Territorial Governor. He was appointed a federal judge by President Monroe in 1823 for what is now the state of Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan, and served in that capacity until 1832. As a member of the Michigan territorial council in the early 1830s, he argued for the partition of Michigan to give adequate representation to the area west of Lake Michigan. His efforts came to fruition in 1836 when Michigan was divided and the territories of Wisconsin and Iowa were created. He lobbied heavily for the creation of a territorial capital in the middle of the territory, where he had extensive land holdings. In November of 1836, his efforts were successful, and he named the new capital "Madison." In 1836, he was elected as Wisconsin territory's congressional delegate. President Tyler appointed him as Governor of Wisconsin territory and he served an uneventful administration until 1844. Shortly after Wisconsin became a state, he was elected to the U. S. Congress, serving as a Democrat and Free-Soiler from 1849 until 1853. In 1861, he relocated to Salt Lake City when President Lincoln appointed him Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Utah territory. His success in dealing with native Americans led the president to appoint him Governor of Utah territory in 1863. As governor, he worked to establish schools and build a more trusting relationship between Washington and the territory's Mormon and Native American populations. His efforts were frustrated by the preoccupation of the federal government with the Civil War. He died in office shortly after the outbreak of Utah's Black Hawk War in 1865.
Bio by: Thomas Fisher