At a remote period there lived in this country a people now designated mound builders. Of their origin nothing is known. Their history is lost in the lapse of ages. The evidences, however, of their existence in Wisconsin and surrounding States are numerous. Many of their works --- the so-called mounds --- are still to be seen. These are of various forms. Some are regularly arranged, forming squares, octagons and circles; others are like walls or ramparts; while many, especially in Wisconsin, are imitative in figure, having the shape of implements or animals, resembling war clubs, tobacco pipes, beasts, reptiles, fish and even man. A few are in the similitude of trees.
In selecting sites for many of their earth works, the mound-builders appear to have been influenced by motives which prompt civilized men to choose localities for their great marts; hence, Milwaukee and other cities of the west are founded on ruins of pre-existing structures. River terraces and river bottoms seem to have been favorite places for these mounds. Their works are seen in the basin of the Fox river, of the Illinois, and of Rock river and its branches, also in the valley of the Fox river of Green bay, in that of the Wisconsin, as well as near the waters of the Mississippi. As to the object of these earth works, all knowledge rests upon conjecture alone. It is generally believed that some were used for purposes of defense, others for the observance of religious rites and as burial places.
In some parts of Wisconsin are seen earth works of a different character from those usually denominated "mounds." These, from their supposed use, are styled "garden beds." They are ridges or beds about six inches in height, and four feet in width. They are arranged methodically and in parallel rows. Some are rectangular in shape; others are in regular curves. These beds occupy fields of various sizes, from ten to a hundred acres.
The mound builders have left other evidences besides mounds and garden beds, to attest their presence in this country, in ages past. In the Lake Superior region exist ancient copper mines, excavations in the solid rock. In these mines have been found stone hammers, wooden bowls and shovels, props and levers for raising and supporting mass copper, and ladders for descending into the pits and ascending from them.
There are, also, scattered widely over the country, numerous relics, evidently the handiwork of these pre-historic people; such as stone axes, stone and copper spear-heads and arrow heads, and various other implements and utensils. As these articles are frequently discovered many feet below the surface of the ground, it argues a high antiquity for the artificers. These relics indicate that the mound builders were superior in intelligence to the Indians. None of their implements or utensils, however, point to a "copper age" as having succeeded a "stone age." They all refer alike to one age, the indefinite past; to one people, the mound builders.
There is nothing to connect "the dark backward and abysm" of mound-building times with those of the red race of Wisconsin. And all that is known of the savages inhabiting this section previous to its discovery, is exceedingly dim and shadowy. Upon the extended area bounded by Lake Superior on the north, Lake Michigan on the east, wide-spreading prairies on the south, and the Mississippi river on the west, there met and mingled two distinct Indian families, Algonquins and Dakotas. Concerning the various tribes of these families, nothing of importance could be gleaned by the earliest explorers; at least, very little has been preserved. Tradition, it is true, pointed to the Algonquins as having, at some remote period, migrated from the east, and this has been confirmed by a study of their language. It indicated, also, that the Dakotas, at a time far beyond the memory of the most aged, came from the west or southwest, fighting their way as they came; that one of their tribes once dwelt upon the shores of a sea; but when and for what purpose they left their home for the country of the great lakes there was no evidence. This was all. In reality, therefore, Wisconsin has no veritable history ante-dating its discovery by civilized man. The country has been heard of, but only through vague reports of savages.1 There were no accounts at all, besides these, of the extensive region of the upper lakes; while of the valley of the upper Mississippi, nothing whatever was known.
The history of Wisconsin commences with the recital of the indomitable perseverance and heroic bravery displayed by its first visitant, John Nicolet. An investigation of the career of this Frenchman shows him, at an early age, leaving his home in Normandy for the new world, landing at Quebec in 1618, and at once seeking a residence among the Algonquins of the Ottawa river, in Canada, sent thither by the governor to learn their language. In the midst of many hardships, and surrounded by perils, he applied himself with great zeal to his task. Having become familiar with the Algonquin tongue, he was admitted into the councils of the savages.
The return of Nicolet to civilization, after a number of years immured in the dark forests of Canada, an excellent interpreter, qualified him to act as government agent among the wild western tribes in promoting peace, to the end that all who had been visited by the fur-trader might remain firm allies of the French. Nay, further: it resulted in his being dispatched to Nations far beyond the Ottawa, known only by heresay, with whom it was believed might be opened a profitable trade in furs. So he started on his perilous voyage. He visited the Hurons, upon the Georgian bay. With seven of that Nation, he struck boldly into wilds to the northward and westward never before visited by civilized man. He paddled his birch canoe along the eastern coast of Lake Huron and up the St. Mary's Straits to the falls. He floated back to the Straits of Mackinaw, and courageously turned his face toward the west. At the Sault de Ste. Marie, he had --- the first of white men --- set foot upon the soil of the northwest.
Nicolet coasted along the northern shore of Lake Michigan, ascended Green Bay, and finally entered the mouth of Fox river. It was not until he and his swarthy Hurons had urged their frail canoes six days up that stream, that his western exploration was ended. He had, meanwhile, on his way hither, visited a number of tribes; some that had never before been heard of by the French upon the St. Lawrence. With them all he smoked the pipe of peace; with the ancestors of the present Chippewas, at the Sault; with the Menomonees, the Winnebagoes, the Mascoutins, in what is now the State of Wisconsin; with the Ottawas, upon the Manitoulin Islands, and the Nez Perces, upon the east coast of Lake Huron. He made his outward voyage in the summer and fall of 1634, and returned the next year to the St. Lawrence. He did not reach the Wisconsin river, but heard of a "great water" to the westward, which he mistook for the sea. It was, in fact, that stream, and the Mississippi, into which it pours its flood.
