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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Historical Essay

Farming and Rural Life

Discover how farming drew immigrants to Wisconsin in the 19th century, the state's role as a major wheat producer, and later diversification of crops.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Read a letter from an anonymous writer in the 5th Wisconsin Infantry that applauds the positive impact of women in the army.

Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

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

Read about the most famous escapes of fugitive slaves along Wisconsin's Underground Railroad. Includes links to primary sources.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 40th Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Civil War 1864-1865 and lost 19 men during service.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 21st Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Bragg in Oshkosh and mustered into service on September 5, 1862.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 8th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison, mustered into service September 13, 1861, and left for St. Louis on October 12, 1861.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Winning entry for the first Alice in Dairyland dress design, 1948. (Museum object #2005.157.1)

Discover how electric power came to Wisconsin homes, business, and farms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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