David C. King, Norman McRae, and Jaye Zola, The United States and Its People (Menlo Park, California: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1993), 292.
The fugitive Slave Law, the part of the Compromise of 1850 that provided for the return of escaped slaves, proved to be almost universally hated in the North. 1851, for example, a group of southern slave-catchers, hired to track down escaped slaves, arrived in Syracuse, New York. Citing the new law, they asked federal marshals to seize Jerry McHenry, who they claimed was an escaped slave. People in Syracuse were shocked to see a man in chains marched through the streets to the federal courthouse. Led by abolitionist ministers, a crowd of more than 2,000 mobbed the courthouse and took McHenry from the Marshals. Ralph Waldo Emerson proclaimed the Fugitive Slave Law 'a law which no man can obey... without the loss of self-respect.' Some northern states passed 'personal liberty laws' that denied state help to federal marshals attempting to capture escaped slaves. Southerners were outraged at the North's resistance to the law. They saw this resistance as a breach of the Compromise of 1850 and feared that abolitionists were gaining control of the North.