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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Read about African Americans and the struggle for civil rights in Milwaukee and Madison in the 1960s and 1970s.

Historical Essay

State Capitol Spittoon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ornamented bronze cuspidor (spittoon) used in the Wisconsin State Capitol, c. 1915-1955. (Museum object #1955.3600,A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Marquetry table made by August Schlaak as a Christmas present for his daughter, 1923-1929. (Museum object #2003.78.1)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 4th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Utley in Racine and mustered into service on July 9, 1861.

Read about the desperate 1832 battle near Madison, WI, of the starving Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo Native Americans against the British and the Ho-Chunk.

Historical Essay

Mrs. Fairchild's Worth Gown

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Gown made by Charles Frederick Worth of Paris for Frances Fairchild of Madison, Wisconsin, 1880. (Museum object #1945.960,A)

Historical Essay

The Founding of Major Cities

Read how land speculation and the development of transportation spurred settlement in 19th-century Wisconsin, leading to the rise of larger cities.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Inauguration gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Sue Ann Thompson at her first inauguration ball, 1987. (Museum object #2003.61.1a-b)

Historical Essay

John Muir's Clockwork Desk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cockwork study desk built by naturalist John Muir while at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1861-1863. (Museum object F1998.85.1)

Historical Essay

Courtship Advice Fan

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Victorian scrapbook fan made by Julia Morris of Madison, decorated with suggestions about courtship, love and marriage, 1895-1899. (Museum object #1955.480
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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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