Fugitive Slave Act Repeal Response

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mo
Wouldn't think so, no incentive to. Stuff like that is rather hard to gauge, it a period of only months anyway, and there others events running concurrent such as the push for the 13th amendment.
 

Lampasas Bill

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I wouldn't think so, especially in the Confederacy. It might have been the case in the border states. I look forward to hearing more opinions.
 
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Its rather like here late in the war a slave runaway was captured by a slave patrol, normally before a runaway would have simply been sold downriver, but at this point runaways were becoming rampant, there was no market anymore, little one could do prevent more future runaway attempts, so the owner a widow reacted the same as some slave mothers did with their children, she had him shot.
 

BuckeyeWarrior

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Its rather like here late in the war a slave runaway was captured by a slave patrol, normally before a runaway would have simply been sold downriver, but at this point runaways were becoming rampant, there was no market anymore, little one could do prevent more future runaway attempts, so the owner a widow reacted the same as some slave mothers did with their children, she had him shot.
Do you have a source for that story?
 

WJC

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Did slave owners begin to free slaves in response to repeal of fugitive slave act.
The short answer is "No". Slaveholders, in general, tried to hold onto their 'property' as long as they could, but the Fugitive Slave Act became moot with the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was finally repealed in June 1864.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Apples and oranges anyway. The FSA meant if someone managed to liberate themselves, person who thought they 'owned ' that person could come swipe them back, pretty much. Had zero effect on anyone who fondly imagined they owned the humans kept captive on their property.
 

Rhea Cole

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Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The Fugitive Slave Act required any person present to be deputized & assist in the capture of a runaway slave. Slave catchers in the North used that provision to enlist locals who helped them kidnap free blacks & self-liberated persons who had lived in a locality for decades. This was an element of the Reverse Underground Rail Road. Organized gangs had clandestine stations that led to Southern markets like Charleston & the Forks of the Road in Mississippi. Even without the legal veneer of the Act, the Reverse Underground Rail Road continued to kidnap Northern black people until slavery was outlawed nationwide.

images-7 copy.jpeg

There are numerous newspaper reports of slave catchers being confronted by armed neighbors when they attempted to arrest/kidnap alleged runaways. The arrogant, abusive behavior of slave catchers was front page news. Any politician had to be deaf dumb & blind to not support the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act.

Silas Tucker ordered to send 6 slaves to Murfreesboro.jpeg

Unlike Confederate officers, General Nelson had no qualms when it came to requisitioning Murfreesboro area slaves. Whatever the legal niceties, once the slaves became employed by Union officers, a huge crack in the ironbound bond between owner & slave had opened.

In the spring of 1862, here in Murfreesboro TN, the practical repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act took place. In an incident that appears in at least four sources, slave catchers demanded entry into the camp of the 9th Michigan Infantry. Camped in the old growth trees along the Maney family's carriage lane, the 9th was deployed in the only full drillbook camp they had during the war. The officer of the day, citing the Fugitive Slave Act, allowed the slave catchers to pass.

The object of their hunt ran past them & made his way to the rear entrance of the camp. When the slave catchers demanded entry, the sentry followed orders by denying them entry & sent them back to the front entrance. Once again, they chased the man to the rear gate & were denied entry. By that time the entire camp was in an uproar. When the slave catchers came round they were met by an aroused crowd of men in blue. The exasperated officer sent the slave catchers packing.

All of the sources cite that incident as the end of cooperation by Union officers with slave catchers. Whatever the law on the books was, slaves who entered Union lines were not going to be turned over to slave catchers. Local journalist John Spence wrote about the sad state of slave-holders who had been denied their property. In July, when Nathan Bedford Forrest raided Murfreesboro, women who had been serving at the Baptist College Hospital were captured. Union surgeon, Dr. Eames, wrote that they were "beaten unmercifully" as punishment for running off.

When the 9th Michigan returned to their Maney's carriage lane campsite after the Battle of Stones River in January 1863, no slave catchers were naive enough to demand the return of the self-liberated people who flocked into Murfreesboro. John Spence, in his habitually sardonic way, stated that the the market value of slaves had gone to nothing. Slavery was still legal in Middle Tennessee until prohibited by Constitutional amendment.

USCT poster.jpeg

Sergeant Charles Bennet of the 9th V.I. who had fought Forrest along Maney's carriage lane veteranized. His account of the frustrated slave catchers is in the 9th's history. He became an officer in the 13th USCTI, many of whom were from the Murfreesboro area. He was a brevet major when the 13th USCT soldiers prepared to attack Hood's right flank at Nashville December 1864. At that same time, Nashville papers had adds announcing that slaves were to be auctioned on the courthouse steps to settle debts.

Nobody can say that emancipation was straight forward or logical. Repealing the Act was an important symbolic event, there is no doubt of that. For slave-holders in Middle Tennessee, the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act was just a reflection of the reality on the ground that they had been experiencing for a long time.
 
