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Historical Essay

Nicolet, Jean 1598-1642

French Explorer

Biography of French explorer Jean Nicolet, believed to be the first European to see Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

The Iroquois Wars

New Tribes Brought to Wisconsin by French Commerce

Learn how contact with Europeans, the fur trade and warfare among their tribes drove many Indians to the Wisconsin territory in the 17th century.

Fur Trader and Explorer

Brief biography of M├ędard Chouart des Groseilliers who was a fur trader and explorer.

A Priest Follows Another Priest's 300-Year-Old Path to Death

Learn how Rev. A. A. A. Schmirler traced the path Fr. Rene Menard took in 1661 down northern Wisconsin's rivers to the likely spot of his death.

An Unreliable Text and Other Evidence

Wisconsin History books teach that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach the state, but he may have been the second.
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