Denison v. Tucker, 1. Blume 385 ( 1807)
The territorial court of Michigan considered the status of enslaved blacks held in the territory before adoption of the Ordinance of 1787. Justice Augustus B. Woodward ruled that the ordinance applied only to slaves taken into the Territory after 1787. Others in the territory prior to that year were not affected by the antislavery clause in the ordinance.
Pattinson v. Whitaker, 1 Blume 414 ( 1807)
Justice Woodard also reviewed the fugitive slave clause in the Northwest ordinance and the U.S. Constitution, restricting constitutional law and slavery to the United States and its territories only. Therefore, slaves who escaped from a foreign country such as Canada would automatically become free when they entered the United States.
Douglass v. Farrar, 2 Gordon 411 ( 1847)
Douglass, a person of mixed ancestry, sued Farrar, an election inspector, for refusing his vote. The jury ruled for the plaintiff and assessed damages, pending the court's ruling on the ratio of his white and black ancestry. The judged in the case ruled that his European ancestry predominated and ordered his registration.
Gitler v. Graham, 10 Federal Cases 424 ( 4 McLean 402) ( 1848)
A Kentucky slave holder named Gitler brought action against Graham to recover runaway slaves. The enslaved persons had absconded from Kentucky in 1843. Once located in Michigan, black and white residents interfered with their removal. During the fracas, the alleged slaves escaped. The plaintiff sued and the court upheld the fugitive slave law.