Slavery

Slavery and the Events Leading up to the Civil War

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    The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad was a secret network of people, places, and routes in the North that led slaves to freedom in large cities, black communities, and Canada. The Underground Railroad was well hidden from the public and was a suitable name because of the terminology intertwined within its purpose. The Underground Railroad’s terminology helped immensely when it came to codes, phrases, and letters.
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    The Underground Railroad Part Two

    Because of its secrecy, by looking at a letter that speaks of a “passenger being lost.” These phrases helped determine that a “passenger” was a fugitive and “being lost,” meant the fugitive was caught by a slave catcher. Many who were not apart of the Underground Railroad would have thought of a letter that contained any of the terms would have simply thought of people meeting at a train station or discussing about a meeting at a train station of some sort.
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    The Undergorund Railroad Part Three

    The physical landscapes and regional attitudes of the Underground Railroad would come to affect because of these two factors. Many abolitionists that helped with the Underground Railroad had to lay out precisely the routes for the fugitives traveling them for it to be bearable to survive. Physical landscapes had to be easy to trek and navigate. Fugitives needed assistance when traveling and needed people that they could trust to help. Regional attitudes come to play when it came to trust.
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    The Underround Railroad Part Four

    Many fugitives could have came into contact with hostile whites while traveling the routes in the South. Also, fugitives had to worry about who they would bring with them. Many fugitives were alone when they escaped, however, they would leave family behind. Slaves had fears of being sold to different plantations, so leaving family for freedom would be a decision to consider. Without the help of abolitionists’ intelligence and knowledge, the Underground Railroad wouldn’t have been such a success.
  • John Rankin

    John Rankin
    John Rankin was a free white man born in Tennessee, which was a southern state, on February 4, 1793. John Rankin was a Southern conductor and stockholder to about 2,000 fugitives on the Underground Railroad. Rankin’s house was one of the first stations on the route to freedom in Ripley, Ohio. In the years of 1822 through 1865, Rankin and his family were very active on the Underground Railroad and helped many fugitives to their freedom.
  • John Rankin Part Two

    John Rankin Part Two
    Rankin would signal that his house was a station by putting a candle in the window. From being an active abolitionist, John Rankin would tell stories about the fugitives that he had helped. Harriet Beecher Stowe, who would visit Ripley frequently, would later reference some of the stories told by Rankin in her famous book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Rankin not only was an active abolitionist and conductor, but he was also an author of many writings of books and pamphlets.
  • John Rankin Part Three

    John Rankin Part Three
    His book “Letters on American Slavery” published in book form in 1823 vocalized views on antislavery . It became the standard reading for abolitionists all over America by the 1830s. Along with his writings, he was one of the founders of the Anti-Slavery Society in New York, the Anti-Slavery Tract Society, the American Reformed Tract and Book Society, and he established the Ohio Anti-Slavery Society in 1835.
  • The Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise is about the compromise that settled Missouri’s admission to statehood as a slave territory, and how it was a ripple effect on our country’s future states. It was written by Henry Clay and signed into law by James Monroe on March 6, 1820.
  • The Missouri Compromise Part Two

    The Missouri Compromise Part Two
    The main points are that Missouri wanted to be admitted into the Union as a slave territory, the North felt Missouri should be a free state and the slaves there should be freed at the age of twenty-five, and the South argued against the north. The South argued against the North’s proposal by saying that Congress could not set conditions on new states joining, that it would not be fair because the other states joined without any conditions. The North’s proposal, however, was rejected.
  • The Missouri Compromise Part Three

    The Missouri Compromise Part Three
    Because Missouri already had slaves when slave owners migrated to there, it was resolved by Missouri entering into the Union as a slave territory.This brought a different light on the rest of the Louisiana Territory. The “catch” of Missouri entering the Union as a slave territory was that portions of the Louisiana Territory that were north of the 36’30’ would be free. Along with the land north of the 36’30’, Maine was admitted into statehood as a free state.
  • The MIssouri Compromise Part Four

    The MIssouri Compromise Part Four
    Because of the Missouri Compromise, the Senate maintained a balance between slave and free state representation.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    Nat Turner’s Rebellion was a slave rebellion lead by a slave named Nat Turner. The rebellion consisted of sixty to seventy slaves. Nat Turner, a very intelligent and religious young man that saw visions, started the rebellion off with his slave owner, Mr. Travis. On August 22-23, 1831 in South Ampton, Virginia, Nat Turner’s rebellion ravished the land. After the killing of Mr. Travis and his family, the rebellion moved on and killed about sixty other plantation owners and their family members.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion Part Two

    Nat Turner's Rebellion Part Two
    The first response to the rebellion was the call for three thousand militia troops to capture Nat Turner and his fellow followers. Many were captured, guilty, and executed, while some were set free. Nat Turner himself was captured, tried in court, found guilty, and was hanged. After the rebellion, many Southern white slave owners were scared and became violent. Stories arose of the good in the rebellion, for instance, some slaves protected their owners.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion Part Three

    Nat Turner's Rebellion Part Three
    Although these stories tried to stop rebellions many slave owners acted out in violence that killed an estimated two hundred slaves. Southern states began to pass laws that later was known as the Black Codes. The Black Codes limited what slaves could and could not do. These laws made slaves’ lives even more difficult and made them want their freedom than ever before.
  • The Compromise of 1850

    The Compromise of 1850
    The Compromise of 1850 was the compromise with a series of bills (laws) that established California entering the Union as a free state, Washington D.C outlawed their slave market (trade), and the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act law. It accomplished in keeping the nation united, however, it was only temporary.The compromise was created by Henry Clay, Stephen Douglas, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun. On January 29th, 1850, Henry Clay announced the compromise to the Senate.
  • The Compromise of 1850 Part Two

    The Compromise of 1850 Part Two
    As more and more emigrants were headed to California in the time of the Gold Rush, California was working on their state constitution. California with its growing population wanted admission into the Union as a free territory. Considering California had adopted their new state constitution that forbade slavery in September to November 1848 and the fact that prospectors didn’t want slaves, California didn’t want to be a slave state.
  • The Compromise of 1850 Part Three

    The Compromise of 1850 Part Three
    Because California was farther south of the 36’30’ that only applied to the Louisiana Territory, southerners were furious. Southerners thought that the 36’30’ shouldn’t just apply to the Louisiana Territory but to the rest of the territories. In the end, all the tension was settled with the presentation of the Compromise of 1850, California entered the Union as a free state. Along with California entering as a free territory, the compromise outlawed slave trading in Washington D.C.
  • The Compromise of 1850 Part Four

    The Compromise of 1850 Part Four
    One law, in particular, created the most controversy. The law helped the South immensely while the North gained from the compromise was California as a free state and the slave trade in Washington D.C was outlawed.The Fugitive Slave Act required citizens to assist in the recovery of fugitive slaves, it denied fugitive slaves a jury trial, and federal officials were responsible for enforcing the law. All blacks, free and enslaved, were not safe. Many slaves that lived in the North fled to Canada.
  • The Compromise of 1850 Part Five

    The Compromise of 1850 Part Five
    Because slaves didn’t have a jury trial, many free blacks and fugitive slaves were completely defenseless. The Underground Railroad was at its peak at the time of the act. The issue about slavery was set upon our country and it would continue until one day the tension would break out into war.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act was an act that Senator Stephen Douglas from Illinois came up with and proposed in January of 1854. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed into law on May 30, 1854. Douglas wanted Chicago to benefit from the development of the West by helping to make Chicago a railroad hub, but most importantly he wanted to run for president. Because Douglas wanted to run for president, he wanted to gain both southern and northern voters.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act Part Two

    Kansas-Nebraska Act Part Two
    Douglas, with this in mind, came up with the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Kansas-Nebraska Act proposed that the new territories should be able to choose, known as “popular sovereignty”, on whether they wanted to be free or slave state. The sooner the new territories became states, the faster the East could be connected to the West. Along with, hopefully, Chicago becoming a railroad hub.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act Part Three

    Kansas-Nebraska Act Part Three
    The act stated that America should forget about the 36’30’ N line that the Missouri Compromise instilled upon the territory in 1820. Douglas believed southerners would be happy because there was a possibility of new slave states. Douglas believed northerners would not object to popular sovereignty and that there was no way that the new territories would choose to be slave territory because the land could not support cotton and thus could not support slavery.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act Part Four

    Kansas-Nebraska Act Part Four
    He believed Kansas-Nebraska would vote peacefully to be free. Unfortunately, Douglas predictions were wrong. Many northerners were outraged and many people denounced Douglas for what they saw as the Slave Power. Giving the South the advantage and supporting slavery. The voting was not peaceful and as tension grew it would soon break out into the summer of murderous raids known as “Bleeding Kansas.”
  • Bleeding Kansas

    Bleeding Kansas
    Tension was created in the territory of Kansas, soon to be nicknamed as “Bleeding Kansas”, because the Kansas-Nebraska bill became law. Many pro and anti slavery settlers raced to occupy the territory to claim its position towards slavery. Anti-slavery settlers from New England moved to Kansas to try to fight the Slave Power. “Free soilers” as the people who were committed to keeping the territory of Kansas free, made there way towards the Kansas territory.
  • Bleeding Kansas Part Two

    Bleeding Kansas Part Two
    Pro-slavery settlers from Missouri moved into the Kansas territory to vote illegally in hoping Kansas would soon become a slave state. In Lawrence, Kansas on May 21, 1856 was where the first act of violence occurred. Started by pro-slavery supporters, they looted an anti-slavery newspaper building and burned it to the ground.
  • Bleeding Kansas Part Three

    Bleeding Kansas Part Three
    A couple of days later in retaliation of this attack, famous abolitionist John Brown led other anti-slavery supporters in an attack on pro-slavery settlers near Pottawatomie Creek. During the attack, they killed five pro-slavery men in front of their families. Both the raid on the anti-slavery newspaper building in Lawrence, Kansas and John Brown’s attack near Pottawatomie Creek started a summer of murderous raids throughout Kansas giving the territory the nickname of “Bleeding Kansas.”
  • Dred Scott Case

    Dred Scott Case
    Dred Scott was a slave that traveled with his master, who was an Army doctor, from the slave state of Missouri, to the free territories Illinois and Wisconsin, and then back to Missouri. Scott believed that because he was in free territory that that made him, as well as his wife, free. Instead of running away, Scott decided to sue for his freedom.
  • Dred Scott Case Part Two

    Dred Scott Case Part Two
    His case went all the way to the back then proslavery Supreme Court. During the eleven year duration of Scott’s case (1846-1857), the Dred Scott Case finally came to a verdict on March 6, 1857. Chief Justice Robert Taney ruled that Scott must remain a slave and that as a slave he was property not a citizen of the United States. Furthermore, slaves were property and the fifth amendment states that no citizen should be deprived of property without due process of law.
  • Dred Scott Case Part Three

    Dred Scott Case Part Three
    As a result, Congress had no right to forbid slaveholding and the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was ruled unconstitutional. The verdict of Scott’s case outraged northerners and was well received by southerners. Also, the decision influenced the nomination of Abraham Lincoln and the secession of the South from the Union. Sadly, Scott would never witness the war he triggered because shortly after Scott’s master’s son paid for his freedom and Scott unfortunately passed away nine months later.
  • The Raid on Harpers Ferry

    The Raid on Harpers Ferry
    On a Sunday evening on October 16, 1859, a famous abolitionist named John Brown lead five blacks and thirteen whites into Harpers Ferry, Virginia merely three years after his attack near Pottawatomie Creek in Kansas. Brown and his followers were not the only ones that supported the attack. Many abolitionists from the North supported Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry.
  • The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part Two

    The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part Two
    Both Brown, his followers, and the abolitionists in the North had a dream of a massive uprising of enslaved Americans that would end slavery and punish slaveholders. Most importantly, they wanted a moral renewal of the United States. Unfortunately, Brown’s raid was a not a success as many hoped it would be. Federal troops from Washington, lead by Colonel Robert E. Lee, were sent to stop the raid. Lee’s troops killed half of Brown's men until Brown, who was severely injured, surrendered.
  • The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part Three

    The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part Three
    Brown was convicted of treason against the state of Virginia and was executed by hanging. On December 2, 1859, the day of his execution Brown gave his guard a note. His note foreshadowed what was to come to the nation and giving him the name the “Meteor” of the Civil War.
  • The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part Four

    The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part Four
    Northerners hailed Brown for his cause of justice and freedom while Southerners denounced Brown as a terrorist. The raid deepen the division between the North and the South. Overall, the raid influenced the election of Abraham Lincoln and helped in the making of the Confederate Army.
  • The Presidential Election of 1860

    The Presidential Election of 1860
    The Presidential Election of 1860 was the election that would bring the country into a dark path. The Presidential Election of 1860 candidates were Abraham Lincoln (Republican), Stephen Douglas (Democrat), John Breckinridge (Democrat), and John Bell (Constitutional Union Party). All the candidates had something in common, they did not express that they wanted slavery abolished.
  • The Presidential Election of 1860 Part Two

    The Presidential Election of 1860 Part Two
    Even though slavery was a big issue, the candidates only expressed how they would handle the issue on the spread of slavery. Not one of them expressed that they were going to abolish slavery. The election was primarily two elections in one. One in the North between Douglas and Lincoln and the other in the South between Breckinridge and Bell. As a result on November 6, 1860, on election day. Lincoln held mostly all the northern states including Oregon and California, winning the election.
  • The Presidential Election of 1860 Part Three

    The Presidential Election of 1860 Part Three
    While Douglas only held Missouri and half of New Jersey. Breckinridge had most of the southern states except for Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia that were held under Bell. For the South, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Shortly after the Presidential Election of 1860, the South felt that the election was unfair and seceded, especially when Abraham Lincoln won without a single southern vote. The Presidential Election of 1860 was overall a sectional victory for Abraham Lincoln.