Essay On The Runaway Slave Act

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  • Compromise Of 1850 Runaway Slaves

    498 words

    Compromise Measures of 1850 also known as the Compromise of 1850. This act was a series of five legislative enactment's passed by United States Congress. Many territories from the west were now asking for admittance into the United States as an official state. This brought many questions to the table. Today at a meeting many other states followed California as they applied to enter into the union. This will be a problem for the north and south. Before now there were 15 free states and 15 slave s...
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  • Runaway Slaves Union Armies

    1,151 words

    Black Soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War Black Soldiers in the Civil War During the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and part of the Nineteenth Century the White people of North America used the Black people of Africa as slaves to benefit their interests. White people created a climate of superiority of their race over the Black African race that in some places, still lingers on today. The American Civil War however, was a key turning point for the Black African race. Through their actions a...
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  • Fugitive Slave Law Harriet Tubman

    1,275 words

    The Underground Railroad was a secret pathway organized by abolitionists -- many of them free blacks and Quakers. Its purpose was to help runaway slaves escape to freedom in the North or in Canada. Often, the passage to freedom followed natural boundaries, such as a river. Usually, slaves relied on secret helpers in towns scattered along the route to freedom. These "conductors" would help a slave move from one safe house to another, usually under cover of darkness. One daring conductor, Harriet ...
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  • African American Soldiers Believed That Blacks

    2,020 words

    ... lack inferiority. Many of them feared the emancipation would cause a mass movement of Southern blacks into the North, Northerners also worried about losing the border states loyal to the Union because those states were strongly committed to slavery. Skillful leadership was needed as the country moved toward black freedom. Lincoln supplied that leadership by combining a clear sense of purpose with a sensitivity to the concerns of various groups. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a prelimi...
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  • Frederick Douglass Reformer Author Speaker

    582 words

    Frederick Douglass was the leading spokesman of African-Americans in the 1800 s. He became a well-known reformer, author, and speaker. Frederick Douglass spoke about the situation that African Americans had to deal with everyday. His powerful speeches influenced many people, including President Abraham Lincoln. Frederick Augustus Washington Baily was believed to be born in 1818 in Tuckahoe, Maryland. He was born as a slave. When Frederick was eight, he was sent to one of his masters relatives to...
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  • French And English Runaway Slaves

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    American History According to the evidence, Central American civilization was greatly influenced by East African culture, specially from Ethiopia, Kemet, or More. It is believed that one or more of these civilizations crossed the Atlantic between 1200 and 400 B. C. Some scholars including Charles Joyner, Richard S. Price, and Gary Nash have recognized the cultural amalgamation and inter-mixing of Native Americans and Europeans or Europeans and Africans. Nevertheless, few focus on the widespread ...
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  • United States Constitution Missouri Compromise Of 1820

    1,998 words

    Causes of the American Civil War The South, which was known as the Confederate States of America, seceded from the North, which was also known as the Union, for many different reasons. The reason they wanted to succeed was because there was four decades of great sectional conflict between the two. Between the North and South there were deep economic, social, and political differences. The South wanted to become an independent nation. There were many reasons why the South wanted to succeed but th...
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  • Civil War Began United States Constitution

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    The South, which was known as the Confederate States of America, seceded from the North, which was also known as the Union, for many different reasons. The reason they wanted to succeed was because there was four decades of great sectional conflict between the two. Between the North and South there were deep economic, social, and political differences. The South wanted to become an independent nation. There were many reasons why the South wanted to succeed but the main reason had to do with the ...
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  • African American Soldiers Dred Scott Decision

    4,065 words

    This is just a small example of the doubt and hatred that was bestowed on the African American soldiers. However, during the war, they proved themselves to be brave and courageous men on and off the battlefield on many occasions. Despite deep prejudices and harsh criticisms from the white society, these men were true champions of patriotism. The cause of the Civil War was tension between the North and the South. The sectional division between the areas began in colonial times, largely resulting ...
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  • North And South Runaway Slaves

    795 words

    In the 1850 s and 60 s the North and South were becoming more hostile towards each other due to changing views and small incidents of dislike toward the others views. One of those incidents was John Browns raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia. John Browns goal was to steal enough weapons from the national armory and gather enough men so they could march into Kansas and force them to be a colony or state for runaway slaves. The Raid occurred in October of 1859. It was a complete failure in most ways. ...
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  • William Lloyd Garrison Kansas Nebraska Act

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    The road to Civil War, the bloodiest war in the history of the US, was long and was failed with many great disasters for American people. In 1857, the Dred Scott decision was made. Dred Scott was a slave and his owner took him in 1834 to Illinois, a free state. He then took Dred to Wisconsin Territory, where slavery was not allowed. His owner died and Dred Scott sued for his freedom on the fact that he stayed in a free state and a free territory so he should be free. The Supreme Court ruled that...
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Despite the inclusion of the Fugitive Slave Clause in the U.S. Constitution, anti-slavery sentiment remained high in the North throughout the late 1780s and early 1790s, and many petitioned Congress to abolish the practice outright.

Bowing to further pressure from Southern lawmakers—who argued slave debate was driving a wedge between the newly created states—Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.

This edict was similar to the Fugitive Slave Clause in many ways, but included a more detailed description of how the law was to be put into practice. Most importantly, it decreed that slave owners and their “agents” had the right to search for escaped slaves within the borders of free states.

In the event they captured a suspected slave, these hunters had to bring them before a judge and provide evidence proving the person was their property. If court officials were satisfied by their proof—which often took the form of a signed affidavit—the owner would be permitted to take custody of the slave and return to their home state. The law also imposed a $500 penalty on any person who helped harbor or conceal escaped slaves.

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was immediately met with a firestorm of criticism. Northerners bristled at the idea of turning their states into a stalking ground for bounty hunters, and many argued the law was tantamount to legalized kidnapping. Some abolitionists organized clandestine resistance groups and built complex networks of safe houses to aid slaves in their escape to the North.

Refusing to be complicit in the institution of slavery, most Northern states intentionally neglected to enforce the law. Several even passed so-called “Personal Liberty Laws” that gave accused runaways the right to a jury trial and also protected free blacks, many of whom had been abducted by bounty hunters and sold into slavery.

Did You Know?

The passage of the Fugitive Slave Acts resulted in many free blacks being illegally captured and sold into slavery. One famous case concerned Solomon Northup, a freeborn black musician who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841. Northup would spend 12 years as a slave in Louisiana before winning back his freedom in 1853.

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