Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Nelson Dewey, Autobiography of Wisconsin's First Governor

Nelson Dewey (Wikipedia)

Read More About It

"Wisconsin Blue Book" 1960

"A Guide to Stonefield" by David Paul Nord

"The Shadow in the Glass" by August Derleth



Interesting Fact:

At the end of his life, Dewey lived alone in a Cassville hotel he once owned and was almost penniless.

Study Questions:

  • Why did Nelson Dewey leave New York in 1836 to live in the new territory of Wisconsin?
  • What town did Dewey promote as an ideal site for the capital of the Wisconsin territory?
  • As the first governor of the new state of Wisconsin, what do you think were the biggest challenges for Gov. Dewey?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on December 19:

    1732: "Poor Richard's Almanac" is first published by Benjamin Franklin.
    1776: The "American Crisis" is published by Thomas Paine.
    1777: George Washington and his troops begin their winter stay at Valley Forge.

  • December 19

    Wisconsin Governor's:

    Nelson Dewey, Wisconsin's first state governor, was born in Connecticut in 1813. He moved to Lancaster, Wisconsin, in 1836 and began to study law. Dewey assisted in organizing Grant County in 1837 and was elected to the Territorial Legislative Assembly and Territorial Council. Dewey was elected governor on admission of Wisconsin to the Union. He was re-elected in 1850. Dewey also served in the state Senate and was a commissioner of the state prison. Died: July 20, 1889.

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