The Christiana Resistance of 1851:  Prelude to the Civil War


The Christiana Resistance took place at Christiana, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1851 when Edward Gorsuch, a slave owner from Maryland, attempted to recapture several runaways under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 at the house of William Parker, himself once enslaved. Parker and the freedom seekers engaged in a fight with the Gorsuch posse. The Christiana Resistance, as Frederick Douglass said, proved that “fugitive themselves” were determined to destroy the Fugitive Slave Act. What happened at Christiana was, like John Brown’s raid upon Harpers Ferry, a prelude to the Civil War. The presenter, Milton C. Sernett PhD, is professor emeritus Syracuse University African American studies and history, author of several books on abolition and the Underground Railroad, a popular presenter, and a founder and member of the NAHOF Cabinet of Freedom.



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