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Historical Essay

State Capitol Spittoon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ornamented bronze cuspidor (spittoon) used in the Wisconsin State Capitol, c. 1915-1955. (Museum object #1955.3600,A-B)

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Mexican-American War Officer

Civil War Philanthropist, Wisconsin First Lady, Nurse, and Teacher

A brief biography of Wisconsin’s Florence Nightingale, Cordelia Harvey who was a strong voice for innovatring Civil War Military hospitals.

Learn about Wisconsin's contributions to the Civil War effort, including the Iron Brigade and Old Abe, the war eagle.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 2nd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison, and mustered into service for three years on June 11, 1861.

Read about the development of the Republican Party in Wisconsin in the years prior to the Civil War.

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.

The Constitutional Convention's Influence on the City

Find out where some of the most traveled streets of Madison got their names.

Historical Essay

Bascom Hill Pink Flamingo

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pink flamingo from the flock that graced Bascom Hill on on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, 1979. (Museum object #1979.302A-C)

Historical Essay

1960s Prom Dress

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Dress worn by Marti Hall to the spring prom at Madison West High School in 1966. (Museum object #2004.135.1)

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Politician, Manufacturer

Learn about the Vietnam War and Wisconsin's role in supporting and opposing the American involvement in that conflict.

Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.

Historical Essay

Giant Punt Gun

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Punt gun used to hunt waterfowl on Lake Mendota, Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1866-1870. (Museum object #1947.1743)

Historical Essay

Courtship Advice Fan

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Victorian scrapbook fan made by Julia Morris of Madison, decorated with suggestions about courtship, love and marriage, 1895-1899. (Museum object #1955.480

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 8th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison, mustered into service September 13, 1861, and left for St. Louis on October 12, 1861.

Speculating on a Dream

Join cantankerous British geologist George Featherstonehaugh as he travels to Madison in 1837 and finds things not as he expected them to be.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Deauville-style chair used at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, 1930s. (Museum object #1982.271.9)

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Historical Essay

20th-Century Immigration

Learn how economic and social conditions in Wisconsin and elsewhere brought new groups of immigrants to Wisconsin in the 20th century.
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