Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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

Discover Juliet Severance, the free-thinking Whitewater physician who was involved with the anti-slavery movement, temperance, and women's rights.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Portrait of Lucius Fairchild by John Singer Sargent, 1887. (Museum object #1942.305)

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

During the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863, an Wisconsin Irishman, casually extinguishes a burning fuse that lands among the troops

Read about the fur trade conducted with the Wisconsin Indians over two centuries by first the French, then the British, and finally the Americans.

Historical Essay

King, Gen. Rufus (1814-1876)

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Newspaper Editor

Brief biography of Gen. Rufus King, a leader of the famous Iron Brigade and influential newspaper editor.

The story of Capt. Jonathan Walker whose hand was branded with "S.S." (for "slave stealer") for assisting fugitive slaves.

Historical Essay

The Man with the Iron Hand

Learn about explorer Robert de La Salle's iron-handed chief lieutenant, Henri de Tonty, and what resulted in most likely the worst winter of his life.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Kehl School of Dancing’s "Midget Wedding" Costume, 1940. (Museum object #2005.108.1A-C)

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

The exposed underwear of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry prompts a polite suggestion from a little girl.
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