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The Fugitive Slave Law is not the law of Wisconsin. The Fugitive Slave Law cannot be enforced in Wisconsin. The people will not suffer it. They understand too well that Great Charter of Rights which is the birthright of every man whatever be the color of his skin. The way it was presenting I wouldn't recounts a historic event. Material for this series of programs have been selected from the files and papers of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin today the rescue of Joshua Glover. Only. Current events do you think. It's airing on the house.
Me and. Various kind of like birds inside of her lawyer. Some of these rallies going into the cars going out and. Calling some you know here that you know
that. Coming out how are things going here that you know you know. You know it all out I think with all. Due respect having come out with Oh I am steaming out there. We got the call out you know. See the people running to meet us at 0 0 0 0 think it's
like oh I thought. From the very beginning of her statehood popular sentiment against slavery had been strong in Wisconsin as in most of the other free states her citizens were active in resenting encroachments of the slave power. When the fugitive slave law was introduced into Congress in 1850 the entire Wisconsin delegation in both houses voted against its passage. Nevertheless the Act that provided for the return of slaves that escaped to the north and the punishment of those who abetted them became law. September 18th 1850 that fall in Wisconsin the act was severely condemned by many political conventions and several people. I don't refuse to aid in carrying out the provisions of the fugitive slave law but actually
prevented its operation particularly in southwestern Wisconsin was anti-slavery feeling strong. When the sun comes up on the brink Go on go on and on and on and on. And you're right. I don't
think I'll go on between being. On my own with the grain going
out on me. Joshua Glover was a runaway slave riding the Underground Railway out of Missouri. He got safely up north to racing Wisconsin in 1850 to tall powerfully built. He had done odd jobs made small articles for sale and finally settled on a job at the St. Clair and rice sawmill. It earned a reputation as a good worker with well thought of in the community is owner Benjamin W. garland of St. Louis. Succeeding in learning of his whereabouts and on March 10th 1854 accompanied by two
deputy marshals and four other men. The capture of Glover a few days later the details of the capture of appeared in a well-known abolitionist newspaper the Wisconsin daily free Democrat. Driver at the time he was kidnapped was living on Red River about four miles from receipt. The slave catcher deputy marshal carnate of Racine and a Mr. Holden living 14 miles west of Racine who was expecting to be the next senator from that county had been in consultation for a week or two. As to the best means of capturing the deputy marshal Carney had undertaken to kidnap a small sized colored woman a day or two previous. But she presented a horse pistol to his face and told him to make quick time or she would blow his brains out whereupon Carney put out and ran for dear life. Baffled by a woman a kidnapping Gendry planned a scheme to entrap lover. They got hold of a miserable
colored man named Turner lifted him up supplied him with liquor and car and set him up to get clever drugs and I'm hand to open the door when they came in that night to take him. Turner did as requested got lever into the house of a colored neighbor but never drank sparingly. At eight o'clock in the evening deputy Carney and Holden received the slave catcher and his confrere Marshall Kahn of the city knocked at the door. The owner said Don't let's open the door until we know who they are. But Turner the traitor according to promise rose and opened the door and they all rushed him and Deputy CARNEY With a strong club struck a lever on the head as he was sitting at his chair and felled him to the floor. This club covered with blood and hair from Glover's head is in possession of the friends of freedom it received and will be a swift witness against the kidnapper while they were gagging and binding over the
owner of the house leaped out. It is said through the window and escape and gave the alarm when news of the capture reached re scene the next morning the excitement in that city ran high. Already known to supporters of the Fugitive Slave Law as an abolitionist whole the people of the city were incensed at the brutal capture of Glover without legal procedure. And I know those days the Court House meeting was the universal remedy for every ill. The use of the courthouse was free to all. Every man was an orator and resolutions of mighty sound and startling import were easily drawn and enthusiastically passed so early in the morning of Saturday March 11th the courthouse bell that regime rang and the largest popular meeting ever held in that city assembled on the courthouse square. Fiery speeches were made and resolutions were passed whereas a colored man by the name of Joshua Glover was kidnapped about four miles from our city last night
