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

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)

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites managing editor of the WI State Journal and historian who was "the best known non-political man in Wisconsin."

Historical Essay

How Madison Became a City

Madison went from a small village in 1836 to being organized and governed as a city in 20 years time

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.

Historical Essay

Brewing and Prohibition

Read about the brewing industry, the temperance movement, and the effects of prohibition in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 52nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison in April 1865, at the very end of the war.

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.

Housing and Racism

Discover the history of the struggle for Civil Rights in Wisconsin

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)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Marquetry table made by August Schlaak as a Christmas present for his daughter, 1923-1929. (Museum object #2003.78.1)
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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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