Slavery Timeline

By akramc
  • Desire

    Colonial North America's slave trade begins when the first American slave carrier, Desire, is built and launched in Massachusetts. url
  • John Punch

    John Punch
    John Punch, a runaway black servant, is sentenced to servitude for life. His two white companions are given extended terms of servitude. Punch is the first documented slave for life. url
  • New Netherlands

    New Netherlands
    New Netherlands law forbids residents from harboring or feeding runaway slaves. data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxQTEhUUExQWFhQXGR8bGBgXGCAfIBwgICAeHiAcHRwgHyghHBwlHhwhITEiJSkrLy4uHx8zODMsNygtLisBCgoKBQUFDgUFDisZExkrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrK//AABEIALwBDQMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcAAACAwEBAQEAAAAAAAAAAAAFBgMEBwIBCAD/xABEEAACAQIEBAMFBQYFAwMFAQABAhEDIQAEEjEFBkFREyJhBzJxgZEUI0KhsVJiksHR8BUzcoLhJFOiQ8LSFhdzsvE0/8QAFAEBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP
  • Northwest

    Slavery is made illegal in the Northwest Territory. The U.S Constitution states that Congress may not ban the slave trade until 1808.
  • 3/5 Compromise

    3/5 Compromise
    the Three-fifths Compromise was enacted. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia this year accepting a plan determining a state’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Cotton Gin

    Cotton Gin
  • Fugitive Slave law

    Fugitive Slave law
    A federal fugitive slave law is enacted, providing for the return of slaves who had escaped and crossed state lines data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxMTEhUSExIWFRUWGR0YFxcYGBgYHRobICEdICAdHiEbHSggHh4lHR8ZITEhJikrLi4uICAzODMtNyktLisBCgoKBQUFDgUFDisZExkrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrKysrK//AABEIAL0BCwMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAcAAABBAMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAFAAQGBwEDCAL/xABSEAACAQIEAwQGAwsJBQYHAAABAgMEEQAFEiEGEzEHIkFRFDJhcYGRI0KhCBUzcnOCkrGys8EkJTVSYmOi0fA0
  • Richmond Revolt

    Richmond Revolt
    Gabriel Prosser, an enslaved African-American blacksmith, organizes a slave revolt on Richmond, VA. The conspiracy is uncovered, prosser and others in the revolt were hanged
  • Self sustaining part 1

    In January 1807, with a self-sustaining population of over four million slaves in the South, some Southern congressmen joined with the North in voting to abolish the African slave trade
  • Self sustainting pt 2

    an act became effective January 1, 1808. The widespread trade of slaves within the South was not prohibited, however, and children of slaves automatically became slave themselves, thus ensuring a self-sustaining slave population in the South.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise forbids slavery in the Louisiana territory north of Missouri's Southern border. Under its terms, Maine is admitted to the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state.
  • Seige on south carolina

    Seige on south carolina
    Denmark Vesey, an enslaved African-American carpenter who had purchased his freedom, plans a slave revolt with the intent to lay siege on Charleston, South Carolina. The plot is discovered, and Vesey and 34 coconspirators are hanged.
  • Nat Turner

    Nat Turner
    Nat Turner, an enslaved African-American preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history. He and his band of followers launch a short, bloody, rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The militia quells the rebellion, and Turner is eventually hanged. As a consequence, Virginia institutes much stricter slave laws.
  • Liberator

    William Lloyd Garrison begins publishing the Liberator, a weekly paper that advocates the complete abolition of slavery. He becomes one of the most famous figures in the abolitionist movement data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxQTEhQUExQWFhUXFyAaGBgYGRsgHRgdIBofHR8eHhoaHSghGRolGyAcIjEhJSorLi4uHSAzODMsNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGBAQGiwkHCQsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLCwsLP/AABEIALEBHQMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbAAACAwEBAQAAAAAAAAAAAAADBAACBQYBB//EAEgQAAIBAgQE
  • Amistad Revolt

    Amistad Revolt
    On July 2, 1839, 53 African slaves on board the slave ship the Amistad revolted against their captors, killing all but the ship's navigator, who sailed them to Long Island, N.Y., instead of their intended destination, Africa. Joseph Cinqué was the group's leader. The slaves aboard the ship became unwitting symbols for the antislavery movement in pre-Civil War United States.
  • Douglass

    Frederick Douglass launches his abolitionist newspaper
  • The Willmot Proviso

    The Willmot Proviso
    The Wilmot Proviso, introduced by representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania, attempts to ban slavery in territory gained in the Mexican War. The proviso is blocked by Southerners, but continues to enflame the debate over slavery.
  • Harriet Tubman

    Harriet Tubman
    Harriet Tubman escapes from slvaery and becomes one of the most effective leaders of the underground railroad, helping hundreds of other slaves escape their plantations.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    The continuing debate whether territory gained in the Mexican War should be open to slavery is decided in the Compromise of 1850: California is admitted as a free state, Utah and New Mexicoterritories are left to be decided by popular sovereignty, and the slave trade in Washington, DC, is prohibited. It also establishes a much stricter fugitive slave law than the originally passed in 1793.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin is published. It becomes one of the most influential works for the abolitionist movement. data:image/jpeg;base64,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wCEAAkGBxMTEhUTExMWFhUXFxkaGRgYGBoaGRoYGRoWGBgdGhofHSggHx0lGxgdITElJSkrLi4uFx8zODMsNygtLisBCgoKDg0OGxAQGi0lHyUuLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLS0tLf/AABEIAQUAwQMBIgACEQEDEQH/xAAbAAACAwEBAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAEBQIDBgABB//EAE8QAAECBAMFBAUFDAgGAgMAAAECEQADEiEEMUEFIlFhcQYTgZEyQqGx8BQjUsHRB
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    Congress passes the Kansas-Nebraska Act, establishing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. The legislation repeals the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and renews tensions between anti- and proslavery factions.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.
  • Harpers Ferry

    Harpers Ferry
    John Brown and 21 followers capture the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W. Va.), in an attempt to launch a slave revolt.
  • Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    On April 12, 1861, General P.G.T. Beauregard, in command of the Confederate forces around Charleston Harbor, opened fire on the Union garrison holding Fort Sumter. At 2:30pm on April 13 Major Robert Anderson, garrison commander, surrendered the fort and was evacuated the next day.
  • Secession

    The Confederacy is formed when the deep south secedes and the civil war begins
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
  • 1865

    Congress establishes the Freedmen's Bureau to protect the rights of newly emancipated blacks (March).
    The Civil War ends (April 9).
    Lincoln is assassinated (April 14).
    The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by ex-Confederates (May).
    Slavery in the United States is effectively ended when 250,000 slaves in Texas finally receive the news that the Civil War had ended two months earlier (June 19).
    Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery (Dec. 6).
  • Black Codes

    Black Codes
    Black codes passed by southern states restricting the rights of newly freed slaves
  • Reconstruction

    A series of Reconstruction acts are passed, carving the former Confederacy into five military districts and guaranteeing the civil rights of freed slaves.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, defining citizenship. Individuals born or naturalized in the United States are American citizens, including those born as slaves. This nullifies the Dred Scott Case (1857), which had ruled that blacks were not citizens.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote.
    Hiram Revels of Mississippi is elected the country's first African-American senator. During Reconstruction, sixteen blacks served in Congress and about 600 served in states legislatures.