21 Mart 2013 Perşembe

Wisconsin: A Historical Timeline

Wisconsin: A Historical Timeline

The people living in Wisconsin belong to a broad group of Native Americans, mainly tribes who speak Algonquian and Sioux. They include the Menominee, Kickapoo, Miami, Winnebago, Dakota, and Iowa. Later in the century, other groups enter Wisconsin, including the Fox, Sac, Potawatomi, and Chippewa.
When the first Europeans come into the area, they bring important opportunities for trade, particularly in fur trade. They also bring diseases for which the Native people have no natural immunity. Many die from smallpox measles, and mumps or are eventually forced off their land further west or to reservations.
French explorer Jean Nicolet is the first known European to reach Wisconsin. While seeking the Northwest Passage, a water route to China through North America, he canoes through lakes Huron and Superior. He is the first European to enter Lake Michigan and rows ashore where he lands at Green Bay, known as "La Baye" by the French.
Pierre Esprit Radisson and Medart Chouart des Groseilliers become the first fur traders in Wisconsin.
Father Rene Menard is the first missionary to the Native Americans in Wisconsin, establishing a Roman Catholic mission near present-day Ashland.
Nicholas Perrot opens fur trade with the Native Americans and is made Commandant of the West in 1685. None of the French posts have permanent settlers.
The Fox Indian Wars between the Fox Native Americans and the French occur in modern-day Michigan and Wisconsin. The Fox control the Fox River system, a river vital for fur trade between French Canada and the interior of North America. When the Fox tried to prevent the French from trading with other tribes, fighting begins. The wars reduce the Fox’s numbers to 500 from 3,500.
Led by fur trader Charles Langlade, Wisconsin Native Americans help defeat British general Edward Braddock during the French and Indian War.
"Father of Wisconsin" Charles Langlade and his family establish the first permanent Wisconsin settlement at Green Bay.
The Quebec Act makes Wisconsin a part of the Province of Quebec and guarantees free practice of Catholicism in the area.
Wisconsin becomes a territory of the United States following the Treaty of Paris, which ends the Revolutionary War. The British remain in the region.
Wisconsin officially becomes part of the U.S. Northwest Territory, but British fur traders effectively control the region until 1816.
Wisconsin becomes part of the Indiana Territory. While the region legally belongs to the U.S. at this time, the British still continue to control local fur trade and maintain military alliances with the Native Americans.
The British capture Prairie du Chien during the War of 1812. Both Britain and the U.S. are eager to control the frontier settlement because of its importance to the fur trade and its strategic location at the intersection of the Mississippi River and Fox River system.
The Treaty of Ghent reaffirms American jurisdiction over Wisconsin, which is now part of the Illinois Territory. Following the treaty, British troops depart Wisconsin.
The American Fur Company begins operating in Wisconsin. The company grows to monopolize the fur trade in the U.S. By 1830 it becomes one of the largest businesses in the nation. When silk begins to replace fur in European fashion, the company goes into decline, eventually closing operations in 1842.
The Michigan Territory, which includes the Wisconsin Territory, is formed.
tHigh prices for lead attract settlers to the mines of southern Wisconsin, leading to the lead boom of the 1820s. Hostility builds among the Native Americans due to increasing encroachment and occupation of their lands by white settlers. By the 1840s, southwest Wisconsin mines produce more than half of the nation’s lead.
The Winnebago Indian War takes place in the southwestern region of Wisconsin between members of the Winnebago, local militia, and the U.S. Army. Loss of life is minimal, but the war is an important precedent to the much larger conflict in 1832, the Black Hawk War.
The Black Hawk War is fought in Illinois and Wisconsin over land disputes. Black Hawk is the war chief of the Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo Native Americans. When he refuses to move his tribes, federal troops arrive. Black Hawk’s band defeats the militia at the Battle of Stillman’s Run, but the war ends with a decisive victory for the militia at the Battle of Bad Axe, when 1,3000 Illinois militia massacre Sauk Native American men, women, and children. Black Hawk and eight other Native American leaders are imprisoned, and the Native Americans are pushed further west.
Congress establishes the Territory of Wisconsin. The new territory includes all of the present-day states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, plus parts of North and South Dakota.
Starting in the 1840s, leaflets praising Wisconsin are distributed in the coastal areas of Germany, leading to heavy German immigration. Today the German heritage and influence in the Milwaukee area is widespread.
The settlements of Juneautown, Kilbourntown, and Walker’s Point merge into the city of Milwaukee; the new city has a population of about 10,000 people, making it the largest city in the territory. Milwaukee remains the largest city in present-day Wisconsin.
(May 29) Wisconsin becomes the nation’s 30th state.
Wisconsin becomes the third state to abolish capital punishment.
Joshua Glover, a fugitive slave from St. Louis, Missouri, is arrested in Racine. His owner attempts to use the Fugitive Slave Act (which declares that runaway slaves be brought back to their masters) to recover him, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court declares the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 unconstitutional. This helps to galvanize the abolitionist movement in the state.
(February 28) Approximately 50 slavery opponents meet in Ripon to call for the creation of a new political group to oppose the spread of slavery to the western territories. The group becomes known as the Republican Party.
