Title page from A Defence for Fugitive Slaves (1850)

A Defence for Fugitive Slaves (1850)

Since, in Spooner’s view, slavery was both unjust and unconstitutional, men and women held in slavery had the right to flee, and other people had the right and the duty to help the runaway slaves escape to freedom. This meant violating the Fugitive Slave Acts and breaking the law, but such disobedience would be in the freedom-loving spirit of the Constitution.

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