Chris Lese and Joseph McGill

Some relationships keep on growing. Chris Lese is a history teacher at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I met Chris in 2012 at a Civil War conference at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. At that point, the Slave Dwelling Project was still fresh, but Chris told me about this idea of bringing some of his students to South Carolina to spend nights in slave cabins with me. Chris made it happen because, for the past three consecutive years, Chris and his students have now spent nights with me in slave dwellings in South Carolina, Virginia, and Mississippi respectively.

Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY

Bevier House, New Paltz, New York

I often get pushback when I tell people that I have spent nights in slave dwellings in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. By the standards of the naysayers to northern slavery, that institution of slavery only existed in southern states. Imagine the surprise when I announced that in 2017, I would be going to the state of Wisconsin to chase that legacy of slavery. It was Chris Lese who had done the research to prove that slavery existed in Wisconsin and it was he who had organized my trip. This trip would prove that his success did not come without challenge.

Joseph McGill and Tony Berrones

Tony Berrones

A last minute decision to rent a car rather than be picked up at the airport and a flight delay caused me to miss my first presentation at Marquette University High School. The rain and the cold weather in Wisconsin were not very encouraging for I had left a balmy 70 plus degrees in South Carolina. Luckily, I packed my long johns which would certainly come in handy. I would also be spending the first night in Wisconsin at the cozy home of Cathy and Russ, the parents of Chris. I did get to the school in time for lunch and to address one of Chris’s class about the Slave Dwelling Project. My bonus was that I got to get reacquainted with Tony Berrones an old Air Force buddy who now lives in Milwaukee and is an avid supporter of the Slave Dwelling Project.

Marquette University High School

Me, Chris, two chaperones and eight young men would embark on a journey that would investigate the evidence of slavery in the state of Wisconsin. Of one of the chaperones, Cynthia Blaze, I had my doubts. It was she who slept on a table in the Old Charleston Jail in Charleston, SC to keep away from bugs. We would be joined on this journey by Rachel May, Assistant Professor at the University of Northern Michigan and seven graduate students. I met Rachael two years ago while working at my current part time job at the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston, SC. Rachel was researching a book that should be published soon. The opportunity for the Slave Dwelling Project to bring different groups together at historic sites always has great potential.

Our first stop on the trip was Fort Winnebago. Our tour guide was not very forthcoming about the slavery that occurred there although evidence exists that a young Jefferson Davis was stationed there who himself owned an enslaved man. The proof of slavery permeates the historic house that is on the site, but that evidence was not included in the interpretation.

From that site, we went to the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. There Archivist James Hibbard gave us a thorough presentation which was titled Pleasant Ridge: A Historic Black Settlement in Grant County. Mr. Hibbard provided clear proof that slavery once existed in that part of Wisconsin.

So, I often get people who express a desire to spend the night in a slave cabin with us, I then go through the trouble of reserving a spot for them only for them to be a no show. On this occasion, we could have used some no shows. In a tiny cabin, we had to fit twenty people. The cabin was located in the city limits of Dodgeville Wisconsin.

Born in Indiana, Henry Dodge came to Wisconsin in 1827. Dodge took a prominent part in the Black Hawk War of 1832 as Colonel of the Iowa County militia, and was the first Territorial Governor of Wisconsin. He would go on to serve as a delegate to Congress and U.S. Senator.

The cabin was about 18 by 20 feet with one partition wall that had an opening to get to the other side. The original chimney had been removed. The cabin was encased in modern siding with one side left exposed and encased in plexiglass. The cabin had a front and back door, but only the front door was functional. Our bathroom was a half block away at a service station. There were exhibit panels on the wall that casually referenced slavery in Dodgeville.

As usual, Chris had the debriefing for the young men before we all went to sleep. Mixing graduate and high school students enriched the conversation about all that we experienced throughout the day and the legacy that slavery has left on this nation. The kids held their own among the graduate students as we were all interested and impressed with what they had to say.

When we woke up the next morning, I was surprised to learn that one of the University of Northern Michigan students had slept outside of the cabin on the ground in his sleeping bag. Sleeping outside was quite impressive being that there was frost over everything the next morning. The only thing that I had experienced close to that was when at Montpelier, one person chose to sleep under a cabin while everyone else slept inside.

