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