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Black Underground Railroad Towns and Christiana Rescue- PA.

  • Broadcast in Education
The Gist of Freedom

The Gist of Freedom


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Join The Gist of Freedom as we welcome Professor John L. Lawlor!  John will discuss the Fugitive Slave Law, legal case of Moses Honer. The Revised Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 deputized and paid  any person in the U.S. for the sole purpose of enslaving any Free Black Person they presumed to be a self-emancipated (fugitive). Moreover, the law punished any person involved with assisting the self-emancipated African American. Prior to 1850, Slavers were mandated to obtain a warrant, thereby giving "Fugitves" due process of the Law. (Dred Scott)

However as a result of the onslaught of the Underground Railroad's self-emancipations and the  moral and legal  support  from outspoken Anti-Slavery Organizations, the Slavers desperation to end the anti-slavery movement grew to an all-time high. Previously, their organization, The Colonization Society failed to convince the Free Black abolitionists to migrate to Africa.  Therefore when the Gold Rush presented itself, they placed all their golden chips on the table in an effort to force the Free Black Abolitionists out of the country or  at the least, back on the auction block. During the acquistion of the terriorty now known as California  the Slavers agreed to admit California into the Union as a Free State in exchange for the new Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. And it worked, for a brief period... thousands of Free Blacks and their organizations packed up and moved to Canada. But, the most radical black and white abolitionists, like John Brown and the black militia (The Copeland Brothers) remained. And they became more vigilant than ever.  Whenever bounty hunters attempted to cross the mason dixon line and kidnap African Americans such as Pennslyvania's "Christianna Rescue" and  (Anthony Burns, John Price, Shadrach Minkins) Violent skirmishes erupted between bounty hunters and Anti-Slavery Vigilant Committee Members.