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If, in the pages that follow, sons and daughters of Wisconsin find reason for deeper interest in the history of their own state, and for increase of honorable civic pride, I shall be glad. But if any reader look for the indifference, real or affected, that treats of men and causes, good and bad, as if all were alike merely curious, he will surely count what I have written as most unphilosophical, if indeed he take the trouble to think about it.
Most of my story is of a time when there was no Wisconsin; when this region was only an undefined portion, first of New France and in part, perhaps, of Louisiana; then of the province of Quebec; next of Virginia, when she was passing from the condition of a colony to that of a state; then of the old Northwest Territory and, afterward, successively of Indiana. Illinois and Michigan. In the course of my study one thing has been made clear to me: They who first settled on this soil were not the founders of Wisconsin. There was a wide difference between those who would have had this region remain a part of Canada,—whether under France or under Britain,— and those who established here the institutions of an American state.
One thing I hope,— that good done by humble and unpretending men and women may, by these pages, become a little more widely known and that they who did it may receive somewhat more of honor. Their cheeks will not flush now, if we speak their praise. For one of them filial love has prepared a memorial that is fittingly appended to the record herein given of her own and of others' faithful service.
The knowledge that this work was in progress brought to the writer, even after the first few chapters had been sent to the press, certain material which, had it been found earlier, might have been better used. Hence, notwithstanding the awkwardness of so doing, there was reason to add some closing paragraphs containing statements that properly belong in the narrative itself.
Among those who, in Wisconsin's early days, came hither from a land that we can scarcely call foreign, was one who, by precept and by life, gave me a faith from which I have found no reason to depart; who taught me that "man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever;" who, without effort and almost unconsciously, showed me that the eternal things are as real as those that perish with the using; who, through all my life, has upheld me with a strong tenderness. They who read thus far will say "his mother," and to her, without permission, this book is dedicated with a son's reverent love.
Two Rivers, Wisconsin,
ILLUSTRATIONS AND FACSIMILES.
RLV. CUTTING MARSH
facing page 116. REV. LEONARD HEMENWAY WHEELER
. . faciqg page 165.
MRS. HARRIET WOOD WHEELER
facing page 229. FAC-SIMILE pages of Muh-he-ka-ne-ew booklets. See end of
CHAPTER III. THE OUTAUAMIE WAR.