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Buffalo's antebellum African American community and the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

On September 18, 1850, President Millard Fillmore signed the Fugitive Slave Law, the most controversial element of the Compromise of 1850. This law has been characterized as "one of the most shameful legislative measures in American history." (2) The law, which shored up the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, greatly expanded federal judicial authority and directed federal authorities to adopt a more direct role in guaranteeing the security of slavery. It entrusted entirely to federal officials apprehension and repatriation of fugitive slaves. An expanded number of United States Commissioners based in cities throughout the country were authorized to issue warrants for the arrest of alleged fugitive slaves. It was the Commissioners who determined the status of apprehended African Americans, and if prisoners were found to be slaves, rather than free persons, the Commissioners' fees were greater. Alleged fugitives were denied a trial by jury, denied the right to speak on their own behalf, and no provision was made for legal counsel. The law further provided for a $1,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment for citizens who aided in the concealment of fugitive slaves. Clearly, every provision of the law was arranged for the benefit of the slaveholder. (3) The Fugitive Slave Law threatened both free and fugitive African Americans. Fugitives faced the prospect of apprehension and return to the slave south. Free African Americans could be victimized by false accusation.

One would expect the Fugitive Slave Law to impact heavily on Buffalo, NY. The city, positioned where Lake Erie flows into the Niagara River and the western terminus of the Erie Canal, was the United States' premier Great Lakes port. Buffalo was a major transshipment center between the East and West. Buffalo had a viable African American community because of the availability of lake, canal, and dock jobs. Furthermore, its proximity to slave free Canada (a few hundred yards across the swift Niagara River) made Buffalo a major site on the Underground Railroad. With a growing economy and immediacy to Canada, Buffalo became an especially attractive haven for free and fugitive African Americans. Professional slave catchers kept an eye on Buffalo and sometimes visited the city. There would almost certainly be "fugitive" apprehensions and court proceedings in Buffalo under the new Fugitive Slave Law. Indeed within a year of the law's passage, three fugitive slave cases arose in Buffalo. In each case the alleged fugitives were remanded to slavery but one was saved from this fate.

Passage of the Fugitive Slave Law and the subsequent apprehension cases did have an important impact on Buffalo's African American community, but contrary to some historians claims there was no large-scale emigration to Canada. Buffalo's pre-Fugitive Slave Law African American community was active in opposing slavery and calling for local integration and civil rights. After passage of the bill, the community publicly demonstrated against the Law and took actions to save arrested fugitives. Rather then an exodus to Canada, national events associated with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law and local issues led to political disaffection of the African American leaders. Despair combined with the loss of some key activists changed the focus of community activity in Buffalo during the 1850s.

By 1850 the Buffalo population had increased to 42,261. The city's white population had almost tripled, in part, due to Irish and German immigration. The African American population of antebellum Buffalo grew more slowly, reaching 675 people in 1850. (See Table 1) Thus by mid century, African Americans constituted only 1.6% of Buffalo's total population. (4)

Both historians and contemporaries have noted the exodus of African Americans from various northern cities after passage of the Fugitive Slave Law. The reports of the number of African Americans who migrated to Canada immediately before or after the law's passage have been used to estimate both the number of fugitives the north harbored and to determine the impact of the Fugitive Slave Law. In Buffalo the accepted numbers of this migration are unreliable complicating any assessment of the law's impact.

A number of standard works claimed well over 130 African Americans fled the city. In The Free Black in Urban American, 1800-1850, Leonard Curry stated that 130 members of the Michigan Street Baptist Church left and a similar defection occurred from the Vine Street African Methodist Episcopal Church (later the Bethel A.M.E.). (5) Similarly, Benjamin Quarles' Black Abolitionists reported that the Michigan Street Baptist Church "lost 130 members after the pastor told the congregation that he found gospel precedent for running away but none that warranted fighting." (6) Stanley Campbell, in his work The Slave Catchers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850-1860 used the Annual Report of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, May 1851, for his findings. (7) According to this Report, the recently appointed minister of the Michigan Street Baptist Church reported a loss of 130 members to Canada. While the New York Evening Post, reported in 1851, that 130 members of Buffalo's Michigan Street Baptist Church fled to Canada after passage of the Fugitive Slave Law. The Post claimed that the Vine Street A.M.E. Church lost many members also." (8) However, the Post's report was highly inaccurate as was the information in the Report of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society.

