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About this collection

This collection comprises citizen petitions written to the legislatures of the Wisconsin Territory and later the State of Wisconsin, from 1836 to 1890. At the time, petitions were the only direct means for citizens to communicate with the government. This project is currently in development. Petitions will be added throughout 2020.

From requesting dams, roads, and money to build schoolhouses, to recording views on slavery, suffrage, and statehood, these petitions reveal what settlers wished to achieve for their communities, and the ways in which they hoped to connect Wisconsin to the expanding commerce and intellectual life of the United States.

These petitions are mostly handwritten in blue and iron gall ink; most petitions comprise a title page, the petition itself, and signature pages.

The work of flattening, scanning, and describing these petitions was funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commissions (NHPRC) of the National Archives.

 
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