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Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.

Learn about the LGBT rights movement in Wisconsin. This article also contains links to other articles about the history of the gay movement in WI.

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

Historical Essay

Courtship Advice Fan

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Victorian scrapbook fan made by Julia Morris of Madison, decorated with suggestions about courtship, love and marriage, 1895-1899. (Museum object #1955.480

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

State Capitol Spittoon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ornamented bronze cuspidor (spittoon) used in the Wisconsin State Capitol, c. 1915-1955. (Museum object #1955.3600,A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Drum kit used by Viroqua, Wisconsin, native Butch Vig when he played with the bands Spooner, Fire Town, and the Grammy-nominated Garbage. (Museum object)

Historical Essay

The Black Hawk War

Read about the war with the Sauk Indians in the summer of 1832 which resulted in their massacre and defeat and the removal of the tribe from Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read a brief description of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters, Co. G. This article includes links to original documents and other accounts of the Company.

Learn about the Vietnam War and Wisconsin's role in supporting and opposing the American involvement in that conflict.

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)

Historical Essay

Madison Fire Company Banner

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Madison Fire Company No. 2 silk banner, 1857. (Museum object #1951.288)

Brief bio of Richard Theodore Ely, professor, economist, social reformer and author who played a votal role in shaping the "Wisconsin Idea."

Historical Essay

Flapper Prom Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Evening gown worn by Edith Evelyn Nelson to the University of Wisconsin's Junior Prom, c. 1923. (Museum object #1969.147.2)

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

Historical Essay

'Forward' Statue

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

'Forward' statue by Wisconsin artist Jean Pond Miner, 1893. (Museum object #1998.1.1)

Historical Essay

The First Madison Lodgings

Discover the story surrounding the planning and construction of the first building erected in Madison.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Governor's Guard

Read about a very influential Civil War Colonel that served as aide-de-camp to the top commanders of the Iron Brigade. Includes inks to learn more.

Join cantankerous British geologist George Featherstonehaugh as travels to Madison in 1837 and finds things not as he expected them to be
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