Hackett Document Analysis
By: Sara Castro (104784879)
1. What is known about Nelson Hackett from these documents? (150-200 words)
Based on the Dispatch from Sir Charles Bagot to Lord Stanley, Nelson Hackett is known to be a coloured slave who had committed a robbery in the state of Arkansas and escaped to avoid being caught and punished (Document 1). With being property of A. Wallace (Document 6), Nelson was able to steal one of Wallace’s roan mare and other valuable materials. With the roan mare being described as branded with figure 2 on left foreshoulder, a one blue beaver over-coat, the body and collar of which were lined and faced with black silk velvet, and a quantity of Mexican silver, and gold coin of the United States (Document 2), many were able to identify Nelson with the items in the Western District of Canada and turn him in. According to Document 5, Nelson arrived in Sandwich, Upper Canada where he was caught and sent to prison for procession of stolen material. It was said he stole gold watch, saddle, etc., approximately worth $275 and quantity of silver (Document 6). Upon his hearing, Nelson was charged with the crime of larceny, but was able to escape to Canada where the British law made him a free man (Document 8).
2. Why was the principle of extradition an important one for relations between two countries? (150-250 words)
The law of extradition allows a country or a state to question whether or not a felon should be given/transferred by their own country or state to another country/state. This principle is important because it allowed countries facing high numbers of criminal activity to suppress the amount of illegal actions taking place. By being able to request a criminal that has escaped to return back to the state/country in which they originally committed a crime, allows the criminal to understand that they cannot run from their consequences. With two countries having good relations with one another, it allows a treaty to be created to further help with catching felons who are in either country/state and give them the punishment they deserve. In the Nelson Hackett case, Nelson was able to escape from Arkansas to Canada after taking multiple items belonging to his owner and fleeing from his plantation. With the extradition principle, Governor of Arkansas was able to request the return of Nelson so he can receive his punishment for the crime of grand larceny (Document 7). With Nelson’s escape being unsuccessful in the end, the extradition sends a message to other slaves and criminals that they cannot escape their punishments and are not safe elsewhere. Also, how important agreements between two countries are, disagreeing would’ve led to Nelson being free in Canada and receiving a less harmful punishment for his crime.
3. Under the laws of the time, were the Canadian government officials correct to order the extradition of Nelson Hackett? (350-500 words)
As a slave during the 1840s, you were to follow exact orders of y...