But our northern brethren, who are the friends of the constitution--and, let us add, of the Union--must be aware of the importance as well as the justice of suppressing this feeling and carrying out the law. The South have demanded such a law. It constitutes a part of one great system of compromise, which is calculated to restore the peace of the Union. Should that law be wantonly violated by mob law, it will make the South much more discontented than before it passed. No one can tell the excitement which may arise, or the mischiefs it may produce. We sincerely hope that every case of arrest may go off as quietly as those in New York and in Harrisburg; and then the South may be able to save its property, and the North will be rid of the most troublesome portion of its population. The Albany Argus justly remarks upon the case in New York:

   "Here was a palpable illustration of the utter inefficiency of the former law to carry out the constitutional requirement in regard to the delivery of fugitive slaves, and not a less forcible exemplification of the adaptation of the new law to the object which the framers of the constitution had in view. Heretofore, the constitutional injunctions have in many of the northern States, in spite of congressional enactments in aid of them, been, practically a dead letter; and to this cause alone may be attributed much of the bad feeling between the North and South which exhibited itself during the pendency of the adjustment measures, now happily passed. Under the wholesome operation of the new law, which guards the rights of both master and slave, with scrupulous fidelity to the spirit and letter of the constitution, it is not too much to expect that all feeling from this source will be allayed, so far as the South is concerned. As for the North, if, as in the recent Pittsburg stampede, the new law shall have the effect of ridding this section of the fugitives that have been harbored and secreted among us, by their voluntary withdrawal into the neighboring province it will not be without reciprocal benefits here also."


"But Our Northern Brethren...," Washington (DC) Weekly Union, October 5, 1850, p. 1.

Related Escape / Stampede
Location of Stampede
Coverage Type
Location of Coverage- City
Location of Coverage- State
District of Columbia
Contains Stampede Term