1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wisconsin
WISCONSIN (known as “the Badger state”), one of the North Central states of the United States of America. It is bounded on the E. by Lake Michigan, on the N. by the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Lake Superior, on the W. by Minnesota and Iowa, and on the S. by Illinois. Its greatest length from N. to S. (42° 30' N. Lat. to 47° 3' N. Lat.) is 300 m., and its greatest breadth (86° 49' W. Long. to 92° 54' W. Long.) is 250 m. The greater part of the western boundary separating the state from Minnesota and Iowa consists of the Mississippi and St Croix rivers flowing S. and the Saint Louis river flowing into Lake Superior. The Menominee and Montreal rivers form a considerable part of the boundary line on the N. and E., separating it from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The state's lake shore boundary is more than 550 m. long. Included in Wisconsin are the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, and Washington Island and a group of smaller islands at the entrance to Green Bay on the Lake Michigan side. The state occupies a total area of 56,066 sq. m., 810 of which are water surface. Roughly speaking, it divides the Great Lakes region from the upper valley of the Mississippi.
Physical Features.—Wisconsin forms part of the inner margin of an ancient coastal plain and the oldland of crystalline rocks about which the plain sediments were deposited. The plain and the oldland were well worn down by erosion and then were uplifted; were dissected by stream valleys, and were glaciated. The surface is generally rolling and undulating, comprising, with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a swelling elevation of land between the three depressions represented by Lakes Michigan and Superior and the Mississippi and the St Croix rivers. The lowest elevations are in the southern and central portions of the state, where the altitude averages between 580 and 600 ft. above sea-level. The highest points in the state are residual masses of relatively resistant rock rising above the erosion surface; such are: Rib Hill (1940 ft.) in Marathon county, in the north-central part, and some of the peaks of the Penokee Range in the N. part of the state, which are about 1800 ft. high. From the N. highland two heights of land (1200 to 1600 ft.) extend southward well into the central portions of the state, dividing the greater part of its area into two natural drainage basins. The westernmost of these elevations separates the valleys of the Mississippi, and the St Croix from that of the Wisconsin river. The eastern elevation is a ridge or cuesta formed by an outcropping hard layer of the ancient coastal plain; and it separates the Wisconsin river basin from the Fox River Valley and the streams flowing into Lake Michigan. Along the Mississippi and the Wisconsin runs a chain of bluffs varying in height from 200 to 300 ft., and in the E. a rocky limestone ridge or cuesta some 30 m. back from Lake Michigan extends from the Door county peninsula, E. of Lake Winnebago and as far south as the Illinois line. There are no large rivers flowing into Lake Superior and very little drainage in that direction, as from a point some 30 m. S. of the lake all the streams flow in a southerly direction. The Mississippi is the drainage basin for a greater part of the state. The St Croix river rises in the S.W. part of the Penokee Range and flows W. and S., forming the western boundary of the state for 135 m. before it joins the Mississippi 20 m. below St Paul. Before it is joined by the Wisconsin, the Mississippi
receives several rivers of considerable length, the most important of which are the Chippewa and the Black. The Wisconsin river rises on the Upper Michigan border and flows S. and W. for 600 m., joining the Mississippi near Prairie du Chien. It is navigable as far as Portage, some 200 m. from its mouth. The Fox river (more than 260 m. long) rises in the south central portion of the state, flows N. and E. by a circuitous route through Lake Winnebago, and thence N. into Green Bay, and is the longest and most important stream draining into Lake Michigan. The Wolf river is its most important tributary, joining it from the N., in its upper course. Besides the Fox several smaller streams drain into the Lake Michigan basin. Among these are the Menominee and Oconto, which flow into Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan, and the Sheboygan and Milwaukee rivers emptying directly into the lake. The southern portion of the state is drained by several streams flowing across the Illinois boundary and finding their way eventually through other rivers into the Mississippi. The largest of these are the Rock, Des Plaines, Fox (of the Illinois), or Pishtaka, and the Pecatonica rivers. On account of glacial disturbance of the drainage, Wisconsin's many streams provide water-powers of great value that have contributed much to the industrial prosperity of the state. The most valuable of these are the Fox, the Rock and the upper Wisconsin and its tributaries. Wisconsin has more than 2500 lakes, mostly in the glaciated N. and E. parts of the state. Of these the largest is Lake Winnebago, between Calumet, Outagamie, Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties, with an extreme length of 30 m. and a breadth of 10 m., and one of the largest bodies of water lying wholly within any state in the Union. On its banks are the important manufacturing cities of Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Neenah and Menasha, and through it flows the Fox river. In the S. and E. portions of the state the lakes are beautiful clear bodies of water with sandy or gravelled shores, and, as a rule, high banks heavily wooded. Many of them are famous as summer resorts, notably Lake Geneva, Green Lake, the lakes in Waukesha county and the famous “four lakes” near Madison.
Flora and Fauna.—Wisconsin was originally the native home of most of the wild fowl and animals found in the other North Central states. Deer were found in large numbers in all sections of the state, bear were common in the central and northern parts, bison were found in the south-west, wolves, lynx (“wild cats”), and foxes and other smaller animals particularly of fur-bearing varieties. The streams abounded in fish. The abundance of game made the region between the lakes and the Mississippi a favourite hunting ground of the Indians, and later a productive field for the trapper and fur trader. Bear, deer and lynx are still to be found in the less settled forest regions of the N. parts, and the fisheries are still important.
The avi-faunal life of Wisconsin is exceedingly varied; C. B. Cory (see Bibliography) enumerates 398 species for Wisconsin and Illinois, and of these probably not less than 350 occur in Wisconsin. The more characteristic and useful birds include many species of the sparrow, such as the song, swamp, Lincoln's chipping and field sparrow; the bank, barn, cliff, white-bellied and rough-winged swallow, as well as the purple martin and the chimney swift; ten or more species of fly-catchers, including the least, arcadian, phoebe, wood pewee, olive-sided and king bird; about ten species of woodpeckers, of which the more common are the downy, hairy, yellow-bellied and golden-winged (flicker); about thirty species of warblers, including the parula, cerulean, Blackburnian, prothonotary, yellow Nashville, red-start, worm-eating and chestnut-sided; and four or five species of vireos. The song-birds are well represented in the hermit thrush, wood thrush, Wilson's thrush (or veery), brown thrasher, robin, blue bird, bobolink, meadow lark, gold finch, &c. Among the game birds are the ruffed grouse (partridge), quail, prairie hen and wild turkey. The birds of prey include the red-shouldered, red-tailed, broad-winged, Cooper's, sharp-shinned and sparrow hawk and the bald eagle; the great horned, barred, barn, snowy, short-eared and screech owls. The ducks include the mallard, black duck, canvas-back and red-head; the Canadian goose, the snowy goose and the blue goose also appear during the migrating seasons.
Originally the greater portion of what is now Wisconsin was covered with forests, although in the S. and W. there were considerable tracts of rolling prairie lands. In the S. portion the predominating trees were hickory, elm, oak and poplar. Along the shore of Lake Michigan, and extending inland a quarter of the distance across the state and northward through the Fox River Valley, there was a heavy belt of oak, maple, birch, ash, hickory, elm and some pine. From the N. shores of Green Bay there stretched away to the N. and W. an enormous and unbroken forest of pines, hemlocks and spruce.
