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Colored Vigilant Committee of Detroit

Robert Banks, William C. Monroe and William Lambert formed the Colored Vigilant Committee in 1842. Lambert and Monroe announced the committee’s intentions in a letter printed in The Signal of Liberty. In addition to aiding runaways, the committee wanted to secure voting rights for African American men and see that black children received an adequate education equal to white students. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 stimulated the committee, which would go on to help thousands of men, women and children escape to Canada.

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