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Slavery Resource Guide

Large group of slaves(?) standing in front of buildings on Smith's Plantation, Beaufort, South Carolina.
Large group of slaves(?) standing in front of buildings on Smith's Plantation, Beaufort, South Carolina.
1 photographic print.
Civil War Photograph Collection. 1862.
Prints and Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

Today in History

September 9, 1739

On September 9, 1739, twenty black Carolinians began the Stono Rebellion, the largest slave uprising in the British mainland colonies prior to the American Revolution.

March 18, 1782

On March 18, 1782, John C. Calhoun was born near Abbeville, South Carolina. Calhoun served as a congressman, senator, secretary of war, secretary of state, and vice president of the United States. A formidable theorist, Calhoun is remembered for his determined defense of the institution of slavery.

May 21, 1796

Reverdy Johnson was born in Annapolis, Maryland on May, 21, 1796. Johnson, although personally opposed to slavery, was the attorney who represented the slave owner in the Dred Scott case.

November 7, 1837

On November 7, 1837, Elijah Parish Lovejoy was killed by a proslavery mob while defending the site of his antislavery newspaper The Saint Louis Observer. His death deeply affected many individuals who opposed slavery and greatly strengthened the cause of abolition.

September 3, 1838

On September 3, 1838, abolitionist, journalist, author, and human rights advocate Frederick Douglass made his dramatic escape from slavery, traveling north by train and boat, from Baltimore, through Delaware to Philadelphia.

March 9, 1841

The Supreme Court issued a ruling on March 9, 1841, freeing the remaining thirty-five survivors of the Amistad mutiny.

July 26, 1847

Joseph Jenkins Roberts declared Liberia, formerly a colony of the American Colonization Society, an independent republic on July 26, 1847.

September 20, 1850

The United States Congress abolished the slave trade in the District of Columbia on September 20, 1850 as part of the legislative package called the Compromise of 1850.

June 5, 1851

On June 5, 1851, Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly began to appear in serial form in the Washington National Era, an abolitionist weekly. Harriet Beecher Stowe's antislavery story was published in forty installments over the next ten months.

June 29, 1852

On June 29, 1852, statesman Henry Clay, known as "the Great Compromiser" for his feats of legislative reconciliation between the North and the South, died at the age of seventy-five at the National Hotel in Washington, D.C. In his will, Clay freed the slaves of "Ashland," his Kentucky plantation.

March 3, 1859

On March 3, 1859, journalist Q. K. Philander Doesticks (Mortimer Thomson) attended an auction of 436 men, women, and children formerly held by Pierce M. Butler. Butler's slaves were auctioned in order to pay debts incurred in gambling and the financial crash of 1857-58.

October 16, 1859

On October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown and twenty-one armed men took some sixty hostages and seized the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry in what is now West Virginia.

April 16, 1862

On April 16, 1862, President Lincoln signed an act abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia, an important step in the long road toward full emancipation and enfranchisement for African Americans.

July 28, 1868

On July 28, 1868, former slaves became citizens when the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

November 26, 1883

Preacher, abolitionist, and women's rights advocate Sojourner Truth died in Battle Creek, Michigan on November 26, 1883. The date of Truth's birth is uncertain, but around 1797 she was born a slave called "Isabella" in Ulster, New York.

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  July 30, 2010
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