Publication Information

Published In:
Signal of Liberty, April 28, 1841,
April 28, 1841
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Signal of Liberty, April 28, 1841

Published In:
The Signal of Liberty

Vol. 1, No. 1; Whole No. 1

Author: Edited by the Executive Committee

Publisher: The Michigan Anti-Slavery Society

Date: April 28, 1841

Get PDF: signal/SL_18410428.pdf

This issue of the Signal of Liberty contains the following items:

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Below is a list of all issues of the Signal of Liberty and all digitized issues of the Michigan Liberty Press.

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Signal of Liberty

1841  (Back to top)


April 28, 1841
May 05, 1841
May 12, 1841
May 19, 1841
May 26, 1841
June 02, 1841
June 09, 1841
June 16, 1841
June 23, 1841
June 30, 1841
July 07, 1841
July 14, 1841
July 21, 1841
July 28, 1841
August 04, 1841
August 11, 1841
August 18, 1841
August 25, 1841
September 01, 1841
September 08, 1841
September 15, 1841
September 22, 1841
September 29, 1841
October 06, 1841
October 13, 1841
October 20, 1841
October 27, 1841
November 03, 1841
November 10, 1841
November 17, 1841
November 24, 1841
December 01, 1841
December 08, 1841
December 15, 1841
December 22, 1841
December 29, 1841

1842  (Back to top)


January 05, 1842
January 12, 1842
January 19, 1842
January 26, 1842
February 02, 1842
February 09, 1842
February 16, 1842
February 23, 1842
March 02, 1842
March 09, 1842
March 16, 1842
March 23, 1842
March 30, 1842
April 06, 1842
April 13, 1842
April 20, 1842
April 25, 1842
May 02, 1842
May 09, 1842
May 16, 1842
May 23, 1842
May 30, 1842
June 06, 1842
June 13, 1842
June 20, 1842
June 27, 1842
July 04, 1842
July 11, 1842
July 18, 1842
July 25, 1842
August 01, 1842
August 08, 1842
August 15, 1842
August 22, 1842
August 29, 1842
September 05, 1842
September 12, 1842
September 19, 1842
September 26, 1842
October 03, 1842
October 10, 1842
October 17, 1842
October 24, 1842
October 31, 1842
November 07, 1842
November 14, 1842
November 21, 1842
November 28, 1842
December 05, 1842
December 12, 1842
December 19, 1842
December 26, 1842

1843  (Back to top)


January 02, 1843
January 09, 1843
January 16, 1843
January 23, 1843
January 30, 1843
February 06, 1843
February 13, 1843
February 20, 1843
March 06, 1843
March 13, 1843
March 20, 1843
March 27, 1843
April 03, 1843
April 10, 1843
April 17, 1843
April 24, 1843
May 01, 1843
May 08, 1843
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May 22, 1843
May 29, 1843
June 05, 1843
June 12, 1843
June 19, 1843
June 26, 1843
July 03, 1843
July 10, 1843
July 17, 1843
July 24, 1843
July 31, 1843
August 07, 1843
August 14, 1843
August 21, 1843
August 28, 1843
September 04, 1843
September 11, 1843
September 18, 1843
September 25, 1843
October 02, 1843
October 09, 1843
October 16, 1843
October 23, 1843
October 30, 1843
November 06, 1843
November 13, 1843
November 20, 1843
November 27, 1843
December 04, 1843
December 11, 1843
December 18, 1843
December 25, 1843

1844  (Back to top)


