In chapter 9 of the book Uncle Tom's Cabin how does the following passage help the reader understand why a caring man like Mr. Bird votes for the Fugitive Slave Law? "... there is such a state of public agitation rising, the we must aside our private feelings."
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He says this to avoid further hardships on slaves. I think also his personal political reputation is at stake.
Politically, he wants to quiet things down, keep the peace. Personally, he would never turn down help to anyone. His wife knows his inner feelings, but as a politician, he has to do what he believes is best for the country as a whole.