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)
WISCONSIN AS A STATE. was thereupon given until the twenty-fifth of February to answer the information that had been filed against him by the attorney general. On the day appointed, Barstow filed his plea to the effect that, by the laws of Wisconsin regulating the conducting of general election for State officers, it was the duty of the board of canvassers to determine who was elected to the office of governor; and that the board had found that he was duly elected to that office. It was a plea to the jurisdiction of the court. A demurrer was interposed to this plea, setting forth that the matters therein contained were not sufficient in law to take the case out of court; asking, also, for a judgment against Barstow, or that he answer further the information filed against him. The demurrer was sustained; and Barstow was required to answer over within four days; at the expiration of which time the counsel for Barstow withdrew from the case, on the ground, as they alleged, that they had appeared at the bar of the court to object to the jurisdiction of that tribunal in the matter, and the court had determined to proceed with the case, holding and exercising full and final jurisdiction over it; and that they could take no further steps without conceding the right of that tribunal so to hold. Thereupon, on the eighth of March, Barstow entered a protest, by a communication to.the supreme court, against any further interference with the department under his charge by, that tribunal, " either by attempting to transfer its powers to another or direct the course of executive action." The counsel for Bashford then moved for judgment upon the default of Barstow. A further hearing of the case was postponed until March 1S, when the attorney general filed a motionto dismiss the proceedings;'against which Bashford, by his counsel, protested as being prejudicial to his rights. It was the opinion of the court that the attorney general could not dismiss the case, that every thing which was well pleaded for Bashford in his information was confessed by the default of Barstow. By strict usage, a final judgment ought then to have fol- lowed ; but the court came to the conclusion to call upon Bashf ord to bring forward proof, showing his right to the office. Testimony was then adduced at length, touching the character of the returns made to the State canvassers; after hearing of which it was the opinion of the court that Bashford had received a plurality of votes for governor and that there must be a judgment in his favor and one of ouster against Barstow; which were rendered accordingly. The ninth regular session of the legislature of Wisconsin commenced on the ninth of January, 1856. William Hull was elected speaker of the assembly. The senate had a repub- lican majority, but the assembly was democratic. On the eleventh Barstow sent in a message to a joint convention of the two houses. On the twenty-first of March he tendered to the legisla- ture his resignation as governor, giving for reasons the action of the supreme court in "Bashford vs. Barstow," which tribunal was then hearing testimony in the case. On the same day Arthur McArthur, lieutenant governor, took and subscribed an oath of office as governor of the State, afterwards sending a message to the legislature, announcing that the resignation of Barstow made it his duty to take the reins of government. On the twenty-fifth, Bashford called on McArthur, then occupying the executive office, and demanded possession-at the same time intimating that he preferred peaceable measures to force, but that the latter would be employed if necessary. 'The lieutenant governor thereupon vacated the chair, when the former took the gubernatorial seat, exercising thereafter the functions of the office until his successor was elected and qualified. His right to the seat was recognized by the senate on the twenty-fifth, and by the assembly on the twenty-seventh of March, 1856. This ended the famous case of" Bashford vs, Barstow," the first and only "war of succession " ever indulged in by Wisconsin. The legislature, on the thirty-first of March, adjourned over to the third of September, to dispose of a congressional land grant to the State. Upon re-assembling, an important measure was taken up-that of a new apportionment for the legislature. It was determined to increase the 65
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