Climate.—The climate of the whole state is influenced by the storms which move eastward along the Canadian border and by those which move northward up the Mississippi Valley, and that of the eastern and northern sections is moderated by the Great Lakes. The winters, especially in the central and north-western sections, are long and severe, and the summers in the central and south-western sections are very warm; but the air is so dry that cold and heat are less felt here than they are in some humid climates with less extreme temperatures. The mean annual temperature for the state is 44° F. July, with an average temperature for the state of 70°, is the warmest month, and February, with an average of 15°, is the coldest. Within a period of thirty-eight years, from 1870 to 1908, extremes at Milwaukee ranged from 100° to -25°, while at La Crosse, on the western border and less than 60 m. farther north, they ranged during the same period from 104° to -43°. The greatest extremes recorded at regular observing stations range from 111° at Brodhead, in Green county and near the southern border, on the 21st of July 1901 to -48° at Barron, in Barron county in the north-western part of the state, on the 10th of February 1889. The average annual precipitation for the state is 31.5 in. Two-thirds of this comes in the six growing months from April to September inclusive, and the rainfall is well distributed over all sections. There is an annual snowfall of 53 in. in the northern section, 40 in. in the southern section and 36 in. in the central section, which is quite evenly distributed through the months of December, January, February and March. In the northern section the heavy snowfall is caused by the cyclonic storms along the Canadian border, and in the southern section the snowfall is increased by the storms which ascend the Mississippi Valley. All sections of the state are subject to tornadoes. They occur more frequently in the western portion than in the eastern portion, but one of the most destructive in the history of the state occurred at Racine on the 18th of May 1883. This storm killed 25 persons, injured 100, and destroyed considerable property.
Agriculture.—Hay and grain are the most important crops. In 1909 the acreage of hay was 2,369,000 and the value of the crop $34,800,000. In the production of the hardy cereals, barley, rye and buckwheat, Wisconsin ranks high among the states of the Union; but oats and Indian corn are the largest cereal crops in the state. The crop of oats was 79,800,000 bushels (raised on 2,280,000 acres and valued at $31,122,000) in 1909; of Indian corn, 50,589,000 bushels (raised on 1,533,000 acres and valued at $30,353,000); of barley, 24,248,000 bushels (raised on 866,000 acres and valued at $13,579,000—a crop exceeded only by that of California and that of Minnesota); of wheat, 3,484,000 bushels (raised on 179,000 acres and valued at $3,345,000); of rye, 4,727,000 bushels (raised on 290,000 acres and valued at $3,214,000—a crop exceeded only by that of Pennsylvania and that of Michigan); and of buckwheat, 221,000 bushels (grown on 18,000 acres and valued at $172,000). The potato crop is large, 26,724,000 bushels being raised in 1909 on 262,000 acres, a crop exceeded only in New York, Michigan and Maine. Tobacco also is a valuable crop: in 1909 37,170,000 ℔, valued at $3,419,640, were grown on 31,500 acres. In 1909 14,000 acres of sugar beets were harvested and 34,340,000 ℔ of sugar were manufactured in the four beet sugar factories in the state. In the south-central part of the state there are valuable cranberry marshes. Orchard fruits, especially apples, are of increasing importance.
The raising of live-stock, particularly of dairy cows, is an important industry. In 1910, out of a total of 2,587,000 neat cattle, there were 1,506,000 milch cows. The total number of horses in the state was 669,000 in 1910, when they were valued at $80,949,000. There were 1,034,000 sheep, and 1,651,000 swine.
Manufactures.—The growth of manufacturing has been rapid: in 1850 the value of the manufactures was $9,293,068; in 1860, $27,849,467; in 1870, $77,214,326; in 1880, $128,255,480; in 1890, $248,546,164; and in 1900, $360,818,942. The product under the factory system, excluding hand trades and neighbourhood industries, was $326,752,878 in 1900 and $411,139,681 in 1905. The most important of the state's manufactures in 1900 and in 1905 were lumber and timber products, valued in the latter year at $44,395,766 (Wisconsin being second in rank to the state of Washington). About 60% (both in quantity and value) of the lumber sawed in 1905 was white pine; next in importance were hemlock (more than one-fourth in quantity), basswood (nearly 4%) and, in smaller quantities, birch, oak, elm, maple, ash, tamarack, Norway pine, cedar and spruce. The value of the product of planing mills was $11,210,205 in 1905; and other important manufactures based on raw materials from forests were paper and wood pulp ($17,844,174) and furniture (11,569,591). Second in value in 1905 were cheese, butter and condensed milk ($29,994,791), in the product of which Wisconsin ranked second to New York in 1900 and 1905. In 1905 Wisconsin ranked first of all the states in the value of butter, second in the value of cheese and fifth in the value of condensed milk; the dairy product of Wisconsin in this year was 17.8% (by value) of that of the entire country. Foundry and machine-shop products ranked third in value in 1905, when they were valued at $29,908,001, and when iron and steel manufactures were valued at $10,453,750.
Among the other important manufactures in 1905 were: malt liquors ($28,692,340) and malt ($8,740,103, being 113.7% more than in 1900); flour and grist-mill products ($28,352,237; about 60% was wheat flour); leather ($25,845,123); wholesale slaughtering and meat-packing ($16,060,423); agricultural implements ($10,076,760); carriages and wagons ($7,511,392); men's clothing ($6,525,276); boots and shoes ($6,513,563); steam railway cars, constructed and repaired ($6,511,731); hosiery and knit goods ($4,941,744); cigars ($4,372,139); mattresses and spring beds ($3,527,587); and electrical machinery, apparatus and supplies ($3,194,132).
In 1905, out of a total factory product of $411,139.681, $259,420,044 was the value of goods made in factories in the twenty-two municipalities of the state, with a population (1900) of at least 8000; but only 36.3% of the total number of factories were in urban districts. More than one-third of the value of factory products was that of the manufactures of Milwaukee ($138,881,545). Racine ranked second with a factory product valued at $16,458,965. The manufacture of
furniture in Wisconsin is centralized especially in Sheboygan, where in 1905 was manufactured about one-third of the furniture made in the state.
Mines and Quarries.—The lead mines of south-western Wisconsin played an important part in the early development of the state (see § History). When the main deposits had been worked down to the water level, mining (up to that time principally of lead) stopped and did not start again until about 1900, when the high price of zinc stimulated renewed working of these deposits. The principal ores are galena, sphalerite or zinc blende and smithsonite or zinc carbonate, which is locally called “dry bone” and which was the first zinc ore mined in the state. In 1908 the lead product was valued at $347,592 and the zinc product at $1,711,364, Wisconsin ranking fourth among the zinc-mining states. The production of iron ore in the Gogebic and Menominee ranges on the upper Michigan border is important. Red haematite was mined in Dodge county before 1854; in 1877 the deposits in Florence county were first worked, and in 1882 276,017 tons were shipped from that county; and about 1884 began the development of the Gogebic deposits in Iron and Ashland counties. The maximum output was in 1890, being 948,965 long tons; in 1902 it was 783,996 long tons (79% from Iron county); and in 1908, 733,993 tons. The output is almost entirely haematite. There are large deposits of stratified clay along the shores of Lake Michigan, from which is made a cream-coloured brick, so largely used in Milwaukee that that city has been called the “cream city”; the total value of clay products in 1907 was $1,127,819 and in 1908 $958,395. By far the most valuable mineral output is building stone, which was valued in 1908 at $2,850,920, including granite ($1,529,781), limestone ($1,102,009) and sandstone ($219,130). In 1907 and 1908 the state ranked fifth among the states of the country in the value of granite quarried; in 1902 it ranked fifteenth. The industry began in 1880, when the first quarry (at Granite Heights, Marathon county) was opened. The principal quarries are in Dodge, Green Lake (a blackish granite is quarried at Utley and a pinkish rhyolite at Berlin), Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Sauk, Waupaca and Waushara counties. Wisconsin granite is especially suitable for monumental work. Limestone is found in a broad belt in the east, south and west; more than 40% of the total output in 1908, which was valued at $1,102,009, was used for road-making and more than one-sixth in the manufacture of concrete. In 1907 and 1908 Wisconsin ranked seventh among the states in the value of limestone quarried. The first limestone quarries were opened at Genesee, Waukesha county, in 1848; at Wauwatosa, near Milwaukee, in 1855; and near Bridgeport in 1856. Freshwater pearls are found in many of the streams; and in 1907 and 1908 Wisconsin ranked first among the states in the value of mineral waters sold, with a value of $1,526,703 in 1907 and $1,413,107 in 1908, although in both years the quantity sold in Wisconsin was less than in Minnesota or in New York. The most famous of these springs are in Waukesha county, whence White Rock, Bethesda, Clysmic and other waters are shipped.
