May 07, 2020 - Sale 2534

Sale 2534 - Lot 54

Price Realized: $ 1,062
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Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION.) Bigler, William. A lawyer is appointed to prosecute the infamous Elizabeth Parker kidnapping case. Autograph Letter Signed as Governor of Pennsylvania to the state's attorney general James Campbell. 3 pages, 10 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches, on one folding sheet, plus docketing on final blank; minor wear. Harrisburg, PA, 10 April 1852

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Governor Bigler was a Democrat and a supporter of the Fugitive Slave Act. However, here he follows the instructions of the legislature in securing a prosecutor in one of the more notorious kidnapping cases of the 1850s: "A resolution has passed both branches of the legislature authorizing the Governor to employ counsel in the case of Elizabeth Parker, sister of Rachael, whom it is alleged was kidnapped from the county of Chester and conveyed to the state of Louisiana. . . . You can take charge of the case yourself and I shall name no other counsel." Campbell's efforts helped restore the Parker sisters to freedom after an ordeal of many months.