"History cannot refrain from saluting Nicolet as a distinguished traveler, who, by his explorations in the northwest, has given clear proofs of his energetic character, and whose merits have not been disputed, although, subsequently, they were temporarily forgotten." The first fruits of his daring were gathered by the Jesuit fathers, even before his death; for, in the autumn of 1641, those of them who were among the Hurons at the head of the Georgian bay of Lake Huron, received a deputation of Indians occupying the "country around a rapid [now known as the 'Sault de Ste. Marie'], in the midst of the channel by which Lake Superior empties into Lake Huron," inviting them to visit their tribe. These "missionaries were not displeased with the opportunity thus presented of knowing the countries lying beyond Lake Huron, which no one of them had yet traveled;" so Isaac Jogues and Charles Raymbault were detached to accompany the Chippewa deputies, and view the field simply, not to establish a mission. They passed along the shore of Lake Huron, northward, and pushed as far up St. Mary's strait as the Sault, which they reached after seventeen days' sail from their place of starting. There they --- the first white men to visit the northwest after Nicolet --- harrangued 2,000 Chippewas and other Algonquins. Upon their return to the St. Lawrence, Jogues was captured by the Iroquois, and Raymbault died on the 22d of October, 1642, --- a few days before the death of Nicolet.2
Very faint, indeed, are the gleams which break in upon the darkness surrounding our knowledge of events immediately following the visit of Nicolet, in what is now the State of Wisconsin. That the Winnebagoes, soon after his return, made war upon the Nez Perces, killing two of their men, of whom they made a feast, we are assured.3 We also know that in 1640, these same Winnebagoes were nearly all destroyed by the Illinois; and that the next year, the Pottawattamies took refuge from their homes upon the islands at the mouth of Green bay, with the Chippewas.4 This is all. And had it not been for the greed of the fur trader and the zeal of the Jesuit, little more, for many years, probably, would have been learned of the northwest. However, a questioning missionary, took from the lips of an Indian captain5 "an account of his having, in the month of June, 1658, set out from Green Bay for the north, passing the rest of the summer and the following winter near Lake Superior; so called in consequence of being above that of Lake Huron. This Indian informed the Jesuit of the havoc and desolation of the Iroquois war in the west; how it had reduced the Algonquin Nations about Lake Superior and Green bay. The same missionary saw at Quebec, two Frenchmen who had just arrived from the upper countries with 300 Algonquins in sixty canoes, laden with peltries. These fur traders had passed the winter of 1659 on the shores of Lake Superior, during which time they made several trips among the surrounding tribes. In their wanderings they probably visited some of the northern parts of what is now Wisconsin. They saw at six days' journey beyond the lake toward the southwest, a tribe composed of the remainder of the Hurons of the Tobacco Nation, compelled by the Iroquois to abandon Mackinaw and to bury themselves thus deep in the forests, that they could not be found by their enemies. The two traders told the tales they had heard of the ferocious Sioux, and of a great river upon which they dwelt --- the great water of Nicolet. Thus a knowledge of the Mississippi began to dawn again upon the civilized world."6
The narratives of the Indian captain and the two Frenchmen induced further exploration two years later when Father Rene Menard attempted to found a mission on Lake Superior, with eight Frenchmen and some Ottawas. He made his way in 1660 to what is now Keweenaw, Mich. He determined while there to visit some Hurons on the islands at the mouth of Green bay. He sent three of his companions to explore the way. They reached those islands by way of the Menominee river, returning to Keweenaw with discouraging accounts. But Menard resolved to undertake the journey, starting from the lake with one white companion and some Hurons; he perished, however, in the forest, in what manner is not known, his companion reaching the Green bay islands in safety. White men had floated upon the Menominee, so that the northeastern part of what is now Wisconsin, as well as its interior by Nicolet in 1634, had now been seen by civilized white man.7
In August, 1665, Father Claude Allouez embarked on a mission to the country visited by Menard. Early in September he had reached the Sault de Ste. Marie, and on the first day of October, arrived in the bay of Chegoimegon, at a village of Chippewas. Here he erected a chapel of bark, establishing the first mission in what is now Wisconsin to which he gave the name of the Holy Spirit. While Allouez had charge of this field, he either visited or saw, at Chegoimegon, scattered bands of Hurons and Ottawas; also Pottawattamies from Lake Michigan, and the Sacs and Foxes, who lived upon the waters of Fox river of Green bay. He was likewise visited by the Illinois, and at the extremity of Lake Superior he met representatives of the Sioux. These declared they dwelt on the banks of the river "Messipi." Father James Marquette reached Chegoimegon in September, 1669, and took charge of the mission of the Holy Spirit, Allouez proceeding to the Sault de Ste. Marie, intending to establish a mission on the shores of Green bay. He left the Sault Nov. 3, 1669, and on the 25th, reached a Pottawattamie cabin. On the 2d of December he founded upon the shore of Green bay the mission of St. Francis Xavier, the second one established by him within what are now the limits of Wisconsin. Here Allouez passed the winter. In April, 1670, he founded another mission; this one was upon Wolf river, a tributary of the Fox river of Green bay. Here the missionary labored among the Foxes, who had located upon that stream. The mission, the third in the present Wisconsin, he called St. Mark.
In 1671 Father Louis Andre was sent to the missions of St. Francis Xavier and St. Mark, as a co-worker with Allouez. At what is now the village of DePere, Brown Co., Wis., was located the central station of the mission of St. Francis Xavier. This mission included all the tribes inhabiting the vicinity of Green bay. A rude chapel, the third one within the present limits of Wisconsin, was soon erected. Allouez then left for other fields of labor; but Andre remained here, working with zeal during the summer of 1671. However, during a temporary absence his chapel was burned, but he speedily erected another. Then his dwelling was destroyed, but although he erected another, it soon shared the same fate. He was at this time laboring among the Menomonees. When he finally left "the bay tribes" is not known. In 1676 Father Charles Albanel was stationed at what is now DePere, where a new and better chapel was erected than the one left by Andre. In 1680 the mission was supplied by Father James Eryalran, who was recalled in 1687. When he left, his house and chapel were burned by the Winnebagoes. It was the end of the mission of St. Francis Xavier. The mission of the Holy Spirit was deserted by Father James Marquette in 1671. It was the end for 170 years of a Roman Catholic mission at Chegoimegon.
In the year 1671, France took formal possession of the whole country of the upper lakes. An agent, Daumont de St. Lusson, was dispatched to the distant tribes, proposing a congress of Indian Nations at the Falls of St. Mary, between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. The principal chiefs of the Wisconsin tribes were gathered there by Nicholas Perrot. When all were assembled, it was solemnly announced that the great northwest was placed under the protection of the French government. This was the beginning of French domination in what is now Wisconsin. The act of Daumont de St. Lusson, at the Falls of St. Mary, in 1671, in establishing the right of France to the regions beyond Lake Michigan, not being regarded as sufficiently definite, Nicholas Perrot, in 1689, at the head of Green bay, again took possession of the country, extending the dominion of New France, not only over the territory of the upper Mississippi, but "to other places more remote;" so that then, all that is now included within the boundaries of the State of Wisconsin (and much more) passed quietly into the possession of the French king.
