Increasing Tensions


First Convention of abolition societies

April 14th, 1775

It was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by quakers and held four meetings.

Fugitive Slave Law


It had required all states, including those that forbid slavery, to forcibly return slaves who have escaped from other states to their original owners.

Gabriel Prosser's revolt

August 1800

Gabriel Prosser was a literate enslaved blacksmith who planned a large slave rebellion in the Richmond area in the summer of 1800
Although plans for the rebellion were interrupted before they could be executed, Gabriel's uprising was notable because it demonstrated the potential for mass resistance and revolution in the American South.

Importation of Slaves into the U.S. Forbidden

March 1807

The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 was a United States federal law that said that no new slaves were permitted to be imported into the United States.

American Colonization society founded


It was founded by groups otherwise opposed to each other on the issue of slavery.

Underground Railroad

1820 - 1861

The Underground Railroad was established to aid enslaved people in their escape to freedom. It had reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the Railroad.

Missouri Compromise

march 1820

It regulated slavery in the country's western territories by prohibiting the practice in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north

Liberia Founded

January 1822

The American Colonization Society (ACS) was formed in 1817 to send free African-Americans to Africa as an alternative to emancipation in the United States.

Denmark Vesey's revoldt

May 1822

It was an attempted uprising by slaves and freedmen in and around Charleston, South Carolina, in the spring of 1822.
The revolt was planned by a former slave and local carpenter named Denmark Vesey.

The liberatior begins publishing

January 1831

The Liberator was an abolitionist newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp in 1831.

Nat Turner's revolt

August 1831

It was a slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County, Virginia, during August 1831 that resulted in the deaths of at least 50 white americans.

Antislavery societies begin to form

December 1833

These were abolitionist societies whose noted members included Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Theodore Dwight Weld, Lewis Tappan, James G. Birney, Lydia Maria Child, Maria Weston Chapman, Abby Kelley Foster, Stephen Symonds Foster, and Lucretia Mott, among others.

Fredrick Douglass's first speech

August 11, 1841

This speech was the speech that got him noticed, and put Douglass on the path to becoming a lecturer for the society. He proceeded to go on tour, delivering speeches that told his life and experience as a slave.

The North Star starts publishing

December 1847

The North Star was a nineteenth-century anti-slavery newspaper published in the United States by abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Free soil party arises

August 1848 - 1849

its main purpose was to oppose the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economic system that was in fact, better than slavery. This party was comprised of members of the Whig and Democratic parties alike.

Harriet Tubman


The date of her successful escape was in 1849. Yet she returned many times to rescue both family members and non-relatives from the plantation system.

Compromise of 1850

September 1850

The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850

Uncle Tom's Cabin is published

March 1852

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is published. The novel sold 300,000 copies within three months and was so widely read.

Bleeding Kansas

1854 - 1861

Bleeding Kansas was a series of violent political confrontations in the United States involving anti-slavery "Free-Staters" and pro-slavery "Border Ruffians".

Kansas- Nebraska Act


It was passed by the U.S. Congress on May 30, 1854. It allowed people in Kansas and Nebraska to utilize popular sovereignty to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery within their borders.

Republican Party Formed

June 1856

By around February 1854, anti-slavery Whigs had begun meeting in the upper-midwestern states to discuss the formation of a new party. One meeting, in Wisconsin on the 20th of March, 1854, is usually remembered as the founding meeting of the Republican Party.

Dred Scott Decision


It was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on US law that held that "a negro, whose ancestors were imported into the U.S., and sold as slaves" whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court."

John Brown's raid

October 16, 1859 - October 18th, 1859

John Brown's raid was an effort by white abolitionist John Brown to initiate an armed slave revolt in 1859 by taking over a United States arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

Election of Lincoln

November 1860

In the November 1860 election, Lincoln again faced Douglas, who represented the Northern faction of a heavily divided Democratic Party, as well as Breckinridge and Bell.

Invention of the Cotton Gin

March 1894

Eli Whitney is credited with Inventing the cotton gin.
It was an important invention because it dramatically reduced the amount of time it took to separate cotton seeds from cotton fiber.