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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Learn how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery, and let to the survey of public lands northwest of the Ohio River.

Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Historical Essay

The War of 1812

Learn about the War of 1812 in Wisconsin when the British relinquished control over that territory and Americans took over the fur trade in the region.

Wisconsin pioneer Joseph Crelie, might have been exhibited to spectators in 1864 as being 139 years old. But how old was he really?

Historical Essay

Early U.S. Settlement

Read how the end of the War of 1812 led to the establishment of American forts and increased exploration and settlement in the Wisconsin territory.

Historical Essay

Bra Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Land of the Freed-up Woman American flag banner made from bras, 1971. (Museum object #2000.79.1)

Learn about the canal era and the use of steamboats on Wisconsin waterways and lakes in the 19-th century.

Historical Essay

Curling in Wisconsin

Discover the rich history of the sport of curling in Wisconsin.

Read about the creation of the Wisconsin territory, the formation of a territorial government, and the move of the capital from Belmont to Madison.
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