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History of slavery in the United States

History of slavery in the United States

Overview
Slavery in the United States was a form of slave labor which existed as a legal institution in North America for more than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776, and continued mostly in the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

 in 1865 following the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The first English colony
British colonization of the Americas
British colonization of the Americas began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia and reached its peak when colonies had been established throughout the Americas...

 in North America, Virginia, acquired its first Africans in 1619, after a ship arrived, unsolicited, carrying a cargo of about 20 Africans.
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Encyclopedia
Slavery in the United States was a form of slave labor which existed as a legal institution in North America for more than a century before the founding of the United States in 1776, and continued mostly in the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

 in 1865 following the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The first English colony
British colonization of the Americas
British colonization of the Americas began in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia and reached its peak when colonies had been established throughout the Americas...

 in North America, Virginia, acquired its first Africans in 1619, after a ship arrived, unsolicited, carrying a cargo of about 20 Africans. Thus, a practice established in the Spanish colonies
Slavery in the Spanish New World colonies
Slavery in the Spanish colonies began with the enslavement of the local indigenous peoples in their homelands by Spanish settlers. Enslavement and production quotas were used to force the local labor to bring a return on the expedition and colonization investments...

 as early as the 1560s was expanded into English North America. Most slaves were black and were held by whites, although some Native Americans and free blacks also held slaves; there were a small number of white slaves as well. Europeans also held some Native Americans as slaves, and African-Native Americans. Slavery spread to the areas where there was good-quality soil for large plantations of high-value cash crops, such as tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, and coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

. The slaves did the manual labor
Manual labour
Manual labour , manual or manual work is physical work done by people, most especially in contrast to that done by machines, and also to that done by working animals...

 involved in raising and harvesting these crops. By the early decades of the 19th century, the majority of slaveholders and slaves were in the southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, where most slaves were engaged in a work-gang system of agriculture on large plantations, especially devoted to cotton and sugar cane. Such large groups of slaves were thought to work more efficiently if directed by a managerial class called overseers, usually white men.

Before the widespread establishment of chattel slavery (outright ownership of a human being, and of his/her descendants), much labor was organized under a system of bonded labor known as indentured servitude. This typically lasted for several years for white
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

 and black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 alike. People paid with their labor for the costs of transport to the colonies. They contracted for such arrangements because of poor economies in their home countries. Between 1680 and 1700, slave labor began to supplant indentured servitude in much of colonial America. Recognizing the importance of slavery, the House of Burgesses
House of Burgesses
The House of Burgesses was the first assembly of elected representatives of English colonists in North America. The House was established by the Virginia Company, who created the body as part of an effort to encourage English craftsmen to settle in North America...

 enacted a new slave code in 1705, bringing together the scattered legislation of the previous century and adding new provisions that embedded the principles of white supremacy in the law. By the 18th century, colonial courts and legislatures had racialized slavery, essentially creating a caste system in which slavery applied nearly exclusively to Black
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

 Africans and people of African descent, and occasionally to Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. Spain abolished slavery of Native Americans in its territories in 1769.

From the 16th to the 19th centuries, an estimated 12 million Africans were shipped as slaves to the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

. (see Slavery in the Americas) Of these, an estimated 645,000 were brought to what is now the United States.

By the 1860 United States Census, the slave population in the United States had grown to four million.

Slavery was a contentious issue in the politics of the United States
Politics of the United States
The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of the United States , Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.The executive branch is headed by the President...

 from the 1770s through the 1860s, becoming a topic of debate in the drafting of the Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

; a subject of Federal legislation such as the ban on the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850; and a subject of landmark Supreme Court cases, such as the Dred Scott
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott v. Sandford, , also known as the Dred Scott Decision, was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S...

decision. Slaves resisted the institution through rebellions and non-compliance, and escaped it through travel to non-slave states and Canada, facilitated by the Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...

. Advocates of abolitionism
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

 engaged in moral and political debates, and encouraged the creation of Free Soil states as Western expansion proceeded. Slavery was a principal issue leading to the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. After the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 prevailed in the war, slavery was made illegal throughout the United States with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

. A few instances of enslavement of Indians by other Indians persisted in the following years. In the South, practices of slavery shaped the institutions of convict leasing
Convict lease
Convict leasing was a system of penal labor practiced in the Southern United States, beginning with the emancipation of slaves at the end of the American Civil War in 1865, peaking around 1880, and ending in the last state, Alabama, in 1928....

 and sharecropping. Illegal enslavement of captive workers, often immigrants, has occurred into the 21st century in nations across the world.

Colonial America



The first African slaves arrived in the present-day United States as part of the San Miguel de Gualdape
San Miguel de Gualdape
San Miguel de Gualdape was the first European settlement inside what is now United States territory, founded by Spaniard Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. It was to last only three months of winter before being abandoned in early 1527....

 colony (most likely located in the Winyah Bay
Winyah Bay
Winyah Bay is a coastal estuary that is the confluence of the Waccamaw River, the Pee Dee River, the Black River and the Sampit River in Georgetown County in eastern South Carolina...

 area of present-day South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

), founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón
Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón
Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón was a Spanish explorer who in 1526 established the short-lived San Miguel de Gualdape colony, the first European attempt at a settlement in what is now the continental United States...

 in 1526. The ill-fated colony was disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterward of an epidemic
Epidemic
In epidemiology, an epidemic , occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience...

. The Spanish abandoned the colony, leaving the escaped slaves behind. In 1565, the Spanish colony of San Agustín
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is a city in the northeast section of Florida and the county seat of St. Johns County, Florida, United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city and port in the continental United...

 in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 became the first permanent European settlement on modern U.S. territory, and included an unknown number of African slaves.

The first 30 blacks came to Virginia in 1619, joining a workforce of about 1000 English indentured servants in the colony.
Origins and Percentages of Africans
imported into British North America
and Louisiana (1700–1820)
Amount %
Senegambia  (Mandinka
Mandinka people
The Mandinka, Malinke are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa with an estimated population of eleven million ....

, Fula
Fula people
Fula people or Fulani or Fulbe are an ethnic group spread over many countries, predominantly in West Africa, but found also in Central Africa and Sudanese North Africa...

, Wolof
Wolof people
The Wolof are an ethnic group found in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania.In Senegal, the Wolof form an ethnic plurality with about 43.3% of the population are Wolofs...

)
14.5
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

  (Mende
Mende people
The Mende people are one of the two largest and most dominant ethnic group in Sierra Leone, along with the Temne. The Mende make up 30% of Sierra Leone's total population or 1,932,015 members...

, Temne)
15.8
Windward Coast  (Mandé, Kru) 5.2
Gold Coast
Gold Coast (region)
The Gold Coast was the region of West Africa which is now the nation of Ghana. Early uses of the term refer literally to the coast and not the interior. It was not until the 19th century that the term came to refer to areas that are far from the coast...

 (Akan
Akan people
The Akan people are an ethnic group found predominately in Ghana and The Ivory Coast. Akans are the majority in both of these countries and overall have a population of over 20 million people.The Akan speak Kwa languages-Origin and ethnogenesis:...

, Fon
Fon people
The Fon people, or Fon nu, are a major West African ethnic and linguistic group in the country of Benin, and southwest Nigeria, made up of more than 3,500,000 people. The Fon language is the main language spoken in Southern Benin, and is a member of the Gbe language group...

)
13.1
Bight of Benin
Bight of Benin
The Bight of Benin is a bight on the western African coast that extends eastward for about 400 miles from Cape St. Paul to the Nun outlet of the Niger River. To the east it is continued by the Bight of Bonny . The bight is part of the Gulf of Guinea...

  (Yoruba
Yoruba people
The Yoruba people are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language...

, Ewe
Ewe people
The Ewe are a people located in the southeast corner of Ghana, east of the Volta River, in an area now described as the Volta Region, in southern Togo and western Benin...

, Fon
Fon people
The Fon people, or Fon nu, are a major West African ethnic and linguistic group in the country of Benin, and southwest Nigeria, made up of more than 3,500,000 people. The Fon language is the main language spoken in Southern Benin, and is a member of the Gbe language group...

, Allada
Allada
Allada is a town, arrondissement, and commune located in the Atlantique Department of Benin.Allada was the capital of the most powerful king in Ajaland before it fell to the armies of Dahomey....

  and Mahi
Mahi people
The Mahi are a people of Benin. They live north of Abomey, from the Togo border on the west to the Zou River on the east, and south to Cové between the Zou and Ouemé rivers, north of the Dassa hills....

)
4.3
Bight of Biafra
Bight of Bonny
The Bight of Bonny is a bight off the West African coast, in the easternmost part of the Gulf of Guinea...

  (Igbo
Igbo people
Igbo people, also referred to as the Ibo, Ebo, Eboans or Heebo are an ethnic group living chiefly in southeastern Nigeria. They speak Igbo, which includes various Igboid languages and dialects; today, a majority of them speak English alongside Igbo as a result of British colonialism...

, Tikar
Tikar
The Tikar are a group of related ethnic groups in Cameroon. They live primarily in the northwestern part of the country, in the Northwest Province near the Nigerian border. They speak Bantoid language, also called Tikar. Their population is approximately 25,000.The Tikar have elements of...

, Ibibio
Ibibio people
The Ibibio are a people of southeastern Nigeria. They are related to the Anaang and the Efik peoples. During colonial period in Nigeria, the Ibibio Union asked for recognition by the British as a sovereign nation . The Annang, Efik, Ekid, Oron and Ibeno share personal names, culture, and traditions...

, Bamileke
Bamileke
The Bamileke is a folk whose native ancestral area is in the western highlands of Cameroon's West Province, west of the Noun River and southeast of the Bamboutos Mountains and in the Moungo region of the Littoral, Southwest, and Centre Provinces. They are a part of the Semi-Bantu ethnic groups...

, Bubi)
24.4
West-central Africa
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

  (Kongo
Kongo people
The Bakongo or the Kongo people , also sometimes referred to as Kongolese or Congolese, is a Bantu ethnic group which lives along the Atlantic coast of Africa from Pointe-Noire to Luanda, Angola...

