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

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.

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.

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).

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.

Historical Essay

Catlin, John, 1803-1874

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Read about the fur trade conducted with the Wisconsin Indians over two centuries by first the French, then the British, and finally the Americans.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 31st Wisconsin Infantry was organized by companies at Prairie du Chien and at Camp Utley in Racine.

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

Civil War Loyalty Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

20-star United States Flag used in initiation ceremonies to the Union League, where members swore to protect the Union and its values, Prairie du Chien, Wi

Read about the creation of the Wisconsin territory, the formation of a territorial government, and the move of the capital from Belmont to Madison.
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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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