Forests.—In 1890 and in 1900 (when the wooded area was estimated at 31,750 sq. m., or 58% of the total area of the state) Wisconsin was the foremost state in the Union in the production of lumber and timber. In 1905 the value of the lumber and timber product was exceeded by that of Washington; but as late as 1908 Wisconsin was the chief source of the white pine supply. Next to white pine (used largely in shipbuilding) in value in 1908 were red or Norway pine (used in house building), hemlock (used for lumber and wood pulp) and white spruce, a very valuable lumber tree. In 1908 the area of the state forest reserve lands under a state board of forestry (chiefly in Oneida, Forest, Iron, Price and Vilas counties) was 253,573 acres. Forest fires have been numerous and exceedingly destructive in Wisconsin; the loss of timber and other property from this cause in 1908 was about $9,000,000.
Fisheries.—The fisheries of Wisconsin are of considerable importance; the catch in 1908 was valued at $1,067,170, lake trout and herring being the most valuable. There is a state board of commissioners of fisheries (see below, § Government), which distributed in 1908 149,338,069 eggs, fry and fingerlings, including 112,075,000 wall-eyed pike and about 12,000,000 each of lake trout and whitefish. There are state hatcheries at Madison (for brook and rainbow trout), Bayfield (brook, rainbow and lake trout and whitefish), Oshkosh (lake trout, whitefish and wall-eyed pike), Minocqua (pike, bass and muskallonge), Delafield (black bass and wall-eyed pike) and Wild Rose (brook trout).
Transportation and Commerce.—Railway building in Wisconsin began in 1851, when a track was laid from Milwaukee to Waukesha (20 m.), which was extended westward in 1854 to Madison and in 1857 to the Mississippi at Prairie du Chien. This line was the forerunner of the great Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul system, which now crosses the southern half of the state with two trunk lines and with one line parallels the shore of Lake Michigan. The Chicago & North-Western and the Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha, which it controls, are together known as “The North-Western Line.” The tracks of the Chicago & North-Western (built to Janesville in 1855 and to Fond du Lac in 1858) form a network in the eastern part of the state, affording direct connexions with Chicago. The Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha extends into the western part of the state, where it connects with the trans-Mississippi lines of the Chicago & North-Western. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (owned by the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific railways) traverses the state along its western boundary and gives it access to a third great railway system with transcontinental service. The Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste. Marie, in which has been absorbed the old Wisconsin Central, crosses the state and extends into the Canadian North-West, sharing in the heavy grain traffic of that section, and, like the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic, which runs along the Lake Superior shore, is a link in the transcontinental system of the Canadian Pacific, which controls both these roads. The Northern Pacific enters Wisconsin in its north western corner and extends to the Lake Superior country. The Green Bay & Western railway between Winona and Kewaunee has ferry connexion across Lake Michigan. In 1900 there were 6538 m. of track, and on the 1st of January 1909 7512 m. Characteristic of the commerce of the state is the shipment by the Great Lakes of bulky freight, chiefly iron ore, grain and flour and lumber. The return freight movement to the Wisconsin lake ports is made up chiefly of coal from the Lake Erie shipping points for the coalfields of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Milwaukee is one of the leading lake ports, and is the only port of entry in the state; its imports were valued at $796,285 in 1899 and at $4,493,635 in 1909, and its exports at $2726 In 1899 and at $244,890 In 1909.
To connect the upper Mississippi river and the Great Lakes, between 1840 and 1850 a canal was begun between the Fox, flowing into Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan and the Wisconsin river, flowing into the Mississippi, and improvement of navigation on these rivers was undertaken by the state with the assistance of the Federal government; in 1853 the work came into the hands of a private corporation which in 1856 opened the canal. In 1872 it was taken over by the United States. In 1887 the route through the Wisconsin river was abandoned, and thereafter only the Fox river was improved. Up to June 1909 $3,810,421 had been spent by the Federal government on this improvement. Green Bay has communication with Lake Michigan, not only by way of its natural entrance, but by a government ship canal (built 1872-1881 by a private company; taken over by the Federal government in 1893; maximum draft in 1909, 20 ft.; projected channel depth, 21 ft.) at Sturgeon Bay, an arm of Green Bay, which cuts across the Door county peninsula. In 1908 there passed through this canal 2307 vessels carrying cargoes of an estimated value of $18,261,455.15.
Population.—The population of Wisconsin in 1890 was 1,686,880 (exclusive of 6450 persons specially enumerated); in 1900 the total was 2,069,042—an increase of 22.2% on the basis of the total at each enumeration; and in 1910 it reached a total of 2,333,860. The density of the population in 1910 was 42.2 to the square mile. Of the total population in 1900, 1,553,071, or 75.1%, were native born, the increase in native-born since 1890 having been 32.3%, while there was a decrease of foreign-born of 0.6%. The falling off in foreign immigration in the decade 1890-1900 contrasts strongly with the increase of 28.1% in the number of foreign-born in 1880-1890. Of the native-born population in 1900, 84%, or 1,304,918, were born within the state. Of the foreign-born 242,777 were Germans, 61,575 were Norwegians, 26,196 were Swedes, 25,607 were natives of German Poland, 23,860 were English-Canadians and 23,544 were Irish. Of the total population 1,472,327 persons, or more than seven-tenths (71.2%), were of foreign parentage—i.e. either one or both parents were foreign-born—and 576,746 were of German, 134,293 of Norwegian, 76,593 of Irish and 70,585 of Polish parentage, both on the father's and on the mother's side. At the census of 1840, with the exception of a few thousand French-Canadians, the population was made up of American-born pioneers from the Eastern states, and in the southern portion of the territory of a sprinkling of men from Kentucky, Virginia and farther south. Before the next census was taken the revolutionary movement of 1848 in Germany led to the emigration of thousands from that country to Wisconsin, and there was an increase of 886.9% in the population from 1840 to 1850. Norwegians and other Scandinavians, Irish, Poles, Dutch, Belgians and Swiss followed. Germans and Irish are now scattered throughout the state; but the German element predominates markedly in Milwaukee. Norwegians, Danes and Swedes are more numerous in the western and northern counties. There are Finns in Douglas county and Icelanders on Washington Island, in Green Bay. Poles are chiefly in Milwaukee, Manitowoc and Portage counties, Belgians and Dutch in Brown and Door counties, German Swiss in Green, Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Buffalo and Pierce counties, and Bohemians in Kewaunee county, where they form almost 50% of the population. Some Italians are massed in Vernon and Florence counties, and there are French Canadians in the north. There were 8372 Indians, of whom 1657 were not taxed, 2542 negroes, 212 Chinese and 5 Japanese in the state in 1900. The Indians include representatives of the Menominee (1487 in 1909), Stockbridge and Munsee (582) tribe sunder the Keshcna School, Chippewa under the Lac du Flambeau School (705) and the La Pointe School (4453), Oneida (2259) under the Oneida
School, Winnebago (1094) under the Wittenberg School and Potawatomi (440) not under an agent. The civilized Brotherton and Stockbridge Indians live principally in Calumet county. Among religious denominations the Roman Catholics, with 505,264 members in 1906, had 50.5% of the total communicants or church members in the state. The Lutheran bodies ranked next with 284,286 members (including 153,690 of the Evangelical church, 49,535 of the United Norwegian church, 23,927 of the Synod for the Norwegian Evangelical church 15,471 of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio, 15,220 of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and 8695 of the General Council). Only one other state (Pennsylvania) had a larger percentage of the total membership of this denomination. There were 57,473 Methodists (chiefly of the Methodist Episcopal Church), 26,163 Congregationalists and 21,716 Baptists.
