Runaway and Freed Missouri Slaves and Those Who Helped Them, 1763–1865


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About the Book

From the beginning of French rule of Missouri in 1720 through this state’s abolition of slavery in 1865, liberty was always the goal of the vast majority of its enslaved people. The presence in eastern Kansas of a host of abolitionists from New England made slaveholding risky business. Mennonites and Quakers had voiced their detestation of human bondage long before the United States existed. A number of devout persons served time in the Missouri state penitentiary for “slave stealing.”
Based largely on old newspapers, prison records, pardon papers, and other archival materials, this book is an account of the legal and physical obstacles that slaves faced in their quest for freedom and of the consequences suffered by persons who tried to help them.

About the Author(s)

Harriet C. Frazier, attorney and retired law professor in the Criminal Justice Department at University of Central Missouri, also has a Ph.D. in English. She lives in Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Harriet C. Frazier
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010 [2004]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4678-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

1. The Myth of the Contented Slave      5

2. The Background of Slavery in Missouri      23

3. Legal Freedom: Winners and Losers      42

4. Free Negroes and Mulattoes      62

5. Runaways      87

6. Slave John Anderson and Canadian-English Justice      106

7. Abolitionist Prison Inmates      124

8. Missouri’s Western Front      141

9. “The Excitement on It Continues”      152

10. The Underground Railroad on Missouri’s Borders      168

Appendix 1. 1771 Spanish Census of Missouri      181

Appendix 2. 1794–95 Spanish Census of Missouri      182

Appendix 3. Missouri’s Slave-Stealer (Abolitionist) Prison Inmates, 1838–1864      183

Appendix 4. Slave Population as a Percentage of Total Population in American Slaveholding Jurisdictions, 1820–1860      185

Abbreviations      186

Chapter Notes      187

Bibliography      201

Index      211

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating tale of the period between 1763 and 1865”—The Kansas City Star; “a most interesting history…a volume well worth reading”—St. Joseph News-Press.