Our first stop on Saturday was at the home of President of Ulysses Grant in Galena, Illinois. While touring the house, I was suddenly thrust into the memory of my days of actively being a Civil War reenactors, and I wondered how many southerners have taken this tour. Grant marrying into a slave-owning family was well interpreted throughout the tour.

We would spend the night at Fort Crawford. We got a thorough lesson from Mary Antoine on the slavery that occurred there. I was impressed by Mary because she was not afraid to go where the research took her. Here is how she laid it out to us:

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 protected civil liberties and outlawed slavery in the new territories.

The Indiana territorial legislature on the 17th of September, 1807, providing that any person, being the owner of any negroes or mulattoes of and, above the age of fifteen years, and owing service and labor as slaves in any of the states and territories of the United States, or any person purchasing negroes or mulattoes, might bring the same into the territory, provided, the owner or master within thirty days should take them before the clerk of the court and have an indenture between the slave and his owner entered upon record specifying the time which the slave was compelled to serve the master. If, however, the negro or mulatto was under fifteen years, the owner was given power to hold the males until they were thirty-five years of age and the females until they were thirty-two. Children born of the parent who owed service of labor, by indenture, were required to serve, the males until the age of thirty, and the females until the age of twenty-eight. The law further provided that when a slave was brought into the territory and refused to be indentured, the owner had sixty days in which to remove such slave to any state where such property could be legally held. The period of indenture was generally ninety-nine years.

On February 3, 1809, congress passed a law dividing the Indian Territory by creating the territory of Illinois. The governor and judges who constituted the first territorial council, adopted the laws of Indiana Territory in regard to the indenture of slaves. The first territorial legislature, on the 13th of December, 1812, readopted the law.

At the session of the territorial legislation in 1817, an act was passed repealing so much of the law as authorized the bringing of negroes and mulattoes into the territory. The preamble to the repealing act declared that the law was intended to introduce and tolerate slavery, under pretense of voluntary servitude in contravention of the permanent law of the land and the ordinance of 1787.

This act was vetoed by Governor Ninian Edwards, the territorial governor. Though opposed to the principle of slavery, yet himself a slave-holder, he contended that the congress could not violate the deed of cession by which Virginia ceded the northwestern territory to the United States. And he further contended the indenture system was founded upon the principles of law as well as common honesty.

Mary showed us copies of pay vouchers for the officer that included them getting extra pay for the upkeep of their enslaved. As I read the names of the enslaved women, I could not help but wonder if they were exploited for sex.

Unlike the previous night, we would all have room to spread out in the Fort Crawford Military Hospital Museum.

While I went on this journey to find out more about the legacy that slavery left on this nation, I found out a whole lot more. The United States took grave measures in purging the natives from the land that they inhabited. The purging of natives often gets forgotten in history. Some say that slavery was America’s original sin. I disagree, I think America’s first sin is what we did to the Native Americans.

Wisconsin and Illinois Slave Dwelling Trip, March 30th-April 2nd 2017
A Blog Post By Ian McGhee

In the final days of March and into the first days of April I was able to join Joseph McGill and members of the Marquette University High School in a multi-day adventure across Wisconsin and into Illinois. The purpose of our trip was to visit a number of sites that had a history of slavery and/or notable African American presence. These sites included Portage Wisconsin’s “Fort Winnebago”, Beetown Wisconsin’s “Pleasant Ridge”, Dodgeville Wisconsin “Henry Dodge Mining Party Cabin” and a Civil War reenactment site at the foot of Ulysses S. Grant’s home in Galena Illinois. Throughout the event the joint group heard a number of narratives from historians including volunteers from the Portage chapter of The Daughters of the American Revolution, the archivist and historian at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville James Hibbard, and Civil War historian and librarian at the Galena Public Library Scott Wolfe. These narratives told the stories of the sites we were visiting, how and why they were built, what connections they had to slavery, and the importance of preserving the narratives and historical sites to honor the stories and people who lived during the era of slavery in the United States.

