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

Wisconsin's First Election

Creating the Wisconsin Territory

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first elections and how the state was divided into its present-day areas.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Appointment book made of ivory, used by Wisconsin politician and businessman Cassius Fairchild of Madison, WI, during the 1850s. (Museum object #1971.19)

Historical Essay

State Capitol Spittoon

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ornamented bronze cuspidor (spittoon) used in the Wisconsin State Capitol, c. 1915-1955. (Museum object #1955.3600,A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Giant knife presented to John Fox Potter by Missouri Republicans after his challenge to duel with a Virginia congressman, 1860. (Museum object #1957.112)

Read about Governor Tommy Thompson's efforts to revitalize Wisconsin's economy and reform the state's welfare programs in the 1980s and 1990s.

Read how Robert La Follette, the Wisconsin Republican Party and the Progressive Movement reformed state government in the early 20th century.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Plaque commemorating the passage of the 1915 Seaman's Act. (Museum object #1942.530)

Historical Essay

Gumball Slot Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Trade stimulator gumball slot machine seized from a Shullsburg, Wisconsin tavern in 1945. (Museum object #2008.13.1A-B)

Historical Essay

Wisconsin Governors

View a chronological list of Wisconsin governors.
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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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