What I’m Reading: Life and Times of Frederick Douglass – 76 in a series – “The hardships imposed by this atrocious and shameless law [Fugitive Slave Act]…”

“The hardships imposed by this atrocious and shameless law [Fugitive Slave Act] were cruel and shocking, and yet only a few of all the fugitives of the Northern States were returned to slavery under its infamously wicked provisions. As a means of recapturing their runaway property in human flesh the law was an utter failure. Its efficiency was destroyed by its enormity. Its chief effect was to produce alarm and terror among the class subject to its operation, and this it did most effectually and distressingly. Even colored people who had been free all their lives felt themselves very insecure in their freedom, for under this law the oaths of any two villains were sufficient to consign a free man to slavery for life. While the law was a terror to the free, it was a still greater terror to the escaped bondman. To him there was no peace. Asleep or awake, at work or at rest, in church or market, he was liable to surprise and capture.”

From Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: (An African American Heritage Book)

Why I'm Reading: He was whipped oftener who was whipped easiest.

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