The submitted article, “From Mississippi to the Northwoods: A Search for Opportunity”, describes the genealogical exploration into the details around one family’s move to northern Wisconsin in the early 1900s. This family research revealed previously unknown details and prompted additional investigation into the historical factors that may have prompted the family’s journey from Mississippi to northern Wisconsin. This article describes the African American history of the Steele family and addresses some of the issues faced by formerly enslaved people and white residents advocated for Black rights in the South that forced them to leave in search of safety and economic survival. Specific personal details may enlighten those for whom this history is vague and distance.

This article provides evidence that residents with known African American/Black ancestry lived in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the early 20th century and offers evidence of racial passing by residents of the Northwoods.


Submitted at the request of Russell Magnani. Please let me know if there are any changes needed in format or content.