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On the Edge of FreedomThe Fugitive Slave Issue in South Central Pennsylvania, 1820–1870$
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David G. Smith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823240326

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823240326.001.0001

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(p.xvi) (p.1) Introduction
On the Edge of Freedom

David G. Smith

Fordham University Press

This chapter introduces the concept that the experience of the fugitive slave issue was different in the border North than in the Upper North. Along the south central Pennsylvania border, social, economic and kinship ties connected the region to central Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley to the South. This chapter also discusses the historiography of the fugitive slave issue and the Underground Railroad, arguing that early historians (such as Wilbur Siebert) and Civil War contemporaries believed the issue was more significant to the sectional crisis over slavery than most 20th century historians including Larry Gara (Liberty Line) and others.

Keywords:   border Pennsylvania, Larry Gara, Wilbur Siebert, Quaker, fugitive slave, Liberty Line, border North

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