University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

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


Page 42


HISTORY OF WISCONSIN.
proper reservation of rights in favor of the Indians. It provided for subsequently
dividing tne
Territory into one or more, should congress deem it wise so to do. It also
declared that the
executive power and authority in and over the Territory should be vested
in a governor, at the same
time defining his powers. It provided for the appointment of a secretary,
stating what his duties
should be. The legislative power was vested in the governor and legislative
assembly, the latter
to consist of a council and house of representatives, answering respectively
to the senate and
assembly, as states are usually organized. There was a provision for taking
the census of the
several counties, and one giving the governor power to name the time, place,
and manner of
holding the first election, and to declare the number of members of the council
and house of
representatives to which each county should be entitled. He was also to determine
where the
first legislative assembly should meet, and a wise provision was that the
latter should not be in
session in any-one year more than seventy-five days.
     One section of the act declared who should be entitled to vote and hold
office; another
defined the extent of the powers of the legislature, and a third provided
that all laws should be
submitted to congress for their approval or rejection. There was a section
designating what
offices should be elective and what ones should be filled by the governor.
There were others
regulating the judiciary for the Territory and declaring what offices should
be appointed by the
United States, providing for their taking the proper oaths of office and
regulating their salaries.
One, perhaps the most important of all, declared that the Territory should
be entitled to and enjoy
all the rights, privileges, and advantages.granted by the celebrated ordinance
of 1787. There
was also a provision for the election of a delegate to the house of representatives
of the United
States; and a declaration that all suits and indictments pending in the old
courts should be con-
tinued in the new ones. Five thousand dollars were appropriated for a library
for the accommo-
dation of the legislative assembly of the Territory and of its supreme court.
     For the new Territory, Henry Dodge was, on the 3oth of April, 1836,
by Andrew Jackson,
then President of the United States, commissioned governor. John S. Horner
was commissioned
secretary; Charles Dunn, chief justice; David Irvin and William C. Frazer,
associate judges;
W. W. Chapman, attorney, and Francis Gehon, marshal. The machinery of a territorial
gov-
ernment was thus formed, which was set in motion by these officers taking
the prescribed oath of
office. The next important stepto be taken was to organize the Territorial
Vlegislature. The
provisions of the organic act relative to the enumeration of the population
of the Territory were
that previously to the first election, the governor should cause the ceusus
of the inhabitants of
the ý several counties to be taken by the several sheriffs, and that
the latter should make returns of
the same to the Executive. These figures gave to Des Moines county, 6,257;
Iowa county,
5,234; Dubuque county, 4,274; Milwaukee county, 2,893; Brown county, 2,7o6;
Crawford
county, 850. The entire population, therefore, of Wisconsin Territory in
the summer of 1836,
as given by the first census was, in precise numbers, twenty-two thousand
two hundred and four-
teen, of which the two counties west of the Mississippi furnished nearly
one half. The apportion-
ment, after the census'had been taken, made by the governor, gave to the
different counties thir-
teen councilmen and twenty-six representatives. Brown county got two councilmen
and three
representatives; Crawford, two representatives, but no councilmen; Milwaukee,
two councilmen
and three representatives; Iowa, Dubuque and Des Moines, each three councilmen;
but of repre-.
sentatives, Iowa got six; Dubuque, five, and'Des Moines, seven. The election
was held on the
tenth of October, 1836, exciting considerable interest, growing out, chiefly,
of local considera-
tions. The permanent location of the capital, the division of counties, and
the location of county
seats, were the principal questions influencing the voters. There were elected
from the county
of Brown, Henry S. Baird and John P. Arndt, members of the council; Ebenezer
Childs, Albert:
42


Go up to Top of Page