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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The History of the Movement

Discover how Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette, the Wisconsin Republican Party and the Progressive Movement reformed state and national government.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

United States Senate campaign banner for Milwaukee Socialist Congressman Victor L. Berger, April 1918. (Museum object #1992.168)

Read about Governor Tommy Thompson's efforts to revitalize Wisconsin's economy and reform the state's welfare programs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Historical Essay

Lottery Ball Drawing Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ball drawing machine used by the Wisconsin Lottery for Daily Pick 3 and Daily Pick 4 games, 1992-2000. (Museum object #2001.83.16.1A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Giant knife presented to John Fox Potter by Missouri Republicans after his challenge to duel with a Virginia congressman, 1860. (Museum object #1957.112)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Bandana featuring music score for campaign song "We Want Teddy," used at a Milwaukee campaign rally for Theodore Roosevelt, 1912. (Museum object #1970.204)

List of Wisconsin's territorial governors from 1836 to 1848 and a brief summation of the responsibilities of the position.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Desk used by Milwaukee Alder Vel Phillips, made by the Northwestern Furniture Company for Milwaukee City Hall, 1895. (Museum object #2007.16.1)

Historical Essay

Granger Gourd

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ceremonial container made from a gourd, presented to Wisconsin Governor William R. Taylor, 1874. (Museum object #1993.53)

A Dishonest Democrat and a Radical Republican

Learn about the election that was so close that Wisconsin briefly had two governors until one was exposed for tampering with ballots.
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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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