Mississippi Department of Archives and History - Archives and Library Division Catalog

 Basic Search
Stone Collection: Volume 91 - Item 4
 Advanced Search Online Archives Help 

Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 91

4. Daniel Webster, Letter from Citizens of Newburyport, Mass., to Mr. Webster, in relation to His Speech Delivered in the Senate of the United States on the 7th of March, 1850, and Mr. Webster’s Reply (Washington, DC: Gideon & Co., 1850). (16 p.)

Response to a brief letter praising Webster for a speech in which he discusses legal issues regarding fugitive slave laws. Of particular importance is the question of whether a fugitive slave brought before a court in a nonslaveholding state has a the right to a trial by jury. Webster’s opinion is that the fugitive slave does not have a right to a trial by jury because the hearing regarding the slave’s status is not a criminal prosecution. Webster’s reasoning led Horace Mann to observe that “A man may not lose his horse without a right to this trial, but he may his freedom.”