UGRR - Interview Historian


Explore the Underground Railroad and Anti-Slavery history through the expertise of Historians and Educators. Here experts share their findings through years of researching and teaching the Underground Railroad.

1 - Carol E. Mull, author of The Underground Railroad in Michigan, examines the importance of Washnetaw County and the important work done in cities like Ann Arbor and Battle Creek. She discusses her research and how best to use newly digitized resources on the world wide web.

2 - Dr. Cheryl J. LaRoche, author of Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance, describes the three communities, which are the basis for her research. She examines the methodologies used to study Underground Railroad sites, specifically oral history interviews and landscape analysis.

3 - Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost, author of I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land, illustrates the wonderful escape story of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn and the subsequent court case in Ontario, Canada. She talks about the 20-years of research she did in preparation for her book.

4 - Dr. Martha S. Jones, J.D., associate professor of History and Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan, explains the effects of both the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850 and the Dred Scott case.

5 - Dr. Veta Tucker, associate professor of English and African American studies at Grand Valley State University, talks about the importance of Michigan and the Detroit River. She talks extensively about Cass County, the Crosswhite Family, Erastus Hussey, and the 1847 Kentucky Raid.

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Browse Resources

Carol Mull_ 1850 Fugitive Slave Act

Carol Mull talks about the effect of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act on the Underground Railroad.

Carol Mull_Activism

Carol Mull talks about the reasons why people became anti-slavery activists.

Carol Mull_American Freeman

Carol Mull talks about the first newspaper in Michigan called, the American Freeman.

Carol Mull_Anti-slavery organizations

Carol Mull talks about Laura Haviland, Elizabeth Chandler, anti-slavery organizations and churches.

Carol Mull_Anti-slavery Speakers

Carol Mull talks about the earliest anti-slavery speakers in Michigan.

Carol Mull_Blackburn Escape

Carol Mull describes the escape of the Blackburns and the role that women played in this escape.

Carol Mull_Detroit River

Carol Mull talks about how freedom seekers crossed the Detroit River to freedom, using boats and walking by foot.

Carol Mull_Escape Stories

Carol Mull describes the most compelling and interesting escape stories, such as the escape of Fairfield and Robert Cox.

Carol Mull_Eve of the Civil War

Carol Mull talks about the rapid movement across the Detroit River on the eve of the Civil War.

Carol Mull_Grassroots Activism

Carol Mull talks about the grassroots activism in Michigan that is documented in the Signal of Liberty newspaper.


© 2012 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. All rights reserved. 315 East Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201 | (313) 494-5800 |

This program was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program.