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

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

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.

Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

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

The first and only manifestation The Virgin Mary in the United States confirmed by Vatican officials happened near Green Bay.

Civil War Battle Summary

Discover the role that Wisconsin troops, including Menominee warriors and our only unit of Black soldiers, played in a dramatic Civil War battle.

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

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

Historical Essay

Milwaukee's Maverick Aviator

Milwaukee's William Mitchell went from a court-martial for insubordination to being widely understood to be the father of the modern U.S. Air Force.

Discover how two Ojibwe chiefs traveled to Washington DC and negotiated with then-President Millard Fillmore to keep rights to their land.
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