back to home
(story icon)1949

The Northwest Territory

At first Wisconsin belonged to the "Northwest Territory," the name that was given to all the land shown on the map below. As you can see, it included land that today is divided among several states of the Union. There are five of them. See if you can name them all correctly.

Smaller Territories

As more and more people made homes in this region the Northwest Territory was divided into smaller territories. This was done so that people could govern themselves more easily.

During the Black Hawk War many people found out about Wisconsin's fertile prairies and valleys. Soldiers, too, decided that this would be a good place to live. Soon so many settlers had come that the people living here needed a government of their own.

James Doty

Wisconsin Territory

Judge James Doty of Green Bay wanted a government for the country between Mackinac and the Mississippi River. He wanted the new territory called "Chippewa." Another man who wanted a new territory was Henry Dodge, leader of the lead-mining district in the southern part of this region. In 1836 Wisconsin did become a territory. It was named "Wiskonsan"--later "Wisconsin." It included a much larger area than our state does today.

At this time there were only 22,000 people in all of Wisconsin. The lead-mining region had most power in the government. Mineral Point was the chief city in the southern part of the territory. Green Bay, the oldest city, had been a quiet little fur-trading settlement, but now it was becoming almost as important as Mineral Point. The eastern part of the territory had been growing under the leadership of such men as Judge Doty and his cousin, Morgan L. Martin. Milwaukee was waking up too, and was being settled by people from the East. The people of Milwaukee and Green Bay agreed on many questions. They did not usually agree with those who were settling in the lead-mining region around Mineral Point. They often wanted different men as their leaders. Why was this likely to happen?

Henry Dodge

Doty's Green Bay office

Mrs. Henry Dodge

Doty's home

Green Bay Intelligencer office

Mineral Point