Wednesday, April 13, 2011

fugitive slave act Ploy and Hermela Deborah's classroom

This is by Eric Foner talking about the Fugitive Slave Act
"The issue of fugitive slaves in a sense became one of the most powerful weapons in the hands of the Abolitionist Movement. The Constitution has a clause stating that fugitives from labor (slaves) must be sent back to the South if captured in the North. And this gave slavery what we call extra-territoriality. That is, it made slavery a national institution. Even though the northern states could abolish slavery, as they did, they still could not avoid their Constitutional obligation to enforce the slave laws of the southern states. A fugitive slave carried with him the legal status of slavery, even into a territory which didn't have slavery."

                                                                     -Eric Foner

Fugitive slave law North to canada

"In the wake of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which forced Northern law enforcement officers to aid in the recapture of runaways, more than ten thousand fugitive slaves swelled the flood of those fleeing to Canada. The Colonial Church and School Society established mission schools in western Canada, particularly for children of fugitive slaves but open to all. The school's Mistress Williams notes that their success proves the "feasibility of educating together white and colored children." While primarily focusing on spiritual and secular educational operations, the report reproduces letters of thanks for food, clothing, shoes, and books sent from England. This early photograph accompanied one such letter to the children of St. Matthew's School, Bristol."

This website talked about how when the fugitve slave law was passed it 1850 it made many runaway slaves  run to canada because it forced northern officers to imprison them. More than 10 thousand fleed to canada.

primary docs. Fugitive slave act in Indiana

This website is about the first fugitve slave act which was On February 12, 1793, President George Washington signed the first Fugitive Slave Law of the United States.

Fugitive slave law of 1850 in Ohio
"The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was part of the Compromise of 1850. This law required the United States government to actively assist slave owners in recapturing their runaway slaves. Under the United States Constitution, slave owners had the right to reclaim slaves who ran away to free states. With the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, the federal government had to assist the slave owners. No such requirement had existed previously.
This website talked about how U.S government had to help capture runaway slaves and bring them back to the slave owner.
People who were against the Fugitive Slave Act
"In 1850 Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law. Only John P. Hale, Charles Sumner, Salmon Chase and Benjamin Wade voted against the measure. The law stated that in future any federal marshal who did not arrest an alleged runaway slave could be fined $1,000. People suspected of being a runaway slave could be arrested without warrant and turned over to a claimant on nothing more than his sworn testimony of ownership. A suspected black slave could not ask for a jury trial nor testify on his or her behalf. Frederick Douglass, Wendel Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison and John Greenleaf Whittier led the fight against the law. Even moderate anti-slavery leaders such as Arthur Tappan declared he was now willing to disobey the law and as result helped fund the Underground Railroad."
This website talked about the people that were against the act.
The compromise and the fugitive slave act
" The Compromise of 1850 was introduced to stave off conflict between the slave states and the free states upon the admission of California as a state. Under the Compromise, California was admitted as a free state, New Mexico and Utah were organized as slave territories, and Texas had its boundaries set. Another part of the Compromise was the Fugitive Slave Act, which federalized the return of escaped slaves to their owners.
It is an offensive piece of legislation to us today, even if one takes the issue of race out of it. Slaves, of course, had no rights - they were guilty by virtue of a slave-owner's say-so, there was very little burden of proof, the federal government bore most of the costs of returning escaped slaves, and non-slaves who helped fugitive slaves were subject to harsh fines and prison.
Resistance to the law in the North grew a fever pitch, with President Fillmore calling out the army to quell some mobs and to return some former slaves caught in the North.
As defiance of the law in the North became more and more open and more and more fervent, the anger of the South grew and grew, adding to a general feeling of discontent. Northern abolitionists opposed this law. While the United States Congress debated the legislation, some legislators tried to insert protections into the bill for African Americans. They wanted the Fugitive Slave Law to guarantee blacks the right to testify and also the right to a trial by jury. Other legislators refused and claimed that African Americans were not United States citizens."
        This website has a good explanation of the Fugitive slave act
    Picture of a fugitve slave act flyer

This is a picture of an Abolitionist named Wendell Phillips speaking against the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 at an antislavery meeting in boston


These are two examples of a what slave owners would pay for someone to track down the runaway slave and bring them back to the slave master and work as a slave again.

This is the picture of the Fugitve Slave Act

Hermela’s Artist statment

            The Fugitive slave act is the topic that Ploy and I chose. The fugitive slave act is basically a law that allowed slave hunters to seize alleged fugitive slaves and bring them back to the south into slavery without a voice in the court of law. So we wanted to explain that well in our quilt. For our quilt we decided to represent the north as blue and the south as grey because of the color of the uniforms in the civil war. And have a boat from the south invading the north with slave hunters who have chains to capture runaway slaves. Our quilt piece helps us understand who we are today because when the act/law was passed it was a way to discriminate against fugitive slaves who wanted to get away from slavery and even free blacks and not give them a jury trail. So they could just be taken back to the south to be a slave again. Blacks were treated like less. We have come a long way but still have a long way to go. But even though things have changed there is still racial profiling, people of color were judged and blamed for something even if they didn’t do it. Still now sometimes people of a different race are thought of as a criminal for example an African American man was going to his house and forgot his keys and was arrested because they thought he was trying to break in. In our quilt all the pieces make it complete because the chains are meant to recapture the runaway slaves as well as the slave hunter and the corn and cotton help to explain the north and south.

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