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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Learn how Alexis St. Martin lived after a shotgun blasted a hole in his side and became a cornerstone of medical literature.

Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

The first white residents of Madison were fur traders Wallace Rowan, Olivier Ammel, and Michel St. Cyr.

In 1959 Rev. A.A.A. Schmirler traced the path Fr. Rene Menard took in 1661 down northern Wisconsins rivers to discover where Menard likely died.

Historical Essay

Bonne Fete, Sieur La Salle!*

Robert de La Salle was on the first expedition to the upper Great Lakes and went on to claim the Mississippi River watershed in the name of France.

Discover Eau Claire's naughty past as a hub of prostitution for the lumbermen looking to support the world's oldest profession.

Historical Essay

English Tudor Logging Camp

The story of how the lumber town of Elchon, WI came to be as aesthetically pleasing as any main street in England or France.

Discover Belle Boyd, the celebrity Civil War spy who died while performing in The Wisconsin Dells.

Historical Essay

Death to Capital Punishment

Read about the final person to be executed in Wisconsin before the state prohibited the death penalty.

Learn about the election that was so close that Wisconsin briefly had two governors until one was exposed for tampering with ballots.

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's Indiana Jones?

Was Beloit's Roy Chapman Andrews the real life model for Indiana Jones?
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