Wisconsin General History


The works below were written by historians and were intended as comprehensive histories of Wisconsin or regions within. See the right column for more info about this website.


Parkman Club Papers (Vols 1-10)

Milwaukee: Parkman Club 1896
Go to Book

Papers are:

Stickney, Gardner P., “Nicholas Perrot”
Campbell, Henry Colin, “Radisson and Groseilliers”
Legler, Henry E., “Chevalier Henry de Tonty”
Terry, Frank T., “The Aborigines of the Northwest”
Gregory, John G., “Jonathan Carver”
Davidson, Rev. John N., “Negro Slavery in Wisconsin”
Wight, William Ward, “Eleazer Williams”
McIntosh, Montgomery E., “Charles Langlade, First Settler of Wisconsin”
Bruncken, Ernest, “The Germans in Wisconsin Politics, Until the Rise of the Republican Party”
Miller, Frank H., “The Polanders in Wisconsin”

Parkman Club Papers (Vols 11-18)

Milwaukee: Parkman Club 1897
Go to Book

Papers are:

11. Campbell, Henry Colin, “Pere Rene Menard; The Predecessor of Allouez and Marquette in the Lake Superior Region”, page 1
12. Starkey, Dan B., “George Rogers Clark and his Illinois Campaign”, page 24
13. Stickney, Gardner P., “The Use of Maize by Wisconsin Indians”, page 62
14. Gregory, John Goadby, “The Land-Limitation Movement; A Wisconsin Episode of 1848-1851”, page 88
15 & 16. Legler, Henry E., “A Moses of the Mormons; Strang’s City of Refuge and Island Kingdom”, page 114
17. LaBoule, Joseph Stephen, “Claude Jean Allouez; “The Apostle of the Ottawas” and the Builder of the First Indian Missions in Wisconsin, page 180
18. Davidson, John Nelson, “Negro Slavery in Wisconsin and the Underground Railroad”, page 210

French Pathfinders of Wisconsin: Explorers, Traders and Missionaries, French Regime, 1634-1763

Madison: State Historical Museum 1934
Brown, Charles E.Go to Book

(title continued) ” … Wisconsin Tercentenary”

A brief history of less than 10 pages.

First French Foot-prints Beyond the Lakes …

Madison: 1882
Butler, James D. Go to Book

Subtitle: “or, What brought the French so early into the Northwest?”

The author begins this article by briefly outlining a number of early French visits to the region of Wisconsin and Illinois from 1634 to 1684. He then poses this question and sums up in the answer the theme of the remainder of the article: “How shall we account for the phenomenon I have now sketched, that the French penetrated so far inland so early and so persistently? My answer to this question is implied in the words Fun, Faith, Fur, False Fancies, Finesse and Feudalism.”

Wisconsin history, French in Northwest, 17th century American history, French fur traders, free online book

Wisconsin in Three Centuries, 1634-1905…

NY: Century 1906
Campbell, Henry ColinGo to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2|Go to Vol 3|Go to Vol 4

(title continued) “…Narrative of Three Centuries in the making of an American Commonwealth, illustrated with numerous engravings of historic scenes and landmarks, portraits and facsimiles of rare prints, documents and old maps”

Volume One – Wisconsin as a Province
Volume 1 is a survey covering the period of the French regime in Wisconsin. According to the author, the Society had recently searched the French government archives and acquired copies of many important primary sources, with the result that “a complete narrative of that portion of our history is now possible for the first time.” Chapter headings are:

-The Indians of Wisconsin
-Waterways to Wisconsin
-Nicolet’s Discovery of the Northwest
-Discovery of Lake Superior
-First Missionary to Wisconsin
-Wisconsin’s First Missions
-France Takes Possession
-Discovery of the Mississippi
-To the Mouth of the Mississippi
-Exploring Northwest Wisconsin
-Exploring Beyond the Mississippi
-France and the Fur Trade
-A Titantic War with Indians
-French and British in Conflict
-Langlade and the End of the French Regime

Volume Two – Wisconsin as a Territory
Chapter headings are:

