Slavery and the Events Leading up to the Civil War

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    The Underground Railroad

    The Underground Railroad was a network of safehouses and hiding places that led runaway slaves from the South to the North. The Underground Railroad was up and running from the early 1800’s until 1865, when the Civil War ended and the Union freed the slaves. Many people, mostly Abolitionists (people that opposed and wanted slavery to end), helped runaway slaves escape via the Underground Railroad to the North or Canada.
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    The Underground Railroad Part 2

    Canada was the safest place to be because the Compromise of 1850 made all African-Americans, regardless if they were free or runaway, not considered citizens of the United States and blacks couldn’t prove if their innocence because the Compromise limited their right to a jury trial. On the Underground Railroad, Abolitionists used secret phrases and words to communicate with one another in secret, that way slave catchers, aka “Patter Rollers”, couldn’t know that the Underground Railroad existed.
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    The Underground Railroad Part 3

    Runaways were told that the North Star, which is on the constellation of the Big and Little Dipper, would point them to Freedom (The North or Canada). Also, they were taught the song: Follow the Drinking Gourd, which told runaways that were farther south how to escape to the North. Runaways on the Underground Railroad were called packages, parcels, etc. in order to keep their identity safe from the Patter Rollers.
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    Underground Railroad

    People that helped escort runaways to freedom were called Conductors or Shepherds and those who funded the runaways escape were called Stockholders or Shareholders. Many famous abolitionists helped runaway slaves escape to the North and eventually Canada. Harriet Tubman was the most famous/active abolitionists on the Underground Railroad.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise was a bill that temporarily resolved the anti-slavery and slavery conflict between the Northern Abolitionists and the Southern Plantation owners. The Missouri Compromise was signed into law on March 6th, 1820 by President James Monroe and it was made to restore the peace between the North and South. The issue during that time was when free states outnumbered slave states in the Union and where slavery could spread.
  • Missouri Compromise Part 3

    Missouri Compromise Part 3
    This was made to keep a balance of free and slave states that were in the Union (12 free:12 slave).
  • Missouri Compromise Part 4

    Missouri Compromise Part 4 Staff. "Congress passes the Missouri Compromise." A+E
    Networks, 2010. Web. 22 Dec. 2015. <
  • Missouri Compromise Part 2

    Missouri Compromise Part 2
    In order to keep the peace, Henry Clay and Congress signed the Missouri Compromise into law and as a result, Maine entered the Union as a free state and Missouri became a free state. The Missouri Compromise also established the 36’30 line which stretched along Missouri’s southern border until the edge of the Texas Territory. This line established that any territories in the Louisiana Purchase that are north of the 36’30 line would become free states and anything south would become slave states.
  • Levi and Catherine Coffin Part 3

    Levi and Catherine Coffin Part 3
    Every week, Coffin would have at least one runaway arrive at his doorstep. Then in 1847, Coffin moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and opened up a warehouse that sold products from free labor , not by slaves. Toward the end of the Underground Railroad, Coffin helped raise money for runaway slaves to make businesses and farms after they were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Levi and Catherine Coffin Part 4

    Levi and Catherine Coffin Part 4
    For his forty years of service on the Underground Railroad, Coffin was awarded the title of “President of the Underground Railroad.” His legacy still lives on as one of the most successful abolitionists of the Underground Railroad. Levi Coffin and the Underground Railroad
  • Levi and Catherine Coffin

    Levi and Catherine Coffin
    A Quaker Abolitionist named Levi Coffin played an important role in helping runaway slaves flee to Canada and to freedom. The exact date of them becoming abolitionists is unknown. Levi Coffin and his wife, Catherine Coffin, helped send runaways to the north and Canada via the Underground Railroad while they lived in North Carolina, which was a slave state at that time. Levi Coffin and the Underground Railroad
  • Levi and Catherine Coffin Part 2

    Levi and Catherine Coffin Part 2
    At an early age, Levi Coffin was taught by his fellow Quaker family that slavery was wrong and saw the horror and brutality of slavery firsthand while living in North Carolina. He also helped several runaways escape to freedom at an early age. This helped spark Coffin’s desire to help send runaway slaves to freedom. Then in 1826, Coffin and his wife moved to Newport, Indiana and made his house into a safe house for runaways to seek shelter in as they continued north on the Underground Railroad.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    Nat Turner was an intelligent slave/preacher who led a rebellion against the South and led 60-70 slaves to fight and revolt. On August 22-24, 1831 Nat Turner led 60-70 slaves on a revolt against Southampton, Virginia. During this rampage Nat Turner killed 60+ plantation owners and their families in hopes of striking fear into the plantation owners. As a result, a militia of 3,000 men were sent to capture Turner and his supporters.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion Part 2

