Author: Steven K. Rogstad

Publisher: Mill House Press (2020)


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.


Steven K. Rogstad is a Racine, Wisconsin, native, who is known nationally for his scholarship in Lincoln studies. He has served as Secretary & Editor for the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin, and Review Editor for the Lincoln Herald (Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN). In 2008, he was appointed Secretary of the Wisconsin Lincoln Bicentennial Commission by Governor Jim Doyle, and served on the commission’s Markers & Memorials Committee. He has edited and introduced several volumes, authored numerous articles and reviews, coordinated restoration projects for Lincoln statuary in Wisconsin, and delivered dedicatory addresses for Lincoln monuments in Racine and Burlington. He is the former board chair for Racine Heritage Museum, and current board president for Preservation Racine.