A Story of Change

Young people in 1860 were much like Gen-Z of today: they were the most racially diverse voters in the country, the most scientifically educated, and the most economically progressive. In the winter of 1860, a handful of friends in Hartford started a strident political club called “The Wide Awakes” which soon spawned 2,000 chapters and 100,000 members across 20 states. Along the way, they made the nascent Republican Party into the home of America’s woke youth and pushed the Party into the future. They were the catalyst of the Civil War… but the heart of this story is a personal narrative of the club from its humble beginnings in a Church group, revealing one of those rare moments in America when a handful of young people actually changed the course of history.