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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: timeline of Wisconsin history, 1750-1783


Adapted and expanded from Schafer, Joseph. "Outline History of Wisconsin." 1925 Wisconsin Blue book (Madison, 1925) . More information about most people and places listed here, including links to original sources, can be found by searching them in this Dictionary.

1750. Marin reestablished a post among the Sioux. He was in partnership with the governor, Marquis de la Jonquiere, to exploit the upper country, and obtained from the Wisconsin fur trade a net profit of 150,000 livres per year.

1752. Joseph Marin relieved his father at the Sioux post. The latter was recalled to serve on the Ohio frontier, where he died in 1753.

1753. Grant of the post of La Baye to Francois Rigaud, brother of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, last governor of New France. Peace was made by Marin and St. Pierre between the Sioux, Cree, and Chippewa, insuring quiet among the Wisconsin tribesmen.

1755. Wisconsin Indians, under Charles de Langlade, participated in Braddock's defeat on the Monongahela (July 9).

1756. Sioux post abandoned by Joseph Marin.

1757. Hubert Couterot was last French commandant at La Baye, and Pierre Joseph Hertel, sieur de Beaubassin, at Chequamegon. Wisconsin Indians took part in the siege and massacre of British troops at Fort William Henry, on Lake George (August 3-9).

1758. A Menominee insurrection resulted in the death of several Frenchmen and the pillage of a storehouse at La Baye. To expiate the crime, seven warriors were sent to Montreal, where three of them were publicly shot.

1759. Wisconsin Indians participated in the defense of Quebec, both at the Falls of Montmorency and on the Plains of Abraham.

1760. Wisconsin Indians went to aid in the defense of Montreal, but retired before its capitulation. News of the surrender being forwarded to Mackinac, the last French commandant, Louis Lienard de Beaujeu-Villemonde, evacuated the fort, retiring with his garrison to the Mississippi. In passing through Wisconsin, en route to Rock River, where he wintered, he probably took with him the garrison at La Baye, leaving that post unoccupied.

1760. Upon the surrender of New France to the British, Wisconsin became English colonial territory, being governed from Mackinac and Quebec. Previous to 1774 Wisconsin was under military authority, but the "Quebec Act" of that year made it a part of the Province of Quebec, and thus it remained until the close of the Revolutionary War, when it was ceded to the United States. The governors of Canada during the time Wisconsin was under British dominion, were: Sir Jeffrey Amherst (commander-in-chief), 1760-63; Gen. Thomas Gage (commander-in-chief), 1763-64; Gen. James Murray (first governor-general), 1764-66; Lt: Col. Aemilius Paulus Irving (president of council), 1766; Sir Guy Carlton (lieutenant-governor and commander-in-chief), 1766-78 Hector Theophilus Cramahe (acting lieutenant-governor while Carlton was in England), 1770-74; Gen. Sir Frederick Haldimand (governor-general), 1778-84.While the Northwest nominally became United States territory by the treaty of 1783, Great Britain still held the military posts on the upper lakes until 1796, among them Mackinac, of which Wisconsin was a dependency. Henry Hamilton (lieutenant-governor of Canada) succeeded Haldimand, 1784-85; Gen. Henry Hope (president of council), 1785-86; Lord Dorchester, formerly Sir Guy Carlton (governor-gen-eral), 1786-96; and John Graves Simcoe (lieutenant-governor of the Upper Province of Canada), 1792-96.

1760-61. Immediately after the evacuation of Montreal a detachment was sent under Maj. Robert Rogers to occupy the Western posts. Detroit was surrendered Nov. 29, 1760, but the attempt to occupy Mackinac was defeated by the ice in the lakes. No further move was made until after Sir William Johnson made treaties at Detroit, in the summer of 1761, with all the Northwestern tribes. Then Capt. Henry Balfour, of the Eightieth British infantry, was dispatched from Detroit to occupy the Western posts. He arrived at Green Bay October 12, and took possession of the old French stockade, renaming it Fort Edward Augustus. He left here in garrison Ensign James Gorrell of the Sixtieth (Royal American) regiment, with a sergeant, corporal, and fifteen privates. Sometime that autumn British traders began to arrive from Albany and followed Wisconsin tribes to their wintering grounds.

