African American Hero of the Day

African American Almanac
ISBN: 9781578593231
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Who became a famous defendant in an 1857 U.S. Supreme Court case involving the Fugitive Slave Act?

  • After his first master died, his second master, John Emerson, moved him from Missouri to the free state of Illinois.
  • He was born in Southampton, Virginia, in 1795.
  • He worked variously as a handyman, farmhand, and dock worker.
  • While he did not win his case for freedom, the challenge to slave laws led to the end of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 that allowed the expansion of slavery into free states.

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