The Michigan Street Baptist Church membership never reached 130 prior to the Civil War. According to the Minutes of the Annual Sessions of the Buffalo Baptist Association, the Michigan Street Baptist Church reached its highest 19th century membership of 94 in 1852. The Minutes for September 1849 report a membership of 89 with no loss of members in that year. By September of 1851 membership had climbed to 93 with a withdrawal of only 3 members. (9)

Pre-Fugitive Slave Law membership numbers for the Vine Street A.M.E. Church are less definite. A large number of members had withdrawn from the church prior to 1850 to form the short-lived East Presbyterian Church. (10) Though this internal split had nothing to do with the Fugitive Slave Law, observers may have attributed a drop in membership within the A.M.E. Church to the adoption of the law. It is unlikely that the membership of the A.M.E. Church ever reached more than 150. The 1855 census listed 100 communicants and 200 as the usual attendance numbers for this church. (11)

Buffalo's African American recorded population of 1850 totaled only 675. However, census figures for the African American population may have been distorted due to absences from the city for seasonal work on the canals and lakes and reluctance to give information to white census takers. Based on the New York Evening Post's report of combined church losses approximately one fourth of the African American population would have left the city. The more realistic figure of about 90 members for the Baptist Church invalidates the Church's minister's assertion to the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. Undoubtedly abolitionists found overblown figures of migration magnified the harm of the Fugitive Slave Law and strengthened their attack of the law.

One further piece of evidence does indicate that these higher figures were greatly exaggerated. Contemporary observer George Weir, Jr., one of the African American community's influential businessmen contended that the Post was totally misinformed and refutes the Post's claims. Weir's 1851 letter to the North Star, owned by Frederick Douglass, stated, "... not three have left from either church, and I know not three people have left from the whole city ..." as a result of the Fugitive Slave Law. Weir continued in strong words:
 we are not so easily frightened as to leave our homes in
 consequence of any such machinations of the Devil.... [W]e have
 long since considered the matter, and have come to the conclusion
 that we have a right to live here, and also that we have a right
 to use the same means to maintain our right that our
 revolutionary fathers taught us on a "certain occasion." No
 attempts have been made here as yet to arrest any one. Our city
 has enjoyed a quietude and repose which is devoutly be hoped may
 continue. But when it shall be broken, Buffalo will be heard
 from. (12)


Weir composed his letter in March, the first Buffalo fugitive slave arrest occurred in August.

It seems likely that some African Americans migrated to Canada from Buffalo, especially after the fugitive arrests occurred. In general, there were two responses to the Fugitive Slave Law: flight or confrontation. However, evidence suggests that the reports of en masse flight by Northern African Americans need to be used with caution when determining the impact of the Fugitive Slave Law and in calculating the number of fugitive slaves the north harbored.

Weir's strong proclamations and seemingly confrontational stance stemmed from the community's two successes in preventing slave catchers snatching its citizens prior to passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. The first arrest and rescue took place in 1835 and the second in 1847.

On July 13, 1835 the Commercial Advertiser reported that a slave agent named Tait learned a family of alleged slaves (husband, wife and child) were living in St. Catharines, Canada. During the night Tait stole them, but an organized group of African Americans pursued the kidnapper all the way to a Buffalo suburb, Hamburg. At Hamburg, the family was rescued and taken to the Black Rock ferry in Buffalo for return to Canada. At the ferry the police and several citizens sought to re-arrest the alleged fugitives, but during the subsequent scuffle the family escaped. Ten or eight African Americans involved in the resistance were committed to jail for trial. (13)

In 1847 two Covington, Kentucky slave catchers attempted to capture Christopher Webb. Webb had worked for some time as a waiter at the Gothic Hall Saloon. On September 30th the "bloodhounds," as African Americans called slave catchers, found Webb and informed him that he had to return to his "owner." When Webb protested that he was free, "one of them seized him and drawing a 'six-shooter' threatened to kill the first person who should interfere." According to the North Star, "energetic action on the part of some blacks" enabled Webb to escape. It being ascertained that Webb had been arrested without due process, a warrant was obtained against the slave catchers for false arrest. The Kentuckians fled with "the Deputy Sheriff and people of various hues in hot pursuit." (14)

The next day, African American Buffaloians held a meeting to discuss the kidnapping attempt and as a result formed a vigilance committee to monitor the comings and goings of prospective "bloodhounds". Also, they collected money and appointed a committee to investigate possible legal action against two constables and a local attorney who had assisted the "bloodhounds". (15) The community availed itself of the legal system to obtain justice.

