I am excited to share each of the articles in this issue. Although they address many different topics, they all touch on the personal, social, and political conflicts that often accompany economic development, especially with regard to land use. James Ombrello, Jr.’s, article on James Doty explores political conflict during Wisconsin’s formative territorial period, from 1836 to 1848. Monette Bebow-Reinhardt’s piece on John Arndt’s lumber mill on the Pensaukee River considers not only Arndt’s business strategies but also the negotiations between the United States and its citizens with the Menominee Nation for control over land and resources. Jeff Siemers’s article on the Christian missionary church of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians considers how internal political debates over how best to secure lands and autonomy affected the work of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) within the tribal community. Noriko Itoh and Willem Keeris’s article profiles Guido Verbeck, who lived in Green Bay briefly during the 1850s before becoming an important missionary and cultural emissary to Japan. During his time in Green Bay, Verbeck became tangled in a business controversy involving another recent immigrant, Otto Tank, who played a significant role in the development of Green Bay in the mid-nineteenth century. Finally, Linda Wallenfang’s article uncovers an early twentieth-century road-building controversy that followed upon the completion of a railroad through the small town of New Franken in 1891. Each in their own way, these articles remind us that every road, church, and business in our region has a story—or many stories—waiting to be told.
The cover image, an 1849 painting of Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican leader Austin E. Quinney, represents an important part of the history of northeast Wisconsin. Quinney, along with his cousin John, supported efforts of the Stockbridge-Munsee to protect their land and tribal sovereignty after their migration to Wisconsin in the 1820s. The first three articles in this issue speak to the central role that First Nations play in the history of our region.
This year I celebrated twenty years as editor-in-chief. I’m retiring after this issue, and it’s bittersweet that this is my last letter to you.* I am Voyageur’s third editor. Dean O’Brien, the previous editor, retired from teaching at UW-Green Bay and moved away. This was at a time when the Internet was relatively new and long-distance calls were expensive, so I was mostly on my own. While I didn’t reinvent the wheel, over the years I changed the wheel as far as some of the content and look of the magazine goes. Few people get a chance to do something they love. As a journalist and a historian, Voyageur has been a perfect fit. But sometimes I didn’t realize what I had. Juggling my jobs as a professor and an editor while raising two children as a single mother often seemed overwhelming. But it was worth it, and it’s an understatement to say that I will miss all of you—readers; contributors; members of the Editorial Committee; Voyageur staff; student graphic artists and editorial assistants; Brown County Historical Society members, leaders, and staff; and University of Wisconsin- Green Bay colleagues, especially in the communication and history programs. And, of course, I’ll miss the magazine.
I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to have been part of a team and magazine that created a lasting record of the pre-history and history Northeast Wisconsin. All of you, through your support, have made the last two decades possible.
*Professor Goff's last issue was the Winter/Spring 2015 issue.
Voyageur is a nonprofit magazine about the history of a 26-county area of greater Northeast Wisconsin. It's published twice a year, each June and December. Publication frequency is Summer/Fall and Winter/Spring. Each 64-page edition highlights historic people, places and events from the region's past. Voyageur has a readership of 10,000. It's distributed to homes, schools, libraries, businesses and other locations throughout Wisconsin, in nearly all fifty states and overseas. Voyageur has published two issues a year since its beginning in 1984. The magazine is published by the Brown County Historical Society in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and St. Norbert College in De Pere.
As many readers know, Professor Victoria Goff ’s final issue as Editor-in-Chief was the Winter/Spring 2015 edition. She did excellent work as editor for twenty years, and I am humbled to follow in her footsteps. I thank her for passing many manuscripts and ideas to me for this issue. I would also like to recognize three members of the editorial board who are stepping down after many years of service. Thanks to Thelma McLester and Jeanine Mead, and to Kerry Trask, whose long service to the magazine included a stint as chair of the Editorial Committee. I would also like to thank Steven Sheehan for his recent term as chair of the Editorial Committee. New to the Editorial Committee are J P Leary, Eric Morgan (who is also Review Editor), and James Ombrello, Jr., each of whom assisted with this issue. Art Director Toni Damkoehler gently guided me through the publication process. Finally, the students who served as editorial assistants and graphic designers did excellent work to help create this issue. Publishing Voyageur is a highly collaborative project, and I am grateful to be working with such a wonderful team of colleagues. I would like to dedicate my labors on this issue to the late Frank S. Luttmer, who mentored me in research, writing, and editing—among other arts.