January 01, 1844
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January 22, 1844
January 29, 1844
February 05, 1844
February 12, 1844
February 19, 1844
February 26, 1844
March 04, 1844
March 11, 1844
March 18, 1844
March 25, 1844
April 01, 1844
April 08, 1844
April 15, 1844
April 22, 1844
April 29, 1844
May 06, 1844
May 13, 1844
May 20, 1844
May 27, 1844
June 03, 1844
June 10, 1844
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June 24, 1844
July 01, 1844
July 08, 1844
July 15, 1844
July 22, 1844
July 29, 1844
August 05, 1844
August 12, 1844
August 19, 1844
August 26, 1844
September 02, 1844
September 09, 1844
September 16, 1844
September 23, 1844
September 30, 1844
October 07, 1844
October 14, 1844
October 21, 1844
October 28, 1844
November 04, 1844
November 11, 1844
November 18, 1844
November 25, 1844
December 02, 1844
December 09, 1844
December 16, 1844
December 23, 1844
December 30, 1844

1845  (Back to top)


January 06, 1845
January 13, 1845
January 20, 1845
January 27, 1845
February 03, 1845
February 10, 1845
February 17, 1845
February 24, 1845
March 03, 1845
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March 24, 1845
March 31, 1845
April 07, 1845
April 14, 1845
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June 02, 1845
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July 07, 1845
July 14, 1845
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August 04, 1845
August 11, 1845
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August 25, 1845
September 01, 1845
September 08, 1845
September 15, 1845
September 22, 1845
September 29, 1845
October 06, 1845
October 13, 1845
October 20, 1845
October 27, 1845
November 03, 1845
November 10, 1845
November 17, 1845
November 24, 1845
December 01, 1845
December 08, 1845
December 15, 1845
December 22, 1845
December 29, 1845

1846  (Back to top)


January 05, 1846
January 12, 1846
January 19, 1846
January 26, 1846
February 02, 1846
February 09, 1846
February 16, 1846
February 23, 1846
March 02, 1846
March 09, 1846
March 16, 1846
March 23, 1846
March 30, 1846
April 06, 1846
April 13, 1846
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April 27, 1846
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May 11, 1846
May 18, 1846
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May 30, 1846
June 06, 1846
June 13, 1846
June 20, 1846
June 27, 1846
July 04, 1846
July 11, 1846
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July 25, 1846
August 01, 1846
August 08, 1846
August 15, 1846
August 22, 1846
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September 05, 1846
September 12, 1846
September 19, 1846
September 26, 1846
October 03, 1846
October 10, 1846
October 17, 1846
October 24, 1846
October 31, 1846
November 07, 1846
November 14, 1846
November 21, 1846
November 28, 1846
December 05, 1846
December 12, 1846
December 19, 1846
December 26, 1846

1847  (Back to top)


January 02, 1847
January 09, 1847
January 16, 1847
January 23, 1847
January 30, 1847
February 06, 1847
February 13, 1847
February 20, 1847
February 27, 1847
March 06, 1847
March 13, 1847
March 20, 1847
March 27, 1847
April 03, 1847
April 10, 1847
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April 24, 1847
May 01, 1847
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June 12, 1847
June 19, 1847
June 26, 1847
July 03, 1847
July 10, 1847
July 17, 1847
July 24, 1847
July 31, 1847
August 07, 1847
August 14, 1847
August 21, 1847
August 28, 1847
September 04, 1847
September 11, 1847
September 18, 1847
September 25, 1847
October 02, 1847
October 09, 1847
October 16, 1847
October 23, 1847
October 30, 1847
November 06, 1847
November 13, 1847
November 20, 1847
November 27, 1847
December 04, 1847
December 11, 1847
December 18, 1847
December 25, 1847

1848  (Back to top)


January 01, 1848
January 08, 1848
January 15, 1848
January 22, 1848
January 29, 1848
February 05, 1848



Michigan Liberty Press

1848  (Back to top)


April 13, 1848
April 21, 1848
April 28, 1848
May 05, 1848
May 12, 1848
May 19, 1848
June 02, 1848
June 09, 1848
June 16, 1848
June 23, 1848
June 30, 1848
July 07, 1848
July 14, 1848
July 21, 1848
July 28, 1848
August 11, 1848
August 18, 1848
August 25, 1848

Signal of Liberty

The Signal of Liberty newspaper

On November 10, 1836, delegates from southeast Michigan gathered at the First Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor for an ‘Anti-Slavery State Convention.’ After two days, delegates established the Michigan State Anti-Slavery Society, adopted resolutions denouncing slavery, and decided to publish an antislavery newspaper. Purchasing a printing press and selling subscriptions in the Michigan Territory was challenging – and risky.

