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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Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Sturgeon decoy carved and painted by Ojibwe artist John V. Snow. (Museum Object #1996.118.106A-B)

Historical Essay

The Trial of Chief Oshkosh

The Clash of U.S Law and Indian Legal Tradition

Learn how the trial of Menominee Chief Oshkosh, one of the most famous in Wisconsin history, pitted Indian traditional justice against white man's law.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Cast Iron Effigy Mound Model

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cast iron Wisconsin effigy mound model in the shape of a "trunk and arms of a man", designed by Increase A. Lapham, c. 1875. (Museum object #1975.8.12)

Historical Essay

Oneota Ceramic Vessel

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Decorated shell-tempered pot from the OT site (47-LC-0262), 1500-1625. (Museum object #1995.218.39)

Historical Essay

Effigy Mounds Culture

A People and Their Structures

Learn how the Effigy Mounds communities that transformed Native American life

Historical Essay

Ho-Chunk Hide Scraper

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wooden handled hide scraper with steel blade made and used by Ho-Chunk Indians in Wisconsin in the early 20th century. (Museum object #1951.949)

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

Historical Essay

Sioux Uprising (1862)

Brief description of the 1862 Sioux Uprising.

The Changing Status of the Native Americans

Read about Wisconsin's Indian tribes and their changing legal status throughout the 20th century.
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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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