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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.

Join cantankerous British geologist George Featherstonehaugh as travels to Madison in 1837 and finds things not as he expected them to be

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 12th Wisconsin Infantry was organized between October 18 and December 13, 1861, at Camp Randall in Madison.

Historical Essay

La Follette Casket Flag

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

United States Flag used to drape the caskets of both Robert M. La Follette, Sr. and Jr. (Museum object #1951.187)

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."

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Campaign jacket worn by Chris Farley in the 1996 movie "Black Sheep." (Museum object #2007.86.1)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 53rd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison during March and April 1865, at the very end of the war.

Historical Essay

Magician's Escape Trunk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Escape trunk, restraining devices, and curtain used by magician Ben Bergor of Madison, Wisconsin, 1940s. (Museum objects #1982.159.17,19,21,23,25)
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