Michigan’s Anti-Slavery Newspaper: The Signal of Liberty

February 26th, 2018 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor


LECTURE TITLE: Michigan’s Anti-Slavery Newspaper: The Signal of Liberty
SESSION NUMBER: F355
TIME & DATE: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
SPONSOR: Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society of Detroit and the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission

Utilizing the newspaper, this presentation will focus on Michigan’s freedom-seekers, prominent anti-slavery families, and their contributions to the abolitionist and Underground Railroad movements in Michigan. The session will include a brief history of Michigan’s anti-slavery newspapers, with special attention focused on The Signal of Liberty. One of several anti-slavery publications produced in Michigan, it has the distinction of surviving the longest. Despite fierce opposition from pro-slavery groups, the paper published nearly every week from 1841 – 1848, informing readers about abolitionist activities, announcements, events, and the political affairs of the Michigan Liberty Party.

Utilizing the anti-slavery newspaper as a primary source, this session will examine how The Signal of Liberty can be used to conduct family research, genealogy, and unearth Michigan’s network of abolitionists and freedom-seekers during the mid-nineteenth century. Historians, family historians, genealogists, and researchers will benefit from this session, which focuses on a unique way to trace the families, history, stories, and people connected to anti-slavery activism in Michigan and the United States.

Rochelle E. Danquah, a Ph.D. History student at Wayne State University (Detroit), is a genealogist, historian, lecturer, junior scholar and researcher. She is also Vice Chairperson of the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission, a commission dedicated to researching and documenting historical Underground Railroad sites and individuals in Michigan.

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