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Learn about the origin, and the many spellings and multiple meanings of "Wisconsin."

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

A Bizarre Story of Land Prospecting Gone Awry

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.

Historical Essay

Nicolet, Jean 1598-1642

French Explorer

Biography of French explorer Jean Nicolet, believed to be the first European to see Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Campers' Wash-Up Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wash-Up Kit made by the Bay West Company, Green Bay. Distributed by the Yankee Paper and Specialty Co. of Menasha in the 1920s. (Museum object #1998.6.2)

Historical Essay

Belgians in Wisconsin

Brief history of Belgians in Wisconsin.

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.

Soldier, Fur Trader and "Father of Wisconsin"

Brief biography of soldier, fur trader and the "Father of Wisconsin," Charles Michel Langlade.

Historical Essay

Marin, Paul, 1692-1753

French Official, Captain and Fur Trader

Biography of French Official, Captain and Fur Trader Paul Marin.

A Plot of Land Becomes a City

Discover how Wisconsin went from a small part of a territory to a capital city.

Brief history of the temperance movement in Wisconsin.

An Old Man's Tall Tale

Wisconsin pioneer Joseph Crelie was said to be 139 years old when he was exhibited to spectators in 1864. But how old was he really?

Historical Essay

Lawe, John (1780-1846)

Fur Trader

Biography of John Lawe, a fur trader for Astor's American Fur Company in Green Bay.

Promotions on Paper, 1850s-1975

Custom-designed letterheads were a universal way of proclaiming who you were. Historical letterheads are prime examples of early branding.

Historical Essay

Green Bay, Brown County

Origin of Green Bay, Wisconsin

Discover the history of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Stephenson, Isaac 1829-1918

Lumberman, Financier and Congressman

Biography of Isaac Stephenson who was a lumberman, financier and congressman.

Historical Essay

Indian schools in Wisconsin

Brief history of Indian schools in Wisconsin.

Influential Early Wisconsin Settlers

Historical Essay

Germans in Wisconsin

Brief history of Germans in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Williams, Eleazer 1788-1858

Canadian Clergyman, Missionary and Con Artist

Biography of Eleazer Williams, a Canadian clergyman and missionary who claimed to be the French Lost Dauphin.
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