Black History Month


     The Ordinance of 1787 prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory, of which Michigan was a part.

       “Sec. 11. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this State.”

      Slavery was illegal in the Michigan Territory unless you were a British or French resident and owned the slave before 1805. The 1830 census showed 32 slaves in Michigan. Most were believed to be Native Americans and not African Americans.


      “The presidential campaign of 1840 was a memorable one in the history of American politics, and the ringing echoes of its battle cry resounded through the forests of Tuscola. The first general election in the county occurred that Fall. The polls were kept open three days, and seven votes were safely deposited in the ballot box.

     The first general election of the county was held November 5, 1850.

The question on Negro suffrage was voted upon at this election. The whole number of votes cast was forty-four; eighteen for, and twenty-six against.”

From The History of Tuscola and Bay Counties, H R Page & Co. 1883