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The Real Django(s) Black Abolitionists Book Quarles' chp4

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The Gist of Freedom

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Join The Gist of Freedom as we discuss Black Abolitionists and their rescues from Benjamin Quarles book, "Black Abolitionists" Chapter 4. Professor Tonya Thames, Genealogist Preston Washington and Poet, Ty El Gray (A Black Woman's Smile)

Rev. Samuel R. Ward and Frederick Douglass established the first black American labor union The American League of Colored Laborers (ALCL)  It was formed in New York City in 1850 as a collective for skilled free craftsmen, and sought to develop agricultural and industrial arts skills among its members, and to encourage African American business.

The same year, The Slavers passed a the Fugitive Slave Law which targeted Black Abolitionists. The new law deputized and paid anyone who helped capture and enslave a Free black they suspected of being a fugitive, run-away slave. The law arrested anyone involved in the rescue of a "suspected fugitive slave".

Ward an abolitionist, became involved in the rescue of a fugitive slave, William "Jerry" Henry.  Federal marshals accompanied by the local police, arrested William "Jerry" Henry. Word of the arrest quickly reached the Convention, then in session at a nearby church.

We are here in the most extraordinary circumstances," ex-slave Samuel Ward," told a gathering. "We are witnessing such a sight as, I pray, we may never look upon again. A man in chains, in Syracuse! ..What a term to apply to an American!
By pre-arranged signal, church bells began ringing, and a crowd of Negroes and Whites With a battering ram the door was broken in and despite pistol shots out the window by one of the deputy marshals, it became clear that the crowd was too large and determined to be resisted. The crowd broke into the jail and forced the marshals to free William "Jerry" Henry.