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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Clark, Satterlee [Jr.?] 1816 - 1881


pioneer Indian trader, politician, b. Washington, D.C. In 1828 he moved to Wisconsin with his father, settling first at Green Bay. According to his own account, he was appointed army sutler at Fort Winnebago (Portage) by President Jackson in 1830 but, because he was under age, was forced to subcontract the position to a resident of Detroit and work as a clerk in the sutler's store. He remained at the fort during the 1830's and early 1840's, working as a clerk and trading with the Indians. He was a vocal proponent of Indian rights, and was even accused of helping the Ho-Chunk resist U.S. treaty proposals in the 1830s. In the 1840's he moved to Green Lake (then Marquette) County and later settled in Horicon. A Democrat, he was state assemblyman from Marquette County (1849), from Dodge County (1873), and represented Dodge County in the state senate (1862-1872). Outspoken in his political views, he vigorously opposed the Civil War and frequently praised the Confederate leader, Jefferson Davis, whom he had known briefly at Fort Winnebago. Although Clark took pride in his notoriety as a Copperhead, his warm personality and tendency toward exaggeration led many of his contemporaries to excuse his pro-Southern beliefs. View more information in his memoir, "Early Times at Fort Winnebago, and Black Hawk War Reminscences,"online at Wisconsin Historical Collections.

Madison Democrat, Sept. 21, 1881; Colls. State Hist. Soc. Wis., 8 (1879), 9 (1882); WPA field notes.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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