Just something we had to write for my Economics and Government class this year. I picked Prosecution because it was more of a challenge to write.
They are considered people. They are not property. They are not three-fifths of a person. Not when they are free. As freed men they are citizens. As citizens they are protected by our constitution. Likewise, they are able to be tried for breaking the laws in which the document states punishable if broken.
I am the prosecuting attorney, Rae, and you are here today to judge the defendant, the criminal, Harriet Tubman. Before I tell you what she is being tried for, let me make one thing clear – Harriet Tubman is being tried as a freed slave. You may ask why, and the answer is as follows: her master has had the opportunity to reclaim her, but didn't. He did not, upon hearing of her trial, travel here to take her back. He did not send word to have her returned to him. Therefore, we can assume the defendant is a freed slave. Therefore, she can be found guilty.
Harriet Tubman sits before you today, charged with breaking the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793. Guilty, if "any person who shall knowingly and willingly obstruct or hinder such claimant…or shall harbor or conceal such person after notice that he or she was a fugitive from labor." She has broken the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Guilty, if "any persons who…shall rescue, or attempt to rescue, such fugitive from service or labor…or shall harbor or conceal such fugitive." She has violated both laws by organizing escape routes to the underground railroad; by participating in the harboring of the enslaved; by assisting in the breaking of dozens of state laws in direct relation to the aforementioned Fugitive Slave statutes.
The defense will try to make you feel pity for the defendant by showing you evidence of abusive slave owners. For example, from Harriet Beecher Stowe's fiction novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin: "Kicking the woman with his heavy cowhide shoe, he struck Tom across the face with his whip." Yes, this is violent, but no more so than one would be with an animal that must be domesticated. We cannot imagine how it feels. But! One, this document is not solid evidence that every slave on every plantation is abused by their master. And two, this-is-a work-of fiction. Fiction.
I will call to the stand three witnesses to testify to the guilt of Harriet Tubman. Court Chief Justice Robert Taney, a seasoned government official who is most knowledgeable of our laws, will prove Tubman's deliberate criminal intentions. I will call up a slave, forced from her master's plantation by Tubman, from the complete education she was receiving. She will tell you exactly how well she was treated, and exactly how she was abducted by Tubman, how Tubman tried to brainwash her and make her believe that freedom was better than being a slave. Finally, I will bring Tubman's master to the stand. He will tell you of the time when Tubman was 13, the day she interfered with an attempt to apprehend a slave.
Harriet Tubman has a history of criminal activity. It is no surprise that she would move to the next level of law-breaking. Why? Because she wants, more than anything, to undermine our constitutional government. She had every intention of taking hundreds of slaves from their homes, every intention of brainwashing them to believe they were being abused.
They are considered people. They are not property. They are not three-fifths of a person. Not when they are free. As freed men they are citizens. As citizens they are protected by our constitution. Likewise, they are able to be tried for breaking the laws in which the document states punishable if broken. Harriet Tubman stands before you today a freed slave. Therefore, you must find her guilty.
Let me know what you thought.