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1863 September 19: Elections and Politics in Northwest Wisconsin

September 24, 2013

Articles on the politics and elections in Wisconsin and other states are from the September 19, 1863, issue of The Prescott Journal.  The Journal supported the Union Party ticket at the state level and showed this support by printing the ticket along the left-hand side of the newspaper.  The Journal’s editor, Lute Taylor, was a committeeman for Pierce County’s Union party.

UNION STATE TICKET  —  The Democratic Co. Convention will be held Wednesday,
divider        Sept. 30th.  [Pierce County]
For Governor— Caucuses.
JAMES T. LEWIS, The Hudson Times make the following appropriate remarks in
of Columbia. regard to caucuses :  “There is in nearly every community a
For Lt. Governor— habit of neglecting to attend primary political meetings, and
WYMAN SPOONER,¹ the very word “caucus” has come to be almost a synonym for
of Walworth. intrigue and corruption.  The bad odor that clings to caucusses
For Secretary of State— [sic], is in a great measure the fault of those who neglect to
COL. L. FAIRCHILD, attend them.  If it is a duty for men of all stations to take an
of the “Iron Brigade.” interest in the government under which they live—if it is a
For State Treasurer— duty to go to the polls at all—if it is a duty to go to the polls at
SAM’L. D. HASTINGS, all—if citizenship imposes any obligations—then the duty and
of Trempealeau. obligations of attending a caucus, and using one’s influence to
For Superintendent of Schools— place proper candidates in nomination, is no less binding and
JOSEPH L. PICKARD, imperative than the duty of voting for candidates after they
of Grant. are nominated.
For Attorney General— Now and Then.
WINFIELD SMITH,² Two years ago, the Democracy of this County, under the lead
of Milwaukee. of Hon. J. W. BEARDSLEY, worked heartily to defeat the State
For Bank Comptroller— Ticket which Mr. PALMER, the present Democratic nominee
WM. H. RAMSEY, for Governor supported, and subsequently, Mr.  BEARDSLEY
of Ozaukee. defeated that gentleman for the Speakership of the Assembly.
For State Prison Commissioner— Mr. PALMER was a much better war man then than now.  If it
HENRY CORDIER, was wise for Democrats to oppose him then, it is doubly so
of Dodge. now.  Will the Democrats of Pierce County stupify themselves
by supporting him now?  We believe not.



In the successful inauguration of the Union party as a State party, has been vindicated the wisdom of the policy of those who early and persistently advocated the movement.  It is a triumph for those in the St. Croix Valley, who were its earliest and warmest friends.

In the summer of 1861, the Prescott JOURNAL and the Hudson North Star simultaneously came out in favor of such a movement.  Shortly after, the Green Bay Advocate adopted the same policy.  These papers are the only ones that have advocated the wisdom and propriety of the Union movement from the first, and the St. Croix Valley is the only place where it has been carried out in good faith.

But the little cloud no bigger than a man’s hand now overspreads the State.  The loyal hosts of Wisconsin are moving on to Victory as a UNION party.—Patriotism supercedes [sic] partisanship.—We have UNION leaders.  Our banner bears that inspiring Watchword.  Let us labor to win a glorious UNION VICTORY.

 Finger002 When H. L. PALMER [Henry L. Palmer] was asked, last year, to vote for the law enabling the volunteers from Wisconsin, who are citizens of the State, to have a voice in our election, he said NO.  When the volunteers from Wisconsin, now privileged to vote, notwithstanding his opposition, are this year asked to vote for H. L. PALMER for Governor they will be very likely to respond NO.

Finger002 The Herald, a German paper in Milwaukee, supports the Union ticket.

TIT FOR TAT.—The Milwaukee News has been reading Democrats out of the party, and now E. G. Ryan [Edward G. Ryan], the Great Mogul of Wisconsin Democracy, reads out the News.  What a world this is.

THE ONLY DIFFERENCE.—The Ryan-Palmer Platform supports the adminisration [sic] of Jeff. Davis [Jefferson Davis]. The Union Platform supports the administration of Abe Lincoln—Hudson Star.

Political Notices
City Caucuses.

