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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Carriage House in Vandalia, MI, served as a haven for runaway slaves
The Carriage House in Vandalia, Michigan, served as a haven for runaway slaves. Photo: Bill Dozier

Underground Railroad Activity in Southwestern Michigan

The Underground Railroad was the passage to freedom for fleeing slaves. Its secret and unmapped routes wound throughout the Midwest toward Detroit, known as "Midnight" by those seeking safe haven. Cass County in southwestern Michigan was the home of white sympathizers with the Abolitionist movement who helped freed slaves to emigrate to Canada or to settle in the county. North Berrien was a "terminal" of the underground railroad, and historic Vandalia is home to several locations and homes were slaves were offered shelter.

Originally submitted by: Fred Upton, Representative (6th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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