Author: Steven K. Rogstad

Publisher: Millhouse Press (2020)


Lincoln Among the Badgers: Rediscovering Sites Associated with Abraham and Mary Lincoln in Wisconsin

This study represents the first scholarly treatment of the visits Abraham and Mary Lincoln made to the Badger State. Although they collectively visited Wisconsin five times, they traveled into the state at different times and never together. Abraham Lincoln entered the state’s borders for the first time in 1832 during his military service in the Black Hawk War, returning in 1859 to make speeches in Milwaukee, Beloit, and Janesville. Mary traveled toured northern Wisconsin and Racine in 1867, returning five years later to take advantage of the healing waters of Waukesha.

Aside from the visits, Wisconsin has numerous monuments, memorials, and markers which honor the Lincolns. Most of them are concentrated in southern Wisconsin, although some unusual tributes can be found in the Northwoods region. The monuments in the book have their own unique and sometimes unusual history, including donors who died prematurely, a sculptor who demolished his statue with an axe, a statue with a plaque that misidentifies its creator, and a Will that was contested all the way to the Wisconsin Supreme Court to prevent funds from being used to create a Lincoln monument.

The accounts about the Lincolns in Wisconsin, and the histories of their monuments, have never been collected in a single volume. Highly illustrated, including maps, this book will appeal to historians, travelers, tourists, families, scholars, and history lovers.

400 pages, full color interior, paperback.

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Author Biography:

Steven Rogstad was born in Racine, Wisconsin, and received his BA in Communication from the University of Wisconsin. He is Director of Development for the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. For 40 years he has taught seminars and courses on Lincoln-related topics at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Carroll College, Kenosha Civil War Museum, and other educational institutions. He has served as Secretary and Editor for the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin and as Review Editor of the Lincoln Herald, published by Lincoln Memorial University. In 2009, Mr. Rogstad’s “Lincoln Moments” were broadcast daily on Racine radio as part of the national Lincoln Bicentennial celebration.

Mr. Rogstad is the author of numerous reviews and articles related to his own Lincoln research. He wrote introductions to The Gettysburg Soldiers’ Cemetery and Lincoln’s Address by Frank L. Klement (1993) and The Limits of Dissent: Clement L. Vallandigham and the Civil War by Frank L. Klement (1998). He was co-editor for The Many Faces of Lincoln (1997) and edited/introduced Lincoln’s Critics: The Copperheads of the North by Frank L. Klement (1999). He is the author of Companionship in Granite: Celebrating the Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln Monument, and Racine’s Lincoln Legends: Laying Three Myths to Rest.

In April 2008 Mr. Rogstad was appointed by Governor James Doyle to the Wisconsin Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, serving as Secretary and as a member of the Markers & Memorials Committee.