A subsequent lawsuit netted $90 for damages from the two constables. They also paid all the court costs, estimated at $200. Community leader and successful businessman, Abner Francis, believed that the failed kidnapping attempt and favorable legal ruling would "settle it [acts of villainy] forever, so far as our city is concerned." (16) Passage of the Fugitive Slave Law would threaten to destroy Francis' optimism.

After passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, meetings were held in many northern cities to denounce the law. Both African American and white citizens attended the first Buffalo meeting held in October 1850. As reported in the North Star, the meeting was called not to adopt measures of "physical resistance in preference for the better way, but to adopt measures as would at all hazards and under all circumstances" prevent capture of African Americans. Some of the resolutions adopted by the participants were: denouncement of the law as unconstitutional, "anti-republican and anti-Christian"; a pledge to "resist at all times, at all places and under all conditions" a law that violated the Constitution and thus was not binding; and preparation of a petition to Congress for repeal of the "odious" law. Only the latter resolution received a few dissenting votes all the rest passed unanimously (17)

The white owned media were not as unanimous in their reactions to passage of the Fugitive Slave Law; each newspaper's response reflected the political party stance of its owners/editors. The Buffalo Daily Courier, the Democratic Party's voice, supported both passage and enforcement of the law. Whereas, the anti-Fillmore, anti-slavery (conscience) Whig paper, the Buffalo Morning Express, deplored the law and advocated ways be found to subvert it. (18) To be expected Fillmore's ardent supporter, the conservative Whig Commercial Advertiser firmly endorsed the law. The Advertiser's editor admitted "to the existence throughout the north of a general repugnance to assist in the arrest of fugitive slaves." However, American citizens were "duty bound" to fulfill their Constitutional obligations. The editor urged African Americans not to resist forcibly enforcement of the law, instead he advised fugitive slaves cross into Canada. (19)

Buffalo's first Fugitive Slave case produced extensive coverage by the local white press and Frederick Douglass' Paper. (20) Up to August of 1851 when Daniel Davis was arrested, no arrest had occurred so far north. (21) Once again, journalist accounts of the arrest and trial varied according to the newspapers' political views.

Davis was a cook on the steamship Buckeye State at the time of his apprehension by slave catcher Benjamin Rust. In the course of the capture, Rust struck Davis on the head with a wooden stick. According to the Commercial Advertiser Davis and four companions pulled out knives and prepared to resist. The arrival of the Marshall and his "posse" ended resistance. The Advertiser's account was vague as to who assaulted Davis and suggests his subsequent head injury resulted from a fall against a stove. Local African Americans would attempt to rescue Davis from the carriage transporting him from the jail to court. Despite this interference, Davis was delivered to the federal courthouse. (22)

Frederick Douglass' Paper and the Buffalo Morning Express contended that the severe head injury inflict by Rust left Davis in a dazed and semi-conscious condition at the trial. Though Buffalo's African American leaders hired a lawyer to represent Davis, the trial was swift. Frederick Douglass' Paper observed that U.S. Commissioner H.K. Smith, a Democrat, "with fiendish alacrity" remanded Davis to slavery. Commissioner Smith donated $25 to the fund prominent Buffalo African Americans established to buy Davis' freedom from his "owner". Some African American community members viewed Smith's action "ostentatious". (23)

Frederick Douglass' Paper and the anti-slavery Whig Buffalo Morning Express were the most sympathetic in their coverage of this rather dramatic arrest and trial. The Express maintained that Davis was a free man because his "owner" had sent him to a free state, Ohio, where Davis asserted his freedom. Both papers argued that Davis was not given time to produce evidence to prove his status. (24)

President Fillmore's supporter the Whig Commercial Advertiser congratulated Commissioner Smith for carrying out his "duty". According to the Advertiser, Smith's decision demonstrated conclusively that the law of the land could be executed in Buffalo. (25)

Similarly, the Democratic Buffalo Daily Courier expressed thanks that the "supremacy of the law" had been "vindicated". The editor argued that the "treasonable agitation of northern abolitionists" was responsible for passage of the Fugitive Slave Law. (26)

The legal system prevailed against slave catcher Rust who was held and tried for criminal assault against Davis. He pleaded guilty and was fined $50. In a private suit, Davis settled for $20 against Rust and Rust returned to Kentucky without Davis--whose attorney obtained a writ of habeas corpus. Based upon this, federal Judge Conkling released him and Davis went to Canada. (27) In the end, then, Davis successfully avoided enslavement. The second alleged fugitive apprehended was not so fortunate.

