Timeline of African-American History - Wikipedia
The following is a timeline of the African-American history from 1619 to 1865:
17th century Edit
The first record of Africans in English colonial America when men were brought at first to Fort Monroe off the coast of Hampton, Virginia, and then to the Jamestown colony who had been taken as prizes from a Spanish ship. They were treated as indentured servants, and at least one was recorded as eventually owning land in the colony.
John Punch, a black indentured servant, ran away with two white indentured servants, James, Gregory, and Victor. After the three were captured, Punch was sentenced to serve Virginia planter Hugh Gwyn for life. This made John Punch the first legally documented slave in Virginia (and the US).
John Casor, a black man who claimed to have completed his term of indenture, became the first legally recognized slave-for-life in a civil case in the Virginia colony. The court ruled with his master who said he had an indefinite servitude for life.
Virginia law, using the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, said that children in the colony were born into their mother's social status; therefore children born to enslaved mothers were classified as slaves, regardless of their father's race or status. This was contrary to English common law for English subjects, which held that children took their father's social status.
September 20 - Maryland passes the first law in the U.S. banning interracial marriage.
Royal African Company is founded in England, allowing slaves to be shipped from Africa to the colonies in North America and the Caribbean. England entered the slave trade.
Both free and enslaved African Americans fought in Bacon's Rebellion along with English colonists.
French king Louis XIV issues the Code Noir ("Black Code")
18th century Edit
See also: Atlantic slave trade
The Virginia Slave codes define as slaves all those servants brought into the colony who were not Christian in their original countries, as well as those American Indians sold by other Indians to colonists.
April 6 – The New York Slave Revolt of 1712.
September 9 – In the Stono Rebellion, South Carolina slaves gather at the Stono River to plan an armed march for freedom.
Benjamin Banneker designed and built the first clock in the British American colonies. He also created a series of almanacs. He corresponded with Thomas Jefferson and wrote that "blacks were intellectually equal to whites". Banneker worked with Pierre L'Enfant to survey and design a street and urban plan for Washington, D.C.
Jupiter Hammon has a poem printed, becoming the first published African-American poet.
Non-Importation Agreements – The First Continental Congress creates a multi-colony agreement to forbid importation of anything from British merchants. This implicitly includes slaves, and stops the slave trade in Philadelphia. The second similar act explicitly stops the slave trade.
March 5 – Crispus Attucks is killed by British soldiers in the Boston Massacre, a precursor to the American Revolution.
Phillis Wheatley has her book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral published.
The first black Baptist congregations are organized in the South: Silver Bluff Baptist Church in South Carolina, and First African Baptist Church near Petersburg, Virginia.
April 14 – The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage holds four meetings. It was re-formed in 1784 as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, and Benjamin Franklin would later be its president.
Thomas Paine publishes one of the earliest and most influential anti-slavery essays in the U.S., called "African Slavery in America."
1776–1783 American Revolution
Thousands of enslaved African Americans in the South escape to British lines, as they were promised freedom to fight with the British. In South Carolina, 25,000 enslaved African Americans, one-quarter of those held, escape to the British or otherwise leave their plantations. After the war, many African Americans are evacuated with the British for England; more than 3,000 Black Loyalists are transported with other Loyalists to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, where they are granted land. Still others go to Jamaica and the West Indies. An estimated 8–10,000 were evacuated from the colonies in these years as free people, about 50 percent of those slaves who defected to the British and about 80 percent of those who survived.
Many free blacks in the North fight with the colonists for the rebellion.
July 8 – The Vermont Republic (a sovereign nation at the time) abolishes slavery, the first future state to do so. No slaves were held in Vermont.
Pennsylvania becomes the first U.S. state to abolish slavery.
Capt. Paul Cuffe and six other African American residents of Massachusetts successfully petition the state legislature for the right to vote, claiming "no taxation without representation."
In challenges by Elizabeth Freeman and Quock Walker, two independent county courts in Massachusetts found slavery illegal under state constitution and declared each to be free persons.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed that Massachusetts state constitution had abolished slavery. It ruled that "the granting of rights and privileges [was] wholly incompatible and repugnant to" slavery, in an appeal case arising from the escape of former slave Quock Walker. When the British left New York and Charleston in 1783, they took the last of 5500 Loyalists to the Caribbean, along with some 15,000 slaves.
July 13 – The Northwest Ordinance bans the expansion of slavery into U.S. territories north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.
The First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia is organized under Andrew Bryan.