Government.—The original constitution of the state, adopted in 1848, and amended in 1869, 1870, 1874, 1877, 1881, 1882, 1902 and 1908, is still in force. An amendment may be proposed by either house of the legislature, and if passed by two successive legislatures by a majority of the members elected to each house must be submitted to the people for ratification by a majority vote. A constitutional convention may be called on the recommendation of a majority of the Senate and Assembly if this proposal receives a majority vote at the next election for members of the legislature. Suffrage was originally granted to every male twenty-one years of age or upwards resident in the state for one year preceding any election—if he were a white citizen of the United States, or a white of foreign birth who had declared his intention to be naturalized, or an Indian declared by Congress a citizen of the United States, or a civilized person of Indian descent not a member of any tribe; and the constitution provided that the legislature might by law give suffrage to others than those enumerated if such an act of legislature were approved by a majority of the popular vote at a general election. By an amendment of 1882 the word “white” was omitted and by an amendment of 1908 it was provided that those foreign-born and unnaturalized in order to become electors must have declared their intentions to become citizens before the 1st of December 1908, and that “the rights hereby granted to such persons shall cease on the first day of December A.D. 1912.” The amendment of 1908 also permits the legislature to provide for the registration of electors in incorporated cities and villages.
The official ballot is of the blanket type, with names of candidates in party columns, but with no candidate's name repeated on the ballot and with no emblems to mark the party columns. In 1909 an act was passed permitting county boards to adopt a “coupon” ballot. Since 1905 there has been a direct nomination system of primaries for all officers except delegates to national nominating conventions.
Executive power is vested in a governor and a lieutenant-governor, elected for two years. The governor's salary (since 1869) is $5000 a year and the lieutenant-governor's $1000. Candidates for either office must be citizens of the United States and qualified electors of the state. The lieutenant-governor is president of the Senate with a casting vote only. A bill vetoed by the governor becomes a law if it is approved by two-thirds of the members present in each house; and a bill not returned by the governor within six days (excepting Sunday; before 1908 the constitutional limit was three days) after its presentation to him becomes a law unless the return of the bill is prevented by the adjournment of the legislature. The governor has power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, except for treason—he may suspend execution of sentence for treason until action is taken by the legislature—and in cases of impeachment.
The administrative officers, a secretary of state, a treasurer and an attorney-general, are elected for two years and act as commissioners of public lands. The secretary of state is ex officio auditor; and he acts as governor if the regularly elected governor and lieutenant-governor die, are removed from office or are absent from the state. A state superintendent of public instruction is chosen by popular vote for a four-year term. Other administrative officers are a commissioner of insurance (from 1867 to 1878 the secretary of the state was commissioner of insurance; the office became elective in 1881); a commissioner of labour and industrial statistics; three railroad commissioners, who have jurisdiction over all public utilities, including telegraph and telephone; a commissioner of banking; a dairy and food commissioner; a state superintendent of public property; three tax commissioners who act (since 1901) as a state board of assessment; commissioners of fisheries (established 1874); a state board of agriculture (1897); and a state board of forestry (1905, succeeding a department created in 1903).
The legislature consists of a Senate and an Assembly and meets biennially, and when called in special session by the governor to transact special business definitely named in the governor's call. The number of assemblymen cannot be less than 54 or more than 100, and the number of senators must be not more than one-third or less than one-fourth the number of members of the Assembly. In 1910 there were 33 senators and 100 assemblymen. Elections to the Senate and Assembly are biennial and the term of members of the Assembly is two years, but the senatorial term is four years and only one-half of the members are elected each two years. A candidate for either house must have resided in the state at least one year, must be a qualified elector in the district from which he is chosen, and may not be a member of Congress or hold any military or civil office under the United States. Since 1855 a state census has been taken every ten years, and on the basis of these censuses the legislature re-apportions the Senate and Assembly districts. Each member of the legislature receives $500 a year and 10 cents a mile for mileage. Any bill may originate in either house, and either house may amend a bill passed by the other. Special legislation of several specified kinds is forbidden, especially by amendments of 1871 and 1892; and the constitution as adopted in 1848 prohibited the legislature's authorizing any lottery or granting any divorce. The Assembly may impeach civil officers by a majority of all elected members, and the Senate to try impeachments; for conviction a two-thirds vote of all members present is required.
The judicial power of the state is vested in a supreme court of seven members (salary $6000 a year; elected for a term of ten years; the senior justice is chief justice) with appellate jurisdiction throughout the state, general superintendence over all inferior courts, power to issue, hear and determine writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, injunction, quo warranto, certiorari and other original and remedial writs; nineteen (only five under the constitution of 1848) circuit courts, of one judge each except in the second circuit (including Milwaukee) in which there are four judges, elected (at a spring election, and not at the general state election) by the voters of the circuit district; probate judges, one elected (for two years) in each county, except where the legislature confers probate powers on inferior courts; and in towns, cities and villages, justices of the peace, elected for two years.
Local Government. — Wisconsin has the mixed or township-county system of local government. Each township (or “town,” as it is commonly called) elects at its annual town meeting on the first Tuesday in April three supervisors, a clerk, a treasurer, one or more assessors, two justices of the peace, from one to three constables, and, if the town has a library, a librarian. Justices of the peace hold office for two years, other town officers for one year only, except that in a county having a population of 100,000 or more (Milwaukee county), town meetings are biennial and all officers are elected for two years. For other than school purposes rates must not exceed 2% of the assessed valuation of the taxable property in the town. The chairmen of the several town boards of supervisors, with the
supervisor of each ward of a city and the supervisor of each village in the county, constitute the county board of supervisors, and each county elects biennially, at the general election in November, a clerk, a treasurer, a sheriff, a coroner, a clerk of the circuit court, a district-attorney, a register of deeds and a surveyor. The county board represents the county, is entrusted with the care of the county property and the management of the county business, appoints a supervisor of assessments and levies the taxes necessary to defray the county expenses. The county board also elects a county highway commissioner for a term of three years, is required to designate a system of prospective county highways, and may levy a special tax and borrow money for the development of the system. Cities are chartered according to population, with a mayor, a single legislative chamber known as the board of aldermen or city council and the usual administrative officers and boards. The mayor, aldermen, treasurer, comptroller, justices of the peace and supervisors must be elected by the people, but the other offices are filled as the council of each city directs. An act of 1909 provides for the adoption of government by commission in any city of the second, third or fourth class which votes for this form of government at an election called by a petition signed by 25% of the voters at the preceding election for mayor.
Miscellaneous Laws.—A married woman may manage her separate property as if she were single. A widow is entitled to a dower in one-third of her husband's real estate, and a widower is life tenant by courtesy of all the real estate of which his wife died seized and not disposed of by her last will, unless she leaves issue by a former husband, to whom the estate might descend, in which case her estate passes immediately to such issue. If either husband or wife dies intestate and leaves no issue the surviving spouse is entitled to the entire estate of the deceased, both real and personal. The causes for an absolute divorce are adultery, impotency, sentence to imprisonment for a term of three years or more, wilful desertion for one year, cruel or inhuman treatment, habitual drunkenness and voluntary separation for five years. For any other cause than adultery an action for a divorce cannot be brought unless one of the parties has been a resident of the state for two years immediately preceding the suit. Neither party is permitted to marry a third party until one year after the divorce has been obtained. Adultery is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years nor less than one year, or by a fine not exceeding $1000 nor less than $200. A husband who wilfully abandons his wife, leaving her destitute, or who refuses to support her when he is able to do so, may be punished by imprisonment in the state prison not exceeding one year or in the county jail or workhouse not more than six months nor less than fifteen days, and for ten days, in the discretion of the judge, he may be kept on a bread and water diet. A homestead owned and occupied by any resident of the state and consisting of not more than 40 acres of agricultural land outside the limits of a city or village, or one-fourth of an acre within a city or village, together with the dwelling-house and other appurtenances, is exempt from liability for debts other than labourers', mechanics' and purchase-money liens, mortgages and taxes. If the homestead is sold the proceeds from the sale, to an amount not exceeding $5000, are likewise exempt for a period of two years, provided they are held for the purpose of procuring another homestead. If the owner is a married man his homestead cannot be sold or mortgaged without his wife's consent. The employment of children under fourteen years of age in any factory, workshop, mine, bowling alley or beer garden is forbidden, and their employment at any gainful occupation is permitted only during the vacation of the public school. A child between fourteen and sixteen years of age may be employed at a gainful occupation only upon the recommendation of the school principal or clerk of the board of education. No child under sixteen years of age may be employed longer than fifty-five hours in any one week, more than ten hours in any one day, more than six days in any one week, or between 6.0 p.m. and 7.0 a.m.
