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Wisconsin Territorial Governors

Henry Dodge, 1st and 4th Territorial Governor
  Henry Dodge (October 12, 1782 - June 19, 1867), frontiersman, soldier, politician, territorial governor, U.S. Senator, was a member of the Democratic Party who served in the United States
Senate for the state of Wisconsin from 1848 - 1857. He was born in Vincennes, Indiana. He spent his boyhood in Kentucky. In 1796 he moved westward with his family to the present Ste. Genevieve, Mo., where he engaged in lead mining, farming, and trading. In 1806 he made an effort to join the abortive Aaron Burr expedition to the Southwest, but turned back upon hearing of Burr's arrest. He served as sheriff of Ste. Genevieve County (1805-1821). During the War of 1812 he served with the Missouri militia, and rose to the rank of brigadier general. In 1827 he moved with his family of 9 children and his slaves to the lead-mining region of the Upper Mississippi. He settled first at Galena, Ill., and then on the lands of the Winnebago Indians, near Dodgeville. Quickly rising to leadership on the rough mining frontier, he took the initiative in pressing the miners' claims to the land against both the Indians and the federal government. He gained prominence during the Black Hawk War in 1832, when, as Colonel of the Iowa County militia, he was effective in suppressing the Indian uprising. He was a renowned Indian fighter noted for his 1835 peace mission commission by President Andrew Jackson called the U.S. Dragoons 1834-35 taking him west to the front range area of Colorado. He entered on a route near the South Platte River. From 1833 to 1836 he commanded a contingent of U.S. dragoons to protect the U.S. frontier against the Indians, and made several expeditions to the western plains. Dodge was interested in territorial politics from his arrival in the area, and, with the solid support of the lead-mining Democracy of southwestern Wisconsin and the aid of interested Missouri Democrats, he was able to secure the appointment as first territorial governor in 1836.  He was the first Territorial Governor of Wisconsin Territory from 1836 - 1841 and again from 1845 - 1848, an area which encompassed the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. During his first term, the problem of locating a permanent site for the capital of Wisconsin dominated all other issues. Dodge's temporary location at Belmont was rejected in favor of Madison. The decision was largely the result of the smooth political maneuvering of Dodge's primary antagonist in Wisconsin politics, James D. Doty (q.v.). Although reappointed governor in 1839, he was removed from office when the Whigs came to power in 1841. But in the same year he was elected territorial delegate to Congress. He declined a nomination for the Presidency of the United States in the 1844 Democratic convention. He was loyal to Martin Van Buren and both men opposed the annexation of Texas. Despite their efforts, James K. Polk, the Democrat who favored annexation, became President. In 1845, with the Democrats back in power, Dodge again became territorial governor. In 1848, when Wisconsin became a state, he was elected U.S. Senator, and in 1851 was re-elected to a full term. His senatorial career was not particularly impressive; largely, it reflected the twilight years of the Democratic party's power in Wisconsin. In 1857 he retired from public life and moved to Burlington, Ia. Dict. Amer. Biog.; L. Pelzer, H. Dodge (Iowa City, 1911); J. Schafer, Wis. Lead Region (Madison, 1932); WPA MS. [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
  His son, Augustus C. Dodge served as a US Senator from Iowa. They are the first, and so far only father-son pair to serve concurrently in the US Senate.

