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Henry Dodge


In office
June 8, 1848 – March 3, 1857
Preceded by (none)
Succeeded by James R. Doolittle

Born October 12, 1782
Vincennes, Indiana
Died June 19, 1867 (aged 84)
Burlington, Iowa
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Christiana McDonald Dodge
Profession Politician, Soldier
Military service
Service/branch Missouri Militia
Michigan Territory Militia
United States Army
Rank Major General
Colonel
Major
Battles/wars War of 1812
Black Hawk War
Dodge and the Miamis from a mural in the Missouri State Capitol

Henry Dodge (October 12, 1782 – June 19, 1867) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, Territorial Governor of Wisconsin and a veteran of the Black Hawk War. His son was Augustus C. Dodge with whom he served in the U.S. Senate, the first, and so far only, father-son pair to serve concurrently. Henry Dodge was the half brother of Lewis F. Linn. James Clarke, the Governor of Iowa Territory, was the son-in-law of Henry Dodge.[1]

Though was born in Vincennes, Indiana, he was raised a Kentuckian. Circumstance drove him to Spanish Missouri at an early age, where he rejoined his father Israel and an uncle. He dabbled in salt boiling and lead digging, and served as deputy sheriff of Ste. Genevieve County under his father. In 1801, he married Christiana McDonald.

During the War of 1812, Dodge was first elected as captain of a mounted company; he finished the war as a major general of the Missouri militia. His crowning achievement was saving about 150 Miami Indians from certain massacre after their raid on the Boone's Lick settlement in the summer of 1814.

Dodge emigrated with his large family and slaves inherited from his father to the U.S. Mineral District in early July 1827. He served as a commander of militia during the Red Bird uprising of that year, and in October settled a large tract in present day downtown Dodgeville, known then as "Dodge's Camp." He worked a large claim until around 1830, when he moved several miles south in a beautiful forested area known still as "Dodge's Grove." Here he began building what would become a large two-story frame house for his ever growing extended family.

Fate however took a hand, and Dodge rose to prominence during the Black Hawk War of 1832. As colonel of the western Michigan Territory militia, Dodge brought a credible fighting force into being in a very short time. More than fifteen forts, fortified homes and blockhouses sprang up almost overnight. From these forts, Dodge and the mounted volunteers, with four companies of Territorial militia and one of Illinois mounted rangers, took to the field as the "Michigan Mounted Volunteers." Dodge and his men saw action at the battles of Horseshoe Bend, Wisconsin Heights, and Bad Axe. In June 1832, he accepted a commission as Major (United States) of the Regiment of Mounted Rangers, commissioned by an Act of Congress.

The ranger experiment lasted a year, and then, in 1833, was replaced by the United States Regiment of Dragoons. Dodge served as colonel; one of his captains was Nathan Boone, Daniel Boone's youngest son. In the summer of 1834, Dodge engaged on a series of long marches and made successful contact with the Comanches.

He was a renowned Indian fighter, most noted for his 1835 peace mission commissioned by President Andrew Jackson, who had called out the U.S. Dragoons to assist.

Dodge was the first Territorial Governor of Wisconsin Territory from 1836 - 1841 and again from 1845 - 1848, an area which encompassed (before December 28, 1846, when Iowa became a state) what became the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.

He declined a nomination for the Presidency of the United States in the 1844 Democratic National Convention. He was loyal to Martin Van Buren and both men opposed the annexation of Texas. Despite their efforts, James K. Polk, the Democrat who favored annexation, became President.

Upon Wisconsin being admitted to the Union, Dodge was elected one of its first two senators. He served two terms. He turned down the appointment of Territorial Governor of Washington from Franklin Pierce in 1857.[2]

In 1948, Iowa County presented a 160-acre (0.6 km2) estate to the State of Wisconsin which eventually was named Governor Dodge State Park. Over the years, this park has grown to include 5,270 acres (21 km2) in the area Henry Dodge once called his home.

Also, Dodge County, Wisconsin was named after Dodge.[3]

Notes

External links

Political offices
New creation
Formation of Wisconsin Territory
Governor of Wisconsin Territory
1836–1841
Succeeded by
James Doty
Preceded by
Nathaniel P. Tallmadge
Governor of Wisconsin Territory
1845–1848
Succeeded by
Nelson Dewey
as Governor of Wisconsin
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
James D. Doty
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin Territory

March 4, 1841 – March 3, 1845
Succeeded by
Morgan L. Martin
United States Senate
Preceded by
(none)
United States Senator (Class 1) from Wisconsin
June 8, 1848 – March 3, 1857
Served alongside: Isaac P. Walker and Charles Durkee
Succeeded by
James R. Doolittle
Honorary titles
Preceded by
William Wilkins
Oldest living U.S. Senator
June 23, 1865 – June 19, 1867
Succeeded by
Wilson Lumpkin
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