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Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
The Fugitive Slave Act required any person present to be deputized & assist in the capture of a runaway slave. Slave catchers in the North used that provision to enlist locals who helped them kidnap free blacks & self-liberated persons who had lived in a locality for decades. This was an element of the Reverse Underground Rail Road. Organized gangs had clandestine stations that led to Southern markets like Charleston & the Forks of the Road in Mississippi. Even without the legal veneer of the Act, the Reverse Underground Rail Road continued to kidnap Northern black people until slavery was outlawed nationwide.


There are numerous newspaper reports of slave catchers being confronted by armed neighbors when they attempted to arrest/kidnap alleged runaways. The arrogant, abusive behavior of slave catchers was front page news. Any politician had to be deaf dumb & blind to not support the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act.

Unlike Confederate officers, General Nelson had no qualms when it came to requisitioning Murfreesboro area slaves. Whatever the leal niceties, once the slaves became employed by Union officers, a huge crack in the ironbound bond between owner & slave had opened.

In the spring of 1862, here in Murfreesboro TN, the practical repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act took place. In an incident that appears in at least four sources, slave catchers demanded entry into the camp of the 9th Michigan Infantry. Camped in the old growth trees along the Maney family's carriage lane, the 9th was deployed in the only full drillbook camp they had during the war. The officer of the day, citing the Fugitive Slave Act, allowed the slave catchers to pass.

The object of their hunt ran past them & made his way to the rear entrance of the camp. When the slave catchers demanded entry, the sentry followed orders by denying them entry & sent them back to the front entrance. Once again, they chased the man to the rear gate & were denied entry. By that time the entire camp was in an uproar. When the slave catchers came round they were met by an aroused crowd of men in blue. The exasperated officer sent the slave catchers packing.

All of the sources cite that incident as the end of cooperation by Union officers with slave catchers. Whatever the law on the books was, slaves who entered Union lines were not going to be turned over to slave catchers. Local journalist John Spence wrote about the sad state of slave-holders who had been denied their property. In July, when Nathan Bedford Forrest raided Murfreesboro, women who had been serving at the Baptist College Hospital were captured. Union surgeon, Dr. Eames, wrote that they were "beaten unmercifully" as punishment for running off.

When the 9th Michigan returned to their Maney's carriage lane campsite after the Battle of Stones River in January 1863, no slave catchers were naive enough to demand the return of the self-liberated people who flocked into Murfreesboro. John Spence, in his habitually sardonic way, stated that the the market value of slaves had gone to nothing. Slavery was still legal in Middle Tennessee until prohibited by Constitutional amendment.


Sergeant Charles Bennet of the 9th V.I. who had fought Forrest along Maney's carriage lane veteranized. His account of the frustrated slave catchers is in the 9th's history. He became an officer in the 13th USCTI, many of whom were from the Murfreesboro area. He was a brevet major when the 13th USCT soldiers prepared to attack Hood's right flank at Nashville December 1864. At that same time, Nashville papers had adds announcing that slaves were to be auctioned on the courthouse steps to settle debts.

Nobody can say that emancipation was straight forward or logical. Repealing the Act was an important symbolic event, there is no doubt of that. For slave-holders in Middle Tennessee, the repeal of the Fugitive Slave Act was just a reflection of the reality on the ground that they had been experiencing for a long time.
Would the "reverse underground railroad" be the same as the "pretend underground railroad"?
 

Rhea Cole

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Would the "reverse underground railroad" be the same as the "pretend underground railroad"?
There is nothing “pretend” about the Reverse Underground Rail Road. When the constitutional ban on the African slave trade took effect, an unintended consequence took hold. The price of slaves increased immediately.

States like New York that had gradually freed their slaves saw a surge of kidnappings. The kidnapping was so virulent that it affected the census returns. The population of black people did not follow a natural growth curve. There is a very good website dedicated to the very thought provoking emancipation process in New York.

Organized gangs prowled the Ohio & Mississippi Rivers snatching up both freedmen & slaves. In the port cities of the Northeast, gangs partnered with corrupt local authorities to kidnap young people & send them to Charleston for sale. The kidnapping of both free & enslaved sailors at Savannah & Charleston resulted in orders for black crewmen to not go ashore.

The name escapes me, but the only man in Illinois who could legally own slaves was the kingpin of a well organized kidnapping gang. He had the concession for the salt works on the Saline River. There was a secret slave jail in the top floor of his house, which still exists.

An online search of the Reverse Underground Rail Road will be an enlightening experience. Just when you think that the history of Southern slavery couldn’t get more disgusting...
 
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mo
Sarcasm is not evidence, no matter how clever the application of such.
What is sarcasm? In my area there were indeed people who would pretend to be abolishionist's ussually to lure them to the river with promises of passage across, who then made captive of them to sell them downriver.

See nothing sarcastic about that at all. There was bands from KS who do the same as well pretending to be abolishionist.
 

Rhea Cole

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Murfreesboro, Tennessee
What is sarcasm? In my area there were indeed people who would pretend to be abolishionist's ussually to lure them to the river with promises of passage across, who then made captive of them to sell them downriver.

