In a bold move stabilizing slavery in the U.S., on Feb. 12, 1793, Congress enacts the first fugitive slave act. Written in response to a struggle between Virginia and Pennsylvania, the act legalized the capture of runaway slaves, and made it a federal crime to assist escaping slaves. It had a horrible effect on the slave population in the U.S., and was influential in the development of the famed Underground Railroad.
Today In History- February 12
Congress enacts first fugitive slave act.
First fugitive slave act enacted in newly created U.S. government.
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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