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Timeline

  • Delaware

    Delaware
    Delaware state flag has a background of colonial blue surrounding a diamond of buff color in which the coat of arms of the state is placed. Below the diamond are the words "December 7, 1787," indicating the day on which Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States constitution. Because of this action, Delaware became the first state in the Union, and is, therefore, accorded the first position in such national events as presidential inaugurations.
  • Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania's State Flag is composed of a blue field on which is embroidered the State Coat of Arms. The first State Flag bearing the State Coat of Arms was authorized by the General Assembly in 1799. An act of the General Assembly of June 13, 1907, standardized the flag and required that the blue field match the blue of Old Glory.
  • New Jersey

    New Jersey
    The state coat of arms is emblazoned in the center. The shield has three plows with a horse's head above it. Two women represent the goddesses of Liberty and Agriculture. A ribbon at the bottom includes the year of independence in 1776 and reads: Liberty and Prosperity. The New Jersey state flag was formally adopted in 1896.
  • Georgia

    Georgia
    The Georgia flag has three red and white stripes and the state coat of arms on a blue field in the upper left corner.Thirteen stars surrounding the seal denotes Georgia's position as one of the original thirteen colonies. On the seal three pillars supporting an arch represent the three branches of government; legislative, judicial and executive. A man with sword drawn is defending the Constitution, whose principles are wisdom, justice and moderation.
  • Connecticut

    Connecticut
    On a field of azure blue is an ornamental white shield with three grapevines, each bearing three bunches of purple grapes. The states motto "He who Transplanted Sustains Us" is displayed on a white ribbon. The vines stand for the first settlements of English people who began to move from Massachusetts in the 1630's. These settlements were thought of as grape vines that had been transplanted. Flag adopted 1897.
  • Massachusetts

    Massachusetts
    On a white field is a blue shield emblazoned with the image of a Native American, Massachuset. He holds a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other. The arrow is pointing downward representing peace. The white star represents Massachusetts as one of the original thirteen states. Around the shield is a blue ribbon with the motto: "By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only Under Liberty". Above the shield is a arm and sword, representing the first part of the motto.
  • Maryland

    Maryland
    The Maryland flag contains the family crest of the Calvert and Crossland families. Maryland was founded as an English colony in 1634 by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. The black and Gold designs belong to the Calvert family. The red and white design belongs to the Crossland family. Flag adopted 1904.
  • South Carolina

    South Carolina
    Asked by the Revolutionary Council of Safety in the fall of 1775 to design a flag for the use of South Carolina troops, Col. William Moultrie chose a blue which matched the color of their uniforms and a crescent which reproduced the silver emblem worn on the front of their caps. The palmetto tree was added later to represent Moultrie's heroic defense of the palmetto-log fort on Sullivan's Island against the attack of the British fleet on June 28, 1776.
  • New Hampshire

    New Hampshire
    The state flag shall be of the following color and design: The body or field shall be blue and shall bear upon its center in suitable proportion and colors a representation of the state seal. The seal shall be surrounded by a wreath of laurel leaves with nine stars interspersed.
  • Virginia

    Virginia
    A deep blue field contains the seal of Virginia with the Latin motto "Sic Semper Tyrannis" - "Thus Always to Tyrants". Adopted in 1776. The two figures are acting out the meaning of the motto. Both are dressed as warriors. The woman, Virtue, represents Virginia. The man holding a scourge and chain shows that he is a tyrant. His fallen crown is nearby.
  • New York

    New York
    Emblazoned on a dark blue field is the state coat of arms. The goddess Liberty holds a pole with a Liberty Cap on top. Liberty stands for freedom. At her feet is a discarded crown, representing freedom from England at the end of the revolutionary war. On the right is the goddess, Justice. She wears a blindfold and carries the scales of justice. Meaning that everyone receives equal treatment under the law. The state motto "Excelsior" expresses the idea of higher goals.
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    George Washington

    George Washington was the first President of the United States, the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
  • North Carolina

    North Carolina
    That the flag of North Carolinashall consist of a blue union, containing in the center thereof a white star with the letter N in gilt on the left and the letter C in gilt on the right of said star, the circle containing the same to be one-third the width of the union.
  • Rhode Island

