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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A Good Mother, a Good Friend and a Good Woman

Discover Juliet Severance, the free-thinking Whitewater physician who was involved with the anti-slavery movement, temperance and women's rights.

Historical Essay

Louise Williams

First Woman Notary Public

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first woman notary public Louise Williams who provided legal counsel for southern Wisconsin after the Civil War.

Historical Essay

Madison's Castle

In the late 1800s there was a castle on the shore of Lake Mendota OTHER than the Red Gym. This is that castle's mysterious story.

A Bizarre Story of Scientific Progress

Learn the bizarre story and scientific contributions of Alexis St. Martin, the man who lived over 50 years after a shotgun blasted a hole in his side.

Historical Essay

Another Time's Norms

The Antiquated Belief of a Chief Justice

Discover Wisconsin Chief Justice Edward G. Ryan's opinion on women and court

The story of Capt. Jonathan Walker whose hand was branded with "S.S." (for "slave stealer") for assisting fugitive slaves.

Historical Essay

The Budget Deficit of 1921

How a New Progressive Governor Repaired the Economy

Read about Governor John J. Blaine's plan to deal with the Budget Deficit of 1921.

Historical Essay

The First Madison Lodgings

From Under a Tree to Madison's Most Popular Lodge

Discover the story surrounding the planning and construction of the first building erected in Madison.

Speculating on a Dream

Join cantankerous British geologist George Featherstonehaugh as he travels to Madison in 1837 and finds things not as he expected them to be.

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?
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If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.