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The Fugitive Slave Issue in South Central Pennsylvania, 1820-1870
Author: David G. Smith
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
Describes the development of antislavery activism in border south central Pennsylvania. Rather than engage in public protest, activists concentrated on protecting fugitive slaves and prosecuting those who sought to recapture them. This approach paid dividends before the Civil War, but did not provide a solid basis for equal opportunity afterwards.
Winter 2013 Issue -- PROCLAIMING EMANCIPATION AT 150: A SPECIAL ISSUE
Author: William A. Blair
Publisher: UNC Press Books
The Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 3, Number 4 December 2013 TABLE OF CONTENTS SPECIAL ISSUE: PROCLAIMING EMANCIPATION AT 150 Articles Introduction Martha S. Jones, Guest Editor History and Commemoration: The Emancipation Proclamation at 150 James Oakes Reluctant to Emancipate? Another Look at the First Confiscation Act Stephen Sawyer & William J. Novak Emancipation and the Creation of Modern Liberal States in America and France Thavolia Glymph Rose's War and the Gendered Politics of a Slave Insurgency in the Civil War Martha Jones Emancipation Encounters: The Meaning of Freedom from the Pages of Civil War Sketchbooks Book Reviews Books Received Notes on Contributors
The dramatic story of fugitive slaves and the antislavery activists who defied the law to help them reach freedom. More than any other scholar, Eric Foner has influenced our understanding of America's history. Now, making brilliant use of extraordinary evidence, the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian once again reconfigures the national saga of American slavery and freedom. A deeply entrenched institution, slavery lived on legally and commercially even in the northern states that had abolished it after the American Revolution. Slaves could be found in the streets of New York well after abolition, traveling with owners doing business with the city's major banks, merchants, and manufacturers. New York was also home to the North’s largest free black community, making it a magnet for fugitive slaves seeking refuge. Slave catchers and gangs of kidnappers roamed the city, seizing free blacks, often children, and sending them south to slavery. To protect fugitives and fight kidnappings, the city's free blacks worked with white abolitionists to organize the New York Vigilance Committee in 1835. In the 1840s vigilance committees proliferated throughout the North and began collaborating to dispatch fugitive slaves from the upper South, Washington, and Baltimore, through Philadelphia and New York, to Albany, Syracuse, and Canada. These networks of antislavery resistance, centered on New York City, became known as the underground railroad. Forced to operate in secrecy by hostile laws, courts, and politicians, the city’s underground-railroad agents helped more than 3,000 fugitive slaves reach freedom between 1830 and 1860. Until now, their stories have remained largely unknown, their significance little understood. Building on fresh evidence—including a detailed record of slave escapes secretly kept by Sydney Howard Gay, one of the key organizers in New York—Foner elevates the underground railroad from folklore to sweeping history. The story is inspiring—full of memorable characters making their first appearance on the historical stage—and significant—the controversy over fugitive slaves inflamed the sectional crisis of the 1850s. It eventually took a civil war to destroy American slavery, but here at last is the story of the courageous effort to fight slavery by "practical abolition," person by person, family by family.
Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery
Author: R. J. M. Blackett
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This magisterial study, ten years in the making by one of the field's most distinguished historians, will be the first to explore the impact fugitive slaves had on the politics of the critical decade leading up to the Civil War. Through the close reading of diverse sources ranging from government documents to personal accounts, Richard J. M. Blackett traces the decisions of slaves to escape, the actions of those who assisted them, the many ways black communities responded to the capture of fugitive slaves, and how local laws either buttressed or undermined enforcement of the federal law. Every effort to enforce the law in northern communities produced levels of subversion that generated national debate so much so that, on the eve of secession, many in the South, looking back on the decade, could argue that the law had been effectively subverted by those individuals and states who assisted fleeing slaves.
Fugitive Slaves on the Atlantic and Southern Frontiers
Author: Matthew J. Clavin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Before the Civil War, slaves who managed to escape almost always made their way northward along the Underground Railroad. Matthew Clavin recovers the story of fugitive slaves who sought freedom by paradoxically sojourning deeper into the American South toward an unlikely destination: the small seaport of Pensacola, Florida, a gateway to freedom.
Examines the social, political, economic, and military history of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in the nineteenth century, with a focus on the Civil War homefront, 1861-1865, and on the city's black community, soldiers, and veterans.