St. Louis Trip, Day 1 - Friday, July 24, 2015
Driving through Keosauqua, Iowa, we noticed a sign pointing out the Pearson House which was built between 1845 and 1847. We hadn't planned on stopping, and it was not open while we were there, so we admired the buildings and the grounds, but didn't get to see the inside of the house. Also on the property are the Ellis Schoolhouse and a log cabin.
Originally, the second floor of the house was used for Methodist church services. But, what the Pearson House is most noted for is its place as a stop on the Underground Railroad, which helped fugitive slaves on their way to freedom in Canada before the Civil War.
Under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, any person aiding a runaway slave by providing food or shelter would be subject to 6 months' imprisonment and a $1000 fine (Considering inflation, that is $28,000+ in today's currency). No one was ever convicted under this law in Iowa. Still, those who aided runaway slaves were taking a risk in committing what was then considered a criminal act.
It is important to note that just because something is legal, does not necessarily make it moral. And simply because something is illegal does not necessarily make it immoral. In fact, a strong sense of morality may compel a person to do that which is illegal when laws are immoral.
Deuteronomy 23:15, "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee."
"We ought to obey God rather than men." --Acts 5:29