Although Brett Favre will not be eligible for the NFL Hall of Fame until 2016, Wisconsin can cheer on another former resident who is stepping into a different type of Hall of Fame this weekend. Here is an interesting news article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about a Wisconsin Abolitionist, famous for his branded hand, who will be inducted into the National Abolitionist Hall of Fame. Yes, there is a Hall of Fame dedicated to Abolitionists.
I had not heard of Jonathon Walker and his connection to Wisconsin previous to this article. His failed attempt to jettison slaves to freedom and subsequent branding is a fascinating story. So is how the North and South had their own meanings for his “S.S.” brand.
Walker is entering into this Hall with a very noteworthy class. It took a few moments to realize that I have visited two of his fellow inductees historical sites. Elijah Lovejoy’s murder is said to have spurred John Brown (NAHOF Class of 2007) to focus his life to the abolition of slavery. Thirteen years ago, I stopped in Alton, Illinois during my first Civil War Adventure and I remember standing along the Mississippi River recalling the scene in Ken Burns’ Civil War.
This past summer, our group of MUHS Civil War Adventurers spent an emotional afternoon at the John Rankin Home set on a bluff above the Ohio River. This home inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe (not in the Hall yet) to write her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
What are names of other prominent Wisconsin Abolitionists for the Hall to consider?