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The Fugitive Slave Act: No Turning Back!

fugitive slave law
Year Start
Year End

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed for the capture and return of runaway slaves. Northerner legislatures passed laws in an attempt to reduce the impact of the FSA and how the work of the Underground Railroad (UGRR) was impacted. Students will learn how the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (FSA) changed perspectives of Northerners and the ultimate destination of the fugitives themselves. Students will learn background knowledge and vocabulary about the Underground Railroad in the United States. They will learn about the FSA and read some documents addressing the Underground Railroad both before and after the FSA. Students will then write an editorial newspaper piece from a Northerner’s perspective about the capture of a freed slave in Massachusetts and may choose to write their piece from a list of various occupations and stations in life. 


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Lesson Plan