James Duane Doty, 2nd Terrorial Governor
  James Duane Doty (November 5, 1799 - June 13, 1865), judge, Congressional delegate, territorial governor, Congressman, land speculator and politician in the United States who played a large role in the development of Wisconsin and Utah
Territory.  James Doty was born in Salem, New York in 1799, where he attended school and went on to study law. In 1818 he moved to Detroit, Michigan and was admitted to the bar as a lawyer in 1819. He started practicing law, and shortly later he was made the clerk of court of Michigan Territory.  A protege of Governor Lewis Cass, he was soon admitted to the bar, served as secretary on the exploratory expedition of 1820, and in 1823 was appointed judge of the federal "additional court," with jurisdiction from Mackinac to the Mississippi. In 1823, a new federal judicial district was created for northern and western Michigan Territory, covering what is now the state of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Doty was appointed as the federal judge for the district by President James Monroe, and, because he was required to live within his the district, Doty moved from Detroit to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin in 1823. Doty regularly held court at Prairie du Chien, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Mackinac Island, Michigan. He also served as postmaster at Prairie du Chien from 1823 to 1824. In 1824, Doty moved to Green Bay, where he would continue living until 1841. Doty remained the district judge until he was replaced by David Ervin in 1832. His rulings brought law and order to the crude frontier, but they were considered discriminatory and in 1832 he lost his position. He served in the Michigan territorial legislature (1833-1835), as delegate in Congress from Wisconsin Territory (1838-1841), and was agent for John Jacob Astor in promoting the village of Astor (Green Bay).  Territorial Politics: Following his career as a judge, Doty served as a member of the Michigan Territorial Council from 1834 to 1835, representing the western part of the territory. In this capacity Doty argued for the creation of a new territorial government for Wisconsin, sending petitions to Congress in favor of splitting Michigan Territory into two parts, one east and one west of Lake Michigan. Doty had supported this idea as early as 1824, and argued that the growing number of residents in Wisconsin were not adequately provided for by the territorial government in Detroit, which was hundreds of miles away from any settlement in Wisconsin. Doty claimed that votes sent by residents west of Lake Michigan could not be sent to Detroit in time to be counted, and that the residents in Lower Michigan cared little about the affairs west of the lake. In 1835, his wishes were partially granted when the Governor of Michigan Territory created a separate legislature to govern the western part of the territory as Michigan prepared for statehood.  In 1835, Doty campaigned to represent western Michigan Territory as a delegate in Congress, but he lost in a three way election to George W. Jones. Both Dotyand Jones were running as Democrats, but Doty had little true loyalty to any political party. He was conservative in view and usually aligned himself with whichever people were most popular at any given time. After losing the election, Doty turned to land speculation and bought thousands of acres of land across the state, some of which he began developing into the city of Madison, Wisconsin.  In 1836, Wisconsin Territory was officially created. Doty hoped to be the territorial governor, but President Andrew Jackson appointed Henry Dodge, Doty's longtime political rival, to the post. With no public title, Doty worked to improve his land holdings in what would become the city of Madison. Doty had this land surveyed and plotted, and made plans to create a city on an isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona. To gain recognition for the planned city, Doty lobbied the new territorial legislature to select his proposed city as the capital of Wisconsin. A temporary capital had already been established at Belmont, Wisconsin, but its distance from Milwaukee and Green Bay coupled with the dissatisfaction of many legislators towards the facilities at Belmont made it likely that the capital would be moved. Doty used numerous tactics to ensure that Madison would be made capital city, wooing legislators with plans for canals and railroads and offering legislators who voted to make Madison the capital choice lots in the new city. Madison was declared permanent capital in November, 1836, and construction at the new city began in 1837. In 1838, Doty was elected as Wisconsin Territory's congressional delegate, defeating George W. Jones in a rematch of the 1835 election. Despite being elected as a Democrat, Dodge formed personal friendships with several Whigs in Washington, D.C., including Henry Clay. In 1840, Whig Party candidate William Henry Harrison was elected president, and he made plans to appoint Doty to the governorship of Wisconsin Territory despite Doty's status as a Democrat. Harrison died before he could make the appointment, but vice president John Tyler fulfilled the Harrison's desire after ascending to the presidency in 1841. Doty was largely unsuccessful as territorial governor, the Dodge supporters in the territorial legislature rejected most of the legislation Doty supported, and Doty failed on four separate occasions to get public support for Wisconsin statehood. Doty's term ended in 1844, and he was not reappointed by Tyler, who instead selected Nathaniel Pitcher Tallmadge to the post. This left Doty to once again return to his private life.  As agent for capitalists or for co-operative investment companies, Doty bought heavily at public-land sales, laying out towns and planning a system of canals to enhance the value of lands thus acquired. At Belmont in 1836 he managed to have Madison elected as the Wisconsin capital, and himself made a building commissioner. But the panic of 1837 and a hostile legislature, led by Governor Henry Dodge (q.v.), ruined his elaborate promotional schemes. The Whig victory of 1840 put Doty in the Governor's chair for a stormy term (1841-1844). In 1845 he moved to Doty Island (Neenah) and, with his son Charles, promoted the townsite of Menasha. 
In 1846, Doty returned to politics, this time as a delegate to Wisconsin's constitutional convention. Doty came to the convention as an independent, but sided with the Whigs on most issues and emerged as the opposition leader at the convention, which had a clear Democratic majority. After much debate, the convention produced a constitution, but the state's residents considered the document to be too radical and voted in down in a referendum, despite public campaigns for the constitution led by Doty and other delegates. A second convention called in late 1847 produced a constitution that was accepted by the people, and this enabled Wisconsin to achieve statehood in 1848. Doty was elected to the United States House of Representatives shortly after Wisconsin became a state, and served from 1849 to 1853, when he was replaced by John B. Macy. After leaving Congress, Doty left public life and retired to his home on an island (now named Doty Island) between Neenah and Menasha, Wisconsin.  He was delegate to the first constitutional convention, and served two terms (1849-1853) in Congress, where he opposed Clay's compromise plan and worked to get government aid for building railroads in Wisconsin and to the Pacific. From the shifting political alignments of the decade, Doty tried vainly to win election to the Senate. In 1861 Lincoln appointed him to the difficult post of superintendent of Indian affairs for Utah Territory. In 1861, Doty returned to public service when Republican President Abraham Lincoln appointed him to the position of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Utah Territory. Doty was successful in this position, and following the 1863 resignation of Stephen Harding, the Governor of Utah Territory, Lincoln gave Doty the governorship. As governor, Doty sought to repair relations between the federal government and the territory's Mormons, who had greatly disliked many of the previous territorial governors. Doty also promoted the construction of schools and negotiations with local Native American tribes. Doty died in office on June 13, 1865, shortly after the outbreak of Utah's Black Hawk War. He was buried at the Fort Douglas Cemetery in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Backed by federal troops, Doty negotiated treaties with the Shoshone and established amicable relations with the Mormons. In 1863 he was promoted to the governorship of Utah Territory and died there. Dict. Amer. Biog.; WPA MS; A. E. Smith, J. D. Doty (Madison, [1954]). [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]