-Pontiac and his Indian Rebellion
-The Anglo-Saxon Wedge
-British and American Fur Trade
-The War of the Revolution
-After the Revolution
-The Ordinance of 1787
-The War of 1812
-The Early Territories
-The Black Hawk War
-Village Life in Early Days
-Farm Life in Pioneer Days
-Pioneer Anglo-Saxon Settlements
-Boundaries of the State
-Territorial Legislation

Volume Three – Wisconsin as a State
Chapter headings are:

– In the First Year of Statehood
– Tendencies Inherited from New England
– From the Old World to the New
– Black Spots on the Record
– Factional Feuds and Political Passions
– An Underground Railroad Episode
– The Bursting of Utopian Bubbles
– King Strang and his Voree Colony
– At the Commencement of the Civil War
– Organization of Volunteer Regiments
– Loyal Support to the General Government
– Wisconsin Regiments in the Eastern Campaigns
– Wisconsin’s Regiments in the Armies of the West and Southwest
– Wisconsin Regiments in the West and Southwest, continued
– The Cavalry Volunteer Regiments and Light Artillery
– Various Subjects of Interest

Volume Four – Wisconsin as a State
Chapter headings are:

– Growth of the Cities
– Industrial Expansion
– Labor – In Peace and in War
– Development of Transportation Facilities
– Banks and Banking
– Schools and other Educational Institutions
– In the World of Letters, Science and Art
– Northern Wisconsin’s Great Fires
– The Booming of the Gogebic
– During the War with Spain
– Politics since the War

For works on the Old Northwest under the French regime (until about 1760), see: Great Lakes General History

For historic maps of the Great Lakes region and states, see:
Great Lakes Maps, Atlases & Map Collections
;
Ohio Maps, Atlases & Map Collections;
Indiana Maps, Map Collections & Gazetteers;
Illinois Maps, Map Collections & Gazetteers;
Michigan Maps, Map Collections & Gazetteers;
Wisconsin Maps, Map Collections & Gazetteers

Wisconsin in 1700s, French regime, French exploration, Jesuit missions, fur trade, Indian wars, British fur trade, Ordinance of 1787, War of 1812, Michigan Territory, U.S. history

Hand Book of Wisconsin

Milwaukee: Chapman 1855
Chapman, Silas Go to Book

“This pocket-sized book provides statistical and geographical information about Wisconsin in the 1850s, including topographical descriptions, a listing of natural resources, educational data, a discussion of available lands and instructions for filing land claims, information about un-surveyed lands, census figures, the economic activities of each county, and transportation routes. Advertisements from publishers, retailers, and members of the professions appear in the back pages.”
– Library of Congress American Memory website

The author wrote in the preface that the handbook was intended to be used with the map of Wisconsin that he published. We have the 1856 version of Chapman’s “Sectional Map of Wisconsin” on the Wisconsin History: Maps & Gazetteers page.

emigrants’ guide, guide to Wisconsin, settlers’ handbook, Wisconsin geography, 1850s, free books

Wisconsin General History

In Unnamed Wisconsin; Studies in the History of the Region between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi

Milwaukee: Chapman 1895
Davidson, J. N.Go to Book

(title continued) ” … to which is appended a memoir of Mrs. Harriet Wood Wheeler”


Our Wisconsin; a School History of the Badger State

Eau Claire, WI: Eau Claire Book 1920
Doudna, Edgar George Go to Book

“The book is Intended for use In the upper grades of the schools of the state, it being a law of Wisconsin that its history and government be taught in the common schools. It is as definite and as concrete as brevity permits. Beginning with Jean Nicolet, the first white man to set foot on Wisconsin soil in 1634, the book describes the Indians, the first settlers, the various nationalities that have made Wisconsin their home, its attitudes in national crises, its laws and industries, etc.”
– The Book Review Digest

The author wrote in the preface that this easy-to-read introductory history for students was based upon The Leading Events of Wisconsin History (1898) by Henry Legler [found on this web page]. He also drew heavily upon the publications of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Chapter headings are:

