US History, 5/22-24
Chapter 15.2
SWBAT explain how the
Fugitive Slave Act inspired
different opinions on slavery
in America
What was the Fugitive Slave Act?
 1850 law that helped slaveholders recapture
runaway slaves
Stop and
think: If you
 Fugitive slaves could be held without
were a
an arrest warrant and no right to a jury trial
what would
 Instead, a federal commissioner ruled on
you do and
each case.
 Commissioners received $5 for releasing
the defendant and $10 for turning the defendant
over to the slaveholders
Reactions to the Fugitive Slave Act
 Felt the act was justified
because they considered
slaves to be property
 Went up north to
recapture slaves
 Often captured free
African Americans
 Resented the act because
they had to help recapture
 Were fined for not helping
recapture slaves and jailed
for helping fugitives
 Northerners faced a moral decision: Should they obey the
law and support slavery or not support slavery and not
obey the law?
 Which do you think is better: Should they obey the law
and support slavery? OR should they not support slavery
and disobey the law?
 Take two minutes to write down your opinion
 Discuss with a neighbor for three minutes and be
prepared to share with the class!
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
 Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852
 Increased the popularity of drama and abolitionism
 Uncle Tom = a respected older slave
 Plot = Tom’s life under 3 owners. Two = kind, one = cruel
 Novel included dramatic scenes, including the escape of Eliza
(slave) and her baby across the Ohio River
Reactions to Uncle Tom’s Cabin
 Gained wild popularity in the North
 Falsely criticized the South and slavery
Today, we will have a special guest joining us in class. Please
give a warm welcome to…HARRIET BEECHER STOWE!!
Kansas Nebraska Act
 Bill drafted by Senator Stephen A. Douglas (IL) to organize
territorial governments for the Nebraska territory. He
proposed to divide the bill into two territories: Nebraska and
 In order to gain Southern support for the bill, he suggested
popular sovereignty as a way to decide whether or not to
allow slavery in each of the territories
 Popular sovereignty: system where residents vote to decide
on an issue
 If the bill passed, the Missouri Compromise would no longer
be legal because people could vote for slavery in territories
where the MC had banned it
To Pass or not to pass the KS-NE
 Southerners were thrilled with the repeal of the MC and
supported the bill
 Despite anger from opponents of slavery (mainly
Northerners), it passed and became known as the
Kansas-Nebraska Act
 Most did not realize that this act would result in Kansas
engaging in a conflict over slavery
Bleeding Kansas
 Both pro and anti slavery settlers rushed into the KS
territory to vote for territorial legislature
Election took place in March 1855
Proslavery settlers > Antislavery settlers
Proslavery forces did not want to risk losing the election,
so 5000 Missourians voted in the election illegally so the
KS legislature had a large number of proslavery
Antislavery settlers boycotted the official government to
form their own one
 What factors do you think accounted for the large
number of proslavery settlers in KS?
 Take three minutes to write a response in your notes,
which you do NOT need to turn in
 Be prepared to share with the class
Violence in Kansas
 Sack of Lawrence: A proslavery mob destroyed offices
and the house of the antislavery government governor in
Lawrence, KS
 John Brown: An extreme abolitionist who often used
violence as a way to fight against slavery.
 Pottawatomie Massacre: Brown and seven other men
murdered five people within the cabins of his proslavery
 In late May of 1856, Senator Charles Summer (MA) made
a speech attacking proslavery
Violence in Congress
 In late May of 1856, Senator Charles Sumner (MA) made
a speech attacking proslavery forces
His speech had many insults and even made fun of
proslavery senator A. P. Butler (SC)
One of Butler’s relatives, Preston Brooks, defended Butler
and the South by attacking Sumner
Brooks hit Sumner with his cane at least 30 times
Southerners cheered Brooks' defense but Northerners
were shocked. The incident became known as “Bleeding
 Using your knowledge of “Bleeding Kansas” and “Bleeding
Sumner,” discuss for five minutes with a neighbor if you
think the following acts of violence are morally wrong or
could be considered self-defense
 Proslavery mob attacking offices and home of the
antislavery government (Sack of Lawrence)
 John Brown and his men murdering proslavery
 “Bleeding Sumner”