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Black abolitionist and businessman David Ruggles was especially active against “kidnappers,” bounty hunters who made a living by capturing escaped slaves. With the vigilance committee, he fought for these fugitives to have the right to jury trials and legal assistance. He also published The Abrogation of the Seventh Commandment in 1835, a call to northern women who let their husbands keep enslaved black women as mistresses.

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