1958 3¢ Minnesota Statehood
Issue Date: May 11, 1958
City: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Rotary Press
Perforations: 11 x 10 ½
U.S. #1106 showcases the rolling hills, lakes, and islands that make up Minnesota’s natural charm. Called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota actually has 11,842 lakes that are 10 acres or larger. This stamp marks the 100th anniversary of Minnesota statehood.
Rapid Growth Spurs Minnesota Statehood
Fort Snelling was a key outpost in the Midwest since the 1820s. Located at St. Anthony’s Falls on the Mississippi River, it would later evolve into present-day Minneapolis, and was closely tied to the settlement at nearby St. Paul. From 1850 to 1857, the population of the Minnesota Territory grew from just over 6,000 to more than 150,000, as settlers poured in to take advantage of the vast natural resources.
The Minnesota Territory first submitted its request for statehood to President James Buchanan in January 1858. But as with many regional issues of the time, the request became enmeshed with the tensions of the time. Two copies of the state constitution had to be made, since Republicans and Democrats wouldn’t sign a document that held the other party’s signature. Republicans finally signed a copy on white paper, and Democrats signed a copy on blue-tinted paper.
Slavery was another critical issue. Minnesota statehood was closely tied to Kansas statehood, as a balance of pro-slavery vs. anti-slavery states was necessary. The submission of a pro-slavery constitution in Kansas (the Lecompton Constitution) caused fears that Minnesota Democrats would support slavery in that territory to enable their own admission. Details were eventually ironed out, and Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd state of the Union on May 11, 1858.