As Michigan struggled into Statehood, finding the right leader(s) to withhold the power to lead the people and the territory into being a legalized state many obstacles were thrown at the newly distinguished inhabited land. The government that was created at the time never followed the rules that were contributed in the written laws. The war between the Indians and British was also another constant struggle as the American’s tried earning their way into being the twenty-six state of the United States. Until the full removal of the British violence after signing the Treaty of Ghent, the settlers in Michigan were finally able to proceed further exploration on it’s land without the further threat of the British and Native American tribes that still held anger towards the American government.
In the beginning the population in Michigan was vacant due to the unusual swampy unbearable landscapes and sickness that accompanied the area as well as the cold weather was not something that many settlers were unaccustomed to. Ironically, these handicaps were looked pass and the population increased by the 1830’s as immigrants flowed into the new state. Areas of fertile lands were found to be great for farming and many residents became farmers. As fur trading died down, mining became the newest industry. This brought many jobs and inventions of steam boats.
In stages of Michigan advancing in its territorial stages, the people faced hard times undergoing the laws that protected each individuals rights; such as religion, freedom of speech and abolition movements to end slavery were not viewed equally among everyone. Even though the Ordinance of 1787 and a Canadian statue of 1792 forbid slavery in the Northwest Territory and upper Canada, many British traders and trappers roaming through the territory through the State’s area after the American Revolution ceased to violate the laws that were enforced. The Jay Treaty later stated that no new slavery could be introduced. Though that being said, slaves that were granted freedom were still being taken from their families and sold back to their former masters. This dispute encouraged some people to become advocates to abolition and found ways to help slaves and ex-slaves try to escape to freedom in Canada. Detroit population was largely made up of blacks. Since Detroit was routes leading in an underground railroad that abolitionist used as a code escape passage for slaves. Former masters of these slaves sent slave-catchers to regain their “property”. In some cases like that of Adam Crosswhite, who he and his family escaped by the underground railroad in 1840’s and in 1847 his master sent catchers to receive Crosswhite and take him and his family back to Kentucky but was stopped by residents in the area whom told the Kentuckians that Crosswhite was a free man and that any further approach would cause them to be arrested. They were arrested and the Kentucky master filed a suit seeking back his property and damaged done by the Marshall residents in stopping him from retaining back Crosswhite. Later in mid-1848 Senator Cass requested another court trail, in the case the Marshall men were than charged with a $1,925 restitution. The fight against the ending of slavery was a long haunting cause for Michigan.
I feel that the reason why some settlers were advocates of because they didn’t believe that it was moral how the slaves were being treated and seen them as human’s that deserved rights but knowing that Michigan was not capable at the time to grant laws to guarantee though rights because many were still against slaves having any type of human right and were seen as property or tools to further ensure a white mans wealth. Many seen the blacks underneath them and didn’t want them to be allowed to have their own rights to live along side the white man. The settlers that did help the slaves thought that having them move to Canada was best for them because Canada could guarantee that those rights would be protected. America at that time did’t see the blacks equal to the whites. They’re immigrants and the whites didn’t want the competition from a race that they didn’t see worthy. Slavery was ended but no one after that thought ever about giving them equal rights like the whites.
~Michigan: A History of the Great Lakes~