-Wisconsin in 1634
-The Indians
-The Coming of the White Men
-The Strange Adventure of Radisson
-Nicholas Perrot, Forest Ranger
-The Wanderings of the Black Gowns
-Joliet and Marquette
-La Salle and his Companions
-La Salle and the Mississippi
-Famous Visitors
-The War with the Fox Indians
-Under the Flag of England
-Charles Langlade
-English Travelers in Wisconsin
-Wisconsin in the Revolution
-The Northwest Territory
-Wisconsin in the War of 1812
-Life in the Early Settlements
-From Fur Trading to Lead Mining
-Red Bird and Black Hawk
-The Territory of Wisconsin
-The Thirteenth Star
-From 1848 to 1860
-In the Civil War
-The Melting Pot
-Since the Civil War
-In the World War
-Wisconsin in Industry
-Wisconsin in Literature
-The Growth of the Public School

history textbook, Sieur de La Salle, Charles Langlade, Black Robes, Louis Joliet, Jacques Marquette, lead mining, economic growth, books online

The Early Outposts of Wisconsin: Green Bay for Two Hundred years, 1639-1839…

Madison: State Historical Society 1872
Durrie, Daniel S.Go to Book

Subtitle: “A paper read before the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, December 26, 1872″”

This paper provides brief summaries of all the French outposts, established by both missionaries and traders, at Green Bay until the end of the French regime. Also included are visits by explorers and other notable French Canadians enroute to other locations. It then does the same for British outposts and visits during the period of the British regime, which ended there in 1796, and continues in the same way into the period of American control up to 1839.

Green Bay Wi history, Green Bay trading post, French in Green Bay, history paper

Wisconsin

Milwaukee: Bruce 1928
Fitzpatrick, Edward A.Go to Book

A history of the state, intended for Wisconsin residents and teachers rather than for use by students.

History of Wisconsin under the Dominion of France

Madison: Midland 1890
Hebberd, S. S. Go to Book

The author does not appear to have intended this to be a comprehensive or ‘stand-alone’ history of the French regime in Wisconsin. He instead assumes the reader already is familiar with conventional narratives of the period, and he proposes some revised interpretations. In the author’s Preface he states, “…in these pages I hope to show that the French struggle for supremacy over the continent was, to a large extent, decided by events that took place in Wisconsin. Here was the entering wedge of disaster and ruin. Here happened the real although obscure crisis in a great drama of which the Fall of Quebec was merely the closing scene. “

He also wrote in the Preface, “I have been compelled, in many different parts of this volume, to very decidedly dissent from the conclusions reached by that eloquent and indefatigable historian, [Francis] Parkman, both in his book upon La Salle and that upon the Conspiracy of Pontiac.” Parkman, at the time this book was published, was one of America’s favorite historians, and his book on the Conspiracy of Pontiac was the standard work on the subject then.

The Parkman books mentioned in the notes above are on this site: Parkman, Francis, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West in Section 973.2 on U.S. History; Colonial Era, Revolution, Confederation
Parkman, Francis, The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada on Conflict, War and Military History in Michigan

For works on the Old Northwest under the French regime (until about 1760), see: Great Lakes General History

French regime, 18th century history, French and Indian War, free history

Wisconsin General History

The British Regime in Wisconsin and the Northwest

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin 1935
Kellogg, Louise PhelpsGo to Book

Chapter headings:

-The Interregnum, 1760-1763
-The Treaty of Peace and the Regulation of Trade, 1762-1764
-The Northwest Pacified, 1764-1767
-Robert Rogers Seeks the Northwest Passage, 1765-1768
-Jonathan Carver in Wisconsin, 1766-1767
-The Aftermath of Rogers’ Plans, 1767-1769
-Pre-Revolutionary Days in the Northwest, 1768-1774
-The Quebec Act, 1774
-The First Years of the Revolution, 1774-1777
-Americans Invade the Northwest, 1778-1779
-The British Retaliate, 1780-1781
-The Northwest Ceded to the United States, 1782-1783
-Organization, 1783-1789
-Struggle for a Change of Boundary, 1790-1795
-British Influence Continues, 1796-1803
-Americans Attempt Control, 1803-1808
-The Approach of War, 1809-1812
-The Opening of the Contest, 1812-1813
-Wisconsin Indians Aid the British, 1813
-Prairie du Chien and the Treaty of Peace, 1814-1815

