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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
(1880)

Butterfield, C. W.
III.--Pre-territorial annals of Wisconsin,   pp. 29-41 PDF (6.5 MB)


Page 35


PRE-TERRITORIAL ANNALS OF WISCONSIN.
"law of Paris," which was in force under French domination in Canada,
and which by the
British Parliament in 1774, had been continued in force under English supremacy,
was still " the
law of the land " west of Lake Michigan, practically at least.
     From and after the fourth day of July, 18oo, all that part of the territory
of the United
 States northwest of the Ohio river, which lay to the westward of a line
beginning upon that
 stream opposite to the mouth of Kentucky river and running thence to what
is now Fort
 Recovery in Mercer county, Ohio ; thence north until it intersected the
territorial line between
 the United States and Canada, was, for the purposes of temporary government,
constituted a
 'separate territory called INDIANA.. It included not only the whole of the
present State of Illinois
 and nearly all of what is now Indiana, but more than half of the State of
Michigan as now
 -defined, also a considerable part of the present Minnesota, and the whole
of what is now Wis-
 consin.
     The seat of government was established at "Saint Vincennes on the
Wabash," now the city
 of Vincennes, Indiana. To this extensive area was added "from and after"
the admission of
 Ohio into the Union, all the territory west of that State,. and east of
the eastern boundary line of
 the Territory of Indiana as originally established; so that now all "the
territory of the United
 States, northwest of the River Ohio," was, excepting the State of Ohio,
included in Indiana Ter-
 ritory. On the thirtieth day of June, 1805, so much of Indiana Territory
as lay to the north of
 a lin.- drawn east from the southerly bend or extreme of Lake Michigan to
Lake Erie, and east
 of a line drawn from the same bend through the middle of the first mentioned
lake to its north-
 ern extremity, and thence due north to the northern boundary of the United
States, was, for the
 purpose of temporary government, constituted a separate Territory called
MICHIGAN. Of course
 no part of the present State of Wisconsin was included therein; but the
whole remained in the
 Territory of Indiana until the second day of March, 1,8o9, when all that
part of the last men-
 tioned Territory which lay west of the Wabash river, and a direct line drawn
from that stream
 and "Post Vincennes," due north to the territorial line between
the United States and Canada,
 was, by an act approved on the third of February previous, constituted a
separate Territory, called
 ILLINOIS. Meanwhile jurisdiction had been extended by the authorities of
Indiana Territory
 over the country lying west of Lake Michigan, to the extent, at least, of
appointing a justice of
 the peace for each of the settlements of Green Bay and Prairie du Chien.
All of what is now
 Wisconsin was transferred to the Territory of Illinois, upon the organization
of the latter, except
 a small portion lying east of the meridian line drawn through Vincennes,
which remained a part
 of Indiana Territory. This fraction included nearly the whole area between
Green bay and
 Lake Michigan.
     When, in 1816, Indiana became a State, "the territory of the United
States northwest of the
River Ohio," contained, besides Ohio and Indiana, the Territories of
Illinois and Michigan, only;
so the narrow strip, formerly a part of Indiana Territory, lying east of
a line drawn due north
from Vincennes, and west of the western boundary line of Michigan Territory,
belonged to nei-
ther, and was left without any organization. However, upon the admission
of Illinois into the
Union, in i818, all "the territory of the United States, northwest of
the River Ohio," lying west
of Michigan Territory and north of the States of Indiana and Illinois, was
attached to and made
a part of Michigan Territory; by which act the whole of the present State
of Wisconsin came
under the jurisdiction of the latter. During the existence of the Territory
of Illinois, a kind of
jurisdiction was had over the two settlements in what is now Wisconsin -rather
more ideal than
real, however.
     In 1834, Congress greatly increased the limits of the Territory of Michigan,
by adding to it,
for judicial purposes, a large extent of country west of the Mississippi-
reaching south as far as
35


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