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1863 October 3: Polk County’s Union Convention—Helping “to sustain the cause of our soldiers in the field”

October 3, 2013

The Polk County Press of October 3, 1863, aptly states: “The news of the week is unimportant and very unreliable.”  Consequently both of our newspapers for the week of October 3 are almost entirely about politics and the upcoming elections.  All of the area conventions have now been held and the nominations are in.  Polk County voters, having sent a large number of men to the war, are interested in backing the political party they feel most likely to continue the current war policies— the Union Party.

County Nominations.

In another place will be found the proceedings of the Union County Convention, held at the Court House on the 28th ult., and the ticket there put in nomination.  The ticket is composed of good and reliable men, who have always discharged their duties as citizens, and the responsibilities of all positions of honor and trust that they have been called upon to fill, with credit to themselves and those electing them.

We defer until next week a more extended notice of the candidates, owing to the large amount of work which we have been obliged to do this week in our office, rendering it impossible to set up all we would like to say on the subject this issue.  In conclusion we would say of the Convention’s proceedings, that although there was an animated and exciting contest between candidates for the different offices, still all are satisfied now that the nominations are made, and will give the ticket their cordial support.

To the resolutions of the Convention we point with pride, and assert that they present to the Electors of Polk County, an issue that will not be shirked by those who, hating the treason of JEFF. DAVIS [Jefferson Davis] and its bloody results, cherish and believe in the vigorous and thorough enforcement of the Constitution and the Laws throughout the entire Union.


On Monday, Sept. 28th, the delegates having assembled at the Court House in the village of Osceola, pursuant to a call issued by the Union County Committee of Polk County, they were called to order by S. S. Fifield, jr. [sic], Chairman of Committee, at 1 o’clock, P. M.

On motion of M. H. Peaslee,¹ Wm. Kent, jr., was chosen Chairman, and on motion of A. S. Gray, Willis Scott was elected Secretary.

On motion the Chair appointed the following Committee on credentials:

H. D. Barron, A. S. Gray, and C. H. Staples.

The Committee on credentials reported the following delegates from the several towns :

FARMINGTON.—Willis Scott, M. H. Peaslee, A. S. Gray.

LINCOLN.— A. A. Heald, two votes, L. R. Crum.

OSCEOLA.— Wm. Kent, jr. [sic], John S. Godfrey, C. H. Staples.

ST. CROIX FALLS.— H. D. Barron, M. Field, Wm. J. Vincent.

ALDEN.— John Thorton, J. M. Godfrey, two votes.

After a lengthy debate the entire delegation from Sterling was thrown out, because of informality of credentials.

The Convention then proceeded to make the nominations for County officers, which resulted as follows :

For County Treasurer,

For Sheriff,

For Register of Deeds,

For Clerk of Circuit Court,

For Superintendent of Schools,

For Coroner,

For County Surveyor,

For County Commissioners,
1st District,
[left blank; see short explanation following this article]

2nd District,

3rd District,

On motion the Chair appointed a County Committee for the ensuing year as follows :

S. S. Fifield, jr. [sic], Chairman, Osceola ;  M. H. Peaslee, Farmington ;  Wm. J. Vincent, St. Croix Falls ;  Humphrey Sawyer, Alden ;  A. A. Heald, Lincoln ;  Canute Anderson, Sterling.

The following resolutions were presented by Mr. Barron, and unanimously adopted by the Convention :

Resolved, That the present rebellion was commenced and is prosecuted for the dismemberment of the National Union and the destruction of the Constitution and the Government of the United States ;  that in view of the vast armies now arrayed by the rebels for the commission of this National murder, no individual, no party, and no political convention of true men can stand indifferently by and witness the perpetration of the crime nor propose any ifs, buts, and provisos as conditions of their support of our Government, without becoming participators in the bloody treason.

Resolved, That as the Constitution vests in the President, “the Executive power” of the government, creates him “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and the Militia of the several States when called into actual service of the United States” and commands him that the Laws be faithfully executed ;” without defining the manner in which any of these enacted powers shall be executed.  It becomes his duty under his responsibilities to Heaven, to the People whom he represents, and to the laws of civilized nations, “to judge,” in times of war and great national peril, “what degree of force the crisis demands” and to select, from the known usages of civilized warfare, such measures as he deems most efficacious to preserve the government ;  and it becomes the corresponding duty of all loyal citizens, to yield to all such measures, their ready and hearty support.

Resolved, That we cordially invite all Republicans and all Democrats, whose patriotism rises above private interest and partisan prejudice, all who are prepared to stand by the Government—by whomsoever constitutionally administered,—all who love their country and hate treason, to unite with us in electing the ticket this day nominated, and thus help to sustain the cause of our soldiers in the field and to retain Polk County among the Law loving and Patriotic Counties of the Badger State.

On motion the Convention adjourned, sino die

WM. KENT, JR., Chairman.

WILLIS SCOTT, Secretary.

— As will be seen by reference to the Union County Convention proceedings, no county commissioner was nominated for the 1st District.  The delegates from that district failed to agree upon their man, and the nomination was omitted.  We suppose, however, that the nomination is conceeded [sic] to Alden, and a candidate will soon be put on the track by those interested.

1.  Moses H. Peaslee, from the Town of Farmington, will not enlist until September 1864. He will be in Company A of the 44th Wisconsin Infantry.
2.  Joseph B. Churchill, from St. Croix Falls, will not enlist until almost the end, on March 16, 1865. He will be in Company K of the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry.
3.  Latin, meaning without a day specified for a future meeting; indefinitely.

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