, Mbundu
Mbundu
The Northern Mbundu or Ambundu are a people living in Angola's North-West, North of the river Kwanza. The Ambundu speak Kimbundu, and mostly also the official language of the country, Portuguese...

)
26.1
Southeast Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

  (Macua, Malagasy
Malagasy people
The Malagasy ethnic group forms nearly the entire population of Madagascar. They are divided into two subgroups: the "Highlander" Merina, Sihanaka and Betsileo of the central plateau around Antananarivo, Alaotra and Fianarantsoa, and the côtiers elsewhere in the country. This division has its...

)
1.8

In addition to African slaves, Europeans voluntarily came as "indentured servants" whereby their they paid for their passage, their upkeep and training by unpaid labor, usually on a farm. The servants were young people intended to become permanent residents, and were about the same as family members. They were not slaves. Historians estimate that more than half of all white immigrants to the English colonies of North America during the 17th and 18th centuries came as indentured servants. The early colonists of Virginia treated the first Africans in the colony as indentured servants. They were freed after a stated period and given the use of land and supplies by their former masters.

The wealthier planters found that the major problem with indentured servants was that they left on schedule, just when they had become the most valuable workers. The transformation of the status of Africans from indentured servitude to slavery—whereby they could never leave—happened gradually. There were no laws regarding slavery early in Virginia's history. But, by 1640, the Virginia courts had sentenced at least one black servant to slavery.

In 1654, John Casor
John Casor
John Casor , a servant in Northampton County in the Virginia Colony, in 1654 became the first person of African descent in the Thirteen Colonies to be declared by the county court a slave for life. In one of the earliest freedom suits, Casor argued that he was an indentured servant who had been...

, an African, became the first legally recognized slave in the present United States. In his freedom suit, he claimed that he was an indentured servant who had been held past his term. A court in Northampton County
Northampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,389 people, 5,321 households, and 3,543 families residing in the county. The population density was 63 people per square mile . There were 6,547 housing units at an average density of 32 per square mile...

 ruled against Casor, declaring him property for life, "owned" by his master, the black colonist Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson (American Colonial)
Anthony Johnson was an Angolan African held as an indentured servant by a merchant in the Colony of Virginia in 1620, but later freed to become a successful tobacco farmer and owner...

. Since persons with African origins were not English subjects by birth, they were considered foreigners and generally outside English Common Law. Elizabeth Key Grinstead
Elizabeth Key Grinstead
Elizabeth Key Grinstead was the first woman of African ancestry in the North American colonies to sue for her freedom from slavery and win. Elizabeth Key won her freedom and that of her infant son John Grinstead on July 21, 1656 in the colony of Virginia. She sued based on the fact that her...

, a mixed-race woman, successfully gained her freedom and that of her son in the Virginia courts in 1656 by making her case as the daughter of the free Englishman Thomas Key. She was also a baptized Christian. Her son's father was an English subject.

Shortly after the Elizabeth Key trial and similar challenges, in 1662 Virginia passed a law adopting the principle of Partus sequitur ventrum
Partus sequitur ventrum
Partus sequitur ventrem, often abbreviated to partus, in the British North American colonies and later in the United States, was a legal doctrine which the English colonists incorporated in legislation related to definitions of slavery. It was derived from the Roman civil law; it held that the...

(called partus, for short), stating that any children of an enslaved mother would take her status and be born into slavery, regardless if the father were a freeborn Englishman. This institutionalized the power relationships, freed the white men from the legal responsibility to acknowledge or support their children, and somewhat confined the possible scandal of mixed-race children to within the slave quarters.

The Virginia Slave codes
Slave codes
Slave codes were laws each US state, which defined the status of slaves and the rights of masters. These codes gave slave-owners absolute power over the African slaves.-Definition of "slaves":Virginia, 1650:“Act XI...

 of 1705 further defined as slaves those people imported from nations that were not Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, as well as Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 who were sold to colonists by other Native Americans. This established the basis for the legal enslavement of any non-Christian foreigner.
In 1735, the trustees of the colony of Georgia, set up to enable worthy laborers to have a new start, passed a law to prohibit slavery, which was then legal in the other twelve English colonies. They wanted to eliminate the risk of slave rebellions and make Georgia better able to defend against attacks from the Spanish to the south. The law supported Georgia's original charter—to turn some of England's poor into hardworking small farmers.

The Protestant Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 highlanders who settled what is now Darien, Georgia added a moral anti-slavery argument, which was rare at the time, in their 1739 "Petition of the Inhabitants of New Inverness".

By 1750 Georgia authorized slavery in the state. During most of the British colonial period, slavery existed in all the colonies. People enslaved in the North
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 typically worked as house servants, artisans, laborers and craftsmen, with the greater number in cities. The agricultural South had a significantly higher number and proportion of slaves in the population, as its commodity crops were labor intensive. Early on, slaves in the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 worked primarily in agriculture, on farms and plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

s growing indigo, rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, and tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

; cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 became a major crop after the 1790s. Tobacco was very labor intensive, as was rice cultivation. In South Carolina
Province of South Carolina
The South Carolina Colony, or Province of South Carolina, was originally part of the Province of Carolina, which was chartered in 1663. The colony later became the U.S. state of South Carolina....

 in 1720, about 65% of the population consisted of slaves. Planters (defined as those who held 20 slaves or more) used slaves to cultivate commodity crops. Backwoods subsistence farmers, a later wave of settlers in the 18th century, seldom owned slaves.

Some of the British colonies attempted to abolish the international slave trade
Atlantic slave trade
The Atlantic slave trade, also known as the trans-atlantic slave trade, refers to the trade in slaves that took place across the Atlantic ocean from the sixteenth through to the nineteenth centuries...

, fearing that the importation of new Africans would be disruptive. Virginia bills to that effect were vetoed by the British Privy Council
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

. Rhode Island
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was one of the original English Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of North America that, after the American Revolution, became the modern U.S...

 forbade the import of slaves in 1774. All of the colonies except Georgia
Province of Georgia
The Province of Georgia was one of the Southern colonies in British America. It was the last of the thirteen original colonies established by Great Britain in what later became the United States...

 had banned or limited the African slave trade by 1786; Georgia did so in 1798. Some of these laws were later repealed.

United Kingdom


Slavery in Great Britain had never been authorized by statute. In 1772 it was made unenforceable at common law by a decision of Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, but this decision did not apply in the colonies. A number of cases for emancipation
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

 were presented to the British courts. Numerous runaways hoped to reach Britain where they hoped to be free. The slaves' belief that King George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

 was for them and against their masters rose as tensions increased before the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

; colonial slaveholders feared a British-inspired slave revolt.

Lord Dunmore's proclamation


In early 1775 Lord Dunmore
John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore
John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore was a British peer and colonial governor. He was the son of William Murray, 3rd Earl of Dunmore, and his wife Catherine . He is best remembered as the last royal governor of the Colony of Virginia.John was the eldest son of William and Catherine Murray, and nephew...

, royal governor
Royal governor
Royal governor is an informal term used to refer to a colonial or provincial Governor, or by extension a Governor-General or similar gubernatorial official, appointed by a king or other monarch....

 of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, wrote to Lord Dartmouth of his intent to take advantage of this situation. On November 7, 1775, Lord Dunmore issued Lord Dunmore's Proclamation which declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 and promised freedom for any slaves of American patriots
Patriot (American Revolution)
Patriots is a name often used to describe the colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution. It was their leading figures who, in July 1776, declared the United States of America an independent nation...

 who would leave their masters and join the royal forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

. Tens of thousands of slaves did so, especially in the South, finding freedom behind British lines and disrupting plantation agriculture by their escapes. For instance, in South Carolina, nearly 25,000 slaves (30% of the total enslaved population) fled, migrated or died during the disruption of the war. In the closing months of the war, the British evacuated 20,000 freedmen, transporting them for resettlement in Nova Scotia, the Caribbean islands, and some to England.

Constitution of the United States


The Constitution of the United States was drafted in 1787, and included several provisions regarding slavery. Section 9 of Article I allowed the continued "importation" of such persons, Section 2 of Article IV prohibited the provision of assistance to escaping persons and required their return if successful and Section 2 of Article I defined other persons as "three-fifths" of a person for calculations of each state's official population for representation and federal taxation. Article V prohibited any amendments or legislation changing the provision regarding slave importation until 1808, thereby giving the States then existing 20 years to resolve this issue.

Northern abolition


Most Northeastern states became free states through local abolition movements. The settlement of the Midwestern
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 states after the American Revolution by many Yankees and Northerners led to their decisions in the 1820s not to allow slavery. A Northern block of free states united into one contiguous geographic area which shared an anti-slavery culture. The boundary was the Mason-Dixon Line
Mason-Dixon line
The Mason–Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It forms a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and...

 (between slave-state Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and free-state Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

) and the Ohio River.

Forced migration westward and southward



The growing demand for cotton led many plantation owners further west in search of suitable land. In addition, invention of the cotton gin
Cotton gin
A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, a job formerly performed painstakingly by hand...

 enabled more economic processing of short-staple cotton, which could readily be grown in the uplands. This led to the development of large cotton plantations across the Deep South.

This boom in agricultural economies in the deep south resulted in a large westward and southward migration of slaves. Historians have estimated that one million slaves were moved westward and southward between 1790 and 1860. Most of the slaves originated from Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, and the Carolinas, where changes in agriculture decreased demand for slaves. Before 1810, primary destinations were Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, but after 1810 Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 and Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 received the most slaves.

The historian Ira Berlin
Ira Berlin
Ira Berlin is an American historian, a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, and a past President of the Organization of American Historians. Berlin is the author of such books as Many Thousands Gone and Generations of Captivity.-Biography:Berlin received his Ph.D....

 called this forced migration the "Second Middle Passage", because it reproduced many of the same horrors as the Middle Passage
Middle Passage
The Middle Passage was the stage of the triangular trade in which millions of people from Africa were shipped to the New World, as part of the Atlantic slave trade...

 (the name given to the transportation of slaves from Africa to North America). This large migration of slaves was traumatic, breaking up many families and causing much hardship. The historian Peter Kolchin wrote, "By breaking up existing families and forcing slaves to relocate far from everyone and everything they knew," this migration "replicated (if on a reduced level) many of [the] horrors" of the Atlantic slave trade. Characterizing it as the "central event” in the life of a slave between the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

 and the Civil War, Berlin wrote that whether slaves were directly uprooted or lived in fear that they or their families would be involuntarily moved, "the massive deportation traumatized black people, both slave and free."

