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In 1841 author, Solomon Northup, a free born black man, while visiting Washington D.C. was kidnapped and sold into slavery (12 years). Anne, his wife, later learned of New York's anti-kidnapping law of 1840, which was supported by the original Fugitive Slave Law of 1793.
Mrs. Northup petitioned the Governor to enforce the law and to restore her husband's liberty.
"Your excellency is entreated to employ such agent or agents as shall be deemed necessary to effect the restoration and return of said Solomon Northup, in pursuance of an act of the Legislature of the State of New-York, passed May 14th, 1840, entitled "An act more effectually to protect the free citizens of this State from being kidnapped or reduced to slavery."
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