African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
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Mother Detroit MI 1838 Org from Trenton NJ settled in Detroit MI in 1838 Oral and written history

My Great (3X) grandfather William Lambert was a conductor on the Underground railroad.

His first visit to Detroit was as cabin boy on a steamboat in 1825 but it was not until 1838 that he settled in Detroit. He was born free in Trenton, N.J., and his father was a slave, who had bought his own freedom, his mother was free. He was educated by the Quakers.

Three years after reaching Detroit, he was made the secretary of the first state convention of colored citizens of Michigan,ever held, and the following winter he made an able argument before the judiciary committee of the State Legislature in support of a resolution, adopted at the convention named, and of a petition signed by Judge Wilkens and forty other leading citizens of Michigan asking that the word "white" be stricken from the State Constitution.

He worked with the Underground Railroad, and organized an African American secret order, he led the Detroit Vigilant Committee, he was a deacon in his church which he helped form. He was friends with Fredrick Douglas, Rev. Highland Garnet, Wendell Philips and worked hand in hand with J. Theodore Holly bishop of Hatti. He was the recording secretary for John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry. Also friend to William Lloyd Garrison, and he was well respected and spoke out with out fear against the evils of slavery. He was a tailor and philanthropist. He lived until 1890, they claimed he hung him self. We do not believe that however. He died for his outspokenness and for his role in the underground railroad.

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