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A Merry Briton in Pioneer Wisconsin

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A Merry Briton In Pioneer Wisconsin

Journal of an English traveler in early Pioneer Wisconsin.

Unknown author known only by pseudonym Morleigh.

Originally published 1842.

Author reports on:

  Travels in Southern Wisconsin WISCONSIN--RACINE--FALLING HOUSE--EXCURSION--UNWELCOME VISITOR--FOX RIVER--LUCKLESS PUBLICAN--MOUNT PLEASANT POST-OFFICE--YANKEE PEDLAR--THE PRAIRIE FARMS--NEW ENGLANDERS--BLACK HAWK GROVE--JANESVILLE--ROCK RIVER--MADISON--MORRISON'S HOTEL--THE TOMATO FEAST--RIFLE SHOOTING--THE GOVERNOR OF WISCONSIN--HIS EQUIPAGE-- RARE OCCURRENCE-- SHOOTING EN ROUTE

  Milwaukee and Mackinac PRAIRIEVILLE--FOREST ROAD--NORWEGIANS--MILWAUKEE--THE RIVAL EDITOR--GERMAN SETTLERS--THE GUNSMITH--NORWEGIAN SONGS--MY KEYS--LEBANON SLOPE--PIGEON SHOOTING--CAPTAIN OF THE YANKEE--BRAVOES--STORM--DOCTOR AND HIS LADY--VOYAGE TO MACKINAW--MAN DROWNED--APATHY OF THE MEN OF MACKINAW--INDIAN MISSIONARY--VOYAGE TO GREEN BAY

  Green Bay and Vicinity GREEN BAY--ASTOR HOUSE--HOT--POLITICIANS--ASTOR NAVARINO--THE JUDGE AND THE GENERAL--THE MAJOR--MR CHILDS AND THE SQUAWS--THE INDIAN AGENT--BAD WEATHER--SEARCH FOR A HORSE--NEW ORTHOGRAPHY--DODGE AND DOTY--BLACK-HAWK WAR--THE EX-GOVERNOR--WALK INTO THE COUNTRY--OLD FRENCHMAN--HIS FARMS--HERD OF DEER--BANKS OF THE FOX RIVER--A TAVERN--THE JUDGE IN A QUANDARY.

  JOURNEY TO THE WOLF RIVER THE JUDGE AND HIS BUGGY--INDIAN WOMAN'S KINDNESS--A BLANKET WAR--LITTLE COCALOO--HOSPITABLE LADY IN THE WOODS--TREACHEROUS FRENCH GUIDE--NIGHT IN A DISMAL SWAMP--WOLVES--LAST WHITE MAN'S HOUSE--BUTTE DE MORTS--A NONDESCRIPT--HARD CASES ON THE PRAIRIE--INDIANS--GRIGNONS--TRADERS--OSH-COSH LE BRAVE--VOYAGE UP THE WOLF RIVER--OUR CANOE--FISHING--THE CAMP--INDIAN VILLAGE--THE AGENT--A COUNCIL

  An Indian Payment TEMPERANCE SOCIETY--NIGHT IN THE COUNCIL LODGE--BREAKFAST AT THE "STRIPED APRON"--COUNCIL EXTRAORDINARY--THE HALF-BREED QUESTION--CORON, THE ORATOR--AN INDIAN HEIRESS--HER PORTRAIT--A COUNCIL--DEBATE UPON CLAIMS--A FORTUNATE TRADER AND HAPPY ATTORNEY--PRAYER-MEETING ON SUNDAY--INDIAN SUPERSTITIONS--POTWALLOPING AFFAIR--SHIFT MY QUARTERS TO A POTTAWATTOMIE WIGWAM--CATTLE SHOOTING--BUTCHES PUT TO FLIGHT--A NEGRO BARBER--WOLF RIVER RANGERS--PAYMENT DAY--A POTTAWATTOMIE WARRIOR--AMERICAN FLAG HAULED DOWN--AGENT RETREATS--DRUNKEN INDIANS--LAST NIGHT WITH THE SAVAGES--MY HOST INVITES ME TO VISIT CALUMET, OR PIPE TOWN

 69 pages

 

 

 

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Scot, who had watched our motions, and thus saved his cur from being peppered. He invited us to enter his dwelling, hard by, and a more miserable human abode I had never seen; it was little better than a hole scooped in a blank under the root of an oak tree; here the squatter's wife offered us milk. I did not admire the appearance of the man, though he talked very big about his farm, and said he came from the birth-place of William Wallace, at hame,not being able to tell in what shire said birth-place, or his late home was to be found.

This night our caravan halted at a large farm-house near Rock river. The farmers were flourishing like flaggers; they had fields of Indian corn and wheat, and oats, and pumpkins, and potatoes, and vegetables; in short, the farmers get on famously here: they have no roots and stumps to contend with, and the soil seems to be inexhaustible. We sleep up stairs--only seventeen in one chamber; beds on the floor; pillows, at least mine, was a goodly cheese; ropes of onions, in festoons, my curtains.

Breakfast upon a savoury stew of the game we shot yesterday--snipes, prairie hens, quails, pigeons and robins, all stewed up together, so that the particular flavour of each bird was lost in this splendid soup a la Meg Merriles. Cross the Rock River in a ferry-boat, below the ancient city of Aztalan, as the village, or half dozen huts and some green Indian mounds, are called. A farmer shewed me sundry bits of pottery and brick which he said, with great reverence, had been lately dug up from the ruins of Aztalan city, but I assured him his antiquities were the remnants of some Indian camp--the debris of a savage, instead of a civilized race, which he contended had established the city of his pride.

Whitewater is decidedly the prettiest little village I have yet seen in this wild country; the villas are built apart, as they ought to be, with great regularity, each having a goodly garden of rich soil; so that, in the words of Goldsmith, "Every rood of ground (may have) maintained its man," even in a town, without the aid of the noble army of capitalists and speculators and their martyrs. There are several Germans, and some very intelligent New-English folks at Whitewater. They have a mill which does not require great water-power; and if the great manufacturer can be kept at bay, they will grow up a happy community, in the midst of a fine agricultural and pastoral country.

Between Whitewater and Prairieville the country is thinly settled, most of the land being taken up by speculators. This is the ruin of the country, but it is to be hoped the tax on wild land will soon make the speculators either reside on, or sell their prairies. The teamster pointed out sundry thriving farms, which he termed Bachelor's Ruins; though, for

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