No fur-trader or missionary, no white man, had as yet reached the Mississippi above the mouth of the Illinois river. But the time for its exploration was at hand. Civilized men were now to behold its vast tribute rolling onward toward the Gulf of Mexico. These men were Louis Joliet and James Marquette. Joliet came from Quebec, having been appointed by the government to "discover" the Mississippi. He found Marquette on the north side of the straits of Mackinaw, laboring as a missionary among the Indians. The latter was solicited and readily agreed to accompany Joliet upon his expedition.8 The outfit of the party was very simple: two birch-bark canoes and a supply of smoked meat and Indian corn. They had with them five white men. They began their voyage on the 17th day of May, 1673. Passing into Lake Michigan, they coasted along its northern shore, and paddled their canoes up Green bay and Fox river to the portage. They then crossed to the Wisconsin, down which they floated, until, on the 17th of June, they entered the Mississippi. After dropping down the river many miles, they returned by way of the Illinois and Lake Michigan to Green bay, where Marquette remained to recruit his strength, while Joliet returned to Quebec to make known the extent of his discoveries.
Fontenac's report of Joliet's return from a voyage to discover the South sea, dated Nov. 14, 1674, is as follows:
"Sieur Joliet, whom Monsieur Talon advised me, on my arrival from France, to dispatch for the discovery of the South sea, has returned three months ago, and discovered some very fine countries, and a navigation so easy through the beautiful rivers he has found, that a person can go from Lake Ontario and Fort Fontenac in a bark to the Gulf of Mexico, there being only one carrying place, half a league in length, where Lake Ontario communicates with Lake Erie. These are projects which it will be possible to effect when peace shall be firmly established and whenever it will please the king to prosecute these discoveries. Joliet has been within ten days' journey of the Gulf of Mexico, and believes that water communications could be found leading to the Vermilion and California seas, by means of the river that flows from the west [the Missouri] into the grand river [the Mississippi] that he discovered, which runs from north to south, and is as large as the St. Lawrence opposite Quebec.
"I send you by my secretary the map he has made of it, and the observations he has been able to recollect, as he has lost all his minutes and journals in the shipwreck he suffered within sight of Montreal, where, after having completed a voyage of twelve hundred leagues, he was near being drowned, and lost all his papers and a little Indian, whom he brought from those countries. These accidents have caused me great regret. Joliet left with the fathers at the Sault de Ste. Marie, in Lake Superior, copies of his journals; these we cannot get before next year. You will glean from them additional particulars of this discovery, in which he has very well acquitted himself."
It is not known that the copies of Joliet's journals, mentioned in Frontenac's report, were delivered to the French government; but an account of the voyage by Marquette was published in 1681 by Thevenat. This fact has caused an undue importance to be attached to the name of the missionary in connection with the discovery of the Mississippi, and at the expense of the fame of Joliet.9
Explorations begun by Joliet were continued. La Salle, in 1679, with Father Louis Hennepin, coasted along the western shore of Lake Michigan, landing frequently. The return of Henry de Tonty, one of La Salle's party, down the same coast to Green bay, from the Illinois, followed in 1680. The same year, Father Hennepin from the upper Mississippi, whither he had gone from the Illinois, made his way across what is now Wisconsin, by the Wisconsin and Fox rivers to Green bay.10
He was accompanied by Daniel Greysolon Duluth, who, on his way down the Mississippi had met Hennepin in September, 1678. Duluth left Quebec to explore, under the authority of the governor of New France, the region of the upper Mississippi, and establish relations of friendship with the Sioux and their kindred, the Assiniboines. In the summer of 1679 he was in the Sioux country and early in the autumn of that year at the head of Lake Superior holding an Indian council. In June, 1680, he set out from that point to continue his explorations. Going down the Mississippi he met with Hennepin, as stated above, journeyed with him to the Jesuit station, near the head of Green bay, across what is now the State of Wisconsin. Following the voyages of Hennepin and Duluth was the one by Le Sueur, in 1683, from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi, ascending that river to the Sioux country in the region about St. Anthony, and his subsequent establishment, said to have been in 1693, at La Pointe, in the present Ashland Co., Wis. He was, at least, a voyageur stationed at Chegoimegon during that year. He continued to trade with the Sioux at intervals to the year 1702.11
Nicholas Perrot was again in the northwest in 1684. He was commissioned to have chief command, not only "at the bay," but also upon the Mississippi, on the east side of which stream, at the foot of Lake Pepin, he erected a post. Here he spent the winter of 1685-6. The next year he had returned to Green bay. He vibrated between Montreal and the west until 1697. In 1699 St. Cosme and his companions coasted along the west shore of Lake Michigan. Other explorations followed, but generally in the tracks of previous ones. Except at "the bay," there was not so long as the French had dominion over the northwest, a single post occupied for any length of time by regular soldiers. This post was called Fort St. Francis. There were other stockades --- one at La Pointe in 1726, and, as we have already seen one upon the Mississippi; but neither of these had cannon. At the commencement of the French and Indian War, all three had disappeared. At the ending of hostilities, in 1760, there was not a single vestage of civilization within what are now the bounds of Wisconsin, except a few vagrant Frenchmen among the Indians; there was no post; no settlement, west of Lake Michigan. But before dismissing the subject of French supremacy in the northwest, it is proper to mention the hostility that for a number of years existed between the Fox Indians and Frenchmen.
In the year 1693, several fur-traders were plundered by the Fox Indians (located upon Fox river of Green bay), while on their way to the Sioux; the Foxes alleging that the Frenchmen were carrying arms to their ancient enemies. We hear no more of their hostility to the French until early in the spring of 1712, when they and some Mascoutins, laid a plan to burn the fort at Detroit. It was besieged for nineteen days by these savages, but the besiegers were obliged finally to retreat, as their provisions had become exhausted. They were pursued, however, and near Lake St. Clair suffered a signal defeat at the hands of M. Dubisson and his Indian allies. The Marquis de Vaudreuil, now that the Foxes continued their hostilities, determined on a war of extermination against them. De Lourigny, a lieutenant, left Quebec in March, 1716. He made his way with alacrity, entering Green bay and Fox river, it is said, with a force of 800 French and Indians, encountering the enemy in a pallisaded fort, which would have been soon reduced had not the Foxes asked for peace. Hostages were given, and Lourigny returned to Quebec. In 1721 the war was renewed, and in 1728 another expedition was organized against these savages, commanded by Marchemd de Lignery. This officer proceeded by way of the Ottawa river of Canada and Lake Huron to Green bay, upon the northern shore of which the Menominees, who had also become hostile were attacked and defeated. On the 24th of August, a Winnebago village on Fox river was reached by De Lignery with a force of 400 French and 750 Indians. They proceeded thence up the river to the home of the Foxes, but did not succeed in meeting the enemy in force. The expedition was a signal failure. But the march of Neyon de Villiers, in 1730, against the Foxes, was more successful, resulting in their defeat. They suffered a loss of 200 killed of warriors, and three times as many women and children. Still the Foxes were not humbled. Another expedition, this time under the direction of Capt. De Noyelle, marched against them in 1735. The result was not decisive. Many places have been designated upon Fox river as points where conflicts between the French and their allies, and the Foxes and their allies took place; but all such designations are traditionary and uncertain. The Sacs and Foxes finally became connected with the government of Canada, and during the French and Indian War were arrayed against the English.
