Early settlers in Michigan were advocates for abolition because they wanted all men to be free and able to work to earn their own. Those in Michigan had believed that slavery was inhumane and immoral. These Michiganians believed that using slaves to their benefit was not the right thing to do and they should be free men. However, they also believed African Americans had not had the equal rights of those who were white males.

There had been a law in place that did not allow slave catchers to take slaves back to their southern state from which they escaped. Michiganians had believed that it was unlawful to contain someone as a slave but did have segregation, because they had also felt that the African Americans were not as equal as a white male. One example of our abolitionist past that was segregated was when Thornton Blackburn had been arrested by the sheriff because of a bribe from slave catchers to return him to Kentucky. This led to a mob, who were made up of whites and African Americans, killing the sheriff to free Blackburn and take him to Canada. The African Americans were the only ones, however, that had been beaten and arrested from this mob due to the segregation. This shows that even though the white males will stand up to free an African American man, they will not stand up for the freedom of equal rights.