In the 1830s, almost 300,000 slaves were transported, with Alabama and Mississippi receiving 100,000 each. Every decade between 1810 and 1860 had at least 100,000 slaves moved from their state of origin. In the final decade before the Civil War, 250,000 were moved. Michael Tadman, in his 1989 book, Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South, indicates that 60–70% of interregional migrations were the result of the sale of slaves. In 1820 a child in the Upper South had a 30% chance of being sold south by 1860.

Slave traders
Interregional slave trade
The interregional slave trade was the trade of slaves within the United States that reallocated slaves across states during the antebellum period...

 were responsible for the majority of the slaves that moved west. Only a minority moved with their families and existing master. Slave traders had little interest in purchasing or transporting intact slave families; in the early years, only young male slaves were in demand. Later, in the interest of creating a "self-reproducing labor force", planters purchased nearly equal numbers of men and women. Berlin wrote:
The internal slave trade became the largest enterprise in the South outside the plantation itself, and probably the most advanced in its employment of modern transportation, finance, and publicity." The slave trade industry developed its own unique language, with terms such as "prime hands, bucks, breeding wenches, and fancy girls" coming into common use.
The expansion of the interstate slave trade contributed to the "economic revival of once depressed seaboard states" as demand accelerated the value of slaves who were subject to sale.

Some traders moved their "chattels" by sea, with Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

 to New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

 being the most common route, but most slaves were forced to walk overland. Regular migration routes were created and were served by a network of slave pens, yards, and warehouses needed as temporary housing for the slaves. In addition, other vendors provided clothes and supplies for slaves. As the trek advanced, some slaves were sold and new ones purchased. Berlin concluded, "In all, the slave trade, with its hubs and regional centers, its spurs and circuits, reached into every cranny of southern society. Few southerners, black or white, were untouched."

The death rate for the slaves on their way to their new destination across the American South was much less than that of the captives shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, but mortality was still higher than the normal death rate.
Once the trip ended, slaves faced a life on the frontier significantly different from their experiences back east. Clearing trees and starting crops on virgin fields was harsh and backbreaking work. A combination of inadequate nutrition, bad water, and exhaustion from both the journey and the work weakened the newly arrived slaves and produced casualties. New plantations were located at rivers' edges for ease of transportation and travel, an environment with mosquito
Mosquito
Mosquitoes are members of a family of nematocerid flies: the Culicidae . The word Mosquito is from the Spanish and Portuguese for little fly...

es and other environmental challenges, where disease threatened the survival of slaves. They had acquired only limited immunities in their previous homes. The death rate was such that, in the first few years of hewing a plantation out of the wilderness, some planters preferred whenever possible to use rented slaves rather than their own.

The harsh conditions on the frontier increased slave resistance and led owners and overseers to rely on violence for control. Many of the slaves were new to cotton fields and unaccustomed to the "sunrise-to-sunset gang labor" required by their new life. Slaves were driven much harder than when they had been in growing tobacco or wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 back east. Slaves had less time and opportunity to improve the quality of their lives by raising their own livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

 or tending vegetable gardens, for either their own consumption or trade, as they could in the eastern south.

In Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, French colonists had established sugar cane plantations and exported sugar as the chief commodity crop. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Americans entered the state and joined the sugar cultivation. Between 1810 and 1830, the number of slaves increased from under 10,000 to more than 42,000. New Orleans became nationally important as a slave port, as slaves were shipped upriver by steamboat to plantations. By 1840, it had the largest slave market in the country. It became the wealthiest and the fourth-largest city in the nation, based chiefly on the slave trade and associated businesses. Dealing with sugar cane was even more physically demanding than growing cotton. Planters preferred young males, who represented two-thirds of the slave purchases. The largely young, unmarried male slave force made the reliance on violence by the owners “especially savage.”

Treatment



The treatment of slaves in the United States varied widely depending on conditions, times and places. Treatment was generally characterized by brutality, degradation, and inhumanity. Whippings, executions, and rapes were commonplace. Exceptions existed to virtually every generalization, for instance, there were slaves that employed white workers, slave doctors that treated upper-class white patients, and slaves who rented-out their labor.

Slaves were generally denied the opportunity to learn to read or write, in order to ensure that they did not form aspirations that could lead to escape or rebellion.

Medical care to slaves was generally provided by other slaves or by slaveholders' family members. Many slaves possessed medical skills needed to tend to each other, and used many folk remedies brought from Africa.

In some states, religious gatherings were prohibited, because it was feared that such meetings would facilitate communication and may lead to rebellion.

Slaves were punished by whipping, shackling, hanging, beating, burning, mutilation, branding, and imprisonment. Punishment was most often meted in response to disobedience or perceived infractions, but sometimes abuse was carried out simply to re-assert the dominance of the master or overseer over the slave.

Slavery in the United States encompassed wide-ranging rape and sexual abuse. Many slaves fought back against sexual attacks, and many died resisting. Others carried psychological and physical scars from the attacks. Sexual abuse of slaves was partially rooted in a patriarchal Southern culture which treated all women, black and white, as property or chattel. Racial purity was the driving force between Southern culture's strong prohibition of sexual relations between white women and black men, but ironically, the same culture encouraged sexual relations between white men and black women, which produced a large number of mixed-race (mulatto) offspring.

Slave codes



To help regulate the relationship between slave and owner, including legal support for keeping the slave as property, slave codes
Slave codes
Slave codes were laws each US state, which defined the status of slaves and the rights of masters. These codes gave slave-owners absolute power over the African slaves.-Definition of "slaves":Virginia, 1650:“Act XI...

 were established. While each state would have its own, most of the ideas were shared throughout the slave states. In the codes for the District of Columbia, a slave is defined as “a human being, who is by law deprived of his or her liberty for life, and is the property of another.”

Abolitionist movement

Main article: Abolitionist#United States. See also List of notable opponents of slavery


Between 1776 and 1804, slavery was outlawed in every state north of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line
Mason-Dixon line
The Mason–Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It forms a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and...

. (Some states did it gradually by converting old slaves into indentured servants.) Through the Northwest Ordinance
Northwest Ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance was an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787...

 of 1787 under the Congress of the Confederation
Congress of the Confederation
The Congress of the Confederation or the United States in Congress Assembled was the governing body of the United States of America that existed from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789. It comprised delegates appointed by the legislatures of the states. It was the immediate successor to the Second...

, slavery was prohibited in the territories northwest of the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

. That was a compromise, for Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

's original proposal in 1784 to end slavery in all the territories lost in Congress by one vote. As a result the territories south of the Ohio River (and Missouri) did have slavery.

After Great Britain and the US outlawed the international slave trade in 1808, the British West Africa Squadron
West Africa Squadron
The Royal Navy established the West Africa Squadron at substantial expense in 1808 after Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807. The squadron's task was to suppress the Atlantic slave trade by patrolling the coast of West Africa...

's slave trade suppression activities were assisted by forces from the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, starting in 1820. With the Webster-Ashburton Treaty
Webster-Ashburton Treaty
The Webster–Ashburton Treaty, signed August 9, 1842, was a treaty resolving several border issues between the United States and the British North American colonies...

 of 1842, the relationship with Britain was formalised, and they jointly ran the Africa Squadron
Africa Squadron
The Africa Squadron was a unit of the United States Navy that operated from 1819 to 1861 to suppress the slave trade along the coast of West Africa...

.

Some free states passed legislation for gradual abolition. As a result, both New York and Pennsylvania still listed slaves in their 1840 census returns, although they had abolished the institution decades before. A small number of black slaves were listed as still held in New Jersey in the 1860 census.

The principal organized bodies to advocate these reforms in the north were the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, and the New York Manumission Society
New York Manumission Society
The New York Manumission Society was an early American organization founded in 1785 to promote the abolition of the slavery of African descendants within the state of New York. The organization was made up entirely of white men, most of whom were wealthy and held influential positions in society...

. The Massachusetts Constitution
Massachusetts Constitution
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the fundamental governing document of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one of the 50 individual state governments that make up the United States of America. It was drafted by John Adams, Samuel Adams, and James Bowdoin during the...

 of 1780 declared all men "born free and equal"; the slave Quock Walker
Quock Walker
Quock Walker, also known as Kwaku or Quok Walker , was an American slave who sued for and won his freedom in June 1781 in a case citing language in the new Massachusetts Constitution that declared all men to be born free and equal...

 sued for his freedom on this basis and won, and slavery was ended in Massachusetts. Despite the actions of abolitionists, free blacks were subject to racial segregation in the North.

Throughout the first half of the 19th century, a movement to end slavery grew in strength throughout the United States. This struggle took place amid strong support for slavery among white Southerners, who profited greatly from the system of enslaved labor. These slave owners began to refer to slavery as the "peculiar institution
Peculiar institution
" peculiar institution" was a euphemism for slavery and the economic ramifications of it in the American South. The meaning of "peculiar" in this expression is "one's own", that is, referring to something distinctive to or characteristic of a particular place or people...

" in a defensive attempt to differentiate it from other examples of forced labor.


In the early part of the 19th century, a variety of organizations were established advocating the movement of black people from the United States to locations where they would enjoy greater freedom; some endorsed colonization
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

, while others advocated emigration
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

. During the 1820s and 1830s the American Colonization Society
American Colonization Society
The American Colonization Society , founded in 1816, was the primary vehicle to support the "return" of free African Americans to what was considered greater freedom in Africa. It helped to found the colony of Liberia in 1821–22 as a place for freedmen...

 (A.C.S.) was the primary vehicle for proposals to return black Americans to greater freedom and equality in Africa, and in 1821 the A.C.S. established colony of Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

, assisting thousands of former African-American slaves and free black people (with legislated limits) to move there from the United States. Many white people saw this as preferable to emancipation
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

 in America, with A.C.S founder Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 believing; "unconquerable prejudice resulting from their color, they never could amalgamate with the free whites of this country. It was desirable, therefore, as it respected them, and the residue of the population of the country, to drain them off". Clay argued that as blacks could never be fully integrated into U.S. society due to "unconquerable prejudice" by white Americans, it would be better for them to emigrate to Africa. Slaveholders opposed freedom for blacks, but saw repatriation
Repatriation
Repatriation is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning refugees or soldiers to their place of origin following a war...

 as a way of avoiding rebellions.

