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Isaac Hopper Letter

An inventory of the item at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 18 May 2011

Biographical History

James Hamlet, a porter in a Water Street store, was arrested on the basis of an affidavit from Mary Brown of Baltimore, making him the first person arrested under the authority of the Fugitive Slave Act. The sum of eight hundred dollars was quickly raised to secure his freedom. Following the purchase of his freedom he returned to New York City on October 5th, 1850, just five days prior to Hopper's writing this letter.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Isaac Hopper Letter consists of a single letter from Isaac Hopper in New York to a Samuel Wilbur. The letter is regarding the fugitive slave James Hamlet and the Fugitive Slave Act. The letter also refers to an article that appeared in the 9 October 1850 issue of the New York Tribune, recounting a meeting of opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act in Syracuse. Hopper acknowledges that Syracuse is ahead of New York City in its opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act.

A copy of the New York Tribune account was printed from the microfilm of the newspaper and is included in the collection.

Arrangement of the Collection



Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Hamlet, James.
Hopper, Isaac T. (Isaac Tatem), 1771-1852.
Wilbur, Samuel.


Fugitive slaves -- United States.
Quaker abolitionists.


United States -- Fugitive slave law (1850)

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Isaac Hopper Letter,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information


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