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)
8HISTORY OF WISCONSIN. lican State. According to the censuz of this year, it had a population of over seven hundred and seventy-seven thousand. On the ninth of January, I86I, the fourteenth regular session of the State legislature com- menced at Madison. Both branches were republican. Amasa Cobb Was elected speaker of the assembly. On the tenth, both houses met in joint convention to 'hear the governor read his annual message. It was a remarkable document. Besides giving an excellent synopsis of the operations of the State government for i86o, the governor entered largely into a discussion of the question of secession and disunion, as then proposed by some of the southern states of the Union. These are his closing words: "The right of a State to secede from the Union can never be admitted. The National Government can not treat with a State while it is in the Union, and particularly while it stands in an attitude hostile to the Union. So long as any State assumes a position foreign, inde- pendent and hostile to the government, there can be no reconciliation. The government of the United States can not treat with one of its own States as a foreign power. The constitutional laws extend over every Stat- alike. T-hey are to be enforced in every State alike. A State can not come into the Union as it pleases, and go out when it pleases. Once in, it must stay until the Union is destroyed. There is no coercion of a State. But where a faction of a people arrays. itself, not against one act, but against all laws, and against all government, there is but one answer to be made: ' The Government must be sustained.; the laws shall be enforced!*'" On the twenty-third of January the legislature met in joint convention to elect a United States senator to fill the place of Charles Durkee, whose term of office would expire on the fourth of March next ensuing. The successful candidate was Timothy 0. Howe, republican, who was elected for a full term of six years from the 4th of March, 186r. One of the important acts passed at this session of the legislature apportioned the State into senate and assembly districts, by which the whole number of members in both houses was increased from one hun- dred and twenty-seven to one hundred and thirty-three. Another act apportioned the State into six congressional districts instead of three. By this - the third congressional apportionment each district was to elect one representative. The first district was composed of the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, Racine, and Kenosha; the second, of the counties of Rock, Jefferson, Dane, and Columbia; the third, of Green, La Fayette, Iowa, Grant, Crawford, Rich- land, and Sauk; the fourth, of Ozaukee, Washington, Dodge, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan; the fifth, Manitowoc, Calumet, Winnebago, Green Lake, Marquette, Waushara, Waupaca, Outa- gamie, Brown, Kewaunee, Door, Oconto, and Shawano; and the sixth, of the counties of Bad Axe, La Crosse, Monroe, Juneau, Adams, Portage, Wood, Jackson, Trempealeau, Buffalo, Pepin, Pierce, St. Croix, Dunn, Eau Claire, Clark, Marathon, Chippewa, Dallas, Polk, Burnett, Douglas, La Pointe, and Ashland. The legislature adjourned on the seventeenth of April, 1861. At the spring elections of this year, Orsamus Cole was re-elected as associate justice of the supreme court. On the ninth of May following, Governor Randall issued a proclamation convening the legislature in extra session on the fifteenth of the same month. "The extraordinary condition of the country," said he, " growing out of the rebellion against the government of the United States, makes it necessary that the legislature of this State be convened in special session, to provide more completely for making the power of the State useful to the government and to other loyal States." The fifteenth or extra session began on the fifteenth of May, as designated in the governor's proclamation. The message of the governor was devoted entirely to the war. "At the close of the last annual session of the legislature," said he, "to meet a sudden emer- gency, an act was passed authorizing me to respond to the call of the president of the United States, 'for aid in maintaining the Union and the supremacy of the laws, or to suppress rebellion 68
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