Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
Rescue of Joshua Glover, a Runaway Slave

A Journey from Slavery to Freedom

Joshua Glover - 1854 Underground Railroad Journey

Read More About It

"Find Freedom: The Untold Story of Joshua Glover, Runaway Slave" by Ruby West Jackson and Walter T. McDonald

"Wisconsin Defies the Fugitive Slave Law" by James Clark

"Stand the Storm" (videocassette) Wisconsin Public Television

"Freedom Train North" by Julia Pferdehirt



Interesting Fact:

Glover's former owner, Benjamin Garland, was arrested in Wisconsin on a charge of assault and battery (against Glover) but the charges were later dropped and he was set free.

Study Questions:

  • What was the Fugitive Slave Act and why did people disagree with it?
  • Who is Sherman Booth and what did he have to do with Joshua Glover?
  • What happened to Joshua Glover once he was freed from the Milwaukee jail?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on March 11:

    1888: A blizzard in the northeastern U.S. results in more than 400 deaths.
    1941: The Lend-Lease bill is signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt, allowing war supplies to be sent to countries fighting Germany, Italy and Japan.

  • March 11

    March 11, 1854: A mob, disagreeing with the Fugitive Slave Act, battered down the jail door in Milwaukee freeing runaway slave Joshua Glover. Glover escaped from his Missouri master in 1852 and came to Racine where he worked in a mill. His master found him and had him put in the Milwaukee jail, leading to a small revolt on March 11, 1854.

    Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, March 11, 1854

    Great Excitement at Racine!

    Brutal Arrest of a Colored Man!

    At the ringing of the Court Hourse bell this morning, the largest meeting of citizens ever held here was convened, without distinction of party.
    The following resolutions were adapted:
    Whereas, A colored man by the name of Joshua Glover, was kidnapped four miles from our city, last night about 8 o'clock, who was at the time of his arrest at work for one of our citizens, and was also a faithful laborer and honest man.
    Resolved, that we look upon the arrest of said Glover as an outrage upon the peaceful rights of this community, it having been made without the exhibition of any papers by first clandestinely knocking him down with a heavy club and then gagging and binding him by brute force, and carrying him off.
    Resolved, That we as citizens of Racine, demand for said Glover, a fair and impartial jury trial, in this the city where he has been arrested,and that we will attend in person and aid him by all honorable means, to secure his unconditional release, adopting as our motto the Golden Rule.

    Wisconsin History Day By Day homepage
    January - December calendar page