On the 9th day of September, 1760, Governor Vaudreuil surrendered Canada to General Amherst, of the British army, and the supremacy over the northwest passed from France to Great Britain. But in what is now Wisconsin there was little besides savages to be affected by the change. The vagrant fur-trader represented all that there was of civilization west of Lake Michigan. Detroit was soon taken possession of; then Mackinaw, and finally, in 1761, a squad of English soldiers reached the head of Green bay, to garrison the tumble-down post, where now is Fort Howard, Brown Co., Wis. This was on October 12 of the year just mentioned. Lieut. James Gorrell and one sergeant, one corporal and fifteen privates constituted the "army of occupation" for the whole country west of Lake Michigan from this time to June 21, 1763, when the post was abandoned by the commandant on account of the breaking out of Pontiac's War, and the capture of the fort at Mackinaw by the savages. The cause of the war was this: The Indian tribes saw the danger which the downfall of the French interests in Canada was sure to bring them. They banded together under Pontiac to avert their ruin. The struggle was short but fierce --- full of "scenes of tragic interest, with marvels of suffering and vicissitude, of heroism and endurance;" but the white man conquered. The moving incidents in this bloody drama were enacted to the eastward of what is now Wisconsin, coming no nearer than Mackinaw, but it resulted in the evacuation of its territory by British troops, who never after took possession of it, though they continued until 1796 a nominal military rule over it after Mackinaw was again occupied by them.
No sooner had the soldiers under Gorrell left the bay than French traders seized upon the occasion to again make it headquarters for traffic in furs to the westward of Lake Michigan. Not that only, for a few determined to make it their permanent home. By the year 1766 there were some families living in the decayed Fort Edward Augustus and opposite thereto, on the east side of Fox river, where they cultivated the soil in a small way and in an extremely primitive manner, living, now that peace was again restored, very comfortably. Of these French Canadians, no one can be considered as the pioneer --- no one is entitled to the renown of having first led the way, becoming, therefore the first settler of the State, much less the father and founder of Wisconsin. It was simply that "the bay," being, after Pontiac's war, occupied by Canadian French fur-traders, their station finally ripened into a permanent settlement --- the first in Wisconsin --- the leading spirits of which were the two Langlades, Augustin and Charles, father and son. It had all the characteristics of a French settlement. Its growth was very slow. The industries were few and simple. Besides the employments of trading and transporting goods and peltries, the inhabitants engaged in hunting and trapping. Attention was given to the cultivation of the soil only incidently. Gardens were cultivated to some extent for a supply of vegetables. Gradually, however, a few persons turned their chief attention to agriculture.12
In 1783 four white persons occupied in a permanent manner the tract of land where now is Prairie du Chien, in Crawford Co., Wis. They were soon followed by a number of persons who located there. These became permanent traders with the Indians.
Besides the settlement at "the bay" and the one at Prairie du Chien some French traders were located where Milwaukee now is in 1795, but they could hardly be called settlers. Ten years before that date Laurence Barth lived at the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, now the site of Portage, Columbia Co., Wis., where he was engaged in the carrying trade. But his residence could not fairly be termed a settlement; so that when, in 1796, the English yielded possession of what is now Wisconsin to the Americans (a nominal one, however,) there were really but two settlements --- Green Bay and Prairie du Chien.
The Congress of the United States, by their act of the 6th day of September, 1780, recommended to the several States in the Union having claims to waste and unappropriated lands in the western country, a liberal cession to the general government of a portion of their respective claims for the common benefit of the Union. The claiming States were Connecticut, New York and Virginia, all under their colonial charters, and the last mentioned, in addition thereto, by right of conquest of the Illinois country. The region contended for lay to the northwest of the river Ohio. Virginia claimed territory westward to the Mississippi and northward to a somewhat indefinite extent. New York, and especially Connecticut, laid claim to territory stretching away to an unbounded extent westward, but not so far to the south as Virginia. The last mentioned State, by virtue of conquests largely her own, extended her jurisdiction over the Illinois settlements in 1778, and the year after, and erected into a county enough to include all her conquests. But, what is now the State of Wisconsin, she certainly did not exercise dominion over. The three States finally ceded all their rights to the United States, leaving the general government absolute owner of the whole country, subject only to the rights, such as they were, of the Indian Nations who dwelt therein.
Under a congressional ordinance, passed in 1785, for ascertaining the mode of disposing of lands in the western territory, the geographer of the United States was directed to commence the survey of them immediately beyond the Ohio river, upon the plan which has ever since been followed by the general government, resulting in regular latitudinal and longitudinal lines being run, so as to circumscribe every 640 acres of land, not only in Wisconsin but in all the west, whenever these surveys have been brought to completion. Two years subsequent to the passage of the first ordinance, was that of another and more famous one, providing for the government of the territory northwest of the river Ohio. This is familiarly known as the ordinance of 1787; and to this day it is a part of the fundamental law of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, the five states since formed out of the region included within the limits affected by its provisions; --- an act of Congress, passed in 1789, having adapted it to the constitution of the United States. But neither the treaty with Great Britain of 1783, nor the ordinances of Congress which followed, gave the United States anything more than constructive possession of the whole of its western territory. The mother country, it is true, recognized the northern lakes as the boundary between her possessions and those of the now independent states, but finding an excuse in the fact of some of her merchants not being paid their claims as stipulated by the treaty of 1783, she retained possession of the whole northwest, including what is now Wisconsin, until 1796.
