Describe the fugitive act and why most northerners opposed it?

I'm doing history homework and couldn't find any answers:( a little help please?

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
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    The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793

    For the better security of the peace and friendship now entered into by the contracting parties, against all infractions of the same, by the citizens of either party, to the prejudice of the other, neither party shall proceed to the infliction of punishments on the citizens of the other, otherwise than by securing the offender, or offenders, by imprisonment, or any other competent means, till a fair and impartial trial can be had by judges or juries of both parties, as near as can be, to the laws, customs, and usage's of the contracting parties, and natural justice: the mode of such trials to be hereafter fixed by the wise men of the United States, in congress assembled, with the assistance of such deputies of the Delaware nation, as may be appointed to act in concert with them in adjusting this matter to their mutual liking.

    The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

    Any person aiding a runaway slave by providing shelter, food or any other form of assistance was liable to six months' imprisonment and a $500 fine ­ an expensive penalty in those days. Those officers capturing a fugitive slave were entitled to a fee and this encouraged some officers to kidnap free Negroes and sell them to slave-owners. Frederick Douglass, Wendell Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison and John Greenleaf Whittier led the fight against the law. If an escaped slave was sighted, he or she should be apprehended and turned in to the authorities for deportation back to the "rightful" owner down south. It was thought that the Fugitive Slave Act would diminish the incentive for slaves to attempt escape. The rationale behind this was the slaves' realization that even if they managed to escape from their plantation, they could still be caught and returned by any citizen in the United States. Even moderate anti-slavery leaders such as Arthur Tappan declared he was now willing to disobey the law and as result helped fund the Underground Railroad.

  • 4 years ago

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