After 1830, a religious movement led by William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, and as one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society, he promoted "immediate emancipation" of slaves in the United...

 declared slavery to be a personal sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

. He demanded the owners repent immediately and start the process of emancipation. The movement was highly controversial and was a factor in causing the American Civil War
Origins of the American Civil War
The main explanation for the origins of the American Civil War is slavery, especially Southern anger at the attempts by Northern antislavery political forces to block the expansion of slavery into the western territories...

.

Few abolitionists, such as John Brown
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

, favored the use of armed force to foment uprisings among the slaves; others tried to use the legal system.

Rising tensions


The economic value of plantation slavery was magnified in 1793 with the invention of the cotton gin
Cotton gin
A cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates cotton fibers from their seeds, a job formerly performed painstakingly by hand...

 by Eli Whitney
Eli Whitney
Eli Whitney was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South...

, a device designed to separate cotton fibers from seedpods and the sometimes sticky seeds. The invention revolutionized the cotton industry by increasing fiftyfold the quantity of cotton that could be processed in a day. The result was the explosive growth of the cotton industry and greatly increased the demand for slave labor in the South.

At the end of the eighteenth century, the Northern states began to outlaw slavery within their borders. Some states proceeded gradually, first outlawing the sale of slaves, then later outlawing ownership. The emancipation of slaves in the North led to the growth in the population of northern free blacks, from several hundreds in the 1770s to nearly 50,000 by 1810.

Just as demand for slaves was increasing, the supply was restricted. The United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, adopted in 1787, prevented Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 from banning the import
Import
The term import is derived from the conceptual meaning as to bring in the goods and services into the port of a country. The buyer of such goods and services is referred to an "importer" who is based in the country of import whereas the overseas based seller is referred to as an "exporter". Thus...

ation of slaves until 1808. On January 1, 1808, Congress banned further imports. Any new slaves would have to be descendants of ones currently in the United States. However, the internal American slave trade and the involvement in the international slave trade or the outfitting of ships for that trade by U.S. citizens were not banned. Though there were certainly violations of this law, slavery in America became, more or less, self-sustaining. Despite the ban, slave imports continued, if on a smaller scale, with smugglers continuing to bring in slaves past U.S. Navy patrols. Though slave trading was declared an act of piracy in 1820, with smugglers subject to harsh penalties, including death if caught, it continued until just before the start of the Civil War.

War of 1812


During the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 commanders of the blockading fleet, based at the Bermuda dockyard
Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda
HMD Bermuda was the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between American independence and the Cold War. Bermuda had occupied a useful position astride the homeward leg taken by many European vessels from the New World since before its settlement by England in 1609...

, were given instructions to encourage the defection of American slaves by offering freedom, as they did during the Revolutionary War. Thousands of black slaves went over to the Crown with their families, and were recruited into the (3rd Colonial Battalion) Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 on occupied Tangier Island, in the Chesapeake. A further company of colonial marines was raised at the Bermuda dockyard, where many freed slaves, men women and children, had been given refuge and employment. It was kept as a defensive force in case of an attack.

These former slaves fought for Britain throughout the Atlantic campaign, including the attack on Washington D.C.and the Louisiana Campaign, and most were later re-enlisted into British West India regiments, or settled in Trinidad
Trinidad
Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands and numerous landforms which make up the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the southernmost island in the Caribbean and lies just off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. With an area of it is also the fifth largest in...

 in August, 1816, where seven hundred of these ex-marines were granted land (they reportedly organised themselves in villages along the lines of military companies). Many other freed American slaves were recruited directly into existing West Indian regiments, or newly created British Army units. A few thousand freed slaves were later settled at Nova Scotia by the British.

Slaveholders primarily in the South experienced considerable "loss of property" as tens of thousands of slaves escaped to British lines or ships for freedom, despite the difficulties. The planters' complacency about slave "contentment" was shocked by seeing slaves would risk so much to be free. Afterward, when some freed slaves had been settled at Bermuda, slaveholders such as Major Pierce Butler
Pierce Butler
Pierce Butler was a soldier, planter, and statesman, recognized as one of United States' Founding Fathers. He represented South Carolina in the Continental Congress, the 1787 Constitutional Convention, and the U.S. Senate...

 of South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 tried to persuade them to return to the United States, to no avail.

Under the 1814 Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent
The Treaty of Ghent , signed on 24 December 1814, in Ghent , was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

, Britain promised to return these freed black slaves, but instead a few years later paid the United States $350,000 for them.

Internal slave trade


By 1815, the internal slave trade had become a major activity in the United States which lasted until the 1860s. Between 1830 and 1840 almost 250,000 slaves were transported over state lines. In the 1850s over 193,000 were transported, and by 1860 the slave population had reached 4 million. An effect of the internal slave trade becoming the dominant character in American slavery, where individuals from families and clans were forced to move on to other states, was that it became difficult to determine a slave's country of origin whether originally from Africa, or born into slavery.

Religion


Prior to the American Revolution, masters and revivalists spread Christianity to slave communities, supported by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In the First Great Awakening
First Great Awakening
The First Awakening was a Christian revitalization movement that swept Protestant Europe and British America, and especially the American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s, leaving a permanent impact on American religion. It resulted from powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of personal...

, Baptists and Methodists from New England preached a message against slavery, encouraged masters to free their slaves, converted both slaves and free blacks, and gave them active roles in new congregations.

Over the decades and with the growth of slavery throughout the South, Baptist and Methodist ministers gradually changed their messages to accommodate the institution. After 1830, Southerners refused to entertain the conversation over the morality of slavery. They argued for the compatibility of Christianity and slavery with a multitude of both Old and New Testament citations.

Southern slaves attended, and often outnumbered the white congregants, at their masters’ white churches, where they were usually permitted only to sit in the back or in the balcony. They listened to white preachers, who emphasized the appropriate behavior of slaves to keep in their place, and acknowledged the slave’s identity as both person and property. Preachers taught the master's responsibility and the concept of appropriate paternal treatment, using Christianity to improve conditions for slaves, and to treat them "justly and fairly” (Col. 4:1). This included having self-control, not disciplining under anger, not threatening, and ultimately fostering Christianity among their slaves by example.

Slaves also created their own religious observances, meeting alone without the supervision of their white masters or ministers. Plantations that held groups of slaves numbering twenty, or more, lent the opportunity for nighttime meetings of one or several plantation slave populations. These congregations revolved around a singular preacher, often illiterate with limited knowledge of theology, who was marked by his personal piety and ability to foster a spiritual environment. One lasting influence of these secret congregations is the African American spiritual
Spiritual (music)
Spirituals are religious songs which were created by enslaved African people in America.-Terminology and origin:...

.

Nat Turner and anti-literacy laws



In 1831, a bloody slave rebellion took place in Southampton County, Virginia
Southampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,570 people, 6,279 households, and 4,502 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile . There were 7,058 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

. A slave named Nat Turner
Nat Turner
Nathaniel "Nat" Turner was an American slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on August 21, 1831 that resulted in 60 white deaths and at least 100 black deaths, the largest number of fatalities to occur in one uprising prior to the American Civil War in the southern United States. He gathered...

, who was able to read and write and had visions, started what became known as Nat Turner's Rebellion or the Southampton Insurrection. With the goal of freeing himself and others, Turner and his followers killed approximately sixty white inhabitants, mostly women and children, for many of the men were attending a religious event in North Carolina. Eventually Turner was captured with 17 other rebels and subdued by the militia.

Nat Turner and his followers were hanged
Hanging
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

, and Turner's body was flayed
Flaying
Flaying is the removal of skin from the body. Generally, an attempt is made to keep the removed portion of skin intact.-Scope:An animal may be flayed in preparation for human consumption, or for its hide or fur; this is more commonly called skinning....

. The militia also killed more than a hundred slaves who had not been involved in the rebellion. In fear of more slaves revolting, hundreds of innocent slaves were whipped and scores executed. Across the South, harsh new laws were enacted in the aftermath of the 1831 Turner Rebellion to curtail the already limited rights of African Americans. New laws in Virginia prohibited blacks, free or slave, from practicing preaching, prohibited blacks from owning firearms, and forbidden teaching slaves how to read. Typical was the Virginia anti-literacy law
Anti-literacy law
Anti-literacy law is legislation outlawing the teaching of literacy to a group or groups of people.-In the United States:Anti-literacy law was in force in many Confederate states before and during the American Civil War regarding slaves, freedmen, and in some cases all people of color. These...

 against educating slaves, free blacks and children of whites and blacks, which specified heavy penalties both for student and teacher when slaves were educated.

Economics


In Democracy in America (1835), Alexis de Tocqueville noted that "the colonies in which there were no slaves became more populous and more rich than those in which slavery flourished. The more progress was made, the more was it shown that slavery, which is so cruel to the slave, is prejudicial to the master."

During the slave trade, "premiums and discounts were applied to slaves for various skills and 'defects'. There was little difference in the way in which planters priced their slaves and the way they priced their other capital assets. They were as precise in valuing human attributes as those of their livestock or equipment. The premiums and discounts are measured relative to the price of a healthy field hand of the same age and gender." For example, a slave with a skill set in carpentry would trade at a 50% premium relatively to a healthy one that did not. Slaves that were crippled or defective in some way were sold at steep discounts. A male that was a former runaway was sold at approximately 40% off and one that was blind in both eyes was sold at 35% off. Age had by far the greatest influence on prices.

1850s



Because of the three-fifths compromise
Three-fifths compromise
The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise between Southern and Northern states reached during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 in which three-fifths of the enumerated population of slaves would be counted for representation purposes regarding both the distribution of taxes and the...

 in the U.S. Constitution, in which slaves counted as three-fifths of a person in terms of population numbers for Congressional representation, the elite planter
Plantations in the American South
Plantations were an important aspect of the history of the American South, particularly the antebellum .-Planter :The owner of a plantation was called a planter...

 class had long held power in Congress out of proportion to the total number of white Southerners. In 1850 they passed a more stringent Federal fugitive slave law. Refugees from slavery continued to flee the South across the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 and other parts of the Mason-Dixon Line
Mason-Dixon line
The Mason–Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It forms a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and...

 dividing North from South, to the North via the Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...

