Reclaiming Property?


This is an arrest warrant for Moses Honnor, a slave from Virginia who escaped to Pennsylvania in August 1859. It is part of the court record documenting his owner’s successful efforts to capture Honnor. Congress had strengthened the Fugitive Slave Act as part of the Compromise of 1850. The law made it easier for masters to reclaim their “property,” strengthened the Federal Government’s role in returning slaves, and reduced a slave’s legal protection.

National Archives - Mid Atlantic Region (Philadelphia), Records of District Courts of the United States