Category Court Cases

Charge to Grand Jury: Fugitive Slave Law, March 1851

The citation is 30 Fed. Cas. 1015, Case No. 18,263. This charge was from Federal Judge Peleg Sprague, a judge President John Tyler of Virginia had appointed to the Federal Judiciary, taking his position in 1841. This was in the District Court in the District of Massachusetts. This charge to the grand jury was precipitated […]

Charge to Grand Jury Fugitive Slave Law October 1851

The citation for this case is 30 Fed. Cas. 1013, Case No. 18,262. Justice Samuel Nelson, Circuit Justice for New York, gave these instructions to the Grand Jury in the Northern District of New York in October of 1851. In his instructions, Justice Nelson explained why he was giving this charge: “The district attorney has […]

Charge to Grand Jury – Fugitive Slave Law, April, 1851

At the beginning of the April, 1851 term, Justice Samuel Nelson, the Circuit Justice for the District of New York, delivered these directions to the Grand Jury in anticipation of cases arising from the 1850 law popularly known as the “Fugitive Slave Law.” The citation for this is 30 Fed. Cas. 1007, Case No. 18,261. […]

Cummings v. Missouri

The citation for this case is 71 US 277. This Reconstruction Era case comes to us courtesy of the Missouri Constitution of 1865. Unionists in Missouri were split between conservatives and radicals. The radicals, who wanted to grant civil rights to African-Americans, gained control of the constitutional convention. An abolition clause passed easily, as did […]

Osborn v. Nicholson

The citation for this case is 80 US [13 Wall.] 654. Henry T. Osborn was the plaintiff and Young A. G. Nicholson was the defendant. They lived in Arkansas, and Osborn had sold a 23-year-old enslaved man to Nicholson for $1300 and Nicholson had made out a promissory note, dated March 26, 1861. The bill […]

White v. Hart

The citation for this case is 80 US [13 Wall] 646. This case originated in Georgia [35 GA Reports 270] From the facts of the case, on February 9, 1859 John R. Hart and W. D. Davis [Davis signing as security] signed a promissory note to William White Sr. for $1250 in payment for purchase […]

United States v. Padelford

The citation for this case is 76 US [9 Wall.] 531. This 1870 case arose from the confederate government’s issuing bonds at the beginning of the war. “The first bond issue of the Confederacy was authorized on February 28, 1861. It was in the amount of $15 million, and its sale was accomplished within the year […]