British rule, 1700s, Jonathan Carver, Revolutionary War, Quebec Act, Northwest Territory, War of 1812, Native Americans, online books free

The French Regime in Wisconsin and the Northwest

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin 1925
Kellogg, Louise PhelpsGo to Book

Chapter headings:

-The North American Continent
-The Great Rivers
-Conjectures concerning the Great Lakes
-The Discovery of the Great Lakes, 1598-1632
-The Voyage of Jean Nicolet, 1634-1635
-Tribal Wars and Dispersion, 1635-1654
-The First Traders, 1654-1670
-The Missions, 1660-1675
-Annexation, 1671
-Exploration of the Mississippi Valley, 1671-1682
-Iroquois War and the West, 1682-1689
-The West Evacuated, 1689-1701
-The First Fox War, 1701-1716
-The Reoccupation of the Posts, 1714-1727
-The Second Fox War, 1727-1738
-Early Mining in the Northwest
-Changes in Fur Trade Methods, 1738-1759
-The French Residents of Wisconsin
-Intercolonial Rivalry for the Western Trade, 1741-1752
-The End of the French Regime in the Northwest, 1752-1761

For U.S. histories of the same period, see this page: U.S. History; Colonial Era, Revolution, Confederation

For works on the Old Northwest under the French regime (until about 1760), see: Great Lakes General History

French explorers, Jean Nicolet, Mississippi Valley history, First Fox War, French habitants, Iroquois war, ebooks free

Organization, Boundaries and Names of Wisconsin Counties

Madison: the Society 1910
Kellogg, Louise PhelpsGo to Book

The main part of this paper is a list, arranged chronologically, showing the date of organization of each of Wisconsin’s 71 counties, the territory from which it was formed, and the changes of boundaries that had since occurred. The second part is a statement about the origin of each county name.

For historic maps of the Great Lakes region and states, see:
Great Lakes Maps, Atlases & Map Collections
;
Ohio Maps, Atlases & Map Collections;
Indiana Maps, Map Collections & Gazetteers;
Illinois Maps, Map Collections & Gazetteers;
Michigan Maps, Map Collections & Gazetteers;
Wisconsin Maps, Map Collections & Gazetteers

Wisconsin county formation, county boundaries, history of Wisconsin counties, online book

Wisconsin General History

Leading Events of Wisconsin History; the Story of the State

Milwaukee: Sentinel 1898
Legler, Henry Eduard Go to Book

A comprehensive history written for the general reader, the volume contains numerous drawn illustrations. 55 chapters are organized within the following five parts:

-In the Era of Beginnings (about Mound-Builders and more recent Indians)
-In the Footsteps of the Explorers (French explorers and Jesuit missionaries)
-Under French and English Dominion (up to the 1780s)
-Pioneer Days in the Territory (from early American settlement until the 1840s)
-Fifty Years of Statehood (up to 1897)

history survey, Mound-builders, French explorers, pioneers, frontier life, statehood, history of the U.S.

The History of Wisconsin from Prehistoric to Present Periods

Milwaukee: Wisconsin Historical Publishing Co. 1893
Matteson, Clark S. Go to Book

This was meant as a popular history of the state, with the entire second half of the volume dedicated to the 30 years from the beginning of the Civil War to the date of publication. In the first half, a lot of space is dedicated to the pre-historic era, and there are separate brief biographical chapters for each of the territorial and state governors.

prehistoric Wisconsin, biographies, Wisconsin governors, Civil War in Wisconsin, historical

History of Wiskonsan; from its first discovery to the present period…

Buffalo: Steele 1846
McLeod, DonaldGo to Book

(Title continued) …”Including a geological and topographical description of the territory, with a correct catalogue of all its plants”

The author visited and toured Wisconsin, and wrote this volume as a guide for settlers. It is made up mostly of descriptions of various regions of Wisconsin as they were in about 1845, and contains only a little history.