By the ordinance of 1787, the United States in Congress assembled declared that the territory northwest of the Ohio, should, for the purposes of temporary government, be one district, subject, however, to be divided into districts, as future circumstances might, in the opinion of Congress, make it expedient. It was ordained, that a governor, secretary and three judges should be appointed for the territory; a general assembly was also provided for; and it was declared that religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education should forever be encouraged. It was also ordained that there should be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the territory, "otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." But this organic law was of course nugatory over that portion of the territory occupied by the British, and so continued until the latter yielded possession, and in fact, for some time subsequent thereto.
By the treaty agreed upon in 1794, between the United States and Great Britain, usually known as the Jay treaty, the evacuation of the posts and places occupied by British troops and garrisons in the northwest, was to take place on or before the 1st day of June, 1796. All settlers and traders within the precincts or jurisdiction of these posts were to continue to enjoy unmolested, all their property of every kind, and to be protected therein. They were at full liberty to remain there, or to remove with all or any part of their effects; and it was left free to them to sell their lands, houses, or effects, or to retain the property thereof, at their discretion. Such of them as should continue to reside there were not to be compelled to become citizens of the United States, or to take any oath of allegiance to the government thereof; but were at full liberty so to do if they thought proper; and they were to make and declare their election within one year after the evacuation of the posts by the military. Persons continuing after the expiration of one year without having declared their intentions of remaining subjects of his Britannic majesty, were to be considered as having elected to become citizens of the United States. It is believed that no citizen of Wisconsin, either in the settlement at "the bay" or at Prairie du Chien made such a declaration, but that all who remained, became thereby citizens of the new government.
The Indian war in the west; which followed the Revolution, was brought to an end by the victorious arms of Gen. Anthony Wayne, upon the banks of the Maumee river, in what is now the State of Ohio, in the year 1794. The treaty of Greenville was entered into the next year with twelve western tribes of Indians, none of which resided in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, one of the provisions of the treaty was that, in consideration of the peace then established and the cessations and the relinquishments of lands made by the Indian tribes there represented, and to manifest the liberality of the United States, claims to all Indian lands northward of the Ohio, eastward of the Mississippi, and westward and southward of the great lakes and the waters uniting them, were relinquished by the general government to the Indians having a right thereto. This included all the lands within the present boundaries of Wisconsin. The meaning of the relinquishment by the United States was that the Indian tribes who had a right to those lands were quietly to enjoy them, hunting, planting and dwelling thereon as long as they pleased, without any molestation from the general government; but when any tribe should be disposed to sell its lands, or any part of them, they were to be sold only to the United States; and until such sale, the general government would protect all the Indian tribes in the quiet enjoyment of their land against all citizens of the country, and against all other white persons who might intrude upon them. And if any citizen of the United States, or any other white person or persons should presume to settle upon the lands then relinquished by the general government, such citizens or other persons should be out of the protection of the United States; and the Indian tribe on whose land the settlement might be made might drive off the settler, or punish him in such manner as they might think fit; and because such settlements made without the consent of the general government would be injurious to them as well as to the Indians, the United States should be at liberty to break them up, and remove and punish the settlers, as they might think proper.
The titles of the Indians to their lands were thus acknowledged; and they were unquestionable, because treaties made, or to be made with the various tribes had been declared by the constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the land. But those titles could only be yielded to the general government. The principal question to be afterward determined was, what lands were each tribe the rightful owners of. So long as Wisconsin formed a part of the northwestern territory, no treaty was made by the United States with any tribe or tribes occupying any portion of the country now lying within the limits of Wisconsin.
When, in 1796, Great Britain yielded possession of the northwest by withdrawing its garrisons from the military posts therein, in pursuance of the Jay treaty of 1794, and the United States took formal possession thereof, the change in the political relations of the few settlers of Green Bay and Prairie du Chien was not felt by them. They had become the adopted citizens of the United States without any realization further than a bare knowledge of the fact. British authority had been so little exercised in their domestic affairs, that its withdrawal was unnoticed, while that of the United States only reached them in name. Nearly all who were engaged in the fur trade were agents or employes of the British fur companies, and their relation to these remained unbroken. No intercourse for several years sprung up with the Americans.
Under the ordinance of 1787, Arthur St. Clair was appointed governor of the northwestern territory. At different periods counties were erected to include various portions of that region of country. By the governor's proclamation of the 15th of August, 1796, one was formed to include the whole of the present area of northern Ohio, west of a point where the city of Cleveland is now located; also all of the present State of Indiana, north of a line drawn from Fort Wayne, "west-northerly to the southern part of Lake Michigan," the whole of what is now the State of Michigan, except the extreme northwest corner on Lake Superior; a small corner in the northeast part of the present State of Illinois, including Chicago; and so much of what is now Wisconsin as is watered by the streams flowing into Lake Michigan, which included an extensive portion of its area, taking in the territory now constituting many of its eastern and interior counties. To this county was given the name of Wayne. The citizens at the head of Green bay, from 1796, until the 4th of July, 1800, were, therefore, residents of Wayne county, Northwest territory. But the western portion of the present State of Wisconsin, including all its area watered by streams flowing northward into Lake Superior, and westward and southwestward into the Mississippi, was during those years attached to no county whatever. Within this part of the State was located, of course, the settlement of Prairie du Chien.
After the fourth day of July, 1800, all that portion of the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio river, lying to the westward of a line beginning upon that stream opposite the mouth of the Kentucky river and running thence to what is now Fort Recovery, in Mercer Co., Ohio, thence north until it intersected the territorial line between the United States and Canada, was for the purposes of temporary government, constituted a separate territory, called Indiana. Within its boundaries were included not only nearly all of what is now the State of Indiana, but the whole of the present State of Illinois, more than half of what is now Michigan, a considerable portion of the present State of Minnesota, and the whole of Wisconsin. The seat of government was established at "Saint Vincennes, Ind. Upon the formation of a State government for the State of Ohio, in 1802, all the country west of that State, but east of the eastern boundary of the territory of Indiana, was added to the latter; so that then the area northwest of the Ohio river included but one State and one territory. Afterward, civil jurisdiction was exercised by the authorities of Indiana territory over the Green bay settlement, in a faint way, by the appointment, by Gov. William Henry Harrison, of Charles Reanme as the justice of the peace therein. Prairie du Chien was also recognized by the new territorial government by the appointment of two persons to a like office --- Henry M. Fisher and a trader by the name of Campbell.
