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Learn how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery, and let to the survey of public lands northwest of the Ohio River.

Historical Essay

Benjamin Butts (1853-1930)

One Man's Journey from Slavery to Madison Business Owner to State Assembly Staff Member

Learn about a freed slave's intriguing story as a barber serving Wisconsin's prominent politicians, and as a well-known, beloved face in the capital city.

Get to know Isaac P. Walker, the first Wisconsin resident to be a presidential candidate contender in 1850.

Date:  date unknown

Description: Exterior view of the slave quarters at Monticello, built in 1772 by Thomas Jefferson.

Date: 1854 

Description: Brightly-colored map exhaustively marks the townships, County Towns and villages of Wisconsin. It also shows rivers, canals, railroads, and plank roads. Ea...

Historical Essay

Pierce, Hattie, 1829-1944

Born into slavery, Hattie Pierce lived 115 years and was able to fully experience both life before and after emancipation.

Book or Pamphlet

Slave Catchers

Date: 1849 ca.

Description: Drawing of two slave catchers pointing guns at two runaway slaves.

Historical Essay

Black History in Wisconsin

Read about Black history in Wisconsin. There are many links to original documents, pictures, eyewitness accounts, and other primary sources.

Read about the most famous escapes of fugitive slaves along Wisconsin's Underground Railroad. Includes links to primary sources.

Date: 1860 after

Description: Dressed in uniform with a Confederate hat, eyeglasses, and a belt with pistols and a sword, a gorilla stands with a rifle in his right hand and a knife is...

Date: 1863-04-04 

Description: Illustration depicting a large group of people gathered in the yard of a house. Three woman stand on the porch steps, and men, women and children are gathe...

Date: 1860 after

Description: Freed male slave in a straw hat. He is superimposed on a black star with the abbreviations of the states of the Confederacy. Behind the black star is an up...

Date: 1849-04-19 

Description: Poster offering $600 reward for the return of three runaway slaves in Calvert County, Maryland. The three slaves are Henry Morsell, Jim Parker, and Bill Hu...

Date: 1910 ca.

Description: View of the slave quarters at West Point Plantation. Copyright 1910 by Fleming & Bryant, Brunswick, GA.

Date: 1877 after

Description: Monument to John Brown and the men killed during the Battle of Osawatomie. Those slin in the battle are buried underneath the monument. Chain link fence...

Date: 1929 

Description: Scene from the film "Romance of the Reaper" showing the building of the first practical reaper on the McCormick farm in Virginia. Actors playing the parts...

Photograph

Louis Hughes

Date:  

Description: Studio portrait of Louis Hughes, seated and holding a book.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Date:  date unknown

Description: Head and shoulder's portrait of Joshua Glover.

Date: 1860 after

Description: Scene of 16 figures. A slave owner raises his whip as black families race towards Fort Monroe, some remain behind picking cotton. The slave owner is saying...

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