Nathaniel Pitcher Tallmadge, 3rd Territorial Governor
  Nathaniel Pitcher Tallmadge, lawyer, politician, U.S. Senator from N.Y., territorial governor of Wisconsin, was born in Chatham, Columbia County, N.Y. on February 8, 1795. He graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1815, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1818, and set up a law practice in Poughkeepsie. A Democrat, Tallmadge served
several terms in the New York legislature, and two terms as U.S. Senator from New York (Mar. 1833-June 1844). Despite his Democratic political affiliations, Tallmadge was a vigorous critic of Martin Van Buren and John C. Calhoun, and in 1840 was offered the nomination for vice-president as running mate of William Henry Harrison, but declined.He was a member of the New York State assembly in 1828. He was a member of the State senate from 1830 to 1833. He was elected as a Jacksonian to the United States Senate in 1833 and was reelected as a Democrat in 1839. He served from March 4, 1833, to June 17, 1844, when he resigned, having been appointed by President John Tyler to be Governor of Wisconsin Territory. In June, 1844, he resigned his senatorship to accept an appointment by President John Tyler as governor of Wisconsin Territory, serving in this capacity until 1845. His residence became Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He served as the Governor of Wisconsin Territory until his removal from office in May 1845. As territorial governor, Tallmadge urged railroad development, opposed a 21-year naturalization period, and recommended the founding of agricultural societies and schools. After being removed from office with the change of national administration in 1845, he made his home in Fond du Lac for several years, where he had extensive land holdings. He spent his later years in Battle Creek, Mich., where he turned to Spiritualism and devoted his time to writing treatises on the subject. He devoted himself to writing religious tracts. He died in Battle Creek, Michigan on November 2, 1864. He was interred in Rienzi Cemetery, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  Biog. Dir. Amer. Cong. (1928); Wis. Mag. Hist., 3, 7; Natl. Cyclopaedia Amer. Biog., 12 (1904); C. S. Matteson, Illus. Hist. of Wis. (Milwaukee, 1893); WPA MS; N. P. Tallmadge Papers. [Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]


