Walter Hoye

Rachel v. Walker

In Abortion, Special Edition on December 16, 2013 at 12:00 am
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Without Life, nothing Matters.

Freedom Suit Series

“Anyone who kidnaps someone and either sells him as a slave or still has him when he is caught must be put to death.” — Exodus 21:16, New Century Version (NCV) 

Freedom suits are legal petitions filed by slaves for freedom. Between America’s colonial period and the American Civil War, a number of civil actions were brought to courts of law by STRONG BLACK WOMEN that challenged both the moral maxim and the legal legitimacy of JUST-SUBJECTION 1 and WRONGFUL-ENSLAVEMENT 2 in America. This series of columns will explore those lawsuits and expose lessons that can be engaged by the Body of Christ and the Pro-Life movement today, in the wake of the 1973 United States Supreme Court (USSC) decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.

White Space Holder

Summons: Rachel, a woman of color v. Walker, William


Rachel (a Black Slave) sued William Walker (a slave trader) for her freedom in St. Louis, Missouri in 1834. Rachel and her son James Henry had been the slaves of Thomas Stockton (a lieutenant in the United States Army) at Fort Snelling (present-day Minnesota) and at Fort Crawford (present-day Michigan). Please note that both military assignments were military fortifications located in free territories. William Walker planned to take Rachel and James Henry “downriver” (down the Mississippi river) to sell them in New Orleans. Rachel sued for her freedom based on having been illegally held as a slave in clearly free territories. At this point, I cannot resist mentioning that the phrase “sold down the river” originated in antebellum Mississippi in the 1800s. Apparently, slaves who didn’t like being slaves and|or caused trouble were “sold down the river” (from slave states in the North) into harsher conditions on Mississippi plantations.

Rachael v. Walker (1834) Freedom Suit

“[S]hall it be said, that because an officer of the army owns slaves in Virginia, that when as officer and soldier, he is required to take command of a post in the non-slave holding States or territories, he thereby has a right to take with him as many slaves, as will suit his interests and convenience? It surely cannot be the law; if this be true, then it is also true that the convenience or supposed convenience of the officer repeals as to him and others who have the same character, the ordinance and the act of 1821 admitting Missouri into the Union, and also the prohibitions of the several laws and constitutions of the non-slaveholding states.” — Matthias McGirk, Supreme Court Justice of the State of Missouri 4

Rachel v. Walker PapersCounsel for Walker contended that Thomas Stockton (Rachel’s owner) was an officer of the United States army, under proper authority with no choice in his assignments as he served his country in the free territories of Fort Snelling and Fort Crawford.5 Counsel further contended that such orders constituted and satisfied residency exceptions in the Northwest Ordinance and that the Supreme Court of Missouri Julia v. McKinney case of 1833 drew a distinction between traveling through and residing in a free territory or state.6 As such, while Stockton held the plaintiff (Rachel) in slavery as a personal attendant to himself and to the needs of his family in free territories, such residency was of “necessity” and did not entitle Stockton to lose his slave property (Rachel) and|or entitle Rachel to her freedom.7 The Circuit Court agreed with the counsel for Walker and Rachel lost her case in the lower court. Josiah Spalding, Esq., court appointed lawyer for Rachel, appealed the case to the Missouri Supreme Court and won.8

A Black female slave leaving a plantation for freedom behind Union lines“Mr. Spalding answers this argument, by saying although this officer was bound by law and authority, to be and remain in a country where slavery is not allowed, yet no law nor public authority required nor compelled him to [bring a] person there as a slave nor as a servant.” 9

In other words, Stockton could have obeyed his orders, served his country and complied with the law without buying, owning and selling slaves. The bottom line was, Stockton wanted a slave and was simply using his position as a United States Army officer as a thinly veiled smoke screen to skirt the law. According to Justice Matthias McGirk of the Supreme Court of Missouri, Stockton enslaving Rachael as his personal servant in a free territory was “his voluntary act, done without any other reason than that of convenience” 10 not necessity. Consequently, Stockton “and those claiming under him must be holden to abide the consquences of introducing slavery both in Missouri territory and Michigan, contrary to law. [So] the judgment of the Circuit Court is reversed.” 11

Open Letter To The Pro-Life Movement

LESSON: Convenience Trumps Conscience

A Lesson We Can Learn From The Rachel v. Walker Case

“If any man thinks that the interest of these Nations and the interest of Christianity are two separate and distinct things, I wish my soul may never enter into his secret.” — Oliver Cromwell 12

“I believe, that Republicans profoundly misunderstood and underestimated both the institution of slavery and the attitudes of white southerners. Slavery was not economically moribund, and southern whites, rich and poor alike, were deeply invested in it, as their tenacious defense of the institution, both during and after the war, was to show. In light of these considerations, the Republican program was thin gruel indeed.” — Elektra Tig, Esq. 13

