People say that Michigan had a strong reform tradition including abolition. On page 85 of Michigan: A History of the Great Lake’s State, it states:
“Since the moral crusades for a Utopian America began in western New York, from whence numerous people had emigrated to Michigan, it was to be expected that Michigan would be in the forefront of many reform movements especially those for temperance and abolition of slavery.”
What I understand from this passage is that people that came to Michigan wanted a perfect world. People believed that all men were equal to each other which became an advocator for abolition of slavery. Another piece of evidence I took from the passage that Michigan was going to be backbone when it came to reforms in the north. The passage showed how Michigan’s early settlers became advocates for abolition.
On page 92-93 of Michigan: A History of the Great Lake’s State, it tells a true story about how a slave (Robert Cromwell) escaped to Michigan and became a prosperous barber in Flint and Detroit. Then his owner found where he was at and bribed the sheriff to bring him to the court house where he would be seized by the owner’s henchmen. Cromwell was dragged into the court house kicking and screaming. Many abolitionist leaders saw this creating a crowd/riot freeing Cromwell and taking him to Canada, the mob then turned towards the owner who ended up getting beaten and charged with kidnapping. The judge refused to sign the paper that allowed Cromwell to be reclaimed. This became big news in Michigan making more citizens into abolitionists.
I think we have our coexisting thoughts of our abolitionist past with our segregationist past. Our abolitionist past begins with no having slaves in the north, trying to end slavery. Then it takes a civil war to get slavery to begin its ending. Our segregationist past people remember the civil rights movements, riots, sit-ins, and people fighting for their rights. This was a nasty piece on our history because we treated people like they were less of a human being than us. This is a blemish in our past that we live with and it has affected our future in a positive way. These past time periods is something we live with and learn about so we can have a positive future.