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The first capitol in Belmont

First Capitol


The Wisconsin Territory was created by an act of Congress in April 1836; it took effect on July 3rd of the same year. The elected territorial legislature met near present day Belmont, a site selected by Governor Dodge because of its geographical location and because of the population density of southwestern Wisconsin during the period. During the summer several buildings were constructed to provide a meeting place for the first territorial legislature. One of these buildings was the First Capitol. The Territorial legislature met here for only one session, from the 25th of October to the 9th of December 1836. After a long debate, the legislature decided that Madison would be the permanent seat of government for Wisconsin and that Burlington, Iowa would be the site of the legislative sessions until 1839.

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Related Topics: Territory to Statehood
Early U.S. Settlement
The State Constitutions of 1846 and 1848
Creator: Unknown
Pub Data: Wisconsin Historical Society.
Citation: First Capitol. Wisconsin Historical Society. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1430; Visited on: 4/24/2014
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