The next fugitive arrest received less attention from the white press. Harrison, about 18 years old, was arrested in Jamestown and brought to Buffalo in September 1851. Commissioner Smith dispatched Harrison back to his alleged master. (28) The Democratic Buffalo Daily Courier believed the Commissioner's decision "perfectly correct." The editors reported that this time the proceedings created no excitement. This seems to have been the case--According to a letter written to Frederick Douglass' Paper, Harrison may have been legally saved "if some of our own citizens had done their duty." (29)

Historian Stanley Campbell reports a third Buffalo case noting, "one fugitive slave" was remanded to slavery in October 1851. No newspaper record could be found for this case. Buffalo would experience no further fugitive slave arrests. Nationwide Campbell found 1851 to be the year of the greatest number of slave arrests and returns under the 1850 law. (30)

The Fugitive Slave Law strengthened the property rights of slave owners and greatly expanded federal protection to slave owners' efforts to reclaim their human "property". Passage of the Fugitive Slave Law was a significant setback for African Americans. The arrests in 1851 sharply contrasts with the success of the Buffalo African American community in the 1835 and 1849 cases. Though through use of legal counsel Davis was freed, Buffalo African Americans were unable to triumph in the other two cases under the law's expedited federal process for returning escaped slaves. Nor was the small African American community able to mount dramatic rescues as had occurred in Boston and Syracuse.

Another determinant of the effect of the law on Buffalo's African American community would be its influence on the political activity of the community.

The 19th century American population was a transient one. Both whites and blacks moved from area to area in search of economic betterment. The African American community in Buffalo was constantly in flux, in addition a high number of African American men's work on the canals and lakes took them away from Buffalo for long periods of time. In Buffalo, as in other northern cities, there were difficulties sustaining community wide action. However, in the 1840s a core of stable leadership did exist. Those prominent in Buffalo had entered the city in the 1830s and 40s and provided a vibrant African American social and business community.

African Americans who were professionals, small businessmen, barbers, carpenters, tailors, "high placed" waiters, cooks and servants comprised the upper and middle classes within the African American economic structure. (31) In Buffalo, the African American community leaders of the 1840's were generally employed in the above occupations and were usually mulattos and many were native Virginians. For example, Peyton Harris who with his wife, Alla, arrived in Buffalo in 1832 from Virginia, was a successful businessman. Abner Francis born in Trenton, New Jersey, settled in Buffalo in 1835-1836. He was one of antebellum Buffalo's most affluent African Americans. Francis claimed that his clothing and dry cleaning store grossed $20,000-$30,000 annually by 1848. Rev. George Weir, Sr. was the first regular pastor of the Vine Street A.M.E.Church. He occupied this position from 1838-1847. The Weirs arrived in Buffalo from North Carolina about 1835. Their son George Weir, Jr., a grocer, was one of the African American community's few merchants. In the 1840s Virginia born Nathaniel Dunlap ran a saloon in Buffalo. John Dandridge, a waiter, and William Qualls, a barber, cited Virginia as their birthplace. All of these men were mulatto. Also from Virginia were fugitive slave Henry Moxely, a barber who arrived in the city in 1832, and John Simpson also a barber who came to Buffalo in the late 1830s. (32)

Barbers, both African and mulatto, seem to have been especially active in Buffalo's antebellum African American community. However, only a minority of people of color in Buffalo held these higher status occupations. The majority of black male Buffaloians worked as common labors on canal boats, lake steamers and in the city. (33)

The men influential within Buffalo's 1840s African American community were engaged in the "better black occupations" and most were mulattos. While these men enjoyed a higher status within the African American community, all of Buffalo's people of color encountered economic hardship; discrimination and other obstacles based upon race and their opportunities within the larger community were severely limited.

In the 1840's Buffalo African American community's political activities consisted of financial support of African American owned newspapers, local public meetings that passed resolutions on national and local issues and prepared petitions, participated in abolition and equal rights movements, and attendance at the National and State black conventions that addressed issues facing African Americans and set strategies. In addition, community leaders worked toward desegregation of Buffalo's school district. (34)

The city's African American community of the 1840's had articulate spokesmen, supported its own institutions and showed an ability to organize for protest. Their goal was to gain the civil rights enjoyed by Buffalo's white-American citizens. African American Buffalonians did successfully use the legal system to obtain justice as in the fugitive slave cases of Webb in 1847 and Davis in 1851.

However, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, the Kansas Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott decisions were all set backs for African Americans in the 1850. Northern African Americans became disillusioned and in Buffalo the African American community spokesmen turned inward. In the 1850s the leaders worked for improvements within the local African American community. The protest for integration almost ceased in the decade prior to the Civil War. The assault on Buffalo's public school segregation policy was not renewed until after the War. (35)

Buffalo's African American community of the 1850's seemed apathetic by comparison to the 1840's. While city African Americans were represented at the National Black Conventions of this decade, they were absent from the New York State Black Conventions. Some of the community members continued to support Frederick Douglass' newspaper and organized anti-slavery meetings. (36) The assistant editor of Frederick Douglass' Paper's, William Watkins, acknowledged the lower level of political intensity. In 1854 he complained, "The colored people of this city [Buffalo] are not, I think, what they should be. They are given too much to slumber." Watkins noted that the few exceptions were George Weir, Jr., James Whitfield, Peyton Harris and William Qualls. (37)

The national events of the 1850s combined with local occurrences to account for this decline in political activity. The Buffalo African American community lost two of their more outspoken, integrationist members. Francis' business failed in 1851. He left Buffalo for Oregon and California and apparently reestablished out west. (38) Rev. Weir died in August 1849. (39) Peyton Harris, an affluent, active member of the community suffered a paralytic stroke in the 1850's. Though he recovered, his ability to actively participate was diminished. (40)

Many African Americans listed in the 1840's city directories are not listed in Buffalo's city directories of the 1850's. Many names, which had appeared in newspaper accounts of the 1840's activities, were missing from accounts of events in the 1850's. (41) Although Buffalo enjoyed great economic growth, the city's African Americans did not share in this new affluence. Manufacturing industries excluded African American workers. The Buffalo environment became less hospitable to African Americans as immigrants competed with African Americans for jobs. For example, during the 1850s sporadic racial violence occurred between African American and Irish immigrant workers on the Buffalo's docks and in the shipyards. (42)

While evidence indicates that en masse emigration from Buffalo to Canada and other areas did not occur as a result of the Fugitive Slave Law. Due to economic and political conditions in Buffalo African Americans, including community activists, began to leave for other areas of the United States and Canada during the 1850's. Blocked economic opportunities as well as the lack of social progress may have stimulated this out-migration. Buffalo's African American school children were denied access to quality education. The agitation for New York State equal suffrage rights had failed. In general, the white community in Buffalo showed no inclination to integrate with African Americans or grant them even symbolic affirmations of equal citizenship.

The Fugitive Slave Law was not the only factor, but was a contributor to the political disaffection of Buffalo African Americans. Prominent, affluent, outspoken leaders were absent from the local scene in the 1850's. Local issues, such as school integration were dropped. Local and national integration efforts of the 1840's had failed. Buffalo's economic situation remained hostile to African American workers. It appears that the Fugitive Slave Law was just one of the problems African American Buffalonians encountered in the decade preceding the Civil War.
Table 1 Population of Buffalo, N.Y. (43)

Year Total African American* White

1830 8,668 219
1840 18,213 503 17,710
1850 42,261 675 41,586
1860 80,320 809 79,511

*The African American population may have been under reported. Absences
from the city due to seasonal work (work on canals, lakes, etc.) and
reluctance to give information to white census takers may have slightly
distorted the figures.


NOTES

(2) Joyce Carol Oates, We Were the Mulvaneys (NY: Plume, 1997), 13.

(3) Donald G. Nieman, Promises to Keep: African-Americans and the Constitutional Order, 1790 to the Present (NY: Oxford University Press, 1991), 30; James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton, In Hope of Liberty: Culture, Community and Protest Among Northern Free Blacks, 1700-1860 (NY: Oxford University Press, 1997), 252-253; Robert Rayback, Millard Fillmore, Biography of a President (Buffalo, N.Y.: Henry Stewart, Inc., 1959), 269; Stanley Campbell, The Slave Catchers, Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850-1860 (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1969), 24.

(4) Leonard Curry, The Free Black in Urban America, 1800-1850, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 245 table 4-1; Herbert Gutman and Laurence Glasco, "The Buffalo, N.Y. Negro, 1855-1875," State University of New York at Amherst Archives, 5; United States Census Office, Manuscript Census, Buffalo, New York, 1850 (hereafter cited as US Census, 1850).

