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

Brett Favre's Packers Jersey

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Green Bay Packers football jersey worn by Brett Favre during game against Chicago Bears, January 2, 2005. (Museum object #2005.83.1)

When the Beaver was King

Discover how beavers transformed Wisconsin's economy in the 1650s for the next two centuries.

How Wisconsin was Divided

Discover how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery and led to the survey of public lands north of the Ohio River.

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

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Historical Essay

The War of 1812

Wisconsin's Involvement with the war on the French, British and Natives

Learn how the British relinquished control of Wisconsin and Americans took over the region's fur trade during the war of 1812.

Learn about the first extreme winters in Wisconsin suffered by explorers and settlers in the 17th through 19th centuries, with links to other articles

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)

A Plot of Land Becomes a City

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

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.
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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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