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Monday, 18 January 2016

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY - AFRICAN AMERICAN " NATHANIEL BOOTH " WAS AN ESCAPE SLAVE WHO SOUGHT FREEDOM IN THE NORTH - GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK HEROES "

                                                     BLACK      SOCIAL      HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    












Nathaniel Booth (slave)
Nathaniel Booth (1826 – 1901 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) African American, escaped slave.

Contents
1 Escape From Slavery
2 Slave Catchers
3 Post Freedom
4 Family Members
5 Other Escaped Slaves
6 Slave Narratives

Escape From Slavery
Nathaniel Booth was born a slave on a Virginia Plantation in February 1826. At the age of 17 Booth escape and sought freedom in the North. Arriving about 1844, he settled in Lowell, Massachusetts and opened a barbershop on the first floor of the Middlesex Mechanics Association Block located on Dutton Street.[1] In 1849, Edwin Moore (also an escaped slave from Virginia) joined Booth in business as hairdressers.[2] It was not unusual for African American barbers and hairdressers in New England to be active in Abolitionism and the American Anti-Slavery Society. Their barbershops were often gathering places for black and white abolitionist organizing efforts to end slavery. Together, they planned fundraising fairs, arranged visiting anti-slavery lectures, and help escaped slaves.[3]

Slave Catchers
Shortly after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed by Congress, “one or two slave catchers” were seen in Lowell, as a result Nathaniel Booth fled to Canada. Immediately and publicly the local Free Soil Party pleaded with Booth to return to Lowell, offering him full protection. One member expressing "a willingness to suffer death rather than let a fugitive slave be caught when it was within his power to prevent it." Shortly after this announcement, Booth returned to Lowell and moved in with the Walker Lewis Family, a family of free African Americans living and working in Lowell and active in the Massachusetts anti-slavery movement and the local Underground Railroad.[4] One year later in 1851, slave catchers were again in Lowell and discovered Booth and demanded that he be returned to his southern plantation owner. In response, Linus Child, Agent/CEO of the Boott Cotton Mill stepped forward and negotiated the price of Booth’s freedom from $1,500 to $750. Child then raised the needed money from the local community to complete the purchase of Nathaniel Booth's freedom. As a free man, Booth continued to live and work in Lowell. In 1855, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the comprehensive Personal liberty laws, which practically nullified the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The South viewed this action as defying the Federal Constitution and tensions between the North and the South grew.[5]

Post Freedom
In the late 1850s, Nathaniel Booth moved his barbershop to Boston, Massachusetts. In his work for the abolition of slavery Abolition Movement he traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he met Frances 'Fanny' LeCount Johnson. On August 24, 1858 they married in Philadelphia. Frances LeCount Johnson was from a prominent African American Family in Philadelphia. In 1859, Nathaniel and Fanny returned to Boston, there Nathaniel operated a barbershop and continued to work for Abolitionism. After the Civil War, Nathaniel, Fanny, and their young daughter Ida moved back to Philadelphia. They had 10 children.
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