From the mid-1830s through the 1850s, more than a half million people settled in Wisconsin. While traveling in ships and wagons, establishing homes, and forming new communities, these men, women, and children recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and newspaper articles. In their own words, they revealed their fears, joys, frustrations, and hopes for life in this new place.
The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin provides a unique and intimate glimpse into the lives of these early settlers, as they describe what it felt like to be a teenager in a wagon heading west or an isolated young wife living far from her friends and family. Woven together with context provided by historian Michael E. Stevens, these first-person accounts form a fascinating narrative that deepens our ability to understand and empathize with Wisconsin’s early pioneers.