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By Michelle Arnosky Sherburne

Manybelieve that aid for the abolition of slavery was once universally permitted inVermont, however it was once really a fiercely divisive factor that rocked the GreenMountain country. in the middle of turbulence and violence, notwithstanding, a few braveVermonters helped struggle for the liberty in their enslaved Southern brethren.Thaddeus Stevens—one of abolition’s such a lot outspoken advocates—was a Vermontnative. Delia Webster, the 1st girl arrested for helping a fugitive slave,was additionally a Vermonter. The Rokeby condo in Ferrisburgh was once a hectic UndergroundRailroad station for many years. Peacham’s Oliver Johnson labored heavily withWilliam Lloyd Garrison through the abolition circulation. realize the tales ofthese and others in Vermont who risked their very own lives to aid greater than fourthousand slaves to freedom.

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Extra resources for Abolition and the Underground Railroad in Vermont

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They would shake their heads at slavery, but they remained lukewarm, refusing to take a stand against the South. The free states were involved with the slave states in trade and commerce, so they didn’t want to affect their source of supplies. Abolishing slavery would force the South to give up their economy, culture and way of life. All New England states had commercial ties to the South, no matter how far north. Many Northerners were of the mindset that they didn’t want blacks flooding their towns.

There was no statute of limitations. A Maryland slave, the Reverend Alexander Helmsley escaped to New Jersey, and eight years later, he was turned into the authorities as a fugitive. Friends brought his case to the New Jersey Supreme Court, and in a rare case, Helmsley won and was freed. He fled to Canada and lived the rest of his life there. Helmsley stated in an 1854 interview: “For some ten years, I was in hopes that something might happen, whereby I might return to my old home in New Jersey.

The United States in the 1830s was appropriately described as under “the reign of terror” by black historian and abolitionist William C. Nell because of the violence and increased pressure of the abolitionist movement. R. Tyler of Brattleboro was lecturing on abolition in 1837, but the subject irritated a faction of residents who showed up at the lecture. While Tyler spoke, the antagonists set up a cannon and fired at the windows numerous times. ” Tyler wasn’t a visitor; he was the minister in town.

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