Term: Fugitive Slave Act
Definition: An 1850 U.S. law that compelled citizens to help return escaping slaves to their owners; those who refused to assist, or who helped slaves to escape, were subject to heavy penalties. The Fugitive Slave law became a rallying point for abolitionists, who felt compelled to disobey it. View more information elsewhere at wisconsinhistory.org.
[Source: Columbia Encyclopedia; Turning Points in Wisconsin History.]