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 Path of a Fur Trader and Fort Builder

Learn more about Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle and his impact on our history.

Read the story of Madison's first and most beloved drunkard, Pinneo.

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.

Two Lawyers Spur Abolitionist Reform and Universal Voting Rights

Learn how Byron Paine and Halbert E. Paine used the power of law for radical abolitionist reform in mid-19th century Wisconsin.

A Bizarre Story of Scientific Progress

Learn the bizarre story and scientific contributions of Alexis St. Martin, the man who lived over 50 years after a shotgun blasted a hole in his side.

From Whaling to Coal Burning

Discover how man-made lighting has become a common part of our everyday lives.

Historical Essay

Labor Day in Wisconsin

Beyond Beer and Brats

Explore the history of Labor Day celebrations in Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Death to Capital Punishment

How Wisconsin Eliminated the Death Penalty

Read about the final person to be executed in Wisconsin before the state prohibited the death penalty.

Historical Essay

Ezra Pound's Wisconsin Roots

The Midwestern Heritage of One of the 20th Century's Greatest Poetic Innovators

Discover literary giant Ezra Pound's connection to the frontier wilds of Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

More Bank Failures (1857)

Discover the effects that the Panic of 1857 had on La Crosse.
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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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