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The infant state legislature writes its own rulebook, 1853.

Manual for the use of the Assembly of the State of Wisconsin, for the year 1853.

When the state of Wisconsin was only 5 years old, its elected officials decided they needed a handy volume in which rules for their deliberations and basic facts about the state and nation could be assembled. So in January of 1853 they passed a resolution directing that 750 copies of a "legislative manual" be printed, and the so-called Blue Book was born. Over a century and a half it evolved into the basic reference work on Wisconsin (the current version is kept online at During the course of those 150 years, the volume has experienced changes in size, content, and publication schedule; even the official title has changed several times. We give here the first edition, produced in 1853, which provides not only a convenient summary of early state government officials and their work but also many statistical tables based on the 1836, 1840 and 1850 censuses. Click the chapter headings in the left-hand frame to display pages, or use the search box above it to find individual words or names in the text of the book.

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Related Topics: Immigration and Settlement
The Founding of Social Institutions
Creator: Wisconsin. Legislature
Pub Data: Madison: Brown & Carpenter, printers, 1853.
Citation: Wisconsin Legislature. Manual for the use of the Assembly of the State of Wisconsin, for the year 1853. (Madison: Brown & Carpenter, printers, 1853). Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 4/21/2014
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