Gard, Robert Edward / My land, my home, my Wisconsin : the epic story of the Wisconsin farm and farm family from settlement days to the present
[The land, the land, and the people coming], pp. [unnumbered]-18 PDF (11.9 MB)
ing from federal troops, is well known. The Indians straggled north as far as Horicon Marsh, hid in that area, and were coming out, trying to get west to the Mississippi, when they were discovered. The pursuit along the Wisconsin River and the final slaughter of the Indians at Bad Axe are not among Wisconsin's more glorious episodes. The so-called menace ended there, and the Indians never again arose in any signifi- cant way. The war did influence settlement in certain areas, because the troops who had pursued Black Hawk liked the country and many came back to home- stead. Wisconsin's animals were also victims of the white man's supremacy after the Black Hawk War. The last buffalo was shot in Trempealeau County in 1832; the last caribou was seen in Ashland County in 1840; the last elk was killed in Buffalo County in 1868. Although the exodus of so many Indians gave the deer an opportunity to thrive in southern Wis- consin for a time, the white man eventually decimat- ed the herd. Wanton killing by means of dogs, hunt- ing for market, impaling by placing sharp sticks where deer jumped across small water courses, and rope snaring almost wiped out the herd in southern counties before the Civil War. After the Black Hawk War, government survey- ors entered Wisconsin. The southern part, to the Wisconsin River, was surveyed first. In their reports, the surveyors indicated the quality of the land: first, second, or third class; level, rolling, rough, or bro- ken. They located oak openings; prairies; high, roll- ing prairies; low, wet prairies; level, dry prairies. The surveyors' reports were useful to settlers in choosing their lands and to speculators in locating town sites. Even well-known personalities in the East indulged in speculation here. Daniel Webster, for example, invested in land at several places, in- cluding Dane County and the Fox River Valley. So did Caleb Cushing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ed- ward Everett. Hercules Dousman and James Duane Doty were buying and selling lands, Doty particular- ly favoring the Four Lakes region where a new town, Madison, was soon to be built. A surveying party consisted of two surveyors, two axmen, and two chainmen. The surveyors were usually men of good scientific training. A fine exam- uw aecks it was everyone for himself, and hell in a rough sea. 3
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