. The physical presence of African Americans in Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio. Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located to north of the Ohio River at the Ohio-Kentucky border, near Indiana. The population within city limits is 296,943 according to the 2010 census, making it Ohio's...

, Oberlin
Oberlin, Ohio
Oberlin is a city in Lorain County, Ohio, United States, to the south and west of Cleveland. Oberlin is perhaps best known for being the home of Oberlin College, a liberal arts college and music conservatory with approximately 3,000 students...

, and other Northern towns agitated some white Northerners, though others helped hide former slaves from their former owners, and others helped them reach freedom in Canada. After 1854, Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 argued that the Slave Power, especially the pro-slavery Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, controlled two of the three branches of the Federal government.

Congress abolished the slave trade (though not the legality of slavery) in the District of Columbia as part of the Compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War...

.

Bleeding Kansas



After the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act
Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening new lands for settlement, and had the effect of repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing settlers in those territories to determine through Popular Sovereignty if they would allow slavery within...

 in 1854, border wars broke out in Kansas Territory
Kansas Territory
The Territory of Kansas was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 30, 1854, until January 29, 1861, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Kansas....

, where the question of whether it would be admitted to the Union as a slave
Slave state
In the United States of America prior to the American Civil War, a slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery was legal, whereas a free state was one in which slavery was either prohibited from its entry into the Union or eliminated over time...

 or free state was left to the inhabitants. Abolitionist John Brown
John Brown (abolitionist)
John Brown was an American revolutionary abolitionist, who in the 1850s advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery in the United States. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed, in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas, and made his name in the...

 was active in the rebellion and killing in "Bleeding Kansas", as were many white Southerners. At the same time, fears that the Slave Power was seizing full control of the national government swept anti-slavery Republicans into office.

Dred Scott



Dred Scott
Dred Scott
Dred Scott , was an African-American slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v...

 was a 46 or 47-year old slave who sued for his freedom after the death of his owner on the grounds that he had lived in a territory where slavery was forbidden (the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

, from which slavery was excluded under the terms of the Missouri Compromise
Missouri Compromise
The Missouri Compromise was an agreement passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30'...

). Scott filed suit for freedom in 1846 and went through two state trials, the first denying and the second granting freedom. Eleven years later the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 denied Scott his freedom in a sweeping decision that set the United States on course for Civil War
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The court ruled that Dred Scott was not a citizen
United States nationality law
Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. The Immigration and Naturalization Act sets forth the legal requirements for the acquisition of, and divestiture from, citizenship of...

 who had a right to sue in the Federal courts, and that Congress had no constitutional power to pass the Missouri Compromise.

The 1857 Dred Scott decision
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott v. Sandford, , also known as the Dred Scott Decision, was a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S...

, decided 7–2, held that a slave did not become free when taken into a free state; Congress could not bar slavery from a territory; and people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants could not be citizens. Furthermore, a state could not bar slaveowners from bringing slaves into that state. This decision, seen as unjust by many Republicans including Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, was also seen as proof that the Slave Power
Slave power
The Slave Power was a term used in the Northern United States to characterize the political power of the slaveholding class of the South....

 had seized control of the Supreme Court. The decision, written by Chief Justice
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

 Roger B. Taney
Roger B. Taney
Roger Brooke Taney was the fifth Chief Justice of the United States, holding that office from 1836 until his death in 1864. He was the first Roman Catholic to hold that office or sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. He was also the eleventh United States Attorney General. He is most...

, barred slaves and their descendants from citizenship. The decision enraged abolitionists and encouraged slave owners, helping to push the country towards civil war.

1860 presidential election


The divisions became fully exposed with the 1860 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1860
The United States presidential election of 1860 was a quadrennial election, held on November 6, 1860, for the office of President of the United States and the immediate impetus for the outbreak of the American Civil War. The nation had been divided throughout the 1850s on questions surrounding the...

. The electorate split four ways. The Southern Democrats endorsed slavery, while the Republicans denounced it. The Northern Democrats said democracy required the people to decide on slavery locally. The Constitutional Union Party
Constitutional Union Party (United States)
The Constitutional Union Party was a political party in the United States created in 1860. It was made up of conservative former Whigs who wanted to avoid disunion over the slavery issue...

 said the survival of the Union was at stake and everything else should be compromised.

Lincoln, the Republican, won with a plurality of popular votes and a majority of electoral votes
United States Electoral College
The Electoral College consists of the electors appointed by each state who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States. Since 1964, there have been 538 electors in each presidential election...

. Lincoln, however, did not appear on the ballots of ten southern states: thus his election necessarily split the nation along sectional lines. Many slave owners in the South feared that the real intent of the Republicans was the abolition of slavery in states where it already existed, and that the sudden emancipation of four million slaves would be problematic for the slave owners and for the economy that drew its greatest profits from the labor of people who were not paid.

They also argued that banning slavery in new states would upset what they saw as a delicate balance of free states and slave states. They feared that ending this balance could lead to the domination of the industrial North with its preference for high tariff
Tariff
A tariff may be either tax on imports or exports , or a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage ....

s on imported goods. The combination of these factors led the South to secede from the Union
Ordinance of Secession
The Ordinance of Secession was the document drafted and ratified in 1860 and 1861 by the states officially seceding from the United States of America...

, and thus began the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. Northern leaders had viewed the slavery interests as a threat politically, and with secession, they viewed the prospect of a new southern nation, the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

, with control over the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and the West
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

, as politically and militarily unacceptable.

Civil War


The consequent American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, beginning in 1861, led to the end of chattel slavery in America. Not long after the war broke out, through a legal maneuver credited to Union General Benjamin F. Butler, a lawyer by profession, slaves who came into Union "possession" were considered "contraband of war"
Contraband (American Civil War)
Contraband was a term commonly used in the United States military during the American Civil War to describe a new status for certain escaped slaves or those who affiliated with Union forces after the military determined that the US would not return escaped slaves who went to Union lines to their...

. General Butler ruled that they were not subject to return to Confederate owners as they had been before the war. Soon word spread, and many slaves sought refuge in Union territory, desiring to be declared "contraband." Many of the "contrabands" joined the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 as workers or troops, forming entire regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops. Others went to refugee camps such as the Grand Contraband Camp
Grand Contraband Camp
Grand Contraband Camp was located in Elizabeth City County on the Virginia Peninsula near Fort Monroe during and immediately after the American Civil War. The area was a refuge for escaped slaves who the Union forces refused to return to their former Confederate masters, by defining them as...

 near Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe was a military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula...

 or fled to northern cities. General Butler's interpretation was reinforced when Congress passed the Confiscation Act of 1861
Confiscation Act of 1861
The Confiscation Act of 1861 was an act of Congress during the early months of the American Civil War permitting the confiscation of any of property, including slaves, being used to support the Confederate insurrection....

, which declared that any property used by the Confederate military, including slaves, could be confiscated by Union forces.

At the beginning of the war, some Union commanders thought they were supposed to return escaped slaves to their masters. By 1862, when it became clear that this would be a long war, the question of what to do about slavery became more general. The Southern economy and military effort depended on slave labor. It began to seem unreasonable to protect slavery while blockading Southern commerce and destroying Southern production. As one Congressman put it, the slaves "…cannot be neutral. As laborers, if not as soldiers, they will be allies of the rebels, or of the Union." The same Congressman—and his fellow Radical Republicans—put pressure on Lincoln to rapidly emancipate the slaves, whereas moderate Republicans came to accept gradual, compensated emancipation and colonization. Copperheads
Copperheads (politics)
The Copperheads were a vocal group of Democrats in the Northern United States who opposed the American Civil War, wanting an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates. Republicans started calling anti-war Democrats "Copperheads," likening them to the venomous snake...

, the border states
Border states (Civil War)
In the context of the American Civil War, the border states were slave states that did not declare their secession from the United States before April 1861...

 and War Democrats
War Democrats
War Democrats in American politics of the 1860s were adherents of the Democratic Party who rejected the Copperheads/Peace Democrats who controlled the party...

 opposed emancipation, although the border states and War Democrats eventually accepted it as part of total war
Total war
Total war is a war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.In the mid-19th century, "total war" was identified by scholars as a separate class of warfare...

 needed to save the Union.

Emancipation Proclamation


In 1861, Lincoln expressed the fear that premature attempts at emancipation would mean the loss of the border states. He believed that "to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game." At first, Lincoln reversed attempts at emancipation by Secretary of War Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron
Simon Cameron was an American politician who served as United States Secretary of War for Abraham Lincoln at the start of the American Civil War. After making his fortune in railways and banking, he turned to a life of politics. He became a U.S. senator in 1845 for the state of Pennsylvania,...

 and Generals John C. Fremont
John C. Frémont
John Charles Frémont , was an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder...

 (in Missouri) and David Hunter
David Hunter
David Hunter was a Union general in the American Civil War. He achieved fame by his unauthorized 1862 order emancipating slaves in three Southern states and as the president of the military commission trying the conspirators involved with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.-Early...

 (in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida) in order to keep the loyalty of the border states and the War Democrats.

Lincoln mentioned his Emancipation Proclamation to members of his cabinet on July 21, 1862. Secretary of State William H. Seward
William H. Seward
William Henry Seward, Sr. was the 12th Governor of New York, United States Senator and the United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson...

 told Lincoln to wait for a victory before issuing the proclamation, as to do otherwise would seem like "our last shriek on the retreat". In September 1862 the Battle of Antietam
Battle of Antietam
The Battle of Antietam , fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, as part of the Maryland Campaign, was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Northern soil. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with about 23,000...

 provided this opportunity, and the subsequent War Governors' Conference
War Governors' Conference
The Loyal War Governors' Conference was an important political event of the American Civil War. It was held at the Logan House Hotel in Altoona, Pennsylvania on September 24 and 25, 1862. Thirteen governors of Union states came together to discuss the war effort, state troop quotas, and the...

 added support for the proclamation. Lincoln had already published a letter encouraging the border states especially to accept emancipation as necessary to save the Union. Lincoln later said that slavery was "somehow the cause of the war". Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 on September 22, 1862, and said that a final proclamation would be issued if his gradual plan based on compensated emancipation and voluntary colonization was rejected. Only the District of Columbia accepted Lincoln's gradual plan, and Lincoln issued his final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. In his letter to Hodges, Lincoln explained his belief that "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong … And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling ... I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me."

