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1619 The first African slaves arrive in Virginia
1787 Slavery is made illegal in the Northwest Territory.
1793 Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin.
1793 A federal fugitive slave law is enacted.
1800 Gabriel Prosser. Virginia's slave laws are consequently tightened.
1808 Congress bans the importation of slaves from Africa.
1820 The Missouri Compromise bans slavery north of the southern boundary of Missouri.
Denmark Vesey, an enslaved African American carpenter who had purchased his freedom.
1831 Nat Turner, an enslaved African American preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history.
1831 William Lloyd Garrison begins publishing the Liberator, a weekly paper that advocates the complete abolition of slavery.
1846 The Wilmot Proviso, introduced by democratic representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania, attempts to ban slavery in territory gained in the Mexican War. the Proviso is blocked by the Southerners, but continures to enflame the debate over slavery
1849 Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad.
1850 The continuing debate whether territory gained in the Mexican War should be open to slavery is decided in the Compromise of 1850:
1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin is published
1854 Congress passes the Kansas-Nebraska Act, establishing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska.
1857 The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.
1859 John Brown and 21 followers capture the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W. Va.), in an attempt to launch a slave revolt.
1861 The Confederacy is founded when the deep South secedes, and the Civil War begins.
1863 President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate state "are, and henceforward shall be free."
1865 The Civil War ends. Lincoln is assassinated. The Thirteenth Amendment abolishes slavery throughout the United States. On June 19 slavery in the United States effectively ended when 250,000 slaves in Texas finally received the news that the Civil War had ended two months earlier.
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