    Rhode Island
    Placed on a white field is a circle of thirteen gold stars representing the first thirteen states. The stars surround a gold ship's anchor. The state's motto "Hope" is on a blue ribbon below the anchor.
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    Whiskey Rebellion

    First real test of the new United States Government's authority to enforce federal laws. In Western Pennsylvania, people used a lot of whiskey: both to use up extra corn and as money. The federal government passed a tax on whiskey in 1791. Farmers in western Pennsylvania refused to pay the tax, saying it was like the Stamp Act all over again.
  • Vermont

    Vermont
    The picture on a deep blue field is a scene painting. You see a tall pine tree, a cow and sheaves of wheat. The Green Mountains are in the distance. Pine boughs extend around a shield. The name "Vermont" and the state motto "Freedom and Unity" are displayed on a crimson banner. At the the top of the shield is a stag's head.
  • Kentucky

    Kentucky
    Placed on a navy blue field is the seal and words "Commonwealth of Kentucky". The two friends shaking hands, a pioneer and a statesman, represent all the people. They are acting out the meaning of Kentucky's motto: "United We Stand; Divided We Fall". Sprays of the state flower {goldenrod} extend in a half circle around the picture. Flag adopted 1918 amended in 1928 & 1962.
  • Tennessee

    Tennessee
    The three stars on the flag represent the three different land forms in Tennessee. Mountains in the east, highlands in the middle and lowlands in the west. On the flag these regions are bound together in an unbroken circle. The field is crimson with a blue background for the stars. The final blue strip relieves the sameness of the crimson field and prevents the flag from showing too much crimson when it is limp.
  • Washington's Farewell Address

    Washington's Farewell Address
    George Washington's Farewell Address is a letter written by the first American President, George Washington, to "The People of the United States of America". It is a classic statement of republicanism, warning Americans of the political dangers they can and must avoid if they are to remain true to their values.
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    Sojourner Truth

    Was an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. Sojourner Truth was named Isabella Baumfree when she was born. She gave herself the name Sojourner Truth in 1843.
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    John Adams

    John Adams was the second president of the United States, having earlier served as the first vice president of the United States.
  • Alien and Sedition Acts

    Alien and Sedition Acts
    The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills that were passed by the Federalists in the 5th United States Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798, the result of the French Revolution and during an undeclared naval war with France, later known as the Quasi-War.
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    Chief Justice John Marshall

    First important Chief Justice of the United States (beginning in 1801). He wrote many of the Supreme Court's first famous opinions, including Marbury v. Madison, McCulloch v. Ogden, and Gibbons v. Ogden. All of these opinions strengthened the power of the federal government. He served as Chief Justice until 1836. He had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War and had served with George Washington at Valley Forge.
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    Thomas Jefferson

    In 1800, the nation had a choice between John Adams, the and Thomas Jefferson, the vice president. Adams had lost support through his attempt to remain neutral in the French-British conflict and through the passage of the Anti-government crime Acts. After six days and 36 ballots, the House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson the third president of the United States. In his speech Jefferson said, "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists."
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    Lewis and Clark

    Was the first American expedition to cross the west of the United States, departing in May 1804, from near St. Louis on the Mississippi River, making their way west to the Pacific coast. The expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, consisting of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Meriwether Lewis and his friend William Clark. The objective was to explore new territory.
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    Marburg vs Madison

    At the very end of his term, President John Adams had made many federal appointments, including William Marbury as justice of the peace in the District of Columbia. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional because it the gave the Supreme Court authority that was denied it by Article III of the Constitution. Thus, the Supreme Court said, the Judiciary Act of 1789 was illegal and not to be followed.
  • Ohio

    Ohio
    Ohio's state flag was adopted in 1902. The Ohio burgee, as the swallowtail design is properly called, was designed by John Eisemann. The large blue triangle represents Ohio's hills and valleys, and the stripes represent roads and waterways. The 13 stars grouped about the circle represent the original states of the union; the 4 stars added to the peak of the triangle symbolize that Ohio was the 17th state admitted to the union.
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    William Lloyd Garrison

