Online Staff Report
Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D) will be honored by the Abolition Institute at Wednesday, Feb. 11, at Quinn Chapel AME Church in Chicago, for her efforts seeking clemency for Illinois abolitionists convicted for their fight against slavery. The Aichana Abeid Boilil Awards ceremony coincides with President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
Despite a strong antislavery movement in the state, both Illinois and federal law prohibited the harboring or assisting of runaway slaves in free states.
Simon’s office worked with state historians to identify three Illinois men who were convicted of violating slavery laws while working on the Underground Railroad in Quincy and Jacksonville. She has petitioned the state for their pardons.