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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Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Learn about the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry, which served in the Civil War from 1861 to 1865 and lost 312 men.

Read about the creation and early success of the famous Ringling Brothers circus founded in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 31st Wisconsin Infantry was organized by companies at Prairie du Chien and at Camp Utley in Racine.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Historical Essay

19th-Century Immigration

Read how improving transportation and the opening of lands formerly held by Indian tribes brought immigrants from Europe and eastern states to Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

How Madison Became a City

Madison went from a small village in 1836 to being organized and governed as a city in 20 years time

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

The Founding of Major Cities

Read how land speculation and the development of transportation spurred settlement in 19th-century Wisconsin, leading to the rise of larger cities.

Historical Essay

Deer Hide Jacket

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Deer hide jacket of Ruel Garnich Baldwin, c. 1915. (Museum object #2005.147.1)

How One Family Helped Build the Modern Tourist Destination

Discover how Wisconsin Dells came to prominence as a Midwestern tourism institution.
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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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