settlers guide, Wisconsin geography, topographical description, Wisconsin regions, free ebook

Wisconsin General History

The Wisconsin Centennial Story of Disasters and Other Unfortunate Events 1848-1948

Madison: Wisconsin State Centennial Committee 1948
Morton, W.E. and othersGo to Book

“This book called itself “a summary of selected events unusual in character, costly in human life or causing substantial economic loss” and was prepared as part of the state’s centennial celebrations in 1948. It describes dozens of fires, floods, tornadoes, epidemics, explosions, shipwrecks, and similar catastrophes that occurred in Wisconsin before 1948.”
– Wisconsin Historical Society, “Turning Points in Wisconsin History” website

State Parks for Wisconsin

State Park Board 1909
Nolen, JohnGo to Book

“The [Wisconsin] legislature had approved the establishment of Wisconsin’s first state park in 1878, a 760-square mile park in northern Wisconsin called “The State Park.” The First State Park Board was appointed in 1909 to investigate and make recommendations for the development of a state park system. Noted landscape architect John Nolen was hired to draft the plan. His report, published by the State Park Board, provided guidelines and recommended four sites for inclusion in Wisconsin’s first state park system.”
– Wisconsin Historical Society, “Turning Points in Wisconsin History” website

Wisconsin; A Story of Progress

NY: Prentice-Hall 1940
Raney, William FrancisGo to Book

The author was a college professor. Each chapter has a bibliography. Chapter headings are:

1. The Land and its First Inhabitants
2. The French Period, 1634-1763
3. The British Period
4. The Indians and the Fur Traders Leave the Stage
5. The Territorial Period: I. Settlement and Early Politics
6. The Territorial Period: II. Elements of Community Life
7. Wisconsin Becomes a State
8. The Years 1848 to 1860
9. The Period of the Civil War
10. The Building of Wisconsin Railroads
11. Pine Lumbering in Wisconsin
12. A Century of Agriculture
13. Agrarian Discontent and Farm Organizations
14. Republican Rule, 1866-1901
15. La Follette
16. Three Crusades
17. Modern Life and the Growth of Industry
18. Politics Since 1906
19. Labor
20. The Growing Tasks of Government
21. Education
22. Literature and the Fine Arts
23. Depression and a New Society

The Making of Wisconsin

Chicago: Flanagan 1908
Smith, Carrie J.Go to Book

Written by a school teacher, this history was apparently aimed at young people of high school age, and contains many brief stories and a number of photos.

history textbook, history for youth, historical incidents, free books

The History of Wisconsin in Three Parts, Historical, Documentary, and Descriptive

Madison: Brown 1854
Smith, William Rudolph Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 3

Although the title of this work refers to a three-part history, only two volumes were completed. The author had been a lawyer and politician from Philadelphia when he was appointed adjutant general of Wisconsin Territory by President Van Buren in 1839. He moved to Mineral Point and served in several offices in the territorial and state governments. He also served as the first president of the State Historical Society, and prepared this history at the direction of the state legislature.

Volume 1 may have been the first full history of Wisconsin ever published. The footnotes seem to indicate that he derived most of the information from just a small number of sources. The notes within the Table of Contents at the beginning of the volume provide an extremely detailed guide to the volume.

Volume 3 contains documents on about 30 topics, including 100 pages of the “Jesuit Relations”, over 100 pages on the Black Hawk War, several documents about ancient earth works, and various other subjects.

“Vol. I, commencing with the early history of the Mississippi valley, and dealing quite fully with the French regime, takes the story of Wisconsin down to the organization of the territory (1836); there are numerous and copious notes on details, chiefly documentary. Vol. III is a compilation of documents, beginning with translations from those portions of the Jesuit relations touching on Wisconsin history, and closing with a history of the Milwaukee and Rock River canal (1836-53).”
– Literature of American History; a bibliographical guide (1902)

Black Hawk War, Jesuit Relations, French historical documents, Wisconsin Mound-builders, ebooks free

The French Regime in Wisconsin 1634-1760

Madison: the Society 1902
Thwaites, Reuben Gold, comp. Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2|Go to Vol 3

In the years prior to publication of these 3 volumes the Wisconsin Historical Society obtained funding to carry out research in the Paris archives, in order to locate all documents significant for the history of the French regime in the Northwest. That funding also covered translation into English of documents important for Wisconsin history. The three volumes found here contain, in chronological order and in English, all those documents significant for the history of the French regime in Wisconsin.

