With our new President doing his best to enforce unjust executive orders, we thought this would be a good moment to revisit an era in which Boston resisted an unjust law. After Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, abolitionists in Boston felt that the values of Southern slave power were being forced upon a free city. In 1851, Shadrach Minkins was the first fugitive to be arrested in Boston, but before he could be returned to slavery, a multiracial mob stormed the courtroom and forcibly delivered him to the Underground Railroad. Listen to this week’s episode for the story!
Shadrach Minkins and the Fugitive Slave Act
- Here are the notes Daniel Webster used to deliver a famous speech in favor of the Fugitive Slave Act.
- The 1843 Massachusetts Personal Liberty Law.
Seeking testimony that Lewis Hayden didn’t lead the mob:
This Week in Boston History
- A site dedicated to the memory of the blizzard of ’78, and related material from the city archives.
- Phyllis Wheatley’s poem about George Washinton, and Washington’s response.
- Joseph Warren’s prescient warning that if General Gage led his troops into the countryside, Britain would lose all of America.