"The Fugitive Law," Charleston (SC) Mercury, March 2, 1855, p. 2: 4.
Chicago (IL) Tribune
The Fugitive Law
Sayo Ayodele, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
The Fugitive Law.
One might imagine that the Free Soilers so far from desiring the repeal of this Law, should rather advocate it, as it gives them such frequent opportunities of insulting and maltreating Slave owners. But when it is remembered that outrage and murder were perpetrated before, upon Southern citizens, seeking to recover their property under the guarantees of the Constitution, it will be seen that the Repeal of the Fugitive Law will not at all interfere with the above asserted privileges. With the Constitution or without it- with the Fugitive Law or without it - there is still for Northern latitudes and Fanatic bands, "a Higher Law," which sanctions the violation of all faith with the slaveholder, the robbing of his property and the taking of his life.
It is the most stupid of delusions which leads Southerners to rely upon the protection of the Constitution of the Fugitive Law, in the recovery of their slaves. The Constitution itself, had already become a mockery, when the Fugitive Law was enacted to enforce its provisions, and of course the latter was a mockery from the start. Had the Constitution been faithfully executed the South would not have needed the Fugitive Law, and it was therefore, the veriest of cheats, which led the South to believe that the miserable patchwork of this Law would or could restore vitality to a treaty which had already been spurned by the North. How far we are right, let the following answer:
Seeking Fugitive Slaves in Chicago - Colored People Flogging Slave Hunters.
From the Chicago Tribune, February 15.
About two months ago, two men, who live near Independence, Missouri, named Calvert and Bagsby, came to this city in search of four of their runaway slaves, who had come thus far on their way to freedom. They put up at the City Hotel and their business soon leaked out. Their runaway chattels were all here, consisting of two young women and two men. They soon found out this, and enlisted in their service a person named Thurston, who promised to catch their negros for them for $40. This they paid over to him, but Thurston found that negro-catching was not quite so easy a matter, and did not fulfill his promise.
The colored people here concluded that they had bothered them long enough, and concluded to give them a sound whipping and send them back to Missouri. So on Friday night one of their number, whom Calvert, and Bagsby had often tried to bribe, went out to walk with them, and conducted them down to Buffalo street, where some fifteen stout gentlemen from Africa awaited them. Mr. Calvert was armed with a pistol, and on finding himself in rather dangerous company, drew it and attempted to shoot one of his assailants. He was immediately knocked down and delivered over to the tender mercies of a two-fisted negro, who gave him a sound dressing, while his comrade was treated in the same manner. They were then set upon their feet and told to run for their lives, which they did in excellent style.
They left home yesterday morning, without their "niggers," having expended two or three hundred dollars in the search for them, and armed all the time with a writ from the United States Court for their apprehension, and covered all over with the panapoly of the Fugitive Slave Law.