The state markets itself to immigrants, 1867-1896

Wisconsin Board of Immigration pamphlets, 1867-1896

Wisconsin government officials tried to encourage settlers to come to the state several times in the 19th century. They employed a commissioner or a formal board of immigration during the years 1852-1855, 1867-1887, and 1895-1901. In 1867 Gov. Lucius Fairchild persuaded Milwaukee author Increase Lapham to write a 38-page pamphlet entitled, "Statistics, Exhibiting the History, Climate, and Productions of the State of Wisconsin" to be distributed to prospective immigrants in the eastern states and in Europe. Lapham finished this pamphlet in July, 1867, and over the next several years, translations and revised editions appeared in German, Norwegian, French, Dutch, Swedish, and Welsh. More than 90,000 copies were published in all, some of them printed and issued directly in Germany, Holland, and England to save shipping costs.

Given here are six of these pamphlets produced by the Wisconsin Board of Immigration, beginning with Lapham's original English version:

English:  "Statistics, Exhibiting the History, Climate and Production of the State of Wisconsin" (1867)
German:  "Wisconsin, ein Bericht uber Bevolkerung, Boden, Klima, Handel und die industriellen Verhaltnisse."  (1868)  
Dutch: "Wisconsin.  Een Verslag der Bevolking, des Bodems, en Klimaats en van Handel en Nyverheid, van dezen staat in het Noordwestern der Noord-Amerikaansche Unie." (1870)
Welsh:  "Ystadegau, Hanesion, a Chyfarwyddiadau Buddiol, Gyda Golwg ar Adnoddau, Hinsawdd, Cynyrchion, a Phoblogaeth Talaeth Wisconsin." (1867)
French:  "Statistiques sur L'etat du Wisconsin : Histoire, Climat, Productions." (1868)
Norwegian: "Wisconsin : Befolkning, Jordbrgsbeschaffenhed og Klimat i Wisconsins nordlige Del : Haandbog til Nytte og Fordel for Invandrere (1896)

Because these pamphlets were tightly bound into a single volume, some page edges may exhibit dark shading or slight distortion from curvature. Lapham drew a fold-out map which was tipped in after the text; only the English edition is included here.

Related Topics: Immigration and Settlement
19th-Century Immigration
Creator: Wisconsin. Board of Immigration.
Pub Data: Six pamphlets encouraging immigration, 1867-1870 and 1896, published at Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and New York. Digitized from copies at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library, rare book collection, call no. JV 6419 W6 A2 vols 1-3 and JV 6419 W6 A4.
Citation: Wisconsin. Board of Immigration. [title, publisher, place of publication, and date as given on the title page of the specific pamphlet cited]. Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 11/27/2020