In “A Proclamation by the President of the United States,” dated February 18, 1851, President Millard Fillmore and Secretary of State Daniel Webster condemn the escape from federal custody of Shadrach Minkins, a slave from Norfolk who had escaped to Boston, Massachusetts, the previous year.
In “A Slave of George Washington!,” published in William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper the Liberator on January 1, 1847, Benjamin Chase interviews Oney Judge, who ran away from the household of President George Washington in 1796.
In this short article from the September 26, 1842, edition of the New York Spectator, disapproving editors reprint news from an abolitionist newspaper in New York describing the aid of fugitive slaves. This marks one of the earliest appearances in print of the phrase “underground railroad.”
In “An ACT providing additional protection for the slave property of citizens of this commonwealth,” passed on March 17, 1856, the General Assembly seeks to prevent slaves from escaping Virginia ports via the Underground Railroad by providing for rigorous inspections of ships.
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.
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.
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.