Fugitive Slave Act Facts

Fugitive Slave Act Facts
The "Fugitive Slave Act" generally, collectively refers to two laws passed by the United States Congress in 1793 and 1850 that dealt with such things concerning runaway slaves as: how those slaves would be return if/when they are captured, how the slaves' owners are to be compensated, and how and if any free person helping a slave escape should be prosecuted. Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution is often known as the Fugitive Slave Clause because it addressed the issue of runaway slaves. It states that a "person held to service or labor" to another who flees to another state must be returned to the owner. The Fugitive Slave Clause and the other fugitive slave laws were made null and void when the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery, was ratified in 1865.
Interesting Fugitive Slave Act Facts:
The word "slavery" is never used in the section about the Fugitive Slave Clause, or anywhere else in the Constitution.
The Fugitive Slave Clause also covered indentured servants, who were usually Europeans.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 essentially gave a legal mechanism by which the Fugitive Slave Clause could be enforced.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was passed overwhelming by the House of Representatives and the Senate before President George Washington signed it into law on February 4, 1793.
Under the 1793 Act, children born to fugitive slaves were considered the property of the fugitive slave's owner.
Professional slave catchers often used bloodhounds to capture runaway slaves.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was part of the "Compromise of 1850," which included California being admitted to the Union as a free state and ability of the citizens of the western territories to decide whether or not they would adopt slavery under the concept of "popular sovereignty."
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made it much easier for slave owners to recapture slaves by only having to supply an affidavit to a marshal.
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 penalized officials who did not arrest runaway slaves.
In many northern states, "jury nullification" of officials charged for violating the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 became common.
In response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, many northern states passed "personal liberty laws," which essentially made the Act void in those states.
Abolitionists and Free-Soil activists were strongly opposed to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
During the Civil War, the Confiscation Act was passed by the United States Congress in 1861, which banned slave owners from re-enslaving fugitive slaves.
The status of fugitive slaves from slave states that remained in the Union, such as Kentucky, remained hazy until the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was officially repealed in 1864.
All of the fugitive slave acts were compromises with southern states in order to get them to ratify the Constitution or to stay in the Union.

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