Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

UNDER THE OAKS

Morning Star, October 13, 1996, pg. 2

With the political season in full swing, we are reminded that we should all be registered to vote and to do so. Albionites have always been involved in politics, even as part of some historic-making events.

Just over in the next county, the Republican Party was born in Jackson on July 6, 1854. Even before that, the "Free Soil" party (which was incorporated into the Republican Party) was strong in this area.

When the time came to organize the new political party, many Albionites were there. Preliminary meetings were held in Concord, and area residents went to the Jackson site on that July day just to witness the historic happenings.

Among those Albionites who were affective in the founding of the Republican Party "Under the Oaks" included: Marcus Crane (1819-1905), who served as Sheriff of Calhoun County, and was a township treasurer. Crane was a son-in-law of Tenney Peabody. Martin Haven (1823-1907) after whom Haven Lane is named, was a postmaster of Albion, served in the Michigan Legislature, and on the Calhoun County Board of Supervisors. Henry W. Crittenden (1831-1907) served several terms as treasurer of Albion, and on the village council. These men represented Albion and were among the founders of the Republican Party.

In his series "Biographical Sketches," Dr. Elmore Palmer writes, "It will be noted that when referring to our old pioneers, it has been recorded that many of them were under the oaks. The writer with his father Layton Palmer was there, but was not allowed to speak on any of the momentous questions that came before that body, much less to vote, for the reason that his whiskers were not long enough. We had however, the pleasure of seeing and hearing such men as Zack Chandler, Kingsley S. Bingham, John Owne, Henry P. Baldwin, Charles T. Gorham, Charles S. May and many others."

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the reverse of the 1929 Jackson Centennial Medal. This bronze piece measures a huge 76 mm. in diameter, and features President Abraham Lincoln on the top with a Union flag on the left, and a Michigan flag on the right.

The text reads, "JACKSON MICHIGAN. HERE UNDER THE OAKS JULY 6 1854 WAS BORN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. DESTINED IN THE THROES OF CIVIL STRIFE TO ABOLISH SLAVERY VINDICATE DEMOCRACY AND PERPETUATE THE UNION." On the bottom is an oak wreath with some acorns, symbolic of strength.


Republican Medal

Next: HENRY SLADE


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