After the American Revolution, all the lands lying west of Pennsylvania and northwest of the Ohio River as far as the Mississippi became known officially as “The Territory of the United States Northwest of the Ohio River.” Prior to the passage of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, however, Connecticut claimed a strip of land that included the southern tier of present Michigan counties, as well as parts of northern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. And Massachusetts claimed a broad swath of the southern peninsula north of Detroit to the southern tip of Saginaw Bay. The Northwest Territory, although still largely occupied by native tribes, was regarded as public land of the United States that when acquired from the Indians would eventually be surveyed, sold, settled, and organized into from three to five new states.