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April 23, 1784 Congress approves the Territorial Ordinance of 1784, governing the Northwest Territories, although a ban on slavery is defeated. Written by Thomas Jefferson, this ordinance would heavily influence the Ordinance of 1787 (Northwest Ordinance). The ordinance is never put into effect.
April 23, 1791 James Buchanan born, Cove Gap near Mercersburg, Pennslyvania Pennsylvania
  James Buchanan
April 23, 1813 Stephen A. Douglas born, Brandon, Rutland County, VT.
  Stephen A. Douglas
April 23, 1846 Congress authorizes the termination of the agreement with Great Britain on the Oregon Territory. Oregon
April 23, 1858 In an attempt to force the acceptance of the Lecompton Constitution, a joint committee of Congress drafts the English Bill. Kansas
  Alexander Stephens
  William Seward
  Lecompton Constitution
  English Bill
April 23, 1860
May 3, 1860
The Democratic National Convention, meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, cannot agree on a nominee. The only thing they can agree on is to continue the debate in Baltimore the next month South Carolina
  The Election of 1860
  1860 Democratic National Convention
  1860 Democratic Party Platform
  Democratic Party
April 23, 1861 George McClellan appointed Major General of the Ohio militia Ohio
  George McClellan
April 23, 1861 Federal troops withdraw from Fort Smith Arkansas
April 23, 1861 Nominated by Governor Letcher of Virginia and approved by the Assembly on the previous day, Robert E. Lee assumes command of Virginia's militia Virginia
  Robert E. Lee
April 23, 1861 Virginia secessionist convention ratifies a temporary union with the Confederacy and accepts the Southern Constitution, subject to approval of the ordnance of secession Virginia
  Virginia Secession Convention
April 23, 1864 Battle of Monet's Ferry
Battle of Cane River Crossing

Nathaniel Banks retreating federal column is harassed by Confederates
Louisiana
  Red River Campaign
  Nathaniel Banks

Ongoing on this day:
April 12, 1861
May 10, 1865
The American Civil War
  The Civil War
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