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Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

Read the amazing story of a man who watched his potential 10,000-square-mile northern Wisconsin empire disappear into thin air.

Read an account of the French explorer who claimed much of Wisconsin for France and who traded with several Indian tribes near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

See a list of historical highlights from Wisconsin history

Read about the fur trade conducted with the Wisconsin Indians over two centuries by first the French, then the British, and finally the Americans.

Influential Early Wisconsin Settlers

Wisconsin History textbooks will tell us that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach our state, but there's evidence that he was the second.

Historical Essay

20th-Century Immigration

Learn how economic and social conditions in Wisconsin and elsewhere brought new groups of immigrants to Wisconsin in the 20th century.

Learn how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery, and let to the survey of public lands northwest of the Ohio River.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Learn about the development of professional sports teams in Wisconsin in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Historical Essay

Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865

Read a biographical account of the governor of the Wisconsin territory who was largely responsible for the selection of Madison as Wisconsin's capital.

A Short Biography

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

Early U.S. Settlement

Read how the end of the War of 1812 led to the establishment of American forts and increased exploration and settlement in the Wisconsin territory.

Discover how Wisconsin got it's first printing press.

Historical Essay

The Founding of Major Cities

Read how land speculation and the development of transportation spurred settlement in 19th-century Wisconsin, leading to the rise of larger cities.

Historical Essay

The War of 1812

Learn about the War of 1812 in Wisconsin when the British relinquished control over that territory and Americans took over the fur trade in the region.

Jesuit Missionary

Read about the Jesuit priest who established several missions in Wisconsin during the 17th century.

Historical Essay

Brett Favre's Packers Jersey

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Green Bay Packers football jersey worn by Brett Favre during game against Chicago Bears, January 2, 2005. (Museum object #2005.83.1)

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