    Was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, suffragist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper .The Liberator, which he founded in 1831 and published in Massachusetts until slavery was abolished by Constitutional amendment after the American Civil War. He was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society. He promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United States.
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    James Madison

    James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman, political theorist and the fourth President of the United States.
  • Lousiana

    Lousiana
    The design consists of the pelican group from the state seal, in white and gold, and a white ribbon bearing the state motto, "Union, Justice, and Confidence", on a field of a solid blue. Flag adopted 1912.
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    War of 1812

    Between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Seen by the United States and Canada as a war in its own right as it was caused by issues related to that war. The war resolved many issues which remained from the American Revolution. The War of 1812 ended in a stalemate. The treaty of Ghent signed on December 24, 1814 returned all territorial conquests made by the two sides. It did not address the issue of impressment, one of the major causes of the war.
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    Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    Was an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women's rights movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the Seneca Falls Convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized women's rights and women's suffrage movements in the United States.
  • Indiana

    Indiana
    The flags dimensions shall be three feet fly by two feet hoist; or five feet fly by three feet hoist; or any size proportionate to either of those dimensions. The field of the flag shall be blue with nineteen stars and a flaming torch in gold or buff. Thirteen stars shall be arranged in an outer circle, representing the original thirteen states.
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    James Monroe

    James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States. Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation.
  • Mississippi

    Mississippi
    The committee to design a State Flag was appointed by legislative action February 7, 1894, and provided that the flag reported by the committee should become the official flag. The committee recommended for the flag "one with width two-thirds of its length; with the union square, in width two-thirds of the width of the flag; the ground of the union to be red and a broad blue saltier thereon, bordered with white and emblazoned with thirteen (13) mullets or five-pointed stars.
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    Frederick Douglass

    Was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.
  • Illinois

    Illinois
    The Illinois flag is a simple representation of the Great Seal of Illinois against a white background. In 1969, the General Assembly voted to add the word "ILLINOIS" under the Great Seal of the flag. The State's name was added to the flag to ensure that people not familiar with the Great Seal of Illinois would still recognize the banner. Flag adopted 1915.
  • McCulloch vs Maryland

    McCulloch vs Maryland
    The state of Maryland voted to tax all banks. But, McCulloch refused to pay. Maryland sued McCulloch and The Supreme Court accepted it. Writing for the Court, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that the federal government did indeed have the right and power to set up a federal bank. Further, he wrote, a state did not have the power to tax the federal government. "The right to tax is the right to destroy," he wrote, and states should not have that power over the federal government.
  • Transcontinental Treaty

    Transcontinental Treaty
    Transcontinental Treaty, also called Adams-Onís Treaty or Purchase of Florida, accord between the United States and Spain that divided their North American claims along a line from the southeastern corner of what is now Louisiana, north and west to what is now Wyoming, thence west along the latitude 42° N to the Pacific. Thus, Spain ceded Florida and renounced the Oregon Country in exchange for recognition of Spanish sovereignty over Texas.
  • Dartmouth College vs Woodward

    Dartmouth College vs Woodward
    The New Hampshire legislature wanted to make Dartmouth College a public school. The Court voted, 6-1, to keep Dartmouth College a privately funded school.
  • Alabama

    Alabama
    A crimson St. Andrew's cross on a white field, patterned after the Confederate Battle Flag, and adopted in 1895. The bars forming the cross must not be less than six inches broad and must extend diagonally across the flag from side to side.
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    Susan B. Anthony

    Was an American social reformer and feminist who played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement. Born into a Quaker family committed to social equality, she collected anti-slavery petitions at the age of 17. In 1856, she became the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society.
  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    Finally, a compromise was reached. On March 3, 1820, Congress passed a bill granting Missouri statehood as a slave state under the condition that slavery was to be forever prohibited in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36th parallel, which runs approximately along the southern border of Missouri.
  • Maine

    Maine
    The state coat of arms is placed on a blue field. In the center of the shield a moose rests under a tall pine tree. A farmer and seaman represents the work that people did in early times. The North Star represents the state motto:
    "Dirigo" ("I Direct"). Flag adopted 1909.
  • Missouri

