The Diocese of Ogdensburg was acknowledged on February 16, 1872 by Pope Pius IX, "We, with definite knowledge, mature deliberation, and by our Apostolic Authority, in virtue of the present document, separate and sever from the Diocese of Albany, the following territory -- the counties of St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Jefferson, Lewis, and Essex, together with that part of the counties of Herkimer and Hamilton which lies above the northern line of the townships of Ohio and Russia; and this same territory we erect and constitute as a true and properly called diocese.
Until 1872 the entire north country which is now under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Ogdensburg was a part of the Albany diocese. In 1871 the Bishop of Albany discussed with his counsellors the advisability of recommending to the Holy See a division of the Albany diocese. The recommendation was made. Ogdensburg was designated by the authorities at Rome as the seat of the new see, and Father Edgar P. Wadhams, rector of the Cathedral of Albany and Vicar General of the Albany diocese, was named the first bishop.