The Honorable G. P. Osgood was an Andover politician who was known to take a stand in matters regarding slavery. Seth Thomas was a government lawyer who argued the case noted below. Because there is no content to the SFL, we do not know if this is the what Osgood is communicating to Thomas about. However, the time period is about right.
Colonel Suttle of Virginia claims that Anthony Burns is his slave, that Burns escaped to Massachusetts and that Burns owes him service and labor. Under the terms of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, he is petitioning the court for a certificate to reclaim Burns and transport him back to Virginia. Burns' lawyers argue that the Bill of 1850 is too recent to hold unqualified authority, that it has elicited conflicted decisions and dicta in other cases, and that it is unconstitutional because it gives records of the Virginia Court effects not permitted by the Constitution. What is more, it prevents the possibility of trial by jury, violates article four of the Constitution by which persons are protected against unreasonable seizures and article five, which states that no one shall be deprived of liberty without due process of the law. They also claim that there is no evidence to prove that the defendant is the Anthony Burns in question.