What has been argued as the most eventful day to happen in Marshall's history started 174 years ago, on January 27th 1847. But in order to know how the events would have significant impact, we have to research the subject of the story, Adam Crosswhite. Adam Crosswhite is actually featured in the Marshall mural, with his image inside of the S, to commemorate the day he was held captive by fugitive-slave catchers and then rescued by Marshall townspeople.


According to Marshallmich.net, the story goes that: "Adam Crosswhite, a black man, was living in Marshall with his family.  At 4:00 a.m., four men from Kentucky came into town, to seize Crosswhite and his family under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 and return them to bondage. The men of Marshall were notified of the situation by “Auction Bell” a man riding a horse and ringing a bell.  He was shouting that “the slave catchers are at the Crosswhites.” The Marshall group took over and arrested the men from Kentucky, allowing the Crosswhites to escape."

Nobody knows what happened to Crosswhite after he escaped or where he fled to, but after the Civil War ended in 1865, he and his wife returned to Marshall and stayed until his passing in 1878. A more detailed description of the event can be found here taken from the book “The History of Calhoun County” by Washington Gardner. Marshall even hosts a little known memorial for him as well.

WKFR logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Colorized Pictures of Early Kalamazoo That Will Blow Your Mind


More From WKFR