As American emigration was now rapidly dotting the wilderness to the westward of the State of Ohio with settlements, a treaty with some of the Indian tribes who claimed lands in that region extending northward into what is now Wisconsin, was a necessity, for a yet, none of these Nations had met any authorities of the United States in council. At the close of the contest between France and Great Britain so disastrous in North America to the former, the Sacs and Foxes readily gave in their adhesion to the latter, asking that English traders might be sent them. The two Nations, then about equally divided, numbered about 700 warriors. Neither of the tribes took part in Pontiac's war, but they befriended the English. The Sacs had, by that date emigrated some distance to the westward, while the Foxes, at least a portion of them, still remained upon the waters of the river of Green bay, which perpetuates their name. A few years later, however, and the Sacs were occupants of the upper Wisconsin also to a considerable extent below the portage between that stream and Fox river, where their chief town was located. Further down the Wisconsin was the upper village of the Foxes, while their lower town was situated not far from its mouth, near the site of the present city of Prairie du Chien.
Not long after Wisconsin had been taken possession of by the British, its northern portion, including all that part watered by the streams flowing north into Lake Superior, was the home of the Chippewas. The country around nearly the whole of Green bay, was the hunting grounds of the Menomonees. The territory of Winnebago lake and Fox river was the seat of the Winnebagoes, while, as just stated, the Sacs and Foxes had the region of the Wisconsin river as their dwelling place. During the war of the Revolution, these two tribes continued the firm friends of the English, although not engaged in active hostilities against the Americans. When finally England delivered up to the United States the possession of the northwest, the Sacs and Foxes had only a small portion of their territory in Wisconsin, and that in the extreme southwest. Their principal possession extended a considerable distance to the south of the mouth of the Wisconsin, upon both sides of the Mississippi river.
On the 3d of November, 1804, a treaty was held at St. Louis between the Sacs and Foxes and the United States. These tribes then ceded to the general government, a large tract of land on both sides of the Mississippi, extending on the east from the mouth of the Illinois to the head of that river, thence to the Wisconsin. This grant embraces, in what is now Wisconsin, the whole of the present counties of Grant and La Fayette, and a large portion of those of Iowa and Green. It included the lead region. These tribes also claimed territory on the upper side of the Wisconsin, but they only granted away a tract two miles square above that stream, near its mouth, with the right of the United States to build a fort adjacent thereto. In consideration of the cession of these lands, the general government agreed to protect the two tribes in the quiet enjoyment of the residue of their possessions against its own citizens and all others who should intrude on them; carrying out the stipulations to that effect embodied in the Greenville treaty, of 1795. Thus begun the quieting of the Indian title to the eminent domain of Wisconsin by the United States, which was carried forward until the whole territory (except certain reservations to a few tribes) had been fairly purchased of the original proprietors.
So much of Indiana territory as lay to the north of a line drawn east from the southern bend of Lake Michigan to Lake Erie, and east of a line drawn from the same bend through the middle of the first mentioned lake to its northern extremity, thence due north to the northern boundary of the United States, was, for the purposes of temporary government, on the 30th of June, 1805, constituted a separate and distinct territory, called Michigan. This new territory did not include within its boundaries any part of Wisconsin as at present defined.
On the 3d of February, 1809, an act of Congress, entitled an act for dividing the Indiana territory into two separate governments, was approved by the President and became a law. It provided that from and after the 1st day of March thereafter, all that part of the Indiana territory lying west of the Wabash river and a direct line drawn from that stream and "Post Vincennes" due north to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, should, for the purpose of temporary government, constitute a separate territory and be called Illinois, with the seat of government at Kaskaskia, on the Mississippi river, until it should be otherwise ordered. By this law, all of what is now Wisconsin was transferred from Indiana territory to that of Illinois, except that portion lying east of the meridian line drawn through Vincennes. This fraction included nearly the whole area between Green bay and Lake Michigan and remained a part of the territory of Indiana. When, in 1816, Indiana became a State, this narrow strip, as it was neither a portion of Michigan territory on the east or Illinois territory on the west, remained without any organization until 1818. In that year it became a part of Michigan territory.
In 1809, an effort was made by John Jacob Astor, of New York city, to extend the American fur-trade by way of the lakes to Wisconsin and parts beyond; but the monopoly of the British fur companies was too strong. He could only effect his object by uniting with the northwest company of Montreal, in 1811, to form out of the American and Mackinaw companies, a new one, to be known as the Southwest company, of which Astor owned a half interest, with the arrangement that, after five years, it was to pass into his hands altogether, being restricted in its operations to the territories of the United States. This company was suspended by the war with Great Britain, which immediately followed. At the close of hostilities, British traders were prohibited by law from pursuing their calling within the jurisdiction of the United States. The result was the southwest company closed up its affairs, and the American fur company re-appeared under the exclusive control of Astor, who established his western headquarters at Mackinaw, operating extensively in what is now Wisconsin, especially at La Pointe, upon Lake Superior, where large warehouses were erected; a stockade built, lands cleared, farms opened, dwellings and stores put up. But English traders evaded the law by sending their goods into the United States in the name of American clerks in their employ. These goods being of superior quality to those furnished by Astor, they continued to command the Indian trade to a large extent. It was only when the American prince of fur-traders was enabled to import goods to New York of equal quality and send them by way of the lakes, that he could successfully compete with his rivals and in the end drive them from the field.
At the commencement of the war with Great Britain the few settlers at Green Bay and Prairie du Chien depended largely upon the fur trade for their living, monopolized, as we have seen, at that period, by British traders. At the beginning of hostilities this dependency was promptly secured to the latter by the capture, from the Americans, of the post at Mackinaw. Naturally enough most of the people of Wisconsin, limited in number as they were, adhered to the English during the continuance of hostilities. As to the Indian tribes, within what are now the limits of the State, it may be said that, in a measure, they, too, all arrayed themselves on the side of Great Britain. The Menomonees and Winnebagoes took part in the capture of Mackinaw, and subsequently in other enterprises against the Americans. Indeed, all the tribes in the northwest were firmly attached to the English by reciprocal interest in the fur trade, from which they derived their supplies. Great Britain had never ceased since the Revolution to foster their friendship by the liberal distribution annually of presents; hence, they were ready when the War of 1812-15 was inaugurated to take up the hatchet against the Americans. Just before hostilities began, the English traders were especially active in exciting the Indians against the Americans, more especially against American traders. Robert Dickson, a resident of Prairie du Chien, an Englishman by birth, was among the foremost in stirring up the animosity of the savages. Soon after the declaration of war he collected a body of Indians at Green Bay for the purpose of rendering assistance to the British forces in their operations on the lakes and in the northwest; they were principally Pottawattamies, Kickapoos, Ottawas, Winnebagoes and Sacs, the last mentioned being Black Hawk's band. This chief was made commander-in-chief of the savages there assembled, by Dickinson, and sent to join the British army under Proctor.
