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)
HISTORY OF WISCONSIN. annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof within twenty years from the time of contracting the same. In 18,72, the first appropriation for fish culture in Wisconsin was made by the legislature,. subject to the direction of the United States commissioner of fisheries. In 1874, a further sum was appropriated, and the governor of the State authorized to appoint three commissioners, whose duties were, upon receiving any spawn or fish, by or through the United States commis- sioner of fish and fisheries, to immediately place such spawn in the care of responsible pisci- culturists of ,the State, to be hatched and distributed in the different waters in and surrounding Wisconsin. Two more members have since been added by law to the commission; their labors have been much extended, and liberal appropriations made to further the object they have in view-with flattering prospects of their finally being able to stock the streams and lakes of the State with the best varieties of food fish. The year 1874, in Wisconsin, was characterized as one of general prosperity among farmers, excepting the growers of wheat. The crop of that cereal was light, and, in places, entirely destroyed by the chinch-bug. As a consequence, considerable depression existed in business in the wheat-growing districts. Trade and commerce continued throughout the year at a low ebb, the direct result of the monetary crisis of 1873. The legislature commenced its twenty-eighth regular session on the thirteenth of January, 1875, with a republican majority in both houses. F. W. Horn was elected speaker of the assembly. The governor delivered his message in person, on the fourteenth, to the two houses. " Thanking God for all His mercies," are his opening words, " I congratulate you that order and peace reign throughout the length and breadth of our State. Our material prosperity has not fulfilled our anticipations. But let us remember that we bear no burden of financial depression not common to all the States, and that the penalties of folly are the foundation of wisdom." In regard to the "Potter Law," the governor said, "It is not my opinion that this law expressed the best judgment of the legislature which enacted it. While the general principles upon which it is founded command our unqualified approbation, and can never be surrendered, it must be conceded that the law is defective in some of its details......The great object sought to be accomplished by our people," continued the speaker, "is not the management of railroad property by themselves, but to prevent its mismanagement by others." Concerning the charge that Wisconsin was warring upon railways within her limits, the governor added, "She has never proposed such a war. She proposes none now. She asks only honesty, justice and the peace of mutual good will. To all men concerned, her people say in sincerity and in truth that every dollar invested in our State shall be lawfully entitled to its just protection, whencesoever the danger comes. In demanding justice for all, the State will deny justice to none. In forbidding mismanagement, the State will impose no restraints upon any management that is honest and just. In this, the moral and hereditary instincts of our people furnish a stronger bond of good faith than the judgments of courts or the obligations of paper constitutions. Honest capital may be timid and easily frightened; yet it is more certain to seek investment among a people whose laws are at all times a shield for the weak and a reliance for the strong -where the wholesome restraints of judicious legislation are felt alike by the exalted and the humble, the rich and the poor." The first important business to be transacted by this legislature was the election of a United States senator, as the term for which M. H_ Carpenter had been elected would expire on the fourth of March ensuing. Much interest was manifested in the matter, not only in the two houses, but throughout the State. There was an especial reason for this; for, although the then 102
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