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By Katcher Ph., Volstad R.

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Being tracked down like animals and carried off in chains within their own cities. Some people simply disobeyed the act. Others became active in helping escaped slaves hide or reach Canada, where slavery was not allowed. The Fugitive Slave Act ended up increasing the antislavery and anti-Southern feelings of many people in the North. The Fugitive Slave Act had a strong effect on a young writer named Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896). The daughter of prominent religious leader Lyman Beecher (1775–1863), Stowe was born in Litchfield, Connecticut.

Many Southern states also banned (prohibited) the sale of written materials that opposed slavery, such as the famous novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896). Douglass mentions some of these Southern tactics (methods) in his speech. He argues that these measures are inconsistent with the values set forth in the Constitution. He claims that the Southerners will erode the basic freedoms of all Americans if they are not stopped. “Freedom of the speech, of the press, of education, of labor, of locomotion, and indeed all kinds of freedom, are felt to be a standing menace [threat] to slavery,” he explains.

Soldiers rest near a pontoon bridge at Bull Run River in Virginia. ) Swayed by minor Union victories in western Virginia and continued public pressure to soundly defeat the South, Lincoln ultimately approved a plan to attack a major Confederate camp located at Manassas Junction, Virginia, about thirty miles southwest of Washington. A Union army under the command of Irvin McDowell (1818–1885) promptly marched into Virginia, where it intended to join forces with another Union army. Confederate maneuvers prevented the two armies from joining, however.

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