The full content of this document is only available to subscribing institutions. More information can be found via

Title Prospectus and map, 1836
Author Lyon, Lucius (1800-1851)
Cartographer Burr, David H. (1803-1875)
Document Type Official Record; Map; Correspondence
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Prospectus, city block plat, and printed map describing the city of Four Lakes, Wis., probably assembled after April, 1836, in Washington, D.C., by Sen. Lucius Lyon. Prospectus includes a summary of the location and size of the town-to-be; a list of owners (all members of the U.S. Congress); a description by Lucius Lyon of the town’s advantageous location; a copy of a letter (Apr. 14, 1836) from Indian agent Henry Gratiot to Sherman Page (N.Y. Congressman) praising the site; and assurances that in letters to Page, G. W. Featherstonhaugh (geologist and author) and H. R. Schoolcraft (Indian agent and author) also favored the location. Included with the prospectus is a ms. plat of a Four Lakes city block drawn and signed by D. H. Burr. Also included is Burr’s printed map of 1836, on which the site of the town has been marked: 'Map of Illinois with parts of Indiana, Ouisconsin, &c'. The map is a government publication probably detached from: U.S. 24th Cong., 1st sess., 1835-36. H. Rep 525 (serial set 294).
Names Featherstonhaugh, George William (1780-1866); Gratiot, Henry; Page, Sherman (1779-1853); Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe (1793-1864)
Places Lake Mendota, Dane County, Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., Illinois, United States
Keywords settlement, white settlement, land speculation, urban society, government, Congress of the United States, Indian Agent, geographical survey, map, frontier
Theme American Indians and the US Government
Culture Area Northeast, Great Plains
Additional Information Located at the north end of Fourth Lake (Lake Mendota) in Dane County near Madison, Wis., the envisioned city of Four Lakes was planned in the mid-1830s in anticipation of being designated the capital of Wisconsin Territory. The site was surveyed in 1834 by Orson Lyon and probably purchased at public land sales in August, 1835, by Lucius Lyon (U.S. senator from Michigan) on behalf of himself and other real estate speculators. A post office was located in the town and 3,024 lots were planned. With the selection of Madison as the capital in late 1836, the city of Four Lakes never materialized. In 1843, the legislature voted to tax the town plat as farmland.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT oversize Ayer MS 3081
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue