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Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Giant knife presented to John Fox Potter by Missouri Republicans after his challenge to duel with a Virginia congressman, 1860. (Museum object #1957.112)

Historical Essay

Catlin, John, 1803-1874

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Historical Essay

Kilbourn, Byron (1801-1870)

Land Speculator and Politician

Brief biography of surveyor, land speculator, railroad promoter and politician Byron Kilbourn, twice elected mayor of Milwaukee.

Lawyer, Politician and Judge

Biography of lawyer, politician and judge Edward George Ryan.

Politician and Industrialist

Biography of Walter Jodok Koher, politician and founder of the Kohler Company.

Historical Essay

Chase, Warren 1813-1891

Spiritualist, Social Reformer and Politician

Biography of spiritualist, social reformer and politician Warren Chase.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, U.S. Congressman

Brief biography of Civil War veteran and three term U.S. Congressman best remembered for disobeying orders to return fugitive slaves to their owners.

Historical Essay

Governor Dreyfus's Red Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Red velveteen vest worn by Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, c. 1975. (Museum object #1982.450.15)

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's First Election

Creating the Wisconsin Territory

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first elections and how the state was divided into its present-day areas.

Lawyer, Politician, Senator, Cabinet Officer and Philanthropist

Biography of William Freeman Vilas, 1840-1908.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Governor

Brief biography of Gov. Louis P. Harvey, helped organize the Republican Party in 1854, state senator from 1854-1857 and in 1862 became governor.

Historical Essay

Bashford, Coles (1816-1878)

Lawyer, Politician and Governor

Discover the history of Wisconsin governor Bashford Coles.

List of Wisconsin's territorial governors from 1836 to 1848 and a brief summation of the responsibilities of the position.

Historical Essay

Brunson, Alfred (1793-1882)

Wisconsin's first Methodist Missionary

Biography of Methodist clergyman, lawyer, politician and author Alfred Brunson

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Historical Essay

Dewey, Nelson 1813-1889

Lawyer, Land Speculator and Wisconsin's First Governor

Discover the history of lawyer, land speculator and Wisconsin's first governor Nelson Dewey.

Documented and Legendary Accounts of Lincoln's Visits to Wisconsin

Abraham Lincoln's visits to Wisconsin, documented and legendary.

Read about Governor Tommy Thompson's efforts to revitalize Wisconsin's economy and reform the state's welfare programs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Historical Essay

Wisconsin Governors

View a chronological list of Wisconsin governors.

A Dishonest Democrat and a Radical Republican

Learn about the election that was so close that Wisconsin briefly had two governors until one was exposed for tampering with ballots.
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