James Doty explores Lake Superior in 1820 with Lewis Cass

Official Journal, 1820: Expedition with Cass and Schoolcraft

James Duane Doty, future governor of Territorial Wisconsin, was selected by Gov. Lewis Cass to be the official secretary of this U.S. exploring expedition. Doty, then 21 and serving as the secretary to the Territorial legislature in Michigan, carefully noted the details of their northwest course toward Lake Superior. As the War of 1812 had shifted control of the region from the British to the Americans, the expedition was charged with collecting information on the attitudes of the Indians in the northern Great Lakes region toward the Americans. They also sought to examine the natural and mineral resources of the area, to find appropriate sites for American forts, and, potentially, to locate the source of the Mississippi River.

Doty's original manuscript is given here first, followed by a version edited for Wisconsin Historical Collections that includes many footnotes. To see a typed transcript of any handwritten page, click "Page & Text" at the upper right of your screen while viewing it.

Related Topics: Territory to Statehood
Early U.S. Settlement
Creator: Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865.
Pub Data: Manuscript diary volumes in the James Duane Doty Papers at the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives (Wis Mss DD); also printed in Wisconsin Historical Collections, vol. 13.
Citation: Doty, James Duane. "Official Journal, 1820: Expedition with Cass and Schoolcraft." James Duane Doty Papers in the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives (Wis Mss DD, box 1). Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=31; Visited on: 5/16/2021