(5) Curry, 229

(6) (NY: Oxford University Press, 1969), 200.

(7) Campbell, 62.

(8) New York Evening Post, quoted in North Star, 20 March, 1851.

(9) Buffalo Baptist Association, Minutes of the Annual Session of the Buffalo Baptist Association, 34th Session, 1849, 36th Session, 1851, 37th Session, 1852.

(10) Fordham, A History of Bethel, A.M.E. Church of Buffalo, N.Y., 1831-1977 (Buffalo: Bethel Historical Society), 9.

(11) New York State, Manuscript Census, Erie County, NY, 1855 (hereafter cited as NYS Census, 1855.

(12) North Star, 20 March 1851.

(13) Commercial Advertiser, 13 July 1835. Available at www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~densmore/.

(14) Commercial Advertiser, 1 October 1847; North Star, March 3, 1848.

(15) Commercial Advertiser, 5 October 1847.

(16) North Star, 3 March 1848.

(17) North Star, 24 October 1850.

(18) Buffalo Daily Courier, 19 October 1850; Buffalo Morning Express, 1 October 1850.

(19) Commercial Advertiser, 4 October 1850.

(20) In the Spring of 1851 the North Star became the Frederick Douglass' Paper.

(21) Campbell, 199-200.

(22) Commercial Advertiser, 15 August 1851, 16 August 1851; Frederick Douglass' Paper, 21 August 1851.

(23) Frederick Douglass' Paper, 21 August 1851; Buffalo Morning Express, 16 August 1851; Buffalo Daily Courier, 19 August 1851; Samuel Welch, Recollections of Buffalo: Fifty Years Since (Buffalo, NY: 1893), 313.

(24) Frederick Douglass' Paper, 21 August 1851; Buffalo Morning Express, 16 August 1851.

(25) Commercial Advertiser, 16 August 1851.

(26) Buffalo Daily Courier, 16 August 1851.

(27) Buffalo Daily Courier, 20 August 1851 and 30 August 1851; Commercial Advertiser, 19 August 1851; New York Daily Tribune, 2 September 1851.

(28) Buffalo Daily Courier, 3 October 1851; Frederick Douglass' Paper, 9 October 1851.

(29) Buffalo Daily Courier, 4 October 1851; Frederick Douglass' Paper, 23 October 1851.

(30) Campbell, 200, 116.

(31) Leon Litwack, North of Slavery (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961), 179.

(32) US Census, 1850; NYS Census, 1855; Buffalo City Directory, 1836-1855; Fordham, 8-9; Arthur White, "The Black Movement Against Jim Crow Education in Buffalo, NY, 1800-1900," Phylon 30 (Winter 1969): 383.

(33) Buffalo City Directory, 1836-1855; NY Census, 1855; US Census, 1850, 1860.

(34) Howard Bell, ed, Minutes of the Proceedings of the National Negro Conventions, 1830-1864 (N.Y.: Arno Press, 1969); Philip S. Foner and Gorge Walker, eds, Proceedings of the Black State Conventions, 1840-1864 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1979); Fordham, 8-13; Colored American, 1837-1841, vol. 1; North Star, 1846-1859, vol. 1-6; White, 379.

(35) White, 382.

(36) Frederick Douglass' Paper, 1850-59; Bell, 1853 and 1855; Foner, 54-97.

(37) Frederick Douglass Paper, March 24, 1854.

(38) Accounts by Francis to Frederick Douglass' Paper, Dec. 11, 1851; October 23, 1851; April 17, 1852; May 30, 1854; September 22, 1854; August 24, 1855.

(39) Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Obituary Index; US Census, 1850, Buffalo, ward 4.

(40) Frederick Douglass' Paper, March 24, 1854.

(41) Buffalo City Directories, 1838-1850, 1851, 1852, 1854, 1855.

(42) Gutman and Glasco, 11; James O. Horton, Free People of Color: Inside the African American Community (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993), 181.

(43) John L. Andriot, compl & ed., Population Abstract of the United States (McLean, VA.: Andriot Assoc., 1980), 569; Herbert Gutman and Laurence Glasco, "The Buffalo, New York Negro, 1855-1875," State University of New York at Amherst Archives.

Jean Richardson (1)

(1) Jean Richardson, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Social Studies Education, Buffalo State College.
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