The English early succeeded in securing the Wisconsin Indian tribes as their allies in this war; and having taken Mackinaw in July, 1812, they were, virtually, put in possession of what is now the eastern portion of the State. Early in 1814, the government authorities of the United States caused to be fitted out at St. Louis a large boat, having on board all the men that could be mustered and spared from the lower country, and sent up the Mississippi to protect the upper region and the few settlers therein. The troops landed at Prairie du Chien, and immediately proceeded to fortify. Not long after, Col. McKay, of the British army, crossing the country by course of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, with over 500 British and Indians, received the surrender of the whole force. The officers and men were paroled and sent down the river. This was the only battle fought upon Wisconsin soil during the last war with England. The post at Prairie du Chien was left in command of a captain with two companies from Mackinaw. He remained there until after the peace of 1815, when the place was evacuated by the British.
On the 3d of August, 1814, an expedition of about 300 men, under command of Maj. Zachary Taylor, left St. Louis in boats for the upper Mississippi. When they arrived at Rock Island they found the British there, apparently in force, with a battery on shore commanding the river. A severe fight took place, but after sustaining a loss of several killed and wounded the Americans returned to St. Louis. The British afterwards left Rock Island, and upon the signing of the treaty of peace by the envoys of the two governments, and the ratification of the same, the whole northwest, including Fort McKay at Prairie du Chien, was evacuated by British forces.
When it was made known to the Indian tribes of the west some of them upon the Mississippi were willing and eager to make treaties with the United States. A lucrative trade sprung up between the merchants of St. Louis and the traders and Indians up that river. Goods were periodically sent up the river to traders, who in turn transmitted in payment, by the same boats, furs and lead. But, generally, the savages hovered sullenly around the now rapidly increasing settlements in the territories of Michigan and Illinois, and the general government began to consider in earnest how the influence of British intercourse might be checked, for the savages were still encouraged by English traders in their unfriendly disposition and supplied with arms by them. Accordingly, in the winter after the close of the war, Congress prohibited foreign trade in the territory of the United States; and, in the summer following, steps were taken to make this policy effectual, by establishing a chain of military posts near the Canadian frontier and upon the principal lines of communication thence into the interior. These posts were to be occupied by Indian agents, with factories, or government stores, designed to supply the place of the prohibited traffic.
On the 21st of June, 1816, United States troops took possession of the fort at Prairie du Chien. During the next month three schooners entered Fox river of Green bay, under the American flag, displaying to the astonished inhabitants of the small settlement upon that stream near its mouth, their decks covered with government troops. They were under command of Col. John Miller, of the Third United States Infantry, whose purpose was the establishment of a garrison near the head of the bay. The rendezvous of the troops was upon the east side some distance up the river, and was called "Camp Smith." At the end of two months the garrison was established in barracks enclosed with a stockade. Camp Smith was occupied until 1820, when a more substantial structure was erected on the west side of the stream near its mouth, and named Fort Howard.
The settlement at Green Bay was made up at the close of the war, of about forty or fifty French Canadians. The inhabitants (as at Prairie du Chien) were now for a time the subjects of military rule. "They received the advent of the troops in a hospitable spirit, and acquiesced in the authority asserted over them, with little evidence of discontent, maintaining a character for docility and freedom from turbulence of disposition remarkably in contrast with their surroundings. Military authority was, in the main, exerted for the preservation of order." There was no civil authority worth speaking of. It was at a period when important changes were taking place. That sometimes military authority, under such circumstances, should have been exercised in an arbitrary manner, is not at all a matter of surprise. "The conduct of the soldiery was also sometimes troublesome and offensive; as a rule, however, harmonious relations existed between them and the citizens. The abuses were only such as were unavoidable, in the absence of any lawful restraint on the one hand, or means of redress on the other." This state of affairs did not long continue, as initiatory steps were not long after taken to extend over the community both here and at Prairie du Chien the protection of civil government.
The Indians of Wisconsin, upon the arrival of United States troops at Prairie du Chien and Green bay, gave evident signs of a disposition to remain friendly, although some thought the advent of soldiers an intrusion. An Indian agency under John Boyer and a United States factory, well supplied with goods, with Major Matthew Irwin at its head, were soon established at the bay; a factory at Prairie du Chien, under charge of John W. Johnson, was also started. The Menomonee and Winnebago tribes, the former upon Green bay, the latter upon the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, were now brought into nearer relations with the United States.
Upon the admission of Illinois into the Union, in 1818, all "the territory of the United States, northwest of the River Ohio," lying west of Michigan territory and north of the States of Indiana and Illinois, was attached to and made a part of Michigan territory; by which act the whole of the present State of Wisconsin came under the jurisdiction of the latter. At the close of the last war with Great Britain, Wisconsin began in earnest to be occupied by Americans. But the latter were still few in number when the country west of Lake Michigan was attached to Michigan territory. Now, however, that the laws of the United States were in reality extended over them, they began to feel as though they were not altogether beyond the protection of a government of their own, notwithstanding they were surrounded by Indian tribes. On the 26th of October, 1818, the governor of the territory erected by proclamation three counties lying in whole or in part in what is now Wisconsin --- Brown, Crawford and Michilimackinac. The county of Michilimackinac not only included all of the present State of Wisconsin lying north of a line drawn due west from near the head of the Little Noquet bay, but territory east and west of it, so as to reach from Lake Huron to the Mississippi river. Its county seat was established "at the Borough of Michilimackinac." The whole area in Michigan territory south of the county of Michilimackinac, and west of Lake Michigan formed the two counties of Brown and Crawford; the former to include the area east of a line drawn due north and south through the middle of the portage between the Fox river of Green bay and the Wisconsin; the latter to include the whole region west of that line. Prairie du Chien was designated as the county seat of Crawford; Green Bay, of Brown county. On the 22d of December, 1826, a county named Chippewa was formed from the northern portions of Michilimackinac, including the southern shores of Lake Superior throughout its entire length, and extending from the straits leading from that lake into Lake Huron, west to the western boundary line of Michigan territory, with the county seat "at such point in the vicinity of the Sault de Ste. Marie, as a majority of the county commissioners to be appointed shall designate." Embraced within this county --- its southern boundary being the parallel of 46 degrees 31 minutes north latitude --- was all the territory of the present State of Wisconsin now bordering on Lake Superior. Brown and Crawford counties were soon organized, the offices being filled by appointments of the governor. County courts were also established, to which appeals were taken from justices of the peace. In January, 1823, a district court was established by an act of Congress, for the counties last mentioned, including also Michilimackinac. One term during the year was held in each county. James Duane Doty was the judge of this court to May, 1832, when he was succeeded by David Irvin.
