Week 3

This is my first link  

This is my second link  

The first source that I found very interesting is on the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. How the act tremendously devastated an already endangered black community. In the Antebellum South the Fugitive Slave Act of  1850 tremendously benefitted slave owners. The act required that slaves must be returned to their owners if they escape, even if they escaped to free states. The act also allowed for government officials, officers, and federal commissioners in local communities power to enforce the law. One could theorize that white mobs played a role in reducing assimilation in their communities. Either by using acts of violence or being watchdogs in their local communities. The Fugitive Slave Act also helped maintain financial security for slave owners and the government as well. Officials in power could hold people accountable(six months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine) if they tried to aid or assist slaves migration to new locations. Even if enslaved women and their children contemplated the idea of leaving the plantation, the odds were very much against them. 

After conducting this assignment I thought about how the government used coercive tactics to keep slavery in place. It raises the question of did they know they running out of financial capital, so they had to put laws in place to continue to profit off the black community?  

The next source that caught my attention was about slavery in the upper part of the United States, specifically the northwest and Midwest! Around the 1840s and 1850s some states slowly began to adopt the idea of assimilation, creating cities and states where slavery was being abolished. During that time slaveholders were aware of what was granted to African Americans in some of these states. These states like Ohio, were assisting fugitive slaves and providing shelter, food, and transportation for slaves. Since slavery was financially dependent on able black bodies. Slave owners were more controlling and watchful of their movements. Making it nearly impossible to escape or have any time to themselves.  

The question that I am pondering on after doing my research is, was there some sort of southern honor that merited keeping as many slaves for profit? Did having a exorbitant amount slaves determine your worthiness, and type of character you have in the South?


One thought on “Week 3

  1. These are great sources with commentary and research questions. I think there is a unique relationship between the Fugitive Slave Act and abolition in the North. To build onto your analysis, I would add that the Act also policed abolitionist activity and participation in helping runaway enslaved people. Despite the efforts of some northern “free” states in abolishing slavery, the interstate trade, etc,, the Fugitive Slave Act protected the institution of slavery in unprecedented ways that alarmed abolitionists.

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