"Public Meeting of the Colored Citizens of Detroit" [Crosswhite Affair]
In response to the federal court decision in the fugitive slave case brought forward by a Kentucky slave owner in reference to the The Crosswhite Affair, a mass meeting was called in December 1848 by African Americans in Detroit to discuss their relations to slavery in America. The meeting was held at City Hall. A report of the meeting was printed as an article titled "Public meeting of the Colored citizens of Detroit," in Frederick Douglass' Paper, 12/29/1848, p. 2. George De Baptiste, (never a slave) from Virginia, was named chair of the gathering; Benjamin F. Dade, secretary; and Rev. M. J. Lightfoot (former slave) from Virginia; James Maten; and Richard Gordon the vice presidents. Henry Bibb (former slave) from Kentucky, William Lambert (never a slave) from New Jersey, and Edward J. Cooper were assigned to the committee that would draft the resolutions. The full text of the resolutions is included in the newspaper article in Frederick Douglass' Paper: "...Resolved, That we hold liberty dearer than we do our lives, and we will organize and prepare ourselves with the determination, live or die, sink or swim, we will never be taken back into slavery. Resolved, That we will never voluntarily separate ourselves from the slave population in the country, for they are our fathers and mothers, our sisters and our brothers, their interest is our interest, their wrongs and their sufferings are ours, the injuries inflicted on them are alike inflicted on us; therefore it is our duty to aid and assist them in their attempts to regain their liberty... Resolved, That this meeting appoint a committee to draft a petition to Congress praying for the repeal of the *law of 1793, relative to the recapture of fugitive slaves." [*Fugitive Slave Act of 1793] For more on Rev. M. J. Lightfoot, see "A slave revisits the plantation," The Evening Telegram, 06/02/1874, p. 1 [online].