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.


Morning Star, October 1, 1995, pg. 7

I do hope you are making plans to attend my annual guided tour of Riverside Cemetery on Sunday, October 8 at 1:00 p.m. We will be touring the "Old Grounds" and the northern tip of the cemetery. We will meet at the cemetery office, so bring the whole family and plan on a great afternoon together.

One of our stops will be the gravesite of Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor (1792-1879), one of several prominent Grosvenor family members who lived here in the 19th century. Cyrus was a minister by profession, and was a major leader of the anti-Slavery Baptists. In 1828 he attended Bostonís first anti-slavery meeting, and became active in the American Anti-Slavery Society, which pledged itself for the emancipation of slaves and equality for free blacks. Grosvernor served as an officer of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, and demanded that it sever ties with slaveholders.

Cyrus proposed a "free institution," for the "literary, scientific, moral, and physical education of both sexes and of all classes of youth." He was one of the founders of the New York Central College in McGrawville, Cortland County, New York. Cyrus served as its first president 1849-50, and was on its faculty for several years afterwards. The school was in existence for ten years, from 1849 to 1859. Information comes from a report by Catherine Hanchett dated 1989.

The college was modeled after Oberlin, and was the first college in the nation founded specifically to educate both African American and white students, both men and women. It was also the first college in the country to call blacks to professorships. Charles Lewis Ransom was the first black college professor in the country. The school had a total of three black professors during its existence.

Cyrus Grosvernor came to Albion in 1867 to spend his retirement years, and died here in 1879. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor, one of our stops on my Riverside Cemetery tour on Sunday, October 8 at 1:00 p.m.

Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor


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