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AN ACT establishing the territorial government of Wisconsin.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That from and after the third day of July next, the country included within the following boundaries shall constitute a separate terri tory, for the purposes of temporary government, by the name of Wisconsin; that is to say: bounded on the east, by a line drawn from the northeast corner of the state of Illinois, through the middle of Lake Michigan, to a point in the middle of said lake, and opposite the main channel of Green Bay, and through said channel and Green Bay to the mouth of the Menominie river ; thence through the middle of the main channel of the said river, to that head of said river nearest to the Lake of the Desert; thence in a direct line to the middle of said lake; thence through the middle of the main channel of the Montreal river, to its mouth; thence with a direct line across Lake Superior, to where the territorial line of the United States last touches said lake northwest ; thence on the north, with the said territorial line, to the White-earth river; on the west, by a line from the said boundary line following down the middle of the main channel of White-earth river to the Missouri river, and down the middle of the main channel of the Missouri river, to a point due west from the northwest corner of the state of Missouri ; and on the south, from said point due east to the northwest corner of the state of Missouri; and thence with the boundaries of the states of Missouri and Illinois, as already fixed by act of congress. And after the said third day of July next, all power and authority of the government of Michigan in and over the territory hereby constituted, shall cease: provided, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to impair the rights of person or property now appertaining to any Indians within the said territory, so long as such rights shall remain unextinguished by treaty between the United States and such Indians, or to impair the obligations of any treaty now existing between the United States and such Indians, or to impair or anywise to affect the authority of the government of the
United States to make any regulations respecting such Indians, their lands, property, or other rights, by treaty or law, or otherwise, which it would have been competent to the government to make if this act had never been passed : provided, That nothing in this act contained, shall be construed to inhibit the government of the United States from dividing the territory hereby established into one or more other territories, in such manner and at such times, as congress shall, in its discretion, deem convenient and proper, or from attaching any portion of said territory to any other state or territory of the United States.
SECTION 2. And be it further enacted, That the executive power and authority in and over the said territory, shall be vésted in a governor, who shall hold his office for three years, unless sooner removed by the president of the United States. The governor shall reside within the said territory; shall be commander-in-chief of the militia thereof; shall perform the duties and receive the emoluments of superintendent of Indian affairs, and shall approve of all laws passed by the legislative assembly before they shall take effect; he may grant pardons for offences against the laws of the said territory, and reprieves for offences against the laws of the United States, until the decision of the president can be made known thereon; he shall commission all officers who shall be appointed to office under the laws of the said territory, and shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
SECTION 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be a secretary of said territory, who shall reside therein, and hold his office for four years, unless sooner removed by the president of the United States; he shall record and preserve all laws and proceedings of the legislative assembly hereinafter constituted, and all the acts and proceedings of the governor in his executive department; he shall transmit one copy of the laws, and one copy of the exeutive proceedings, on or before the first Monday in December in each year, to the president of the United States; and at the same time two copies of the laws to the speaker of the house of representatives, for the use of congress. And in case of the death, removal, resignation, or necesssary absence of the governor from the territory, the secretary shall have, and he is hereby authorized and required to execute and perform all the powers and duties of the governor, during such vacancy or necessary absence.
SECTION 4. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power shall be vested in the governor and a legislative assembly. The legislative assembly shall consist of a council and house of representatives
. The council shall consist of thirteen members, having the qualifications of voters as hereinafter prescrib
ed, whose term of service shall continue four years. The house of representatives shall consist of twenty-six members, possessing the same qualifications as prescribed for the members of the council
, and whose term of service shall continue two years. An apportionment shall be made, as nearly equal as practicable among the several counties, for the election of the council and representatives, giving to each section of the territory representation in the ratio of its population, Indians excepted, as near as may be. And the said members of the council and house of
representatives, shall reside in and be inhabitants of the district for which they may be elected. Previously to the first election, the governor of the territory shall cause the census or enumeration of the inhabitants of the several counties in the territory to be taken and made by the sheriff's of said counties, respectively, and returns thereof made by the said sheriffs, to the governor. The first election shall be held at such time and place, and be conducted in such manner, as the governor shall appoint and direct; and he shall, at the same time, declare the number of members of the council and house of representatives, to which each of the counties is entitled under this act. The number of persons authorized to be elected having the greatest number of votes in each of the said counties for the council, shall be declared, by the said governor, to be duly elected to the said council ; and the person or persons having the greatest number of votes for the house of representatives, equal to the number to which each county may be entitled, shall also be declared by the governor to be duly elected : provided, The governor shall order a new election where there is a tie between two or more persons voted for, to supply the vacancy made by such tie. And the persons thus elected to the legislative assembly, shall meet at such place, on such day as he shall appoint; but thereafter, the time, place, and manner of holding and conducting all elections by the people, and the apportioning the representation in the several counties, to the council and house of representatives, according to population, shall be prescribed by law, as well as the day of the annual commencement of the session of the said legislative assembly ; but no session, in any year, shall exceed the term of seventy-five days.
SECTION. 5. And be it further enacted. That every free white male citizen of the United States, above the age of twenty-one years, who sball bave been an inhabitant of said territory at the time of its organization, shall be entitled to vote at the first election, and shall be eligible to any office within the said territory; but the qualifications of voters at all subsequent elections shall be such as shall be determined by the legislative assembly: provided, That the right of suffrage shall be exercised only by the citizens of the United States.
SECTION 6. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power of the territory shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation ; but no law shall be passed interfering with the primary disposal of the soil ; no tax shall be imposed upon the property of the United States ; nor shall the lands or other property of non-residents be taxed higher than the lands or other property of residents. All the laws of the governor and legislative assembly shall be submitted to, and if disapproved by the congress of the United States, the same shall be null and of no effect.
SECTION 7. And be it further enacted, That all township officers, and all county officers, except judicial officers, justices of the peace, sheriffs, and clerks of courts, shall be elected by the people, in such manner as may be provided by the governor and legislative assembly. The governor shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the legislative council, shall appoint all judicial officers, justices of the peace, sheriffs, and all militia officers, except those of the staff, and all civil officers not herein provided for. Vacancies occurring in the recess of the council, shall be filled by the appointments from the governor, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the legislative assembly; but the said governor may appoint, in the first instance, the aforesaid officers, who shall hold their offices until the end of the next legislative assembly.
SECTION 8. And be it further enacted, That no member of the legislative assembly shall hold or be appointed to any office created, or the salary or emoluments of which shall have been increased, whilst he was a member, during the term for which he shall have been elected, and for one year after the expiration of such term; and no person holding a coinmission under the United States, or any of its officers, except as a militia officer, shall be a member of the said council, or shall hold any office under the government of the said territory.
SECTION 9. And be it further enacted, That the judicial power of the said territory shall be vested in a supreme court, distict courts, probate courts, and in justices of the peace. The supreme court shall consist of a chief justice and two associate judges, any two of whom shall be a quorum, and who shall hold a term at the seat of government of the said territory, annually, and they shall hold their offices during good behaviour. The said territory shall be divided into three judicial districts, and a district court or courts shall be held in each of the three districts, by one of the judges of the supreme court, at such times and places as may be prescribed by law. The jurisdiction of the several courts herein provided for, both appellate and original, and that of the probate courts, and of the justices of the peace, shall be as limited by law: