Texas joined a United States of America in the middle of a time of great division. It was in fact that division that had made Texas Annexation a controversy. Northern Free States did not want Texas to join the Union because they did not want to add another Southern Slave State. They feared it would give more power to the Slave States, and they felt their fears realized with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. It sentenced those who helped accused escaped slaves with six months in prison, officials who didn’t arrest them with fines of one thousand dollars, and deprived the accused escaped slave of the right to demand a jury trial or testify in their own defense. The Slave States considered it a simple protection of their property rights. Free States felt like they were being forced to participate in slavery and some outright nullified the law. Many Abolitionists publicly proclaimed their violations of the law and dared officials to arrest them, and juries across the North refused to convict those charged with violating it. The South did not take kindly to this blatant rejection of their rights, and Texas found itself caught in the middle of the growing crisis.