Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lessons of Previous Septembers (and Octobers and Februarys....) Part 1

1. On September 18, 1850, the 31st Congress of the United States passed “An Act to amend, and supplementary to, the Act entitled ‘An Act respecting Fugitives from Justice, and Persons escaping from the Service of their Masters,’ approved February twelfth, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three.”  This 1850 supplement was known as the Fugitive Slave Act and was part of the “Compromise of 1850” which admitted California to the Union as a free state; fashioned the territories of Utah and New Mexico out of a portion of the land seized from Mexico in the 1846-1848 war; effectively annulled the Maine-Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing these new territories to determine for themselves whether slavery would be permitted; and outlawed the slave trade within the limits of the District of Columbia.
The compromise was the follow-up to the war against Mexico; the war  was a follow-up to the admission of Texas as a slaveholders’ state to the Union; the admission of Texas as a slaveholders’ state was the follow up to the “rebellion” of Anglo slaveholders in this territory of Mexico who were threatened by Mexico’s abolition of slavery in all regions save Texas, and prohibitions on the slave-trade throughout the country; the “rebellion” was fed by  the decision of  Mexico’s military commander of Upper Galveston to arrest a Louisiana slaveholder attempting the recapture of two fugitive slaves.
Nothing says freedom like or louder than defending the fugitive, the runaway.
Nothing says compromise like the empowering of the slave-catcher.
Mexico stood with the runaways.  The US with the slave-catcher.
Engels stood with the US in its war against Mexico
Blame it all on Engels?  Of course not.  Blame it all on Texas?  Hmmh…….let me think a moment.

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