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Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin

Chapter IV: Jurisdiction and county boundaries,   pp. 27-30

Page 27

Jurisdiction over Dunn County has been claimed by four nations, Spain, France,
England and the United States; the French and English colonial authorities; the
territorial officials of the Northwest Territory, and of the Territories of Indiana,
Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin; and the officers of the counties of Crawford,
St. Croix and Chippewa.
Spain, by virtue of the discoveries of Columbus and others, confirmed to her by
papal grant (that of Pope Alexander VI, May 4, 1493) may be said to have been
the first European owner of the entire valley of the Mississippi River, but she never
used this claim as a ground for taking actual possession of this part of her domains
other than was incidentally involved in De Soto's doings. The name of Florida
was first applied to the greater part of the eastern half of North America, commenc--
ing at the Gulf of Mexico, and extending northward indefinitely.
England, basing her claims on the explorations made by her subjects along the
Atlantic coast, issued to various individuals and "companies", charters to vast
tracts of land extending from the Atlantic westward. Practically, however, the
upper Mississippi valley may be considered as having been in the first place,
Canadian soil, for it was Frenchmen from Canada who first visited it, and traded
with its natives. The names of Canada and New France were used interchangeably
to apply to the vast French possessions of the American continent. The name
Louisiana was invented by La Salle and applied by him to the entire Mississippi
valley. But, generally speaking, the Canada or New France of the Eighteenth
century took in the upper Mississippi valley, while the name Louisiana was used
only for the lower valley.
At the close of the great European conflict which found its echo in the so-called
French and Indian War in America, the area that is now Wisconsin, became by the
Treaty of Paris, signed Febuary 10, 1763 (a preliminary treaty having been signed
at Fontainebleau, November 3, 1762), a part of the British empire.
The success of the American Revolution resulting in the Treaty of Paris,
September 3, 1783, revived the claims of the coast states, but finally these claims
were ceded to the Federal Government, in order to form new States and Territories.
After the land was acquired by the Federal authority, many plans were proposed
for its government, Thomas Jefferson suggested that the territory be divided into
ten States, of which the State of Mi Tr igan w,-s to include the present Dunn
The Northwest Territory was erected by the Congress of the Confederation
(the Constitution of the United States not being adopted until Sept. 17, 1787)
through the "Northwest Ordinance", passed July 13, 1787. Eventually there were
formed from the Northwest Territory, in addition to Ohio, the Territories of In-
diana (May 7, 1800), Michigan (Jan. 11, 1805), Illinois (Feb. 3, 1809), and Wis-
consin (April 29, 1836).
Wisconsin was a part of the Northwest Territory from July 13, 1787, to May 11,
1800; of Indiana Territory from May 7, 1800, to Feb. 3, 1809; of Illinois Territory
from Feb. 3, 1809, to April 18, 1818; and of Michigan Territory from April 18, 1818,
to April 29, 1836, when the Territory of Wisconsin was created.
Crawford County, erected by proclamation of Lewis Cass, governor of Michigan
Territory, October 26, 1818, included what is now Dunn County. When the
Territory of Wisconsin was organized, April 29, 1836, Crawford County, Wisconsin,
also included in its vast area the present limits of Dunn County.
St. Croix County was created Jan. 9, 1840 under No. 12, Laws of Wisconsin
Territory, 1839-40. This county embraced all the territory north and west of a
line beginning at the mouth of Porcupine River, on Lake Pepin, thence up said

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