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"Arrest of Stephen S. Hill" (with text supports)

As this newspaper announcement indicates, the status of slaves in California was unclear and fluid. Even though California was admitted as a free state to the Union in 1850, many southerners, claiming their stay was temporary, brought their slaves as property with them to the gold fields. Enslaved people took advantage of the uncertainty, running away and setting up mining operations for themselves, often sending money back east to buy relatives out of slavery. In 1852, the California legislature, heavily dominated by southerners who had migrated west, passed a Fugitive Slave Law. Slaves continued to run away and several, with the help of abolitionist allies, went to court to claim that they had been in California long enough not to be considered “temporary” residents and therefore should be free.

Source | “Arrest of Stephen S. Hill,” 1854; The California Underground Railroad Digital Archive,
Creator | Unknown
Item Type | Newspaper/Magazine
Cite This document | Unknown, “"Arrest of Stephen S. Hill" (with text supports),” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed March 2, 2024,

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