Category: Antebellum Period (1820–1860)


“An ACT to amend the several laws concerning slaves” (1806)

The following legislation, “An ACT to amend the several laws concerning slaves,” was passed by the General Assembly on January 25, 1806, and prohibits the importation of slaves to Virginia and requires that any freed slaves leave the state within twelve months.


“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.


“Blake; or, The Huts of America” (1859)

Chapter 2 of Blake; or, The Huts of America, Martin R. Delany’s novel, first serialized in The Anglo-African Magazine, depicts a dinner scene in Natchez, Mississippi between a Mississippi planter, his wife, and a northern visitor. During the conversation, the three discuss the pressing political issues of the day, and the northern visitor reveals that she wants to take the favorite slave of the mistress on a trip to Cuba.

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