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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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?

How the Natives Lost Their Land

Learn about the many treaties between the United States government and native tribes.

From Slave to Healer

Learn about Mary Ann Menard, Wisconsin's first doctor.

Historical Essay

Catlin, John, 1803-1874

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

A Warrior Prepared to Die is Disappointed

Discover the story of a Ho-Chunk warrior who surrenders and is grieved at receiving a fair trial.

Historical Essay

Epidemic Anniversary

A History of Disease in Wisconsin

Read this informative collection of all the outbreaks and epidemics in Wisconsin's history.

Historical Essay

War of 1812 Cannonball

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Fragment of six-pound cannonball fired in battle between American and British forces on July 1814 at Prairie du Chien, Illinois Territory (now Wisconsin).

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's First Election

Creating the Wisconsin Territory

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first elections and how the state was divided into its present-day areas.

Historical Essay

Early U.S. Settlement

Military Outposts in Wisconsin

Read how American forts were established and settlement increased in Wisconsin after the War of 1812.

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

A Bizarre Story of Land Prospecting Gone Awry

Read the amazing story of a man who watched his potential 10,000-square-mile northern Wisconsin empire disappear into thin air.
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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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