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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Karolyn Smardz Frost_Thomas Rogers

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost describes Thornton Blackburn’s encounter with Thomas Rogers, his supervisor at the Woodson Rinehart Dry Goods store.

Martha Jones_Abolition

Dr. Martha Jones talks about the effects of the abolition of slavery on the south.

Martha Jones_Dred Scott Decision

Dr. Martha Jones talks about Chief Justice Roger B. Taney and the Dred Scott decision.

Martha Jones_Fugitive Slave Act of 1793

Dr. Martha Jones describes the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 and it’s effect on the Underground Railroad.

Martha Jones_Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

Dr. Martha Jones describes the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and it’s effect on the Underground Railroad.

Martha Jones_Maroon Communities

Dr. Martha Jones describes maroon communities.

Martha Jones_Migration

Dr. Martha Jones talks about defining the Underground Railroad in broader terms to include more general ideas of migration.

Martha Jones_Personal Liberty Laws

Dr. Martha Jones describes how northern states enacted Personal Liberty Laws in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.

Martha Jones_Underground Railroad in the South

Dr. Martha Jones talks about the Underground Railroad in the South and the use of maroon communities.

Veta Tucker_African American Communities

Dr. Veta Tucker talks about African American communities that developed in Michigan, during the 1830s.


© 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.