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Author Blackett, R. J. M., 1943- author.

Title The captive's quest for freedom : fugitive slaves, the 1850 fugitive slave law, and the politics of slavery / R.J.M. Blackett
Published New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2018
Online access available from:
Cambridge Core    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource (xvii, 511 pages) : illustrations, maps
Series Slaveries since emancipation
Slaveries since emancipation.
Contents Part I. The slave power asserts its rights. The Fugitive Slave Law -- The law does its work -- Compromise and colonize -- Part II. Freedom's fires burn. Missouri and Illinois -- Western Kentucky and Indiana -- Eastern Kentucky and Ohio -- Southeast Pennsylvania -- Eastern shore of Maryland and Philadelphia -- New York -- Massachusetts -- Conclusion
Summary This magisterial study, ten years in the making by one of the field's most distinguished historians, will be the first to explore the impact fugitive slaves had on the politics of the critical decade leading up to the Civil War. Through the close reading of diverse sources ranging from government documents to personal accounts, Richard J.M. Blackett traces the decisions of slaves to escape, the actions of those who assisted them, the many ways black communities responded to the capture of fugitive slaves, and how local laws either buttressed or undermined enforcement of the federal law. Every effort to enforce the law in northern communities produced levels of subversion that generated national debate so much so that, on the eve of secession, many in the South, looking back on the decade, could argue that the law had been effectively subverted by those individuals and states who assisted fleeing slaves
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 461-481) and index
Notes Online resource; title from PDF title page (Cambridge Core, viewed July 19, 2019)
Subject United States. Fugitive slave law (1850)
Fugitive slave law (United States : 1850)
Fugitive slaves -- United States.
Fugitive slaves -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- United States
Slavery -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Slavery -- United States -- Legal status of slaves in free states.
Antislavery movements -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Antislavery movements.
Fugitive slaves.
Fugitive slaves -- Legal status, laws, etc.
Slavery -- Legal status of slaves in free states.
Slavery -- Political aspects.
Esclaves fugitifs -- États-Unis -- Statut juridique.
Esclavage -- États-Unis -- Aspect politique.
Mouvements antiesclavagistes -- États-Unis -- 19e siècle.
Esclavage -- Droit -- États-Unis -- 19e siècle.
United States.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9781108275439