19th-Century Immigration

The first quarter of the nineteenth century was marked by westward migration into the regions north and west of the Ohio River. Though Wisconsin was initially a distant frontier, the small numbers of French, English, Americans, and American Indians who resided there had nonetheless explored and used the rich land and water resources that would soon bring thousands of immigrants into Wisconsin.

Prior to the Black Hawk War in 1832, Indians primarily inhabited much of Wisconsin. By the mid nineteenth century, though, Indians had been induced to cede most of their lands to the federal government. Some were relocated west of... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: The history and settlement of Langlade CountyThe history and settlement of Langlade County
Link to article: The first German women to settle in Milwaukee.The first German women to settle in Milwaukee.
Link to article: Czech immigrants settle in Langlade County in the 1880sCzech immigrants settle in Langlade County in the 1880s
Link to article: Fifty years of Polish settlement in Portage County, 1857-1907Fifty years of Polish settlement in Portage County, 1857-1907
Link to article: The character and activities of Bohemian immigrants, 1901The character and activities of Bohemian immigrants, 1901
Link to article: The early Jewish history of LaCrosseThe early Jewish history of LaCrosse
Link to article: A little bit of Italy in Vernon CountyA little bit of Italy in Vernon County
Link to article: A Polish couple braves the loneliness to settle Pike LakeA Polish couple braves the loneliness to settle Pike Lake
Link to article: A Polish immigrant recalls coming to Milwaukee as a boy in 1868A Polish immigrant recalls coming to Milwaukee as a boy in 1868
Link to article: Milwaukee's Irish neighborhood in the 19th centuryMilwaukee's Irish neighborhood in the 19th century
Link to article: The roots of Milwaukee's Jewish community in the mid-19th centuryThe roots of Milwaukee's Jewish community in the mid-19th century
Link to article: The first Norwegian immigrants are recalled.The first Norwegian immigrants are recalled.
Link to article: Recollections of Old SuperiorRecollections of Old Superior
Link to article: Theodore Rodolf recounts his life in the lead region in the 1830sTheodore Rodolf recounts his life in the lead region in the 1830s
Link to article: Carl Schurz describes why he settled in Wisconsin.Carl Schurz describes why he settled in Wisconsin.
Link to article: Madison's Italian community in the early 20th centuryMadison's Italian community in the early 20th century
Link to article: A Connecticut Yankee writes home about Wisconsin's virtues in 1847.A Connecticut Yankee writes home about Wisconsin's virtues in 1847.
Link to article: A real-life "Little House" girlhood in Waupaca County.A real-life "Little House" girlhood in Waupaca County.
Link to article: An overview of Polish immigration through 1896An overview of Polish immigration through 1896
Link to article: Recollections of Wisconsin slaves by pioneer settlers.Recollections of Wisconsin slaves by pioneer settlers.
Link to article: Early History of the Brothertown IndiansEarly History of the Brothertown Indians
Link to article: A Yankee Childhood in Dodge CountyA Yankee Childhood in Dodge County
Link to article: A description of the early Polish immigrants to Wisconsin, 1901A description of the early Polish immigrants to Wisconsin, 1901
Link to article: Milwaukee's 19th-c. Jewish neighborhood recollectedMilwaukee's 19th-c. Jewish neighborhood recollected
Link to article: An Immigrant Who Became a Northwoods MissionaryAn Immigrant Who Became a Northwoods Missionary
Link to artifacts: A violin becomes a Norwegian fiddle, 1893A violin becomes a Norwegian fiddle, 1893
Link to artifacts: A traditional Ukrainian Easter eggA traditional Ukrainian Easter egg
Link to artifacts: A costume from a Racine Purim carnivalA costume from a Racine Purim carnival
Link to artifacts: Two sausage stuffersTwo sausage stuffers
Link to artifacts: Rosemaled Norwegian Immigrant Trunk, 1845Rosemaled Norwegian Immigrant Trunk, 1845
Link to artifacts: A Norwegian trinket boxA Norwegian trinket box
Link to artifacts: The oldest toast in WisconsinThe oldest toast in Wisconsin
Link to book: An 1875 history of the Chippewa ValleyAn 1875 history of the Chippewa Valley
Link to book: Promoters describe Superior in its infancyPromoters describe Superior in its infancy
Link to book: A guide to the Mohican language, 1789A guide to the Mohican language, 1789
Link to book: Northwoods officials try to attract settlers onto cutover lands, 1902.Northwoods officials try to attract settlers onto cutover lands, 1902.
