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

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Concentration camp sweater worn by Tadeusz Kowalczyk while a prisoner at Auschwitz during World War II. (Museum object #1985.92)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 52nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison in April 1865, at the very end of the war.

The Story of Lost Bird

Discover this harrowing story that brings together a feminist pioneer and the infant her husband found in the aftermath of Wounded Knee.

Historical Essay

Jose Canseco Baseball Card

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Baseball card featuring Jose Canseco of the Madison Muskies, published by Larry Fritsch Cards, Inc, Stevens Point, WI, 1983. (Museum object #1984.156.13)

Historical Essay

1930s UW Gym Suit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

University of Wisconsin student gym suit worn by George Williams, 1933-1934. (Museum object #2005.144.1.1-2)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Appointment book made of ivory, used by Wisconsin politician and businessman Cassius Fairchild of Madison, WI, during the 1850s. (Museum object #1971.19)

Learn about the first extreme winters in Wisconsin suffered by explorers and settlers in the 17th through 19th centuries, with links to other articles

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

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 40th Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Civil War 1864-1865 and lost 19 men during service.
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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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