144 NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
writ of habeas corpus issued by one of the superior courts in England in the case of John Anderson, a fugitive slave from Missouri, passed an Act declaring that no writ of habeas corpus should again issue in England into any British colony in which a court was established having authority to grant such a writ.'
Just then the day of redemption for the Southern slave was beginning to break. As often in nature the darkest hour had preceded the dawn. The movements that pre-pared the way for the emancipation of the slave seemed, for a time, only to render his position more intolerable by rivetting his fetters the more firmly.
The publication in 1851 of Harriet Beecher Stowe's " Uncle Tom's Cabin ", begun as a serial in an anti-slavery journal of Washington, had intensified the hatred of slavery at the North ; and the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, with the •' Dred Scott " decision in 1856, had increased this hatred on the part of the North while it had rendered the South overbearing. Then, when violent contests between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers in Kansas had resulted, to the great disgust of the South, in a vote excluding slavery from that territory, came in October, 1859, the attack on the arsenal at l Iarper's Ferry, Virginia, by Brown and his few but desperate followers, and two months later the execution of Brown as a sequel to that bold act, fanning the flame of national passion to a white heat.
Victor Hugo judged correctly, when early in the course of the nation's conflict he wrote, " What the South slew last December was not John Brown, but Slavery." Held as before by the idea of " vested rights" and a regard for national compromises, the people of the United States
t '• History of Canada and other British Provinces by J. George Hudgins, Lc D., p. 204.