1790–1810 Manumission of slaves
Following the Revolution, numerous slaveholders in the Upper South free their slaves; the percentage of free blacks rises from less than one to 10 percent. By 1810, 75 percent of all blacks in Delaware are free, and 7.2 percent of blacks in Virginia are free.
February – Major Andrew Ellicott hires Benjamin Banneker, an African-American draftsman, to assist in a survey of the boundaries of the 100-square-mile (260 km2) federal district that would later become the District of Columbia.
February 12 – The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 is passed. (See also Fugitive slave laws.)
March 14 – Eli Whitney is granted a patent on the cotton gin. This enables the cultivation and processing of short-staple cotton to be profitable in the uplands and interior areas of the Deep South; as this cotton can be cultivated in a wide area, the change dramatically increases the need for enslaved labor and leads to the development of King Cotton as the chief commodity crop. To satisfy labor demand, there is a forced migration of one million slaves from the Upper South and coast to the area in the antebellum period, mostly by the domestic slave trade.
July – Two independent black churches open in Philadelphia: the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, with Absalom Jones, and the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, with Richard Allen, the latter the first church of what would become in 1816 the first independent black denomination in the United States.
19th century Edit
Early 19th century
The first Black Codes enacted.
August 30 – Gabriel Prosser's planned attempt to lead a slave rebellion in Richmond, Virginia is suppressed.
At the urging of President Thomas Jefferson, Congress passes the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. It makes it a federal crime to import a slave from abroad.
January 1 – The importation of slaves is a felony. This is the earliest day under the United States Constitution that a law could be made restricting slavery.
The first separate black denomination of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) is founded by Richard Allen, who is elected its first bishop.
The American Colonization Society is begun by Robert Finley, to send free African Americans to what is to become Liberia in West Africa.
March 6 – The Missouri Compromise allows for the entry as states of Maine (free) and Missouri (slave); no more slave states are allowed north of 36°30′.
The British West Africa Squadron's slave trade suppression activities are assisted by forces from the United States Navy, starting in 1820 with the USS Cyane. With the Webster–Ashburton Treaty of 1842, the relationship is formalised and they jointly run the Africa Squadron.
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is formed.
July 14 – Denmark Vesey's planned slave rebellion in Charleston, South Carolina is suppressed (known also as "The Vesey Conspiracy").
March 16 - Freedom's Journal, the first African American newspaper in the U.S., begins publication.
September – David Walker begins publication of the abolitionist pamphlet Walker's Appeal.
October 28 – Josiah Henson, a slave who fled and arrived in Canada, is an author, abolitionist, minister and the inspiration behind the book Uncle Tom's Cabin.
William Lloyd Garrison begins publication of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator. He declares ownership of a slave is a great sin, and must stop immediately.
August – Nat Turner leads the most successful slave rebellion in U.S. history. The rebellion is suppressed, but only after many deaths.
Sarah Harris Fayerweather, an aspiring teacher, is admitted to Prudence Crandall's all-girl school in Canterbury, Connecticut, resulting in the first racially integrated schoolhouse in the United States. Her admission led to the school's forcible closure under the Connecticut Black Law of 1833.
The American Anti-Slavery Society, an abolitionist society, is founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan. Frederick Douglass becomes a key leader of the society.
February – The first Institute of Higher Education for African Americans is founded. Founded as the African Institute in February 1837 and renamed the Institute of Coloured Youth (ICY) in April 1837 and now known as Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
July 2 – Slaves revolt on the La Amistad, an illegal slave ship, resulting in a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court (see United States v. The Amistad) and their gaining freedom.
The Liberty Party breaks away from the American Anti-Slavery Society due to grievances with William Lloyd Garrison's leadership.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules, in Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), that states do not have to offer aid in the hunting or recapture of slaves, greatly weakening the fugitive slave law of 1793.
June 1 – Isabella Baumfree, a former slave, changes her name to Sojourner Truth and begins to preach for the abolition of slavery.
August – Henry Highland Garnet delivers his famous speech Call to Rebellion.
Publication of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself
Frederick Douglass begins publication of the abolitionist newspaper the North Star.
Joseph Jenkins Roberts of Virginia becomes the first president of Liberia.
Roberts v. Boston seeks to end racial discrimination in Boston public schools.
Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery to Philadelphia, and begins helping other slaves to escape via the Underground Railroad.
September 18 – As part of the Compromise of 1850, Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 which requires any federal official to arrest anyone suspected of being a runaway slave.
Soujourner Truth gives her "Ain't I a Woman" speech at a women's rights convention in Akron, Ohio
March 20 – Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is published.