Sign: You Can't Compromise On PrinciplesIn the 1860s the Republican Party had a plan to end slavery. James Oakes is an American Historian, and a distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he teaches history courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, Slavery, the Old South, Abolitionism and United States and World History.14 In his book, “Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865,” 15 Professor Oakes describes the plan and the policies the Republicans believed would ultimately end slavery. According to Oakes, “in his first major anti-slavery speech as a member of the U.S. Senate, ‘Freedom National; Slavery Sectional,’ delivered on August 1852″,16 Charles Sumner, the United States Senator from Massachusetts and leader of both the anti-slavery forces in Massachusetts and the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate,17 “spelled out those policies which included the following elements: 18

  • Ban slavery in America by reversing Scott (Reverse Roe and Doe)
  • Admit no new slave states (Reverse State Level Pro-Abortion Legislation)
  • Congressionally repeal the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (Repeal Obamacare)
  • Buy all border state slaves and free them (Welfare And Entitlement Programs)
  • Restore free speech in the South (Restore Free Speech And Secure Religious Freedom)
  • Tax the sale of slaves and outlaw coastwise slave trading (Use IRS As A Weapon)

The above Republican plan (or approach if you will), to end slavery in 1860, seems so very much like what the Grand Old Party (GOP) is trying to do today to end abortion. I agree with legal historian Elektra Tig, Esq.,19 the Republican plan to end slavery in 1860 failed because it did not understand or at best profoundly underestimated the heart of people (Jeremiah 17:9; 20 Mark 7:21-23 21). By 1860, human slavery was a way of life for half the country. In the South, slave labor was an institution all of the slave states were willing to die for to protect and preserve which the American Civil War clearly attests to. Yeah, just like United States Army Lieutenant Thomas Stockton wanted slaves to serve him and his family, the slave states wanted slaves to serve them.


Economically, the benefits of slave labor were not confined to agriculture. Slave labor would work in industries such as textiles, tobacco and cordage factories, iron works and railroad construction to only name a few.22 Yeah, the slave states wanted slavery. Geographically, wanting slave labor was not confinded to southern slave states.23 Professor Kenneth Milton Stampp cites the complaint of an Austin, Texas newspaper in 1858-59 “that Texas needed at least six million more Negroes.” 24 Yes, I’m hoping the number six (6) million was hyperbole, but the point is nevertheless very well made. Yeah, the slave states wanted slavery. Culturally, the most compelling evidence that political and economic solutions would not end slavery was the fact that the slave states themselves had no plan to end slavery.25 By 1860 the slave states understood that freeing millions of Black slaves was not simply an untenable and|or unfeasible proposition. The slave states understood that freeing millions of Black slaves was a nightmare. The reality of the 1860s, is that no amount of political or economic maneuvering would have ended slavery. Yeah, just like United States Army Lieutenant Thomas Stockton wanted slaves to serve him and his family, the slave states wanted slaves to serve them.


Political and economic solutions alone would not and did not end slavery in America. In my opinion, there is every reason to believe that if not for the American Civil War, slavery would have continued indefinitely.26

Got Religion!As I pause to think about the Pro-Life movement moving into the forty-first (41st) year of legalized abortion on demand in America, the over fifty-seven (57) million 27 lives lost to legalized abortion on demand in America (that’s 30% of the under forty-five (45) generation 28 today) and the plight of my people (we are the abortion industry’s #1 customer,29 ugh!), Romans 1:21 comes to mind:

The Holy BibleYes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.” — Romans 1:21 (NLT)


Could It Be?Could it be true, that a woman wants an abortion because she does not believe that God loves her, that God loves her baby and that tangible help without judgement, hidden agendas and strings attached is a right now reality? Could it be true, that like the Republican Party on the eve of the secession crisis looking to end slavery, the Pro-Life movement is looking at ending legalized abortion on demand through political and economic prisms that blind us to seeing why a woman wants an abortion? Could it be true, that even though Christians know God and know that legalized abortion on demand is clearly and wholeheartedly an evil of extraordinary moral depravity, that some Christians want abortion because they also know that convenience trumps conscience, that luxury trumps loyalty, and that lifestyle trumps liberty? Could it be true, that America wants abortion because men and women view legalized abortion on demand as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card that allows them to live life without God? Could it be true, that the Democratic Party wants abortion because they understand the reality of fallen human nature better than either the Republican Party or the Pro-Life movement? Could it be true, that as long as the public views legalized abortion on demand as a necessary evil, that the political will to end legalized abortion on demand will continue to wane? Could it be true, that until the Church solves the reasons why abortion is wanted that legalized abortion on demand will not come to an end? Could it be true, that until the Pro-Life movement works together as one (1) Body in Christ, we’re working as though we want abortion? Could it be true, that America wants abortion the same way the United States Army Lieutenant Thomas Stockton and the slave states wanted slaves? Could it be true, that just as politics and economics didn’t stop the slave states from fighting for slavery, that politics and economics won’t stop people from fighting for abortion?

