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Very historic report on the fugitive slave case of Anthony Burns: he had to return to his owner... On the recent Kansas-Nebraska Act...

Item # 693267

June 08, 1854

NEW YORK OBSERVER, Secular Department (there was also a 'Religious Department' edition), June 8, 1854  

* Fugitive slave Anthony Burns
* Escape - capture and trial verdict

Page 3 has a very notable report with a small head: "The Boston Fugitive Slave Case" which was an historic event in Boston. Most of this report relates to the verdict of the case.
 This was the case of 19 year-old Anthony Burns, arrested on a trumped-up charge of jewelry theft.
As a bit of background, Burns was born into slavery in Virginia and later hired out to work on the wharves of Richmond, where he befriended a sailor from Boston who helped him escape.
He found a series of odd jobs in Boston to support himself, including at a Brattle Street clothing store when his owner discovered where he lived in Boston.
The arrest horrified Wendell Phillips, the wealthy,42-year-old son of Boston’s first mayor, and the rest of the city’s abolitionists. It wasn’t so much that the Fugitive Slave Act was being enforced--it had taken effect in 1850. Burns’ arrest came on the heels of the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act two days earlier. Kansas would certainly enter the Union as a slave state, and slavery opponents feared slavery could then seep north into Boston as well.
As this lengthy article relates, the decision was for the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act to be enforced, requiring Burns to be returned to Virginia.
As a website notes in part: "On June 2, the governor placed Boston under martial law. Anthony Burns was to be shipped back to Virginia. As guards prepared to march him to the ship, nearly 50,000 people lined the streets, held back by Marines and police officers. Storefronts were draped in black, and people hung out upper windows spitting on the soldiers as the crowd shrieked, ‘Shame! Shame!’ Burns walked through the crowd with his head held high to the ship that would carry him back to Virginia."
See the link for more on this story.
The back page begins with: "Nebraska Sentiment" which is a reprinting of an article in the National Intelligencer: "Death and Burial of the Missouri Compromise".
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was an 1854 bill that mandated “popular sovereignty", allowing settlers of a territory to decide whether slavery would be allowed within a new state’s borders. The conflicts that arose between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers in the aftermath of the act’s passage led to the period of violence known as "Bleeding Kansas", and helped paved the way for the American Civil War.
Four pages, nice condition.

Category: Pre-Civil War