what caused slaves to runaway in 1800's?
why was fugitive slave act was passed in 1850?
- bnyxisLv 41 decade agoFavorite Answer
Poor treatment and living conditions. they were thought of as property, like cattle, they had no rights.
The fugitive slave laws were statutes passed by the United States Congress in 1793 and 1850 to provide for the return of slaves who escaped from one state into another or into a public territory
The first specific legislation on the subject was enacted on February 12, 1793, and like the Ordinance for the Northwest Territory and Article Four of the Constitution, it did not contain the word slave; by its provisions any Federal district or circuit judge or any state magistrate was authorized to decide finally and without a jury trial the status of an alleged fugitive.
The measure soon met with strong opposition in the Northern states and Personal Liberty Laws were passed to hamper officials in the execution of the law; Indiana in 1824 and Connecticut in 1828 provided jury trial for fugitives who appealed from an original decision against them. In 1840, New York and Vermont extended the right of trial by jury to fugitives and provided them with attorneys. As early as the first decade of the 19th century, individual dissatisfaction with the law of 1793 had taken the form of systematic assistance rendered to Negroes escaping from the South to Canada or New England: the so-called Underground Railroad.
The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Prigg v. Pennsylvania in 1842 (16 Peters 539)—that state authorities could not be forced to act in fugitive slave cases, but that national authorities must carry out the national law—was followed by legislation in Massachusetts (1843), Vermont (1843), Pennsylvania (1847) and Rhode Island (1848), forbidding state officials from aiding in enforcing the law and refusing the use of state jails for fugitive slaves .
 1850 statute
Main article: Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
The demand from the South for more effective Federal legislation was voiced in the second fugitive slave law, drafted by Senator James Murray Mason of Virginia, and enacted on September 18, 1850, as a part of the Compromise of 1850. Special commissioners were to have concurrent jurisdiction with the U.S. circuit and district courts and the inferior courts of territories in enforcing the law; fugitives could not testify in their own behalf; no trial by jury was provided.
Penalties were imposed upon marshals who refused to enforce the law or from whom a fugitive should escape, and upon individuals who aided Negroes to escape; the marshal might raise a posse comitatus; a fee of $10 was paid to the commissioner when his decision favored the claimant, only $5 when it favored the fugitive; and both the fact of the escape and the identity of the fugitive were determined on purely ex parte testimony. The severity of this measure led to gross abuses and defeated its purpose; the number of abolitionists increased, the operations of the Underground Railroad became more efficient, and new Personal Liberty Laws were enacted in Vermont (1850), Connecticut (1854), Rhode Island (1854), Massachusetts (1855), Michigan (1855), Maine (1855 and 1857), Kansas (1858) and Wisconsin (1858). These Personal Liberty Laws forbade justices and judges to take cognizance of claims, extended the Habeas corpus act and the privilege of jury trial to fugitives, and punished false testimony severely. In 1859, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin went so far as to declare the Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional.
These state laws were one of the grievances that South Carolina used to justify their secession in the coming future. Attempts to carry into effect the law of 1850 aroused much bitterness. The arrests of Sims and of Shadrach in Boston in 1851; of Jerry M. Henry, in Syracuse, New York, in the same year; of Anthony Burns in 1854, in Boston; and of the two Garner families in 1856, in Cincinnati, with other cases arising under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, probably had as much to do with bringing on the Civil War as did the controversy over slavery in the Territories
- Okaydokay21Lv 41 decade ago
I'd run away to if I was forced by a whip to perform chores, work in the fields, and whatever else slaves did for no money, little food, inadequate housing etc. many slave owners thought of slaves as though were a dog or worse, some were kind and gave proper treatment but that wasn't enough
- Aldo the ApacheLv 61 decade ago
Maybe they didn't like being slaves. I don't think I would like it but maybe that's just me.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Gee I dunno...If i were a SLAVE, why WOULD I want to runaway??
Are you serious?
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- mulcahyLv 44 years ago
because of the fact those anybody is what you may call "Cowards" "TroubleMakers" they have no longer something greater exciting do to then attempt and make your existence a misery basically because of the fact their existence sucks! i does no longer permit it hassle you, basically brush it off & smile! on the top of the day, your greater desirable than them!
- 1 decade ago
go read Uncle Tom's Cabin
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The pay was crap!