Mr. Justice Story and Federal Power

Lead: One of the important issues left for future resolution by those who crafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787 was the balance of power within the federal scheme. Mr. Justice Joseph Story helped clear up that issue.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Joseph Story was perhaps the most brilliant legal mind of his generation. He grew up in Massachusetts, studied at Harvard, read for the law, and worked his way up the ladder of Commonwealth politics while gaining the reputation as a Jeffersonian Republican. Some of his political colleagues, Jefferson included, suspected that Story was really a closeted federalist, whose sentiments, once released on the federal level, would resolve the hanging question of sovereignty against the states. It turned out they were correct.

Charles Nalle and the Fugitive Slave Law

Lead: Under pressure from Southern states, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. In the spring of 1859, escaped slave Charles Nalle almost got caught.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Increasingly under siege from northern abolitionists and fearful of the loss of their property, Southern slave holders and their allies sought legal protection. If an escaped slave was caught in a free state, federal law demanded that he or she be returned their owner by the arresting authorities.