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A Short History of Wisconsin

How Native Life was Transformed

Discover how white contact disrupted and transformed Indian life in Wisconsin in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Historical Essay

Lawe, John (1780-1846)

Fur Trader

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

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

Read an account of the French explorer who claimed much of Wisconsin for France and who traded with several Indian tribes near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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

Historical Essay

Crelie, Joseph 1773-1866

Pioneer and Hoaxer

Biography of Prairie du Chien pioneer and Wisconsin's "oldest man," Joseph Crelie.

Historical Essay

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

Fur Trader, Merchant, Judge and Territorial Legislator

Biography of fur trader, merchant, judge and territorial legislator James Henry Lockwood.

Historical Essay

Porlier, Jacques 1765-1839

Fur Trader and Chief Justice

Biography of fur trader and chief justice of the Brown County Court Jacques Porlier.

Historical Essay

De Langlade Fur Trade Pouch

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Quilled buckskin pouch used by Charles de Langlade to carry his fur trade papers in northern Wisconsin, mid to late 1700s. (Museum object #1955.186)

How the French Began the Fur Trade

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

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

Juneau, Solomon 1793-1856

Fur Trader, Land Speculator, Politician and Founder of Milwaukee

Brief biography of Solomon Juneau, the fur trader, land speculator and politician who helped found Milwaukee.

Historical Essay

Appleton, Wisconsin

Outagamie County

Discover the history of Appleton, Wisconsin

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.

Land Speculator and Businessman

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

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.

Fur Trader and Murderer

Biography of pioneer fur trader John Baptiste Dubay.
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