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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Learn about the development of professional sports teams in Wisconsin in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Historical Essay

20th-Century Immigration

Learn how economic and social conditions in Wisconsin and elsewhere brought new groups of immigrants to Wisconsin in the 20th century.

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

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Historical Essay

Beaver Top Hat

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Top hat made from beaver felt and worn by Green Bay resident Morgan L. Martin, c. 1825. (Museum object #1968.644)

The Virgin Mary Appears to an Illiterate Peasant Girl

Learn about the first and only manifestation of the Virgin Mary in the United States near Green Bay, confirmed by the Vatican.

Learn how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery, and let to the survey of public lands northwest of the Ohio River.

Learn about the canal era and the use of steamboats on Wisconsin waterways and lakes in the 19-th century.

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

Read the amazing story of a man who watched his potential 10,000-square-mile northern Wisconsin empire disappear into thin air.

Historical Essay

Bra Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Land of the Freed-up Woman American flag banner made from bras, 1971. (Museum object #2000.79.1)
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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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