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Historical Essay

Abolition and Other Reforms

Read about 19th-century reform movements such as temperance and antislavery, as well as experimental utopian communities, in Wisconsin.

Two Lawyers Spur Abolitionist Reform and Universal Voting Rights

Learn how Byron Paine and Halbert E. Paine used the power of law for radical abolitionist reform in mid-19th century Wisconsin.

Historical Essay

Louise Williams

First Woman Notary Public

Discover the story of Wisconsin's first woman notary public Louise Williams who provided legal counsel for southern Wisconsin after the Civil War.

Historical Essay

Paine, Byron, 1827-1871

Civil Rights Law

Learn about the Milwaukee based lawyer who won two of Wisconsin's most important civil rights cases and was on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

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

Wisconsin Historical Museum Object – Feature Story

Giant knife presented to John Fox Potter by Missouri Republicans after his challenge to duel with a Virginia congressman, 1860. (Museum object #1957.112)

Discover Juliet Severance, the free-thinking Whitewater physician who was involved with the anti-slavery movement, temperance, and women's rights.

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

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

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

Read about the development of the Republican Party in Wisconsin in the years prior to the Civil War.

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