    Missouri
    Centered on red, white and blue fields is the Missouri state seal. It is encircled by a blue band with twenty-four stars representing the number of states in 1821. The stars in the inner circle have the same meaning.
  • Monroe Doctrine

    Monroe Doctrine
    The Monroe Doctrine is the best known U.S. policy toward the Western Hemisphere. Buried in a routine annual message delivered to Congress by President James Monroe in December 1823, the doctrine warns European nations that the United States would not tolerate further colonization or puppet monarchs.
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    Gibbons vs Ogden

    Thomas Gibbons, another steamship trader, wanted to use the New York waterways for his business, too. He had been given federal permission to do so. He was denied access to these waterways by the State of New York, which cited its law as enforcement. Gibbons sued Ogden, and the Supreme Court agreed to decide the case. The Court settled that federal commerce clause outranked state law.
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    John Quincy Adams

    John Quincy Adams was an American statesman who served as the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He also served as a diplomat, a Senator and member of the House of Representatives.
  • Trail of Tears

    Trail of Tears
    In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma.
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    Andrew Jackson

    Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States. He was born into a recently immigrated Scots-Irish farming family of relatively modest means, near the end of the colonial era.
  • Abolitionist Movement

    Abolitionist Movement
    The goal of the abolitionist movement was the end of racial discrimination and segregation. Advocating for immediate emancipation distinguished abolitionists from anti-slavery advocates and from free-soil activists who sought to restrict slavery to existing areas and prevent its spread further west. Radical abolitionism was partly fueled by the religious fervor of the Second Great Awakening.
  • Horace Mann’s campaign for free compulsory public education

    Horace Mann’s campaign for free compulsory public education
    Mann was elected to the legislature in 1827, and in that body was active in the interests of education, public charities, and laws for the suppression of intemperance and lotteries. He established through his personal exertions the state lunatic asylum at Worcester, and in 1833 was chairman of its board of trustees. He continued to be returned to the legislature as representative from Dedham until his removal to Boston in 1833.
  • The Louisiana Purchase

    The Louisiana Purchase
    In 1800, Spain secretly ceded the Louisiana Territory—the area stretching from Canada to the Gulf Coast and from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains—to France, which then closed the port of New Orleans to American farmers. Jefferson, fearing that a French colonial empire in North America would block American expansion, sent negotiators to France with instructions to purchase New Orleans and as much of the Gulf Coast as they could for $10 million.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    Nat Turner's Rebellion (also known as the Southampton Insurrection) was a slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County, Virginia, during August 1831. Led by Nat Turner, rebel slaves killed anywhere from 55 to 65 people, the highest number of fatalities caused by any slave uprising in the American South.
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    The Toledo War

    The war began in the spring of 1835 when Ohioans started to survey the border between Michigan and Ohio. At the time, Ohio was a state and Michigan was a territory working to become a state. Because existing laws were unclear about the boundaries between future states, both Michigan and Ohio claimed the Toledo Strip.
  • Florida

    Florida
    On a white field emblazoned with a red X and the state seal, Florida's flag represents the land of sunshine, flowers, palm trees, rivers and lakes. The seal features a brilliant sun, a cabbage palmetto tree, a steamboat sailing and a Native American Seminole woman scattering flowers. Flag adopted 1899.
  • Arkansas

    Arkansas
    A diamond on a red field represents the only place in North America where diamonds have been discovered and mined. The twenty-five white stars around the diamond mean that Arkansas was the twenty-fifth state to join the Union. The top of four stars in the center represents that Arkansas was a member of the Confederate States during the Civil War.
  • Michigan

    Michigan
    The design on Michigan's deep blue field has three mottoes:
    On a red ribbon - "One Nation Made Up of Many States"
    On a blue shield - "I will Defend"
    On a white ribbon - "If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look Around"
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    Martin Van Buren

    Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in a number of senior roles, including eighth Vice President and secretary of state, both under Andrew Jackson.
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    William Henry Harrison

    William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States, an American military officer and politician, and the last President born as a British subject. He was also the first president to die in office.
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    John Tyler

    John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States. He was elected vice president on the 1840 Whig ticket with William Henry Harrison, and became president after his running mate's death in April 1841.
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    James Polk

