Presidential Elections — the early years…

Well, the big day is just a week away. Here at Clark House Historian I try and remain officially non-partisan. But as a researcher and writer, and as an American with long, deep, roots in this country, I have a passionate interest in our nation and its history, and a life-long desire to see us live up to our highest ideals and aspirations. (Of course, human nature being what it is, we have not always lived up to those ideals.)

So with the election approaching, today’s post takes a look at the political leanings of early Washington County and—after its establishment in 1853—Ozaukee County, with an emphasis on presidential elections from 1848 to 1880. Our main source today is the invaluable History of Washington and Ozaukee counties, Wisconsin […], published in Chicago in 1881. Let’s begin with some of the earliest results, following statehood in early 1848:

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Monday: Map Day!

Lower Canada, 1815

I found Bouchette’s 1815 Topographical Map of Lower Canada

In our previous post, we looked at a verbal description of Stanstead, Lower Canada, excerpted from A Topographical Description of the Province of Lower Canada, with Remarks upon Upper Canada, and on the relative connexion of both provinces with the United States of America, written by Joseph Bouchette, surveyor general of Lower Canada, and published in London in 1815. 

To accompany his 1815 book, Bouchette published a map of the province, and it’s an amazing map, with an extravagant title:

To His Royal Highness George Augustus Frederick … This Topographical map of the Province of Lower Canada, shewing its division into Districts, Counties, Seigniories, & Townships … Is … Most gratefully dedicated by…  Joseph Bouchette, His Majesty’s Surveyor General of the Province & Lieutt. Colonel C.M. … Published by W. Faden, Charing Cross, Augst. 12th. 1815. Engraved by J. Walker & Sons, 47 Bernard Street, Russell Square, London. J. Walker sculp.

Rumsey Collection

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll refer to it as Bouchette’s Topographical map of the Province of Lower Canada, 1815. The original is held in the vast David Rumsey Map Collection at Stanford University. And in the words of their curators,

[t]he large ten sheet map is extraordinary – it is over ten feet long when joined and almost five feet tall. It has five views and three large inset maps of Montreal, Quebec, and Three Rivers. The detail and graphic elegance of the large map is the equal (or perhaps the superior) of any of the contemporary maps that we have seen (and none of which are on such a large scale – the only potential candidate would be Eddy’s Map of the Country Thirty Miles Round the City of New York). Of course the engraving was done by the Walker firm in London, whose resources were up to the New York and Philadelphia engravers, or better, so a comparison with American produced maps is not entirely fair. Bouchette’s work as Surveyor General must have instilled in him an obsession with the accuracy and fineness of detail that one sees in these maps.

Rumsey Collection

So enough fanfare. Let’s look at the map:

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Stanstead, 1815 — a portrait in words

In our previous post we looked at a charming lithograph of Kilborn’s Mills, Stanstead, Lower Canada, as seen from Derby, Vermont, based on an 1827 watercolor by Lt. Col. Joseph Bouchette, the surveyor general of Lower Canada. This was a place and a view that Jonathan M. Clark would have easily recognized as a teenaged lad of 15 or 16 years of age.

I first saw a version of that image as a black and white engraving in Bouchette’s book The British Dominions of North America […], Vol. 1, published in London in 1831. I’ll have more to say about The British Dominions in future posts.

Bouchette’s earlier book

Bouchette also wrote an earlier book—focused on Lower Canada—entitled A Topographical Description of the Province of Lower Canada, with Remarks upon Upper Canada, and on the relative connexion of both provinces with the United States of America, published in London in 1815. Here’s the title page of that earlier book:

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A view of Stanstead, Lower Canada, 1827

I’m working on some longer posts, so I thought you might enjoy this image of a hand-colored lithograph from 1827. It’s a view the village of Kilborn’s Mills, Stanstead, Lower Canada, as seen from the south side of the international border, near Derby Line, Vermont. It’s very likely that the 15- or 16-year-old Jonathan M. Clark would have known this scenery, village, bridge, and border crossing:

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Monday: Map Day!

