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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Somewhat forgotten today, many of Ann Arbor’s citizens were active abolitionists and anti-slavery activists in the nineteenth century. John Allen and Elisha Rumsey founded “Annsarbor” in 1824 and by 1845, 3,030 people called the city home. By 1860, only about 100 black settlers lived in the area, a portion of whom lived in a segregated area outside of the city called “Lower Town.” Black Ann Arborites were active in civic life and collaborated with white abolitionists to advocate for African American rights.

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© 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.