The fugitive slave laws were laws passed by the United States Congress in 1793 and 1850 to provide for the return of slaves who escaped from one state into another state or territory. The idea of the fugitive slave law was derived from the Fugitive slave clause which is in the United States Constitution (Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph 3). It was thought that forcing states to deliver escaped slaves to slaveowners violated states' rights due to state sovereignty and was believed that seizing state property should not be left up to the states. The Fugitive slave clause states that escaped slaves "shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due" which abridged state rights due to the fact that retrieving slaves was a form of retrieving private property. After the compromise of 1850, the Supreme Court made slavery a protected institution and arranged a series of laws that allowed slavery in the new territories and forced officials in Free States to give a hearing to slaveholders without a jury.

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Their trip would have ended there if it had not been for the Fugitive Slave Act.

The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 essays

The passage of the Fugitive Slave Acts resulted in many free blacks being illegally captured and sold into slavery. One famous case concerned Solomon Northup, a freeborn black musician who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841. Northup would spend 12 years as a slave in Louisiana before winning back his freedom in 1853.

The Fugitive Slave Act Free Short Essay Example

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Prigg, setting the precedent that federal law superseded any state measures that attempted to interfere with the Fugitive Slave Act.

Stowe used the Fugitive Slave Act as “the stimulus for showing [her] white readers how slavery threatened American culture” (Robbins 534).

1793 and 1850 Fugitive Slave Act for kids***

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was immediately met with a firestorm of criticism. Northerners bristled at the idea of turning their states into a stalking ground for bounty hunters, and many argued the law was tantamount to legalized kidnapping. Some abolitionists organized clandestine resistance groups and built complex networks of safe houses to aid slaves in their escape to the North.

American history and the Fugitive Slave Act

Despite decisions like Prigg v. Pennsylvania, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 remained largely unenforced. By the mid-1800s, thousands of slaves had poured into free states via networks like the Underground Railroad.

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Document #2
John Andrew Jackson. The Experience of a Slave in South Carolina. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1862.
...--he was so anxious to catch me that he followed me to Boston--at least, I believe, from the description given by Mr. Forman, that it was he; but fortunately I had gone to Salem, which is 15 miles from Boston. Mr. Forman did not tell Anderson where I was, but merely told him that there was no such person as Jackson there. Anderson said, "I know better, here is the letter he wrote home, wishing to know what he can buy his father and mother for, and I now want to see him." This incensed the sailors, who said, "Here are the slave-hunters, hunting for niggers," and drove them from the house. Mr. Forman wrote to me at Salem, to warn me not to come to Boston, as they were hunting for me there. I remained at Salem, and worked in the tan yard there, turning the splitting machine, until I had saved one hundred dollars... But to proceed with my life. Just as I was beginning to be settled at Salem, that most atrocious of all laws, the "Fugitive Slave Law," was passed, and I was compelled to flee in disguise from a comfortable home, a comfortable situation, and good wages, to take refuge in Canada...

The compromise of 1850, written by Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, had a large impact on slave owners and abolitionists alike.

Fugitive Slave Act Essay - 1633 Words - StudyMode

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was met with even more impassioned criticism and resistance than the earlier measure. States like Vermont and passed new measures intended to bypass and even nullify the law, and abolitionists redoubled their efforts to assist runaway slaves.

Following increased pressure from Southern politicians, Congress passed a revised Fugitive Slave Act in 1850.

Essay on American Civil War and Fugitive Slave Act | …

Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Compromise of 1850, and The Fugitive Slave Act were all major factors in the 1850s that changed America and led to the civil war.
Books were a way for people to connect with characters, Uncle Tom's Cabin did this.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had declared that all runaway slaves that were caught were to be brought back to their masters.

Fugitive Slave Act 1850 Free Essays - Free Essay …

The defendants are held for trial in $10,000 each, to appear the April term of the court of common pleas. Several other Government and State officers will be arrested shortly. The ground upon which these suits are brought is, that the Fugitive Slave law is unconstitutional and that the officer prosecuting acted without authority.