John McClintock to Edgar B. Wakeman, June 3, 1847

    Source citation
    George R. Crooks, The Life and Letters of the Rev. John M'Clintock, D.D., LL.D., Late President of Drew Theological Seminary (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1876), 155.
    Recipient (to)
    Wakeman, Edgar B.
    Date Certainty
    LeAnn Fawver, Dickinson College
    Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College
    The following transcript has been adapted from The Life and Letters of the Rev. John M'Clintock, D.D., LL.D., Late President of Drew Theological Seminary (1876).

    Carlisle, June 3, 1847.

    DEAR EDGAR: We had quite a case here yesterday. A gentleman called me into the court-house as I was passing, about five P.M., to see a habeas corpus tried for those fugitives who had been arrested and committed to jail. The judge pronounced them illegally in custody, and discharged them from the sheriff's hands; but they were still kept in the court-house. After awhile they were taken out to be put into a carriage that was drawn up in front of the court-house, and a rush was made, two slave women carried off, the other, a man, retained. In the riot the owner was severely wounded, and a boy in the crowd mortally. With all this I had nothing to do. But in the court-room, before the parties came out, I told the judge of the law of last session on the reclamation of fugitives, which made all the proceedings illegal from the beginning. A negro of the town was threatened with having his skull broke. He said he had done nothing, and I told him if that was so I would see justice done him. And after all was over an old negro woman called to me to save her from jail, as she had done nothing but try to keep her old man from getting into the riot. I told the officer that if he carried her off illegally I should see her righted; and he let her go.

    All that I did was to try to do my duty to the laws of the land. But the slavecatchers have spread abroad the report that I incited the riot, and have sworn to it, and I am under bail to appear at August court. They will find that the saddle is on the wrong horse.

    I believe you now understand the whole case, and perhaps you will think I have done no wrong. I am glad that my noble wife has spunk enough neither to be afraid of mobs nor ashamed of her husband.

    Mr. E. B. WAKEMAN.

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