Daniel Hawkins: Freedom Seeker
As an enslaved man, Daniel Hawkins sought freedom. He escaped slavery on June 19, 1850 and was successful in reaching freedom in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. To Hawkins, the landscape was his ally and state borders served as his protection from the oppression of slavery. However, almost three months exactly after his escape, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed and the safety that Hawkins had achieved behind state lines dissolved. This map, available in the link above, explores Hawkins’ journey from slavery to freedom and seeks to track Hawkins experiences after recapture.
Baltimore City Jail’s Runaway Slave Docket
from the year 1851. Accessed at the
Maryland State Archives 10/25/2014.
Primary source documents regarding the history of the enslaved person Daniel Hawkins have proved to be limited, but the ability to trace his story through these documents appears to be promising. Each of these sources requires further research and at this moment this bibliography is a mere introduction into the possibilities that each source offers to contribute to the narrative of Hawkins. Initially, the only information concerning Hawkins was provided in the list of primary case studies from the Maryland State Archives (MSA). The background of Hawkins reads “Daniel Hawkins (claimed by William M. Risteau of Baltimore County, Hawkins was sent back to Baltimore).”