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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A Popular Swindler

Read about John Till and the miraculous "medical" plaster treatment that led to his arrest by the State Medical Board.

The Surprise and Aftermath of a Miraculous Birth

Discover the sad story of the naturally-conceived set of quintuplets born in Watertown, believed to be the first set of quintuplets in the U.S.

Historical Essay

More Bank Failures (1857)

Discover the effects that the Panic of 1857 had on La Crosse.

Discover Juliet Severance, the free-thinking Whitewater physician who was involved with the anti-slavery movement, temperance, and women's rights.

Historical Essay

Sundae Sermon

Defining Sundaes

Was the first ice cream sundae made in Wisconsin or New York? Give this whimsical story a read and come to your own conclusion.

Historical Essay

The Crowning of King James

Early Mormon leader James J. Strang declares himself successor to Joseph Smith, relocates followers to Burlington, WI, and has himself crowned "king."

Two Lawyers Spur Abolitionist Reform and Universal Voting Rights

Learn how Byron Paine and Halbert E. Paine used the power of law for radical abolitionist reform in mid-19th century Wisconsin.

The Printer and the Priest

Discover how Wisconsin got its first printing press, and the impact that a Catholic priest would have on Ho-Chunk literacy.

Learn about the various visits Presidents have made to Wisconsin's Capitol city!
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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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