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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Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites managing editor of the WI State Journal and historian who was "the best known non-political man in Wisconsin."

Historical Essay

Governor Dreyfus's Red Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Red velveteen vest worn by Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, c. 1975. (Museum object #1982.450.15)

Historical Essay

The First Madison Lodgings

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

Historical Essay

Madison Style Ice Boat Model

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Madison Style ice boat model built by the Bernard family, c. 1917, rebuilt 1977. (Museum object #1983.292)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 4th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Utley in Racine and mustered into service on July 9, 1861.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 49th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison between December 24, 1864, and March 5, 1865.

Read about how Madison was chosen the capitol city during the first Wisconsin territorial convention

Historical Essay

La Follette Casket Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

United States Flag used to drape the caskets of both Robert M. La Follette, Sr. and Jr. (Museum object #1951.187)

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Marshall, Business Owner

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.
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