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Wed, 11.11.2020

Dr. Nathan Thomas, Abolitionist born

*Nathan M. Thomas was born on this date in 1803.  He was a white-American doctor and abolitionist

He was born in Mount Pleasant, Jefferson Co., Ohio, the son of Jesse and Avis (Stanton) Thomas, both devout Quakers. He studied medicine with local practitioners and at the Medical College of Ohio in Cincinnati. In June 1830, after practicing medicine for a short time in Ohio, he moved to Prairie Ronde and what would later become the village of Schoolcraft and began a practice that continued without interruption for about twenty-five years. Although not belonging and adhering strictly to the Quakers as a sect, Thomas was staunchly opposed to slavery.   During this time, he turned his home into what came to be known as the Nathan Thomas House to help slaves flee to Canada. 

In 1839, he joined a movement to establish an anti-slavery paper; in 1840, he helped to form the Liberty party. In 1845, he was the Liberty party candidate for lieutenant governor of Michigan. In 1854, he was a member of the convention organized by the Republican Party in Jackson, Michigan. Before the abolition of slavery, Dr. Thomas's home at Schoolcraft was a haven for slaves escaping from the South to Canada.  Thomas' house was one of the most active stations in Michigan. Thomas married Pamela Brown on March 17, 1840. She was the daughter of Thomas and Sally Brown of Plymouth, Vermont. Four children were born to them. P

She was an early pioneer of Schoolcraft, relocating there in 1833 at age 16. She was part of the early Vermont colony that settled the area, and she later became the first schoolteacher at Schoolcraft.  Thomas receives credit for being the abolitionist who ran the Underground Railroad Station; it would not have been possible without the cooperation of his wife, Pamela S. Brown.  Dr. Nathan M. Thomas died on April 7, 1887. In 1892, his wife Pamela S. Thomas wrote a pamphlet for the Schoolcraft Historical Society on the family's experience of using their home for a station on the Underground Railroad. That pamphlet is titled "A Station on the Underground Railroad." Pamela died in January 1909. 

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