The Bloodhound Law
"The Bloodhound Law
City Lit Theater
1020 W. Bryn Mawr Avenue Chicago
The play dramatizes the abolitionist struggle in Illinois before the war, from the murder of crusading journalist Elijah Lovejoy in downstate Alton to the work of the Underground Railroad in Chicago. It culminates with a confrontation between Senator Stephen Douglas and the Chicago Common Council over the injustice of the Douglas-sponsored Fugitive Slave Act-the "bloodhound law" of the play's title-which essentially legalized the kidnapping of African Americans. Throughout, Thatcher's play focuses on the lives of both black and white Illinoisans whose lives helped shape the outset of the nation's great and ongoing moral struggle.