Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
"The Struggle of 1856" (Wisconsin State Journal)

"When Wisconsin Had Two Governors" (Milwaukee Journal)

Read More About It

"Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography" by Wisconsin Historical Society

"Wisconsin Blue Book" 1960



Interesting Fact:

McArthur's son was a Civil War hero and his grandson, Douglas MacArthur, was a highly decorated military general of the 20th century.

Study Questions:

  • What did McArthur do once he finished his term as lieutenant governor?
  • Why would McArthur be listed as Wisconsin's fourth governor even though he was never elected to that office and he held the position for only four days?
  • What is McArthur's background prior to becoming lieutenant governor?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on January 26:

    1802: An act is passed by Congress calling for a library in the U.S. Capitol.
    1837: Michigan becomes the 26th state.

  • January 26

    Wisconsin Governors

    Arthur McArthur is officially listed as Wisconsin's fourth governor, even though he was never elected to the position and his time in office was only four days. McArthur was a lieutenant governor candidate in the 1855 election, teaming with Governor William Barstow on the Democratic ticket. McArthur easily won but Barstow's election was contested in court and he resigned shortly after his inauguration. Upon the Governor's resignation, McArthur assumed the office of governor. Coles Bashford, however, claimed he won the election due to voter fraud. Bashford asked McArthur to step down peacefully, if possible, but by force, if necessary. McArthur stepped aside to avert violence, ending his four-day term as governor.

    McArthur was born on January 26, 1815, in Glasgow, Scotland, and died on August 26, 1896, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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