Chapter 9: Summary and Analysis
Senator Bird: a politician who supports the Fugitive Slave Law
Mrs. Bird: the Senator’s pious wife
John Van Trompe: a neighbor of the Birds
The scene changes to Senator and Mrs. Bird’s home in Ohio. The Senator, a man who possesses “a particularly humane and accessible nature,” has just returned from Washington, D.C. after a period of legislating. Mrs. Bird, a religious woman, questions her husband on the morals of passing the Fugitive Slave Law. She wonders how a supposedly Christian legislature could make laws that forbid assisting runaways. Her own Christian sense of morality leads Mrs. Bird to declare that she will break the law if she...
(The entire section is 728 words.)