The Instigator
Marshall
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points

Was Simeon Bushnell in violation of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Kinesis
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,514 times Debate No: 11361
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

Marshall

Con

Simeon Bushnell was not in violation of the Slave Act. Bushnell was not a member of the crowd or anyone who aided in the rescue. How can Bushnell be guilty of a crime he didn't commit just because he associates himself with the people who committed the alleged crime. Also, assuming that Bushnell did help the slave escape, Bushnell had every right to help the slave. Under Ohio law a person can not be kidnapped based on skin color. If the slave catcher didn't show proof that the black man was a slave the people of Ohio had know idea that the they were violating the Fugitive Slave Law because from what they knew the slave was simply a free black man. The reason anyone helped the slave escape was because nobody let anyone know that the he was indeed a slave and not a free black man. The slave was not proven a slave and it is hard to believe the court systems and people of this nation now believe that it goes "Guilty until proven innocent" and not "innocent until proven guilty."
Kinesis

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for presenting this debate.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was a controversial law passed in the United States that required runaway slaves to be returned to their masters [1]. Bear in mind that I am not required to argue that this law is in any way fair or just, simply that Simeon Bushnell was in violation of it.

I accepted this debate by accident and am extremely pressed for time at the moment, so I apologise if I do not delve into the issue very far. I am having trouble finding detailed sources describing the case, so this will have to do.

In 'A history of Cleveland' by James Kennedy, the trail is addressed. Details of the evidence presented is quite vague, but in mentions that despite a very strong defense 'the defense was represented by a remarkable strong array of talent', the evidence against Bushnell was clear 'evidence of the clearest character was shown to prove the guilt of the accused, under the laws then existing'. It goes on to say that the accusations brought forth from then on were against the law itself, not the guilt of the men charged in respect to it. We can deduce from this that clear evidence was presented showing that Bushnell was indeed in violation of the act.

Source --> http://www.clevelandmemory.org...

Control F: 'Simeon Bushnell' to find the relevant page.

In this summary of the book 'History of the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue' [2], it is mentioned that the slave is indeed a slave 'a fugitive slave belonging to John G. Bacon of Kentucky who was residing in Oberlin, Ohio' and that 'John was liberated by a band Ohio citizens, led by Simeon Bushnell and Charles Langston', clearly indicating that they were guilty of the violating the act.

I apologise for not responding specifically to my opponents arguments, although I believe I have refuted the bulk of them and affirmed the resolution. Vote Pro.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://blogs.law.yale.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Whoops, didn't meant to accept this. Guess I better work out what the heck I'm arguing for...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by belle 6 years ago
belle
MarshallKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by GeorgeCarlinWorshipper 6 years ago
GeorgeCarlinWorshipper
MarshallKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
MarshallKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:43