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
Butterfield, C. W.
IV.--Wisconsin territory, pp. 41-52 PDF (6.0 MB)
WISCONSIN TERRITORY. G. Ellis and Alexander J. Irwin, members of the house of representatives; from Milwaukee, the councilmen were Gilbert Knapp and Alanson Sweet; representatives, William B. Sheldon, Madison W. Cornwall and Charles Durkee: from Iowa, councilmen, Ebenezer Brigham, John B, Terry and James R. Vineyard; representatives, William Boyles, G. F. Smith, D. M. Parkinson, Thomas McKnight, T. Shanley and J. P. Cox: from Dubuque, councilmen, John Foley, Thomas McCraney and Thomas McKnight; representatives, Loring Wheeler, Hardin Nowlin, Hosea 'I", Camp, P. H. Engle and Patrick' Quigley: from Des Moines, councilmen, Jeremiah Smith, Jr., Joseph B. Teas and Arthur B. Inghram; representatives, Isaac Leffler, Thomas Blair, Warren L, Jenkins, John Box, George W. Teas, Eli Reynolds and David R. Chance: from Crawford, repre- sentatives, James H. Lockwood and James B. Dallam. Belmont, in the present county of LaFayette, then 'in Iowa county, was, by the governor, appointed the place for the meeting of the legislature; he also fixed the time-the twenty-fifth of October. A quorum was in attendance in both branches at the time decided upon for their assembling, and the two houses were speedily organized by the election of Peter Hill Fngle, of Dubuque, speaker of the house, and Henry S. Baird, of Brown, president of the council. Each of the separate divisions of the government--the executive, the judicial, and the legislative--- was now in working order, except that it remained for the l.egislature to divide the Territory into judicial districts, and make an assignment of the judges; and for the governor to appoint a Ter,. ritorial treasurer, auditor and attorney general. The act of congress establishing the Terni- tory'required that it should be divided into three judicial districts. The counties of Crawford and Iowa were constitued by the legislature the first district, to which was assigned Chief Justice Dunn. The second district was composed of the counties of Des Moines and Dubuque ; to it was assigned Associate Judge Irvin. The third district was formed of the counties of Brown and Milwaukee, to which was assigned Associate Judge Frazer. Governor Dodge, in his first message to the Territorial legislature, directed attention to the necessity for defining the jurisdiction and powers of the several courts, and recommended that congress should be memorialized to extend the right of pre-emption to actual settlers upon the public lands and to miners on mineral lands; also, to remove the obstructions in the rapids of the Upper Mississippi, to construct harbors and light-houses on Lake Michigan, to improve the navigation of Fox river and to survey the same from its mouth to Fort Winnebago, to increase the amount of lands granted to the Territory for school purposes, and to organize and arm the militia for the protection of the frontier settlements. The first act passed by the legis- lature was one privileging members from arrest in certain cases and conferring on themselves power to punish parties for contempt. The second one established the three judicial districts and assigned the judges thereto. One was passed to borrow money to defray the expenses of the session; others protecting adl lands donated to the Territory by the United States in aid of schools, and creating a common school fund. A memorial to congress was adopted request- ing authorization to sell the school-section in each township, and appropriate the money arising therefrom for increasing the fund for schools. During this session, five counties were "set off" west of the Mississippi river: Lee, Van Buren, Henry, Louisa, Muscatine, and Cook; and fifteen east of that stream: Walworth, Racine, Jefferson, Dane, Portage, Dodge, Washington, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Calumet, Manitowoc, Marquette, Rock, Grant and Green. The principal question agitating the legislature at its first session was the location of the capital. Already the people west of the Mississippi were speculating upon the establishment of a Territory on that side the river, prospects for which would be enhanced evidently, by placing the seat of government somewhat in a central position east of that stream, for Wisconsin 43
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