Illinois Antislavery and the Struggle for Freedom (IL Bicentennial Speaker Series)


6/17/2018, 2 pm - 4 pm



Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St.


Illinoisans played prominent roles in antislavery movements preceding the Civil War. Understanding the wide range of motivations that might lie behind any given individual’s opposition to slavery – commitment to human rights, belief in racial equality, economic considerations, and religious convictions – is important to understanding the escalation to war. Angel explores the role that the Underground Railroad played in the lives of Freedom Seekers and includes information about several significant slavery and antislavery sites in Illinois, including sundown towns. Her presentation will demonstrate the complexity of responses to the idea of slavery in the early days of statehood and link it to the impact of human trafficking in present day Illinois.

Jeanne Schultz Angel’s work on the antislavery movement has continued since she wrote an award-winning graduate thesis on the topic in 2005. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Lombard Historical Society, where she managed the Sheldon Peck Homestead, listed on the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Angel has extensive experience in museum management, including work as Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Museums. She is currently Executive Director of the Nineteenth Century Club and Charitable Association in Oak Park, Illinois.