The Fugitive Slave Law

    Source citation
    "The Fugitive Slave Law," New Orleans (LA) Picayune, October 14, 1850, p. 1.
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    New Orleans (LA) Picayune
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    The Fugitive Slave Law
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    Date Certainty
    Stephen Acker
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    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 SLAVE LAW-Movements Under It.-The Pittsburg Gazette says that the public meeting held in that city to oppose the fugitive slave law was one of the largest ever held in Pittsburg, and was addressed by some of the leading men of the place-among them the Whig, Democratic and Native candidates for Congress. A dispatch from Springfield, dated on Friday, says:

    The Sixth District Whig convention, to nominate a successor to Mr. Ashmun, met at Northampton today and was numerously attended. George T. Davis, of Greenfield, was nominated with great unanimity. A series of resolutions were passed, two of which were as follows:

    Resolved. That while as good citizens we cannot counsel open resistance to the execution of the fugitive slave act, we will give every possible legal assistance to those who may be arrested under it, in the assertion and maintenance of their rights.

    Resolved. That the better to insure the safety and rights of the fugitive, it is expedient and desirable, in the opinion of this convention, that the Legislature of this Commonwealth, at its next session, should pass an act authorizing the Executive to appoint one or more commissioners in every county, whose duty it shall be to appear for every person arrested as a fugitive under the law, to protect his rights and aid him in establishing all facts necessary to procure his discharge, and directing the payment of all expenses so incurred by any person thus arrested in establishing his rights to be made from the Treasury of the Commonwealth.

    The Lowell (Mass.) American, of Friday, says:

    One or more persons were in this city yesterday for the purpose of capturing Mr. Booth, the barber, who has been in the city for some years. Mr. Booth was formerly a salve in Virginia. He is now in Montreal, and his friends yesterday telegraphed to him that he had better remain there for the present.

    The Worcester (Mass.) Spy, of the 3d inst., says:

    We learn that three slaves, heavily ironed, were taken through this place last week, on their way to the “house of bondage” at the South, having been delivered up.

    The Boston Chronotype says:

    Our special expresses report great excitement in New Bedford, Providence, and Springfield. In New Bedford alarm was excited by the appearance there of the U.S. Marshal. In Providence the colored people are apprehending trouble, and have asked Gov. Anthony and the Mayor of the city what they should do if arrested. “Protect yourselves the best way you can,” was the reply.

    A despatch from Honnsdale, Pa., of the 4th inst., says:

    A great excitement has been created in this community by the appearance of two men from the South, who are after a beautiful Creole, the wife of a Mr. Evans, and who they say is a runaway slave. If she is discovered, it will hardly be possible for them to take her, the feeling is so strong against them.

    A Boston dispatch of the 5th says:

    A large meeting of fugitive slaves and others was held at the Belknap street Church last night, at which resolutions were passed advising fugitives to act cautiously, but to defend their freedom with their lives. 

    The U.S. Commissioners and their assistants, were warned to beware of the consequences of attempting to capture fugitives.

    The meeting was addressed by J.B. Smith, a fugitive slave, who said he would defend his liberty with his life. He showed a long knife to his audience, and advised them all to buy Colt’s revolvers.

    Another speaker said that fifty thousand of the inhabitants of Boston would protect the fugitives from arrest, and that the police would not act against them.

    Another meeting is to be called in Fanueil Hall.

    A Lowell dispatch of the same date says:

    A great Free soil meeting was held in Lowell last night, at which, with shouts of applause, a resolution was passed to call back three fugitive slaves, who had fled from that city to Canada, with a pledge that they shall be protected from arrest by the citizens of Lowell.

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