When delegates assembled in 1835 to write Michigan's first Constitution, they said nothing about the "color" of men eligible for militia service. In peace time, whites considered militia service a badge of honor. Ostensibly, constitutional law extended this privilege to all residents including black Americans. There is no evidence that African-American men attempted to enlist; yet, it is a plausible theory. Convention delegates closed this loophole in 1850, making militia service an honor reserved for whites only.
Constitution of Michigan, Article 17, 1850.
Section 1. The militia shall be composed of all able-bodied white male citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, except such as are exempted by the laws of the United States or of this State; but all such citizens of any religious denomination whatever, who, from scruples of conscience, may be averse to bearing arms, shall be excused therefrom, upon such conditions as shall be prescribed by law.