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How the French Began the Fur Trade

Discover how early French explorers mapped Wisconsin and began the state's fur trade.

Historical Essay

Brisbois, Michael 1760-1837

Fur Trader and Settler

Biography of French-Canadian fur trader Michel Brisbois, who founded the first permanent white settlement in Prairie du Chien.

Land Speculator and Businessman

Biography of fur trader, lumberman, land speculator and businessman Hercules Louis Dousman.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Watertown, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

The First White Men in Madison

The first white residents of Madison were fur traders Wallace Rowan, Olivier Ammel and Michel St. Cyr.

Fur Trader and Explorer

Brief biography of Médard Chouart des Groseilliers who was a fur trader and explorer.

An Old Man's Tall Tale

Wisconsin pioneer Joseph Crelie was said to be 139 years old when he was exhibited to spectators in 1864. But how old was he really?

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Reaume, Charles 1752-1821

Judge

Brief biography of legendary judge Charles Reaume.

Historical Essay

Women's History in Wisconsin

Provides a comprehensive summary of women's history in Wisconsin and contains primary sources from the 16th century to the early 21st century.

Historical Essay

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

Historical Essay

Black History in Wisconsin

Read about Black history in Wisconsin. There are many links to original documents, pictures, eyewitness accounts, and other primary sources.

Historical Essay

Lawe, John (1780-1846)

Fur Trader

Biography of John Lawe, a fur trader for Astor's American Fur Company in Green Bay.

Historical Essay

Beaver Top Hat

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Top hat made from beaver felt and worn by Green Bay resident Morgan L. Martin, c. 1825. (Museum object #1968.644)

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.

Historical Essay

The War of 1812

Wisconsin's Involvement with the war on the French, British and Natives

Learn how the British relinquished control of Wisconsin and Americans took over the region's fur trade during the war of 1812.

Historical Essay

Vieau, Jacques (1757-1852)

Fur Trader

Biography of pioneer fur trader Jacques Vieau.

A Bizarre Story of Scientific Progress

Learn the bizarre story and scientific contributions of Alexis St. Martin, the man who lived over 50 years after a shotgun blasted a hole in his side.

Learn about the first extreme winters in Wisconsin suffered by explorers and settlers in the 17th through 19th centuries, with links to other articles

French Fur Trader

Learn about one of the first French fur traders to visit Wisconsin. Read about his experiences with Indian tribes and his exploration of the countryside.
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