Exhibit Theme

The Compromise of 1850

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Practical Illustration of the...
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Practical Illustration of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1851

The new Fugitive Slave Law, far stricter than previous legislation, pleased Southern slaveholders and outraged Northern abolitionists. It authorized federal agents to arrest and return anyone identified as an escaped slave. In this illustration, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison defends an African American woman against a slave catcher and Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, who championed the law.

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress