Local History Photos

Postcard of First Presbyterian Church, E. Huron and Division (BL004802)


Postcard of First Presbyterian Church,  E. Huron and Division (BL004802)

Bentley Image Bank: BL004802

The founding meeting of the Michigan Antislavery Society was held in the First Presbyterian Church (located at the southwest corner of E. Huron and Division Streets, Ann Arbor, later the site of the Ann Arbor News building.) Delegates from six counties elected officers and adopted fourteen resolutions denouncing slavery. This convention led to the establishment in Jackson in 1839 of the American Freeman, the state's first antislavery newspaper and its successor, Ann Arbor's Signal of Liberty, in 1841.

Image courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library



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Theodore R. Foster (1812-1865)


Theodore R. Foster (1812-1865)

Theodore R. Foster, editor of Signal of Liberty. Born in Foster, Rhode Island, April 3, 1812. Died in Lansing, Michigan, December 27, 1865.

Hey, were you looking for the Summer Game code? You found it! Enter FOSTER on your play.aadl.org player page for your badge.

Keywords: portrait, Signal of Liberty, editor


People: Theodore R. Foster

Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)



Antislavery Society Historical Marker, Ann Arbor, MI


Antislavery Society Historical Marker, Ann Arbor, MI

"Antislavery Society: The founding meeting of the Michigan Antislavery Society was held in the First Presbyterian Church, located on this site [southwest corner E. Huron and Division Streets], on November 10, 1836. Delegates from six counties elected officers and adopted fourteen resolutions denouncing slavery. This convention led to the establishment in Jackson in 1839 of the American Freeman, the state's first antislavery newspaper and its successor, Ann Arbor's Signal of Liberty, in 1841."



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Theodore R. Foster home, 317 N. Chestnut, Lansing, Michigan


Theodore R. Foster home, 317 N. Chestnut, Lansing, Michigan

Theodore R. Foster home at 317 N. chestnut, Lansing, Michigan. Built in 1859 at a cost of $1307.53.

Keywords: home, house


Places: 317 N. Chestnut Lansing Michigan

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504 High Street ("Union Church")


504 High Street ("Union Church")

This small brick structure, the first black church in Ann Arbor, appears on the 1854 map of Ann Arbor labeled simply as "Union Church."

More information on 504 High Street from the Ann Arbor Architecture Archive.


Places: 504 High Street

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Rev. Guy Beckley home, 1425 Pontiac Trail


Rev. Guy Beckley home, 1425 Pontiac Trail

Read about Guy Beckley's house in: the Ann Arbor Architecture Archive

Another photograph of Beckley's home and additional information is available on the Underground Railroad panel of the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program online.

Read more about the Signal of Liberty newspaper and the Underground Railroad in The Underground Railroad in Ann Arbor by Grace Shackman, Pictorial History of Ann Arbor: Churches, Theater, and Newspapers, and Ann Arbor Founders: Ann Arbor, Abolition, and the Civil War.


Places: 1425 Pontiac Trail

Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)



Dr. Helen Walker McAndrew


Dr. Helen Walker McAndrew

Dr. Helen McAndrew and her husband were prominent citizens and outspoken abolitionists in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. Read more about the McAndrews in Ypsilanti Gleanings.


People: Helen Walker McAndrew

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Laura Haviland


Laura Haviland

An important figure in the history of the Underground Railroad in Michigan, Laura Haviland was also one of the founding members of the first antislavery society in Michigan in 1832. .


People: Laura Haviland

Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)



Laura Haviland


Laura Haviland

An important figure in the history of the Underground Railroad in Michigan, Laura Haviland was also one of the founding members of the first antislavery society in Michigan in 1832.

Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library


People: Laura Haviland

Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)



Sojourner Truth


Sojourner Truth

Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library



Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)