Other radical legislation, especially in regard to railways, has included: the Porter Law, regulating rates, which was enacted in 1874 during the “Granger Movement,” was modified from time to time, and was displaced by a law of 1905 (in 1908 declared constitutional so long as stockholders receive a “reasonable compensation” on investments) creating a state railway commission, and providing for the physical valuation of railways on an ad valorem basis for taxation; a law (1907) making 2 cents a mile the maximum fare; an anti-tipping law (1905); a law forbidding the sale of cigarettes; an act (1907) forbidding insurance companies to do both participating and non-participating business; and an eight-hour labour law in effect on the 1st of January 1908.
Finance.—Revenue for state purposes is derived principally from taxes on corporations, from an inheritance tax and from departmental and institutional fees and charges; that for counties, towns, villages and cities from a general property tax. The general property tax has long been employed almost wholly for educational purposes only. The state tax on railways and other public service corporations is levied on an ad valorem basis; but telephone companies are taxed by collecting a percentage of the gross receipts. Insurance companies are taxed on premiums and income. In 1908 the constitution was amended to permit a graduated tax on incomes, privileges and occupations. A poll tax is levied for highway purposes in towns and villages, but the general charter law does not provide for the collection of poll taxes in cities. The proceeds from corporation taxes increased from $1,711,387 in 1899 to $3,969,771 in 1908. The state receipts from all sources increased from $4,070,316 for the year ending September 30, 1899, to $8,299,982 for the year ending June 30, 1908; the disbursements in the latter year were $7,762,771 or $537,211 less than the receipts.
As a result of the failure of “wildcat” banks during the Territorial period, a clause was inserted in the state constitution forbidding the legislature to charter a bank or pass a general banking law until the people had voted in favour of banks, and providing further that no bank charter or general banking law should be of any force until a majority of the voters at a general election had approved of it. The people gave their approval to a general banking law in 1852, and state banks were incorporated under it. Private banks and one savings bank were also chartered. In 1903 a state banking department was created under the management of a commissioner of banking appointed by the governor with the concurrence of the Senate for a term of five years. Under this law private banks became state banks, and all except national banks are examined by the commissioner, his deputy or some person appointed by the commissioner, at least once a year. When satisfied that a bank has become insolvent, the commissioner may take possession of it and wind up its affairs. In 1909 there were 470 state banks and 3 savings banks with total resources amounting to $140,155,455.
To prevent such extravagant expenditures for internal improvements as had brought disaster to Michigan and other states, the framers of the constitution of Wisconsin inserted a clause limiting its aggregate indebtedness to $100,000 for all purposes other than to repel an invasion, to suppress an insurrection or for defence in time of war, and the state is free from debt with the exception of that contracted on account of the Civil War. This war debt, although amounting to $2,251,000, is held by four state educational funds. A constitutional amendment, adopted in 1874, limits the indebtedness of each county, city, town, village and school district to 5% of the value of its taxable property.
Education.—Wisconsin has an excellent free public school system, which was established in 1848 and which provides a graded system of instruction in country district and city schools, high schools and normal schools and the University of Wisconsin (incorporated 1848; see Wisconsin, University of). By a law of 1907 school attendance (24 weeks per annum in the country—a law of 1903 had required only 20 weeks—32 weeks in cities) was made compulsory for children between seven and fourteen years of age who do not live more than 2 m. from school by the nearest travelled public highway. In 1907-1908 27.2% of those between seven and fourteen years of age in the state attended no school. The total public school enrolment in 1909 1910 was 466,554. In 1901 a law was enacted providing for state graded schools of two classes, which must be opened for at least nine months each year; graded schools of the first class (of three or more departments) receive $300 a year each from the state, and graded schools of the second class (of two departments only) receive $200 a year each from the state. About 1906 rural graded schools, outside of villages, were first organized. There are twenty-two day schools for the deaf. There are a few township high schools (28 out of 285 in 1909), and these receive from the state one-half of the total annually paid for teachers' salaries; for free high schools the first state provision was made in 1875. There are special kindergarten training departments in the Milwaukee and Superior schools, departments for manual training at Oshkosh and Platteville, and a training department in domestic science at the Stevens Point school. The first kindergarten officially connected with any American state normal school was opened at Oshkosh in 1880. The state normal schools are supported largely from the interest ($89,137 in 1908) of a fund ($1,957,230 in 1908) created in 1865 from the sale of swamp and overflowed lands, and from an annual state tax ($230,000 in 1908). In addition to the state university the state maintains at Platteville a school of mines, opened in 1908. Under state control there is a system of teachers' and farmers' institutes. A Free Library Commission of five members created in 1895 maintains about 650 circulating free public hbraries comprising more than 40,000 volumes. In 1907 there were about 960,000 volumes in public township libraries for which a law of 1887 had made provision; since 1895 the formation of such libraries has been mandatory, and books, chosen by the county superintendent, are bought from a fund of 10 cents for every person of school age in towns, villages and cities of the fourth class. An act of 1901 permits county boards to establish county systems of travelling libraries. In 1908 the total expenditure for public education in the state was $12,547,574; of this sum $10,604,294 was spent for common schools, high schools and graded schools, $1,091,135 for the university, and $547,661 for normal schools. The total income for schools in 1907-1908 was $1,773,659, of which $1,379,410 was from the seven-tenths-of-a-mill tax, $200,000 was from licence fees and taxes upon corporations (for salaries of rural school inspectors) and $194,249 the income from the common school fund which in that year amounted to $3,845,929.
Educational institutions of collegiate rank are Beloit College (1846; originally Congregational, now undenominational) at Beloit; Carroll College (1846, Presbyterian), at Waukesha; Lawrence College (1847; Methodist Episcopal), at Appleton; Concordia College (1881; Lutheran), Marquette University (1864, Roman Catholic), and Milwaukee-Downer College (1895; non-sectarian, for women; an outgrowth of Downer College, Congregational and Presbyterian, founded at Fox Lake in 1853), all at Milwaukee; Milton College (1867; Seventh Day Baptist), at Milton; North-western University (1865; Lutheran) at Watertown; Ripon College (1851; originally under Presbyterian and Congregational control, now non-sectarian), at Ripon; Wayland University (1855; co-educational; Baptist), at Beaver Dam; and the following Roman Catholic schools: St Clara Academy (1847; Dominican) at Sinsiniwa, St Francis Seminaiy (1853) at St Francis, and St Lawrence College (1861, Capuchin) at Mt Calvary. There are also many private academies and trade or technical schools, and six industrial schools for Indians.
