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1863 September 12: Local Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix County Politics

September 14, 2013

Following are several articles on the politics of the day, from the September 12, 1863, issues of The Prescott Journal and The Polk County Press.  Samuel S. Fifield was the editor and publisher of the Press.

From The Prescott Journal:

Finger002  We hear copperheads assert that the Union Ticket will get no support from the democrats of this county.  How about such democrats as SILAS STAPLES, PETER McGREGOR, HEMAN DODGE, and a host of others!  Either of the gentlemen we have named has more personal influence among the people than the whole tribe of copperheads who are trying to run the democratic machine, and they hearty support the Union Ticket.— Hudson Times.

Finger002  There is not, “so far as heard from,” but one newspaper in Minnesota that supports the Secesh¹ ticket nominated in that state.  Verily, the rebel cause is losing ground in the North.

Judge H. D. Barron.

We learn from various sources that the Union men of the upper Assembly District are anxious to nominate Judge Barron [Henry H. Barron] for State Senate.  The Judge represented that District in the last legislature, and the desire on their part to elect him Senator, is a high and no doubt deserved compliment to the ability and faithfulness with which he represented his constituents in the Assembly.  But it will be remembered that that whole Assembly District does not pull 500 votes—not half as many as either Pierce or St. Croix counties—that an Assemblyman alone, gives it a far larger representation than Assemblyman and Senator both do to this District ;  consequently if Pierce should insist on her claim to the Senator, we trust the friends of Judge Barron will feel that no injustice is done them.²

Home Popularity.

The Union Candidate for Governor is undoubtedly one of the most popular men in the state.  The respect entertained for him as a man by the citizens of his own county, Columbia, can be seen by the vote that he received when a candidate for Secretary of State.  In the town of his residence he received every vote—357.  In another town the vote was unanimous for him, and in others, where the vote was from 60 to 100, his opponent only received one vote! Such a man as Lewis³ cannot fail to be appreciated by the people, and standing as he does, upon a patriotic platform, he will distance all competitors.—La Crosse Dem. Journal.

From The Polk County Press:

CAUCUS.—The Union men of Osceola will meet in caucus at the School House on Saturday evening, Sept. 19, for the purpose of choosing three delegates to attend the Union County Convention, to be held at the Court House on Monday, the 26th day of September.

SAM. S. FIFIELD, Jr.,
Chariman, Town Committee.

County Conventions.

As our readers will see, there is, in addition to the Union call which appeared last week, a Democratic convention call published to-day.

There is, every year, more or less wire-pulling and fault finding, and this year bids fair to be no exception to the general rule.  When we called the Union convention, we done so because the last Union Convention made us Chairman of the Union Co. Committee.  We had hoped to see all men irrespective of part come together in common assembly, and put in nomination a good ticket, and thus avoid bringing about a petty struggle which in our opinion is both unnecessary and void of good results.

The citizens of our county have one fault which we wish to speak about plainly.  They are to [too] negligent in attending their town caucuses.  They will not come out and attend to the primary meetings, but just as soon as the Convention makes their nominations, they find fault and divide up on local interests.  Now what we wish to call attention to is this, that every man who has the good of the country at heart, should come out to the town caucuses, and see that their town is represented in the Convention according to their views.  We trust that the Union men will see that each town is represented in the Union Convention, and that too, according to their own views, as decided by the majority in caucus.  If the Democrats will not join in with us, why it cannot be helped, as under the call, all Union men can be represented.  So friends, attend the caucuses, and then when the nominations are made stand by the nominees.  We shall take no part nor do any wire pulling in the Convention ;  but shall support the union nominees through “thick and thin,” no matter from what locality they are selected.

1.  Slang for the Secessionists.
2.  Barron will not become a state senator until 1874. His activities as a Senator favored the development of lumber companies and railroads, and where he supported legislation for “homesteaders.” In 1876 he resigned to become circuit judge of the 11th judicial district, a position he held until his death.
3.  James Taylor Lewis (1819-1904) was a lawyer, politician, and the ninth governor of Wisconsin. Beginning his political career as a Democrat, Lewis later joined the Republican Party. Lewis was elected secretary of state in 1861 and governor in 1863. He was an ardent supporter of President Lincoln, and faithfully supplied his state’s quota of soldiers for the army. He made numerous trips to army hospitals and camps, and secured a special order to transfer Wisconsin’s sick and wounded soldiers home. Lewis was also instrumental in founding homes for both soldiers and soldiers’ orphans. For more on Lewis, see the online Dictionary of Wisconsin History.

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