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Fugitive Justice

Runaways, Rescuers, And Slavery On Trial

By Steven Lubet

During the tumultuous decade before the Civil War, no issue was more divisive than the pursuit and return of fugitive slaves—a practice enforced under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. When free Blacks and their abolitionist allies intervened, prosecutions and trials inevitably followed. These cases involved high legal, political, and—most of all—human drama, with runaways desperate for freedom, their defenders seeking recourse to a “higher law” and normally fair-minded judges (even some opposed to slavery) considering the disposition of human beings as property.

Fugitive Justice tells the stories of three of the most dramatic fugitive slave trials of the 1850s, bringing to vivid life the determination of the fugitives, the radical tactics of their rescuers, the brutal doggedness of the slavehunters, and the tortuous response of the federal courts. These cases underscore the crucial role that runaway slaves played in building the tensions that led to the Civil War, and they show us how “civil disobedience” developed as a legal defense. As they unfold we can also see how such trials—whether of rescuers or of the slaves themselves—helped build the northern anti-slavery movement, even as they pushed southern firebrands closer to secession.

How could something so evil be treated so routinely by just men? The answer says much about how deeply the institution of slavery had penetrated American life even in free states. Fugitive Justice powerfully illuminates this painful episode in American history, and its role in the nation’s inexorable march to war.

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Northeast
  • 342.73087 Lub, Nonfiction

Publish Date

2010

ISBN

0674047044


Format: Book
Author: Lubet, Steven
Title: Fugitive justice : runaways, rescuers, and slavery on trial / Steven Lubet.
Publisher Date: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010.
Subject: Loring, Edward G. (Edward Greely), 1802-1890. United States. Fugitive slave law (1850) Trials (Political crimes and offenses) -- United States Fugitive slaves -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- United States Slavery -- Law and legislation -- United States Antislavery movements -- United States
Isbn: 0674047044 9780674047044
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 342.73087 Lub
Oclc:
Upc:
Bib Id: 359438

Format: Book
Author: Lubet, Steven
Title: Fugitive justice : runaways, rescuers, and slavery on trial / Steven Lubet.
Publisher, Date: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010.
Description: 367 p. ; 24 cm.
Subjects: Loring, Edward G. (Edward Greely), 1802-1890.
Subjects: United States. Fugitive slave law (1850)
Subjects: Trials (Political crimes and offenses) -- United States
Subjects: Fugitive slaves -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- United States
Subjects: Slavery -- Law and legislation -- United States
Subjects: Antislavery movements -- United States
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. 329-353) and index.
Contents: Slavery and the Constitution -- The Missouri equilibrium -- The compromise of 1850 -- But we have no country -- A traitorous combination -- Prosecution at Independence Hall -- Sir-did you hear it? -- Athens of America -- Kidnapping again! -- The height of cruelty -- Judge Loring's predicament -- Freedom on the Western reserve -- The son betrays and the father indicts -- Votaries of the higher law -- An irrepressible conflict.
LCCN: 2010012950
ISBN: 0674047044
ISBN: 9780674047044
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 342.73087 Lub