Northern settlers try to join Minnesota, 1847

Petition to Congress (September 30, 1847) to redraw the border between the Wisconsin and Minnesota territories...


On August 6, 1846, Wisconsin territorial officials were authorized by Congress to create a new state. The Wisconsin Enabling Act established the new government's northwestern boundary as beginning at "the mouth of the St. Louis River [the modern harbor of Duluth/Superior]; thence up the main channel of said river to the first rapids in the same, above the Indian village...; thence due south..." But several dozen residents of northwestern Wisconsin thought they would be better off if they joined the soon-to-be-born state of Minnesota, and asked Congress to redraw the boundary. Shown here is their handwritten petition, dated Sept. 30, 1847, asking Congress to make the Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary lie much further to the east. If adopted, their suggestion would have thrown most of the ten northwestern Wisconsin counties into Minnesota, including the communities of Superior, Hayward, Menomonie, Spooner, Chetek, Chippewa Falls, and half of Eau Claire. The Congress received their request and referred it to committee, but took no further action on it so the original boundary was retained. 



Related Topics: Territory to Statehood
Immigration and Settlement
Early U.S. Settlement
The State Constitutions of 1846 and 1848
The Founding of Social Institutions
Creator: Bouron, Joseph, et. al.
Pub Data: Unpublished manuscript (Call Number: 2008/091) in the collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives.
Citation: Bouron, Joseph, et. al. Petition to Congress (September 30, 1847) to redraw the border between the Wisconsin and Minnesota territories... Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1682; Visited on: 10/25/2014
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