University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
(1880)

Butterfield, C. W.
IV.--Wisconsin territory,   pp. 41-52 PDF (6.0 MB)


Page 41


WISCONSIN TERRITORY.
the time provided for the Indians to give possession was the first of June,
1833, these settlers
were dispossessed by order of the General Government. So, soon, however,
as the Indians yielded
possession, settlements began, but, from the date just mentioned until September,
1834, after the
district was attached, for judicial purposes, to Michigan Territory, it was
without any municipal
law whatever. The organization of the counties of Dubuque and Des Moines
on the sixth of
that month, secured, of course a regular administration of justice. In 1835,
in order to facili-
tate intercourse between the two remote military posts of Fort Howard at
Green Bay, and Fort
Crawford at Prairie du Chien, a military road was commenced to connect the
two points; so,
one improvement followed another. On the 9th of January, 1836, a session
(the first one) of
the seventh legislative council of Michigan Territory - that is, of so, much
of it as lay to the
westward of Lake Michigan-was held at Green Bay, and a memorial adopted,
asking Congress
for the formation of a new Territory west of that lake; to include all of,
Michigan Territory not
embraced in the proposed State of Michigan. Congress, as will now be shown,
very soon com-
plied with the request of the memorialists.
                              IV.-WISCONSIN TERRITORY.
     The establishing of a separate and distinct Territory west of Lake Michigan,
was the result
 of the prospective admission of Michigan into the Union (an event which
took place not until
 the"twenty-sixth of January,' 1837), as the population, in all the
region outside of the boundaries
 determined upon by the people for that State, would otherwise be left without
a government, or,
 at least, it would be necessary to change the capital of the old Michigan
Territory farther to the
 westward ; so it was thought best to erect a new territory, to be called
WISCONSIN (an Indian
 word signifying wild rushing water, or channel, so called from the principal
eastern tributary of
 the Mississippi within its borders), which was done tby an act of congress,
approved April 20,
 1836, to take effect from and after the third day of July following. The
Territory was made to
 include all that is now embraced within the States of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota,
and a part of
 the Territory of Dakota, more particularly described within boundaries commencing
at the north-
 east corner of the State of Illinois, running thence through the middle
of Lake', Michigan to a
 point opposite the main channel of Green bay; thence through that channel
and the bay to the
 mouth of the Menomonee river; thence up that stream to its head, which is
nearest the lake of the
 Desert; thence to the middle of that lake'; thence down the Montreal river
to its mouth ; thence
 with a direct line across Lake Superior to where the territorial line of
the United States last touches
 the lake northwest; thence on the north, with the territorial line, to the
White Earth river; on the
 west by a line drawn down the middle of the main channel of that stream
to the Missouri river,
 and down the middle of the main channel of the last mentioned stream to
the northwest corner of
 the State of Missouri; and thence with the boundaries of the States of Missouri
and Illinois, as
 already fixed by act of congress, to the place or point of beginning. Its
counties were Brown,
 Milwaukee, Iowa, Crawford, Dubuque, and Des Moines, with a portion of Chippewa
and Michili-
 mackinac left unorganized. Although, at this time, the State of Michigan
was only engaged, so
 to speak, to the Union, to include the, two peninsulas (many of its citizens
preferring in lieu
 thereof the lower one only, vwith a small slice off the northern boundary
of the State of Ohio as
now constituted), yet the marriage ceremony was performed, as has been stated,
a few months
afterward.
     The act of congress establishing the Territorial government of Wisconsin
was very full and
complete. It first determined its boundaries; then it declared that all authority
of the govern-
ment of Michigan over the new Territory should cease on the fourth day of
July, 1836, with a
41


Go up to Top of Page