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

Fugitive Slave Collar

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Iron collar removed from a fugitive slave by Wisconsin soldiers in 1862. (Museum object #1961.73)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Desk used by Milwaukee Alder Vel Phillips, made by the Northwestern Furniture Company for Milwaukee City Hall, 1895. (Museum object #2007.16.1)

Historical Essay

Robert M. La Follette

Governor and Progressive

Discover how Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and the Progressive Movement reformed state government and the Republican Party.

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

Bandana featuring music score for campaign song "We Want Teddy," used at a Milwaukee campaign rally for Theodore Roosevelt, 1912. (Museum object #1970.204)

Historical Essay

Lottery Ball Drawing Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Ball drawing machine used by the Wisconsin Lottery for Daily Pick 3 and Daily Pick 4 games, 1992-2000. (Museum object #2001.83.16.1A-B)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

United States Senate campaign banner for Milwaukee Socialist Congressman Victor L. Berger, April 1918. (Museum object #1992.168)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Collage featuring likeness of civil rights activist Father James Edmund Groppi by artist Gloria Adair of Milwaukee, 1966. (Museum object #1993.37.1)

Learn about Robert M. La Follette's significant role in establishing the direct primary elections in Wisconsin.
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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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