The Sixth Wisconsin Legislature convened from January 12, 1853, to April 4, 1853, in regular session. They reconvened from June 6 to July 13 to sit as a court of impeachment for Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Levi Hubbell.
|6th Wisconsin Legislature|
|Legislative body||Wisconsin Legislature|
|Meeting place||Wisconsin State Capitol|
|Term||January 3, 1853 – January 2, 1854|
|Election||November 2, 1852|
|Senate President||Timothy Burns|
Until September 21, 1853
|President pro tempore||Duncan Reed|
|Assembly Speaker||Henry L. Palmer|
This was the first legislative session after the expansion and redistricting of the Senate and Assembly. The Senate grew from 19 to 25 seats; he Assembly grew from 66 to 82 seats.
Senators representing odd-numbered districts were newly elected for this session and were serving the first year of a two-year term. Assemblymembers were elected to a one-year term. Assemblymembers and odd-numbered senators were elected in the general election of November 2, 1852. Senators representing even-numbered districts were serving the second year of their two-year term, having been elected in the general election held on November 4, 1851, or were elected in the 1852 election for a newly created district and were serving a one-year term.
- March 4, 1853: Inauguration of Franklin Pierce as the 14th President of the United States.
- March 5, 1853: Wisconsin State Assembly voted to impeach Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge Levi Hubbell.
- July 11, 1853: Judge Levi Hubbell was acquitted in a trial of impeachment in the Wisconsin State Senate.
- September 21, 1853: Lieutenant Governor Timothy Burns died in office.
- November 8, 1853: William A. Barstow elected Governor of Wisconsin.
- February 11, 1853: Act to divide the County of La Crosse and create the County of Jackson, 1853 Act 8
- February 16, 1853: Act to incorporate the County of Shawanaw, 1853 Act 9
- March 4, 1853: Act to incorporate the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1853 Act 17
- March 7, 1853: Act for the division of the county of Washington, and the creation of the county of Ozaukee, 1853 Act 21
- March 14, 1853: Act to divide Saint Croix, and create the counties of Pierce and Polk, 1853 Act 31
- March 19, 1853: Act to organize a Seventh Judicial Circuit, and to provide for the election of a Judge thereof, 1853 Act 40
- March 19, 1853: Act to provide for contesting elections of members of the Senate and Assembly, 1853 Act 41
- March 25, 1853: Act providing for the Geological Survey of the State, 1853 Act 47
- April 2, 1853: Act providing for the organization of Joint Stock Companies, 1853 Act 68
- June 6, 1853: Act to amend article four of the Constitution, 1853 Act 95, to change state senate terms from two years to four years. This act was eventually put to a referendum in 1854, where it was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin.
- July 6, 1853: Act to divide the county of Jackson, and create the counties of Buffalo and Clarke, 1853 Act 100
- July 6, 1853: Act to submit to the people the question of a Prohibitory Liquor Law, 1853 Act 101
- July 12, 1853: Act to provide for the punishment of murder in the first degree, and to abolish the penalty of death, 1853 Act 103. With this act, Wisconsin became the first U.S. state to abolish the death penalty.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous Legislature||12||1||6||19||0|
|Start of 1st Session||18||0||7||25||0|
|from May 1||17||0||7||24||1|
|from June 8||18||0||7||25||0|
|Final voting share||68%||0%||32%|
|Beginning of the next Legislature||22||0||3||25||0|
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous Legislature||28||6||32||66||0|
|Final voting share||67%||9%||24%|
|Beginning of the next Legislature||51||4||27||82||0|
- 1st Regular session: January 12, 1853 – April 4, 1853
- Special Impeachment session: June 6, 1853 – July 13, 1853
- President of the Senate: Timothy Burns, Lieutenant Governor (Until his death, September 21, 1853)
- President pro tempore: Duncan Reed
- Speaker of the Assembly: Henry L. Palmer
Members of the SenateEdit
Members of the Wisconsin Senate for the Sixth Wisconsin Legislature (25):
Members of the AssemblyEdit
Members of the Assembly for the Sixth Wisconsin Legislature (82):
- Chief Clerk: John K. Williams
- Sergeant-at-Arms: Thomas Hood
- Chief Clerk: Thomas McHugh
- Sergeant-at-Arms: Richard F. Wilson
Changes from the 5th LegislatureEdit
The most significant structural change to the Legislature between the 5th and 6th sessions was the reapportionment and redistricting of legislative seats. The new districts were defined in 1852 Wisconsin Act 499, passed into law in the 5th Wisconsin Legislature.
Summary of changesEdit
- 12 districts were simply renumbered without border adjustments.
- Waukesha County went from having one senator to two (9, 10).
- Rock County went from having one senator to two (17, 18).
- Washington County went from having one senator to two (3, 4)—the territory comprising the 3rd district became a separate county, Ozaukee, during the 6th Legislature.
- Columbia County became its own senate district (25), after previously having been in a shared district with Adams, Marathon, Marquette, Portage, Sauk, and Waushara.
- Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties became separate senate districts (20, 21), after previously having been in a shared district with Waupaca.
- Adams, Marquette, Sauk, and Waushara counties became a senate district (23).
- Calumet, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan counties became a senate district (1), separating from the previous vast multi-county northeast district.
