O!…Canada? History Mystery! No. 3

Jonathan M. Clark was born…where?

Perhaps this should really be the Number One Clark House History Mystery! — was Jonathan M. Clark born in the United States or not? All of our previous evidence indicates that Jonathan M. Clark was born in Vermont in 1811 or 1812, namely: 

• Jonathan’s army enlistment papers from September 19, 1833, state that he was “…born in Derby, in the State of Vermont.”

• His 1850 Federal Census population schedule declares he was born in “Vir,” which we are quite certain indicates the State of Vermont.

• In later years, JMC’s children would almost always declare on subsequent Federal Censuses that their father was born in Vermont. (There were a few exceptions; “Ohio” was given by one daughter almost a half-century after her father’s death. We’ll have more on those census responses in later posts.) For example, the second sentence of daughter Caroline Clark Woodward’s biography in American Women: Fifteen Hundred Biographies With Over 1,400 Portraits… (New York: Mast, Crowell & Kirkpatrick, 1897, page 799) reads: Her father, Jonathan M. Clark, was a Vermonter of English descent, who, born in 1812 , of Revolutionary parentage, inherited an intense American patriotism.

So it seems clear that Jonathan M. Clark was born in Vermont. If that’s the case why, on March 19, 1848, did JMC travel to the District Court of the United States in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Territory and file this document?:

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