December – Clotel; or, The President's Daughter is the first novel published by an African-American.
President Franklin Pierce signs the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and allowed slaves to be brought to the new territories.
In opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, the Republican Party is formed with an anti-slavery platform.
John Mercer Langston is one of the first African Americans elected to public office when elected as a town clerk in Ohio.
May 21 – The Sacking of Lawrence in Bleeding Kansas.
May 25 – John Brown, whom Abraham Lincoln called a "misguided fanatic", retaliates for Lawrence's sacking in the Pottawatomie massacre.
Wilberforce University is founded by collaboration between Methodist Episcopal and African Methodist Episcopal representatives.
March 6 – In Dred Scott v. Sandford, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds slavery. This decision is regarded as a key cause of the American Civil War.
Harriet E. Wilson writes the autobiographical novel Our Nig.
In Ableman v. Booth the U.S. Supreme Court rules that state courts cannot issue rulings that contradict the decisions of federal courts; this decision uphold the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
August 22 - The last known slave ship to arrive to the U.S., the Clotilde, docks in secrecy at Mobile, Alabama.
April 12 – The American Civil War begins (secessions began in December 1860), and lasts until April 9, 1865. Tens of thousands of enslaved African Americans of all ages escaped to Union lines for freedom. Contraband camps were set up in some areas, where blacks started learning to read and write. Others traveled with the Union Army. By the end of the war, more than 180,000 African Americans, mostly from the South, fought with the Union Army and Navy as members of the US Colored Troops and sailors.
May 2 – The first North American military unit with African-American officers is the 1st Louisiana Native Guard of the Confederate Army (disbanded in February 1862).
May 24 – General Benjamin Butler refuses to extradite three escaped slaves, declaring them contraband of war
August 6 – The Confiscation Act of 1861 authorizes the confiscation of any Confederate property, including all slaves who fought or worked for the Confederate military.
August 30 – Frémont Emancipation in Missouri
September 11 – Lincoln orders Frémont to rescind the edict.
March 13 – Act Prohibiting the Return of Slaves
April 16 – (Emancipation Day) – District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act
May 9 – General David Hunter declares emancipation in Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
May 19 – Lincoln rescinds Hunter's order.
July 17 – Confiscation Act of 1862 frees confiscated slaves.
September 22 – Lincoln announces the Emancipation Proclamation to go into effect January 1, 1863.
1863–1877 Reconstruction Era
1863 Medical examination photo of Gordon showing his scourged back, widely distributed by Abolitionists to expose the brutality of slavery.
January 1 – The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect, changing the legal status, as recognized by the United States federal government, of 3 million slaves in the designated areas of the South from "slave" to "free."
January 31 – U.S. Army commissions the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, a combat unit made up of escaped slaves.
May 22 – The U.S. Army recruits United States Colored Troops. (The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment would be featured in the 1989 film Glory.)
June 1 – Harriet Tubman the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers liberate 750 people with the Raid at Combahee Ferry.
July 13–16 – Ethnic Irish immigrants protests against the draft in New York City turn into riots against blacks, the New York Draft Riots.
July 18 – The Second Battle of Fort Wagner begins when the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, an African-American military unit, led by white Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, attacked a Confederate fort at Morris Island, South Carolina. The attack on Fort Wagner by the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry failed to take the fort and Gould was killed in the battle. However, the fort was abandoned by the Confederates on September 7, 1863, after many could not stand the constant weeks of bombardment and the smell of dead Union black soldiers sickening them.
April 12 – The Battle of Fort Pillow, which results in controversy about whether a massacre of surrendered African-American troops was conducted or condoned.
October 13 – Controversial election results in approval of Maryland Constitution of 1864; emancipation in Maryland.
January 16 – Sherman's Special Field Orders, No. 15 allocate a tract of land in coastal South Carolina and Georgia for Black-only settlement.
January 31 – The United States Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery and submits it to the states for ratification.
March 3 – Congress passes the bill that forms the Freedman's Bureau; mandates distribution of "not more than forty acres" of confiscated land to all loyal freedmen and refugees.
May 29 – Andrew Johnson amnesty proclamation initiates return of land to pre-war owners.
December 18 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits slavery except as punishment for crime; emancipation in Delaware and Kentucky.
Shaw Institute is founded in Raleigh, North Carolina, as the first black college in the South.
Atlanta College is founded.
Southern states pass Black Codes that restrict the freedmen, who were emancipated but not yet full citizens.ype your paragraph here.
December 4, 1865 - The North Carolina Legislature Ratified the 13th Amendment to Abolish Slavery
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