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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.
III.--Pre-territorial annals of Wisconsin,   pp. 29-41 PDF (6.5 MB)

Page 32

pretty correct idea of its general features as well as of its savage inhabitants.
After dropping
down the Mississippi many miles, Joliet and Marquette returned to Green bay,
where the latter
remained to recruit his exhausted strength, while Joliet descended to Quebec,
to report his
"discoveries" to his superiors.
      Then followed the expedition of LaSalle to the west, from the St. Lawrence,
when, in 1679,
 he and Father Louis Hennepin coasted along the western shore of Lake Michigan,
 landing; then, the return of Henri de Tonty, one of LaSalle's party down
the same coast to Green
 bay, in 168o, from the Illinois; the return, also, the same year, of Hennepin,
from up the Mis-
 sissippi, whither he had made his way from the Illinois, across what is
now Wisconsin, by the
 Wisconsin and Fox riverĀ§ to Green bay, in company with DuLhut, or DuLuth,
who, on his way
 down the " great river " from Lake Superior, had met the friar;
and then, the voyage, in 1683, from
 Lake Michigan to the Mississippi river, by the same route, of LeSueur, and
his subsequent
 establishment at La Pointe, in what is now Ashland county, Wisconsin, followed
several 'years
 after by a trip up the Mississippi. The act of Daumont de St. Lusson, at
the Sault Sainte Mary,
 in 1671, in taking possession of the country beyond Lake Michigan, not being
regarded as suffi-
 ciently definite, Nicolas Perrot, in 1689, at Green bay, again took possession
of that territory, as
 well as of the valleys of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and extending the
dominion of New
 France over the country on the Upper Mississippi, and "to other places
more remote."  The
 voyage of St. Cosine, in 1699, when he and his companions frequently landed
on the west coast
 of Lake Michigan, upon wlhat is now territory of Wisconsin, completed the
explorations in the
 west for the seventeenth century.
     Following in the footsteps of early explorations, of self sacrificing
attempts of the Jesuits to
 carry the cross to the wild tribes of the West, of the first visits of the
lawless courcurs de bois,
 was the military occupation-if suc'h it can be called-of what is now Wisconsin
by the French.
 The ninety years of domination by France in this region were years of only
nominal possession.
 The record of this occupation is made up of facts concerning the Indian
policy of the French
 rtiflers; their contests with the Sacs and Foxes; their treaties, at various
times, with different
 tribes ; their interest in, and protection of, the fur trade , and kindred
subjects. The Indian
 tribes were, at most, only the allies of France. Posts-mere stockades without
cannon, more for
 protection to fur-traders than for any other purpose-were erected upon the.
Mississippi at two
 points at least, upon what is now territory of Wisconsin.   On the west
side of Fox river of
 Green bay, " half a league from its mouth," was a French post,
as early as 172 1, where resided,
 besides the commandant and an uncouth squad of soldiers, a Jesuit missionary;
and near by,
 were collected Indians of different tribes. Of course, the omnipresent fur-trader
helped to
 augment the sum-total of its occupants. This post was, not long after, destroyed,
but another
 was established there. When, however, France yielded her inchoate rights
in the West to Great
 Britain-when, in I761, the latter took possession of the country-there was
not a French post
 within what is now Wisconsin. The "fort" near the head of Green
bay, had been vacated for
 some years; it was found " rotten, the stockade ready to fall, and
the h6uses without cover;"
 emblematic of the decay-the fast-crumbling and perishing state-of French
supremacy, at that
 date, in America. Wisconsin, when England's control began, was little better
than a howling
 wilderness. There was not within the broad limits of what is now the State,
a single bona fide
 settler, at the time the French Government yielded up its posses'sion to
the English ; that is to
 say, there were none the present acceptation of the term "settler."
     The military occupation of Wisconsin by the British, after the Seven
Years' War, was a brief
one. La Bay-as the post at what is now the city of Fort Howard, Brown county,
was called-
was, on the twelfth of October, 1761, taken possession of by English troops,
under Captain
Belfour, o~f the Eightieth regiment. Two days after, that offcer departed,
leaving Lieutenant

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