Charitable and Penal Institutions.—In the number and equipment of its reformatory, charitable and penal institutions, Wisconsin stands high. These institutions are under the general direction of a state board of control (established in 1905) of five members (one a woman), appointed by the governor for a term of five years. This, board has charge of the following institutions: a State Hospital for the Insane (1860) at Mendota; the Northern Hospital for the Insane (1873) at Winnebago, 4 m. N. of Oshkosh; a School for the Deaf (1852) at Delavan, Walworth county, in which the teaching is principally oral and which includes a high school; a School for the Blind (1849; taken over by the state in 1850) at Janesville; an Industrial School for Boys (opened in 1860, as a House of Refuge) at Waukesha, with a farm of 404 acres; the State Prison (1853) at Waupun; State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children (1886) at Sparta, with a farm of 234 acres; Wisconsin Home for Feeble Minded (1896) at Chippewa Falls; Wisconsin State Reformatory (1898), near Green Bay; and Wisconsin State Tuberculosis Sanatorium (1907) at Wales, Waukesha county. In addition the board has partial control over the Wisconsin Workshop for the Blind (1903) at Milwaukee, where there is a willow ware factory, and the Wisconsin Industrial School for Girls (1875) also at Milwaukee. Its powers of inspection extend over 5 semi-state institutions, 33 county insane asylums, 69 gaols, 48 poor-houses, 50 private benevolent institutions and 206 police stations and lockups. The board has also power of visitation and inspection over the Wisconsin Veterans' Home at Waupaca, founded in 1887 by the state department of the Grand Army of the Republic. In the state's treatment of the insane, chronic cases are separated and sent to the county asylums. The labour of convicts in the state prison is leased; until 1878 the state itself supervised manufacturing in the prison; then for twenty-five years the convicts were employed in making shoes for a Chicago firm; and since 1903 the state has received 65 cents a day for the labour of each convict, and at least 300 convicts are employed in the manufacture of socks and stockings, from which in 1906-1908 (two years) the income to the state was $156,890. In 1910 a binding twine factory was established in the prison. In the state reformatory the labour of some inmates is leased to tailors, and the others make brooms or bricks, or work in a cabinet shop or on the farm. Since 1907 a parole law has been in force for prisoners with a good record at the state prison. By a law of 1909 certain offenders are placed under probation under the supervision of the State Board of Control.
History.—Politically Wisconsin has been under French domination (from 1634 to 1760); under British domination (from 1760, formally 1763, to 1783); and under that of the United States since 1783. But the British influence on the community was negligible, and British rule was never more than nominal and was confined to the military posts. When American troops occupied the posts at Green Bay and Prairie du Chien in 1816, thirty-three years after it had become a part of the territory of the United States, the region was still almost exclusively French in manners, customs and population; and so it remained for nearly two decades.
The region comprised in the present state of Wisconsin, when first explored by Europeans, was a favourite hunting-ground for the Indians who constantly crossed this region between the Great Lakes and the upper Mississippi. The Indian population of Wisconsin in the first half of the 17th century was probably larger than that of any region of similar size east of the Mississippi. Among the many different tribes were the Sioux, Chippewa, Kickapoo, Menominee, Mascoutin, Potawatomi, Winnebago, and Sauk and Foxes. In the eastern and southern portions of the region there are still numerous mounds, the relics of an earlier Indian civilization. In the lead regions in the S.W., with the help of Pawnee slaves, the Indians worked the lead diggings in a rough way. The whole course of the early history of Wisconsin was profoundly influenced by these racial and geographic considerations. The French adventurers, bent on finding either a “North-west passage” or some land route to the Pacific (which they believed to be no farther west than the Mississippi), naturally went west by the water routes of Wisconsin; as a fine field for their bartering and trading with water-courses by which they could convey their pelts and skins back to Montreal, the region attracted the coureurs de bois and fur traders; and it seemed promising also to the zealous French Catholic missionaries. The impelling influences on the French settlement of the region were the love of exploration and adventure, the commercial instinct and religious zeal.
Jean Nicolet, an experienced explorer, was sent west by Samuel de Champlain, the governor-general of New France, in the summer of 1634 to investigate mysterious rumours of a people known as “the men of the sea” who were thought by some to be Tatars or Chinese. After a long and difficult journey into a region which he seems to have been the first white man to enter, Nicolet landed on the soil of Wisconsin at a point on Green Bay about 10 m. below the present city of Green Bay. Near what is now known as Red Banks there was a populous village of Winnebago, which welcomed and entertained him. He made a treaty with the Indians, went up the Fox river to a point somewhere near the present city of Berlin (Green Lake county) where he found another large village, and returned to Green Bay and thence to his post on Lake Huron.
Twenty years later Pierre Esprit, Sieur de Radisson, and Medard Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers, started (1654) from Quebec, crossed Lakes Huron and Michigan, wintered in Wisconsin, ascended the Fox, crossed to the Wisconsin and possibly reached the Mississippi river eighteen years before Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet. In 1659-1660 they were again in the West, but the opposition of the French authorities prevented their further explorations.
The first of the missionary pioneers was the Jesuit, Father René Ménard, who in 1661 lost his life on the upper Wisconsin river. In 1665 Father Claude Allouez established the first permanent mission in Wisconsin on the shores of Chequamegon Bay, near the first trading post established by Radisson and Groseilliers. In 1669 he was succeeded by Father Jacques Marquette (q.v.) and went to the Fox River Valley; there he established the mission of St Francis Xavier at the first rapids on the Fox river near a populous Indian village. About this mission, one of the most successful established by the Jesuits in the West, gathered a group of traders who formed a settlement that for many years existed as a transient post and store-house for trappers.
Father Marquette, forced in 1671 by Indian wars to abandon his post on Chequamegon Bay, settled with the Huron at the Straits of Mackinac, whence in May 1673 accompanied by Louis Joliet he set out for the Mississippi river. They halted at De Pere, set off down the Fox-Wisconsin route, followed the Wisconsin to its mouth and came out upon the Mississippi near the site of the present city of Prairie du Chien, on July 17th, exactly two months after they left St Ignace mission on Mackinac Island. After descending the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas they returned by way of the Des Plaines portage, paddled along the western shore of Lake Michigan, and arrived at De Pere. In September 1679 Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, and Henri de Tonty entered the mouth of the Fox river in the “Griffon,” the first ship to sail the Great Lakes. In the same year Daniel Greysolon Du Luth, a coureur de bois, explored the upper Mississippi and the Wisconsin and Black rivers. In 1680 Father Louis Hennepin, a Recollet Franciscan who had accompanied La Salle, followed the Mississippi northward from the mouth of the Illinois along the western border of Wisconsin to the site of the present city of St Paul. The same course was followed by the fur-trader, Pierre Charles Le Sueur, in 1683.
In 1671 Simon François Daumont Saint-Lusson at Sault Ste Marie had taken formal possession of the region in the name of the king of France; in 1685 Nicolas Perrot (1644-c. 1700), a trader who had first visited the wilds of Wisconsin probably as early as 1665, was appointed “commandant of the West,” and this event closes the period of exploration and begins that of actual occupation. Traders had begun to swarm into the country in increasing numbers, and to protect them from the Indians and to control properly the licensed fur-trade a military force was necessary. Perrot built a chain of forts along the Mississippi and a post (the present Galena, Illinois) near the southern boundary of the state, where he discovered and worked a lead mine. In 1712 the slaughter of a band of Foxes near Detroit was the signal for hostilities which lasted almost continuously until 1740, and in which every tribe in the Wisconsin country was sooner or later involved either in alliance with the Foxes or with the French; the Chippewa, always hostile to the Foxes, the Potawatomi and the Menominee sided with the French. This war seriously interfered with the French plans of trade development and exploitation, and by rendering difficult the maintenance of a chain of settlements which might have connected Canada and Louisiana was a contributing cause of the final overthrow of French dominion. In this period permanent military posts were established at Green Bay and Chequamegon (1718); in 1718 it was reported that traders had settled at Green Bay and De Pere; in 1727 a post was established on Lake Pepin.
Wisconsin was little disturbed by the Seven Years' War. Yet the French and Indians of Wisconsin contributed their quota to the French armies—a force of half-breeds and Indians under a half-breed, Charles Michel de Langlade (1729-1800). After the fall of Montreal (Sept. 1760) Robert Rogers, who had been sent to Detroit to occupy the French posts in the West, dispatched Captain Henry Balfour with a force of British and Colonial troops to garrison Mackinac and the Wisconsin posts which had been dismantled and were almost deserted. He arrived at La Baye (Green Bay) in October 1761, and left there a garrison under Lieut. James Gorrell of the 60th (Royal American Foot) Regiment. The traders who accompanied them were the nucleus of the first English-speaking colony on Wisconsin soil. The French fort was rechristened Fort Edward Augustus. The period of British occupation was brief. On the outbreak of the conspiracy of Pontiac Lieut. Gorrell was compelled (in July 1763) to evacuate the fort, and make his way to Montreal. When the conspiracy was crushed in 1765, Wisconsin was reopened for traders, and not only French but American merchants and travellers flocked into the region. Among these were Alexander Henry (1739-1824), who as early as 1760 had visited the site of Milwaukee, and who now obtained a monopoly of the Lake Superior trade, and Jonathan Carver (q.v.), who in 1766 reached Green Bay on his way to the Mississippi.
