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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

Cadotte, Michael, 1764-1837

Pioneer Fur Trader

Brief biography of pioneer fur trader Michael Cadotte.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cherokee twilled basket, probably traded to Wisconsin, mid 19th century. (Museum object #1955.1021)

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

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)

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.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Early Paleo-Indian fluted spear point found in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and made between 12,000 B.C. and 8,000 B.C. (Museum object #1985.2)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Army jacket decorated with Native American beadwork worn by Chief Simon Onanguisse Kahquados of the Forest County Potawatomi. (Museum object #1943.330)

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)

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

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

Learn about the tragic story of what happened when Ho-Chunk warrior Red Bird and three companions surrender themselves after killing settlers.

Learn how white contact disrupted and transformed Indian life in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Historical Essay

Hopewellian Human Figurine

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Human figurine fragment made of non-tempered, smoothed clay, c. 100 - 200 A.D., found at Pine River site, Richland County, WI (Museum object #2004.5.1)

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

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

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.

Discover the significant role that the Peace Pipe has played in a number of moments throughout Wisconsin's history.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Native American courting flute carved by Louis Webster, of Menominee, Stockbridge, Potawatomi and Oneida descent, 1994. (Museum object #1996.118.93)
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