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In 1860, a youth abolitionist network called “the Wide Awakes” sprung up in cities across the north. They would show up uninvited at politicians’ homes in the middle of the night — w/ brass bands, lit torches & serenades — to demand support for their antislavery cause
“They deliberately targeted young people, calling massive crowds of youths to ‘wake up” ... their iconography of an open eye, talk of throwing off past stupor,” a movement led by 23 year olds
Here’s a Wide Awakes story

On New Years Eve 1861 in Missouri, slaveholders were holding their routine auction of a human being

The Wide Awakes intervened. They decided to jointly bid higher than anyone else.

Eventually the auctioneer gave up the sale
25,000 Wide Awakes parading through Brooklyn
Wide Awake iconography was cool as hell
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