Finding Freedom: The Untold Story of Joshua Glover, Runaway Slave


It was all About States’ Rights – Northern States’ Rights

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“Shall a man be dragged back to Slavery from our Free Soil, without an open trial of his right to Liberty?” —Handbill circulated in Milwaukee on March 11, 1854

First published in 2007, the groundbreaking book Finding Freedom provided the first narrative account of the life of Joshua Glover, the freedom seeker who was famously broken out of jail by thousands of Wisconsin abolitionists in 1854. This paperback edition reframes Glover’s story with a new foreword from historian Christy Clark-Pujara.

Employing original research, authors Ruby West Jackson and Walter T. McDonald chronicle Glover’s days as an enslaved person in St. Louis, his violent capture and escape in Milwaukee, his journey on the Underground Railroad, and his thirty-three years of freedom in rural Canada.

While the catalytic “Glover incident” captured national attention—pitting the state of Wisconsin against the Supreme Court and adding fuel to the pre–Civil War fire—the primary focus is on the ordinary citizens, both Black and white, with whom Joshua Glover interacted. A bittersweet story of bravery and compassion, Finding Freedom provides the first full picture of the man for whom so many fought and around whom so much history was made.

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Wisconsin Historical Society Press (September 27, 2022)