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Baird Manuscript Collection

The Papers of Elizabeth and Henry Baird, 1798-1937

Portrait of Henry A. and Elizabeth T. Baird. WHI Image ID 27578 and 58712.
Henry S. and Elizabeth T. Baird

Elizabeth Baird (1810-1890) and her husband, Henry (1800-1875), were prominent 19th-century Wisconsin settlers. Henry S. Baird was a territorial politician and the first practicing attorney in Wisconsin. Elizabeth was the daughter of a British fur trader and a French-Ottawa mother and moved easily among both Indian and white communities.

During their lives, Wisconsin's environment, politics, economics, culture, and languages were completely transformed, and Henry and Elizabeth were usually involved. They were connected to most of the founders of modern Wisconsin through family ties, marriage, business interests, and politics. Henry played key roles in negotiating Indian treaties, establishing state government, and leading the political and economic development of the new territory and state.

Their surviving manuscripts fill six boxes. This digital collection includes all the Baird correspondence (3,865 pages in 17 folders) and selected business, family, and personal papers (about 400 pages selected from 10 folders).

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