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

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.

Historical Essay

1960s Prom Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Dress worn by Marti Hall to the spring prom at Madison West High School in 1966. (Museum object #2004.135.1)

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

The 8th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison, mustered into service September 13, 1861, and left for St. Louis on October 12, 1861.

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

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 20th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on August 23, 1862.

Historical Essay

Home Childbirth Training Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Miniature Home Delivery Kit" used to instruct expectant mothers by the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, c. 1938. (Museum object #1995.6.1-51)

Learn about Wisconsin's contributions to the Civil War effort, including the Iron Brigade and Old Abe, the war eagle.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 34th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on December, 1862.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Schlitz "Sunshine Vitamin D" Beer Can featuring Continental Can Co.'s new crown top design, 1936. (Museum Object 2011.77.1)
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