In 1774 was passed the Quebec Act for the government of the Province of Quebec into which the Wisconsin region was incorporated by this act, but it had little effect on the French settlements west of Lake Michigan, which remained throughout the entire British period a group of detached and periodically self-governing communities. Little as they cared for their British rulers the Wisconsin voyageurs and habitans, influenced probably by their cupidity and by actual money payments, for the most part adhered to the British cause during the War of Independence. De Langlade led his French and Indian forces against the American frontier communities west of the Alleghanies. This pro-British spirit, however, did not dominate the whole Wisconsin region, and while De Langlade was harassing the Pennsylvania and Virginia frontier, Godefrey de Linctot, a trader of Prairie du Chien, acting as agent for George Rogers Clark, detached several western tribes from the British adherence, and personally led a band of French settlers to his aid. The close of the war, although it conveyed the region to the sovereignty of the United States, was not followed by American occupation. In this period, however, the fur-trade assumed proportions of greater importance, and trading posts were established by the North-west Company (Canadian). In 1786 a more systematic attempt was made to work the lead mines by Julien Dubuque, who obtained the privilege from the Indians. In 1787 Wisconsin became part of the North-west Territory, but it was not until after the ratification of Jay's treaty that in 1796 the western posts were evacuated by the British. Before the actual military occupation (1816) by the United States, American traders had begun to enter into a sharp rivalry for the Indian trade. In 1800 Wisconsin was included in the newly organized Indiana Territory; and in 1809 on the admission of Indiana as a state it was attached to Illinois. During the second war with Great Britain, the Wisconsin Indians and French settlers generally sided with the British, and in 1814 many of them participated in Major William McKay's expedition against Fort Shelby at Prairie du Chien. In 1816 Fort Howard was built at Green Bay, and Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien. In the same year was confirmed the treaty negotiated in 1804 by William Henry Harrison, by the terms of which the Indian title to the lead region was extinguished. In 1810 the product of lead had been about 400,000 ℔, largely mined and smelted by Indians, but the output was now increased enormously by the American miners who introduced new machinery and new methods, and by 1820 there were several thousand miners in the region, including negro slaves who had been brought north by Southern prospectors from Kentucky and Missouri. In 1818 Illinois was admitted to the Union and Wisconsin was incorporated in Michigan Territory, and at that time American civil government in the Wisconsin region was first established on an orderly and permanent basis. Wisconsin then comprised two counties, Brown (east) and Crawford (west), with county seats at Green Bay and Prairie du Chien. Until 1830 the fur-trade, controlled largely by John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company, continued to be the predominating interest in the Wisconsin region, but then the growing lead mining industry began to overshadow the fur-trade, and in the mining region towns and smelting furnaces were rapidly built. Indian miners were soon driven out of business and were nearly crowded out of their homes. Friction between the settlers and the Indians could not long be avoided, and in 1827 Red Bird and his band of Winnebago attacked the whites, but after some bloodshed they were defeated by Major William Whistler (1780-1863) of Fort Howard. Five years later occurred a more serious revolt, the Black Hawk War (see Black Hawk), which also grew out of the dispute over the mineral lands.
The Black Hawk War not merely settled the Indian question so far as Wisconsin was concerned, but made the region better known, and gave an appreciable impetus to its growth. A series of Indian treaties in 1829, 1831, 1832 and 1833 extinguished the Indian titles and opened up to settlement a vast area of new land. The first newspaper, the Green Bay Intelligencer, began publication in 1833. In 1834 two land offices were opened, and by 1836, 878,014 acres of land had been sold to settlers and speculators. A special census showed a population of more than 11,000 in 1836. The new growth started a movement for a separate Territorial organization for that part of Michigan lying west of Lake Michigan, but this was not finally accomplished until 1836, when Michigan entered the Union. The new Territory of Wisconsin comprised not only the area included in the present state, but the present Iowa and Minnesota and a considerable portion of North and South Dakota. Henry Dodge (1782-1867) was appointed its first governor by President Jackson The first Territorial Council met in 1836 at Old Belmont, now Leslie, Lafayette county, but in December of that year Madison was selected as the capital, after a contest in which Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Racine, Green Bay, Portage and other places were considered, and in which James Duane Doty, later governor, owner of the Madison town plat, was charged with bribing legislators with town lots in Madison. In 1838 the Territory of Iowa was erected out of all that part of Wisconsin lying west of the Mississippi. The movement for the admission of Wisconsin to the Union was taken up in earnest soon after 1840, and after several years' agitation, in which Governor Doty took a leading part, on the 10th of August 1846 an Enabling Act introduced in Congress by Morgan L. Martin, the Territorial delegate, received the approval of President Polk. Meanwhile the Territorial legislature had passed favourably on the matter, and in April the act was ratified by a popular vote of 12,334 to 2487. The first constitution drafted was rejected (5th April 1847) owing to the articles relating to the rights of married women, exemptions, the elective judiciary, &c. A second convention, thought to be more conservative than the first, drafted another constitution, which on the 13th of March 1848 was adopted by 16,799 ayes and 6394 noes. The constitution was approved by Congress and signed by the president on the 29th of May 1848; the first state election had already been held on the 8th of May, and Governor Nelson Dewey and other state officers were sworn into office on the 7th of June. In the same year the free public school system was established, and the great stream of German immigration set in. Railway construction began in 1851. Wisconsin was a strong anti-slavery state. In 1854 one of the first steps in the organization of the Republican party (q.v.) was taken at Ripon. In the same year a fugitive slave named Glover was seized at Racine and was afterward rescued by an anti-slavery mob from Milwaukee; the State Supreme Court rendered a decision which declared the Fugitive Slave Law to be null and void in Wisconsin.
In 1856 a contested election for the governorship between Governor William A. Barstow (1813-1865), a candidate for re-election, and his Republican opponent, Coles Bashford (1816-1878), threatened to result in civil war. But the courts threw out “supplementary returns” (possibly forged by the canvassers) and decided in favour of Bashford, who was the first Republican to hold an office; with two exceptions Wisconsin has elected Republican governors ever since. The state gave its electoral vote for Lincoln in 1860 and supported the administration during the Civil War. The policy of the state to keep its regiments full rather than send new regiments to the front made the strength of a Wisconsin regiment, according to General W. T. Sherman, frequently equal to a brigade. The whole number of troops furnished by Wisconsin during the war was 91,379. In January 1874 a Democratic Liberal Reform administration came into power in the state with William R. Taylor as governor. At the legislative session which followed, the Potter law, one of the first attempts to regulate railway rates, was passed. The railways determined to evade the law, but Taylor promptly brought suit in the State Supreme Court and an injunction was issued restraining the companies from disobedience. In 1876, however, the Republicans regained control of the state government and the law was modified. In 1889 the passage of the Bennett law, providing for the enforcement of the teaching of English in all public and parochial schools, had a wide political effect. The Germans, usually Republicans, roused for the defence of their schools, voted the Democratic state ticket at the next state election (1890), with the result that George Wilbur Peck, the Democratic nominee, was chosen governor by 30,000 plurality. The Bennett law was at once repealed, but not until 1895 did the Republicans regain control of the administration. It was accomplished then after a Democratic gerrymander had been twice overthrown in the courts. Since that time, however, the Republican party has grown more secure, and it has placed on the statute books a series of radical and progressive enactments in regard to railway rate legislation and taxation, publicity of campaign expenditures and a state-wide direct primary law (1905). In all these reforms a leading part was taken by Governor Robert M. LaFollette (b. 1855), who was elected to the United States Senate in 1905. Opposition to his political programme resulted in a serious split in the Republican ranks, the opposition taking the old name of “Stalwarts” and his followers came to be known as “Halfbreeds.” Governor LaFollette, however, could draw enough support from the Democrats to maintain the control of the state by the Republicans. Wisconsin had several times been visited by disastrous forest fires. One in the north-eastern counties (Oconto, Brown, Door, Shawano, Manitowoc and Kewaunee) in 1871 resulted in the loss of more than a thousand lives. Another serious fire occurred in the north-west in July 1894.
