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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Historical Essay

Bonne Fete, Sieur La Salle!*

Robert de La Salle was on the first expedition to the upper Great Lakes and went on to claim the Mississippi River watershed in the name of France.

Historical Essay

John Muir's Clockwork Desk

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Cockwork study desk built by naturalist John Muir while at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1861-1863. (Museum object F1998.85.1)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Pouch obtained from an Oneida Indian at the 1997 Milwaukee River Front Pow-Wow. (Museum object #1999.40.1)

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

On the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry struggles to escape from encroaching Confederates

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

"Broken Star" quilt made from flour and feed sacks for a 4-H project, 1931. (Museum object #2005.115.1)

Historical Essay

Wilderness, Battle of the

Civil War Battle Summary

Brief summary of the Battle of the Wilderness that occurred from May 5 to June 12, 1864.

Historical Essay

Early Electric Dishwasher

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Early household dishwasher manufactured by Hydro-Electric Manufacturing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, c. 1930. (Museum object #1997.35.1A-D)

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Appointment book made of ivory, used by Wisconsin politician and businessman Cassius Fairchild of Madison, WI, during the 1850s. (Museum object #1971.19)

Historical Essay

Wisconsin's First Election

Here is the story of Wisconsin's first elections.
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