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In his own words…

In a 1895 letter to Professor Wilbur H. Siebert, Underground Railroad historian, J.S.T. Milligan describes his Underground Railroad activities in Southfield, Michigan.

     “…I was first settled as pastor in Southfield, Michigan, 16 miles from Detroit, in a good but retired community of people, mainly abolitionists, and had in my house or in my congregation always a supply of escaped slaves.  They would come to Detroit from Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri, and sometimes singly, sometimes in groups of from two to ten into the keeping of the faithful, who either sent them to me or to Canada fro [sic] shelter and employment.
     They frequently returned to me from Canada when wages were low and workers superabundant.  Slave-hunters often came clear to Detroit in pursuit of valuable slaves.  J. Sella Martin, a slave from Alabama, was pursued to Chicago and then to Detroit and a reward of $1,000 offered for his capture.  He was six weeks in my house, and was the [smartest] man I have ever met.  I put him through a theological course in that time.  He afterward became a very eloquent Baptist minister in Boston…”

Click to view the complete letter.

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