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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

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

Page 44

Territory. Now, as Madison was a point answering such requirements she triumphed
over all
competitors; and the latter numbered a dozen or more-including, among others,
Fond du Lac,
Milwaukee, Racine, Belmont, Mineral Point, Green Bay, and Cassville. The
struggle over this
question was one 'of the most exciting ever witnessed in the Territorial
legislature. Madison
was fixed upon as the seat of government, but it was provided that sessions
of the legislature
should be held at Burlington, in Des Moines county, until the fourth of March,
1839, unless the
public buildings in the new capital should be sooner completed. After an
enactment that the
legislature should thereafter meet on the first Monday of November of each
year, both houses,
on the ninth day of December, 1836, adjourned sine die.
     In the act of congress establishing the Territory of Wisconsin it was
provided that a delegate
to the house of representatives of the United States, to serve for the term
of two years, should
be elected by the voters qualified to elect members of the legislative assembly;
and that the
first election should be held at such time and place or places, and be conducted
in such manner
as the governor of the Territory should appoint and direct. In pursuance
of this enactment,
Governor Dodge directed that the election for delegate should be at the time
and places
appointed for the election of members of the legislative assembly - the ioth
of October, 1836.
The successful candidate for that office was George W. Jones, of Sinsinawa
Mound, Iowa
county- in that portion which was afterward "set off" as Grant
county. Jones, under the act
of 1819, had been elected a delegate for Michigan Territory, in October,
1835, and took his
seat at the ensuing session, in December of that year. By the act of June
15, 1836, the consti-
tution and State government which the people of Michigan had formed for themselves
accepted, ratified and confirmed, and she was declared to be one of the United
States of
America, so that the term of two years for which Jones had been elected was
cut short, as, in
the nature of the case, his term could not survive the existence of the Territory
he represented.
But, as he was a candidate for election to represent the new Territory of
Wisconsin in congress
as a delegate, and was successful, he took his seat at the commencement of
the second session of
the twenty-fourth congress-December 12, 1836, notwithstanding he had been
elected only a
little over two months.
     The first term of the supreme court of the Territory was held at Belmont
on the 8th day of
December. There were present, Charles Dunn, chief justice, and David Irvin,
associate judge.
John Catlin was appointed clerk, and Henry S. Baird having. previously been
attorney general for the Territory by Governor Dodge, appeared before the
court and took the
oath of office. Causes in which the United States was party or interested
were looked after by
the United States attorney, who received his appointment from the president;
while all cases
in which the Territory was interested was attended to by the attorney general,
whose commission
was signed by the governor. The appointing of a crier and reporter and the
admission of
several attorneys to practice, completed the business for the term. The annual
term appointed
for the third Monday of July of the following year, at Madison, was not held;
as no business for
the action of the court had matured.
     At the time of the complete organization of the Territory of Wisconsin,
when the whole
machinery had been put fairly in motion; when its first legislature at its
first session had, after
passing forty-two laws and three joint resolutions, in forty-six days, adjourned;
-at this time,
the entire portion west of the Mississippi had, in round numbers, a population
of only eleven
thousand; while the sparsely settled mineral region, the military establishments
- Fort Craw-
ford, Fort Winnebago, and Fort Howard -and the settlements at or near them,
with the village
of Milwaukee, constituted about all there was of the Territory east of that
river, aggregating
about twelve thousand inhabitants. There was no land in market, .except a
narrow strip along

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