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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The story of Capt. Jonathan Walker whose hand was branded with "S.S." (for "slave stealer") for assisting fugitive slaves.

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

Learn how Alexis St. Martin lived after a shotgun blasted a hole in his side and became a cornerstone of medical literature.

Historical Essay

How Madison Became a City

Madison went from a small village in 1836 to being organized and governed as a city in 20 years time

Learn about the most successful Utopian community in Wisconsin and the interesting fact that it was born in the wake of a failed doomsday prediction.

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's Indiana Jones?

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

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Discover how man-made light evolved

Historical Essay

Valentine's Callers

Stories and characters related to the arrival of the telephone in Wisconsin thanks to Janesville's Richard Valentine.

Historical Essay

Milwaukee's Maverick Aviator

Milwaukee's William Mitchell went from a court-martial for insubordination to being widely understood to be the father of the modern U.S. Air Force.
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