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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Witnesses Tell Their Stories

Learn about the attack on Pearl Harbor through these firsthand accounts from Wisconsinites who were there when it happened.

Historical Essay

Fort Koshkonong

A Fortification That may not Have Existed

Learn the story surrounding the building of Fort Koshkonong by General Henry Atkinson.

The Story of Lost Bird

Discover this harrowing story that brings together a feminist pioneer and the infant her husband found in the aftermath of Wounded Knee.

Historical Essay

More Bank Failures (1857)

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

Evidence of First Feasts

Take a look at some first hand accounts of the ways Native Americans of Wisconsin celebrated their own Thanksgiving ceremonies.

Historical Essay

Labor Day in Wisconsin

Beyond Beer and Brats

Explore the history of Labor Day celebrations in Wisconsin.

The story of Capt. Jonathan Walker whose hand was branded with "S.S." (for "slave stealer") for assisting fugitive slaves.

Historical Essay

Lumberjack Saved Union Fleet

3,000 Dam the Red River

Read this wild story about a Wisconsin Dells lumberjack applying his knowledge of dams to help Union forces escape a Confederate attack.

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?

Historical Essay

Louise Williams

First Woman Notary Public

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first woman notary public Louise Williams who provided legal counsel for southern Wisconsin after the Civil War.
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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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