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Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1905
Sanford, a former slave from Kentucky, was the last surviving witness to the invasion by armed men from Kentucky in search of runaway slaves at the Quaker Settlement in Cass County, MI. The Quakers resisted, the attack failed, and shortly thereafter the Fugitive Slave Law was passed by Congress. In 1905, Sanford was not expected to survive from the four inch gash he had made in his throat while a patient at Nichols Hospital in Battle Creek, MI. Sanford was in the hospital due to a stroke; he was partially paralyzed, and it had taken him more than an hour to open the knife with one hand and his teeth. Sanford had come to Michigan as a young man, he is first listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census as a 28 year old laborer living in Bedford. By 1880, he was married to Elvia Sanford who was born in 1845 in Indiana, and the couple lived in Calhoun County, MI. In 1897, Sanford remarried, his second wife was Mary Sanford, born 1843 in MI, and the couple lived in Battle Creek. For more see, "Aged Colored man tries suicide," Oakland Tribune, 05/08/1905.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Suicide
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan / Cass County, Michigan