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Early U.S. Settlement

After the War of 1812, the U.S. government concluded it had to do more to protect its resources in the Northwest, especially routes used by American fur traders. Garrisons were therefore posted and forts built at Detroit, Mackinac, Chicago, and elsewhere in the West, including at three crucial locations along the Fox-Wisconsin waterway.

Shortly after the British withdrew from Prairie du Chien's Fort McKay in 1815, three permanent military outposts were established in Wisconsin: Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien (1816), Fort Howard at Green Bay (1816), and Fort Winnebago at the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers (1828). Besides... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: A teenager comes to Green Bay as a new bride in 1824.  A teenager comes to Green Bay as a new bride in 1824.
Link to article: A missionary travels 1,500-miles among the Ojibwe and Sioux in 1838  A missionary travels 1,500-miles among the Ojibwe and Sioux in 1838
Link to article: Memoirs of a Fox River Homesteader  Memoirs of a Fox River Homesteader
Link to article: John Shaw recalls Tomah, Black Hawk, Keokuk, and other Indian leaders.  John Shaw recalls Tomah, Black Hawk, Keokuk, and other Indian leaders.
Link to article: An early Yankee settler recalls Prairie du Chien's infancy.  An early Yankee settler recalls Prairie du Chien's infancy.
Link to article: Recollections of Wisconsin slaves by pioneer settlers.  Recollections of Wisconsin slaves by pioneer settlers.
Link to article: The surveyor that laid out Madison recalls his days in the field in 1837.  The surveyor that laid out Madison recalls his days in the field in 1837.
Link to article: A participant tells how the Oneida, Stockbridge, and Brothertown came to Wisconsin in the 1820s.  A participant tells how the Oneida, Stockbridge, and Brothertown came to Wisconsin in the 1820s.
Link to article: A woman's memoir of the founding of Sheboygan  A woman's memoir of the founding of Sheboygan
Link to article: Governor Philipp reflects on his childhood in Sauk County, 1920  Governor Philipp reflects on his childhood in Sauk County, 1920
Link to article: An officer's daughter recalls her girlhood at Fort Howard, 1824-29.  An officer's daughter recalls her girlhood at Fort Howard, 1824-29.
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 article: Girlhood and motherhood on the Wisconsin frontier, 1824-1860.  Girlhood and motherhood on the Wisconsin frontier, 1824-1860.
Link to article: Indian Versions of Some Early Wisconsin Events  Indian Versions of Some Early Wisconsin Events
Link to article: A Green Bay girlhood in the 1820s.  A Green Bay girlhood in the 1820s.
Link to article: A Yankee Childhood in Dodge County  A Yankee Childhood in Dodge County
Link to article: Henry Dodge brought his slaves to Wisconsin  Henry Dodge brought his slaves to Wisconsin
Link to article: An 1886 visit to the Menominee community of Keshena  An 1886 visit to the Menominee community of Keshena
Link to artifacts: The oldest toast in Wisconsin  The oldest toast in Wisconsin
Link to artifacts: A mid-1800s birchbark maple sugar container  A mid-1800s birchbark maple sugar container
Link to book: A teenager's diary of coming overland from Ohio in 1846  A teenager's diary of coming overland from Ohio in 1846
Link to book: Increase Lapham describes territorial Wisconsin for new settlers.  Increase Lapham describes territorial Wisconsin for new settlers.
Link to book: A guide to the Mohican language, 1789  A guide to the Mohican language, 1789
Link to book: A clergyman locates the Biblical Garden of Eden in Wisconsin, 1886  A clergyman locates the Biblical Garden of Eden in Wisconsin, 1886
Link to book: The language of the Brothertown Indians' ancestors, 1722  The language of the Brothertown Indians' ancestors, 1722
Link to book: The first book printed in Wisconsin, an Ojibwe almanac  The first book printed in Wisconsin, an Ojibwe almanac
Link to book: A speech by Brothertown Indian leader Samsom Occom, 1771  A speech by Brothertown Indian leader Samsom Occom, 1771
Link to book: Folklore and folktales collected by Charles E. Brown  Folklore and folktales collected by Charles E. Brown
Link to book: Stockbridge and Munsee Testimony, 1892  Stockbridge and Munsee Testimony, 1892
Link to book: Descriptions of Wisconsin disasters and catastrophes, 1848-1948  Descriptions of Wisconsin disasters and catastrophes, 1848-1948
Link to book: Fr. Baraga's 1853 Ojibwe Dictionary  Fr. Baraga's 1853 Ojibwe Dictionary
Link to book: A Munsee language edition of Methodist hymns, 1874  A Munsee language edition of Methodist hymns, 1874
Link to book: The Stockbridge-Munsee Constitution, 1857  The Stockbridge-Munsee Constitution, 1857
Link to book: An 1875 history of the Chippewa Valley  An 1875 history of the Chippewa Valley
Link to book: The history and traditions of the Chippewa Valley  The history and traditions of the Chippewa Valley
Link to images: Early Wisconsin settler and Madison Promoter James Duane Doty  Early Wisconsin settler and Madison Promoter James Duane Doty
Link to images: Stockbridge Indian leader Austin E. Quinney, 1849  Stockbridge Indian leader Austin E. Quinney, 1849
Link to images: Oneida Chief Daniel Bread in 1856  Oneida Chief Daniel Bread in 1856
Link to images: Increase Lapham examining a meteorite, ca. 1868  Increase Lapham examining a meteorite, ca. 1868
Link to images: Prairie du Chien merchant and judge James H. Lockwood, 1856.  Prairie du Chien merchant and judge James H. Lockwood, 1856.
Link to images: Stockbridge Chief John W. Quinney in 1849  Stockbridge Chief John W. Quinney in 1849
Link to images: Madison's first white woman settler  Madison's first white woman settler
Link to images: Wisconsin's first Territorial Governor, Henry Dodge  Wisconsin's first Territorial Governor, Henry Dodge
Link to images: A photograph of Augustin Grignon near the end of his life.  A photograph of Augustin Grignon near the end of his life.
Link to manuscript: Letters by relatives of Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1861-1919  Letters by relatives of Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1861-1919
Link to manuscript: Climatological observations at Portage, 1828-1842  Climatological observations at Portage, 1828-1842
Link to manuscript: Brief Ho-Chunk Language Vocabularies, 1830-1930  Brief Ho-Chunk Language Vocabularies, 1830-1930
Link to manuscript: Residents of Prairie du Chien petition Congress, 1816  Residents of Prairie du Chien petition Congress, 1816
Link to manuscript: James Doty explores Lake Superior in 1820 with Lewis Cass  James Doty explores Lake Superior in 1820 with Lewis Cass
Link to manuscript: Sioux warriors ambush their enemies at Prairie du Chien, 1830  Sioux warriors ambush their enemies at Prairie du Chien, 1830
Link to manuscript: Menominee Chief Oshkosh is acquitted of murder, 1830  Menominee Chief Oshkosh is acquitted of murder, 1830
Link to manuscript: Ledger books from Fort Winnebago, 1831-1851  Ledger books from Fort Winnebago, 1831-1851
Link to manuscript: Northern settlers try to join Minnesota, 1847  Northern settlers try to join Minnesota, 1847
Link to map: The imaginary capital city that its chief promoter envisioned, 1836.  The imaginary capital city that its chief promoter envisioned, 1836.
Link to map: The rectangular survey gets underway in Wisconsin, 1835.  The rectangular survey gets underway in Wisconsin, 1835.
Link to map: States and territories created under the Northwest Ordinance.  States and territories created under the Northwest Ordinance.
Link to map: A member of the party maps the Cass and Doty expedition of 1820.  A member of the party maps the Cass and Doty expedition of 1820.
Link to places: Plough Inn in Madison  Plough Inn in Madison
Link to places: Stonefield, home of Gov. Nelson Dewey and the State Agricultural Museum  Stonefield, home of Gov. Nelson Dewey and the State Agricultural Museum
Link to places: Northwest and XY Company Trading Post  Northwest and XY Company Trading Post
Link to places: The first capitol in Belmont  The first capitol in Belmont