Caucuses for the election of delegates to the County Convention, to be held on the 24th, will be held for the first ward at White & Jay’s office, and for the second ward at the Council Room, at 7½ o’clock, Tuesday evening, the 22d inst. [September].

By order of Committee.

Democratic Co. Convention.

The Democrats of Pierce County will meet in convention, at Ellsworth, on Wednesday, the 30th inst. [September], for the purpose of chosing [sic] six delegates to attend a Senatorial and also an Assembly Convention, to be holden at Hudson on the 3d day of October next ;  also to nominate candidates for County Commissioners and County Clerk.  Each town and ward will be entitled to 5 votes in the Convention.

By order of Committee.

Prescott, Sept. 18, 1863.

Union County Convention.

A Union Co. Convention will be held at Ellsworth on Thursday, the 24th of September, at 12 o’clock [P.] M. for the transaction of the following business :  To elect six delegates to the Senatorial Convention, to be held at Hudson on Thursday, Oct. 1st ;  to elect six delegates to the Assembly Convention to be held at River Falls on Saturday, Oct. 3d ;  to nominate a candidate for Sup’t of Schools ;  a candidate for Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, (to fill vacancy,) and three candidates for Co. Supervisors.  In the nomination of County Supervisors, the delegates from each Supervisor District, will organize by themselves, and make their own nomination.

All voters who approve of and support the platform laid down by the Union State Convention, are invited to unite in the election of delegates to this Convention.  The towns will be entitled to the following number of votes in Convention :  Prescott, 1st ward, 3 ;  2d ward, 5 ;  Oak Grove, 3 ;  Clifton, 3 ;  River Falls, 6 ;  Martel, 4 ;  Trimbelle, 3 ;  Perry, 2 ;  Trenton, 1 ;  Salem, 1 ;  Union, 1 ;  El Paso, 1 ;  Hartland, 1 ;  Diamond Bluff, 2 ;  Pleasant Valley, 2 ;  Isabel, 1.

LUTE A. TAYLOR, }                         .
FRANKLIN OTIS, }  Committee.
C. P. BARNARD, }                         .

Prescott, Sept. 4, 1863.

NOTE.—It is suggested by the Committee that the preliminary caucusses [sic] be held on Tuesday evening, Sept. 22.  On account of the large amount of business to transact, the delegates are urged to be punctual, at the hour named in the call.

Union Assembly Convention.

A Union Assembly District Convention, for the District composed of Pierce and St. Croix counties, will be held at River Falls on Saturday, Oct. 3, at 2 o’clock P. M., for the purpose of nominating a candidate for the Assembly for said District.

By order of Committee.

Union Senatorial Convention.

A Convention for the Senatorial District comprising the counties of Pierce, St. Croix, Polk, Douglas, La Pointe, and Ashland, will be held at Hudson, on Thursday, October 1st, 1863, to nominate a candidate for State Senator, to be supported at the ensuing general election.  All who are in favor of the following propositions are invited to act together.

That the Union be preserved in its integrity ;

That the constitution and laws of the United States be enforced throughout the whole national domain ;

That the rebellion is suppressed, not by compromises with or concessions to traitors, but by the sword whose agency they have themselves invoked ;

That the National Administration should be heartily and generously supported in its efforts to put down the rebellion.

The several counties will be entitled to the following number of votes in Convention ;  the apportionment being the name as two years ago, and based upon the total vote of each county :  Pierce County, 6 ;  St. Croix, 7 ;  Polk, 3 ;  Douglas, 2 ;  La Pointe, 2 ;  Ashland, two.


August 12, 1863.

1.  Wyman Spooner (1795-1877) at first aligned himself with the abolitionists, and joined the Republican party after its organization in 1854. He was state assemblyman (1850, 1851, 1857, 1861) and state senator (1862-1863). In 1863 he was elected lieutenant governor, serving in this capacity from 1864 to 1870.
2. Winfield Smith (1827-1899) practiced law in partnership with Edward Salomon and in 1862 was appointed state attorney general by Governor Salomon to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James H. Howe. Smith served from October, 1862, to January, 1866, having been elected to the office in 1863. During Smith’s term as attorney general he was faced with difficult legal problems arising during the Civil War.

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