|Governors of Wisconsin|
|James Duane Doty||Whig||1841-1844|
|Nathaniel P. Tallmadge||”||1844-1845|
|Leonard J. Farwell||”||1852-1854|
|William A. Barstow||”||1854-1856|
|Alex. W. Randall||”||1858-1862|
|Louis P. Harvey||”||1862|
|James T. Lewis||”||1864-1866|
|C. C. Washburn||”||1872-1874|
|William R. Taylor||Democrat||1874-1876|
|William E. Smith||”||1878-1882|
|Jeremiah M. Rusk||”||1882-1889|
|William D. Hoard||”||1889-1891|
|George W. Peck||Democrat||1891-1895|
|William H. Upham||Republican||1895-1897|
|Robert M. LaFollette||”||1901-1906|
|James O. Davidson||”||1906-1911|
|F. E. McGovern||”||1911-|
Bibliography.—For physical description and natural resources see the Reports (biennial) and the Bulletins (Madison) of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, especially important for economic geology, hydrography and agriculture, and the Annual Reports of the Wisconsin State Board of Agriculture; the Reports (biennial) of the State Forester, the Reports of the U.S. Census, and the Mineral Resources of the United States, published annually by the U.S. Geological Survey. A good school manual is E. C. Case's Wisconsin, its Geology and Physical Geography (Milwaukee, 1907). C. B. Cory, The Birds of Illinois and Wisconsin, Field Museum of Natural History, Publication No. 131 (Chicago, 1909), and L. Kumlien and N. Hollister, “The Birds of Wisconsin,” in vol. iii., new series, of the Bulletin (Milwaukee) of the Wisconsin Natural History Society, are valuable. On state government see The Blue Book of the State of Wisconsin (Madison), published under the direction of the commissioner of labour and industrial statistics and D. E. Spencer, Local Government in Wisconsin (Madison, 1888). For a list of works on the history of the state see D. S. Durrie's “Bibliography of Wisconsin” in vol. vi., new series, Historical Magazine. The best short history is R. G. Thwaites, Wisconsin (Boston, 1908), in the “American Commonwealths” series. The same author's Story of Wisconsin (Ibid. 1890) in the “Story of the States” series, and H. E. Legler's Leading Events in Wisconsin History (Milwaukee, 1898), a good brief summary, are other single-volume works covering the entire period of the state's history. One of the best accounts of the state's early history is E. H. Neville and D. B. Martin's Historic Green Bay (Green Bay, 1893). S. S. Hebberd's Wisconsin under the Dominion of France (Madison, 1890) contains an account of the earlier period written, however, before much recent material was brought to light. Much material of value is contained in the Historical Collections (18 vols., Madison, 1855 sqq.) of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (1846; reorganized, 1849), and in the Bulletins of Information, Proceedings and Draper Series of the same society are many valuable historical papers and monographs. See also W. R. Smith's History of Wisconsin (3 vols., Madison, 1854). The Parkman Society Papers (Milwaukee, 1895-1899) provide a collection of good articles on special topics of Wisconsin history, and the Original Narratives and Reprints published by the Wisconsin History Commission (created by an act of 1905) deal with Wisconsin in the Civil War. See also Auguste Gosselin, Jean Nicolet 1618-1642 (1893); B. A. Hinsdale, The Old North-West (New York, 1888); Charles Moore, The North-West under Three Flags (New York, 1900); R. V. Phelan, Financial History of Wisconsin (Madison, 1908); F. J. Turner, Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin, vol. ix. of Johns Hopkins University Studies (Baltimore, 1899); F. Parkman, The Jesuits in North America (Boston, 1870); and the volumes of the Jesuit Relations, edited by R. G. Thwaites.
|CARL HENTSCHEL LTD|
- The badger is not found in the state, and the name probably originated as a nickname for those lead miners N. of the Illinois line who came from the East, who lived in dug-outs like the hillside burrows of the badger, and who did not go home in winter like the miners from southern Illinois and farther south, who were called “suckers,” a name borrowed from the migrating fish in the Rock, Illinois and other rivers flowing south. The name “suckers” was applied generally to all the people of Illinois, and the name “badgers” to the people of Wisconsin and “badger state” to the state.
- Besides the area as given here, the state has jurisdiction over approximately 7500 sq. m. of Lake Michigan and 2378 sq. m. of Lake Superior.
- The Fox and Wisconsin rivers are separated at Portage by a distance of only 2 m.
- At each preceding census the population was as follows: (1840) 30,945, (1850) 305,391, (1860) 775,881, (1870) 1,054,670. By the state census of 1905 it was 2,228,949.
- Excepting persons under guardianship, those weak-minded or insane, those convicted (without restoration to civil rights) of treason or felony, and those who have engaged (directly or indirectly) in a duel.
- The coupon ballot was proposed for use throughout the state, but was defeated by popular vote in April 1906. The ticket is made up of as many coloured sheets as there are party organizations (plus one for independent nominations), and the name of each candidate is on a perforated slip, which must be detached if it is to be voted.
- The office of railroad commissioner was created in 1874, became elective in 1881 and was replaced under an act of 1905 by a commission of three members, which received jurisdiction over other public service corporations in 1907.
- Until 1881 elections to the legislature were held annually, and the term of assemblymen was one year and of senators two years.
- Not separately organized until 1853, the judges of the circuit court acted as justices of the supreme court.
- The first class comprises cities having a population of 150,000 or more (Milwaukee); the second class those having a population between 40,000 and 150,000; the third class those having a population between 10,000 and 40,000; the fourth class those having a population less than 10,000.
- One of the most famous of these mounds is the so-called Elephant Mound, 4 m. S. of Wyalusing, in Grant county in the S.W. corner of the state, near the Mississippi river; it is an effigy mound, and a drifting of earth changed its original shape, that of a bear, so that it roughly resembled an elephant; see pp. 91-93 of the Twelfth Annual Report (1894), Bureau of American Ethnology.
- These “gens de mer” were the Winnebago Indians; the name “ouinipegou,” meaning “men of the fetid water,” was interpreted by the French to apply to salt water, whereas it probably referred to sulphur springs near Lake Winnipeg, from which the Winnebago came to Green Bay.
- It was from these “rapides des pères” (rapids of the fathers) that De Pere was named.
- In that year the Foxes were scattered or forced to surrender by Pierre Paul le Perrière, sieur Marin, who had been appointed commandant of the West in 1729.
- It was not until 1814 that a British force again occupied a Wisconsin post.
- Wisconsin, as the last state to be created wholly out of the old North-West Territory, was the loser in boundary disputes with neighbouring states. As originally planned, Wisconsin would have included that part of Illinois west of a line running across the southern end of Lake Michigan; and the inhabitants of this tract actually voted to join Wisconsin, but Congress paid no attention to their demands, and this strip of land, including Chicago, became a part of Illinois. After the Toledo War (see Toledo, Ohio), to recompense Michigan for her losses to Ohio the northern peninsula, geographically a part of the Wisconsin region, was given to Michigan. Finally a larger tract of land E. of the Mississippi, which include St Paul, part of Minneapolis and Duluth, was cut off from Wisconsin on her admission to the Union to form with other land farther west the new Territory of Minnesota. See “The Boundaries of Wisconsin” in vol. xi. of Wisconsin Historical Collections.
- Peck (b. 1840) was a printer and then a journalist, founded in 1874 at La Crosse the Sun, which in 1878 he removed to Milwaukee, and was the author of many humorous sketches, notably a series of volumes of which the hero is “Peck's Bad Boy.”
- Lieut.-Governor; succeeded Barstow, who resigned during a contest with Bashford.
- Resigned to become a member of the United States Senate.
- Lieut.-Governor: elected governor in 1906 and 1908.