This document is a petition signed by 54 Prairie du Chien residents asking Congress to grant them legal title to their houses and lands. They claim that they or their parents or grandparents had lived there since 1755 without any formal documentation and request Congressman John Scott, chair of the House Committee on Public Lands, to legally validate that they own their homes. The document may have been composed by James H. Lockwood (1793-1857) who arrived in Prairie du Chien in the summer of 1816 and was the first English-speaking resident there. The petition descended to the grandson of Congressman Scott; he gave it in 1919 to a Prairie du Chien resident whose descendants conveyed it to the Society in 2010.
The original manuscript is shown here in color (the contrast has been heightened somewhat to improve legibility), followed by a typed transcript made by a previous owner.