Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
When Wisconsin Had Two Governors

Read More About It

"Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography" by Wisconsin Historical Society

"Wisconsin Blue Book" 1960


county commissioner

Interesting Fact:

Seven members of his father's family fought in the Revolutionary War.

Study Questions:

  • What was Barstow's occupation after the Civil War?
  • What type of fraud was Barstow involved in during the 1855 election?
  • What scandals occured during his first term?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on September 13:

    1788: The Congress of the Confederation declared New York City the temporary national capital.

  • September 13

    Wisconsin's Governors

    William Barstow, the third governor of Wisconsin, was born in 1813 in Plainfield, Connecticut. Barstow moved to Wisconsin in 1839, settling in Prairieville where he operated a flour mill and was postmaster and county commissioner. He moved to Madison and was elected secretary of state in 1849 and governor in 1853. His term in office was plagued by scandals and corruption. Barstow was reelected and installed for a second term in January 1856. His opponent, Coles Bashford, contested the election, alleging fraud, and the Supreme Court decided against Governor Barstow. This was the first case in the history of the country when a Supreme Court ousted an elected governor, replacing him with the opponent. Barstow moved to Janesville and entered the Civil War. Died: December 14, 1865.

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