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Harney, Richard J. / History of Winnebago County, Wisconsin, and early history of the Northwest

Introductory,   p. [3] PDF (436.0 KB)

Page [3]

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
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:
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
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
American settlement of the country. This event was followed by the Winnebago
outbreak and Black Hawk war; after the close of which, American immigration
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superseded by that of the Americans.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
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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