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Fairtwater, Wisconsin: July 4, 1904
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    "Wisconsin history offers an unusually good vantage point for a long view of much of our national history. The Fox-Wisconsin waterway between the St. Lawrence and Mississippi drainage basins made the Wisconsin country a focus of French and British imperial policy from the late seventeenth century. The Wisconsin country was the meeting place of the eastern woodlands Indians and those from the plains. It was an important crossroads for the fur trade and therefore important in diplomacy and Indian policy well into the nineteenth century.
     "Wisconsin Territory's Organic Act of 1836 represented a landmark in the interpretation of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The settlement of the territory offers examples of a variety of frontiers: fur-trading, mining, agricultural, lumbering, and urban. The mingling of native-born and European-born Americans began early in Wisconsin and continued on a scale which provides rich material for the study of immigration history. The state has a higher proportion of her people engaged both in agriculture and industry than the national average, reflecting that both made difficult transitions from a careless exploitation of finite resources to intensive use of capital and labor. As for politics, a state that offered two such contrasting generic terms to national politics as La Follettism and McCarthyism must command attention. Finally, the most generally satisfying explanation of the American pioneer experience and one which continues as a commonplace in the national rhetoric found expression in Frederick Jackson Turner's The Significance of the Frontier in American History, published in 1893. Turner's generalizations started with his home town, Portage, Wisconsin."


Robert Nesbit, Wisconsin: A History, 1973

 

Wisconsin's anti-slavery roots preceding the formation of the Republican party in Ripon in 1854 and deepening through the eve of the American Civil War are explored through the Abolition Activism in Wisconsin Web site sponsored by the Wisconsin Local History Network.
 
The Wisconsin Local History Network is a consortium of local history volunteers organized to disseminate historical and genealogical information related to the state of Wisconsin. All rights to original materials on WLHN pages belong to their authors and may be reproduced only with permission of the author.