(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The Fugitive Slave Act was passed by congress on September 18, 1850, as part of a compromise allowing California to enter the Union as a free state and ending the slave trade in the District of Columbia. The act made the federal government responsible for tracking down and apprehending slaves who had escaped to the northern states. The act included provisions that fined a marshal $1000 if he did not carry out the arrest warrant. The marshal for Boston, who was not in town when Shadrach was arrested and subsequently rescued by a mob at the court house, was, never the less, required to pay this sum. This article also gives an account of four of the men who were arrested and mentions in passing that there were also two negroes who had been detained. A total of nine men were eventually charged, but all were acquitted.