- Brown, Door, Marathon, Oconto, Outagamie, Portage, and Waupaca counties constituted the new multi-county northeast district (2).
|Dist.||9th Legislature||10th Legislature|
|1||Brown, Calumet, Door, Oconto, Manitowoc, Sheboygan counties||Calumet, Manitowoc, Sheboygan counties|
|2||Adams, Columbia, Marathon, Marquette, Portage, Sauk, Waushara counties||Brown, Door, Marathon, Oconto, Outagamie, Portage, Waupaca counties|
|3||Bad Ax, Chippewa, Crawford, La Crosse, La Pointe, St. Croix||Eastern Washington County (Ozaukee County)|
|4||Fond du Lac, Waupaca, Winnebago counties||Western Washington County (Washington County)|
|5||Iowa, Richland counties||Northern Milwaukee County|
|6||Grant County||Southern Milwaukee County|
|7||Lafayette County||Racine County|
|8||Green County||Kenosha County|
|9||Dane County||Northern Waukesha County|
|10||Dodge County||Southern Waukesha County|
|11||Washington County||Dane County|
|12||Jefferson County||Walworth County|
|13||Waukesha County||Lafayette County|
|14||Walworth County||Jefferson County|
|15||Rock County||Iowa, Richland counties|
|16||Kenosha County||Grant County|
|17||Racine County||Western Rock County|
|18||Southern Milwaukee County||Eastern Rock County|
|19||Northern Milwaukee County||Bad Ax, Chippewa, Crawford, La Crosse, La Pointe, St. Croix counties|
|20||Did not exist in 5th Legislature||Fond du Lac County|
|23||Adams, Marquette, Sauk, Waushara counties|
Summary of changesEdit
- Columbia County went from having 1 district to 2.
- Dane County went from having 3 districts to 5.
- Dodge County went from having 5 districts to 6.
- Fond du Lac County went from having 2 districts to 4.
- Grant County went from having 4 districts to 5.
- Iowa County went from having 1 district and 1 shared district with Richland to having 2 districts.
- Jefferson County went from having 3 districts to 5.
- Lafayette County went from having 2 districts to 3.
- Marquette and Waushara counties went from sharing 1 district to sharing 2 districts.
- Milwaukee County went from having 7 districts to 9.
- Racine County went from having 3 districts to 4.
- Richland County became its own assembly district, after previously having been in a shared district with Iowa County.
- Rock County went from having 5 districts to 4.
- Walworth County went from having 5 districts to 6.
- Washington County went from having 5 districts to 4—the eastern 2 districts became Ozaukee County during the 6th Legislature.
- Waukesha County went from having 5 districts to 4.
|County||Districts in 5th Legislature||Districts in 6th Legislature||Change|
|Adams||Shared with Marathon, Portage||Shared with Sauk|
|Bad Ax||Shared with Chippewa, Crawford, La Crosse||Shared with Crawford|
|Brown||Shared with Door, Kewaunee, Oconto, Outagamie||Shared with Door, Kewaunee|
|Calumet||1 District||1 District|
|Chippewa||Shared with Bad Ax, Crawford, La Crosse||Shared with La Crosse|
|Columbia||1 District||2 Districts|
|Crawford||Shared with Bad Ax, Chippewa, La Crosse||Shared with Bad Ax|
|Dane||3 Districts||5 Districts|
|Dodge||5 Districts||6 Districts|
|Door||Shared with Brown, Kewaunee, Oconto, Outagamie||Shared with Brown, Kewaunee|
|Fond du Lac||2 Districts||4 Districts|
|Grant||4 Districts||5 Districts|
|Green||1 District||1 District|
|Iowa||2 shared with Richland||2 Districts|
|Jefferson||3 Districts||5 Districts|
|Kenosha||2 Districts||2 Districts|
|Kewaunee||Shared with Brown, Door, Oconto, Outagamie||Shared with Brown, Door|
|La Crosse||Shared with Bad Ax, Chippewa, Crawford||Shared with Chippewa|
|La Pointe||Shared with St. Croix||Shared with St. Croix|
|Lafayette||2 Districts||3 Districts|
|Manitowoc||1 District||1 District|
|Marathon||Shared with Adams, Portage||Shared with Portage|
|Marquette||Shared with Waushara||2 Shared with Waushara|
|Milwaukee||7 Districts||9 Districts|
|Oconto||Shared with Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Outagamie||Shared with Outagamie, Waupaca|
|Outagamie||Shared with Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Oconto||Shared with Oconto, Waupaca|
|Portage||Shared with Adams, Marathon||Shared with Marathon|
|Racine||3 Districts||4 Districts|
|Richland||1 shared with Iowa||1 District|
|Rock||5 Districts||4 Districts|
|Sauk||1 District||Shared with Adams|
|Sheboygan||2 Districts||2 Districts|
|St. Croix||Shared with La Pointe||Shared with La Pointe|
|Walworth||5 Districts||6 Districts|
|Washington||5 Districts||4 Districts|
|Waukesha||5 Districts||4 Districts|
|Waupaca||Shared with Fond du Lac, Winnebago||Shared with Oconto, Outagamie|
|Waushara||Shared with Marquette||2 Shared with Marquette|
|Winnebago||Shared with Fond du Lac, Waupaca||2 Districts|
- ^ "Annals of the legislature". The Blue Book of the state of Wisconsin 1881 (Report). State of Wisconsin. pp. 185–186.
- ^ "Election Returns". The Weekly Wisconsin. November 10, 1852. p. 2. Retrieved August 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
- ^ "A Clear Field and Fair Fight". Waukesha Democrat. October 12, 1852. p. 2. Retrieved August 8, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.