Joseph Cox correspondence to Governor Salmon P. Chase, 1856   Save
Joseph Cox correspondence to Governor Salmon P. Chase, 1856
Description: This correspondence includes letters from Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Cox to Governor Salmon P. Chase concerning the Margaret Garner Fugitive Slave Case of 1856, as well as copies of the original indictment for murder and order to the sheriff from the United States District Court Southern District Court of Ohio, Judge Humphrey Howe Leavitt. Margaret Garner was a fugitive slave who escaped from Kentucky to Cincinnati on January 28, 1856. She and her family were caught by United States federal marshals at a relative’s house before they were able to escape further north via the Underground Railroad. Rather than return to a life of slavery, Garner murdered one of her daughters and attempted to kill her other three children, planning to take her own life as well. Her case was the longest fugitive slave hearing of the era, as the judge deliberated whether she and her accomplices should be tried as property under the Fugitive Slave Law or tried as persons and charged with murder. Her defense attorneys argued that she should be tried for murder, hoping that her case would be held in the free state of Ohio where she could later be pardoned for her crimes. The judge ultimately determined that the Fugitive Slave Law took precedence and Margaret Garner was returned to slavery. These documents describe the crime and some of the circumstances surrounding the case. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Page1
Subjects: Fugitive slaves--Ohio--History; Law & legal affairs; Governors--Ohio; Ohio History--Slavery, Anti-Slavery and Civil Rights
Places: Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)