Since slavery was born along with the nation, several laws had been put in place to preserve the highly controversial institution. Southern slave owners felt threatened by Northern states that had abolished slavery even before the Constitutional Convention. To quell their fears several pro-slavery delegates petitioned to include the Fugitive Slave Clause in the constitution prior to its passage. Years later the antislavery sentiment had grown significantly and southerners felt it was time to reinforce their desires for escaped slaves. This time a law was outlined and put into effect in 1793- titled the Fugitive Slave Act. This act drove the laws of the clause home, described how it would be executed, and outlined what slave owners were allowed to do. Considerably the most important clause of the act allowed slave owners to search for their escaped slaves within the borders of free states. Additionally, it outlined how suspected runaways would be processed in a legal setting; bounty hunters would bring their captives in front of a judge who would then determine the hunter validity of evidence for capture- which would often be no less than a signed affidavit. Another law enacted upon its passage was the ability to fine, up to five hundred dollars, those who were caught aiding and abetting runaway slaves. Once the act passed it received a multitude of criticism from certain northern states, some of which did not bother to enact any of the laws. Furthermore, in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 abolitionists formed several resistance groups and constructed a network of safe houses that would assist salves on their journey north. As an unfortunate circumstance and due to loose regulations of the law, multiple freed African-Americans were often illegally captured and sold into slavery. This was just one of many laws that protect slave owners from losing property, but each were met with significant resistance that culminated into the Civil War nearly a century later.