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Austin Barrett is an undergraduate student (Class of 2023) at UW-Madison studying Communication Arts and History. Outside of his studies, Austin spends most of his free time cycling or thinking about cycling.

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The straw case pictured here was created by Cordelia Canfield in 1844. Cordelia was the wife of William Canfield, a noted local historian and surveyor of the Baraboo, WI area. Local rumor states that the case housed and protected a temperance pledge, a written agreement to abstain from alcohol.

The Temperance Movement’s Impact on Wisconsin’s Early Laws

Temperance was a defining and prominent movement in Wisconsin from the state’s admission to the union in 1848 until the mid 1850s. Temperance legislature, and the battles fought in favor of and against it, determined the state’s early legal trajectory.

The Whiskey War of 1854

In 1854, a local who frequented the Brick Tavern inside the Wisconsin House drunkenly assaulted his wife and attempted to murder her. Fed-up and lacking any means to change the situation at hand, a group of women women vowed to march on the Brick Tavern to destroy local spirits.