The Underground Railroad in DeKalb County, Illinois


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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

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.

Bibliographic Details

Nancy M. Beasley
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, 2 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7200-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0080-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

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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