Erastus Hussey was an active Quaker abolitionist throughout Michigan. In addition to helping fugitive slaves, he was a member of Michigan’s Anti-Slavery Society and, as a supporter of the Liberty Party, believed that the U.S. Constitution provided a legal framework for ending slavery. He became a state senator in 1854. During his time as a senator, Hussey worked to pass Public Act 162, more commonly known as the Michigan Personal Freedoms Act. The measure established protections for accused fugitive slaves who were pursued by slave catchers in the state and penalized offenders who falsely accused free people of being slaves.