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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Historical Essay

State Capitol Spittoon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ornamented bronze cuspidor (spittoon) used in the Wisconsin State Capitol, c. 1915-1955. (Museum object #1955.3600,A-B)

Historical Essay

Fugitive Slave Collar

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Iron collar removed from a fugitive slave by Wisconsin soldiers in 1862. (Museum object #1961.73)

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.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Collage featuring likeness of civil rights activist Father James Edmund Groppi by artist Gloria Adair of Milwaukee, 1966. (Museum object #1993.37.1)

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

Garnet velvet evening gown worn by Wisconsin First Lady Charlotte McAleer Kohler to President Eisenhower's 1953 Inauguration Ball. (Museum object #1960.211

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Appointment book made of ivory, used by Wisconsin politician and businessman Cassius Fairchild of Madison, WI, during the 1850s. (Museum object #1971.19)

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.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Plaque commemorating the passage of the 1915 Seaman's Act. (Museum object #1942.530)
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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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