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National History Day 2017 Theme: Taking a Stand in History

Welcome to the National History Day resource page brought to you by the La Crosse Public Library and UW-La Crosse Murphy Library. We developed this guide to introduce students and teachers to local topics for use in the National History Day competition. This list is not exhaustive but gives the reader an idea of local topics and basic resources for a subject.

Generally, materials held in the special collections or archives area of either library do NOT check-out; the items must be used at those libraries.

Politics – Civil War & the Copperheads

Ever heard of the Copperheads? They were generally a group of Democrats during the Civil War who lived in the northern states but who held southern sympathies. Nationally, La Crosse’s own Marcus “Brick” Pomeroy was the most notorious. During this time, he was the editor of the La Crosse Democrat and nicknamed President Lincoln “The Widow-Maker.” This did not sit well with his readers who supported predominately the northern cause.


Secondary Sources

Primary SourcesMarcus

  • Soliloquies of the Bondholder, the Poor Farmer, the Soldier's Widow, the Political Preacher, the Poor Mechanic, the Freed Negro, the 'Radical' Congressman, the Returned Soldier, the Southerner. And other Political Articles by “Brick” Pomeroy.
    Hand PointingFind at: http://memory.loc.gov; search for Brick Pomeroy or Mark Pomeroy.
  • Newspapers on microfilm of the La Crosse Democrat of which Pomeroy was editor during the civil War.
    Hand PointingFind at: La Crosse Public Library and UW-L Murphy Library on microfilm.
  • Pomeroy wrote several books which are available online:

Also Check other sources at: La Crosse History Unbound

While local sources are noted for each topic, remember to use some other online sources and catalogs such as:

Library of Congress’ American Memory

Wisconsin Historical Society:

Please send us your comments about this site.


Welcome to La Crosse History Unbound. Learn more about La Crosse County, history through these digitized collections from La Crosse Public Library and Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.