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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How Native Life was Transformed

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

The Conflict of Modern and Traditional Medicine

Discover the history of smallpox in Wisconsin and the public's reaction against hospitalization

Historical Essay

Brett Favre's Packers Jersey

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Green Bay Packers football jersey worn by Brett Favre during game against Chicago Bears, January 2, 2005. (Museum object #2005.83.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Elaborately beaded jacket worn by pianist, performer, and Wisconsin native Liberace during his performances in the late 1970s. (Museum object #2008.77.1)

When the Beaver was King

Discover how beavers transformed Wisconsin's economy in the 1650s for the next two centuries.

Historical Essay

The Origins of Thanksgiving

It's not What You Might Think

Discover the historical evidence of the first Thanksgiving.

From Sacred Calumets to Ashtrays

Discover the important role that tobacco and the Peace Pipe have played throughout Wisconsin's history.

Historical Essay

1957 Soap Box Derby Racer

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Soap box" coaster car operated by Van Steiner in the All-American Soap Box Derby in 1957. (Museum object # 2009.56.1)

The Story of Lost Bird

Discover this harrowing story that brings together a feminist pioneer and the infant her husband found in the aftermath of Wounded Knee.

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.
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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