Caught up to the first episode of the award winning American Experience "The Abolitionists" last nite. Very well done, indeed. From its beginning scene of a South Carolina woman finding slavery unconscionable in 1829 to the last line in 1840 how "they had exposed the fatal weakness in the Union, and set the nation on course to the gravest crisis in its history", the show is informative and entertaining.
This TV show marks yet another Civil War-related eye-opener during the Sesquicentennial. Spielberg's Lincoln garnered 12 Academy Award nominations this week along with other honors, following on the heels of other ground-breaking shows like Death and the Civil War. Great books have emerged. The National Park Service has been doing their own excellent commemorations at battlefield sites. This has already been -- just a couple of years in -- a commemoration that is most comprehensive and inclusive. And that's cause for satisfaction.
Michigan had its own key role in the abolition movement. On the grounds of the old Ann Arbor News is this State Historical Marker contemporaneous with the events of Chapter 1 of "The Abolitionists":
"The founding meeting of the Michigan Antislavery Society was held in the First Presbyterian Church located on this site, on November 10, 1836. Delegates from six counties elected officers and adopted fourteen resolutions denouncing slavery. This convention led to the establishment in Jackson in 1839 of the American Freeman, the state's first antislavery newspaper and its successor, Ann Arbor's Signal of Liberty in 1841."
A search of the marker databases reveals a significant number related to Michiganders' efforts to fulfill the spirit of our very first Constitution, prohibiting slavery from ever existing in the Great Lake State.