Images de page
PDF
ePub

peninsula was geographically a part of Wisconsin, and was separated by a great body of water from the remainder of Michigan. When Michigan Territory was organized and later when what is now the State of Wisconsin was added to Michigan Territory, it was a matter of small importance, comparatively, how the portion west of Lake Michigan was governed, because of the limited number of white inhabitants, and the still more limited number of those who spoke the English language. But with the growth of this western part of Michigan Territory, although it was a slow growth, there was an increasing feeling that Detroit was too far away to be the proper seat for the government of Wisconsin. The same arguments were used which were common south of the Ohio when Kentucky and Tennessee were anxious to free themselves from their dependence upon the parent civil organization over the mountains. It was claimed that the distance was so great that the western section of Michigan Territory was practically without law.

The first movement, as far as known, for a separate government of Wisconsin was in 1834. In 1836, a separate Territory was organized by Act of Congress.

Wisconsin grew rapidly, the population probably increasing between 1830 and 1840 from three thousand to thirty thousand. In the later years of this decade there was a strong desire for State government.

In 1838, Iowa was set off, comprising that portion west of the Mississippi and east of the Missouri. In 1846, Iowa territory was reduced by the formation of the State of Iowa, and in 1848 was united with a part of Wisconsin Territory and organized as Minnesota Territory.

When Wisconsin was finally admitted to the Union, it contained fifty-four thousand square miles. Illinois has two thousand square miles more than this, and Michigan three thousand, while the other two States of the Northwest have less.

The first Territorial governor was Henry Dodge, a man well-fitted for the position because of his thorough

CAPITULAT

APITULATION for the Surrender of boDETROIT,enter ed into between Major General BRods, conamanding His BRITANNIC MAJESTY's forces, on the one part; & Brigadier General HULL, commanding the North-Western Army of the UNITED STATES on the other part.

1ft. Fort DETROIT, with all the troops, regulars as well as Militia, will be immediately Surrendered to the British forces under the Command of Maj. Gen. BROCK, & will be confidered prifoners of war, with the exception of fuch of the Militia of the MICHIGAN Territory who have not joined the Army.

2d. All public Stores, arms & all public documents includ. ing every thing elfe of a public nature will be immediately given up.

3d. Private Perfons & property of every defcription fhall be refpected.

4th. His excellency Brigadier Gen. HULL having expreffed a defire that a detachment from the State of Ohio, on its way to join his Army, as well as one fent from Fort DETROIT,under the Command of Colonel M ARTHUR, fhould be included in the above CAPITULATION, it is accordingly agreed to. It is however to be understood that fuch part of the Ohio Militia, as have not joined the Army, will be permitted to return to their homes, on condition that they will not ferve during the war; their arms however will be delivered up, if belonging to the public.

5th. The Garrifon will march out at the hour of twelve o'clock, & the British forces will take immediately poffeffion of the Fort.

[blocks in formation]

(Signed.) J.Mc. DONELL Lieut.

Col. Militia. P. A. D. C.
J. B. GLEGG Major A. D-C.
JAMES MILLER Lieut. Col.
5th: U. S. Infantry.

E. BRUSHCol. Comg.1 ft. Regt
Michigan Militia.

ROBERT NICHOL Lieut. Coir
& Qr. M. Genl. Militia.

Articles of Surrender of Detroit.

From an original in

the collection of Colonel C. M. Burton, of Detroit.

acquaintance with Wisconsin. He was a soldier who had conducted himself with bravery in the Indian wars and made up for his lack of education by abundant common sense. The governor took the oath of office on the 4th of July, 1836, at Mineral Point, a flourishing settlement in the lead region. The first legislative session was held at Belmont, Iowa County, October 25, 1836, at which time the Territory was divided into counties and three banks were incorporated.

The land speculating fever had reached the new Territory and there was much excitement over the location of the Territorial capital. There were many towns, some of them in actual existence and others only on paper, which were anxious for the honor and money which would come to the town chosen as the seat of government. Madison was finally selected because of its favorable location and beautiful surroundings, and through the influence of James Duane Doty. This man had been influential in having Wisconsin set off as a separate Territory. There was no

actual town of Madison at the time of its selection as the site of the Territorial capital, but Doty owned the town site, which had been surveyed and divided up into lots. After long discussion the advantages of the Madison location, added to the persuasive efforts of Doty, succeeded in bringing the legislators to the conclusion that Doty's town site was the proper location for the capital. Until the capitol building was finished the legislature was to meet at Burlington.

It was during the second legislative session at Burlington that the Milwaukee and Rock River Canal Company was incorporated. The company planned to connect the lakes and Mississippi River by means of a ship canal and the nearness of the upper waters of Rock River to streams flowing into Lake Michigan seemed to designate this as the place for the canal.

The Company was to have a capital stock of $100,000 which might be increased to $1,000,000 if it should be found necessary. The right was reserved to Wisconsin,

after it should be admitted to the Union, to purchase the canal at any time on payment of the actual amount expended by the company in building and repairing the canal together with interest upon such sums at the rate of seven per cent. A grant of land was made by the United States in aid of the canal, but opposition to the scheme came from those parts of Wisconsin which would not be directly benefited by the expenditure of public funds. An unwise policy was pursued by the Territorial officers. The whole matter finally collapsed after the Territory had spent more than $30,000, and the canal company nearly $26,000. The canal, which was the largest undertaking of the Territorial government, was never finished.

James Duane Doty, who succeeded Henry Dodge as Territorial governor, was a man who was not averse to a controversy. It made little difference to him whether his opponent was a political rival or the National Government. During the three years in which he held the office of governor, there were abundant opportunities for him to show his warlike spirit, and it may be truthfully said that he was not wanting in able seconds.

The most interesting controversy of his period was the quarrel with the National Government over the southern boundary of Wisconsin. The Territory considered itself deprived of some of its most valuable land by the grant of the strip of its Territory to Illinois. In 1840, at a meeting held in the disputed tract, the claims of Illinois and Wisconsin were presented, and the majority of the people in the Territory in controversy were in favor of the Wisconsin claim. They believed that the boundary established by the Ordinance for the government of the Northwest Territory was unalterable except by common consent, and they had never given their consent to any change. They pledged their support to Wisconsin in the dispute. These people held that the Ordinance could not be displaced by any Act of Congress, such as had transferred the strip in question to Illinois. Another reason why they wished to go back to the

« PrécédentContinuer »