Fugitive Slave Act

 

Millard Fillmore

Summary and Definition of 1793 Fugitive Slave Act
Definition and Summary: The 1793 Fugitive Slave Act was passed on February 4, 1793 guaranteed the right of a owners to recover an escaped slave and required citizens to help in the return of escaped fugitive slaves.

Summary and Definition of 1850 Fugitive Slave Act
Definition and Summary: The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was passed on September 18, 1850, as part of the
Compromise of 1850 and a concession to the South, increasing penalties against fugitive slaves and the people who aided them.

Fugitive Slave Act
Millard Fillmore was the 13th American President who served in office from July 9, 1850 to March 4, 1853. One of the important events during his presidency was the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act.

The Fugitive Slave Act for kids: The Constitution and the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act
Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution (called the Fugitive Slave Clause) provides that persons held to service in one state escaping into another state shall be returned to the slave owner. Slaves lived under heavy restrictions and passes were required for all slaves working or traveling outside the plantation. In 1793 Congress passed a law called the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act to carry out this provision of the Constitution.

The Fugitive Slave Act: Avoiding the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act
Many Northern states wanted to evade the act and some states passed "personal liberty laws" giving the right of a jury trial before fugitive slaves could be moved - many of these juries refused to convict fugitives charged under the Act. Other states in the North forbade the use of local jails, or the assistance of state officials, in the arrest or return of runaway slaves.

The Fugitive Slave Act: The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act
The 1793 Act was therefore not particularly effective because its enforcement had been left to the states, and public opinion in the North was opposed to the return of runaway, fugitive slaves. The law of 1850 increased harsher penalties against runaway slaves and the people who helped them. It also the power to United States to enforce the law by arresting or returning runaway slaves and led to the formation of slave patrols.

The End of the Fugitive Slave Act
The end of the Fugitive Slave Act

  • Both the Acts were officially repealed by an act of Congress on June 28, 1864

  • The 13th Amendment was passed on January 31, 1865 abolishing slavery

1793 Fugitive Slave Act for kids

1793 Fugitive Slave Act
The 1793 Act gave slave owners the right to recover escaped fugitive slaves and required citizens to help in the return of an escaped slave from one state to another.

What was the Purpose of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act?
Why was the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act enacted? The
purpose of the 1793 Act was carry out the provision of Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 in the Constitution.

  • The fugitive law imposed a $500 penalty on any person who helped to hide escaped slaves

What was the Significance of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act?
The significance of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act was that:

  • Legal, organized, Slave Patrols were established in the south

  • The law was seldom enforced in the north, because its enforcement had been left to the states

  • Public opinion in the North gradually  strengthened against slavery

 

Presidential Seal

 

1850 Fugitive Slave Act for kids

1850 Fugitive Slave Act
The 1850 Act increased penalties against fugitive slaves and any people who helped  them.
In 1850, the value of male slaves was over $2000. The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was nicknamed it the "Bloodhound Law" by Abolitionists  because dogs were used by slave catchers to track down fugitives.

Why was the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act enacted?
The
reason the 1850 law was enacted was as a concession to the Southern slave states as part of the Compromise of 1850 which sought to obtain agreement between the Southern states and the Northern Free States as to the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War (18461848).

  • Thousands of slaves had escaped from slavery in the Slave States of the South to the Free States in the North

  • The Abolishment  Movement was established in 1830 and the number of its supporters was growing

  • The Underground Railroad was established in1832 to help fugitive slaves and many slaves escaped to Canada

What were the effects of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act?
The
effects of the 1850 Act were:

  • The Fugitive Slave Act was strengthened

  • Penalties for helping slaves were increased to $1000 and six months in jail

  • It penalized United States officials who did not arrest a alleged runaway slaves

  • Runaway slaves were not entitled to a jury trial

  • Runaway slaves were not allowed to testify on their own behalf

What was the Significance of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act?
The significance of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was that:

  • The law further increased the ill feeling between the people of the two sections of the nation

  • The 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, together with the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852, convinced the Northerners that bounds must be set to the extension of slavery

  • The use of slave patrols came to an end when the Civil War ended but are linked to post civil war groups such as the Ku Klux Klan

  • This act was one of the Causes of the Civil War

Black History for kids: Important People and Events
For visitors interested in African American History refer to Black History - People and Events. A useful resource  for teachers, kids, schools and colleges undertaking projects for the Black History Month.

Fugitive Slave Act for kids - President Zachary Taylor Video
The article on the law and slavery provides an overview of one of the Important issues of his presidential term in office. The following Zachary Taylor video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 12th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1849 to July 9, 1850.

 

 

 

Fugitive Slave Act
 
Interesting Facts about 1793 and 1850 Acts for kids and schools
The 1793 and 1850 Acts, Important events in US history
Definition of the 1793 and 1850 Fugitive Slave acts
Zachary Taylor Presidency from March 4, 1849 to July 9, 1850
Zachary Taylor Important events in his presidency
Foreign & Domestic policies of President Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor Presidency and the 1850 Act for schools, homework, kids and children

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