0.5 linear feet — 1 oversize folder
The Arthur R. Kooker collection consists of collected materials on the anti-slavery movement in Michigan. It came to the library in two principal accessions, 1979 and 1984. The collection is small but rich in source material. Included are correspondence, notebooks, writings, and genealogical material of Nathan M. Thomas, who was a Schoolcraft, Michigan physician and anti-slavery activist. Thomas was agent for the abolitionist newspaper The Signal of Liberty, and a conductor on the underground railroad. The collection includes letters discussing pre- and post-Civil War politics, especially relating to the issue of slavery. Of special note is a letter describing the situation in Kansas in 1856 and letters from Gerrit Smith, 1858-185. One of Kooker's interest was the underground railroad. Among the materials that he collected is a notebook probably compiled by a conductor in which he lists the stops of safe haven in the journey from the South through Michigan and into Canada. This volume also lists the names of fugitive slaves who made their way to Canada.