Harriet Tucker

Harriet Tucker was born June 30, 1834 in Kentucky as a slave. As a young girl, she refused to be sold as a slave, and jumped off the auction block. The children of the man who purchased her taught her to read and write (at a time when slaves were not permitted to learn to read.) Sje was proud that she could read her Bible. After the Civil War, the Tucker family came to Rockford. She lived at the corner of Greenmount and Prospect Streets in northeast Rockford. In addition to the house, the property included a barn and chicken coop. Mrs. Tucker...

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Anna Williams–her civil rights

Mrs. Anna Williams lived in Rockford, and in 1869, purchased a train ticket to go from Rockford to Belvidere. She purchased a first class ticket for the Ladies Car.  The Ladies’ Car kept women–and some gentlemen–apart from travelers who were either drinking, or profane, or less refined. Mrs. Williams, an African-American, was refused admittance by the brakeman, who told her she could ride in the men’s  car, even though she had purchased a first class ticket. By October 1869, Mrs. Williams had brought a legal suit...

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