Robert W. Burg, "Blair, Austin," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00109.html.
In 1854, at the close of his first two-year term as prosecuting attorney of Jackson County, Blair rejoined the vanguard of third-party politics when he helped form the Republican party. He was a key participant in the party's organizational meetings in Jackson, Kalamazoo, and Detroit, and he helped draft the party's first platform. Fittingly, he was elected to the state senate later that year. As a member of the legislature's newly elected Republican majority, he worked on a litany of reform issues, including a temperance measure, a bill to establish an endowment for a women's college, and an act to establish property rights for married women. He also cowrote Michigan's personal liberty law, which obstructed federal enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.