John A. Garraty and Robart A. McCaughey, eds., The American Nation: A History of the United States (New York: Harper & Row, 198), 397.
Shortly after the passage of the act [Fugitive Slave Law], a New Yorker, James Hamlet, was seized, convicted, and even rushed off to slavery in Maryland without even being allowed to communicate with his wife or children. The New York black community was outraged, and with help from white neighbors it swiftly raised $800 to buy his freedon. In 1851 Euphemia Williams, was seized, her presumed owner claiming also her six children, all Pennsylvania-born. A federal judge released Mrs. Williams, but the case created alarm in the North. Abolitionists often interfered with the enforcement of the law, even in cases where the black was unquestionably a runaway. When two Georgians came to Boston to reclaim William and Ellen Craft, admitted fugitives, an abolitionist ''Vigilance Commitee' forced them to return home empty-handed. The Crafts prudently - or perhaps in disgusts- decided to leave the United States for England. Early in 1851, a Virginia agent captured Frederick "Shadrach" Wilkins, a waiter in a Boston coffee house. While Wilkins was being held for deportation, a mob of blacks broke into the courthouse and freed him. That October a slave named Jerry, who had escaped from Missouri, was arrested in Syracuse, New York. Within minutes the whole town had the news. Crowds surged through the streets, and when night fell, a mob smashed into the building where Jerry was being held and spirited him away to safety.