It is fair to note, at this point, that I am a third-year undergraduate student studying to be a high school English teacher, and am by no means anywhere near as qualified as our wonderful hosts, historians, storytellers, or chaperones. I approached this trip with the full understanding that I carry a significant amount of privilege by being male, white, and from an upper middle class family. I was aware that there was no possible way to compare my night in the Henry Dodge Mining (read Slave) Cabin -wrapped in my REI cold weather sleeping bag- to the lives of slaves. I found myself transfixed by the whole notion of slavery in Wisconsin. I had no idea, whatsoever, that it was existent, and during this trip it became clear why. As one of my fellow students put it during our before-bed discussion in the cabin: “it appears as though some of these people are only doing research up to a certain point, and then they say ‘yep, nope, let’s just stop right here’”. Questions of narrator/researcher bias haunted the places we visited this weekend, mostly stemming from information that was contradictory, obscured, or intentionally omitted. One example is the Daughters of the American Revolution guide refusing to admit that there was a population of slaves both at Fort Winnebago and at the Kinzie’s “Indian Agency House” in Portage Wisconsin. Throughout the 45 minute tour of the Kinzie’s home, our guide (a DAR member) would not call any number of the Kinzie’s “servants” slaves. This glaring cover-up of history was extremely frustrating, because of the barrage of information that notes slavery being very real at Fort Winnebago. From pay vouchers to property records to textbooks, it is undeniable that slavery was very much existent in and around Wisconsin. A similar theme of carefully-crafted omission was seen later that evening at the Dodgeville Henry Dodge Cabin.

After a lengthy day touring Fort Winnebago, the Kinzie Indian Agency House, UW Platteville, Pleasant Ridge, and Lancaster Wisconsin we arrived at our slave dwelling for the night, a two room cabin built in 1830 for Henry Dodge. The cabin WAS inhabited by slaves at one time, but now the placards on the walls offer a barrage of history that tarnishes the history of the cabin. On the walls are records and awards issued by organizations like the “Historic Preservation Division of the Wisconsin State Historical Society”, and those awards state the name of the cabin as “Henry Dodge Party Cabin”, “Dodge Mining Cabin”, and others. Nowhere on any of the awards do the signs mention slavery, which is equally as frustrating as the obscuring of history at Fort Winnebago. Nevertheless, records exist that place slaves staying in the same cabin we slept in (https://justdohistory.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/wisconsin-had-slaves/). That night, we fit 21 people into the cabin, discussing our interpretations of the day. One of the subjects I was particularly curious about was if it was morally right to tell a story up to a certain point, and go no further, thus obscuring those “uncomfortable” facts. Is it better to tell just part of the story (obscure information or otherwise) to get the ball rolling, or to leave the ball at a standstill until all of the information is accurate and phrased in a nonbiased manner? Is it even possible to research the history of slavery without a particular bias? With such a complicated subject, like slavery, what precautions, if any, need to be taken to preserve information and to tell it the way it was intended? I don’t believe there are any easy answers to these questions, and it’s certainly a good way to start a debate or to make connections to people’s own experiences.

On the second day of our trip we toured Galena Illinois, stopping along the way to participate in the National Historic Parks event “Park Day 2017”. We grabbed some rakes, leaf bags, and collected sticks in an effort to prepare the park and reenactment site for the summer. Not all of our trip was spent being tourists, we were legitimately excited for the opportunity to better a location for the enjoyment of others. From the park at the base of the Ulysses S. Grant house, we headed to Greenwood Cemetery, the final resting place for a number of freed slaves, African American veterans, and other families. Tying together some of the narratives we heard in Platteville, a number of the graves in the cemetery could be traced back to Pleasant Ridge, Henry Dodge, or other families who had worked for their freedom. The most sobering moment was coming to the realization that a number of the graves in the cemetery were unmarked because of systematic oppression and blatant racism. The burial records for Galena reflect this too, since African American burial records are in a separate book from everyone else. If I had to summarize the entire trip in two words I would choose “sobering” and “eye-opening”.

