This Day in History

Jan. 27, 1847: Crosswhites Escaped to Canada

Time Periods: Early 19th Century: 1800 - 1849
Themes: African American, Slavery and Resistance
Adam Crosswhite

Adam Crosswhite. Source: Archives of Michigan

On Jan. 27, 1847, several hundred citizens of Marshall, Michigan, helped Adam and Sarah Crosswhite escape from being kidnapped.

The Crosswhites had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and were living in Marshall with their four children when slave catchers came to kidnap them.

The townspeople detained the slave catchers while the Crosswhites fled to Canada. Learn more about their story from the Seeking Michigan archives. Also, the National Archives has papers related to their case, including a deposition given by the Crosswhites in Canada, as described in a National Archives Researcher News (Fall, 2016) article.

This is considered to be one of the cases that led to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

In the related resources below is a lesson on the people’s history of the Abolition Movement.