Declaration of Rights
The bill of rights in Michigan's constitution gave little indication that it protected the civil rights of whites only. The State's declaration of rights reads as if delegates to the Constitutional Convention desired to protect the legal rights of all residents of the State, including African Americans. The Constitution protected freedom to assemble, trial by jury, and freedom of the press. Free African-American residents of the state were, theoretically, recipients of these rights. The State also protected free blacks from kidnapping Following the law in the Territory, Michigan prohibited slavery. Furthermore, the constitution included none of the loopholes found in the constitutions of other states in the Old Northwest. Michigan's declaration of rights reads as if the State was an egalitarian community.
Constitution of Michigan, 1835, Article 1.
Section 1. All political power is inherent in the people.
Section 2. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people; and they have the right at all times to alter or reform the same, and to abolish one form of government and establish another, whenever the public good requires it.
Section 3. No man or set of men are entitled to exclusive or separate privileges.
Section 4. Every person has a right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of his own conscience; and no person can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support, against his will, any place of religious worship, or