In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I tell the story of a hero for liberty and the rescue of a fugitive slave.

Northern abolitionists who defied federal law to assist accused runaway slaves demonstrated the kind of courage we need today. They weren’t deterred by [insert horrible thing the feds will do here]. They recognized the risk – and they acted anyway.

In the fall of 1858, a group of Ohioans rescued a captured fugitive slave named John Price and ushered him to freedom in Canada. The federal government charged more than 30 people in connection with the rescue and two were convicted.

One of those men arrested and convicted under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was Charles Langston. He was a free black man. He gave a compelling speech before his sentencing.

This is his story.

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Charles Langston’s speech

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850