1937 3¢ Northwest Ordinance
Issue Date: July 13, 1937
First City: Marietta, OH
Quantity Issued: 84,825,250
The Northwest Ordinance Leads to Ohio’s Statehood
On July 13, 1787, the United States Congress passed the Ordinance of 1787, more popularly known as the Northwest Ordinance. Historians consider this law one of the most important ever passed in U.S. history, as it provided the model for the organized growth of the U.S. The ordinance established government for the area north of the Ohio River and west of Pennsylvania, and illustrated the steps a territory would need to take to achieve statehood.
The Northwest Ordinance made settling the Northwest Territory very attractive. Soon after the law was passed, settlers founded the town of Marietta, Ohio. The territory was quickly settled and eventually became five U.S. states: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It also included part of Minnesota.
The Northwest Ordinance laid the foundation for democracy in the American West. The law prohibited slavery, and guaranteed freedom of religion and trial by jury. It also called for the fair treatment of American Indians.