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The War of 1812

Although the fledgling United States took legal possession of Wisconsin at the close of the Revolutionary War, hardly anyone seemed to care. The new government had more important priorities than the remote Wisconsin frontier. And the few white residents here spoke little if any English, and looked not to Philadelphia and Boston for role models but to Montreal and Paris. The vast majority of Wisconsin residents were Native Americans, who needed good relations with both English and American fur companies to survive.

So when in 1812 politicians a thousand miles away began to complain about "freedom of the seas," few Wisconsin... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: Ho-Chunk chief Spoon Decorah looks back over a long life.  Ho-Chunk chief Spoon Decorah looks back over a long life.
Link to article: Menominee chief Tomah declares his nation's neutrality.  Menominee chief Tomah declares his nation's neutrality.
Link to article: Indian Versions of Some Early Wisconsin Events  Indian Versions of Some Early Wisconsin Events
Link to article: A Ho-Chunk warrior cautiously acknowledges the U.S. in 1816.  A Ho-Chunk warrior cautiously acknowledges the U.S. in 1816.
Link to article: A trader relates his family history and personal adventures, 1745-1857.  A trader relates his family history and personal adventures, 1745-1857.
Link to images: Oil portrait of Souligny, Menominee war chief who fought with Tecumseh.  Oil portrait of Souligny, Menominee war chief who fought with Tecumseh.
Link to images: Menominee Chief Oshkosh in 1858  Menominee Chief Oshkosh in 1858
Link to manuscript: A British view of the capture of Prairie du Chien in 1814.  A British view of the capture of Prairie du Chien in 1814.

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to book: Collected historical documents from the Wisconsin Historical Society  Collected historical documents from the Wisconsin Historical Society
Link to book: A historical, documentary, and descriptive history of Wisconsin to 1854  A historical, documentary, and descriptive history of Wisconsin to 1854
Link to book: An 1823 interview with a Sauk warrior  An 1823 interview with a Sauk warrior
Link to manuscript: William Clark informs Indian nations that the U.S. has won the war.  William Clark informs Indian nations that the U.S. has won the war.
Link to manuscript: A memoir of Tecumseh, who led Indian resistance against the U.S.  A memoir of Tecumseh, who led Indian resistance against the U.S.
Link to places: Visit Villa Louis, on the site of the Battle of Prairie du Chien.  Visit Villa Louis, on the site of the Battle of Prairie du Chien.

Related Links

Read about the archaeology of Wisconsin forts.
Read a history of the forts at Prairie du Chien
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Search our catalogs for materials on this topic that aren't yet available online.
Borrow books about this topic through our interlibrary loan service
Borrow manuscripts about this topic through our Area Research Center network.
Visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights

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