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Hibbard, Benjamin Horace, 1870-1955 / The history of agriculture in Dane County, Wisconsin

Chapter II: The movement of settlers to Wisconsin,   pp. 86-90 PDF (1.1 MB)

Page 86

                       CHAPTER II.
  No attempt will be made to give in detail the multifarious
reasons which resulted in the movement of so many different
classes of people to Wisconsin during the second quarter of the
nineteenth century; to do so would require a history of Europe
and America for that period. All that is here attempted is to
show in rather rude outlines, the more immediate influences that
contributed to the peopling of southern Wisconsin with the class
of emigrants who gave form and color to the whole subsequent
history of the state.
  It will be remembered that Wisconsin had been more or less
known to white men for two centuries before, and a considerable
number of settlers had made their way to her borders. Hunters
and trappers had long been familiar with the Fox-Wisconsin
waterwav, and vague reports were current about a lake region
to the south of the portage. However, it was the lead region
which first attracted workmen who settled down to making a
livelihood by plain toil within the territory. Many of these miners
at first with no thought of remaining longer than a season or
two, in fact going back to civilization to pass the winters, finally
became permanent residents and took part in the early territorial
  These men had come from the Illinois country, many of them
finding their way to the West along the course of the Ohio. Thus
the first settlement of consequence, outside the old trading posts,
was made in the southwestern part of the state, by men who had
made their way against the current of the Mississippi, or had
come overland from the lead regions of Illinois. The first mod-
em agriculture within the state was in the vicinity of these

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