1851 Thursday April 24th Julia here to finish Susans dresses
She is very slow We have got the waist done
to her Delaine & finished the print dress & cut
the lining to my dress This afternoon called
at Augustus’ & Mr Whitwell with Mrs Peckham
A[u]gustus returned from New York this morning
and is here again to dine Hannah went to
Alsons while he was gone Pleasant weather
Evelina and Julia Mahoney sewed today, perhaps trying to make up for time lost yesterday. Evelina’s nephew, Augustus, returned to the Ames’s dinner table after a business trip to New York. Meanwhile, his expectant wife, Hannah Lincoln Gilmore, and son Eddie were staying out at the Gilmore farm with his parents, Alson and Henrietta.
Had Augustus run into any abolitionist fervor while in New York? Probably not as great as in Boston, where controversy continued in the aftermath of the Fugitive Slave Act and the capture and rescue of Shadrach Minkins. While some of the most prominent abolitionists of the day, like William Lloyd Garrison, lived in Boston, the city was nonetheless home to many citizens who were less adamant about the issue. They might not have liked slavery, but they feared the radicalism of the anti-slavery rhetoric more. They were law-abiding, and the law said that slaves were property and had to be returned to their owners. Daniel Webster had decreed it, and they supported the law accordingly. The controversy pulled at everyone.
When another escaped slave, Thomas Simms, was caught in Boston, the Mayor of Boston, John P. Bigelow, ordered him sent back south. The aldermen and the police supported the move, and the black population of the city became even more nervous than before, as the poster above illustrates. Have TOP EYE Open!
3 thoughts on “April 24, 1851”
Was it a poster, or an ad in the newspaper? Also, I wonder who paid for it.
Good question! This particular warning is on an actual poster, but that doesn’t preclude newspaper ads having been taken out at the same time and for the same purpose.
I don’t know who published it – wish I did. The image is in the public domain now. You can find it on Wikipedia if you type in slave, kidnap, 1851 (or something along those lines.) Thank you for asking.
Strong post! Nice piece of history.