In the fall of 1837, newspaper publisher Elijah Lovejoy was attacked by a pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois. Lovejoy was shot and killed when he refused to give up his printing press. Antislavery lecturers in Michigan faced angry crowds throughout the 1830s. In spite of the difficulties, brothers William and Nicholas Sullivan published the first antislavery newspaper, American Freeman, in 1838 in Jackson, Michigan. The following year, Seymour Treadwell agreed to act as the editor and publisher of the Michigan Freeman. Both newspapers were issued only sporadically.

Theodore Foster and Rev. Guy Beckley launched the Signal of Liberty in April 1841 and managed to go to press nearly every week. The printing office was located on the second floor of Josiah Beckley’s mercantile shop on Broadway Avenue in Ann Arbor. Guy Beckley helped in his brother’s store and worked tirelessly to promote the newspaper. Theodore Foster was co-editor and publisher of the Signal of Liberty until 1848.

Foster and Beckley were strong abolitionists who wrote in the Signal of Liberty of helping people escaping from slavery. The editors interviewed self-emancipated men and women, hoping to arouse sympathy for abolitionism. They published the story of Robert Coxe, helpless to stop the beatings of his sister and mother, grief-stricken as his family was sold and separated. The newspaper covered the “kidnapping outrages” of African Americans in Detroit, Marshall and Cass County, Michigan.

The Signal of Liberty achieved its goal of bringing the issue of slavery into the hearts and minds of the people. Nearly every issue included an antislavery poem, national news, and local notices. Minutes from antislavery meetings reveal a proliferation of organizations across the state and a growing desire to see slavery end in America. The events and movements described in the Signal of Liberty help us understand the issues that led people to resist slavery, change their churches and political parties, and fight for freedom.

~ Carol E. Mull

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This project is presented in partnership with the Bentley Historical Library and Digital Library Productions Services.

The Signal of Liberty

The Signal of Liberty was an abolitionist newspaper published in Ann Arbor from 1841 to 1847.

Related Sites

Time Line of Slavery, Resistance and Freedom, 1837-1893

Students on Site: The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad in Ann Arbor, by Grace Shackman (December 1998), from Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now

Guy Beckley House, 1842, from the Ann Arbor Architecture Archive (original text from Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan, by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg)

Ann Arbor, Abolition, and the Civil War, a panel from the The Ford Gallery of Ann Arbor Founders exhibit online

The Underground Railroad, a panel from the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program online

Michigan Freedom Trail Commission (MFTC): Established by a Public Act to preserve, protect and promote the Michigan Freedom Trail in Michigan.

Michigan Freedom Trail Commission Lesson Plans for grades 3, 4 and 8, (from the Michign Freedom Trail Commission)

Transcriptions of the "Meeting of Colored Citizens of Detroit" and the "Annual Report of the Colored Vigilant Committee of the City of Detroit" (from The Signal of Liberty, January 23, 1843)

University of Detroit Mercy Black Abolitionist Archive

The Adam Crosswhite Case

Deposition of Adam Crosswhite and deposition of Sarah Crosswhite (edited depositions from the Michigan Freedom Trail Lessons)

From the Signal of Liberty:

Re-capture of Slaves (February 6, 1847)
Re-capture at Marshall (February 20, 1847)
Slave Case in Marshall (April 10, 1847)
Astounding News! (April 24, 1847)
Interesting Trial (July 7, 1848)
Miscellaneous Items (July 7, 1848)
Circuit Court Of The United States For The District Of Michigan (July 14, 1848)
Circuit Court Of The United States For The District Of Michigan (July 21, 1848)
Circuit Court Of The United States For The District Of Michigan (July 28, 1848)


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