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

Automobile Culture

Wisconsin and the Invention of the Car

Discover how Wisconsin's influence on the automobile and tourist culture.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Spirits Lead a Woman to Fortune

Morris Pratt was a well known psychic medium whose legacy is his eponymous spiritualist institution in Whitewater, known locally as "Pratt's Folly."

Historical Essay

African American Migration

World War II and it Effect on Blacks

Discover the effects World War II had on Blacks in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Farming and Industry

How a Disaster Made Wisconsin the Dairy State

Discover how Wisconsin became the nation's leader in wheat long before it was renowned for dairy, and the disaster that made it all possible.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 13th Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Civil War from 1861-1865, losing 193 men in service.

Historical Essay

Black History in Wisconsin

Read about Black history in Wisconsin. There are many links to original documents, pictures, eyewitness accounts, and other primary sources.

Historical Essay

Parker Pen Trim Lathe

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Trim lathe used by the Parker Pen Company of Janesville, Wisconsin to manufacture pen barrels and caps, c. 1946-1999. (Museum Object #2001.51.1)

Read about the most famous escapes of fugitive slaves along Wisconsin's Underground Railroad. Includes links to primary sources.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

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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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