See nothing sarcastic about that at all. There was bands from KS who do the same as well pretending to be abolishionist.
What you describe is a classic Reverse Underground ploy. There really was nothing they wouldn’t do. A particularly adventurous group led by a woman in Maryland specialized in kidnapping slaves. When hard pressed, they would murder the slaves to facilitate their escape.
 

Viper21

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The name escapes me, but the only man in Illinois who could legally own slaves was the kingpin of a well organized kidnapping gang. He had the concession for the salt works on the Saline River. There was a secret slave jail in the top floor of his house, which still exists.

An online search of the Reverse Underground Rail Road will be an enlightening experience. Just when you think that the history of Southern slavery couldn’t get more disgusting...

Sounds more like a state sanctioned thing (Illinois), than a Southern thing. Were the Illinois Black Codes connected..? Seems like they might be relevant to this story.


1853-black-law1.jpg


The 1853 Black Law passed in Illinois was considered the harshest of all discriminatory Black Laws passed by Northern states before the Civil War. The bill banned African-American emigration into Illinois. If a free African-American entered Illinois, he or she had to leave within 10 days or face a misdemeanor charge with heavy fines. Subsequent violations led to increased fines. If the fine could not be paid, the law authorized the county sheriff to sell the free African-American's labor to the lowest bidder, essentially turning the violator into a slave. If a fine was imposed, whoever reported the African-American was entitled to receive half of it. The law included harsh penalties for anyone who brought slaves into the state, whether they wanted to free them or not. The law also included penalties to Justices of the Peace who refused prosecute the law.

 

unionblue

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What is sarcasm? In my area there were indeed people who would pretend to be abolishionist's ussually to lure them to the river with promises of passage across, who then made captive of them to sell them downriver.

See nothing sarcastic about that at all. There was bands from KS who do the same as well pretending to be abolishionist.
Would the "reverse underground railroad" be the same as the "pretend underground railroad"?

Unionblue
 
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mo
Unionblue
Yes, I would describe people pretending to be UGR as pretend UGR, if Rhea is referring to returning runaways or freedmen as reverse UGR, not seeing any sarcasm at all, at least from my end, but merely using accurate descriptive terms.
 
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Rhea Cole

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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Sounds more like a state sanctioned thing (Illinois), than a Southern thing. Were the Illinois Black Codes connected..? Seems like they might be relevant to this story.


View attachment 367852

The 1853 Black Law passed in Illinois was considered the harshest of all discriminatory Black Laws passed by Northern states before the Civil War. The bill banned African-American emigration into Illinois. If a free African-American entered Illinois, he or she had to leave within 10 days or face a misdemeanor charge with heavy fines. Subsequent violations led to increased fines. If the fine could not be paid, the law authorized the county sheriff to sell the free African-American's labor to the lowest bidder, essentially turning the violator into a slave. If a fine was imposed, whoever reported the African-American was entitled to receive half of it. The law included harsh penalties for anyone who brought slaves into the state, whether they wanted to free them or not. The law also included penalties to Justices of the Peace who refused prosecute the law.

The Black Law is a sterling example of 19th Century white supremacy. It was possible to be against slavery & also avowedly racist. It is worth noting that there were vigilante groups that fought against kidnapping gangs that were operating in Southern Illinois.

The Illinois Constitution of 1818 banned slavery except for the salt works near the town of Equality in Gallatin County. Approximately 1,000 slaves produced 300,000 bushels of salt a year. John Crenshaw was awarded the concession to operate the saltworks on the Saline River. In time, Crenshaw owned 30,000 acres of land. He personally contributed 1/3rd of the tax revenue of the State of Illinois.
After a prosecution for kidnapping a woman & her children who were sold in Texas, Crenshaw's participation in the Reverse Underground Railroad is murky. What is not murky is the 12 room slave jail on the third floor of his house. The windowless faculty was not accessible from the rest of the house. The two whipping posts, ring bolts & chains leave little to the imagination as to what went on up there. There are narratives from kidnapped victims who were held in Crenshaw's slave jail on the smuggling route southward.
 
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Viper21

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The Black Law is a sterling example of 19th Century white supremacy.
Illinois was not the only Non Southern state to enact such laws. Multiple Northern states, & western territories, had laws to discourage Black immigration, & residency.

The Southern post war "Black Codes", were inspired, & took some language from the examples set forth by their virtuous Northern, & Western neighbors. Facts that are often overlooked when pointing fingers South. Slave or Free, many folks north & west, didn't want to live with Black folks period.
 

Rhea Cole

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Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Illinois was not the only Non Southern state to enact such laws. Multiple Northern states, & western territories, had laws to discourage Black immigration, & residency.

The Southern post war "Black Codes", were inspired, & took some language from the examples set forth by their virtuous Northern, & Western neighbors. Facts that are often overlooked when pointing fingers South. Slave or Free, many folks north & west, didn't want to live with Black folks period.

*Edited* The modern Klan was the creation of Northern Prohibitionists/racial bigots. Bigotry has nothing to do with topography.
 
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