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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
(1880)

Butterfield, C. W.
IV.--Wisconsin territory,   pp. 41-52 PDF (6.0 MB)


Page 43


WISCONSIN TERRITORY.
G. Ellis and Alexander J. Irwin, members of the house of representatives;
from Milwaukee,
the councilmen were Gilbert Knapp and Alanson Sweet; representatives, William
B. Sheldon,
Madison W. Cornwall and Charles Durkee: from Iowa, councilmen, Ebenezer Brigham,
John B,
Terry and James R. Vineyard; representatives, William Boyles, G. F. Smith,
D. M. Parkinson,
Thomas McKnight, T. Shanley and J. P. Cox: from Dubuque, councilmen, John
Foley, Thomas
McCraney and Thomas McKnight; representatives, Loring Wheeler, Hardin Nowlin,
Hosea 'I",
Camp, P. H. Engle and Patrick' Quigley: from Des Moines, councilmen, Jeremiah
Smith, Jr.,
Joseph B. Teas and Arthur B. Inghram; representatives, Isaac Leffler, Thomas
Blair, Warren L,
Jenkins, John Box, George W. Teas, Eli Reynolds and David R. Chance: from
Crawford, repre-
sentatives, James H. Lockwood and James B. Dallam.
     Belmont, in the present county of LaFayette, then 'in Iowa county, was,
by the governor,
 appointed the place for the meeting of the legislature; he also fixed the
time-the twenty-fifth
 of October. A quorum was in attendance in both branches at the time decided
upon for their
 assembling, and the two houses were speedily organized by the election of
Peter Hill Fngle, of
 Dubuque, speaker of the house, and Henry S. Baird, of Brown, president of
the council. Each
 of the separate divisions of the government--the executive, the judicial,
and the legislative---
 was now in working order, except that it remained for the l.egislature to
divide the Territory into
 judicial districts, and make an assignment of the judges; and for the governor
to appoint a Ter,.
 ritorial treasurer, auditor and attorney general. The act of congress establishing
the Terni-
 tory'required that it should be divided into three judicial districts. The
counties of Crawford
 and Iowa were constitued by the legislature the first district, to which
was assigned Chief Justice
 Dunn. The second district was composed of the counties of Des Moines and
Dubuque ; to it
 was assigned Associate Judge Irvin. The third district was formed of the
counties of Brown
 and Milwaukee, to which was assigned Associate Judge Frazer.
     Governor Dodge, in his first message to the Territorial legislature,
directed attention to the
necessity for defining the jurisdiction and powers of the several courts,
and recommended that
congress should be memorialized to extend the right of pre-emption to actual
settlers upon the
public lands and to miners on mineral lands; also, to remove the obstructions
in the rapids
of the Upper Mississippi, to construct harbors and light-houses on Lake Michigan,
to improve
the navigation of Fox river and to survey the same from its mouth to Fort
Winnebago, to
increase the amount of lands granted to the Territory for school purposes,
and to organize and
arm the militia for the protection of the frontier settlements. The first
act passed by the legis-
lature was one privileging members from arrest in certain cases and conferring
on themselves
power to punish parties for contempt. The second one established the three
judicial districts
and assigned the judges thereto. One was passed to borrow money to defray
the expenses
of the session; others protecting adl lands donated to the Territory by the
United States in aid
of schools, and creating a common school fund. A memorial to congress was
adopted request-
ing authorization to sell the school-section in each township, and appropriate
the money arising
therefrom for increasing the fund for schools.
     During this session, five counties were "set off" west of
the Mississippi river: Lee, Van
Buren, Henry, Louisa, Muscatine, and Cook; and fifteen east of that stream:
Walworth, Racine,
Jefferson, Dane, Portage, Dodge, Washington, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, Calumet,
Manitowoc,
Marquette, Rock, Grant and Green.
    The principal question agitating the legislature at its first session
was the location of the
capital. Already the people west of the Mississippi were speculating upon
the establishment of
a Territory on that side the river, prospects for which would be enhanced
evidently, by placing
the seat of government somewhat in a central position east of that stream,
for Wisconsin
43


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