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

Early U.S. Settlement

Military Outposts in Wisconsin

Read how American forts were established and settlement increased in Wisconsin after the War of 1812.

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.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

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

From Slave to Healer

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

Evidence of First Feasts

Take a look at some first hand accounts of the ways Native Americans of Wisconsin celebrated their own Thanksgiving ceremonies.

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.

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).

How the Natives Lost Their Land

Learn about the many treaties between the United States government and native tribes.

An Old Man's Tall Tale

Wisconsin pioneer Joseph Crelie was said to be 139 years old when he was exhibited to spectators in 1864. But how old was he really?

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.
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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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