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

Arndt Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Vest worn by Charles C.P. Arndt when he was shot on the floor of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, 1842. (Museum object #1963.300)

Historical Essay

Big Boy

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Trade figure from the Big Boy restaurant on South Park Street, Madison, Wisconsin, 1971-1985. (Museum object #1993.52)

Historical Essay

Pierce, Hattie, 1829-1944

Born into slavery, Hattie Pierce lived 115 years and was able to fully experience both life before and after emancipation.

Learn about the influx of African Americans to Wisconsin and the economic conditions that brought them in the decades following World War II.

Historical Essay

The Civil War Home Front

Discover how the Civil War affected life on the home front and the role of women in supporting the war effort.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Campaign jacket worn by Chris Farley in the 1996 movie "Black Sheep." (Museum object #2007.86.1)

Read about how Madison was chosen the capitol city during the first Wisconsin territorial convention

Historical Essay

Vitamin-Finding Feces Bucket

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Sheetmetal bucket with wooden handle. Collected cow manure for University of Wisconsin, Madison, nutrition experiments, 1907-1911.(Museum object #1992.103)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 53rd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison during March and April 1865, at the very end of the war.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Marshall, Business Owner

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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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