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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.

The Constitutional Convention's Influence on the City

Find out where some of the most traveled streets of Madison got their names.

Brief bio of Richard Theodore Ely, professor, economist, social reformer and author who played a votal role in shaping the "Wisconsin Idea."

Historical Essay

Jose Canseco Baseball Card

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Baseball card featuring Jose Canseco of the Madison Muskies, published by Larry Fritsch Cards, Inc, Stevens Point, WI, 1983. (Museum object #1984.156.13)

Historical Essay

Governor Dreyfus's Red Vest

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Red velveteen vest worn by Wisconsin Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, c. 1975. (Museum object #1982.450.15)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 53rd Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison during March and April 1865, at the very end of the war.

Historical Essay

Giant Punt Gun

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Punt gun used to hunt waterfowl on Lake Mendota, Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1866-1870. (Museum object #1947.1743)

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Mexican-American War Officer

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Learn how Cordelia Harvey established a hospital in Madison to help Civil War soldiers

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Attorney General and State Senator

Historical Essay

Vinnie Ream Marble Sculpture

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Spirito Del Carnevale (Spirit of the Carnival)sculpture by Vinnie Ream, 1870. (Museum Object #1965.270.2)

Argument and an Unpopular Choice

Discover how Madison became the capitol city during the first Wisconsin territorial convention

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 46th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service on March 2, 1865, only a few weeks before the war ended.

Historical Essay

Mrs. Fairchild's Worth Gown

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Gown made by Charles Frederick Worth of Paris for Frances Fairchild of Madison, Wisconsin, 1880. (Museum object #1945.960,A)

Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Wisconsin Governor

Brief biography of Gov. Louis P. Harvey, helped organize the Republican Party in 1854, state senator from 1854-1857 and in 1862 became governor.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 49th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison between December 24, 1864, and March 5, 1865.

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 5th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Randall in Madison and mustered into service for three years on July 12, 1861.

Read the story of Madison's first and most beloved drunkard, Pinneo.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Deauville-style chair used at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, 1930s. (Museum object #1982.271.9)
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