January 27, 1847
Francis Troutman and four other Kentucky slave catchers arrived at the home of the Adam Crosswhite family—Kentucky slaves who had escaped to Marshall.
Troutman, who planned to return the Crosswhites to their former master, was confronted by several hundred Marshall residents who threatened the slaveholders with tar and feathers. While Troutman was being charged with assault and fined $100, the Crosswhites fled to Canada. A Kentucky court assessed the Michiganders with fines equal to the Crosswhites’ value. Despite local tradition that held that the Crosswhite case played a role in Congress’s adoption of a more stringent Fugitive Slave Law in 1850, this was not true.
Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past. See more here.