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The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act Anti-Slavery Tracts No. 9, An Appeal To The Legislators Of Massachusetts   By: (1802-1880)

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Lydia Maria Francis Child, a prominent American abolitionist, has penned a powerful and thought-provoking essay in "The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act Anti-Slavery Tracts No. 9, An Appeal To The Legislators Of Massachusetts." Throughout this remarkable work, Child presents compelling arguments against the Fugitive Slave Act and makes a heartfelt plea to the legislators of Massachusetts to take a stand against this unjust legislation.

One of the book's strengths lies in Child's ability to articulate her points concisely and persuasively. Her language is clear and accessible, allowing readers of all backgrounds to understand the core issues at hand. She skillfully employs logical reasoning, appeals to emotion, and references to historical and legal precedents to bolster her arguments, creating a comprehensive and convincing case against the Fugitive Slave Act.

Child fervently argues that it is the duty of all individuals, regardless of their legal obligations, to disobey unjust laws that violate basic human rights. She passionately makes the case that the Fugitive Slave Act is not only immoral but also contradicts the fundamental principles of justice and equality upon which America was built. In doing so, she successfully challenges the widespread notion of blind obedience to the law, urging readers to question the legitimacy of laws that perpetuate systemic oppression.

Moreover, Child's work stands as a call to action. By appealing directly to the legislators of Massachusetts, she highlights the role of individuals with power and influence in effecting meaningful change. Her plea is not just for the legislators to sympathize with the plight of enslaved individuals but to actively resist and sabotage the implementation of the Fugitive Slave Act. She underscores the importance of fostering a collective sense of responsibility and urges the legislators to embrace their duty to protect and champion the values of justice and freedom.

While "The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act Anti-Slavery Tracts No. 9, An Appeal To The Legislators Of Massachusetts" is a relatively short work, Child's arguments leave a lasting impact. Her eloquent and impassioned prose serves as both a historical testament to the abolitionist movement and a timeless reminder of the power of civil disobedience in the face of injustice. The issues she tackles remain relevant even today, as societies continue to grapple with systemic injustices and the moral obligations of citizenship.

In conclusion, Lydia Maria Francis Child's "The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act Anti-Slavery Tracts No. 9, An Appeal To The Legislators Of Massachusetts" is an enthralling and influential work that challenges readers to confront the immorality of the Fugitive Slave Act and the importance of actively opposing unjust laws. Child's passionate arguments, logical reasoning, and historical insights make this book a crucial read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of the abolitionist movement and the enduring struggle for human rights.

First Page:

ANTI SLAVERY TRACTS. No. 9. New Series.

THE

DUTY OF DISOBEDIENCE

TO THE

FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT:

AN APPEAL TO THE

LEGISLATORS OF MASSACHUSETTS,

BY L. MARIA CHILD.

"Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee." DEUT. 23:15.

BOSTON: PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN ANTI SLAVERY SOCIETY. 1860.

APPEAL

TO THE

LEGISLATORS OF MASSACHUSETTS.

I feel there is no need of apologizing to the Legislature of Massachusetts because a woman addresses them. Sir Walter Scott says: "The truth of Heaven was never committed to a tongue, however feeble, but it gave a right to that tongue to announce mercy, while it declared judgment." And in view of all that women have done, and are doing, intellectually and morally, for the advancement of the world, I presume no enlightened legislator will be disposed to deny that the "truth of Heaven" is often committed to them, and that they sometimes utter it with a degree of power that greatly influences the age in which they live.

I therefore offer no excuses on that score. But I do feel as if it required some apology to attempt to convince men of ordinary humanity and common sense that the Fugitive Slave Bill is utterly wicked, and consequently ought never to be obeyed. Yet Massachusetts consents to that law! Some shadow of justice she grants, inasmuch as her Legislature have passed what is called a Personal Liberty Bill, securing trial by jury to those claimed as slaves... Continue reading book >>




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