The United States were not unmindful of her citizens to the westward of Lake Michigan, in several other important matters. Indian agencies were established; treaties were held with some of the native tribes, and land claims of white settlers at Green Bay and Prairie du Chien adjusted. Postmasters were also appointed at these two places.
In 1825 and the two following years, a general attention was called to the lead mines in what is now the southwestern portion of the State. Different places therein were settled with American miners. In June, 1827, the Winnebago Indians became hostile; this caused the militia of Prairie du Chien to be called out. United States troops ascended the Wisconsin river to quell the disturbance. There they were joined by Illinois volunteers, and the Winnebagoes awed into submission. Fort Winnebago was thereupon erected by the general government at the portage, near the present site of Portage, Columbia Co., Wis. A treaty with the Indians followed, and there was no more trouble because of mining operations in the "lead region." On the 9th of October, 1829, a county was formed of all that part of Crawford lying south of the Wisconsin, and named Iowa. In 1831 the United States purchased of the Menomonees all their lands east of Green bay, Winnebago lake and the Fox and Milwaukee rivers. The general government, before this date, had, at several periods, held treaties with the Sac and Fox Indians. And the time had now come when the two tribes were to leave the eastern for the western side of the Mississippi river; but a band headed by Black Hawk refused to leave their village near Rock Island, Ill. They contended that they had not sold their town to the United States; and upon their return early in 1831, from a hunt across the Mississippi, finding their village and fields in possession of the whites, they determined to repossess their homes at all hazards. This was looked upon, or called, an encroachment by the settlers; so the governor of Illinois took the responsibility of declaring the State invaded, and asked the United States to drive the refractory Indians beyond the Mississippi. The result was, the Indian village was destroyed by Illinois volunteers. This and the threatened advance across the river by the United States commander, brought Black Hawk and his followers to terms. They sued for peace --- agreeing to remain forever on the west side of the Mississippi. But this truce was of short duration.
Early in the spring of 1832, Black Hawk having assembled his forces on the Mississippi in the vicinity of the locality where Fort Madison had stood, crossed that stream and ascended Rock river. This was the signal for war. The governor of Illinois made a call for volunteers, and in a brief space of time 1,800 had assembled at Beardstown, Cass county. They marched for the mouth of Rock river, where a council of war was held by their officers and Brigadier-General Henry Atkinson, of the regular forces. The Indians were sent word by General Atkinson that they must return and re-cross the Mississippi or they would be driven back by force. When the attempt was made to compel them to go back a collision occurred between the Illinois militia and Black Hawk's braves, resulting in the discomfiture of the former with the loss of eleven men. Soon afterward the volunteers were discharged, and the first campaign of Black Hawk's War was at an end. This was in May, 1832. In June following a new force had been raised and put under the command of General Atkinson, who commenced his march up Rock river. Before this there had been a general "forting" in the lead region, in Illinois, and including the whole country in what is now Southwest Wisconsin, notwithstanding which a number of settlers had been killed by the savages, mostly in Illinois. Squads of volunteers, in two or three instances, had encountered the Indians, and in one with entire success --- upon the Pecatonica, in the present Lafayette Co., Wis. --- every savage (and there were seventeen of them) being killed. The loss of the volunteers was three killed and wounded. Atkinson's march up Rock river was attended with some skirmishing, when, being informed that Black Hawk and his force were at Lake Koshkonong, in the southwest corner of what is now Jefferson Co., Wis., he immediately moved thither with a portion of his army, where the whole force was ordered to concentrate. But the Sac chief, with his people, had flown. Colonels Henry Dodge and James D. Henry, with the forces under them, discovered the trail of the savages, leading in the direction of Wisconsin river. It was evident that the retreating force was large, and that it had but recently passed. The pursuing troops hastened their march. On the 21st of July, 1832, they arrived at the hills which skirt the left bank of that stream, in what is now Roxbury town (township), Dane county. Here was Black Hawk's whole force, including women and children, the aged and infirm, hastening by every effort to escape across the river. But that this might now be effected it became necessary for that chief to make a firm stand, to cover the retreat. The Indians were in the bottom lands when the pursuing whites made their appearance upon the heights in their rear. Colonel Dodge occupied the front and sustained the first attack of the Indians. He was soon joined by Henry with his force, when they obtained a complete victory. The action commenced about 5 o'clock in the afternoon and ended at sunset. The enemy sustained a loss, it is said, of about sixty killed and a large number wounded.13 The loss of the Americans was one killed and eight wounded. During the following night Black Hawk made his escape down the Wisconsin. He was pursued and finally brought to a stand on the Mississippi near the mouth of the Bad Axe, on the western boundary of what is now Vernon Co., Wis.; and on the 2d of August attacked on all sides by the Americans, who soon obtained a complete victory. Black Hawk escaped, but was soon after captured. This ended the war.
The survey of public lands to which the Indian title had been extinguished; the erection of Milwaukee county from the southern part of Brown; the changing of the eastern boundary of Iowa county to correspond with the western one of Milwaukee county; the attaching, for judicial purposes, of all the country west of the Mississippi river and north of the State of Missouri to the territory of Michigan in 1834, and the division of it into the two counties of Des Moines and Dubuque, were the important events following the close of the Black Hawk war. The prospective admission of the State of Michigan into the Union, to include all that part of the territory lying east of Lake Michigan, caused, on the 1st of January, 1836, a session (the first one) of the seventh territorial council, to legislate for so much of the territory as lay to the westward of that lake, to be held at Green Bay, when a memorial was adopted, asking Congress for the formation of a new territory, to include all of Michigan territory not to be admitted as a State. This request, it will now be seen, was soon complied with by the National Legislature.
Pages 1 - 34.
There were 658 visitors from 20 Mar 2004 to 22 May 2005. Last updated: 20 Jan 2015