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1619: First African Slaves Brought to the Colonies
1652: Quakers Become the First Anti-Slavery Group in the Colonies.
1739: Stono Rebellion Largest slave rebellion in the British mainland colonies causing the death of over 80 whites and blacks. Slaves chanted about freedom through the streets and acted violently. This was an early form of Abolitionism, although it was largely unsuccessful in demonstrating equality.
1787: Northwest Ordinance outlaws slavery in the new territories. Congress passes the Three-Fifths Comprise, stating that every black man is equivalent to 3/5th a white man, a southern effort to increase their influence in the House of Representatives. U.S Constitution sets the date of 1808 as the official ban of American interaction in the international slave trade.
1791: Eli Whitney invents the Cotton gin, facilitating the spread of slavery in the south. First edition of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is published and raises awareness for the Abolitionist cause by exposing the brutality of slavery and the horrors of the Middle Passage.
1820: Missouri Compromise Missouri is admitted as a slave state and Maine is admitted as a free state. All states North or 36' 30' must be free states, except for Missouri. The compromise split the North and the South even more literally, facilitating the down fall to Civil War.
1793: Fugitive Slave Act passed in America outraging Abolitionists, and drawing more people to the cause. The Underground Railroad slowly starts up and is facilitated by Abolitionists and former slaves, most notably Harriet Tubman. This was seen as a failure for the abolition movement, but the Underground Railroad was a monumental success.
1808: American involvement in the international slave trade is officially banned, and the Second Middle Passage begins to take root. The banning of the slave trade was a large success for the abolition movement.
1821: Benjamin Lundy establishes the first American anti-slavery newspaper, The Genius of Universal Emancipation. From September 1829 until March 1830, William Lloyd Garrison assists the paper. In 1836 Lundy establishes and another anti-slavery weekly in Philadelphia, The National Enquirer.
1861: American Civil War begins. Fought largely over slavery, and the economic ties the south holds with the Peculiar institution. Abolitionists were, for the most part, pro-civil war and immediate emancipation by this point.
1862: Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln gives a presidential order for the immediate emancipation of all slaves in the United States. This was the biggest victory for Abolitionists.
1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom's Cabin and becomes one of the most influential abolitionists. Her book becomes one of the most widely read pieces of anti-slavery literature, and it exposed the brutality of slavery through hyperbole. Uncle Tom's Cabin was one of the most notable successes of the movement.
1845: Frederick Douglass publishes his autobiography after being a strong presence as an abolitionist. Douglass spent his life giving speeches on behalf of the Anti-Slavery Society.
1857: Dred Scott Decision Dred Scott, a southern slave, attempts to sue for his freedom and takes it to the Supreme Court. The verdict decided that no slave nor person of color is a legal citizen, therefore Scott could not sue for freedom. This outraged many Americans and drove them to join the abolitionist cause, arguably a and it pushed the United States towards Civil War, arguably a success for the movement.
1859: John Brown’s Harper Ferry Raid John Brown was an abolitionist on the violent side of the spectrum. Brown armed himself and 21 others by raiding the military fort at Harper's Ferry in attempt to advocate for immediate emancipation. Brown has a violent history as a abolitionist, as he committed the Pottawatomie Massacre 3 years prior in Kentucky.
1854-1856: Bleeding Kansas Violent conflict between pro and anti-slavery Americans in Kansas. This conflict was caused by the idea of Popular Sovereignty, or that the majority of the state would decide if it was slave or free. Popular Sovereignty was proposed in the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. This was a win for the Abolitionist cause because it brought the nation closer to the civil war, however,the violence gave gave abolitionism a bad reputation.
1780: Gradual Emancipation Act passed in Pennsylvania, a huge success for the aboliton movement.
1750: Georgia becomes the last colony to legalize slavery.
1775: Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery is established with Benjamin Franklin as President.
1776: The Revolutionary War Begins Great Britain offers freedom to American slaves that run away from their masters and join the loyalist cause. The new northern states begin considering gradual emancipation and the abolition of slavery.
1831: Nat Turner's Rebellion Nat Turner led one of the largest and most violent slave rebellions in the United States in South Hampton, Virginia. This was a success in the eyes of the more violent abolitionist, however
1831: William Lloyd Garrison establishes the "Liberator," an influential abolitionist news paper
1833: The American Anti-Slavery Society is established in Philadelphia. This society was made of up men and women, both black and white, who advocated for immediate emancipation.
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