Ripon’s Little White School Celebrating Anniversary

Ripon’s National Historic Landmark the Little White Schoolhouse, located at 303 Blackburn St., will celebrate its 164th Anniversary on March 20th, 2018. In 1854, Alvan Bovay called to action 53 voters in the Little White Schoolhouse in Ripon, WI as a response to the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, which permitted the extension of slavery beyond the limits of the Missouri Compromise. At this point in history, the Democratic Party and the Whig Party were the two main political parties in existence. This proved problematic when the Whig Party took no solidified stance on the issue of slavery, a pivotal point of discussion in the upcoming presidential election. Because of this, Bovay, alongside the 53 voters present that day in the Little White Schoolhouse, began the formation of a party that would take a more tenacious stance on the issue of slavery. Thus, the Republican Party was born. First remarks from Bovay following this meeting still ring proudly in the minds of citizens today; “We went into the little meeting, Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats. We came out Republicans, and we were the first Republicans in the union.” The building is now utilized for tours May-October to inform the public about the events that occurred that day in Ripon, as well as serve as a constant reminder of the tenacity of those involved in the formation of the Republican Party. For more details please log