Monday, February 15, 2010

No Respect For The Law

United States Marshals arrested escaped slave Shadrach Minkins February 15th 1851 in Boston Massachusetts.

Shadrach Minkins an African American slave was born most likely sometime in 1814 in Norfolk Virginia. He escaped in May 1850 and settled in Boston Massachusetts where he found work as a waiter at Taft‘s Cornhill Coffee House. It was in that year that the United States Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, making it legal for federal agents to capture slaves living in free states and return them to their former masters. Minkins was arrested on February 15th 1851 by United State Marshals, but the abolitionists Boston Vigilance Committee using force was able to rescue him.

Minkins was helped to get to Canada. He settled in Montreal and made a comfortable life for himself. His rescue placed pressure on President Millard Fillmore to bring in Federal Soldiers to help enforce the Fugitive Slave Law. The President sent a proclamation asking the citizens of Boston to honor the law and help in recapturing Minkins. He also ordered that those who liberated Minkins be brought to justice, although several were charge, they were all acquitted. Minkins died December 13th 1875 in Montreal and is buried in the Mount Royal Cemetery near two of his children.

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