Gary B. Nash, et al., eds., The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society, 4th ed. (New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1998), 479.
Other northerners, white as well as black, increased their work for the underground railroad in response to the fugitive slave law. Several states passed "personal liberty laws" that prohibited the use of state officials and institutions in the recovery of fugitive slaves. But most northerners complied with the law. Of some 200 blacks arrested in the first six years of the law, only 15 were rescued, and only 3 of these by force. Failed rescues, in fact, had more emotional impact than successful ones. In two cases in the early 1850s (Thomas Sims in 1851 and Anthony Burns in 1854), angry mobs of abolitionists in Boston, reminiscent of the prerevolutionary days of the Tea Party, failed to prevent the forcible return of blacks to the South. These celebrated cases aroused the antislavery emotions of more northerners then the abolitionists had been able to do in a thousand tracts and speeches.