1762. Lt. Gorrell made treaties with the Menominee, Winnebago, Ottawa, Sauk, Foxes, and Iowa, and assisted in a treaty between the Chippewa and Menominee. In June, Ensign Thomas Hutchins, afterwards a famous geographer, visited the fort with orders and instructions for Gorrell. Several English traders were scattered throughout the territory, two of whom, Abraham Lansing and his son, of Albany were killed by their French employees near Muscoda, called (probably on that account) English Prairie.

1763. The territories of New France, including Wisconsin, were formally ceded by the French to the British. Gorrell made a treaty with the Sioux. Pontiac's conspiracy led to a confederation of most of the Western Indians formerly allied with the French. They attacked the English posts on the upper Great Lakes, eight of which were captured. Divided counsels existed among Wisconsin Indians, however, and by skillful diplomacy Gorrell maintained himself at the Green Bay post until after the massacre of a large part of the garrison at Mackinac. Then he received orders from his Mackinac superior to evacuate his fort (June 21). The friendly Menominee escorted Gorrell and his party to l'Arbre Croche (on the east shore of Lake Michigan), where were quartered the remnants rof the Mackinac garrison, who were finally ransomed and sent down to Montreal under the protection of Wisconsin Indians. Fort Edward Augustus was never again garrisoned by British troops.

1764. Wisconsin Indians attended a general treaty at Niagara, and received certificates of commendation for their friendly conduct in Pontiac's conspiracy. The Langlade family removed from Mackinac and established themselves in the small French settlement at Green Bay.

1765. Alexander Henry and Jean Baptiste Cadotte founded a fur-trading post on Chequamegon Bay, Which region had been abandoned by whites since 1758.

1766. Jonathan Carver, a colonial officer from Weymouth, Mass., visited Wisconsin. In his published narrative he described the settlement at Green Bay, the old Indian town on Doty's island, the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, the Sauk town near the rapids of the Wisconsin, and the trading post at Prairie du Chien.

1773-75. Peter Pond, a Connecticut fur trader, visited Wisconsin and Minnesota, and wrote a detailed description of the Indian and French inhabitants of this region. He found a French ex-soldier named Pinnashon permanently established at the Fox-Wisconsin portage, transporting boats and cargoes. Pond assisted in escorting Sioux chiefs to Mackinac, where an advantageous peace was concluded with the Ojibwe.

1774. Civil government was established over the Northwest and Canada by the "Quebec Act," under which Wisconsin became a part of the British Province of Quebec.

1776-78. Wisconsin Indians under Charles de Langlade and Charles Gautier de Verville assisted the British during the Revolutionary War, and were concerned with the defense of Canada and the expedition of Burgoyne.

1778-79. De Langlade and Gautier rallied the Indians to the aid of the British Lt.-Gov. Henry Hamilton of Detroit against the Americans. After the latter's capture by the Americans at Vincennes (February 24, 1779), they opposed the projects of Col. George Rogers Clark's enterprising agent, Godefroy Linctot, Indian trader at Prairie du Chien, who detached many Wisconsin Indians from the British alliance. The Indians in the village at Milwaukee largely sided with the Americans. In the autumn, Capt. Samuel Robertson of the British sloop "Felicity" made a voyage of reconnoissance around Lake Michigan, inducing traders and Indians to support the British cause.

1780. An expedition of Canadians and Indians from Wisconsin advanced by way of Prairie du Chien, with a supporting column under de Langlade on the Illinois River, against the Spanish at St. Louis and the Americans in Illinois. They were repulsed and driven back (May 26), after having killed and captured several whites and African Americans. The Americans sent a retaliatory expedition to Rock River, one division of which penetrated southwestern Wisconsin. The British merchants of Mackinac sent a party to secure their furs stored at Prairie du Chien. Those that could not be carried away by them were burned, to prevent their falling into the hands of Americans.

1781. The Spanish organized an attack upon Fort St. Joseph, near the southeast corner of Lake Michigan, in which Milwaukee Indians participated. This is the traditional date of the settlement of Prairie du Chien by Basil Giard, Augustin Ange, and Pierre Antaya, although French traders had long dwelt upon the site seasonally.

1783. The treaty of Paris was concluded by which British territory east of the Mississippi was ceded to the United States. Joseph Calve was sent from Mackinac to notify the Indians along the upper Mississippi of the cessation of hostilities.

View related articles at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

[Source: Schafer, Joseph. "Outline History of Wisconsin." 1925 Wisconsin Blue book (Madison, 1925).]
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