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

Wisconsin's First Election

Creating the Wisconsin Territory

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first elections and how the state was divided into its present-day areas.

Historical Essay

The War of 1812

Wisconsin's Involvement with the war on the French, British and Natives

Learn how the British relinquished control of Wisconsin and Americans took over the region's fur trade during the war of 1812.

A Warrior Prepared to Die is Disappointed

Discover the story of a Ho-Chunk warrior who surrenders and is grieved at receiving a fair trial.

From Slave to Healer

Learn about Mary Ann Menard, Wisconsin's first doctor.

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

Lice Comb from Fort Crawford

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Bone lice comb from site of first Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 1816-1829. (Museum object #1997.62.11941)

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.

Historical Essay

War of 1812 Cannonball

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Fragment of six-pound cannonball fired in battle between American and British forces on July 1814 at Prairie du Chien, Illinois Territory (now Wisconsin).

When the Beaver was King

Discover how beavers transformed Wisconsin's economy in the 1650s for the next two centuries.

A Bizarre Story of Scientific Progress

Learn the bizarre story and scientific contributions of Alexis St. Martin, the man who lived over 50 years after a shotgun blasted a hole in his side.
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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.