house resolution no.58

Reps. Zorn, Fink, Alexander, Bezotte, Haadsma, Martin, Schuette and Young offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare March 21, 2023, as Abolitionist Day in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, The abolitionist movement was born in the early 18th century in order to end the practice of slavery in America and around the world; and

Whereas, Laura Smith Haviland was a trailblazer in the American abolitionist movement, fought against injustice, and promoted freedom everywhere she went, including her home that is now known as Adrian, Michigan; and

Whereas, Smith Haviland and her family moved to Michigan during her young adult life where she would meet others already involved in the anti-slavery movement. She soon after lost her parents, husband, and child to erysipelas. This kindled her desire to devote her life to fighting against the suffering and despair of others and from there she turned her energy to the eradication of slavery.

Whereas, The abolitionist movement was made up of many people like Laura Smith Haviland who also dedicated their lives to irradicating injustice, assisting members of the underground railroad, and traveled to many states in pursuit of these missions; and†

Whereas, Laura Smith Haviland was inducted into the 2018 Hall of Fame class at the National Abolition Hall of Fame in Peterboro, NY for her integral role in the anti-slavery movement in Michigan and the midwestern United States as a whole. She taught others how to confront and obstruct anti-abolition authorities and slave catchers in the north. Laura Smith Haviland is responsible for freeing and assisting in freeing countless enslaved people during her time; and

Whereas, Laura Smith Haviland continued her work to ensure freedom and dignity was afforded to as many people as possible throughout her entire life, regardless of the dangers she inevitably faced everywhere she went. She possessed a selfless attitude, an undying fortitude for justice and bravery; and

Whereas, We recognize the integral role the abolitionist movement made in our nationís history, and moving us closer to true equality of life for all Americans; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the members of this legislative body declare March 14, 2023, as Abolitionist Day in the state of Michigan.