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

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Complex History

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost describes the complexity of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn’s history.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Detroits Anti-slavery Community

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost describes Detroit’s anti-slavery community in 1833, during the Blackburn’s escape.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Fugitive Slave Law 1793

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost describes the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Ive Got a Home in Glory Land

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost talks about her book, I’ve Got a Home in Glory Land.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Kentucky

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost describes slavery in Kentucky.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Legacy

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost talks about the legacy of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Legends and Myths

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost talks about the legends and myths that surround Underground Railroad history.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Researching

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost describes the years she spent researching the Blackburn’s case.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Slave Law

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost talks about the complexities of slave law during the Antebellum period.

Karolyn Smardz Frost_Slave Rebellions

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost discusses slave rebellions in the United States, with specific focus on the Edward Stone Rebellion.


© 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.