Lower Canada, 1802, part 2

Still getting our bearings at the turn of the 19th-century

As we discussed in a few weeks ago, if we’re going to find Jonathan M. Clark’s kin in the early-1800s, we need to know where to look. Lower Canada—one of JMC’s two “official” birth places—has a very long and complicated history. For a decent summary, you can skim this article, and then be sure to look at part 1 of this post. In part 1, I wrote that “we only need to understand a few basic places and dates, all centered around the modern Canadian Province of Quebec, or as it was known from 1791 to 1841, Lower Canada.”

Well, I was wrong. Because “a few basic places and dates” seriously underestimates the complex and changing nature of place names and legal boundaries in Lower Canada during that period. So today I’m going to take another look at the 1802 Lower Canada map and point out some additional places and terms that will be useful in locating Clark-related documents created in the English-speaking part of the province at the turn of the nineteenth century. So, remember this map? …

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I’m taking the day off from research today. If you haven’t read them yet, you might want to catch up on our previous posts about harvest time on the Jonathan M. Clark farm and in old Washington/Ozaukee county here, here and here.

In researching those posts, one thing I found odd about Washington county’s 1850 agricultural census was the complete lack of hop production in the county that year. Did that change by 1860? I’ll have to find out. I have a feeling that it wasn’t long before some of Mequon’s gardens looked something like this:

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Monday: Map Day!

Second Monday in October

I am descended from European immigrants to the “New World.” From the mid-1600s through the 1800s, they came to North America from over a half-dozen European lands. Like Jonathan M. Clark, Mary Turck Clark, and their nineteenth-century Mequon neighbors, I’m here because my ancestors left Old World homes, families, and communities behind and made difficult voyages to America. There is much to admire in their individual stories of migration and settlement in a new nation. There are aspects of their lives that are less than exemplary, too. Discovering and sharing their stories is, for me, one of the most interesting aspects of studying history.

But stories of European immigration are only one part of the history of our continent and our nation. It’s essential we remember that when Europeans began to “discover” the Americas in the late-1400s, there were already large numbers other peoples already here. Their ancestors made the trip here much earlier; it is currently believed that Paleo-Indians migrated to the Americas at least 15,000, and possibly as many as 30,000 years ago. Today’s map is a tribute to—and a call to remember—the many peoples, cultures and communities that existed in the future United States prior to European colonization:

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Harvest Time: 1850, part 2

Washington County farm output at mid-century

Today’s post is a continuation of our previous post, Harvest Time: 1850, part 1, which introduced us to the agricultural schedules that were part of the U.S decennial federal censuses of 1850-1880. If you missed that post, you might want to click the link and start there. And, as I mentioned in a footnote to Harvest Time: 1850, part 1, if you are wondering “Wait a minute! Mequon—and the Clark House—is in Ozaukee county. Why do you keep referring to Washington county census returns in 1850?” then it’s been too long since you read my April 21, 2016, blog post, Where are we?, in which I explain the convoluted history of the location of the Jonathan Clark House. In 1850 the farm was still in Washington county; by 1860, it was in Ozaukee. Click the link for more on that.

On to the data!

As I mentioned on Wednesday, you can find PDFs of the original 1850 federal census documents (but not the schedules themselves) by going to the Census Bureau’s website. Once there, you’ll note the bureau—for some reason—has not made a separate link to the 1850 Wisconsin statistical report pages. Of course, you can download the entire 1850 census statistical report (and if you can, do!, it’s full of interesting information), but the complete report runs 179MB and you may not want the whole file. No worries! I have made a handy, 5-page PDF extract of the Wisconsin agricultural information1. Just click this link to open and view the complete 1850 Wisconsin Table XI; download and save a copy for yourself, if you like.

On to the 1850 census’s Schedule 4. — Agriculture, for the Clark’s home county of Washington Co., Wisconsin. We’ll present the data in the original order of the schedule. Explanations of terms or schedule categories is taken from the 1853 census report (see note 1, below), pages xxiii-xxiv:

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