New Book Shares Voices of Midwestern Settlers

Discover life on the Midwestern prairie in The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin, written by Wisconsin State Historian Emeritus Michael E. Stevens and published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

Stevens provides an intimate glimpse into pioneer life through stories told by those who were settling in Wisconsin between the mid-1830s and the 1850s. Excerpts from pioneer letters, diaries, newspaper articles and other documents give readers a first-hand account. Woven together with context provided by Stevens, these first-person accounts form a fascinating narrative that deepens our ability to understand and empathize with Wisconsin’s early pioneers.

At its heart, The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin is about people dreaming of, searching for, and creating new homes in a new land. These are the stories of immigrant pioneers who settled, adapted and built a new life in the Upper Midwest.

Stevens is the author of 13 books and nearly 30 articles. He has won the Gambrinus Prize for the best book on Milwaukee history and the Association for Documentary Editing’s Lyman Butterfield Award for career contributions in historical research, teaching and documentary editing. Stevens earned his PhD in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and held varying roles at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

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