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 of January 1, 1863 was a powerful move that promised freedom for slaves in the Confederacy as soon as the Union armies reached them, and authorized the enlistment of African Americans in the Union Army. The Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in the Union-allied slave-holding states that bordered the Confederacy. Since the Confederate States did not recognize the authority of President Lincoln, and the proclamation did not apply in the border states
Border states (Civil War)
In the context of the American Civil War, the border states were slave states that did not declare their secession from the United States before April 1861...

, at first the proclamation freed only slaves who had escaped behind Union lines. Still, the proclamation made the abolition of slavery an official war goal that was implemented as the Union took territory from the Confederacy. According to the Census of 1860, this policy would free nearly four million slaves, or over 12% of the total population of the United States.

Since the Emancipation Proclamation was based on the President's war powers, it only included territory held by Confederates at the time. However, the Proclamation became a symbol of the Union's growing commitment to add emancipation to the Union's definition of liberty. Lincoln also played a leading role in getting Congress to vote for the Thirteenth Amendment, which made emancipation universal and permanent.

Enslaved African Americans did not wait for Lincoln's action before escaping and seeking freedom behind Union lines. From early years of the war, hundreds of thousands of African Americans escaped to Union lines, especially in Union-controlled areas like Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...

 and the Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

 region in 1862 Virginia, Tennessee from 1862 on, the line of Sherman's march, etc. So many African Americans fled to Union lines that commanders created camps and schools for them, where both adults and children learned to read and write. The American Missionary Association
American Missionary Association
The American Missionary Association was a Protestant-based abolitionist group founded on September 3, 1846 in Albany, New York. The main purpose of this organization was to abolish slavery, to educate African Americans, to promote racial equality, and to promote Christian values...

 entered the war effort by sending teachers south to such contraband camps, for instance, establishing schools in Norfolk and on nearby plantations. In addition, nearly 200,000 African-American men served with distinction as soldiers and sailors with Union troops. Most of those were escaped slaves.

The Arizona Organic Act
Arizona Organic Act
The Arizona Organic Act was a United States federal law introduced as H.R. 357 in the 2d session of the 37th Congress on March 12, 1862, by Rep. James M. Ashley of Ohio. The Act provided for the creation of the Arizona Territory by the division of the New Mexico Territory into two territories,...

 abolished slavery on February 24, 1863 in the newly formed Arizona Territory
Arizona Territory
The Territory of Arizona was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863 until February 14, 1912, when it was admitted to the Union as the 48th state....

. Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 and all of the border states (except Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

) abolished slavery by early 1865. Thousands of slaves were freed by the operation of the Emancipation Proclamation as Union armies marched across the South. Emancipation as a reality came to the remaining southern slaves after the surrender of all Confederate troops in spring 1865.

Confederates enslaved captured black Union soldiers, and black soldiers especially were shot when trying to surrender at the Fort Pillow Massacre. This led to a breakdown of the prisoner exchange program, and the growth of prison camps such as Andersonville prison in Georgia, where almost 13,000 Union prisoners of war died of disease and starvation.

In spite of the South's shortage of manpower, until 1865, most Southern leaders opposed arming slaves as soldiers. However,a few Confederates discussed arming slaves since the early stages of the war, and some free blacks had even offered to fight for the South. In 1862 Georgian Congressman Warren Akin supported the enrolling of slaves with the promise of emancipation, as did the Alabama legislature. Support for doing so also grew in other Southern states. A few all black Confederate militia units, most notably the 1st Louisiana Native Guard
1st Louisiana Native Guard (CSA)
The 1st Louisiana Native Guard was a Confederate Louisiana militia of "free persons of color" formed in 1861 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was disbanded in February 1862; some of the members joined the Union Army's 1st Louisiana Native Guard regiment The 1st Louisiana Native Guard (CSA) was a...

, were formed in Louisiana at the start of the war, but were disbanded in 1862. In early March, 1865, Virginia endorsed a bill to enlist black soldiers, and on March 13 the Confederate Congress did the same.

The end of slavery


The war ended in April, 1865 and following that surrender, the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced throughout remaining regions of the South that had not yet freed the slaves. Slavery continued for a couple of months in some locations. Federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, to enforce the emancipation, and that day is now celebrated as Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States honoring African American heritage by commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865...

 in several states.

The thirteenth amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

, abolishing slavery, was passed by the Senate in April 1864, and by the House of Representatives in January 1865. The amendment did not take effect until it was ratified by three fourths of the states, which occurred on December 6, 1865 when Georgia ratified it. On that date, all remaining slaves became officially free.

Legally, the last 40,000 or so slaves were freed in Kentucky by the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

 in December 1865. Slaves still held in Tennessee, Kentucky, Kansas, New Jersey, Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

, West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, Maryland, Missouri, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and twelve parishes of Louisiana also became legally free on this date. American historian, R.R. Palmer noted that the abolishment of slavery in the United States without compensation to the former slave owners was an "annihilation of individual property rights without parallel...in the history of the Western world". Economic historian Robert E. Wright
Robert E. Wright
Robert E. Wright is a business, economic, financial, and monetary historian and the inaugural Rudy and Marilyn Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota...

 argues that it would have been much cheaper, with minimal deaths, if the federal government
Federal government
The federal government is the common government of a federation. The structure of federal governments varies from institution to institution. Based on a broad definition of a basic federal political system, there are two or more levels of government that exist within an established territory and...

 had purchased and freed all the slaves, rather than fighting the Civil War
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

.

Reconstruction to present


During Reconstruction, it was a serious question whether slavery had been permanently abolished or whether some form of semi-slavery would appear after the Union armies left. Over time a large civil rights movement arose to bring full civil rights and equality under the law to all Americans.

Convict leasing


With emancipation a legal reality, white Southerners were concerned with both controlling the newly freed slaves and keeping them in the labor force at the lowest level. The system of convict leasing
Convict lease
Convict leasing was a system of penal labor practiced in the Southern United States, beginning with the emancipation of slaves at the end of the American Civil War in 1865, peaking around 1880, and ending in the last state, Alabama, in 1928....

 began during Reconstruction and was fully implemented in the 1880s. This system allowed private contractors to purchase the services of convicts from the state or local governments for a specific time period. African Americans, due to “vigorous and selective enforcement of laws and discriminatory sentencing” made up the vast majority of the convicts leased. Writer Douglas A. Blackmon writes of the system:
The constitutional basis for convict leasing is that the Thirteenth Amendment
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, passed by the House on January 31, 1865, and adopted on December 6, 1865. On...

, while abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude generally, expressly permits it as a punishment for crime.

Educational issues


The anti-literacy laws after 1832 contributed greatly to the problem of widespread illiteracy facing the freedmen and other African Americans after Emancipation and the Civil War 35 years later. The problem of illiteracy and need for education was seen as one of the greatest challenges confronting these people as they sought to join the free enterprise system and support themselves during Reconstruction and thereafter.

Consequently, many black and white religious organizations, former Union Army officers and soldiers, and wealthy philanthropists were inspired to create and fund educational efforts specifically for the betterment of African Americans in the South. Blacks started their own schools even before the end of the war. Northerners helped create numerous normal school
Normal school
A normal school is a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose is to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name...

s, such as those that became Hampton University
Hampton University
Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen.-History:...

 and Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund...

, to generate teachers. Blacks held teaching as a high calling, with education the first priority for children and adults. Many of the most talented went into the field. Some of the schools took years to reach a high standard, but they managed to get thousands of teachers started. As W. E. B. Du Bois noted, the black colleges were not perfect, but "in a single generation they put thirty thousand black teachers in the South" and "wiped out the illiteracy of the majority of black people in the land."

Northern philanthropists continued to support black education in the 20th century, even as tensions rose within the black community, exemplified by Dr. Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington
Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and political leader. He was the dominant figure in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915...

 and Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, as to the proper emphasis between industrial and classical academic education at the college level. Collaborating with Dr. Washington in the early decades of the 20th century, philanthropist Julius Rosenwald
Julius Rosenwald
Julius Rosenwald was a U.S. clothier, manufacturer, business executive, and philanthropist. He is best known as a part-owner and leader of Sears, Roebuck and Company, and for the Rosenwald Fund which donated millions to support the education of African American children in the rural South, as well...

 provided matching funds for community efforts to build rural schools for black children. He insisted on white and black cooperation in the effort, wanting to ensure that white-controlled school boards made a commitment to maintain the schools. By the 1930s local parents had helped raise funds (sometimes donating labor and land) to create over 5,000 rural schools in the South. Other philanthropists such as Henry H. Rogers
Henry H. Rogers
Henry Huttleston Rogers was a United States capitalist, businessman, industrialist, financier, and philanthropist. He made his fortune in the oil refinery business, becoming a leader at Standard Oil....

 and Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, and entrepreneur who led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century...

, each of whom had arisen from modest roots to become wealthy, used matching fund grants to stimulate local development of libraries and schools.

Apologies


On February 24, 2007, the Virginia General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly
The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, established on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members,...

 passed House Joint Resolution Number 728 acknowledging "with profound regret the involuntary servitude of Africans and the exploitation of Native Americans, and call for reconciliation among all Virginians." With the passing of this resolution, Virginia became the first state to acknowledge through the state's governing body their state's negative involvement in slavery. The passing of this resolution came on the heels of the 400th anniversary celebration of the city of Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

, which was one of the first slave ports of the American colonies.

On July 30, 2008, the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 passed a resolution apologizing for American slavery and subsequent discriminatory laws.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a similar resolution on June 18, 2009, apologizing for the "fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery". It also explicitly states that it cannot be used for restitution claims.

