in aid of slave-catching, the alienation from it of anti-Slavery Whigs became more and more decided and formidable.
Numerous arrests of alleged fugitives were made in various parts of the country, but not with uniform success.
In New York City, Philadelphia
, and other marts largely engaged in Southern trade, no serious resistance was offered; though in one case a black man remanded to Maryland
as a fugitive was honorably rejected and set at liberty by the claimant, as not the slave for whom he had been mistaken.
, serious popular repugnance to rendition was repeatedly manifested; and in one case a negro known as Shadrach, who had been arrested as a fugitive, was rescued and escaped.
In other cases, however, and conspicuously in those of Thomas Sims1
and Anthony Burns
and City authorities, the Judiciary, the Military, the merchants, and probably a decided majority of the citizens, approved and aided the surrender.
There were cases, however, wherein the popular sentiment of the country was on the side of the hunted blacks — as was evinced at Syracuse
,3 N. Y.
, in the rescue of Jerry Loguen
, an alleged fugitive, from the hands of the authorities, and his protection by alternately hiding and forwarding him until he made his escape into Canada
, Lancaster Co., Pa.
where a considerable number of negroes were compactly settled, Edward Gorsuch
, a Maryland slaveholder, who attempted, with two or three accomplices, to seize his alleged slaves, four in number, was resisted by the alarmed, indignant blacks, and received a ball from a musket fired by one of them which proved fatal; and his son, who had accompanied him, was wounded.
And in Milwaukee, Wis.
, Sherman M. Booth
having been convicted in the U. S. District Court of aiding in the rescue of Joshua Glover
, a fugitive from St. Louis
, the Supreme Court of that State, on a habeas corpus
sued out in his behalf, decided the Fugitive Slave Law
unconstitutional and void, and set him at liberty.
This decision was overruled, however, by the Supreme Court of the United States
in a unanimous decision affirming the validity of the Fugitive Slave Law
, and directing that, though a State Court might properly grant a habeas corpus
in behalf of a person imprisoned under Federal authority, yet that the custodian in such case had only to make return that he was
so held, and that this return, being proved truthful, must be accepted by the State Court as sufficient and conclusive — the Federal
and State jurisdictions being each sovereign within its proper sphere, and each entitled to entire respect from the other, though operative over the same territory.
And this remains to this day the adjudicated law of the land.
The activity and universality of slave-hunting, under the act of 1850, were most remarkable.
That act became a law on the 18th of September; and, within ten days thereafter, a negro named James Hamlet had been seized in the city of New York
, and very summarily dispatched to a woman in Baltimore
, who claimed