The Black Laws in the Old Northwest: A Documentary History

By Stephen Middleton | Go to book overview
Save to active project

XI
Fugitive Slaves

In a state where race prejudice abounded, it is not surprising that Indiana whites enforced the federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, and its own fugitive slave law to the letter. These always authorized slave holders to track down runaway slave believed to be in Indiana and forcibly remove them from the state. The law required only a summary process to prove the validity of a slave owner's claim. Indiana law and the federal fugitive slave law also restrained white citizens who sometimes challenged the claim of slave holders. Abolitionists who participated in rescues were no doubt sincere. Others, however, did not want visiting slave holders trampling upon their free laws. Some whites thought keeping black refugees out of the state would solve the problem of visiting slave catchers working in Indiana. They stood along the Indiana-Kentucky border hoping to intercept any black refugee fleeing across the border. Neither this strategy, federal law, or state law were an effective deterrent to black refugees storming across the Indiana border into a state with at least a prohibition against slavery. In spite of the efforts of whites to discourage runaways, Indiana became a haven for many Africans seeking refuge from captivity.


NUMBER 1

An act relative to fugitives from labor. Approved, January 22, 1824, Laws of Indiana.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Indiana, That any person or persons of any state or territory, having any claim to the service of any person or persons within this state, may in person or by

-241-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Black Laws in the Old Northwest: A Documentary History
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 436

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?