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Historical Essay

Madison's First Thanksgiving

The Power of the Pumpkin

Read the story of the first Thanksgiving celebrated in Madison.

Steamships, Canals and the 19th Century Economy

Discover what happened when 19th century Wisconsin settlers tried to construct a canal between the Mississippi and the Great Lakes.

Historical Essay

Beaver Top Hat

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Top hat made from beaver felt and worn by Green Bay resident Morgan L. Martin, c. 1825. (Museum object #1968.644)

Soldier, Fur Trader and "Father of Wisconsin"

Brief biography of soldier, fur trader and the "Father of Wisconsin," Charles Michel Langlade.

Historical Essay

Lawe, John (1780-1846)

Fur Trader

Biography of John Lawe, a fur trader for Astor's American Fur Company in Green Bay.

The Printer and the Priest

Discover how Wisconsin got its first printing press, and the impact that a Catholic priest would have on Ho-Chunk literacy.

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

Wisconsin's Early Schools

How the University was Began

Discover how the lack of educational opportunities in Wisconsin helped create the University of Wisconsin.

Learn about the first extreme winters in Wisconsin suffered by explorers and settlers in the 17th through 19th centuries, with links to other articles

Lawyer, Judge, Politician and Land Speculator

Biography of lawyer, judge, politician and land speculator Morgan Lewis Martin.

Missionary and Clergyman

Biography of Richard Fish Cadle, Episcopal clergyman and missionary who established many Wisconsin parishes.

When the Beaver was King

Discover how beavers transformed Wisconsin's economy in the 1650s for the next two centuries.

Historical Essay

Campers' Wash-Up Kit

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Wash-Up Kit made by the Bay West Company, Green Bay. Distributed by the Yankee Paper and Specialty Co. of Menasha in the 1920s. (Museum object #1998.6.2)

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Read an account of the French explorer who claimed much of Wisconsin for France and who traded with several Indian tribes near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Porlier, Jacques 1765-1839

Fur Trader and Chief Justice

Biography of fur trader and chief justice of the Brown County Court Jacques Porlier.

Historical Essay

Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865

Read a biographical account of the governor of the Wisconsin territory who was largely responsible for the selection of Madison as Wisconsin's capital.

Newspaperman, Politician and Inventor

Biography of newspaperman, a politician and typewriter inventor Christopher Latham Sholes.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Historical Essay

Nicolet, Jean 1598-1642

French Explorer

Biography of French explorer Jean Nicolet, believed to be the first European to see Wisconsin.
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