Nelson Dewey, 1st Governor of Wisconsin
  Dewey, Nelson (December 13, 1813 - July 21, 1889) was a member of the Democratic Party, and the First Governor of Wisconsin, lawyer, land speculator, b. Lebanon, Conn. He graduated from Hamilton Academy, N.Y., and studied law in Louisville and Cooperstown law offices. In 1836 he came to Cassville and served as clerk for a New York firm of speculators promoting Cassville as the territorial capital. He was elected Grant County registrar of deeds (1837), was appointed district attorney (1838), and served in both the territorial assembly (1838-1842) and council (1842-1846). Defeated for re-election by the rise of the Whigs, he turned to law and speculation, acquiring considerable lead-mining property. Admitted to the Grant County bar in 1838, he later practiced law in partnership with J. Allen Barber (q.v.) at Lancaster (1840-1848). After his election to the post of Register of Deeds in newly formed Grant County, territorial Governor Henry Dodge appointed Dewey justice of the peace. He completed a law degree, passed the territorial bar examination, and launched a legal and business career in nearby Lancaster, earning a fortune in land and lead-mining investments. In 1848, after serving in the territorial Legislature, he was elected Governor of Wisconsin at age 35.  The Democratic convention of 1848, deadlocked between eastern and lead-region factions, chose Dewey as its compromise candidate for governor. He defeated the Whig candidate, John H. Tweedy (q.v.), and served as governor until Jan. 5, 1852, his administration being largely devoted to setting the machinery of government in motion. He continued to be active in the Democratic party throughout his life, was elected to the state senate (1853), was a delegate to numerous state Democratic conventions and to the national convention in 1888, and held several local offices. He was a university regent (1854-1865) and on the board of directors of the state prison (1874-1881). In 1854 he purchased the Cassville development, which had been in bankruptcy since 1837, completed the huge hotel, the Dennison House, adjusted the tangled land titles, and built an imposing home. But the investment was unprofitable, not many settlers came, and his home burned. His fortune gone, and politically impotent, he returned to the law. Madison Wis. State Journal, July 22, 1889; Proc. State Hist. Soc. Wis., 1890 (1891); WPA MS; N. Dewey Papers.  Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography

A romanticized portrait of Nelson Dewey.Right: A romanticized portrait of Nelson Dewey

  Adventurous and ambitious, young New Yorker Nelson Dewey set his gaze on the western frontier and a place called Cassville, then but a dot on a map of Michigan Territory, and began his journey there in May of 1836. But Dewey well knew that a new Wisconsin Territory would soon engulf Cassville, as well as thousands of miles in every direction around the little town. He went to work for Daniels, Denniston & Co., New York land speculators who vigorously promoted Cassville as an ideal site for the capital of the soon-to-be-formed territory. The company went so far as to build a four-story brick building to house the new government. Though Cassville's fortunes quickly faded with the selection of Belmont as Wisconsin's first territorial capital, the building where would-be legislators might have met, later to become the Denniston Hotel, stands to this day.
  Though Cassville's future dimmed, Dewey prospered. After his election to the post of register of deeds in newly formed Grant County, territorial Governor Henry Dodge appointed Dewey justice of the peace. He completed a law degree, passed the territorial bar examination, and launched a legal and business career in nearby Lancaster, earning a fortune in land and lead-mining investments. In 1848, after serving in the territorial Legislature, he was elected governor of Wisconsin at age 35, serving two terms as the first governor of the young state. He married Catherine Dunn, daughter of territorial chief justice Charles Dunn, and they returned to Grant County. In 1854, Dewey took over the bankrupt Cassville development project from years before and set about his dream of transforming the village into a prosperous city. Dewey and his family settled into the old Denniston Hotel, where he began planning the construction of a three-story Gothic Revival home of red brick along the river northwest of town, completing it in 1868.
  Dewey's few years in the home failed to fulfill his hopes and dreams. Catherine Dewey left with their son Nettie in 1871 to live in Madison, where their daughter Katie attended the university. In 1873, the home burned to the foundations, leaving only brick walls standing. The same year brought financial disaster, amid a nationwide economic panic. Dewey was ruined. He continued to live alone in and near Cassville for 15 years, finally suffering a stroke while arguing a legal case in Lancaster. In a twist of irony, Dewey was taken back to the old Denniston Hotel he had once owned. He died there in poverty in July 1889.

