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Jones v. Van Zandt
April 24, 1842 John Van Zandt conceals 9 slaves from Boone County, Kentucky who crossed the Ohio River in his wagon and takes them to his farm where he frees them Ohio
February 1, 1847 Jones v. Van Zandt is argued before the Supreme Court
  William Seward
March 5, 1847 In Jones v. VanZandt, the Taney Supreme Court decided Congress has the power to control slavery
  Roger B. Taney


John Van Zandt (frequently spelled Vanzandt in court documents) gave nine slaves who had crossed the Ohio River from Boone County, Kentucky a ride in his wagon to his Ohio farm where he set them free. One of the slaves, owned by Wharton Jones, continued to work for Van Zandt. Both Van Zandt and Andrew (the slave) were caught by slavehunters and returned to Kentucky. Van Zandt was released, but later charged with harboring and concealing slaves in violation of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. In both the lower and appellate court, where he was represented by Ohio attorney and Liberty Party organizer Salmon P. Chase, Van Zandt lost and he appealed his case to the Supreme Court.

New York Whig and anti-slavery attorney William Seward joined the case. This was the first time Chase and Seward met. They would later serve together as Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury under Abraham Lincoln. The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roger B. Taney found the Fugitive Slave Law to be constitutional.

Links appearing on this page:

Abraham Lincoln
Roger B. Taney
Salmon P. Chase
William Seward

Jones v. Van Zandt was last changed on - December 11, 2007
Jones v. Van Zandt was added in 2005





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