-Volume 1 (which is in fact Volume XVI of the Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin) contains documents for the period 1634-1727.
-Volume 2 (actually Volume XVII of the Collections) contains documents for the period 1727-1748.
-Volume 3 (actually Volume XVIII of the Collections) contains documents from the French regime for the period of 1743-1760, and also contains documents for the British regime in Wisconsin 1760 -1800, and the Mackinac Register of Marriages 1725-1821.

For U.S. histories of the same period, see this page: U.S. History; Colonial Era, Revolution, Confederation

New France, historical documents, 18th century, free history

Wisconsin General History

Stories of the Badger State

NY: American Book 1900
Thwaites, Reuben Gold Go to Book

The author, Reuben G. Thwaites, was the director of the Wisconsin Historical Society and there were probably few people with more knowledge of Wisconsin’s history. He wrote in the Preface that this collection of true stories, “…selected from Wisconsin’s history, have been written as a means to the cultivation of civic patriotism among the youth of our commonwealth.” “…it is desired to give selections from the interesting and often stirring incidents with which our history is so richly stored, in the hope that the reader may acquire a taste for delving more deeply into the annals of the Badger State.”

Despite his stated purpose of writing for youth, the reading level is higher than usually considered suitable for students. Adult readers should not overlook this informative and interesting introduction to Wisconsin history. There are a number of fine drawings throughout.

stories from Wisconsin history, history for young people, introduction to Wisconsin history, Wisconsin history book

The Story of Wisconsin

Boston: Lothrop 1890
Thwaites, Reuben Gold Go to Book

“A popular, racy and scientific account of a picturesque section of history, by a master hand. One of the very best books in the useful Story of the States, edited by Elbridge S. Brooks. Especially rich in its handling of the period under French and English domination. Appendix comprises Story of Wisconsin, told in chronological epitome, and The People’s Covenant as Embodied in the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin.”
– Literature of American History; a bibliographical guide (1902)

Reuben G. Thwaites was the director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, an experienced newspaper editor, and a very knowledgeable historian. This survey of Wisconsin history was intended as an introduction to the subject for the general reader. Chapter headings are:

-In the Beginning
-Discovery of the Mississippi 1658-1673
-Explorers and Fur-Traders of New France 1674-1760
-Under the British Flag 1761-1783
-English Domination continued 1783-1815
-Wisconsin Becomes Americanized 1815-1836
-Territorial Days 1836-1855
-“Barstow and the Balance” 1844-1856
-Spots on the Escutcheon 1854-1856
-Wisconsin on a War Footing 1860-1865
-Deeds of Valor 1860-1866
-Since the War
-Appendices

These are some of the topics and people discussed in this volume:

Algonkins, Algonquians, Claude Allouez, mission at Depere, American Fur Company at Mackinaw Island, Jesuit Louis Andre, Arndt-Vineyard quarrel, John Jacob Astor, General Henry Atkinson, Winnebago War, Black Hawk War, Barstow and the Balance, Laurent Barth trapper and trader, Coles Bashford, Bostonniens, Captain Jonathan Carver, Father Charlevoix, Chippewa Indians, Coureurs de bois, Father Dablon, Governor Henry Dodge, Farmers Institutes, Fort Antoine, Fort Edward Augustus, Fort Crawford, Fort St. Francis, Fort Shelby, Lieutenant James Gorrell, The Griffin, Governor Harvey, Louis Hennepin, Judge Levi Hubbell, Radisson and Groseilliers, Solomon Juneau in Milwaukee, Charles de Langlade, La Pointe trading post, Robert Cavelier de La Salle, Governor James T. Lewis, Godefroy Linctot, missionary Rene Menard, Jacques Vieau, The Northwest Company, trader Nicholas Perrot, Prairie du Chien fur trading station, Judge Charles Reaume, Chief Red Bird, Sieur Saint Lusson, Governor Salomon, Jesse James Strang, King Strang, Governor Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, Battle of Wisconsin Heights, Wisconsin Phalanx.

