Why is Wisconsin called Wisconsin?
Wisconsin is an English spelling of "Ouisconsin", itself a French version of "Mesconsing", a Miami Indian name for what is now called the Wisconsin River. Roughly translated the original meaning describes it as a river meandering through something red, most likely referring to the red sandstone bluffs in the Wisconsin Dells area. So, it would seem that the state of Wisconsin was named after the river by the same name and not the other way around as one might surmise. This is not surprising, however, given that during that time period rivers were major travel routes and routes of trade with the natives of the region. particularly for beaver which were nearly extinct in Europe at the time. James Duane Doty is credited with giving the territory, which later became a state with its name. He rallied Congress to create a new territory called "Chippewau" and when that failed, he tried again proposing the territory be called "Wiskonsin" in recognition of its principal river.