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18 September

'I never would obey it. I had assisted thirty slaves to escape to Canada during the last month.
September 2009

'If the authorities wanted anything of me, my residence was at 39 Onondaga street. I would admit that and they could take me and lock me up in the penitentiary on the hill; but if they did such a foolish thing as that I had friends enough to level it to the ground before the next morning.'
Reverend Luther Lee

On this day in 1850, the US Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act making it illegal for any person to assist an escaped slave. It also demanded that if an escaped slave was sighted, he or she should be apprehended and returned to his or her 'rightful' owner.

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