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Wisconsin Names

Sherman Booth
Booth was the editor of the Wisconsin Freeman--the leading voice of abolition in Wisconsin--and a prominent organizing member of the Republican party in the state when he was arrested in 1854 for his role in freeing Joshua Glover, a runaway slave. Booth's case grew to national stature over the next six years as the federal goverment and the state engaged in an ongoing legal battle over states' rights. Freed by the state and rearrested numerous times over those six years, Booth was finally forcibly freed by a group of men from Ripon and Waupun and brought to Fond du Lac County, where for the next two months Booth's supporters resisted attempts by federal marshals to recapture him.

William Bowles
Bowles was among the five Wisconsin men captured following the Battle of Hickory Point, Kansas, and imprisoned at the territorial capital at Lecompton in September, 1856. He was the only man of nearly 100 imprisoned to die while incarcerated.

William W. Caine
William Caine, a resident and farm hand in Chester Township during the 1850s and 1860s, was representative of the Republican activism characterizing the county and much of central Wisconsin in the years leading up to the Civil War. A young man, Caine responded to the Kansas call, pre-empting one hundred and sixty acres in Anderson County, Kansas, in 1855. When Missouri border ruffians with southern sympathies drove Caine from his new home the same year, he joined a company of the Fifth Regiment of Kansas Volunteers, under the command of Captain John Brown, and became one of the original twenty men in Brown's  infamous abolitionist crusade in Kansas. Caine served as a scout in Brown's unit, and with it participated in the battle of Osawatomie. (See also Caine Obituary, Winona, Minnesota 1913)

Edward Daniels
Daniels was on the faculty of Brockway--later Ripon--College and was both the state geologist and a member of the Board of Regents of the state's normal schools system when he became involved in the plan to liberate Sherman Booth from federal custody in Milwaukee during the summer of 1860. Prior to the notoriety he gained with the Booth affair, Daniels was also intimately involved with the Emigrant Aid Society of Wisconsin, in which role he transported weapons to the Kansas Territory for use by Free-soil settlers. With the onset of the Civil War in 1861, Daniels organized the First Wisconsin Cavalry regiment in Ripon and served as its first colonel.

Frederick Douglass
Born in 1818 in Maryland as a slave, self-educated, confidant of Lincoln and John Brown, Douglass became one of the most eloquent of spokesmen for African Americans and the anti-slavery cause. Between 1854 and 1860, he was also a frequent visitor to Wisconsin.

H. Ford Douglass
A black antislavery spokesman from Ohio and later Illinois, Douglass appeared in Wisconsin several times during the late 1850s to speak against slavery.

Hans C. Heg
Heg, the first Scandinavian immigrant elected to state office in Wisconsin, was the Commissioner at the State Prison at Waupun in 1860 when Sherman Booth, the state's most prominent spokesman for abolition, was forcibly freed from federal custody in Milwaukee. Heg provided Booth sanctuary at the prison for two days until Booth made his way to Ripon, for which Heg was loudly condemned by the state's Democratic press. Heg was also one of the organizers and the principal officer of the Waupun Wide Awakes during Lincoln's campaign for President in 1860. At the outset of the Civil War in 1861, Heg asked for and was given a release from his duties at the prison and became the Colonel of the Fifteenth Wisconsin Infantry regiment. He was killed in the fighting at Chicamauga in 1863.

Oscar H. LaGrange
LaGrange was a student at Brockway--later Ripon--College in 1860 when he participated with Professor Daniels in freeing Sherman Booth from federal custody in Milwaukee. LaGrange became a Major in the First Wisconsin Cavalry at the onset of the Civil War in 1861 and distinguished himself throughout the war, reaching the rank of Brigadier General. Following the war, he became the director of the San Francisco mint.

Reverend Byrd Parker
An African-American pastor from Oshkosh, Parker was a well known orator on behalf of the anti-slavery cause and the rights of blacks.

James B. Pond
Pond, the son of abolitionist Willard Pond, settled with his family on a farm in the town of Alto in western Fond du Lac County in 1847 at the age of nine. There he participated with his father in operating a branch of the underground railroad. He subsequently rode with John Brown during the Kansas struggle in 1856, edited the Markesan Journal from 1859 to 1861, and in 1861 helped to organize Company C of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry. Pond earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism during the battle of Baxter Springs, Kansas, in 1863.

George Partridge
Partridge was among John Brown's company in the Kansas Territory during Brown's controversial efforts to ensure that Kansas would enter the union as a free state. He was killed along with Brown's son Frederick in 1856 at the Battle of Osawatomie, Kansas.

Carl Schurz
Schurz, a German immigrant living in Watertown and an unsuccessful candidate for Lieutenant Governor, became during Lincoln's campaign for President in 1860 one of the leading national spokesmen for the Republican party.

William A. White
William White was a Harvard educated lawyer, prominent national spokesman for the abolition and temperance movements and close friend of Frederick Douglass. Arriving in Wisconsin from Massachusetts in 1853, he became the chairman of the State Central Committee of the new Republican party in Wisconsin. For three years, until his death in 1856, he provided critical organizational skills and moral leadership to the emerging party. Douglass's presence in Wisconsin during those years was undoubtedly related to his relationship with White.

For names associated with the Underground Railroad in Wisconsin, see the Wisconsin Network to Freedom Web site.