In total, this two day trip has been incredibly enlightening, having been given the opportunity to visit historic sites that I would have never known about and to sleep in a nearly 200 year old cabin that was once built and inhabited by slaves. While the experiences were entertaining and informative, we must not forget about the more sobering note, that a number of the places we visited only existed because of systematic oppression and racism. Now, a century and a half after the Civil War ended, the oppression continues as organizations continue to censor history, or are guilty of omission by incomplete research. That was what I witnessed and experienced that weekend, and it was truly upsetting. As students, historians, archivists, and historical society volunteers we should strive to tell the stories of not just which famous white person built which house, but the stories of those who seem to have been left behind. The work that Joseph McGill is doing is critical to opening the eyes of the world, getting and keeping that ball rolling, to raising awareness for stories and buildings that are being lost to history, a history whitewashed, censored, and tainted by the oppressors. The sheer amount of people who don’t know about slavery in Wisconsin is testament enough to this problem. Telling stories in full is the best way to raise awareness, and Joseph McGill, The Slave Dwelling Project, and the faculty of Marquette University High School and Northern Michigan University are working very hard to make sure those stories are told. Thank you all for the opportunity to travel with you, hear your stories and interpretations, and to sleep in a 19th century cabin with a vivid history. This won’t be a trip I soon forget, and I will remember our cabin conversation for decades to come. Thank you again, for opening my eyes to a very real issue while leading us around some lesser-known areas of Wisconsin and Illinois!

Lucy Meyer

My trip to Wisconsin and Illinois with Mr. Mcgill was enlightening. It was fascinating to see the way he approaches structures. He sees things that I would never think to look for, like fingerprints or marks from instruments. At Fort Winnebago, he noticed a beam and made the connection that it was probably produced in a mill which led to questions about whether there had been a mill nearby, and if so, who was working in that mill. He also has an impressive way of asking pointed questions and pushing to get answers to those questions while remaining civil even when his questions are dodged. I really appreciate the passion he has for bringing awareness to accurate history. Having the opportunity to travel and learn with Mr. Mcgill has inspired me to learn more about how slaves have influenced areas that I don’t associate with slavery.

Thank you again for including me, and I hope we meet again.

Alex Clark, MFA Candidate, Northern Michigan University

I was lucky to experience a weekend focused on learning about the hidden history of slavery in Wisconsin and Illinois with Joe McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project. I was one of 3 graduate students from Northern Michigan University. We drove five and half hours from the small Upper Peninsula town of Marquette, MI to meet Joe and a group of students from Marquette University High School. Our first stop was the Indian Agency House in Portage, WI. Here, we learned a lot from the way this museum, run by The Colonial Dames of America-Wisconsin, tries to cover up and distort history in order to paint colonizers and slave owners in a better light.

Throughout the tour, our group noticed how the curators of the Agency house included exhibits with artifacts, such as furniture and household items from the 1830s, to take the focus off its purpose and the impact of the events that occurred here. From 1832-1834, John Kinzie and his wife, Juliette, lived here. Their purpose: to get members of the Ho-Chunk tribe to sign off on land and move on to the Indian reservations out west. They did this by paying off the Indians for their land and refusing to let them plant their crops. However, the information displayed on a plaque outside of the building notes that the Ho-chunk tribal members ‘trusted’ Kinzie, and that he helped them. It does not say anything about what he was actually doing there. We came in to this museum knowing that the Kinzies purchased an enslaved person named Louisa from Buffalo, NY. When asked if the Kinzies had slaves, our tour guide adamantly said no, and said that she did not know of any slaves or slave owners in the region. When we told her we were staying in a slave dwelling in Dodgeville, WI, she repeated that she had never heard of slaves in Wisconsin.

Throughout our time at the museum, the tour guide would tell racist anecdotes about local tribal members. For example, she retold the story of “four legs”, a Ho-chunk man who was given this nickname because he was drunk all of the time. She explained that this is why, until fairly recently, there were laws in Portage that forbid the selling of Alcohol to American Indians. When, later during the tour, we entered the only bedroom upstairs without a fireplace, she seemed to be unable to answer who slept there or why it was there. Eventually, she acknowledged that it could have been Louisa’s room.
This kind of erasure continued, to a lesser degree, when we met up with an archivist in Platteville, WI. He is currently working on a book about Pleasant Ridge, an integrated agricultural community a few miles down the road that existed from the 1870s to the end of the 1950s, and he gave us a presentation that focused on four of the families of color that lived there. The presentation was very interesting and it was clear that the archivist delved deep into primary sources to find substantial information about these families, who they were as people and how they functioned within the larger community. He skimmed over some of the not-so-perfect parts of this community, such as the murder of a black man by a white judge at the turn of the century. He also mentioned that after a black woman became the teacher at the school for the first time, many white parents pulled their students out of the class and re-enrolled them with a white teacher the following year. The population of the town dwindled in the 1950s, and we were able to visit the actual area and the cemetery where all of the families were buried. There was something really beautiful about learning about the lives of these families through photographs, letters, and commentary and then seeing their faded tombstones. It was also really beautiful that a community like this existed. The community at Pleasant Ridge also functions as a testament to truth: there were enslaved people in Wisconsin and their ancestors worked with white neighbors to build a community that was unique in its progressive view of integration.

