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The Commission had been appointed by the Constitutional Conventions of the two sections of the Territory of Dakota, in compliance with section six of the Act passed by the U. Congress providing for the division of the Territory into the two states of North Dakota and South Dakota and their admission, together with the territories of Montana and Washington into the Union. The Commission was to be composed of not less than three members of each convention. Its duty was to assemble at Bismarck, the territorial capital, to agree upon an equitable division of all property belonging to the Territory of Dakota, the disposition of all public records, and the amount of debts and liabilities of the Territory which were to be assumed and paid by each of the proposed states.
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The Commission which met on the sixteenth of July had fourteen members; the chairman of the seven northern members was E. Camp of Stutsman County and the chairman of the seven southern members was A. Kellam of Brule County. Kellam was elected temporary chairman. The Commission then proceeded to form a permanent organization with the chairman of each commission presiding on alternate days.
Each state commission elected its own secretary. Each motion had to have a majority of each commission for passage. It did not take long to find out that in so far as the division of the archives was concerned there were almost as many differences of opinion as there were members. The first issue which was discussed the first day of deliberations was an interpretation of the powers of the commission under the enabling act.
Several of the members thought there was a conflict between sections five and six of the act. However, Mr.
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Camp, perhaps reflecting a common attitude toward lawyers of that period, did not believe that the members who are not legal gentlemen have sufficient faith in the supereminent abilities of the gentlemen of the Commission who are legal gentlemen, to accede blindly to any interpretation they might put upon this bill. At the next session the importance of making a final decision on the division of the archives arose during a discussion of the claims against the territory and how they should be paid. What records would they need? If the original were in one state how would the other state operate?
If transcriptions were made would they be valid? Who would pay for the transcriptions? Some thought that the records should be transcribed and the originals kept in a vault until the territory was divided and each state had an official authorized to receive the records. Others thought all the records should be kept in one state and the other have transcriptions made with the cost of transcription divided. Still others thought that the originals should be divided and transcriptions made for those records which would be necessary for the other state to operate.
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After much discussion which was apparently quite acrimonious at times, the Journal of the Proceedings of the Joint Commission reports that Mr. After a special committee had been appointed the meeting adjourned. At the next session the special committee of Messrs. Kellam, Scott and Spaulding presented the following resolution: Resolved, That it is the sense of this Joint Commission that in execution of the duty imposed upon it by the Act of Congress under which it was created relating to the disposition of the public records, it would provide for copies of such records as will in its judgment, be required as necessary for the proposed States of North Dakota and South Dakota to inaugurate and continue such States respectively in their various departments, and that as agreement be made by this Commission as to the disposition of both original and copies, and that such agreement shall be reported by the committees from North Dakota and South Dakota to their respective Conventions, with the recommendation that the same be made a part of the Schedule and Ordinance to be submitted with the proposed Constitution for ratification by the people of North Dakota and South Dakota respectively.
Thus the members of the Commission reconciled their differences by agreeing that they were authorized to divide the archives, fulfilling section six of the Enabling Act, and providing that the agreement would be put in the Schedule of each state so that it would be ratified by the people, fulfilling section five. A committee of two, one from each Commission, was appointed to examine and report to the Joint Commission what books and records it was necessary to transcribe and also the probably expense of the transcriptions.
The two members were excused from participation in the further deliberations of the Commission. On July 24 the Committee made the following recommendations: 1. Certain records should be transcribed—the original being kept by one state and the transcription to the other. Those records pertaining particularly to either section should be allotted to that section.
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Where they referred to the two sections in general they should be grouped in lots and the sections to select from the groups, the first choice to be by lot. Where the records were to be transcribed, the expense was to be divided equally between the two sections. Lists the particular details of the records to be transcribed There was much discussion on the report, some still favoring having one state keep all originals and the other having transcriptions.
In the middle of this discussion Mr. Harris of Burleigh County, North Dakota, got around to historians and the necessity for keeping the records. And when the historian in ages to come goes back into all these vouchers, he will take it out of a large volume of stuff.
That is all it will ever be used for. Some objection was made to a division being made before the records necessary for the state to begin business were copied. It then developed that South Dakota had no permanent capital and consequently no safe place in which to keep the records. Some of the records held by the state archives, such as adoption records, insanity records, and mother's pension records have restricted access. Dates with? Dates without questions are verified by publications or the county staff. For some counties on the chart, there are two years listed for 'Date Formed.
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This page was last edited on 6 May , at RootsWeb is funded and supported by Ancestry. Learn more. History of South Dakota. South Dakota Vital Records. Census Quick Facts U. Information requested by the U. Census The census provided information about every individual in the house including: Name Color Sex Age Relationship to head of household Marital status Profession, occupation, or trade of each person Whether able to read and write Place of birth state, territory, or foreign country Parents place of birth state, territory, or foreign country.
What was lost from the U. No major loss of records for the Census.