Racine County's contribution to the freedom of slaves through the Underground Railroad is being recognized by an exhibit opening this weekend at Racine County Heritage Museum.
In the mid-1800's Racine County was a 'station' of the Underground Railroad. From the west end of Racine County, Burlington, to the lakefront of the City of Racine, many slaves sought their escape through Racine County to Canada.
The Racine Harbor on Lake Michigan was one of the most active harbors during this period of western expansion. Racine offered a route to Canada for oppressed people seeking freedom. Two of the more well known conductors on the Underground Railroad were A.P. Dutton, a local businessman and Maximillian Heck a citizen of Racine.
The exhibit features artifacts, photographs, interactive activities, and many stories relating to the movement. Some of the artifacts come from actual hiding places, buildings that still stand in Racine. A good part of the exhibit is focused on educating school aged children through interactive activities.
One of the more publicized efforts by the citizens of Racine was the liberation of a slave, Joshua Glover, who was taken to the Milwaukee jail as a fugitive under the Federal Fugitive Slave Act. Citizens of Racine went to the jail and forcibly freed Glover and sent him to Canada.
Racine is proud of it's contributions and continuing commitment to civil rights for all citizens.