The Underground Railroad in DeKalb County, Illinois

The Underground Railroad in DeKalb County, Illinois

by Nancy M. Beasley
The Underground Railroad in DeKalb County, Illinois

The Underground Railroad in DeKalb County, Illinois

by Nancy M. Beasley


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This book is about previously unidentified people who became Abolitionists involved in the antislavery movement from about 1840 to 1860. Although arrests were made in nearby counties, not one person was prosecuted for aiding a fugitive slave in DeKalb County, Illinois. First, the area Congregationalist, Universalist, Presbyterian and Wesleyan Methodist churches all had compelling antislavery beliefs. Church members, county elected officials, and the Underground Railroad conductors and stationmasters were all one and the same. Additionally, DeKalb County had the highest concentration of subscriptions to the Chicago-based Western Citizen antislavery newspaper. It was an accepted local activity to help escaped slaves.

A biographical dictionary includes evidence and personal information for more than 600 men and women, and their families, who defied the prevailing Fugitive Slave Law, and helped the anti-slavery movement in this one Northern Illinois County. Unique photographs and illustrations are included along with notes, bibliography and index.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786472000
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nancy M. Beasley is a civic and social organizer who has served on numerous boards including the Illinois State Police Merit Board. A graduate of Northern Illinois University in music and vocal performance, she lives in Portage, Wisconsin.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction 3

Chronology of Events 6

1 An Abolitionist's Milestone 11

2 Remember the Underground Railroad 17

3 Illinois: A Burned-Over Reunion 25

4 The Abolitionists! Thank God! 36

5 First, the Church 54

6 No Apologists for Slavery: The Congregationalists 59

7 Resolute and Unwavering 76

8 All Brethren: The Universalists 90

9 Seceders and Covenanters: The Presbyterians 102

10 Evangelistic Lawbreakers: The Wesleyan Methodists 113

11 The Western Citizen Reads the Western Citizen 123

12 God Will Thank the Republican Party 131

13 Lincoln Knew the True Republican 150

14 Reasons to Be Unreasonable 161

15 Hail and Farewell! 171

Antislavery Advocates: A Biographical Dictionary 175

Notes 207

Bibliography 215

Index 221

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