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Tue, 02.12.1793

The 1793 Fugitive Slave Act Signed

*On this date The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was signed into law.  

This was an Act of the United States Congress to give effect to the Fugitive Slave Clause of the US Constitution (Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3), which was later superseded by the Thirteenth Amendment. The former guaranteed a right for a slaveholder to recover an escaped slave.

The Act, "An Act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping from the service of their masters," created the legal mechanism by which that could be accomplished.  It was passed by the House of Representatives on February 4, 1793 by a vote of 48–7, with 14 abstaining.  The Act was strengthened at the insistence of the slave states of the South by the Compromise of 1850, which required even the governments and the residents of free states to enforce the capture and return of fugitive slaves. 

Reference:

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