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

Pierce, Hattie, 1829-1944

Born into slavery, Hattie Pierce lived 115 years and was able to fully experience both life before and after emancipation.

Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

The First White Men in Madison

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

Spirits Lead a Woman to Fortune

Morris Pratt was a well known psychic medium whose legacy is his eponymous spiritualist institution in Whitewater, known locally as "Pratt's Folly."

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

Wisconsin's Indiana Jones?

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

The Civil Right's Leader Shows his Support

Discover the connection Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King had with the 1960s protests in Milwaukee.

Historical Essay

The Origins of Thanksgiving

It's not What You Might Think

Discover the historical evidence of the first Thanksgiving.

Historical Essay

Ojibwe Court Case

Buffalo and O-Sho-Ga Protest Forced Removal

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

Historical Essay

Madison's Castle

In the late 1800s there was a castle on the shore of Lake Mendota OTHER than the Red Gym. This is that castle's mysterious story.

Historical Essay

Fort Koshkonong

A Fortification That may not Have Existed

Learn the story surrounding the building of Fort Koshkonong by General Henry Atkinson.
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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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