Link to book: Promoters try to entice settlers to Bayfield CountyPromoters try to entice settlers to Bayfield County
Link to book: A German immigrant advises others about coming to Wisconsin (1849)A German immigrant advises others about coming to Wisconsin (1849)
Link to book: Barron County officials encourage settlers to emigrate to the northwoods.Barron County officials encourage settlers to emigrate to the northwoods.
Link to book: Folklore and folktales collected by Charles E. BrownFolklore and folktales collected by Charles E. Brown
Link to book: A speech by Brothertown Indian leader Samsom Occom, 1771A speech by Brothertown Indian leader Samsom Occom, 1771
Link to book: A German emigrant guidebook, 1841A German emigrant guidebook, 1841
Link to book: A popular handbook teaches immigrants about Wisconsin, 1851.A popular handbook teaches immigrants about Wisconsin, 1851.
Link to book: Horse thieves on the Wisconsin frontier, 1832-1865Horse thieves on the Wisconsin frontier, 1832-1865
Link to book: A teenager's diary of coming overland from Ohio in 1846A teenager's diary of coming overland from Ohio in 1846
Link to book: An Abolitionist Recalls Anti-Slavery Days in WisconsinAn Abolitionist Recalls Anti-Slavery Days in Wisconsin
Link to book: The state markets itself to immigrants, 1867-1896The state markets itself to immigrants, 1867-1896
Link to book: A survey report of migratory labor in Wisconsin in 1962A survey report of migratory labor in Wisconsin in 1962
Link to collections: Stories by and about Czech and Hungarian immigrants.Stories by and about Czech and Hungarian immigrants.
Link to collections: Stories by and about Swiss immigrants.Stories by and about Swiss immigrants.
Link to collections: Stories by and about Norwegian immigrants.
Stories by and about Norwegian immigrants.
Link to collections: Stories by and about immigrants from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.Stories by and about immigrants from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
Link to collections: Stories by and about German immigrants.Stories by and about German immigrants.
Link to collections: Stories by and about Dutch and Belgian immigrants.Stories by and about Dutch and Belgian immigrants.
Link to collections: Stories by and about Italian immigrants.
Stories by and about Italian immigrants.
Link to images: An advertisement tries to attract settlers to the cutover region.An advertisement tries to attract settlers to the cutover region.
Link to images: An Austrian painter depicts Wisconsin in the 1850sAn Austrian painter depicts Wisconsin in the 1850s
Link to images: Pictures of John MuirPictures of John Muir
Link to manuscript: An Austrian painter describes sketches made while traveling Wisconsin, 1856-1860An Austrian painter describes sketches made while traveling Wisconsin, 1856-1860
Link to manuscript: Ma Ingalls describes family life in 1861Ma Ingalls describes family life in 1861
Link to manuscript: John Muir's younger brother recalls their boyhood.John Muir's younger brother recalls their boyhood.
Link to manuscript: A German immigrant describes coming to Wisconsin.A German immigrant describes coming to Wisconsin.
Link to manuscript: A Norwegian immigrant describes coming to Wisconsin in 1840.A Norwegian immigrant describes coming to Wisconsin in 1840.
Link to manuscript: 30 original manuscript letters of John Muir, 1861-191430 original manuscript letters of John Muir, 1861-1914
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