Slavery Resource Guide
Today in History
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The Supreme Court issued a ruling on March 9, 1841, freeing
the remaining thirty-five survivors of the Amistad mutiny.
Joseph Jenkins Roberts declared Liberia, formerly a colony
of the American Colonization Society, an independent republic
on July 26, 1847.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On July 28, 1868, former slaves became citizens when the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was
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,