about eight o'clock he had been at at the time of his arrest was at work for one of our citizens. Resolved That we look upon the arrest of said lover as an outrage upon the peaceful rights of this is something like it having been made without the exhibition of any papers by first clandestinely knocking him down with a club and then finding him by brute force and carrying him off. Resolved That we as citizens of rape scene demand for said lover of their and impartial trial by jury in this misstated which he had been arrested. And that we will attend in person to aid him by all honorable means is a cure his unconditional release adopting is our motto The Golden Rule. Resolve that in as much as the Senate of the United States has repealed all compromises here to fore adopted by the Congress of the United States. We as citizens of Wisconsin are justified in declaring and do hereby declare the slave catching law of 1850. Disgraceful. And also repealed it after adopting the resolutions a finance committee was appointed by the regime people to obtain means to defray the expenses of Glovers
trial after which the meeting adjourned to want to clock on re-assembling at that time it was resolved to send a delegation to Milwaukee to carry into effect the resolutions passed at the morning session. About a hundred racemes citizens boarded the afternoon boat to Milwaukee where Glover had been taken and was being held in jail. In the meantime a telegram had been sent to Sherman am booth abolitionist editor of the Milwaukee free Democrat telling him of the capture of the negro. While I was working in my office one morning I received a telegram from General Waterman mayor of race scene to the effect that Marshall Carter had kidnapped a fugitive negro. Joshua Glover. And was bringing him to Milwaukee. My blood began to boil for I had been writing for liberty for years. I went to the office to the clerk of courts with the paper in my hand and he
disclaimed all knowledge of the plot. I then saw Judge Miller who referred me to the Fugitive Slave Law. I became matters still for I'd use the law as a campaign document for months. On my way down the street I overtook General Payne and together we got a writ of habeas corpus from Judge Jenkins and served on the sheriff to get hold of the negro. We knew to be in the city at this time. He referred us to Marshall carton and we had seen around. We knew that no good could be done by going to him. So resorted to different measures. It was decided on consultation call a public meeting by handbills in the ringing of the bells at the courthouse square at 2 o'clock. But the time being short we resolved to trust to good loans and vocal apparatus and such means of locomotion as we could command to call the people together at twenty minutes before two o'clock we mounted on horseback and rode up spring water and Third Street to the foot of the hill crossed the river road down east water straight
to the Lord and back through Maine and Milwaukee streets calling on all three citizens who were not willing to be made slaves or slave catchers to meet at the court house square at two o'clock. Many witnesses were later to recall booth words and calling a meeting. I saw him pass the US hotel on East Water Street. I think the remark he made as he passed the car was a free man to the rescue to the courthouse and something about the jail and kidnappers but I didn't catch the whole of the sentence. Somebody asked what they were going to do and he answered come there and we'll tell you. I saw Mr. Booth on horseback he was wholly at the top of his voice. The horse was in full gallop. He said three men to the rescue. At that time the court house bell was ringing. He said the courthouse was on fire or Courthouse Square I don't know which he said Freeman the
courthouse and something of the word rescue but not in connection I can't repeat the words. He then said something about the slave catchers to come and help him catch a slave. I did not cry as was reported and sworn to freemen to the rescue of forcible rescue was never my purpose and in calling the meeting i used by two forms of speech. All three men and all three citizens who are opposed to being made slaves were slave catchers turn out to a meeting in the courthouse square at 2 o'clock the only variation being I sometimes used the word man and sometimes the word citizen both both Come get out of his writing or so Tom crying for a man to the rescue. There are too many men who saw and heard him. I said from the number. That I bought to made an awkward appearance on horseback but he made it go too far to say at 2:30 the meeting was called to order a president and secretary of the meeting were elected.