    Nat Turner's Rebellion Part 2
    Nat Turner was captured, sent to jail, and later executed by hanging. Many of his supporters shared the same fate and some were sent free. This rebellion made life for blacks extremely hard because all blacks were not considered civilians, and the Black Codes limited what blacks could do like vote, have a weapon, meet in groups, read or write, etc. This rebellion made life worse for every single African American man, woman, and child.
  • Compromise of 1850 Part2

    Compromise of 1850 Part2
    In order to keep the peace, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and Stephen Douglas, came together and formed the Compromise of 1850. In the North the Compromise promised that Washington D.C. will outlaw its slave trade, make California a free state, and other territories could decide if they wanted to be a free or slave state, and in exchange the South was promised the Fugitive Slave Act.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    The Compromise of 1850 was made on September 20th, 1850 and was established in order to please both the North and South, to keep the Union together, and to not cause Civil War (well that didn’t work out). The North and South both had different opinions about slavery: the North wanted slavery abolished, while the South was pro-slavery and thought that slavery was their way of life and that slaves were considered property.
  • Compromise of 1850 Part 3

    Compromise of 1850 Part 3
    The Fugitive Slave Act forced Northerners to give up all suspected runaway slaves, even if they were free blacks. It also limited a slave's right to a jury, therefore they couldn’t prove if they were free or runaway blacks. Because of this unfair act, the Underground Railroad is in full swing and many African Americans are fleeing to Canada to escape this injustice.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act Part 2

    Kansas-Nebraska Act Part 2
    Stephen Douglas devised a plan to gain the southerners support and make the territories of Kansas and Nebraska become states, which was the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed into law by Congress on May 30th, 1854 and made tensions rise even more in the territories.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act Part 3

    Kansas-Nebraska Act Part 3
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act used “popular sovereignty”,the right for the territories to decide if they should be free or slave states, in order to gain support from the North and South for Douglas’ plan of becoming president. In the Kansas-Nebraska Act, it stated that the 36’30 line should be forgotten about as well as the Missouri Compromise and to rely on popular sovereignty.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act Part 4

    Kansas-Nebraska Act Part 4
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act Part 5

    Kansas-Nebraska Act Part 5
    Douglas knew that his Kansas-Nebraska Act would appease the Southerners because the territories of Kansas and Nebraska would become Slave States. This made Northerners outraged about the Act and denounced Douglas for what they called a sellout to the Slave Power, also known as the South. Douglas was wrong about a peaceful vote in the territories and “Bleeding Kansas” was started because of his Kansas-Nebraska Act.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    On May 30, 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed into law and was started by a Northern Democrat from Illinois, named Stephen Douglas. Douglas wanted the town of Chicago, Illinois to become a railroad hub, and to make Chicago benefit from the development of the railroad and the West. In order for that dream to be accomplished, the territories of Kansas and Nebraska had to become states.
  • Bleeding Kansas Part 3

    Bleeding Kansas Part 3
    In order to combat the Slave Power, many antislavery supporters from New England moved to the Kansas Territory. During this period of mass slaughter, President Franklin Pierce was in office. At the end of Bleeding Kansas, over 200 men died and the Civil War was about to erupt over slavery.
  • Bleeding Kansas Part 2

    Bleeding Kansas Part 2
    Many antislavery supporters were outraged by this act of violence and an abolitionist named John Brown led his sons and other antislavery supporters to attack near Pottawatomie Creek on May 24th-25th 1856. As a result, five victims were massacred because of this act of violence. Many proslavery supporters flocked into the Kansas territory illegally in order to try and make the Kansas territory a slave state.
  • Bleeding Kansas

    Bleeding Kansas
    Bleeding Kansas was a period of violence in during the decision of Kansas and Nebraska becoming slave states which lasted from May-August of 1856. On May 21, 1856 the first act of “Bleeding Kansas” erupted in Lawrence, Kansas when proslavery supporters looted and sacked an abolitionist newspaper office.
  • Dred Scott Case

