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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.
V.--Wisconsin as a state,   pp. 52-109 PDF (28.8 MB)

Page 63

last application bearing date January 26, I855. He claimed discharge on the
ground of the
unconstitutionality of the law under which he had been indicted. The supreme
court held that
the indictment upon which he had been tried and convicted contained three
counts, the first of
which was to be considered as properly charging an offense within the act
of congress of Septem-
ber I8, 1850, known as the "fugitive-slave law," while the second
and third counts did not" set
forth or charge an offense.punishable by any statute of the United States;
and as, upon these last-
mentioned counts he was found guilty and not upon the first, he must be discharged.
     The action of the supreme court of Wisconsin in a second time discharging
Booth, was
afterward reversed by the supreme court of the United States; and, its decision
being respected
by the State court, Booth was re-arrested in i86o, and the sentence of the
district court of the
United States executed in part upon him, when he was pardoned by the president.
     By an act of the legislature, approved March 30, 1854, a "State
Lunatic Asylum" was directed
to be built at or in the vicinity of Madison, the capital of the State, upon
land to be donated or
purchased for that purpose. By a subsequent act, the name of the asylum was
changed to the
"Wisconsin State Hospital for the Insane.'   This was the third charitable
institution established
by the State. The hospital was opened for patients in July, x86o, under the
direction of a
board of trustees appointed by the governor. All insane persons, residents
of Wisconsin, who,
under the law providing for admission of patients into the hospital for treatment,
become resi-
dents therein, are maintained at the expense of the State, provided the county
in which such
patient resided before being brought to the hospital pays the sum of one
dollar and fifty cents a
week for his or her support. Any patient can be supported by relatives, friends
or guardians, if
the tatter desire to relieve the county and State from the burden, and can
have special care and
be provided with a special attendant, if the expense of the same be borne
by parties interested.
The hospital is beautifully located on the north shore of Lake Mendota, in
Dane county, about
four miles from Madison.
     At the general election in the Fall of 1854, for members from Wisconsin
to the thirty-fourth
congress, Daniel Wells, Jr, was chosen from the first district; C. C. Washburn,
from the second,
and Charles Billinghurst from the third district. Billinghurst and Washburn
were elected as
republicans-that party having been organized in the Summer previous. Wells
was a democrat.
     The year 1854 was one of prosperity forWisconsin, to all its industrial
occupations. Abund-
ant crops and increased prices were generally realized by the agriculturist.
It was a year also of
general health. It was ascertained that the amount of exports during the
year, including lumber
and mineral, exceeded thirteen millions of dollars.
     The eighth regular session of the State legislature commenced on the
ioth of January,
1855. C. C. Sholes was elected speaker of the assembly. The senate was democratic;
assembly, republican.  On joint ballot, the republicans had but one majority.
On the Ist of
February, Charles Durkee, a republican, was elected United States senator
for a full term of six
years from the 4th of March next ensuing, to fill the place of Isaac P. Walker
whose term would
expire on that day. Among the bills passed of a general nature, was one relative
to the rights of
married women, providing that any married woman, whose husband, either from
drunkenness or
profligacy, should neglect or refuse to provide for her support, should have
the right, in her own
name, to transact business, receive and collect her own earnings, and apply
the same for her own
support, and education of her children, free from the control and interference
of her husband.
The legislature adjourned sine die on the second of April, after a session
of eighty-three days.
Orsamus Cole having been elected in this month an associate justice of the
supreme court in
place of Judge Samuel Crawford, whose term of office would expire on the
thirty-first of May of
that year, went into office on the first day of June following, for a term
of six years. His office
would therefore end on the thirty-first of May, 1861.

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