The lawyer Byron Payne made a fiery speech declaring the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 unconstitutional. Since many in the audience couldn't understand English very well he HB felt made a rousing speech in German resolutions were produced pledging support to Glover and obtaining a fair jury trial. A man named Joshua Glover living in the neighborhood of Racine had his house broken into a pistol presented to his head was knocked down and badly cut and bruised before any legal process the servant brought him was brought by night to this city and incarcerated in our county jail. And whereas a writ of habeas corpus. It has been issued by Judge Jenkins to Sheriff Page and Deputy Marshal commending them in the name of the state to bring the prisoner before him and show cause why the prisoner should not be released which has not yet been obeyed therefore resolved as citizens of Milwaukee that every person has an indefeasible right to a fair and impartial trial by jury on all questions involving personal liberty. Resolved That the writ of habeas corpus is the
great defense of freedom and that we demand for this prisoner as well as for our own protection that this sacred read shall be resolved that we pledge ourselves to stand by this prisoner and do our utmost to secure for him a fair and impartial trial by jury. More speeches were made. Sherman Booth spoke. It was not merely for the sake of Joshua Glover within these walls that this vast assembly has met its a writ of habeas corpus may be trampled down in the person of Glover. It may be in the prisons of the song Germans Irish Americans. Oh no matter what our birth or condition may be dragged into slavery that the federal judge or US commish. On the oath of any scum group who chooses to swear that we owe service to a slaveholder if we drive the soil of Wisconsin is free and liberty is secured for our posterity. If we fail now and the Slave Power triumphs over us our rights and liberties are gone. It may be for nothing.
The resolutions were then put to the chair and adopted a vigilance committee with power to call a meeting by the ringing of the bells was appointed. Two men were sent out to see if Sheriff Page would obey the writ of habeas corpus issued by Judge Jenkins a committee went to Judge Miller of the United States District Court of Wisconsin to determine what he would do in this case the judge had previously admitted issuing a warrant for a fugitive slave a few days before. About five o'clock the receiving delegation showed up armed with warrants for the arrest of Garland the slave owner and the U.S. Marshal who had taken Glover Sherman booth brought them up to date on events. And then Charles E. Watkins chairman of the committee to see if Judge Miller would obey the writ of habeas corpus mounted the platform and spoke his speech was remembered by several witnesses as the cause for what followed. He reported that Judge Miller said no power on earth could take him from his jurisdiction. He expatiated on the tyranny of the judge
and the hardship of imprisoning Glover over the sadness. Mr Watkins stated that Judge Miller refused to allow his officers to obey a writ of habeas corpus from the state court. I thought this created some excitement among the crowd I heard some of them say we'll have him out. I don't know if I heard any remarks of this kind before the report commenced speaking directly after this. I heard Mr. both say that he didn't advise any man that violate the law. Se spit upon the law you couldn't advise the people but if they all felt like it knew what they could do. I heard him advise the people not to break the law and advise the Vigilance Committee to meet at the American media. I had invited the regime delegation to meet our committee at the American house for consultation and was about to start when I heard a shout and saw a rush for the jail and a huge timber borne aloft toward the front of the jail and the anticipated
result. Gary were in the under sheriff of this county and was so on the 11th of this month I was in jail. Glover was rescued but jail was broken open about six o'clock in the afternoon. The jail door was broken open was giving way. They came in and took out the negro. The bolts of the door were broken off and by pounding with a piece of timber they got in. I was at the jail I am. I saw Lee in the car. Man come out. It was carried out I believe. I noticed a wagon when it drove off I thought of it or spell myself when I was there alone by a good many hundreds. I put in my best licks to Bob Dylan to get a good look at the fellow. According to the report of Booth newspaper the next day crowds cheered the rescue driver as he passed in the green wagon. Although the militia had been called out earlier in the day and had refused to appear Chauncey whom the previous owner approved
newsprint was to remember and he didn't change the scene. Bomb bomb bomb and down came the jail door and out again. Love it. And about that time the sheriff and US Marshal made their appearances upon the scene and the rescue was attended from those that had Glover in their possession. Glover was still kept in hand by his rescuers from the jail to Wisconsin street and about one thousand people following in the wake. Sometimes it seemed as though the marshal and sheriff's posse would arrest him for the angry populace. But on they went from Wisconsin the East Water Street and then down East Water Street till it was then called Walker's Point Bridge while the crowd was increasing but the victory was farther than insured. On arriving at the bridge John a messenger of a Democrat came along and wanted to know what was done. After being told he said there is a put down. Man into my body and no quicker said than done and no way he went with the whole process his weight but he had a fleet and strong horse and he took a course out of the city
