Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Fugitive Slave Laws

Fugitive Slave Laws, laws passed by the United States of America, enacting that slaves who escaped from one state, where they were legally held to "service," into another, should be given up, when claimed by their owners. The original Act of 1793 gave place in 1850 to a harsher measure, which compelled the citizens of a state to give active assistance in the reclamation of slaves, and made it a penal offence to aid their escape. The law was repealed in the course of the Civil War.