsewhere in NARA?  I am lost where to start the search.  Of note; the Territorial Council did NOT exist at this time and I don't think this falls in the Northwest Ordinance domain, either, due to date being 1820 and place being Michigan.) Thanks!

        • Re: Seeking a Michigan territorial proclamation dated 28 June 1820
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Mr. Noyes,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series titled Territorial Papers, 1789 - 1873 in the General Records of the Department of State (Record Group 59) that contains  correspondence, reports, copies of journals of proceedings of legislative assemblies, and other records as they relate to the administration of various territories including Michigan from 1802-1836. For access to these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          We suggest that you contact the Archives of Michigan for assistance in locating the original territorial proclamation.  In addition, the guide Legislative Records: Territorial Papers may be useful.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!