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

State Capitol Spittoon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ornamented bronze cuspidor (spittoon) used in the Wisconsin State Capitol, c. 1915-1955. (Museum object #1955.3600,A-B)

Learn about Wisconsin's contributions to the Civil War effort, including the Iron Brigade and Old Abe, the war eagle.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 2nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison, and mustered into service for three years on June 11, 1861.

Read about the development of the Republican Party in Wisconsin in the years prior to the Civil War.

The Constitutional Convention's Influence on the City

Find out where some of the most traveled streets of Madison got their names.

Historical Essay

Bascom Hill Pink Flamingo

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pink flamingo from the flock that graced Bascom Hill on on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, 1979. (Museum object #1979.302A-C)

Historical Essay

1960s Prom Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Dress worn by Marti Hall to the spring prom at Madison West High School in 1966. (Museum object #2004.135.1)

Learn about the Vietnam War and Wisconsin's role in supporting and opposing the American involvement in that conflict.

Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.
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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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