Harney, Richard J. / History of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest
Introductory, p.  PDF (436.0 KB)
INTRODUCTORY. In this work the author has attempted to give the leading events in the early history of the interior of the Continent; and the progress of that civilization, the course of which was on the line of those great water-courses, of which the Fox and Wisconsin rivers were important lines of communication, The first portion embraces the French-Indian period of history, from the days of Jacques, Cartier and Champlain, on the St. Lawrence, to the early days of the American occupation. All students of the period of French Indian history are aware that its recital is fragmentary; that in order to learn it, recourse must be had to many volumes: and that to the average intelligent reader, the task requires too much time. Our Fox River Valley was one of the principal scenes in that history which is here condensed into a comparatively small compass, through the most diligent and careful research and labor. Nearly fifty volumes of various works have been consulted in ascertaining the facts which are recounted, and in many instances the original Indian treaties have been examined. Among the works consulted are Charlevoix's History of New France, Schoolcraft's Indian Tribes, Parkman's Works, Bancroft's History of the United States, Wisconsin State Historical Collec- tions, Mrs. Kenzie's Early Day, Barber's History of the West, etc., etc. Although the field occupied by this work has been partly gone over by others, the author challenges the closest scrutiny in regard to plagiarism. The facts of history are not the exclusive property of any writer - the method of telling them, of putting them together, the language used in their recital and the style of expression is the work of the writer, and for which he either merits praise or censure. In this work the most scrupulous care has been taken to give credit for all that has been copied from the writings of others. The discovery of the lead mines at Fevre River (Galena) in 1822, led to the so-called American settlement of the country. This event was followed by the Winnebago outbreak and Black Hawk war; after the close of which, American immigration poured in, the extinguishment of Indian titles commenced and the old French-Indian occupancy of the country was superseded by that of the Americans. A new historical era commenced in 1833, and in 1836 practically commenced the settlement of Winnebago County. From this period the history of Winnebago County is given; from the days of the bark canoe, Indian wigwam and log houses of the early settlers, up to its present highly civilized development, with all the details of its progress. The history of each city and town in the county is given separately, from the days of their earliest settlement. In procuring this data each locality has been visited and hundreds of persons, town and county records and files of newspapers consulted. This work has involved great labor and expense; and but few people are aware of the time required and the difficulties encountered in the accomplishment of such a task. The hope is indulged in that it will be justly appreciated by the people of this county, whose interests are subserved by its publication, and that it will prove to be of enduring value.
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