John Scott Horner, 1st Secretary of Wisconsin Territory

  John Scott Horner, also known as Little Jack Horner (1802 - February 3, 1883) was a U.S. politician, Governor of Michigan Territory, 1835-1836 and Secretary of Wisconsin Territory, 1836-1837, lawyer, politician, land speculator.  He was born in what is now Warrenton, Virginia, the third child of eight. He attended a private boarding school near Middleburg, Virginia run by a Scotch Presbyterian clergyman. He attended Washington College (now known as Washington and Jefferson College) in Washington County, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1819. He then studied law, was admitted to the bar in Virginia and maintained a successful private practice in Fauquier Loudoun and Rappahannock counties. In October, 1834, Horner married Harriet L. Watson, the daughter of James Watson, U.S. Senator from New York.
  A Democrat, on August 15, 1835, President Andrew Jackson appointed Horner to be Governor of the Michigan Territory, replacing the popular Stevens T. Mason. Whether he knew it or not, Horner was entering office in a volatile situation.   In this capacity, Horner helped settle boundary disputes between Michigan and Ohio; Michigan, however, was rapidly approaching statehood, and Horner's duties werer largely confined to the area west of Lake Michigan.  Michigan had satisfied all the requirements set out in the Northwest Ordinance to become a state, however the U.S. Congress had repeatedly rejected or ignored Michigan's petition for statehood. The rejection was related to two very contentious issues: 1. There was an acrimonious border dispute with the state of Ohio, which became known as the Toledo War. 2. Southern slave states were reluctant to increase the number of northern free states.
  Jackson, facing reelection in 1836, did not want to alienate Ohio, with its many electoral votes. So he removed the popular Mason from office. Mason was agitating for statehood and was, at that time, unyielding in demands regarding the Toledo Strip. At Mason's urging, Michigan had drafted a constitution on its own without the sanction of an Enabling Act from Congress. The people adopted the constitution in October 1835 and at the same time elected Mason as governor along with a full slate of state officials (the state government was not recognized by Congress until 1837, when Michigan became a state).
  So Horner had to appease irate Ohioans as well as deal with an unauthorized, but popular local government that undermined his own authority as Territorial Governor. Horner was at least partially successful, in that he helped to avert violence (aside from some minor scuffles) and persuaded both parties to wait for the upcoming session of Congress to propose a resolution. Despite heading alternate governments, there was little disagreement between Mason and Horner, with Horner mostly staying out of the way in local politics.
  In August 1835, while Michigan prepared itself for statehood, Mason had separated all of the territory which was not going to be part of the state into a separate jurisdiction in order to provide some continuity in governance. Horner had replaced Mason as Territorial Governor in the interim and was to assume responsibility for the western territory. But he was delayed for various reasons and the western area had its own government for a time without any official representative of the federal government. Congress organized the Wisconsin Territory on July 3, 1836 and Horner assumed the office of Secretary, leaving the de facto, if unrecognized, government of the state of Michigan to Mason.
 In 1836 he was appointed secretary of the newly formed territory of Wisconsin with offices in Mineral Point and held this position for one year (1836-1837).  As Secretary of the Wisconsin Territory, Horner's first acts were to administer the oaths of office to Governor Henry Dodge and the judges of the supreme court with Charles Dunn as chief justice, and Alexander Frasier and David Irwin as associate justices.
  In June of 1837 he was transferred to the position of register of the Green Bay land office. Although the income from this position was at first meagre, as compared to the land sales in the lead region, Homer eventually acquired considerable land-holdings. He was register at Green Bay (1837-1846).
  Horner resisted requests by friends and relatives to move back east to Virginia, and in 1847 (1846), Horner moved to a farm near Green Lake, on the south shore of Green Lake in present day Green Lake County and In 1849, he was elected probate judge for Marquette County (which then included Green Lake County). He held this office until the court was abolished in 1854. With David P. Mapes (q.v.), Horner was one of the founders of the city of Ripon (1849), and named it after his family's ancestral home in England. Horner later moved to Ripon and devoted himself to promoting his real-estate holdings. He died in Ripon, Wisconsin at the age of eighty-one years.  Proc. State Hist. Soc. Wis., 1905 (1906); Mich. Hist. Colls., 38 (1912). Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography

