further reading

Articles, Websites, and Video

"Slavery is a quiet part of city's past: Prominent historical figures [e.g. William Macomb] played key role in complex, painful era." Written by Bill McGraw. Detroit Free Press 22 February, 2001.

The ex-slave who endowed a church for whites This is the story of Lisette Denison. Born a slave, Lisette put Parisian chefs to shame, invested, and endowed a chapel for the white community on Grosse Ile. Written by Joel Thurtell.

Watch the video of Mapping Slavery in Detroit. The video, released in 2014, showcases the two years of work Professor Tiya Miles and a team of students spent researching the history of slavery in pre-Civil War Detroit, mapping the lives of slaves and former slaves and reclaiming an essential part of the city's history.

Mapping Slavery in Detroit written by Brian Short, LSA Magazine, Fall 2014.

"Mapping Black Detroit: Race, Space and Citizenship in a Pre-Civil War American City." A project led by professor Martha Jones and sponsored by the Honors Program and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan.

Slavery in Detroit, a site by Bill McGraw.

Slavery in Early Detroit by Tiya Miles, Michigan History Magazine, May 2013.

Before the Railroad: From Slavery to Freedom in the Canadian-American Borderland by Gregory Wigmore.

Visit the Wright Museum's Underground Railroad web portal.


Denver Brunsman and Joel Stone eds., Revolutionary Detroit: Portraits in Political and Cultural Change, 1760-1805 (Detroit: Detroit Historical Society, 2010).

Denver Brunsman, Joel Stone, and Douglas Fisher eds., Border Crossings: The Detroit River Region in the War of 1812 (Detroit: Detroit Historical Society, 2012).

Brett Rushforth. Bonds of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic Slaveries in New France, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

Places to Visit

Visit the Detroit Historical Museum.

Visit the North American Black Historical Museum

Historic Site Markers

St. James Episcopal Chapel Plaque on Elizabeth Denison.

Matthew Elliott historical marker

Elizabeth Denison Forth's home site registry