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.

Search Within:

Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

1 2 3
.

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

An Unreliable Text and Other Evidence

Wisconsin History books teach that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach the state, but he may have been the second.

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

Campers' Wash-Up Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wash-Up Kit made by the Bay West Company, Green Bay. Distributed by the Yankee Paper and Specialty Co. of Menasha in the 1920s. (Museum object #1998.6.2)

How Wisconsin was Divided

Discover how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery and led to the survey of public lands north of the Ohio River.

Historical Essay

Bra Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Land of the Freed-up Woman American flag banner made from bras, 1971. (Museum object #2000.79.1)

Historical Essay

Beaver Top Hat

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Top hat made from beaver felt and worn by Green Bay resident Morgan L. Martin, c. 1825. (Museum object #1968.644)

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

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 Wisconsin Civil War Story

1 2 3

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.

.
.