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Anthony Burns was born a slave in Virginia. Through his courage and a deep belief in God Anthony Burns escaped to the north and to freedom. Anthony Burn's slave owner sent slave catchers to find him and he was captured and tried in Boston, Massachusetts, the cradle of liberty in America. Anthony Burns was the last slave returned to a slave owner under the highly controversial Fugitive Slave Act.
More than fifty thousand people, white and black, male and female, old and young, lined the streets of Boston in protest of Anthony Burns being carried back into slavery. This remarkable young slave preacher, his escape, capture and subsequent trial galvanized the conscience of nation and spearheaded the end of slavery in America. Anthony Burns was the last escaped slave returned to a slave owner under the fugitive slave act.