In Watertown, German immigrants open the first kindergarten in the U.S. Classes are conducted in German.
Over 90,000 men from Wisconsin serve in the Union forces during the Civil War.
A cheese factory is started in Fond du Lac County. Many European immigrants have brought an extensive knowledge of cheese making to the region, and today Wisconsin leads the nation in cheese production.
Jacob Leinenkugel, an immigrant from Bavaria, founds Leinenkugel Beer to supply the lumberjack community of Chippewa Falls. In 1988, the Miller Brewing Company acquires the family business, and today it is the nation’s second largest brewery.
(October 814) One of the nation’s worst national disasters takes place in Peshtigo when a forest fire kills more than 1,500 people and damages $5 million in property.
Phineas Taylor Barnum founds "The Greatest Show on Earth" in Delavan, Wisconsin. He introduces three rings to the traveling circus, which eventually becomes known as the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Soda fountain owner Ed Berners of Two Rivers invents the first ice cream sundae when a customer requests a dish of ice cream topped with the chocolate syrup used for sodas. Berners likes the dish and adds it to his regular menu, charging a nickel.
The first commercial hydroelectric plant begins to operate on the rapids of the Fox River in Appleton in order to provide electricity to the paper industry.
John Michael Kohler manufactures the first enameled cast-iron plumbing fixtures, leading to the manufacturing of cast-iron fixtures. The Kohler Company has been known for its plumbing fixtures ever since.
(May 4) The Bay View Massacre. Under orders from the governor, a National Guard squadron opens fire on striking steelworkers in the Bay View section of Milwaukee. Seven people are killed, including a 13-year-old boy.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court prohibits bible reading and prayer in public schools in the "Edgerton Bible case." The law is later repealed after opposition from German Protestants and Catholics.
Franklin King, a professor of natural science at River Falls State Normal School, invents the round silo. The new design solves the problem of storing winter cattle silage and allows dairy to become a major agricultural operation in Wisconsin.
Milwaukee becomes the hub of the socialist movement in the U.S. The city elects three Socialist mayors between 1910 and 1960 and remains the only major city in the country to do so. Milwaukee remains pro-union and distrustful of big business.
Wisconsin puts into effect the first workers’ compensation law, which provides monetary benefits for workers injured on the job.
(October 14) While campaigning for the presidency in front of the Hotel Gilpatrick in Milwaukee, Theodore Roosevelt is shot at close range by anarchist John Flammang Schrank. Saved by the papers in his breast pocket, Roosevelt goes on to give a 90-minute address after requesting that his audience be quiet because "there is a bullet in my body."
(November 4) Wisconsin votes against suffrage for women.
Wisconsin establishes the first statewide numbering system to direct highway traffic, using off numbers for state highways running north to south and even numbers for those going east to west.
(June 10) Wisconsin becomes the third state to ratify the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright announces that he will establish his own school of architecture. He takes in 60 students at his homestead in Spring Green to lead the Prairie School movement of architecture.
Wisconsin becomes the first state in the nation to enact an unemployment compensation law, providing financial benefits to unemployed workers.
Wisconsin becomes the first state to prohibit the use of race or national origin as factors in hiring teachers.
The U.S. enters World War II. Over the course of the war, 375,000 men and women from Wisconsin serve.
Dena Smith is elected state treasurer, the first woman elected to statewide office in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin becomes the first state to ban hiring discrimination based on disabilities.
Wisconsin becomes the first state to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public places of accommodation or amusement on the basis of sexual orientation.
Pleasant Rowland, a textbook publishing executive, founds The American Girl Company in Madison. The company begins with three dolls, each one set in a specific moment in American history. Mattel buys the company for $700 million in 1998.
Harley-Davidson celebrates its 100th anniversary in Milwaukee with a parade of 10,000 motorcycles. A quarter-million bikers arrive in Milwaukee for the three-day celebration.
Outrage over governor Scott Walker's 2011 budget plan prompts a recall election, only the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history. Governor Walker is the first to win such an election and remain in office. The most controversial aspect of the plan removed the collective bargaining rights of public sector labor unions. 


Click to enlarge an image

1600s: Painting of Menominee spearing salmon by torchlight

1634: Painting of Jean Nicolet's arrival in Wisconsin

1654: Pierre-Esprit Radisson

1666: Plaque commemorating Nicolas Perrot

1755: General Edward Braddock

1783: Benjamin West's painting of the American delegation at the Treaty of Paris. (The British delegation refused to pose.)

1787: Wooden nickel from the 150th anniversary celebration of the Northwest Territory

1815: Signing of the Treaty of Ghent

1832: Chief Black Hawk

1854: Joshua Glover historical marker

1871: Phineas Taylor Barnum

1881: Modern descendant of Ed Berners' original sundae

1891: Franklin Hiram King

1912: John Flammang Schrank

1928: Frank Lloyd Wright

2003: Harley Davidson founders, clockwise from top left: William S. Harley, William A. Davidson, Walter Davidson, Sr., Arthur Davidson

2003: Harley Davidson V-Rod

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