"The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was part of the Compromise of 1850. This law required the United States government to actively assist slave owners in recapturing their runaway slaves. Under the United States Constitution, slave owners had the right to reclaim slaves who ran away to free states. With the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, the federal government had to assist the slave owners. No such requirement had existed previously.
This website talked about how U.S government had to help capture runaway slaves and bring them back to the slave owner.
People who were against the Fugitive Slave Act
"In 1850 Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law. Only John P. Hale, Charles Sumner, Salmon Chase and Benjamin Wade voted against the measure. The law stated that in future any federal marshal who did not arrest an alleged runaway slave could be fined $1,000. People suspected of being a runaway slave could be arrested without warrant and turned over to a claimant on nothing more than his sworn testimony of ownership. A suspected black slave could not ask for a jury trial nor testify on his or her behalf. Frederick Douglass, Wendel Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison and John Greenleaf Whittier led the fight against the law. Even moderate anti-slavery leaders such as Arthur Tappan declared he was now willing to disobey the law and as result helped fund the Underground Railroad."
This website talked about the people that were against the act.
The compromise and the fugitive slave act
" The Compromise of 1850 was introduced to stave off conflict between the slave states and the free states upon the admission of California as a state. Under the Compromise, California was admitted as a free state, New Mexico and Utah were organized as slave territories, and Texas had its boundaries set. Another part of the Compromise was the Fugitive Slave Act, which federalized the return of escaped slaves to their owners.
It is an offensive piece of legislation to us today, even if one takes the issue of race out of it. Slaves, of course, had no rights - they were guilty by virtue of a slave-owner's say-so, there was very little burden of proof, the federal government bore most of the costs of returning escaped slaves, and non-slaves who helped fugitive slaves were subject to harsh fines and prison.
Resistance to the law in the North grew a fever pitch, with President Fillmore calling out the army to quell some mobs and to return some former slaves caught in the North.
As defiance of the law in the North became more and more open and more and more fervent, the anger of the South grew and grew, adding to a general feeling of discontent. Northern abolitionists opposed this law. While the United States Congress debated the legislation, some legislators tried to insert protections into the bill for African Americans. They wanted the Fugitive Slave Law to guarantee blacks the right to testify and also the right to a trial by jury. Other legislators refused and claimed that African Americans were not United States citizens."
This website has a good explanation of the Fugitive slave act
Picture of a fugitve slave act flyer
This is a picture of an Abolitionist named Wendell Phillips speaking against the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 at an antislavery meeting in boston
These are two examples of a what slave owners would pay for someone to track down the runaway slave and bring them back to the slave master and work as a slave again.