Sims' Case 7 Cushing (Mass.) 285 (1851)
SIMS' CASE 7 Cushing (Mass.) 285 (1851)
Chief Justice lemuel shaw of Massachusetts, denying a writ of habeas corpus for a fugitive slave, delivered the first and most influential opinion sustaining the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The case, which riveted national attention, had political and moral as well as constitutional significance; it reproduced hateful scenes of slavery in the North. The capture and rendition of a black man provoked denunciations of the compromise of 1850. Without military force to execute the rendition, Shaw's decision would have been a dead letter in Massachusetts.
Leonard W. Levy
(see also: Fugitive Slavery.)