Local History Photos

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

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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

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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.

Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library


People: Laura Haviland

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Sojourner Truth


Sojourner Truth

Courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library



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Signal of Liberty: Address of the Carrier, Jan. 1, 1849 (BL000757)


Signal of Liberty: Address of the Carrier, Jan. 1, 1849 (BL000757)

Bentley Image Bank: BL000757

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.

Image courtesy of Bentley Historical Library.



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Nathan M. Thomas


Nathan M. Thomas

Nathan M. Thomas helped establish the first anti-slavery newspaper in Michigan and was an active participant on the Underground Railroad. It is estimated that Thomas helped as many as 1,500 escaped slaves obtain freedom in Canada. In 1845, Thomas also unsuccessfully campaigned to become Michigan's lieutenant governor.


People: Nathan M. Thomas

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