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

The Civil War Home Front

Discover how the Civil War affected life on the home front and the role of women in supporting the war effort.

Historical Essay

Catlin, John, 1803-1874

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

Brief biography of pioneer lawyer, politician and railroad man John Catlin.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Read about how Madison was chosen the capitol city during the first Wisconsin territorial convention

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 6th Wisconsin Light Artillery, the Buena Vista Artillery, which served in the Civil War from 1861-1865 and lost 29 men during service.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Baseball uniform worn by William Gates, second baseman for the Wittenberg Grays in the early 1920s. (Museum object #1975.90A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Sturgeon decoy carved and painted by Ojibwe artist John V. Snow. (Museum Object #1996.118.106A-B)

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.

Historical Essay

Soap Box Derby Racer

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Soap box" coaster car operated by Van Steiner in the All-American Soap Box Derby in 1957. (Museum object # 2009.56.1)

Historical Essay

Development of the Railroads

Read how the development of railroads spurred settlement and aided farmers and businesses in mid-19th-century Wisconsin.

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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