Primary Sources Available Elsewhere

Link to book: An 1847 travelogue by a visiting British geologist  An 1847 travelogue by a visiting British geologist
Link to book: An officer's wife recalls Fort Winnebago, 1830-1834.  An officer's wife recalls Fort Winnebago, 1830-1834.
Link to book: Recollections of northern Wisconsin by Henry S. Baird  Recollections of northern Wisconsin by Henry S. Baird
Link to book: Collected historical documents from the Wisconsin Historical Society  Collected historical documents from the Wisconsin Historical Society
Link to book: Henry Schoolcraft's account of the 1820 Cass-Doty expedition.  Henry Schoolcraft's account of the 1820 Cass-Doty expedition.
Link to book: Father Goldsmith travels to parishioners in Flambeau  in 1881  Father Goldsmith travels to parishioners in Flambeau in 1881
Link to book: Maj. Zebulon Pike travels up the Mississippi, 1805-1806  Maj. Zebulon Pike travels up the Mississippi, 1805-1806
Link to book: Henry Schoolcraft's Personal Memoirs (1812-1842)  Henry Schoolcraft's Personal Memoirs (1812-1842)
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 artist and writer travels Wisconsin's rivers and lakes in 1846  An artist and writer travels Wisconsin's rivers and lakes in 1846
Link to book: Daily operations of the Prairie Post trading post at Chippewa Falls  Daily operations of the Prairie Post trading post at Chippewa Falls
Link to collections: Biographical sketches and writings of some Wisconsin pioneer women  Biographical sketches and writings of some Wisconsin pioneer women

Related Links

Visit the Web site of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.
Visit the Web site of the Brothertown Indian Nation.
Discover the standard book about Wisconsin Indians, by Patty Loew
Discover classroom resources available from our Office of School Services
Read about the archaeology of Wisconsin forts.
Read a history of the forts at Prairie du Chien
Visit the Web site of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.
Visit Heritage Hill State Historical Park
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.
Learn about other topics from our new book, Wisconsin History Highlights
Arrange a tour on this topic at our Museum
Visit the Wisconsin Black Historical Society
Learn more about Juliette Kinzie, author of Wau-bun
Read more about women's experiences in our book, Women's Wisconsin

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