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Wisconsin Boundaries


Wisconsin is bounded on the north by Minnesota and Michigan, on the northeast, and east in Lake Michigan by Michigan, on the south by Illinois, and on the west by Iowa and Minnesota; or according to the Constitution, as follows, to wit: " Beginning at the northeast corner of the State of Illinois, that is to say, at a point in the center of Lake Michigan, where the line of forty-two degrees and thirty-nine minutes of north latitude crosses the game; thence running with the boundary line of the state of Michigan, through Lake Michigan, Green Bay, to the mouth of the Menomonee River; thence up the channel of the said river to the Brule River; thence up said last mentioned river to Lake Brule; thence along the southern shore of Lake Bruit, in a direct line to the center of the channel between Middle and South Islands, in the Lake of the Desert; thence in a direct line to the head waters of the Montreal River, as marked upon the survey made by Captain Cram; thence down the main channel of the Montreal River to the middle of Lake Superior; thence through the center of Lake Superior to the month of the St. Louis River; thence up the main channel of said river to the first rapids in the same, above the Indian village, according to Nicollet's map; thence due south to the main branch of the river St. Croix; thence down the main channel of said river to the Mississippi; thence down the center of the main channel of that river to the northwest corner of the state of Illinois; thence due east with the northern boundary of the state of Illinois, to the place of beginning, as established by 'an act to enable the people of the Illinois territory to form a constitution and state government, and for the admission of such state into the Union on an equal footing with the original states,' approved April 18th, 1818."

The area of Wisconsin in land is 53,924 square miles, or 34,511,360 square acres.

Wisconsin History
Wisconsin was first visited by French Missionaries in 1660, in October of which year Mesnard reached Che-goi-me-gon, on Lake Superior. In 1672, Aloues and Dablon visited Green Bay and the country between the Fox River and the south end of Lake Michigan. In the year following, on the 13th of May, Marquette, a Jesuit Missionary, and Joliet, an agent of the government of France, with five other Frenchmen, embarked from their Mission, near Mackinac, and arrived at Green Bay, where they found an Indian village and procured guides to accompany them up Fox River to the Portage with the Wisconsin. They descended this river to its mouth, where they arrived on the 17th of June, 1673, and made the first discovery of the Upper Mississippi River. The Territory remained under the government of the French, who claimed it, until 1783, when, at the treaty of Paris, it was ceded to Great Britain, who retained it until the Independence of the United States was acknowledged by that county in 1783, when it was claimed by Virginia, as a part of the Illinois country conquered by Col. George Rogers Clark. It however remained in the possession of Great Britain until 1796, when it was surrendered in accordance with Jay's treaty, ratified the previous year. On the first day of March, 1784, it was ceded by Virginia to the United States. By the celebrated ordinance passed the 13th of July, 1787, a government was provided for the Territory northwest of the Ohio River, which territory was divided into two separate governments, the western called Indiana, by an act passed May 7th, 1800. An act dividing the Indiana Territory and organizing Illinois was passed and approved February 3d, 1809. By the act of Congress to enable the people of Illinois to form a State government, approved April 18th, 1818, all that portion of said territory north of the parallel of latitude 42° 30' west of the middle of Lake Michigan, was attached to the Territory of Michigan, which had been set off from Indiana in 1805.

In 1835, Michigan having assumed a State government, John S. Horner, Secretary and Acting Governor, convened a session of the legislature, at Green Bay, from the remainder of said Territory. No business was transacted, except the passage of several Memorials to Congress, among which was one asking for the organization of the Territory of Wisconsin, with the seat of government at Cassville, on the Mississippi.

An act establishing the Territorial government of Wisconsin was passed and approved April 20th, 1836, and the Territory fully organized July 4th, 1836.

On the 12th day of June 1838, an act was passed dividing the Territory of Wisconsin, and establishing that portion on the west side of the Mississippi (which had been attached to Michigan in 1834,) into a separate government, under the name of Iowa.

In 1836, Governor Dodge, by proclamation dated September 9th, convened the legislature at Belmont, now in Lafayette County, on the 25th day of October in that year. The second session was held at Burlington, now in the State of Iowa, Nov, 6th, 1837, at which session the seat of government was located at Madison, where the first session of the 2d Legislative Assembly of Wisconsin was held Nov. 26th, 1838.

A Convention was held at Madison, October 5th, 1846, for the purpose of drafting a State Constitution, which was adopted in Convention, December 16th, 1846, but rejected by the people at the election held on the first Tuesday in April, 1847. A second Convention was held December 16th, 1847, and a Constitution agreed to February 1st, 1848, which was approved of by the electors at the election held April, 1848, and Wisconsin was admitted into the Union, on an equal footing with the other States, on the 29th day of May, 1848.

At the dates given below, the gentlemen named were appointed by the President of the United States, to the offices designated:
Henry Dodge April 13th, 1836
Henry Dodge, re-appointed March 9th, 1839
James Duane Doty, September 80th, 1841
Nathaniel P. Tallmadge June 21st, 1844
Henry Dodge April 8th, 1845
John S. Horner 1836
William B. Slaughter February 16th, 1837
Francis J. Dunn 1841
A. P. Field 1841
George K. C. Floyd 1845
John Catlin February 24th, 1846
Supreme Court
Charles Dunn, Chief Justice
_____ Frazier Associate
David Irwin, Jr. Associate
Andrew G. Miller Associate, in place of Frazier, deceased.

The following is a list of the several State Officers, from the organization of the State:
Nelson Dewey May 8th, 1848
Nelson Dewey, re-elected November, 1849
Leonard J. Farwell November 4th, 1851
John E. Holmes May 8th, 1848
Samuel W. Beall November, 1849
Timothy Burns November 4th, 1851
Secretaries Of State
Thomas McHugh May 8th, 1848
William A. Barstow November, 1849
Charles D. Robinson November 4th, 1851
State Treasurers
Jairus C. Fairchild May 8th, 1848
Jairus C. Fairchild, re-elected November, 1849
Edward H. Janssen November 4, 1851
James S. Brown May 8th, 1848
S. Park Coon November, 1849
Experience Estabrook November 4th, 1851
State Superintendents
Eleazer Boot May 8th, 1848
Eleazer Root November, 1849
Azel P. Ladd November 4th, 1851
Bank Comptroller
James S. Baker, appointed by Governor, November 20th, 1852
Judges of the Supreme Court
Edward V. Whiton, Judge of 1st Circuit, 1848
Levi Hubbell, Judge of 2d Circuit, 1848
Charles H. Larrabee, Judge of 3d Circuit, 1848
Alexander W. Stow, Judge of 4th Circuit, 1848
M. M. Jackson, Judge of 5th Circuit, 1848
Wiram Knowlton, Judge of 6th Circuit, 1850
Timothy O. Howe, Judge of 4th Circuit, 1850
Levi Hubbell, Judge of 2d Circuit, 1851
M.M. Cothren, Judge of 5th Circuit, 1852
Separate, Or New Supreme Court
Edward V. Whiton, Chief Justice, 1852
Abram D. Smith, Judge, 1852
Samuel Crawford, Judge, 1852
Source: Wisconsin Gazetteer,  By John Warren Hunt. Madison: Beriah Brown, Printer, 1853

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