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Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Hammered copper pike from Interstate Park Bison site, Polk County, Wisconsin, c. 1000-4000 B.C. (Museum object #1956.3099)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Maple sugar container made by missionary Rosalie Dousman, mid-1800s. (Museum object #1969.419)

Read how German Americans opposed Americanization and Native Americans opposed assimilation through English instruction in their schools.

Wisconsin History textbooks will tell us that Jean Nicolet was the first white person to reach our state, but there's evidence that he was the second.

Read about Wisconsin's Indian tribes and their changing legal status throughout the 20th century.

Evidence of First Feasts

Take a look at some first hand accounts of the ways Native Americans of Wisconsin celebrated their own Thanksgiving ceremonies.

Historical Essay

Baraga, Frederic (1797-1868)

Read about the Austrian born missionary who worked with many groups of Native Americans and settlers in the upper Midwest.

Historical Essay

The Trial of Chief Oshkosh

The Clash of U.S Law and Indian Legal Tradition

Learn how the trial of Menominee Chief Oshkosh, one of the most famous in Wisconsin history, pitted Indian traditional justice against white man's law.

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

From Sacred Calumets to Ashtrays

Discover the important role that tobacco and the Peace Pipe have played throughout Wisconsin's history.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Reebok baby shoes beaded by Ho-Chunk artist Linda Lucero, c. 1990. (Museum object #1993.102A-B)

Learn how contact with Europeans, the fur trade, and warfare among the tribes drove many Indans to the Wisconsin territory in the 17th century.

Historical Essay

First Peoples

Learn about the Paleo-Indians who first inhabited the Wisconsin territory and the archaeological excavations that have revealed their culture.

Learn how epidemics erupted in Wisconsin and the ways communities responded

Historical Essay

Menominee Fancy Dance Bustle

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Fancy dance back bustle made of dyed turkey feathers, Neopit, Wisconsin on the Menominee Reservation, c. 1982. (Museum object # 1982.48.8)

Historical Essay

Petersylvania, Wisconsin

Read the amazing story of a man who watched his potential 10,000-square-mile northern Wisconsin empire disappear into thin air.

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

Early U.S. Settlement

Read how the end of the War of 1812 led to the establishment of American forts and increased exploration and settlement in the Wisconsin territory.

Read about Ho-Chunk Chief Dandy's interesting and friendly interactions with white settlers in Wisconsin, even while he was a fugitive.

Historical Essay

Wild Rice Threshing Machine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Improvised wild rice threshing machine used on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation, Wisconsin, c. 1990. (Museum object #1999.61.5)
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