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Historical Essay

Effigy Mounds Culture

Learn about the Effigy Mound communities which transformed Native American life in Wisconsin between 600 and 1000 AD.

Native American Photographs

Collection of photographs documenting Native American life and the impact of federal government.

Read about Ho-Chunk Chief Dandy's interesting and friendly interactions with white settlers in Wisconsin, even while he was a fugitive.

Read about the Woodland and Middle Mississippean Indian cultures that flourished at Trempealeau and Aztalan 1000 years ago.

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

Historical Essay

The Trial of Chief Oshkosh

The Clash of U.S Law and Indian Legal Tradition

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

Discover how two Ojibwe chiefs traveled to Washington DC and negotiated with then-President Millard Fillmore to keep rights to their land.

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

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)

Photographic portraits of Native Americans dating from 1898.

Historical Essay

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Hammered copper pike from Interstate Park Bison site, Polk County, Wisconsin, c. 1000-4000 B.C. (Museum object #1956.3099)

A Warrior Prepared to Die is Disappointed

Discover the story of a Ho-Chunk warrior who surrenders and is grieved at receiving a fair trial.

Historical Essay

Frontier Clay Pipe Fragment

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Clay pipe bowl found at Sheard Road site, Racine County, Wisconsin. (Museum object #1998.236.249)

Historical Essay

Wild Rice Threshing Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Improvised wild rice threshing machine used on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation, Wisconsin, c. 1990. (Museum object #1999.61.5)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Native American courting flute carved by Louis Webster, of Menominee, Stockbridge, Potawatomi and Oneida descent, 1994. (Museum object #1996.118.93)

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

First Peoples

Learn about the Paleo-Indians who first inhabited the Wisconsin territory and the archaeological excavations that have revealed their culture.

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

Historical Essay

Hopewellian Human Figurine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Human figurine fragment made of non-tempered, smoothed clay, c. 100 - 200 A.D., found at Pine River site, Richland County, WI (Museum object #2004.5.1)
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