Bell Ringers

Bell Ringer: Escaped Slaves in Detroit

Escaped Slaves in Detroit

The first race riots in Detroit happened in 1833. Those riots were sparked by the imprisonment of Thornton and Rutha Blackburn, an African American couple who had escaped from slavery. Historian and tour guide Jamon Jordan traveled to the site of the riot and explained the plot to get the Blackburns to freedom in Canada.

Description

The first race riots in Detroit happened in 1833. Those riots were sparked by the imprisonment of Thornton and Rutha Blackburn, an African American couple who had escaped from slavery. Historian and tour guide Jamon Jordan traveled to the site of the riot and explained the plot to get the Blackburns to freedom in Canada.

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • Who were Thornton and Rutha Blackburn?
  • Why did they escape to Detroit?
  • How did they make a living in Detroit?
  • Describe what occurred when bounty hunters arrived in Detroit.
  • Explain the plan that was enacted to free Rutha Blackburn.
  • What happened in the aftermath of Rutha's escape?

Additional Resource

Participants

    Vocabulary

    • Bounty Hunter
    • Caroline French
    • Fugitive Slave Act Of 1793
    • Mason
    • Tabitha Lightfoot
    • Underground Railroad

    Topics

    Civil Rights & Civil LibertiesState HistoryU.S. History

    Grades

    Middle SchoolHigh SchoolUniversity