We arrived at our sleeping quarters in Dodgeville, WI in the early evening. The cabin was small and, with sixteen of us sardined in, we were crammed but comfortable. As the sun set and it got colder, we had a discussion about day’s events. Many of the high school students mentioned that they had never heard of slavery in Wisconsin. They pointed to the tour guide at the Agency house, and emphasized that it was clear that she was not telling the whole story. It was really cool to watch high school students analyze historical places and second-hand accounts like this. Joe explained to us that, though he tries to get the people who run historical homes and organizations on board with his mission, he often runs into people who blatantly refuse to believe that slaves existed there, or that there might be another, more important story to tell behind all of the replicated furniture and artifacts.

As our group quieted down and the snores started to fill the room, I thought about the enslaved people that called this place home. I thought about all of the placards on the wall, and how the version of history I learned as a child was not a reiteration of truth written in stone, but a retelling of myth, sometimes used to rationalize colonization, often used to erase entire populations from the narrative. I thought about how much my back, my hips, my neck hurt as they pressed against the hard, cold wooden floorboards. How this must’ve felt after a hard day of manual labor, covered in the sweat and mess of the local lead mines; I can’t even imagine. I thought about the brochure a nice elderly man handed to us; the one with the portrait of Henry Dodge, how it said that this was a miner’s cabin, how it proclaimed that local miners voted Dodge into office because they knew they could trust him. I thought about the enslaved people that hide in the sub-text of every text-book, every well-intentioned pamphlet, every museum. Most importantly, I understood the significance of Joe’s work, why he puts himself through sleeping in discomfort in so many different areas, why he continues to fight against the erasure of the history of slavery in The United States, and I realized that I need to be a part of the solution. As a white man, it is my job to spread the word about this experience, and to make sure I call out revisionist history when I see it.

Truman Jones

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in The Slave Dwelling Project. The experience I had was as enlightening as it was sobering. After the trip I had some time to think about what exactly I had witnessed coming from the people who were in charge of these historical sights and who oversaw how their history was interpreted. There is a love and a willingness to preserve history, and we saw that passion in the people who are active in it. But the question is, are they preserving it in the most authentic way? Are they accurately telling the story of slaves? Are they discussing the less than savory motives behind the people that came north to “free” their servants? Are the atrocities that Native Americans suffered at the hands of whites conveyed in an unadulterated fashion? Unfortunately, the history that these people are telling is rather lacking in an unbiased opinion. Whether due to personal prejudice, social pressure, or environmental influence, many people are conveying slave history through a “rose-colored” lens. This white washing that African American and Native American history is experiencing, is an atrocity that cannot continue. Thanks to Joseph McGill, Jr. and The Slave Dwelling Project, the public is being educated about the active masking of the lives and stories of African American Slaves. These stories and the buildings that tie us to the past need to be protected in order to further our collective understanding of race relations and how we as individuals affect them.

Slave Dwelling Retrospective

Lizzie Michael

About a half mile down a dirt road, through a cow-spotted pasture, stands one of the oldest houses in Wisconsin, The Historic Indian Agency House in Portage. In 1832, it was the residence of John H. Kinzie, who was an Indian Agent to the Ho-Chunk Nation. Kinzie and his wife owned slaves, which was the reason behind our visit. We wanted to see where the slaves slept, where they worked, and in general how they lived. “Pay attention to what the tour guide doesn’t say,” said a member of our group. This was crucial. To understand the lives of slaves, we had to pay attention to the silences.

Our tour guide showed us objects that might have been used by the home’s white inhabitants. The original furniture and objects had been burned in the Great Chicago Fire, so everything we saw was put there by the museum owners.

As often happens with American historical sites, the history was missing crucial details. One person in our group inquired about the ethnicity of a servant, but our tour guide dodged the question. “Kinzie might not have had a servant” and “Kinzie frequently had guests to occupy the extra rooms,” she said. We knew that this was not true, however, because our group had primary documents to prove that the young servant girl, Louisa, was an African American slave. Despite our prodding, the tour guide never used the word slave. She never talked about anyone except the white members of the household.

