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Another interesting discovery in my "supplementary reading" was the root of John Wilkes Booth's pro-confederate and anti-abolition radicalism: the Christiana Riot of 1851.

Christiana was a settlement in Pennsylvania for escaped slaves, including two of four who escaped a Maryland farm two years prior. A guy making his living from tracking down and tipping off escaped slaves found these and informed their owner, who came over from Maryland with a small posse – only to be killed by the locals who were warned and resisted. This led to a trial under the Fugitive Slave Law, which ended with the release of all accused (the one delivering the deadly blow escaped to Canada with Frederick Douglass's help, though). One of the sons of the killed slave-owner was a childhood friend of John Wilkes Booth, who heard the story in a totally twisted version, in which the slaves fled after committing robbery and the owner was in direct pursuit.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jan 19th, 2014 at 12:24:07 PM EST
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