    Dred Scott Case
    From 1846-1857 a slave named Dred Scott sued in court to prove his innocence as a free slave. Scott appealed to the Supreme Court saying, that since his master died, he was a free man and that he and his wife lived in Illinois and Wisconsin with his master, that he should be free. After ten years of appealing the Supreme Court, under the direction of Justice Roger Towney, made their decision.
  • Dred Scott Case Part 2

    Dred Scott Case Part 2
    On March 6th, 1857 the Supreme Court stated that Scott should remain a slave because he was not considered a citizen because of the color of his skin. They also stated that ALL people of African ancestry were, henceforth, never to be considered citizens of the United States of America, and that they could not sue in federal court. This Case would change African American lives forever.
  • Dred Scott Case Part 4

    Dred Scott Case Part 4
    This Case also made Abraham Lincoln the Republican president for the Presidential Election of 1860, and the succession of the Southern States that would later form the Confederate States of America
  • Dred Scott Case Part 3

    Dred Scott Case Part 3
    The Case also stated that the federal government did not have the power to prohibit slavery in the territories and that the Missouri Compromise and the 36’30 line will be considered unconstitutional and banned forever. Slavery can now inhabit anywhere they wanted in the United States. Many Northerners were outraged by this Case and was well received by the Southern slaveholders.
  • The Raid on Harpers Ferry

    The Raid on Harpers Ferry
    On October 16th, 1859 an abolitionist named John Brown led eighteen other anti-slavery men, including blacks, to raid the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia(now West Virginia, after Virginia split during the Civil War). Once John Brown and his followers seized the federal arsenal their plan was to raid the arsenal and call upon the slaves to rise up against their masters and fight to end slavery. They wanted to arm the slaves to destroy slavery in the South.
  • The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part 2

    The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part 2
    Then the raid started and John Brown took hostages, once they entered the arsenal, including George Washington’s Great-Grandnephew. Havoc broke out and the local townspeople attacked Brown and his men, and the slaves did not rise up and fight. Federal Troops from Virginia, under the command of Robert E. Lee, stormed the arsenal the next day. In the battle most of Brown’s men were killed and John Brown was wounded.
  • The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part 3

    The Raid on Harpers Ferry Part 3
    After the raid was over, Brown was tried in court for treason against the United States and was executed by hanging on December 2nd, 1859. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson and John Wilkes Booth witnessed Brown’s execution or were part of the militia that ended the raid. Southerners were outraged by Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry and some abolitionists either agreed with his actions, like Frederick Douglass, or disliked what he did, like President Abraham Lincoln.
  • Raid on Harpers Ferry Part 4

    Raid on Harpers Ferry Part 4
    This would also help spark the events of the Civil War.
  • The Election of 1860

    The Election of 1860
    On November 6th, 1860 The Election of 1860 was held in order to elect the future president of the United States. The presidential candidates were Abraham Lincoln of the Republican Party, Stephen Douglas of the Democrat Party, John Breckinridge of the Democrat Party, and John Bell of the Constitutional Union.
  • The Election of 1860 Part 2

    The Election of 1860 Part 2
    Abraham Lincoln’s approach to slavery was that he allowed slavery, but did not want it to expand to the territories, and many abolitionists didn’t like his view on slavery because he allowed it to exist(for now…). John Breckinridge wanted slavery to expand into the territories and throughout the United States , while John Bell had a moderate view on slavery because he was a moderate slaveowner.
  • The Election of 1860 Part 3

    The Election of 1860 Part 3
    Stephen Douglas’ view on slavery was that he tolerated slavery, but he relied on popular sovereignty instead. Once the electoral college had voted, Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States, with all of the Northern States and Oregon and California, without a single southern vote. Lincoln had over 180 electoral votes, which was over the majority needed to become president at that time.
  • The Election of 1860

    The Election of 1860
    Also, this election outraged the South and would lead to the attack on Fort Sumter when South Carolina attacked fort and started the Civil War.
  • The Election of 1860 Part 4

    The Election of 1860 Part 4
    John Breckinrige had 72 electoral votes and had the majority of the south on his side, while Douglas and Bell had 12 and 39 electoral votes. Douglas had Missouri and Southern New Jersey on his side and Bell had Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky on his side. This election will make the state of South Carolina succeed, or break away, from the Union, causing the Civil War and the formation of the Confederate States of America under the direction of Jefferson Davis as its president.