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The Fugitive Slave Act was passed by congress on September 18, 1850, as part of a compromise allowing California to enter the Union as a free state and ending the slave trade in the District of Columbia. The act made the federal government responsible for tracking down and apprehending slaves who had escaped to the northern states. The act included provisions that fined a marshal $1000 if he did not carry out the arrest warrant. The marshal for Boston, who was not in town when Shadrach was arrested and subsequently rescued by a mob at the court house, was, never the less, required to pay this sum. This article also gives an account of four of the men who were arrested and mentions in passing that there were also two negroes who had been detained. A total of nine men were eventually charged, but all were acquitted.


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"To Hon. John P. Bigelow, Mayor Boston"article re: Shadrach and Webster's response to riot in the Franklin Democrat newspaper

publisher   Franklin Democrat
date   Feb 24, 1851
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
width   3.0"
height   9.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
accession #   #L09.005

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See Also...

Excerpts from "Reminiscences of Fugitive-Slave Law Days in Boston"

"The Boston Mob" article to the Mayor in Gazette and Courier newspaper

"Several Fathers" article re: Clay, Webster and Fillmore and Fugitive Slave Law in the Gazette and Courier newspaper

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