Author: United States Congress


“Traverse B. Pinn’s Deposition” (March 6, 1871)

In this March 6, 1871, testimony in the U.S. House of Representatives, Traverse Pinn describes how he was harassed by members of the Conservative Party while canvassing for votes in rural African American communities for the upcoming U.S. House of Representatives and Senate elections on November 8, 1870. Henry Horatio Wells, the then ex-governor, and other Republican delegates to the Virginia State Convention tasked Pinn with canvassing in Haymarket in Prince William County and in Wolftown in Madison County. Elliot M. Braxton was a member of the Conservative Party, who was running to represent these areas at the time.


Robert E. Lee’s Testimony before Congress (February 17, 1866)

In his testimony before the congressional Joint Committee on Reconstruction on February 17, 1866, Robert E. Lee describes the attitudes of Virginians toward the war debt, the U.S. government, and African Americans. The committee members who questioned Lee were Jacob Howard, a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from Michigan, and Henry Blow, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri.


“An Act to amend, and supplementary to, the Act entitled ‘An Act respecting Fugitives from Justice, and Persons escaping from the Service of their Masters,’ approved February twelfth, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three” (1850)

The Fugitive Slave Act, signed into law by President Millard Fillmore on September 18, 1850, revised the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. It expands the number of federal officials empowered to act as commissioners for the purposes of hearing fugitive-slave cases.