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

The Story of Lost Bird

Discover this harrowing story that brings together a feminist pioneer and the infant her husband found in the aftermath of Wounded Knee.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Oldest known surviving license plate in Wisconsin, issued to a Mount Horeb man, 1905. (Museum object #1966.493.1)

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

Read about the 36th Wisconsin Infantry, which served in the Civil War 1864-1865 and lost 342 men during service.

Historical Essay

Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865

Read a biographical account of the governor of the Wisconsin territory who was largely responsible for the selection of Madison as Wisconsin's capital.

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 Regiment

The 4th Wisconsin Infantry was organized at Camp Utley in Racine and mustered into service on July 9, 1861.

A New Vision for the United States

Discover how a few key political issues in the 1850s gave birth to the Republican Party

Wisconsin Civil War Regiment

The 12th Wisconsin Infantry was organized between October 18 and December 13, 1861, at Camp Randall in Madison.

Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Madison, Wisconsin.

Civil War Philanthropist, Wisconsin First Lady, Nurse, and Teacher

A brief biography of Wisconsin’s Florence Nightingale, Cordelia Harvey who was a strong voice for innovatring Civil War Military hospitals.

Historical Essay

Courtship Advice Fan

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Victorian scrapbook fan made by Julia Morris of Madison, decorated with suggestions about courtship, love and marriage, 1895-1899. (Museum object #1955.480

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Campaign jacket worn by Chris Farley in the 1996 movie "Black Sheep." (Museum object #2007.86.1)

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.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Minicom III TTY machine made by Ultratec, Inc., Madison, Wisconsin, c. 1986-1989. (Museum object #2004.58.2a-h)

The Brief Stay of Rutherford B. Hayes

Discover the visits US presidents have paid to Wisconsin

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)

A Plot of Land Becomes a City

Discover how Wisconsin went from a small part of a territory to a capital city.

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Copy of Gilbert Stuart's portrait of George Washington painted by Thomas Sully, 1854. (Museum object #1942.506)

Historical Essay

The Vietnam War

America's Longest, Most Expensive War

Discover the history of America's longest, most expensive war and the incredible events that happened in Wisconsin.
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