William Webb was a fervent abolitionist. He escaped slavery by leaving the vicinity of his owner while they were both traveling and then posing among prisoners. Webb was a very personable man and his easy manner with others made his escape and subsequent life possible.
Webb worked to establish a line of communication between Mississippi and the north. Through this communication network, he was able to transmit news to slaves throughout the South.
Webb held a variety of jobs in different Midwestern cities, ultimately settling in Detroit.
He hosted a meeting on March 12, 1859 with two of the nation’s most important abolitionists Frederick Douglas – abolitionist leader orator, writer, activist – and John Brown – white abolitionist minister and revolutionary. The intent of the meeting was to discuss ways to bring an end to slavery with like-minded men in Detroit. A Michigan Historical Marker marks the spot of the home at Congress and St. Antoine in Detroit. Webb’s home served as a regular location for political meetings and as a station on the Underground Railroad.
Webb died in 1868 and is buried in Section P, Lot 25.