Fugitive Slave Law (1850 ) By: Matt Femia. Historical Background.
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Prior to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 which required that runaway slaves be brought back to their masters, the new law stated that anyone, Federal marshals and officials in particular, that did not arrest and return slaves, or helped and aided a slave, would be fined $1,000 and be accountable for 6 months imprisonment.