Imagine that an alien ship has landed in your community. You are captured and transported to a place unlike anything that you have ever experienced. You don’t understand anything about their geography or culture. You are enslaved. You think about escaping. Make a list of possible obstacles that you would face if you decided to actually attempt an escape. Obstacles to overcome: Background Information: Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 PowerPoint developed by S. Apple and J. Lampron • The Fugitive Slave Act was part of the group of laws referred to as the “Compromise of 1850” Source: The Nystrom Atlas of United States History • In this compromise, California became a free state and the slave trade, but not slavery itself, was abolished in the District of Columbia • Slavery was allowed in the newly organized territories of Utah and New Mexico • A new Fugitive Slave Act increased penalties for assisting runaway slaves • Even though this compromise was passed, no one, especially the abolitionists, were happy Source: Library of Congress • The Underground Railroad became even more active once the law was passed • A network of over 3,000 stations helped enslaved people to escape to northern states and Canada Harriet Tubam Source: http://www.mdslavery.net/html/flight/freeindex.html Focus Question: What was the cost of freedom for American slaves who wanted to escape after 1850?
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