Fugitive Slave Acts

Law
1 Stat. 302 (1793) and 9 Stat. 462 (1850), repealed by 13 Stat. 200 (1864)

Legal Definition of Fugitive Slave Acts

statutes passed by Congress in 1793 and 1850 (and repealed in 1864) that provided for the seizure and return of runaway slaves who escaped from one state into another or into a federal territory. The 1793 law enforced Article IV, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution in authorizing any federal district judge or circuit court judge, or any state magistrate, to decide finally and without a jury trial the status of an alleged fugitive slave. For some time after the beginning of the American Civil War, the Fugitive Slave Acts were considered to still hold in the case of blacks fleeing from masters in border states that were loyal to the Union government. It was not until June 28, 1864, that the Acts were repealed.

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Dictionary Entries Near Fugitive Slave Acts

fugitive from justice warrant

Fugitive Slave Acts

fugitive warrant

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Cite this Entry

“Fugitive Slave Acts.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/Fugitive%20Slave%20Acts. Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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