"A necessary evil"


In the 19th century, proponents of slavery often defended the institution as a "necessary evil". White people of that time feared that emancipation of black slaves would have more harmful social and economic consequences than the continuation of slavery. In 1820, Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

, wrote in a letter that with slavery:
Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 wrote in 1856:
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America and The Old Regime and the Revolution . In both of these works, he explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in...

, in Democracy in America
Democracy in America
De la démocratie en Amérique is a classic French text by Alexis de Tocqueville. A "literal" translation of its title is Of Democracy in America, but the usual translation of the title is simply Democracy in America...

, also expressed an opposition to slavery, but felt that the existence of a multiracial society without slavery untenable, and observed prejudice against negroes increasing as they were granted more rights (for example, in northern states). He considered the attitudes of white southerners, and the concentration of the black population in the south–due to exportation resulting from restrictions in the north, and climatic and economic reasons–that was bringing the white and black population to a state of equilibrium, as a danger to both races. Thus, because of the racial differences between master and slave, the latter could not be emancipated.

"A positive good"


However, as the abolition agitation increased and the planting system expanded, apologies for slavery became more faint in the South. Then apologies were superseded by claims that slavery was a beneficial scheme of labor control. John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun
John Caldwell Calhoun was a leading politician and political theorist from South Carolina during the first half of the 19th century. Calhoun eloquently spoke out on every issue of his day, but often changed positions. Calhoun began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent...

, in a famous speech in the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 in 1837, declared that slavery was "instead of an evil, a good—a positive good." Calhoun supported his view with the following reasoning: in every civilized society one portion of the community must live on the labor of another; learning, science, and the arts are built upon leisure; the African slave, kindly treated by his master and mistress and looked after in his old age, is better off than the free laborers of Europe; and under the slave system conflicts between capital and labor are avoided. The advantages of slavery in this respect, he concluded, "will become more and more manifest, if left undisturbed by interference from without, as the country advances in wealth and numbers."

Others who also moved from the idea of necessary evil to positive good are James Henry Hammond
James Henry Hammond
James Henry Hammond was a politician from South Carolina. He served as a United States Representative from 1835 to 1836, the 60th Governor of South Carolina from 1842 to 1844, and United States Senator from 1857 to 1860...

 and George Fitzhugh
George Fitzhugh
George Fitzhugh was an American social theorist who published racial and slavery-based sociological theories in the antebellum era. He argued that "the negro is but a grown up child" who needs the economic and social protections of slavery...

. They presented several arguments to defend the act of slavery in the South. Hammond, like Calhoun, believed slavery was needed to build the rest of society. In a speech to the Senate on March 4, 1858, Hammond developed his Mudsill Theory defending his view on slavery stating, “Such a class you must have, or you would not have that other class which leads progress, civilization, and refinement. It constitutes the very mud-sill of society and of political government; and you might as well attempt to build a house in the air, as to build either the one or the other, except on this mud-sill.” Hammond believed that in every class you must have one group to do all the menial duties, because without them the leaders in society could not progress. He argued that the hired laborers of the North are slaves too: “The difference… is, that our slaves are hired for life and well compensated; there is no starvation, no begging, no want of employment,” while those in the North had to search for employment. George Fitzhugh, like many white people of his time, believed in racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

 and used this belief to justify slavery, writing that, “the Negro is but a grown up child, and must be governed as a child.” In "The Universal Law of Slavery" Fitzhugh argues that slavery provides everything necessary for life and that the slave is unable to survive in a free world because he is lazy, and cannot compete with the intelligent European white race. He states that "The negro slaves of the South are the happiest, and in some sense, the freest people in the world." Without the South "He (slave) would become a an insufferable burden to society" and "Society has the right to prevent this, and can only do so by subjecting him to domestic slavery."

Native Americans


During the 16th, 17th and 18th century, Indian slavery
Slavery among the indigenous peoples of the Americas
Slavery among the indigenous peoples of the Americas took many forms throughout North and South America. Slavery was institution among various Pre-Columbian indigenous peoples of the Americas; however, chattel slavery was introduced after European and African contact. Indigenous peoples have...

, the enslavement of Native Americans by European colonists
European colonization of the Americas
The start of the European colonization of the Americas is typically dated to 1492. The first Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings during the 11th century, who established several colonies in Greenland and one short-lived settlement in present day Newfoundland...

, was common. Many of these Native slaves were exported to the Northern colonies and to off-shore colonies, especially the "sugar islands" of the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. Historian Alan Gallay estimates that from 1670–1715, British slave traders sold between 24,000 and 51,000 Native Americans from what is now the southern part of the U.S.

Slavery of Native Americans was organized in colonial
Las Californias
The Californias, or in — - was the name given by the Spanish to their northwestern territory of New Spain, comprising the present day states of Baja California and Baja California Sur on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico; and the present day U.S. state of California in the United States of...

 and Mexican California
Alta California
Alta California was a province and territory in the Viceroyalty of New Spain and later a territory and department in independent Mexico. The territory was created in 1769 out of the northern part of the former province of Las Californias, and consisted of the modern American states of California,...

 through Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 missions, theoretically entitled to ten years of Native labor, but in practice maintaining them in perpetual servitude, until their charge was revoked in the mid-1830s. Following the 1847–1848 invasion by U.S. troops, Native Californians were enslaved in the new state from statehood in 1850 to 1867. Slavery required the posting of a bond by the slave holder and enslavement occurred through raids and a four-month servitude imposed as a punishment for Indian "vagrancy
Vagrancy (people)
A vagrant is a person in poverty, who wanders from place to place without a home or regular employment or income.-Definition:A vagrant is "a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging;" vagrancy is the condition of such persons.-History:In...

".

Inter-tribal slavery


The Haida and Tlingit Indians who lived along southeast Alaska's coast were traditionally known as fierce warriors and slave-traders, raiding as far as California. Slavery was hereditary after slaves were taken as prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

. Among some Pacific Northwest
Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a region in northwestern North America, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Definitions of the region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common concept of the...

 tribes, about a quarter of the population were slaves. Other slave-owning tribes of North America were, for example, Comanche
Comanche
The Comanche are a Native American ethnic group whose historic range consisted of present-day eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of northwest Texas. Historically, the Comanches were hunter-gatherers, with a typical Plains Indian...

 of Texas, Creek
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

 of Georgia, the fishing societies, such as the Yurok, that lived along the coast from what is now Alaska to California, the Pawnee, and Klamath.

After 1800, the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

s and the other civilized tribes
Five Civilized Tribes
The Five Civilized Tribes were the five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—that were considered civilized by Anglo-European settlers during the colonial and early federal period because they adopted many of the colonists' customs and had generally good...

 started buying and using black slaves to gain favor with Europeans, a practice they continued after being relocated to Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 in the 1830s.

The nature of slavery in Cherokee society
Cherokee freedmen controversy
The Cherokee Freedmen Controversy is an ongoing political and tribal dispute between the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen regarding tribal citizenship. In 1863, by an act of the Cherokee National Council during the American Civil War, the Cherokee who supported...

 often mirrored that of white slave-owning society. The law barred intermarriage of Cherokees and enslaved African Americans. Cherokee who aided slaves were punished with one hundred lashes on the back. In Cherokee society, those with African American descent were barred from holding office even if they were a mixed blood Cherokee, bearing arms, and owning property, and they made it illegal to teach African Americans to read and write.

By contrast, the Seminole
Seminole
The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida, who now reside primarily in that state and Oklahoma. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creeks from what is now Georgia and Alabama, who settled in Florida in...

s welcomed into their nation African Americans who had escaped
Fugitive slave
In the history of slavery in the United States, "fugitive slaves" were slaves who had escaped from their master to travel to a place where slavery was banned or illegal. Many went to northern territories including Pennsylvania and Massachusetts until the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed...

 slavery (Black Seminoles
Black Seminoles
The Black Seminoles is a term used by modern historians for the descendants of free blacks and some runaway slaves , mostly Gullahs who escaped from coastal South Carolina and Georgia rice plantations into the Spanish Florida wilderness beginning as early as the late 17th century...

).

Post-Emancipation Proclamation slavery


A few captives from other tribes who were used as slaves were not freed when African-American slaves were emancipated. Ute Woman, a Ute captured by the Arapaho
Arapaho
The Arapaho are a tribe of Native Americans historically living on the eastern plains of Colorado and Wyoming. They were close allies of the Cheyenne tribe and loosely aligned with the Sioux. Arapaho is an Algonquian language closely related to Gros Ventre, whose people are seen as an early...

 and later sold to a Cheyenne
Cheyenne
Cheyenne are a Native American people of the Great Plains, who are of the Algonquian language family. The Cheyenne Nation is composed of two united tribes, the Só'taeo'o and the Tsétsêhéstâhese .The Cheyenne are thought to have branched off other tribes of Algonquian stock inhabiting lands...

, was one example. Used as a prostitute for sale to American soldiers at Cantonment in the Indian Territory, she lived in slavery until about 1880 when she died of a hemorrhage resulting from "excessive sexual intercourse".

Black slaveholders


Some slaveholders were black or had some black ancestry. In 1830 there were 3,775 such slaveholders in the South, with 80% of them located in Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. There were economic differences between free blacks of the Upper South and Deep South, with the latter fewer in number, but wealthier and typically of mixed race. Half of the black slaveholders lived in cities rather than the countryside, with most in New Orleans and Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

. Especially New Orleans had a large, relatively wealthy free black population (gens de couleur
Gens de couleur
Gens de couleur is a French term meaning "people of color." The term was commonly used in France's West Indian colonies prior to the abolition of slavery, where it was a short form of gens de couleur libres ....

) composed of people of mixed race, who had become a third class between whites and enslaved blacks under French and Spanish rule. Relatively few slaveholders were “substantial planters.” Of those who were, most were of mixed race, often endowed by white fathers with some property and social capital. Historians John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger wrote:
Historian Ira Berlin wrote:
Free blacks were perceived “as a continual symbolic threat to slaveholders, challenging the idea that ‘black’ and ‘slave’ were synonymous.” Free blacks were seen as potential allies of fugitive slaves and “slaveholders bore witness to their fear and loathing of free blacks in no uncertain terms." For free blacks, who had only a precarious hold on freedom, “slave ownership was not simply an economic convenience but indispensable evidence of the free blacks” determination to break with their slave past and their silent acceptance – if not approval – of slavery.”