Leonard James Farwell, 2nd Governor of Wisconsin
  Leonard James Farwell (January 5, 1819 - April 11, 1889) was an American politician, promoter, businessman, and the second governor of Wisconsin.  Born in Watertown, New York. He moved to Lockport, Ill. in 1838 where he established a tin shop and hardware store. In 1840 he moved to Milwaukee and conducted a large wholesale hardware business. He began making large land purchases in the Madison area about 1847, moved there in 1849, and developed the area by erecting mills, building streets, and draining lowlands. To promote settlement of the new capital, he published several pamphlets which he distributed widely on the east coast and abroad. He was elected governor of Wisconsin as a member of the Whig Party and served as governor from 1852 to 1854.  An antislavery Whig, during his administration the act to abolish capital punishment became law and the state geological survey was instituted. He was a founder of the Wisconsin Natural History Association, and was instrumental in reorganizing the State Historical Society (1854). Farwell was an officer in numerous state and Madison business enterprises, including the Madison Gas Light & Coke Company, the Madison Hydraulic Company, and the Beloit & Madison R.R. Company. After 1854 Farwell was affiliated with the Republican party, and served one term in the state assembly (1860). In 1857 he ran for alderman in Madison but lost by a close margin. Also that year, Fawell lost his land holdings due to the effects of the Panic of 1857.  In 1863 he was appointed to the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C., serving as chief examiner (1863-1870). While in Washington, Farwell was credited with saving the life of Vice-President Andrew Johnson by warning him of a possible attack on the night that President Lincoln was assassinated. In 1870 he moved to Chicago to engage in business, but after suffering heavy losses in the fire of 1871, he moved to Grant City, Mo., where he engaged in banking and real estate enterprises until his death. Wis. Mag. Hist., 31; C. R. Tuttle, Illus. Hist.... Wis. (Boston, 1875);-Wis. Blue Book (1927); J. H. Abbott and L. M. Wilson, comps., Farwell Family (2 vols. [Orange, Tex.] 1929); WPA MS. Source: Blue book

