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Slave Catchers - How could they do it?

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by

Eddie Cavallin

on 15 January 2015

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Transcript of Slave Catchers - How could they do it?

Intro to research question
In 1850, slavery was widespread in the southern states of the United States. Slave catchers, who were people who captured fugitive slaves, were widespread throughout the entire United States. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 basically stated that everyone had to assist in capturing fugitive slaves. Slave catchers used dogs, whips, and guns to hunt down slaves for money. Slave catchers were hunting slaves in the North and the South. The northern states had already abolished slavery, but slave catchers still hunted there.
Research question
Why? =
Slaves and Blacks were
paychecks to slave catchers
Claim
They did it through the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act.
How much is a human life worth?
Slave Catchers - How could they do it? (watchdogs5)
Everyone was a slave catcher after 1850!
"this new law forcibly compelled citizens to assist in the capture of runaway slaves"
Source:
History.com
"Because slave catchers enforcing the Act collected rewards for sending slaves to the South, they sometimes seized free blacks and sold them into slavery."

Source:
Learner.org
Who else was hunted?
This is a famous kidnapped freeman named Solomon Northup. He wrote a book called Twelve Years a Slave.
How did slave catchers hunt slaves in the North?
The Fugitive Slave Act let slave catchers make more money because if slave catchers caught a slave, the slave “...was denied the right to jury trial…” according to History.com. All the slave catchers had to do was swear that the person they caught was actually a slave. The captured person could not legally defend themselves. Under section 6 of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, “In no trial or hearing under this act shall the testimony of such alleged fugitive be admitted in evidence….” Slave catchers took advantage of this and kidnapped free blacks and sold them into slavery, according to History.net.
Evidence and Sources
The Fugitive Slave Act also prevented many people from helping runaway slaves. If someone assisted a slave from getting away from a slave catcher, they faced huge penalties under section 7 of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act. The penalties included $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
This is a wanted poster for a runaway slave.
Full transcript