Residents of Prairie du Chien petition Congress, 1816

To the Congress of the United States of America...

This document is a petition signed by 54 Prairie du Chien residents asking Congress to grant them legal title to their houses and lands. They claim that they or their parents or grandparents had lived there since 1755 without any formal documentation and request Congressman John Scott, chair of the House Committee on Public Lands, to legally validate that they own their homes. The document appears to be in the hand of fur trade factor John W. Johnson, who was appointed a judge there in 1818. The petition descended to the grandson of Congressman Scott; he gave it in 1919 to a Prairie du Chien resident whose descendants conveyed it to the Society in 2010.

The original manuscript is shown here in color (the contrast has been heightened somewhat to improve legibility), followed by a typed transcript made by a previous owner.

Related Topics: Territory to Statehood
Early U.S. Settlement
Creator: Prairie du Chien residents.
Pub Data: Manuscript acquired by the Wisconsin Historical Society in 2010. Currently unprocessed.
Citation: To the Congress of the United States of America... (manuscript petition by residents of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 1816); Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 6/23/2018