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Resistance (Boyer, 1995)

Textbook

Paul Boyer, Todd & Curti’s: The American Nation (Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1995), 345.

People who supported the Compromise of 1850 were shocked at the government's enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act.  Several northern states defiantly passed "personal liberty" laws, which prevented state officials from enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act and guaranteed captured runaways laves legal assistance.  Amos A. Lawrence, a northern Democrat, voiced a common sentiments:  "We have submitted to slavery long enough, and must not stand it any longer...I am done catching negroes for the South."

Some northerners took direct action. In New York and Massachusetts, angry mobs freed runaway slaves taken into custody and helped them on their way to freedom in Canada. One observer wrote, 'We went to bed one night old fashioned conservatives Compromise Union Whigs and woke up stark mad Abolitionists'.

How to Cite This Page: "Resistance (Boyer, 1995)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/16874.