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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Search Results for: Keyword: 'missionary'

Term: Tank, Nils Otto 1800 - 1864


Moravian religious leader, land speculator, canal and railroad promoter, b. near Fredrikshald, Norway. The son of a wealthy politician and landowner, Tank was educated in various European universities. Disinherited after his first marriage and his conversion to the Moravian faith, Tank left Norway to become a teacher and missionary in the Dutch colony of Surinam. There he allegedly discovered rich gold fields, but soon left the colony, and in 1847 moved to Amsterdam, Holland. In 1850 he migrated to the U.S., and in New York became acquainted with a Milwaukee Moravian minister, A. Iverson. Intrigued by Iverson's story of the poverty of his parishioners in Wisconsin, Tank promised to help; he moved to Wisconsin, and purchased a tract of nearly 1,000 acres on the west bank of the Fox River at Fort Howard, where he planned to establish a communal society. He took up residence there in the Roi-Porlier-Tank cottage, but personal differences soon arose between Tank and Iverson over leadership of the community. The colonists themselves suspected Tank of planning to establish a tenant system or attempting to force them from their lands once improvements had been made. Their suspicions seemed to be confirmed when Tank refused to grant title to the land, and, aided by the governing body of the Moravian Church, they rejected Tank's leadership and left to establish a new settlement under Iverson. Shortly thereafter, Tank became associated with the Fox-Wisconsin River improvement scheme, but eventually lost heavily in the venture; he then turned his promotional activities to land speculations in Menasha and Manitowoc, and to railroad ventures, chiefly the Green Bay and Minnesota R.R. His wife, CAROLINE L. A. TANK, b. Amsterdam, Holland, lived on wealth inherited from her own family after the death of her husband. During the 1870's she gave money to several missions in China, to American schools, and to the city of Green Bay. In 1867 she donated a large collection of Dutch-language books to the State Historical Society, and at her death bequeathed the Tank collection of paintings to the Society. Green Bay Advocate, May 5, 1864; Wis. Mag. Hist., 22, 24, 25, 35; Proc. State Hist. Soc. Wis., 1891 (1892), 1908 (1909); Green Bay Gazette, Nov. 28, 1901; N. O. Tank Papers.

The Wisconsin Historical Society has manuscripts related to this topic. See the catalog description of the Nils Otto Tank Papers for details.

View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]

87 records found

Adams, William 1813 - 1897
Allouez, Claude Jean 1622 - 1689
Baptists in Wisconsin
Baraga, Frederic 1797 - 1868
Bonduel [origin of place name]
Breck, James Lloyd 1818 - 1876
Briggs, Jason W. 1821 - 1899
Broek, Theodore [Theodorus] van den, 1783-1851
Buck, Philo Melvin Jr. 1877 - 1950
Burleson, Solomon Stevens 1833 - 1897
Cadle, Richard Fish 1796 - 1857
Carheil, Fr, Étienne de, 1633-1726
Carter, Homer Wright 1847 - 1933
Catholics in Wisconsin
Chapin, Aaron Lucius 1817 - 1892
Charlevoix, Fr., Pierre François Xavier de, 1682-1
Chattanooga, Battle of
Civil War: 15th Infantry
Civil War: 21st Infantry
Clark, John 1797 - 1854
Clary, Dexter 1798 - 1874
Colman, Henry Root 1800 - 1895
Dablon (D'Ablon), Fr. Claude, 1619-1697.
Davidson, John Nelson 1848 - 1945
De Pere [brief history]
Derenthal, Oderic Ignaz 1856 - 1934
Dicke, Peter Henry 1822 - 1911
Disciples of Christ in Wisconsin
Eaton, Edward Dwight 1851 - 1942
Eaton, Samuel Witt 1820 - 1905
Ellis, Albert Gallatin 1800 - 1885
Episcopals in Wisconsin
Father Caspar Rehrl (Historic Marker Erected 1991)
Father Samuel Mazzuchelli (Historic Marker Erected
Fraser, Thomas 1820 - 1893
Garth, Schuyler Edward 1898 - 1947
Gordon, Philip 1886 - 1948
Hall, Sherman 1800 - 1879
Hauser, Jacob 1845 - 1931
Indian schools in Wisconsin
Iverson, Andreas Michael 1823 - 1907
Jogues, Fr. Isaac, 1607-1646
Kelly, Patrick 1792 - 1858
Kemper, Jackson 1789 - 1870
Kewaunee [brief history]
Lalemant, Fr. Jérôme (Hierosme), 1593-1673
Le Jeune, Fr. Paul, 1591-1664
Le Mercier, Fr., 1604-1690
Lochner, John Frederick Carl 1822 - 1902
Lummpkin, Hope Henry 1882 - 1932
Lutherans in Wisconsin
Madeline Island (Historic Marker Erected 1961)
Marcellon [origin of place name]
Marquette (Historic Marker Erected 1957)
Marquette, Jacques 1637 - 1675
Marsh, Cutting 1800 - 1873
Mazzuchelli, Samuel Charles 1806 - 1864
McArthur, Gen. Arthur (1845-1912)
Menard, Fr. Rene, 1605-1661
Metoxen, John 1770 - 1858
Miller, Marjorie "Midge" 1922
Miller, Wesson Gage 1822 - 1893
Missionary Ridge, Battle of
Moravians in Wisconsin
Mueller, John Gottlieb 1813 - 1893
Northwest Portal of Wisconsin (Historic Marker Ere
Ordway, Moses 1788 - 1870
Pere Marque'ite and Sieur Jolliet (Historic Marker
Ragueneau, Fr. Paul, 1608-1680
Rankin, Walter Laurie 1841 - 1910
Schinner, Augustine Francis 1863 - 1937
St. Cosme, Fr. Jean François Buisson de, dates unv
Stevens Point [origin of place name]
Stucki, Jacob 1857 - 1930
Tank, Nils Otto 1800 - 1864
Tanktown [origin of place name]
The Bad River (Historic Marker Erected 1957)
timeline of Wisconsin history, 1622-1699
timeline of Wisconsin history, 1784-1835
Verwyst, Chrysostom Adrian 1841 - 1925
Vimont, Fr. Barthélemy, 1594-1667
Walworth, John 1804 - 1895
Wheeler, Leonard Hemenway 1811 - 1872
Williams, Eleazer 1788 - 1858
Winnebago Indian School, Neillsville, Wis.
Wisconsin River Headwaters (Historic Marker Erecte

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