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[325] on his way to the Canadas, ‘and said amen to the prayer.’ ‘Why, that,’ said Mr. Commissioner Hallett,1 of course partly in jest, ‘is aiding and abetting the fugitive.’ ‘Well, Theodore Parker prayed for him publicly,’ said James. Oh, that nothing, J. N. Buffum. replied Hallett; ‘the Lord would not answer his prayers’! When we told Theodore, he said: ‘Well, then, the2 Government is in this category: the prayers which the Lord will endorse and answer are illegal; those he will not answer are legal.’

The case of Shadrach was one of four which, preeminently, in the year 1851, revealed to the North the real meaning of the Fugitive Slave Law as a precursor of disunion and civil war.3 The war—or, more properly, then as in 1861, the pro-slavery invasion—in fact began with the execution of the law, as was first made clear when, on February4 15, 1851, pending a postponement of Shadrach's case before Commissioner George T. Curtis, in Boston, the prisoner was lost to view in the crowd of his own color that filled the court-room. This simple incident, which would scarcely have furnished the press with a police item had a pickpocket been thus spirited away, created a prodigious uproar at Washington.

‘The head and front of the offending,’ in this instance— what is it? 5 asked Mr. Garrison a week later.

A sudden rush of a score or two of unarmed friends of equal liberty—an uninjurious deliverance of the oppressed out of the hands of the oppressor—the quiet transportation of a slave out of this slavery ruled land to the free soil of Upper Canada! Nobody injured, nobody wronged, but simply a chattel transformed into a man, and conducted to a spot whereon he can glorify God in his body and spirit, which are his!

1 Benjamin F. Hallett. Eheu, quantum mutatus ab illo (ante, 1: 482; 2: 32, 43, 187). See his own account of his pro-slavery backsliding in Lib. 22: 69, 87.

2 Rev. T. Parker.

3 The other three were the rendition of Thomas Sims, the Christiana (Pa.) armed encounter, in which a slaveholder and his son were slain (Lib. 21: 151, 155, 158, 161, 163, 169, 175, [182], 193, 202; 22: 5), and the Jerry rescue at Syracuse, N. Y.

4 Lib. 21.30.

5 Lib. 21.30.

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