Today In History- February 12

Today In History- February 12


Congress enacts first fugitive slave act.

Stories about Today In History- February 12

First fugitive slave act enacted in newly created U.S. government.

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1793 Fugitive Slave Act.jpg

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.

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17 Jan 2008
19 Jul 2011
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