LEWISTON, Idaho -- While the Civil War was raging thousands of miles away, another war was brewing in the Idaho Territory.
Historian John A. Mock discussed the bitter battle between Lewiston and Boise for the title of capital of the new territory in his lecture "Lewiston and the Great Seal: The Territorial Capital is Moved to Boise" Thursday night on the Lewis-Clark State College Campus. The lecture was part of a series of talks commemorating Lewiston's sesquicentennial.
"It was one of the most exciting periods of Idaho history," he said. "There's a continuing rivalry between north and south Idaho today."
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Organic Act, which created the Idaho Territory out of a 325,000-square-mile area that is now Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Lincoln named William H. Wallace as the first governor of the territory, and Wallace chose Lewiston as the new capital. The Seal of the Territory of Idaho was also designed in Lewiston in 1863, Mock said. It included the words "The Union" to indicate where the territory stood in the war between the states.