Birth of the Abolitionist Nation
The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/01/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21528
Book review of Manisha Sinha's The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition.
Sinha chronicles these activities using diaries, newspapers, and histories written by participants. The abolitionists were the vanguard in the fight against the mushrooming power of the slaveholder, an expansionist power which required more and more territory. To satisfy this craving the federal government even floated proposals to buy Cuba and Nicaragua.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 capped the effort to throttle the runaway. "It criminalized any help rendered to suspected fugitives with up to six years imprisonment and a thousand-dollar fine, encouraged the kidnapping of free blacks, and forced northern citizens to act as slave patrollers by allowing federal marshals to form posse comitatus of adult armed citizens to apprehend runaways."
No free African-American was safe, causing "(n)early half and sometimes entire congregations of black churches in Boston and upstate New York ...: to flee to Canada."