Our second stop was UW-Plateville, where our group met with an archivist. The archivist’s research focused on the African American residents of Pleasant Ridge, a Wisconsin farming community, where the first landowning African Americans lived in the 19th century. The archivist, passionate about his research, presented us with primary sources and the context to connect the dots. He examined photographs, letters, US census. He knew about family secrets, hidden agendas, love affairs, murders, and accidents, all of which gave us insight into the experiences of the black residents of Pleasant Ridge. His work is unique in the state of Wisconsin. Many people deny that slavery ever happened here. The archivist knew that slavery happened, but he appeared to gloss over racism, as if it were not a crucial part to his agenda.

The archivist appears to be motivated by curiosity, rather than social activism. His work is far from anti-racist. Although his work is important, I believe that in order to create a difference in the world, experts like him need to find motivation in the anti-racist movement. Otherwise, his work may translate to others that the integrated societies in the Midwest were colorblind. They weren’t.

As a teacher of English Composition at Northern Michigan University, I am deeply concerned that students are not thinking critically about history. I wish I could take my English Composition class on a slave dwelling trip. They are learning to write arguments and analyze documents, but I’ve noticed that they haven’t been exposed much to histories of African Americans or Native Americans.

Before this trip, I never knew that Wisconsin had a history of slaves. Now I know. What I appreciated the most about the trip was that our group encouraged open discussion and everyone pitched in their ideas. This helped us to see a fuller picture, despite not getting a well-rounded perspective from the experts we met in the field.

Woody Fox, 10th Grade

I found that the “Slavery in Wisconsin” trip was very informational in regards to the untold history of, not only slavery in Wisconsin but the entire North. We are often told in school that the North was not guilty of the atrocities committed in slavery when in reality, slavery was a part of the North’s history as well. At the first site we visited, The Kinzie Indian Agency house, we did learn about the slavery there but more about the house and all of its “history’. The lady giving us the tour painted a perfect picture of how the Kinzie family did not trick the Native Americans or hold slaves. We had packets stating that the family held at least one slave named Luisa, and I casually left my packet at the museum portion of the house. As the trip progressed we began to meet people who actually came to terms with the truth about slavery at their historical site vs running from the truth. In our nightly discussions, we did not have bad things to say about the people who told the truth about slavery because they told us what we wanted to learn. Overall, the trip was very informative and eye-opening, not only as to how people refuse to admit the truth about a dark past but also how slavery was not only a southern problem but an American problem.

Nathanial Lese, 5th Grade

During this trip in Western Wisconsin there were many interesting things I learned, but one thing that stuck out to me was that at a couple of destinations,{mainly the Winnebago House} denied and turned down the subject of slavery in Wisconsin. I find that these historians are attempting to change history, in a bad way. After that day we sat around and talked about how they had turned this subject away. But while these historians were saying this others like the archivist at UW Platteville told us all about the African Americans in Pleasant Ridge and how they lived. Also, we went to a cemetery in Galena, IL and saw actual grave markers of formerly enslaved African Americans. So it is true slavery existed in this part of the country. I learned a lot about the history of Wisconsin that I never knew.

Aidan Lese, 8th Grade

Something that definitely was interesting to me during the trip was how very similar historical sites with very similar histories had a completely different view on how their history played out in terms of slaves. At the Indian Agency House there was absolutely no mention or acceptance that there were even servants at the house, much less slaves. This differed greatly from Fort Crawford, at which one historian had taken the initiative to create records of all the slaves that were present at the fort which was very impressive and a good representation of the history of the fort.

Wesley Miller, 9th Grade

Sleeping in the Dodgeville slave cabin made me think deeply about slavery in Wisconsin. It allowed me to reflect on the views of others and their perspective of slavery in Wisconsin. Some willingly admit while others were quick to deny. This contrast in views allowed for significant conversation pertaining to the topic of slavery. This trip also opened my eyes to the history of slavery that our state possesses. Before this trip I wasn’t sure how much slavery really was in Wisconsin. Now, after experiencing this trip, I realize that there is a great deal of slave history in Wisconsin that many have no idea about. For views to change on this topic, these people need to be exposed to the truth.

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