history survey, popular history, English domination, Americanization, Territorial history, early statehood, free online book

Wisconsin; the Americanization of a French Settlement

Boston: Houghton Mifflin 1908
Thwaites, Reuben GoldGo to Book

Offering three surveys of Wisconsin by Reuben G. Thwaites on this webpage appears excessive, but in fact they are quite different. This volume represents Thwaites’ understanding of Wisconsin history in his maturity, after many years of research. That research included his study of a large mass of documents from France that became available around the turn of the century.

“Dr. Thwaites begins with early days of “Ouisconsin,” when French voyageurs often at the mercy of Indians made their first settlements. He continues the narrative thru the later periods of industrial, agricultural and political development. Twenty years of research and study have prepared Dr. Thwaites for this task.”
“The student of the history of the middle west finds in Mr. Thwaites’s work an epitome of the latest results of the research that is constantly developing materials as the French and English archives are becoming available. One could desire fewer facts and a larger discussion of leading topics, such as, for example, the Indian policy of Lewis Cass, which he dismissed with a few words of implied censure.”
“A book of considerably more consequence than the mere annals of a state. Perhaps the book’s greatest fault is that the author very rarely gives his authorities.”
– The Book Review Digest

By the time he wrote this book, Thwaites’ views had changed about French and British influence on the 19th century development of Wisconsin. He now considered that even though Great Britain had dominated Wisconsin from 1760 to 1815, the longer-term British influence on the state was fairly negligible. Instead, as the title indicates, Thwaites thought that when the New England yankees arrived, Wisconsin was still French in many ways. He also stresses in this volume the major cultural and political impact of European immigrants, particularly the Germans, who arrived during the formative years of Territorial government and early statehood.

French influence in Wisconsin history, British influence in Wisconsin history, European immigrants, German influence in Wisconsin, free history

Wisconsin General History

Wisconsin Pioneers: Some Lessons on Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Magazine and C. C. Nelson Publishing Co., 1929
Turner, Jennie McMullin Go to Book


An Illustrated History of the State of Wisconsin: being a complete civil, political, and military history of the state …

Boston: B. B. Russell. 1875
Tuttle, Charles R. Go to Book

(title continued) “from its first exploration down to 1875; including a cyclopaedia of legislation during the administration of each governor, from the organization of the territorial government down to Governor Taylor: with historical and descriptive sketches of each county in the state separately, embracing interesting narratives of pioneer life; including an account of the commercial, agricultural, and educational growth of Wisconsin”

Only the first half of this book (360 pages) is concerned with events prior to 1860; the second half is concerned with Wisconsin’s ‘war record’ and the administrations of governors from 1860 to 1875. Of the first 360 pages, about 200 pages are devoted to a general history that includes chapters on geography and exploration era, French and British regime, pioneering period and the Black Hawk war. Then begins a succession of chronological chapters on political events during the Territorial government, and then individual chapters for each governor’s administration until the Civil War.

Wisconsin geography, Wisconsin explorers, pioneers, Black Hawk War, Territorial government, Civil War, Wisconsin governors, state administration, free online books

“Puritan Influence in Wisconsin…”

Proceedings 1898

Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Usher, Ellis B.Go to Article

Subtitle: “An address delivered before the State Historical Convention at Madison Feb 22, 1899”

The author’s method of demonstrating Puritan influence was to mention numerous individuals who were prominent in early Wisconsin history in many professional fields who came from New England. It would have been more accurate to call this “New England’s Influence in Wisconsin”.

Puritans in Wisconsin, settlers from New England, prominent Wisconsin residents, American history

You can find more works like these at our other ‘General History’ pages.

Great Lakes General History

Ohio General History

Indiana General History

Illinois General History

Michigan General History


Your comments and feedback are welcome!