The Fugitive Slave Law Of 1850

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The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was a reinforcement of a previous act of the same name passed by Congress in 1793 to provide for the return of slaves who had attempted to escape from their owners to freedom. The new act made any federal marshal or other official who did not arrest an alleged runaway slave liable to a fine of $1,000. In addition, any person aiding a runaway slave by providing food or shelter was subject to six months' imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Slave owners only needed to supply an affidavit to a federal marshal to capture an escaped slave. Since no suspected slave was permitted trial, this led to many free African Americans being forced into slavery since they could not defend themselves against
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