    James Knox Polk was the 11th President of the United States. Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He later lived in and represented Tennessee.
  • Manifest Destiny

    Manifest Destiny
    Manifest Destiny is a term for the attitude prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast. This attitude helped fuel western settlement, Native American removal and war with Mexico.
  • Texas

    Texas
    The flag was adopted as the state flag when Texas became the 28th state in 1845. As with the flag of the United States, the blue stands for loyalty, the white represents strength, and the red is for bravery.
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    Mexican-American War

    Was an armed conflict between the United States and the Centralist Republic of Mexico (which became the Second Federal Republic of Mexico during the war) from 1846 to 1848. It followed the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory, despite the 1836 Texas Revolution. It was the fourth of the five major wars fought on American soil which was preceded by the Seven Years' War, the War of Independence and the War of 1812 and succeeded by the Civil War.
  • Wisconsin

    Wisconsin
    Starting at the top of a shield on a dark blue field is the state motto "Forward". Below it is a badger the state animal. A sailor and miner show that the people work on water and land. The shield in the center shows Wisconsin's support for the United States. In four sections surrounding the shield are representations of the states main industries: agriculture, mining, manufacturing and navigation. The cornucopia and pile of lead represent farm products and minerals.
  • Iowa

    Iowa
    Having three vertical stripes blue, white and red the Iowa flag resembles the flag of France. On the white stripe is a bald eagle carrying a blue streamer in its beak. The state motto "Our Liberties We Prize, and Our Rights We will Maintain" is written on the streamer. The name of the state is emblazoned in red letters. Flag adopted 1921.
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    Seneca Falls Resolution

    The Seneca Falls Convention was the first women's rights convention.[1] It advertised itself as "a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman".[2] Held in Seneca Falls, New York, it spanned two days over July 19–20, 1848. Attracting widespread attention, it was soon followed by other women's rights conventions, including one in Rochester, New York two weeks later. In 1850 the first in a series of annual National Women's Rights Conventions met in Worceste
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    Zachary Taylor

    Zachary Taylor was the 12th President of the United States, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850. Before his presidency, Taylor was a career officer in the United States Army, rising to the rank of major general.
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    Millard Fillmore

    Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States, the last Whig president, and the last president not to be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties.
  • California

    California
    Historic Bear Flag raised at Sonomaon June 14, 1846, by a group of American settlers in revolt against Mexican rule. The flag was designed by William Todd on a piece of new unbleached cotton. The star imitated the lone star of Texas. A grizzly bear represented the many bears seen in the state. The word, "California Republic" was placed beneath the star and bear.
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    Franklin Pierce

    Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States. Genial and well-spoken, Pierce was a northern Democrat who saw the abolitionist movement as a fundamental threat to the unity of the nation.
  • John Brown and the armed resistance

    John Brown and the armed resistance
    John Brown was a white American abolitionist who believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. During the 1856 conflict in Kansas, Brown commanded forces at the Battle of Black Jack and the Battle of Osawatomie. Brown's followers also killed five slavery supporters at Pottawatomie. In 1859, Brown led an unsuccessful raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry that ended with his capture.
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    Dred Scott vs Sandford

    A landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court held that African Americans could not be American citizens and had no standing to sue in federal court, and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States. Dred Scott, an African American man who had been taken by his owners to free states, attempted to sue for his freedom. The Court denied.
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    James Buchanan

    James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th President of the United States, serving immediately prior to the American Civil War.
  • Minnestoa

    Minnestoa
    The Minnesota state flag is royal blue, with a gold fringe. In the center of the flag is the state seal. Around the state seal is a wreath of the state flower, the lady slipper. Three dates are woven into the wreath: 1858, the year Minnesota became a state; 1819, the year Fort Snelling was established; and 1893, the year the official flag was adopted. Nineteen stars ring the wreath. The largest star represents Minnesota.
  • Hariet Tubman and the underground railroad

    Hariet Tubman and the underground railroad
    Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad - Meet Amazing Americans. America's Library - Library of Congress. After Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery, she returned to slave-holding states many times to help other slaves escape. She led them safely to the northern free states and to Canada.
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    Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865.