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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Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 31st Wisconsin Infantry was organized by companies and was organized at Prairie du Chien and Camp Utley in Racine.

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

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

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites

Brief biography of Reuben Gold Thwaites managing editor of the WI State Journal and historian who was "the best known non-political man in Wisconsin."

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.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Child's ceramic toilet set used by Elizabeth Marshall of Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin, c. 1905. (Museum object #1947.909,A-B)

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

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

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

Historical Essay

Cast Iron Effigy Mound Model

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cast iron Wisconsin effigy mound model in the shape of a "trunk and arms of a man", designed by Increase A. Lapham, c. 1875. (Museum object #1975.8.12)

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
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