Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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Historical Essay

Governor Dreyfus's Red Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Red velveteen vest worn by Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, c. 1975. (Museum object #1982.450.15)

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's First Election

Here is the story of Wisconsin's first elections.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Giant knife presented to John Fox Potter by Missouri Republicans after his challenge to duel with a Virginia congressman, 1860. (Museum object #1957.112)

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Read about Governor Tommy Thompson's efforts to revitalize Wisconsin's economy and reform the state's welfare programs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Learn about the election that was so close that Wisconsin briefly had two governors until one was exposed for tampering with ballots.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Appointment book made of ivory, used by Wisconsin politician and businessman Cassius Fairchild of Madison, WI, during the 1850s. (Museum object #1971.19)
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