• 1 Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

    Known as the bloodhound law for the dogs used to chase freedom-seeking slaves, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 made federal officials throughout the United States (including free states) legally bound to return runaway slaves to their masters and provide financial rewards for those who did. Furthermore, any person aiding a runaway slave could be subject to imprisonment or a fine of up to $1,000.

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