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.

The Printer and the Priest

Discover how Wisconsin got its first printing press, and the impact that a Catholic priest would have on Ho-Chunk literacy.

Historical Essay

Death to Capital Punishment

How Wisconsin Eliminated the Death Penalty

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

A Warrior Prepared to Die is Disappointed

Discover the story of a Ho-Chunk warrior who surrenders and is grieved at receiving a fair trial.

Witnesses Tell Their Stories

Learn about the attack on Pearl Harbor through these firsthand accounts from Wisconsinites who were there when it happened.

The story of Mary Hayes-Chynoweth, one of Wisconsin's best-known mystics who also predicted the future on a number of occasions.

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

Hero of the Confederacy

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

Evidence of First Feasts

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

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

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