RCC Honors History Project

A Letter from the Canadian Government to the Acting Michigan Territorial Governor

Posted by dnsom on October 29, 2008

A Letter from the Canadian Government to the
Acting Michigan Territorial Governor
State Archives of Michigan
Looking back
to Michigan
May It Please Your Excellency,
We have the honor to report to Your Excellency that we have deliberated upon
the reference made to us by Your Excellency Command on the 17th of
September. . . . In respect to an application addressed to Your Excellency by the
Government of the Territory of Michigan requesting that certain persons now
inhabiting their Province may be apprehended and sent to that country to
answer to a charge preferred against them for assaulting and beating the
sheriff of the county of Wayne, and rescuing a prisoner from his custody. . . .
We beg respectfully to state that these prisoners having been once already
apprehended and in custody in this province upon this same charge and
liberated by the decision of the Governor and Council, after consideration of the
case, upon an application made by the Government of Michigan. We should not think it fit that
the Governor and Council should authorize a second apprehension of the parties. . . . This course, w e think, could not
be approved of unless in the case of some atrocious offender, new and strong evidence should be disc overed. . . .
The conclusion, therefore, which we have come to is that these parties are not charged with any of t he offences
enumerated in the statute annexed; and consequently that the Lieutenant Governor and Council are not authorized
by its provisions to send them out of the Province. . . .
Two of the persons whom the Government of the Province is
requested to deliver up are persons recognized by the
government of Michigan as slaves . . . and by the laws of the
United States be exposed to be forced into a state of
slavery . . . if they should be sent to Michigan, and upon
trial be convicted of the Riot and punished, they
would . . . be . . . confined in a state of slavery for life. . . .

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_mhm_blackburns_02-10-2004_92004_7.pdf

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