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

Early U.S. Settlement

Military Outposts in Wisconsin

Read how American forts were established and settlement increased in Wisconsin after the War of 1812.

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.

Historical Essay

Ho-Chunk Nation

A Brief Introduction

Read about the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. Learn more on the Ho-Chunk Nation's website about their heritage, culture, and more.

Historical Essay

Forest County Potawatomi

A Brief Introduction

Read about the Forest County Potawatomi band of Wisconsin.

A Brief Introduction to Ojibwe Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa

Read about the six bands of Wisconsin Lake Superior Chippewa. Learn more on each band's website about their history, culture, and more.

How Native Life was Transformed

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Reebok baby shoes beaded by Ho-Chunk artist Linda Lucero, c. 1990. (Museum object #1993.102A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pouch obtained from an Oneida Indian at the 1997 Milwaukee River Front Pow-Wow. (Museum object #1999.40.1)

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)

The Genesis of Modern Wisconsin

Discovery the history of the Woodland and Middle Mississippean Indian cultures and their relationship to modern Wisconsin.
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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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