Moses M. Strong | Painting | Wisconsin Historical Society


Moses M. Strong

Moses M. Strong | Painting | Wisconsin Historical Society
Painted portrait of Moses Strong.
Painted portrait of Moses Strong.
Image ID:2952
Creation Date:date unknown
Creator Name:Stuart, James Reeve
Collection Name:WHS Museum Collection
Original Format Type:paintings
Original Format Number:Museum 1942.171
Original Dimensions:unknown
"Strong, Moses McCure (May 20, 1810-July 20,1894), lawyer, politician, speculator and promoter, author, b. Rutland, Vt. He attended Middlebury and Dartmouth colleges and the Litchfield (Conn.) Law School, and in 1831 was admitted to the bar. In 1836 Strong moved to Wisconsin Territory, settling in Mineral Point, where for a time served as land agent for various eastern speculators. A Democrat, he served by appointment from President Martin Van Buren as U.S. District Attorney for the Territory of Wisconsin (1838-1841), and from 1841 to 1846 was a prominent member of the upper house of Wisconsin's territorial legislature. Strong was a delegate to the first state constitutional convention (1846), and in 1847 was an unsuccessful candidate for territorial delegate to Congress on the Democratic ticket. He was state assemblyman (1850, 1857), and for several years was recognized as one of the most important Democratic politicians in western Wisconsin. An active speculator and promoter during the era preceding the Civil War, Strong, despite his optimism, ambition and native intelligence, never achieved the political power and monetary fortune which he sought. Prone to short cuts and to gambling, both in business and in politics, Strong speculated heavily in lead mining ventures in Iowa and Layfayette counties. He was acitve in many early railroad schemes, and with Bryon Kilbourn was one of the prinicipal promoters of the La Crosse and Milwaukee R.R. In 1856 he acted as Kilbourn's agent in delivering bribes to state legislators in behalf of a land-grant fo that line, and in 1858 when the bribery charges were investigated, Strong's politcal fortunes suffered a sharp decline. His politcal eclipse was augmented by the collapse of his speculative financial ventures during the panic of 1857, and increased with his severe criticism of the Lincoln administration during the Civil War. Returning to his law practice in Mineral Point, Strong served as president of the state bar association (1878-1893), was a member of the state board of bar examiners (1885-1894), and from 1871 until his death was vice-president of the State Historical Society. He was author of a History of the Territory of Wisconsin (1885) as well as several other articles and memoirs on early Wisconsin history." (State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography, 1960, p. 343.)
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