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Discover historical details and explore our online collections related to Lancaster, Wisconsin.

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

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

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

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

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.

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.

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'

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.

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

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

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

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)

A Wisconsin Civil War Story

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