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Wisconsin History textbooks will tell us that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach our state, but there's evidence that he was the second.

Influential Early Wisconsin Settlers

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cherokee twilled basket, probably traded to Wisconsin, mid 19th century. (Museum object #1955.1021)

Historical Essay

The Trial of Chief Oshkosh

The Clash of U.S Law and Indian Legal Tradition

The trial of Menominee Chief Oshkosh, one of the most famous in Wisconsin history, pitted Indian traditional justice against white man's law.

Historical Essay

Life in Early Madison

Learn about life in early Madison

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Reebok baby shoes beaded by Ho-Chunk artist Linda Lucero, c. 1990. (Museum object #1993.102A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Eagle feather dance staff used at 1933 World's Fair by Ho-Chunk dancers from the Wisconsin Dells. (Museum object #2001.49.1)

Historical Essay

Early U.S. Settlement

Read how the end of the War of 1812 led to the establishment of American forts and increased exploration and settlement in the Wisconsin territory.

Learn about the tragic story of what happened when Ho-Chunk warrior Red Bird and three companions surrender themselves after killing settlers.

Discover how The Wisconsin Dells came to prominence as a Midwestern tourism institution.
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