Historical Essay

Fugitive Slave Collar

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Iron collar removed from a fugitive slave by Wisconsin soldiers in 1862. (Museum object #1961.73)

Analyze primary and secondary sources to learn more about motivations and emotions involved during the Civil War era and Underground Railroad

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.

Date: 1917 

Description: Louisiana doctor Dudley Duprez, played by Frank Keenan, makes a fist and glares angrily in a scene still for "The Bride of Hate," a drama of miscegenation...

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.

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

Date: 1917 ca.

Description: Recruitment poster for the United States Navy. Depicts Uncle Sam in a soldier's uniform pointing a gun at the German Kaiser, who is dressed in a crown and...


Cultivating Cotton

Date: 1902-05 

Description: Carlos Christian cultivating a field for cotton. He is posing while holding a plow which is hitched to a mule. Pine trees run along the perimeter of the fi...

Read the history of Pleasant Ridge, Wisconsin, a unique a community developed by freed Southern African American slaves in the mid-19th century.

How Wisconsin was Divided

Discover how the Ordinance of 1787 extended government, prohibited slavery and led to the survey of public lands north of the Ohio River.

Supplemental materials for the 4th-grade textbook, 'Wisconsin: Our State Our Story'

Chapter 7 supplemental materials to the 4th-grade textbook, 'Wisconsin: Our State Our Story'

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

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

Historical Essay

Glover, Joshua

Runaway Slave

Biography of Joshua Glover, a runaway slave from St. Louis, Missouri who sought asylum in Racine, Wisconsin in 1852.

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.

The story of Capt. Jonathan Walker whose hand was branded with "S.S." (for "slave stealer") for assisting fugitive slaves.

Fugitive Slave

Biography of Caroline Quarlls, the first fugitive slave conducted through Wisconsin's underground railroad network to freedom.

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

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