Yeah, I think it could.

Brothers, we need to talk.


 In my very, very strong opinion, THE BIBLE DOES NOT JUSTIFY SLAVERY. If pastors (christian leaders) of the South taught their congregants to obey the Mosaic laws that criminalized kidnapping human beings, the harsh treatment of servants, the return of runaway servants and without preferring the rich over the poor or men over women, held everyone accountable for their own actions in the public square, slavery would not have existed.


Deuteronomy 24:7 says: “If someone kidnaps a fellow Israelite, either to make him a slave or sell him, the kidnapper must be killed. You must get rid of the evil among you.”

Harsh Treatment

Exodus 21:26,27 says: “If a man hits his male or female slave in the eye, and the eye is blinded, the man is to free the slave to pay for the eye. If a master knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, the man is to free the slave to pay for the tooth.”

Runaway Servants

Deuteronomy 23:15-16 say: “If an escaped slave comes to you, do not hand over the slave to his master. Let the slave live with you anywhere he likes, in any town he chooses. Do not mistreat him.”

The New Testament speaks equally as strong against the kidnapping of human beings (which is the basis of slavery) as the Old Testament. Please read the Apostle Paul’s warning against false teaching in 1st Timothy 1:8-10 (NCV): “But we know that the law is good if someone uses it lawfully. We also know that the law is not made for good people but for those who are against the law and for those who refuse to follow it. It is for people who are against God and are sinful, who are unholy and ungodly, who kill their fathers and mothers, who murder, who take part in sexual sins, who have sexual relations with people of the same sex, WHO SELL SLAVES, who tell lies, who speak falsely, and who do anything against the true teaching of God.

“Perhaps the most compelling argument AGAINST SLAVERY in the New Testament is Paul’s letter to Philemon, in which the Apostle asks Onesimus (a fellow Christian) to free his Christian slave.


01. A paradox noted by Edlie Wong in her book “Neither Fugitive Nor Free” (2009), slave states had statutes that provided for slaves to sue for “wrongful enslavement”, based on slave laws that established “just subjection”, page 5 and 153 (
02. Ibid.
03. Rachel v. Walker Wikipedia (
04. Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of the United States: 1-351 U.S; 1790, October Term, 1955, page 761 (
05. The State Historical Society of Missouri: Missouri State Archives, “Before Dred Scott: Freedom Suits in Antebellum Missouri” Rachel v. William Walker (1836) (
06. Ibid.
07. Elektra Tig, Esq., “Rachael v. Walker: An Officer and A Slave” (
08. Ibid.
09. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri: 1835/1837, Volume 4 ( and Elektra Tig, Esq., “Rachael v. Walker II: The Arguments” (
10. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri: 1835/1837, Volume 4 ( and Elektra Tig, Esq., “Rachael v. Walker III: Justice McGirk Becomes Annoyed” (
11. Elektra Tig, Esq., “Rachael v. Walker III: Justice McGirk Becomes Annoyed” (
12. Oliver Cromwell, FREEDOM NATIONAL; SLAVERY SECTIONAL: Mr. Sumner’s Speech for the Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Bill (1852) by Charles Sumner, cover page (
13. Elektra Tig, Esq., “Was Slavery on the Way Out in 1860? The Republican Plan” (
14. James Oakes, The Graduate Center, CUNY ( and James Oakes, Wikipedia (
15. Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865, Amazon (
16. Charles Sumner, FREEDOM NATIONAL; SLAVERY SECTIONAL: Mr. Sumner’s Speech for the Repeal of the Fugitive Slave Bill (1852) by Charles Sumner, cover page (
17. Charles Sumner, Wikipedia (
18. Elektra Tig, Esq., “Was Slavery on the Way Out in 1860? The Republican Plan” (
19. Ibid.
20. Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (
21. Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (
22. Elektra Tig, Esq., “Was Slavery on the Way Out in 1860?” (
23. Ibid.
24. Kenneth Milton Stampp: The peculiar institution: Slavery In The Ante-Bellum South (
25. Ibid.
26. Elektra Tig, Esq., “Was Slavery on the Way Out in 1860? The Republican Plan” (
27. Dennis Howard, Movement For A Better America ( and Dennis Howard, “No Kids No Future YouTube (
28. Ibid.
29. Dennis Howard, Movement For A Better America: The Abortion Index (, Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States”, October 2013 (, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Abortion Surveillance — United States, 2010”, October 2013 ( The CDC Abortion Surveillance Report dated November 2013 (, reveals that in 2010, 56.7% of abortions reported to the CDC nationwide were done on Hispanic and Black women. According to the report, there were 415,479 abortions for known ethnicity reported for selected states in 2010 and 153,045 (or 36.8 percent) were non-Hispanic white babies, 148,261 (or 35.7 percent) were non-Hispanic black babies, 87,240 (or 21.0 percent) were Hispanic babies, and 26,933 (or 6.5 percent) were babies of other races or ethnicities.

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