toward Walkinshaw but me ended on a round roads here and there so that the slave hunter that was on his track gave up the game as La Glover was taken via the Underground Railroad back to Racine the place of his capture. This was probably done to confuse pursuers and from there he was spirited out of the country. An announcement as to his whereabouts appeared a few days later in the receiving advocate. We regret to be obliged to inform the friends of Glover that it was deemed almost safe for him to remain in this Republican country and that by this time he is safe in Canada. Under the protection of a monarchy the rescue of Joshua Glover has served to turn many wavering and indifferent Wisconsinites into militant opponents of the Fugitive Slave Law. The deed was generally approved throughout the state and in surrounding regions. Resolutions of applause were added in varying degrees of warmth were passed in many localities. The newspapers heralded this rescue
each according to his own style. The Racine advocate March 20th 1854 at 6 o'clock the friends of law and order came to the conclusion that it would be unsafe as well as eminently wicked for a human being against whom no crime had been alleged to be locked up in a jail over the Sabbath. And as the court house bell rang the tocsin of liberte the writ of open sesame it was enforced. The doors of the present shook as though another picture where where then the willing SEO yielded up its victim to the fresh light of day air of God's glorious earth. Let Milwaukee free democratic. We send greetings to the free states of the Union. That in Wisconsin the fugitive slave law is repealed the first attempt to enforce the law in this state has signally through Laureus Lee failed. No more compromise with slavery. Perry Shawn enactments establishing slavery on free cell and a walkie Sentinel.
We do not justify or believe in breaking laws or jails as a general thing but neither laws or jails will stand against the people when they think their sacred rights are involved. They evidently thought so the other day the Chicago Tribune. We regret such disturbances of the public tranquillity. But slave catchers must learn if they have not learned already that the days of kidnapping are about over and if they desire to escape the punishment that person is engaged in that business deserved they will keep clear of northern Illinois and Wisconsin although rejoicing over the rescue was general it was not unanimous. Four days later citizens of Walkinshaw hanged a booth in effigy Booth himself reported that some people favored taking the type and presses of his newspaper and dumping them in the river. He added that one lawyer who had never liked him anyway offered
$500 to have him arrested and sent to the penitentiary booth was arrested four days after the rescue. Federal authorities charged him with aiding and abetting the escape of a fugitive slave. Although he was to deny direct responsibility for the rescue booth was proud of his part and that his trial declared his joy at the Citizens open defiance of the Fugitive Slave Law. I rejoice that it has been decided by the spontaneous uprising and sovereign voice of the people that no human being can be dragged into bondage from Milwaukee. And I am glad to say that rather than have the great constitutional rights and safeguards of the people the writ of habeas corpus and right of trial by jury stricken down by this fugitive law I would prefer to see every federal officer in Wisconsin hanged on a gallows for the six years following the rescue. Sherman am booth was the center of legal proceedings initiated by the federal
authorities under the Fugitive Slave Act. He was arrested and while in the custody of the United States Marshall was released on a writ of habeas corpus issued by a judge of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The whole court reviewed the case and on July 19th 1854 uphill behavior's corpus arrested again and tried by a federal court. Ruth was sentenced to a month's imprisonment and a fine of a thousand dollars. He was again set at liberty by a writ of habeas corpus issuing from the state supreme court at this time the full court declared the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional and void when the Supreme Court of the United States asked for a copy of the record in order to review the case. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin took no notice of the request. In March 1860 Ruth was again arrested by federal authorities and released by friends and rearrested. The case was finally ended when President Buchanan pardoned him
in March 1861. It was presenting eyewitness accounts of historic events. Today the rescue of Joshua Glover. Material for this series was selected from the files and papers of the State Historical Society it was guns and salt and for the series was Doris Platt. Scripts by music by Kent Depp for production. Ralph Johnson This is the national educational radio network.
The Way It Was
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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"The Way It Was" is a radio program which presents eye witness accounts of notable topics throughout American history. Each episode begins with a description of a specific event, person, or historical topic, followed by several dramatic readings of witness testimonies found in the files and papers of the state historical society of Wisconsin. The program was originally released in 1969, and was re-broadcast from the program library of National Public Radio.
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-37-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:05
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Chicago: “The Way It Was; 7,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
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APA: The Way It Was; 7. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from