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American Experience

Fugitive Slave Act

Clip: Season 25 Episode 12 | 2m 19s

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The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 made the hunting down of escaped slaves, even in free states, fully legal. To abolitionists, this represented a huge blow to their efforts. Not only had the federal government endorsed slavery, but it had also committed to preserving the institution indefinitely.

Aired: 01/08/13 | Rating: NR

Corporate sponsorship for American Experience is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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The Chinese Six Companies

On May 28, 1900, San Francisco policemen formed a perimeter around Chinatown as officials diagnosed bubonic plague in the neighborhood and wanted to quarantine the nearly 20,000 residents. As tensions flared, an influential group of merchants known as the Chinese Six Companies sprang into action.

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