The collection consists of photocopies of original documents and articles, and newspaper clippings ca. 1841-2008, related to the Underground Railroad, and genealogies of Underground Railroad operatives, free African Americans, and fugitives seeking freedom and their descendents.
Sondra Mose-Ursery, community historian, founder of the Vandalia Underground Railroad Foundation, and former mayor of Vandalia, Michigan compiled this collection while researching the Underground Railroad in Cass County, Michigan. The collection documents Cass County, Michigan as a unique community where a number of Quaker abolitionists provided refuge to free African Americans and African Americans fleeing slavery in the south. Free and enslaved African Americans arrived in Cass County from Quaker settlements in central and northern Indiana. Many were offered tenant residency in Cass County in exchange for their labor. Cass County Underground Railroad conductors escorted freedom-seekers who wished to continue their journey to the next Underground Railroad stations in Schoolcraft, Flowerfield, and Kalamazoo and Calhoun (Battle Creek) Counties and on to stations ending in Detroit and Canada.
This collection and other efforts inspired by Mose-Ursery led to the creation of the Cass County Free Soil Underground Railroad Tour. In 2001 the National Park Service's National Network to Freedom recognized the Cass County Free Soil Underground Railroad Tour as an official Network to Freedom program. Mose-Ursery's collecting also inspired the local community to organize a drive to save the neglected home of one of Cass County's Underground Railroad conspirators, Quaker James E. Bonine.
Source of Acquisition
Acquired from Sondra Mose-Ursury on August 15, 2008.
Seidman House 1 Campus Drive
[Identification of item], Cass County Underground Railroad research collection (RHC-34). Special Collections & University Archives, Grand Valley State University Libraries. https://gvsu.lyrasistechnology.org/repositories/2/resources/461 Accessed November 17, 2017.