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Fugitive Slave Law

"The Tragedy at Christiana"
The 1850 federal fugitive slave law amended an earlier statute from 1793 that had provided for the return of runaway slaves who crossed state lines. The new, tougher measure was an essential component of the so-called Compromise of 1850 because the measure was designed to address longstanding southern complaints about the Underground Railroad. Resistance to the new law, however, soon proved widespread and the measure only further inflamed sectional antagonism. (By Matthew Pinsker)


How to Cite This Page: "Fugitive Slave Law," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,