Abolition and Other Reforms

The first half of the nineteenth century was a time of dramatic change in the United States. New technology rapidly transformed business and industry, as well as agriculture. The beginnings of industrialization stimulated shifts in population from rural to more urban areas. Waves of immigrants arrived at eastern port cities. And the availability of low-cost land on the western frontier with the continual acquisition of national territory prompted thousands to set out for the West. These economic and demographic dislocations introduced new social problems and aggravated long-existing ones, especially those concerning matters of poverty, morality, and social justice. Though less... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: A Wisconsin officer refuses to give slaves back to their owners (1), 1862A Wisconsin officer refuses to give slaves back to their owners (1), 1862
Link to article: An Overview of CerescoAn Overview of Ceresco
Link to article: Reward Advertisement for Joshua Glover (1852)Reward Advertisement for Joshua Glover (1852)
Link to article: Joshua Glover's Pursuers State Their Case (1854)Joshua Glover's Pursuers State Their Case (1854)
Link to article: The Abolitionist Movement in Wisconsin Recalled (1907)The Abolitionist Movement in Wisconsin Recalled (1907)
Link to article: Recollections of Wisconsin slaves by pioneer settlers.Recollections of Wisconsin slaves by pioneer settlers.
Link to article: A Waukesha editor recalls the underground railroadA Waukesha editor recalls the underground railroad
Link to article: An African American attempts to vote in Milwaukee in 1865An African American attempts to vote in Milwaukee in 1865
Link to article: A Milwaukee newspaper disputes the results of the 1849 referendum on black suffrageA Milwaukee newspaper disputes the results of the 1849 referendum on black suffrage
Link to article: Byron Paine argues on behalf of Booth before the Supreme Court, 1854Byron Paine argues on behalf of Booth before the Supreme Court, 1854
Link to article: The Wisconsin Supreme Court reaffirms black voting rights, 1866The Wisconsin Supreme Court reaffirms black voting rights, 1866
Link to article: A Wisconsin officer refuses to give slaves back to their owners (2), 1862A Wisconsin officer refuses to give slaves back to their owners (2), 1862
Link to article: A temperance society forms in 1835A temperance society forms in 1835
Link to article: A look at the life and legacy of Frances WillardA look at the life and legacy of Frances Willard
Link to article: Reformers organize to curb alcohol abuse in 1840.Reformers organize to curb alcohol abuse in 1840.
Link to article: An experimental community establishes its rules, 1845An experimental community establishes its rules, 1845
Link to article: A brief history of Ceresco, 1885A brief history of Ceresco, 1885
Link to article: A Grant County slave sues his master for wages in 1846.A Grant County slave sues his master for wages in 1846.
Link to article: An escaped slave's experience in Wisconsin in 1847.An escaped slave's experience in Wisconsin in 1847.
Link to article: Janesville residents refuse to turn over a fugitive slave in 1861.Janesville residents refuse to turn over a fugitive slave in 1861.
Link to article: Letters of Charles Sumner and Wendell Phillips on the Glover Case.Letters of Charles Sumner and Wendell Phillips on the Glover Case.
Link to article: A bricklayer recalls storming the Milwaukee jail to liberate GloverA bricklayer recalls storming the Milwaukee jail to liberate Glover
Link to artifacts: The 6-foot knife that symbolized Northern sentiments in 1860.The 6-foot knife that symbolized Northern sentiments in 1860.
Link to book: Wisconsin Outlaws Capital Punishment (1853)Wisconsin Outlaws Capital Punishment (1853)
Link to book: An Abolitionist Recalls Anti-Slavery Days in WisconsinAn Abolitionist Recalls Anti-Slavery Days in Wisconsin
Link to book: Underground railroad conductors recall some courageous escapes.Underground railroad conductors recall some courageous escapes.
Link to book: A Wisconsin Republican leader repudiates slavery in 1860A Wisconsin Republican leader repudiates slavery in 1860
Link to images: Photograph of attorney Byron Paine, ca. 1860Photograph of attorney Byron Paine, ca. 1860
Link to images: Abolitionist leader and editor, Sherman Booth (1812-1904)Abolitionist leader and editor, Sherman Booth (1812-1904)
Link to images: A portrait of Ezekiel GillespieA portrait of Ezekiel Gillespie
Link to images: Portrait of Ezekiel GillespiePortrait of Ezekiel Gillespie
Link to images: An 1854 broadside announcing an abolitionist rally.An 1854 broadside announcing an abolitionist rally.
Link to manuscript: A Racine man looks back on his years with the underground railroadA Racine man looks back on his years with the underground railroad
Link to manuscript: Activists in Waukesha County organize to fight slavery, 1847.Activists in Waukesha County organize to fight slavery, 1847.
Link to manuscript: Carl Schurz meets with Abraham Lincoln, July 1860Carl Schurz meets with Abraham Lincoln, July 1860
Link to manuscript: A former slaveholder explains how he became an abolitionist, 1840A former slaveholder explains how he became an abolitionist, 1840
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