Josiah Beckley's home, 1709 Pontiac Trail


Josiah Beckley's home, 1709 Pontiac Trail



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 are 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 Railrod 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.




Preybyterian [sic] Church -- Huron & Division Sts. 1865 (ca.) (BL000923)


Preybyterian [sic] Church -- Huron & Division Sts. 1865 (ca.) (BL000923)

Bentley Image Bank: BL000923

The founding meeting of the Michigan Antislavery Society was held in the First Presbyterian Church (located at the southwest corner of E. Huron and Division Streets, Ann Arbor, later the site of the Ann Arbor News building.) 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.

Image courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library




Postcard of First Presbyterian Church, E. Huron and Division (BL004802)


Postcard of First Presbyterian Church,  E. Huron and Division (BL004802)

Bentley Image Bank: BL004802

The founding meeting of the Michigan Antislavery Society was held in the First Presbyterian Church (located at the southwest corner of E. Huron and Division Streets, Ann Arbor, later the site of the Ann Arbor News building.) 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.

Image courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library




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."




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.




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.




Fifth Ward school, 1855


Fifth Ward school, 1855

African Americans had settled in the Ann Arbor area long before the civil war. Thomas Freeman, a barber, and J. W. Brooks, a drayman, minister, and former slave, were delegates to the 1843 state convention of colored citizens of Michigan. It demanded better jobs, education, and the right to vote. Ann Arbor schools were integrated. this photo (ca.1880) shows students at the Fifth Ward school, built in 1855 on the south side of Wall street.




Quotation from Signal of Liberty, May 12, 1841


Quotation from Signal of Liberty, May 12, 1841

Image from Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibits, Site 10

Beckley was purposefully vague about the locations of these "Hospitalities".

See also the Address of the Carrier of the Signal of Liberty. January 1, 1849

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.




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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