Ariel N. Cook



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Patrick Sneed was a runaway slave working in Niagara Falls at a hotel that served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. In 1853, Sneed was charged with murder as part of an attempt to extradite him to Georgia for re-enslavement; he was acquitted. "The People vs. Patrick Sneed" is a transcription and annotated edition of handwritten court documents in the archives of the Buffalo History Museum. The edition includes a cover page, acknowledgments, historical introduction, description of editorial method, biographical glossary, lightly edited transcription with footnotes, and bibliography. The edition identifies all the principal persons involved in the court case, offers a complete report on the legal arguments and the judge's ruling, presents two theories for the inclusion of the papers in the Hodge collection at the History Museum, and for the first time connects the allegations against Sneed to an actual murder case in Georgia.

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Arts and Humanities

The People vs. Patrick Sneed: Court Papers from an 1853 Fugitive Slave Case