William Augustus Barstow, 3rd Governor of Wisconsin
  William Augustus Barstow (b. September 13, 1813, Plainfield, Connecticut - d. December 14, 1865, Leavenworth, Kansas) was the third governor of Wisconsin and a U.S. Army general during the American Civil War.  He attended the local school and worked with his brothers in Norwich, Conn., and Cleveland, O., until the business failures of 1837. He moved to Wisconsin in 1839, settled in Prairieville (now Waukesha), and became a prosperous merchant. A Democrat, he rose swiftly in politics, becoming village highway commissioner, member of the Milwaukee County Board and, in 1850, secretary of state. Barstow served as the Wisconsin Secretary of State from 1850 until 1852. Scandals connected with federal school land grants, printing contracts, the insane asylum, and the state treasury led to his defeat for re-election in 1851, but in 1853 he was elected governor of Wisconsin as a Democrat, taking office on January 2, 1854. As governor, Barstow supported the railroad to the Pacific and stood against the attempts of the Know-Nothing movement to undermine the citizenship of the foreign-born. He opposed prohibition of alcohol sales, and vetoed a ban passed by the Legislature despite strong public support. However, allegations that his administration had misused public school funds and favored personal friends in state funded loans proved to have greater impact than his positions on issues. Although he was renominated by the Democrats, Barstow lost support within his party as well as in Wisconsin generally.  When Barstow ran for reelection in 1855, he was initially declared the winner against his Republican opponent, Coles Bashford, by a mere 157 votes. However, Bashford claimed the result was fraudulent, and it was soon substantiated that Barstow's win was due to forged election returns from nonexistent precincts in the sparsely populated northern part of the state, in addition to other irregularities such as two separate canvassing boards claiming legitimacy in Waupaca County and attempting to submit conflicting certifications. Coles Bashford (q.v.), charged that the Barstow-dominated canvassing board had manufactured votes, and brought suit before the state supreme court, producing so much evidence that Barstow resigned on Mar. 21, 1856. As rival militia units converged on the state capital in Madison, threatening to start a civil war within the state, Barstow was inaugurated in a full, public ceremony on January 7, 1856. On the same day, Bashford was also sworn in quietly as governor in the chambers of the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Chief Justice Whiton. The Wisconsin attorney general filed quo warranto proceedings in the Wisconsin Supreme Court to remove Barstow, who threatened that he would not "give up his office alive." After challenging the court's jurisdiction without success and noting that the tide of public opinion had turned against him, Barstow declined to contest the fraud allegations and sent his resignation to the legislature on March 21, 1856, leaving the lieutenant governor, Arthur MacArthur, as acting governor. On March 24, the court unanimously awarded the governorship to Bashford by a count of 1,009 votes.
  During these years Barstow was involved in railroad promotion schemes, including the ill-fated St. Croix and Lake Superior R.R., of which he was president; he also opened a bank in Janesville, but it failed in 1857. Barstow remained in politics following the election scandal, serving as a Wisconsin delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1860.   When the Civil War broke out he raised the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment and became its colonel.  After the start of the Civil War, however, he joined the Union war effort and under the authority of the War Department in 1861, he organized the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry regiment at Camp Barstow, near Janesville. He commanded the regiment as a colonel.  In 1862, and was appointed Provost Marshal General of Kansas, operating out of Fort Leavenworth. In his only encounter with the enemy his command was routed.  Due to failing health, however, Barstow was reassigned in the summer of 1863 to preside over courts-martial in St. Louis, Missouri, and he never rejoined his regiment. He was promoted to Brigadier-General of volunteers on March 13, 1865, nine months before his death in Leavenworth.  He spent most of his remaining life in hospitals. Dict. Amer. Biog.; Natl. Cyclopaedia Amer. Biog., 12 (1904); J. G. Gregory, ed., S. W. Wis. (4 vols., Chicago, 1932); T. W. Haight, ed., Memoirs of Waukesha Co. (Madison, 1907); E. B. Quiner, Military Hist. of Wis. (Chicago, 1866); J. W. Stearns, ed., Columbian Hist. of Education in Wis. ([Milwaukee] 1893); J. B. Winslow, Story of a Great Court (Chicago, 1912); WPA MS.  Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography

Info and has been compiled from various sources including:

Wisconsin Blue Book, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia


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Note: The Wisconsin Blue Book is a biannual publication of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. The Blue Book is an almanac containing information on the government, economics, demograpics, geography, and history of the state of Wisconsin. The Blue Book is published in the fall of every odd year, corresponding to the start of each new biennium of the Wisconsin state government. Since 1995, the Blue Book has been available in free electronic form. Hardcover editions of the book may be obtained by Wisconsin residents by contacting their Assembly representative or State Senator.


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