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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Two Lawyers Spur Abolitionist Reform and Universal Voting Rights

Byron Paine and Halbert E. Paine use the power of law as a powerful force for radical abolitionist reform in mid-19th century Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

The First Madison Lodgings

Discover the story surrounding the planning and construction of the first building erected in Madison.

Join cantankerous British geologist George Featherstonehaugh as travels to Madison in 1837 and finds things not as he expected them to be

Historical Essay

Death to Capital Punishment

Read about the final person to be executed in Wisconsin before the state prohibited the death penalty.

Historical Essay

The Budget Deficit of 1921

Read about Gov. John J. Blaine's plan to deal with the Budget Deficit of 1921.

Discover Juliet Severance, the free-thinking Whitewater physician who was involved with the anti-slavery movement, temperance, and women's rights.

Discover the role the Wisconsin played in women being allowed to practice law in The Supreme Court.

Discover the connections Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King had with the Civil Rights non-violent protests in Milwaukee.

Historical Essay

The Man with the Iron Hand

Learn about explorer Robert de La Salle's iron-handed chief lieutenant, Henri de Tonty, and what resulted in most likely the worst winter of his life.

In 1959 Rev. A.A.A. Schmirler traced the path Fr. Rene Menard took in 1661 down northern Wisconsins rivers to discover where Menard likely died.
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