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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Historical Essay

The Trial of Chief Oshkosh

The Clash of U.S Law and Indian Legal Tradition

The trial of Menominee Chief Oshkosh, one of the most famous in Wisconsin history, pitted Indian traditional justice against white man's law.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cherokee twilled basket, probably traded to Wisconsin, mid 19th century. (Museum object #1955.1021)

Discover how The Wisconsin Dells came to prominence as a Midwestern tourism institution.

Learn how contact with Europeans, the fur trade, and warfare among the tribes drove many Indans to the Wisconsin territory in the 17th century.

Learn how white contact disrupted and transformed Indian life in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Read about the desperate 1832 battle near Madison, WI, of the starving Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo Native Americans against the British and the Ho-Chunk.

Learn about the tragic story of what happened when Ho-Chunk warrior Red Bird and three companions surrender themselves after killing settlers.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Eagle feather dance staff used at 1933 World's Fair by Ho-Chunk dancers from the Wisconsin Dells. (Museum object #2001.49.1)
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