Article from Marion Star on fugitive slaves escaping to Canada, May 1852


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Suggestions for Further Readings

Related Websites

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Passages from articles in the New York Tribune and the Richmond Republican regarding fugitive slaves are reprinted in this article of May 11, 1852 from The Marion Star, the local newspaper of Marion, South Carolina.  Horace Greeley, then editor of the New York Tribune and a fervent proponent of abolition, wrote of the successful “pilgrimage” of forty-one fugitives on the “Underground Railroad” through New York City on their way to Canada.  Greely went on to report that the “railroad” was increasing in business.  Greely’s quote is followed by a remark from the Richmond Republican, a newspaper of Virginia, which lambasted Greeley for his opposition of the Fugitive Slave Act and endorsement of anti-slavery supporter General Winfield Scott as the Presidential nominee for the Whig Party.  This article is a prime example of the heated exchanges between Northern and Southern parties reflecting the sectional tensions of the era.


“Fugitive Slaves.”  Marion Star.  11 May 1852.  Newspapers on microfilm, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.

Suggestions for Further Readings:

Blight, David W. Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 2004.

Bordewich, Fergus M. Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement. Harper Collins, 2005.

Franklin, John Hope and Loren Schweninger.  Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Gara, Larry.  The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad, University Press of Kentucky, 1996.

Holt, Michael F.  The Political Crisis of the 1850s.  New York: Norton, 1983.

Stewart, James Brewer.  Holy Warriors: The Abolitionist and American Slavery.  New York: Hill and Wang, 1976.

Websites of Interest:

Article welcoming fugitives to Canada by Henry Bibb.  Emancipator, August 11, 1847.  University of Detroit Mercy Black Abolitionist Archive. 

Parton, James. The Life of Horace Greeley, Editor of “The New-York Tribune,” From His Birth to the Present TimeBoston: James R. Osgood adn Company, 1872.

Still, William.  The Underground Railroad. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1872

The Liberator Files: Boston-Based Abolitionist Newspaper. Published by William Lloyd Garrison, 1831-1865. 

William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879:  The Story of His Life Told by His ChildrenNew York: The Century Company, 1885.

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards:

Standard 3.2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the exploration and settlement of South Carolina and the United States.

Indicator 3.2.7 Explain the transfer of the institution of slavery into South Carolina from the West Indies, including the slave trade and the role of African Americans in the developing plantation economy; the daily lives of African American slaves and their contributions to South Carolina, such as Gullah culture and the introduction of new foods, and African American acts of resistance against white authority.

Standard 3.4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the events that led to the Civil War, the course of the war and Reconstruction, and South Carolina’s role in these events.

Indicator 3-4.3 Explain the reasons for the secession from the Union, including the abolitionist movement, states’ rights, and the desire to defend South Carolina’s way of life.

Standard 4-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the settlement of North America by Native Americans, Europeans, and African Americans and the interactions among these peoples.

Indicator 4-2.6 Explain the impact of indentured servitude and slavery on life in the New World and the contributions of African slaves to the development of the American colonies, including farming techniques, cooking styles, and languages.

Standard 4-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the beginnings of America as a nation and the establishment of the new government.

Indicator 4-4.6 Illustrate how the ideals of equality as described by the Declaration of Independence were slow to take hold as evident in the Three-Fifths Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Acts.

Standard 4-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the westward movement and its impact on the institution of slavery.

Indicator 4-5.7 Explain how specific legislation and events affected the institution of slavery in the territories, including the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the Missouri Compromise, the annexation of Texas, the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott decision.

Standard 4-6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the Civil War and its impact on America.

Indicator 4-6.1 Compare the industrial North and the agricultural South prior to the Civil War, including the specific nature of the economy of each region, the geographic characteristics and boundaries of each region, and the basic way of life in each region.

Indicator 4-6.2 Summarize the roles and accomplishments of the leaders of the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad before and during the Civil War, including those of Harriet Tubman, John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, and William Lloyd Garrison.

Indicator 4-6.3 Explain how specific events and issues led to the Civil War, including the sectionalism fueled by issues of slavery in the territories, states’ rights, the election of 1860, and secession.

Standard 8-1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the settlement of South Carolina and the United States by Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans.

Indicator 8-1.4 Explain the growth of the African American population during the colonial period and the significance of African Americans in the developing culture (e.g., Gullah) and economy of South Carolina, including the origins of African American slaves, the growth of the slave trade, the impact of population imbalance between African and European Americans, and the Stono Rebellion and subsequent laws to control the slave population.

Indicator 8-1.6 Explain how South Carolinians used natural, human, and political resources to gain economic prosperity, including trade with Barbados, rice planting, Eliza Lucas Pinckney and indigo planting, the slave trade, and the practice of mercantilism.

Standard 8-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Civil War—its causes and effects and the major events that occurred during that time.

Indicator 8-3.2 Explain the key events leading to South Carolina’s secession from the Union, including the nullification crisis and John C. Calhoun, the Missouri Compromise, the Tariff of 1832, the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas-Nebraska Act and subsequent armed conflict, the Dred Scott decision, the growth of the abolitionist movement, and the election of 1860.

Indicator 8-3.3 Draw conclusions about how sectionalism arose from events or circumstances of racial tension, internal population shifts, and political conflicts, including the Denmark Vesey plot, slave codes, and the African American population majority.

Standard USHC-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the causes of the Civil War and Reconstruction in America.

Indicator USHC-4.1 Compare the social and cultural characteristics of the North, the South, and the West during the antebellum period, including the lives of African Americans and social reform movements such as abolition and women’s rights.

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