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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Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 16th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on January 31, 1862.

Historical Essay

Pierce, Hattie, 1829-1944

Born into slavery, Hattie Pierce lived 115 years and was able to fully experience both life before and after emancipation.

Historical Essay

Brewing and Prohibition

Read about the brewing industry, the temperance movement, and the effects of prohibition in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Campaign jacket worn by Chris Farley in the 1996 movie "Black Sheep." (Museum object #2007.86.1)

Historical Essay

African American Migration

World War II and it Effect on Blacks

Discover the effects World War II had on Blacks in Wisconsin.

Historian and Educator

Brief biography of George Lachmann Mosse (1918-1999).

Historical Essay

Land Speculation and Cities

How Real Estate Owners Created Wisconsin

Discover how land owners promoted their towns and villages for settlers and created the cities you know today.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Deauville-style chair used at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, 1930s. (Museum object #1982.271.9)

Historical Essay

The Black Hawk War

A Misunderstanding Leads to Massacre

Discover how a Treaty Misunderstanding led to the Massacre of Thousands of Sauk Indians
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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