Essay on Margaret Garner

Regina G. Menica
      HIS 363; Essay Questions
      Monograph by Steven Weisenburger, Modern Madea

North and South, Pre-Civil War

Margaret Garner’s view of the White South’s view of itself is one of being above the call of Federal Laws; with regards to her trial. The Garner story has been, by far, the most famous run-away slave case in the history of pre-Civil War America and has been cause to many heated debates throughout both North and South. It all started in January 1856, when Margaret Garner, her husband, their children and other slaves ran away from their masters. They fled over the frozen Ohio River to hide in the house of a freed slave in Cincinnati.
With Slave trackers on their trail, they ultimately surrounded the house and demanded their "property", ie: Margaret Garner, her four children and her husband.
Grabbing a knife, Margaret Garner, then screamed that she would rather see her children die than to be returned to slavery. As the white men burst in, she slashed her 2 year-old daughter, Mary’s throat before she was captured.
Abolitionists in the city had put forth argument in court that she, Margaret, be tried in Ohio for murder, but as a free woman. Her owners put forth argument that she was their property and should be returned to Kentucky, as a slave. The Southern, pro-slavery advocates were claiming to have the authority to over-ride the federal government, at the same time, Northern anti-slavery advocates were maintaining their mind-set on state sovereignty. The farming and agriculture of the South, prior to the Civil War, was based on a plantation system that which thrived on the foundation of cheap labor, slavery. So, it is in fairness to conclude that the economic fortunes of the Southern Plantation Owners relied upon artificial and cheap labor in the form of Slaves.
Margaret became a hero amongst the people whom were opposed to slavery, but lost her case and was ordered to be returned back to her master,...