Fugitive Slave Hearings

In the 1850s, fugitive slave hearings and the Christiana "riot" trial took place in federal courts located on the second floor of Independence Hall, since restored to its colonial-era appearance. (Independence National Historical Park)

In the 1850s, fugitive slave hearings and the Christiana “riot” trial took place in federal courts located on the second floor of Independence Hall, since restored to its colonial-era appearance. (Independence National Historical Park)

Among the most startling discoveries of Independence Hall in American Memory is the story of fugitive slave hearings held during the early 1850s in the second floor of Independence Hall, which was leased to the U.S. District Court until 1854. Philadelphia newspapers, including the anti-slavery paper The Pennsylvania Freeman, covered the dramatic events that followed enactment of the Fugitive Slave Act of the  Compromise of 1850.

 

Henry Garnet (Garnett) [link to newspaper coverage]
Apprehended October 18, 1850; freed.

Adam Gibson [link to newspaper coverage]
Apprehended December 21, 1850; ordered returned to slavery but later freed on the basis of mistaken identity.

Stephen Bennett [link to newspaper coverage]
Apprehended January 23, 1851; freedom purchased in U.S. Marshall’s office, second floor of Independence Hall.

Tamor / Euphemia Williams [link to newspaper coverage]
Apprehended February 6, 1851; freed. 

Hannah and Henry / Richard Dellam [link to newspaper coverage]
Apprehended March 7, 1851; ordered returned to slavery.

Advertisement [link]

Aftermath: The Anti-Slavery Fair [link to newspaper coverage]


1 Comment

  1. This was a very educational web site and it helped me to learn a lot before my trip. Thank you!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.