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

Early U.S. Settlement

Military Outposts in Wisconsin

Read how American forts were established and settlement increased in Wisconsin after the War of 1812.

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

A Bizarre Story of Land Prospecting Gone Awry

Read the amazing story of a man who watched his potential 10,000-square-mile northern Wisconsin empire disappear into thin air.

Read about "allotment," which was the Indian policy of the U.S. government from 1887-1934; also called the Dawes Act.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cherokee twilled basket, probably traded to Wisconsin, mid 19th century. (Museum object #1955.1021)

Historical Essay

Ho-Chunk Nation

A Brief Introduction

Read about the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. Learn more on the Ho-Chunk Nation's website about their heritage, culture, and more.

Historical Essay

Frontier Clay Pipe Fragment

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Clay pipe bowl found at Sheard Road site, Racine County, Wisconsin. (Museum object #1998.236.249)

Historical Essay

Wau

Read about the possible historic origins of the frequently used syllable "wau" in the geographic names of Wisconsin.

Evidence of First Feasts

Take a look at some first hand accounts of the ways Native Americans of Wisconsin celebrated their own Thanksgiving ceremonies.

Historical Essay

Forest County Potawatomi

A Brief Introduction

Read about the Forest County Potawatomi band of Wisconsin.

A Brief Introduction to Ojibwe Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa

Read about the six bands of Wisconsin Lake Superior Chippewa. Learn more on each band's website about their history, culture, and more.
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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