The Fugitive Slave Law
The excitement among the runaway negroes at the North continues to increase. They stand in daily fear of the strong arm of the law. A letter from New York, dated September 30th, to the Philadelphia Inquirer, says:
The passage of the Fugitive Slave bill has created almost as much excitement in New York as it did in Pittsburg, from which place, we learn by telegraph several hundred fugitive slaves cleared out and made tracks for Canada I understand that upwards of a hundred left here yesterday for the same destination, and that five of them were in the employment of one hotel, as waiters. The colored populations are almost frantic, and I very much fear that the next arrest under the law will be attended with riot. If not bloodshed. They have called a mass meeting at the colored church, in Leonard street, for tomorrow evening. The following is a copy of the call:
“The Fugitive bills the panting slave: Freeman to be made slaves. Let every colored man, and woman, too, attend the great mass meeting to be held in Zion Church, in Church street, corner of Leonard street, on Tuesday evening, October 1st, 1859. For your liberty, your fireside is in danger of being invaded. Devote this night to the question of your duty in the crisis. Shail we resist oppression > shall we defend our liberty? Shall we be freemen or slaves? By order of the Committee of Thirteen”
It is said that some of our noted Abolitionists are at the bottom of this movement. I am apprehensive on a row, tomorrow night at this meeting.
A New York dispatch of the 30th says:
There is a great excitement among the negro population of this city, arising out of the case of James Hamlet, who was, on Friday last, sent back to slavery to Maryland, under the new fugitive slave law.
It is said that quite a number of negroes have been arrested this morning as fugitives, and many who have hitherto lived unmolested, are leaving the city for Canada and other parts, where they will be out of the reach of the law.
A Worcester (Mass.) under date of the 1st inst. Says:
There is a great excitement is prevailing here in consequence of the supposed presence of several persons in search of fugitive slaves. The negroes are arming themselves for defense. The town Hall is now crowded with a dense mass of excited persons, who express their determination not to allow a single slave to be taken from among them, law or no law. Serious consequences are apprehended should any attempt be made to capture and take off the fugitives reside in this town.
A Harrisburg dispatch of the 30th ult. Says:
The fugitive slaves, who, of will be recollected, were arrested and confine in jail in Harrisburg for some weeks past, were brought out this afternoon and had a hearing under the new law, before R. McAlister, u. S. Commissioner.
Mr. Taylor, owner of the negroes, came forward and proved his property, whereupon the slaves were delivered up to their master, who immediately got possession and took them off, en route for home by railroad, without the slightest resistance.