Historian James Oakes notes that, “The evidence is overwhelming that the vast majority of black slaveholders were free men who purchased members of their families or who acted out of benevolence.” After 1810 southern states made it increasingly difficult for any slaveholders to free slaves. Often the purchasers of family members were left with no choice but to maintain, on paper, the owner-slave relationship. In the 1850s “there were increasing efforts to restrict the right to hold bondsmen on the grounds that slaves should be kept ‘as far as possible under the control of white men only.”

In his 1985 statewide study of black slaveholders in South Carolina, Larry Koger challenged this benevolent view. He found that the majority of black slaveholders appeared to hold slaves as a commercial decision. For instance, he noted that in 1850 more than 80% of black slaveholders were of mixed race, but nearly 90% of their slaves were classified as black. He also noted the number of small artisans in Charleston who held slaves to help with their businesses.

Distribution of slaves


Census
Year
# Slaves # Free
blacks
Total
blacks
% Free
blacks
Total US
population
% Blacks
of total
1790 697,681 59,527 757,208 7.9% 3,929,214 19%
1800 893,602 108,435 1,002,037 10.8% 5,308,483 19%
1810 1,191,362 186,446 1,377,808 13.5% 7,239,881 19%
1820 1,538,022 233,634 1,771,656 13.2% 9,638,453 18%
1830 2,009,043 319,599 2,328,642 13.7% 12,860,702 18%
1840 2,487,355 386,293 2,873,648 13.4% 17,063,353 17%
1850 3,204,313 434,495 3,638,808 11.9% 23,191,876 16%
1860 3,953,760 488,070 4,441,830 11.0% 31,443,321 14%
1870 0 4,880,009 4,880,009 100% 38,558,371 13%
Source:

Total Slave Population in US 1790–1860, by State
Census
Year
1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860
All States 694,207 887,612 1,130,781 1,529,012 1,987,428 2,482,798 3,200,600 3,950,546
Alabama 47,449 117,549 253,532 342,844 435,080
Arkansas 4,576 19,935 47,100 111,115
California
Connecticut 2,648 951 310 97 25 54
Delaware 8,887 6,153 4,177 4,509 3,292 2,605 2,290 1,798
Florida 25,717 39,310 61,745
Georgia 29,264 59,699 105,218 149,656 217,531 280,944 381,682 462,198
Illinois 917 747 331
Indiana 190 3 3
Iowa 16
Kansas 2
Kentucky 12,430 40,343 80,561 126,732 165,213 182,258 210,981 225,483
Louisiana 69,064 109,588 168,452 244,809 331,726
Maine 2
Maryland 103,036 105,635 111,502 107,398 102,994 89,737 90,368 87,189
Massachusetts 1
Michigan 32
Minnesota
Mississippi 32,814 65,659 195,211 309,878 436,631
Missouri 10,222 25,096 58,240 87,422 114,931
Nebraska 15
Nevada
New Hampshire 157 8 3 1
New Jersey 11,423 12,422 10,851 7,557 2,254 674 236 18
New York 21,193 20,613 15,017 10,088 75 4
North Carolina 100,783 133,296 168,824 205,017 245,601 245,817 288,548 331,059
Ohio 6 3
Oregon
Pennsylvania 3,707 1,706 795 211 403 64
Rhode Island 958 380 108 48 17 5
South Carolina 107,094 146,151 196,365 251,783 315,401 327,038 384,984 402,406
Tennessee 13,584 44,535 80,107 141,603 183,059 239,459 275,719
Texas 58,161 182,566
Vermont
Virginia 292,627 346,671 392,518 425,153 469,757 449,087 472,528 490,865
Wisconsin 11 4

Distribution of slaveholders


As of the 1860 Census, one may compute the following statistics on slaveholding:
  • Enumerating slave schedules by county, 393,975 named persons held 3,950,546 unnamed slaves, for an average of about ten slaves per holder. As some large holders held slaves in multiple counties and are thus multiply counted, this slightly overestimates the number of slaveholders.
  • Excluding slaves, the 1860 U.S. population was 27,167,529, yielding about 1 in 70 free persons (1.5%) being slaveholders. On the other hand, by counting only named slaveowners, this discounts people who benefited from slavery by being in a slaveowning household, e.g. the wife and children of an owner. Only 8% of all US families owned slaves, while in the South, 33% of families owned slaves and 50% of Confederate soldiers lived in slave-owning households.
  • The distribution of slaveholders was very unequal: holders of 200 or more slaves, constituting less than 1% of all US slaveholders (fewer than 4,000 persons, 1 in 7,000 free persons, or 0.015% of the population) held an estimated 20–30% of all slaves (800,000 to 1,200,000 slaves).

Nineteen holders of 500 or more slaves have been identified. The largest slaveholder was Joshua John Ward
Joshua John Ward
Joshua John Ward, of Georgetown, South Carolina, was the largest American slaveholder, dubbed "the king of the rice planters".In 1850 he held 1,092 slaves, and in 1860 his heirs held 1,130 or 1,131 slaves....

, of Georgetown, South Carolina
Georgetown, South Carolina
Georgetown is the third oldest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina and the county seat of Georgetown County, in the Low Country. Located on Winyah Bay at the confluence of the Great Pee Dee River, Waccamaw River, and Sampit River, Georgetown is the second largest seaport in South Carolina,...

, who in 1850 held 1,092 slaves, and whose heirs in 1860 held 1,130 or 1,131 slaves – he was dubbed "the king of the rice planters", and one of his plantations is now part of Brookgreen Gardens
Brookgreen Gardens
Brookgreen Gardens is a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve, located just south of Murrells Inlet, in South Carolina. The property includes several themed gardens with American figurative sculptures placed in them, the Lowcountry Zoo, and trails through several ecosystems in nature reserves on...

.

Historiography


The historian Peter Kolchin
Peter Kolchin
-Life:He graduated from Columbia University, and from Johns Hopkins University with a Ph.D. in 1970.He teaches at the University of Delaware.-Awards:* 1988 Bancroft Prize in American History...

, writing in 1993, noted that until recently historians of slavery concentrated more on the behavior of slaveholders than on slaves. Part of this was related to the fact that most slaveholders were literate and able to leave behind a written record of their perspective. Most slaves were illiterate and unable to create a written record. There were differences among scholars as to whether slavery should be considered a benign or a “harshly exploitive” institution.

Much of the history written prior to the 1950s had a distinctive racist slant to it. However by the 1970s and 1980s, historians, using archaeological records, black folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

, and statistical data were able to describe a much more detailed and nuanced picture of slave life. Far from slaves' being strictly victims or content, historians showed slaves as both resilient and autonomous in many of their activities. Despite their exercise of autonomy and their efforts to make a life within slavery, current historians recognize the precariousness of the slave's situation. Historians writing during this era include John Blassingame (Slave Community), Eugene Genovese (Roll, Jordan, Roll), Leslie Howard Owens (This Species of Property), and Herbert Gutman
Herbert Gutman
Herbert Gutman was an American professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he wrote on slavery and labor history.-Early life and education:...

 (The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom).

See also



  • Abraham Lincoln on slavery
    Abraham Lincoln on slavery
    Abraham Lincolns position on slavery was one of the central issues in American history. Initially, Lincoln expected to bring about the eventual extinction of slavery by stopping its further expansion into any U.S. territory, and by offering compensated emancipation...

  • American Slave Court Cases
    American slave court cases
    The following is a list of American court cases concerning slavery....

  • BlackPast.org
    BlackPast.org
    BlackPast.org is a web-based free content reference center that is dedicated primarily to the understanding of African American history and the history of people of African ancestry...

  • Cherokee freedmen controversy
    Cherokee freedmen controversy
    The Cherokee Freedmen Controversy is an ongoing political and tribal dispute between the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen regarding tribal citizenship. In 1863, by an act of the Cherokee National Council during the American Civil War, the Cherokee who supported...

  • Colonization and the founding of Liberia
  • Cornerstone Speech
    Cornerstone Speech
    The Cornerstone Speech was delivered extemporaneously by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens in Savannah, Georgia on March 21, 1861.The speech explained what the differences were between the constitution of the Confederate Republic and that of the United States, laid out the Confederate...

  • Education during the Slave Period
    Education during the Slave Period
    /-Colonial era:/Throughout the colonial period, education for slaves was not only tolerated but largely encouraged for religious purposes. The two most prominent religious groups, Congregationalists and Anglicans, both saw the conversion of slaves as a spiritual obligation, and the ability to read...

  • Frances Anne Kemble
  • Historiography of slavery in the U.S.
  • History of slavery
    History of slavery
    The history of slavery covers slave systems in historical perspective in which one human being is legally the property of another, can be bought or sold, is not allowed to escape and must work for the owner without any choice involved...

  • History of slavery in Maryland
    History of slavery in Maryland
    The institution of Slavery in Maryland would last around 200 years, and initially it developed along very similar lines to neighbouring Virginia...

  • Human trafficking in the United States
    Human trafficking in the United States
    Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor; a modern-day form of slavery; and the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest, after the...

  • Hush harbor
    Hush harbor
    During antebellum America, a hush harbor was a place where slaves would gather in secret to practice religious traditions. Religion grew to become a highly respected part of slave life. It offered the enslaved hope and reassurance that brighter days were to come...

  • Industrial slave
    Industrial slave
    An industrial slave is a type of slave who typically worked in an industrial setting. These slaves often had work that was more dangerous than agricultural slaves.-United States:...

  • List of plantations
  • List of slaves
  • List of U.S. states by historical population

Novels involving slavery
  • Partus sequitur ventrum
    Partus sequitur ventrum
    Partus sequitur ventrem, often abbreviated to partus, in the British North American colonies and later in the United States, was a legal doctrine which the English colonists incorporated in legislation related to definitions of slavery. It was derived from the Roman civil law; it held that the...

  • Slave breeding in the United States
    Slave breeding in the United States
    Slave breeding in the United States were those practices of slave ownership that aimed to influence the reproduction of slaves in order to increase the wealth of slaveholders...

  • Slave insurance in the United States
  • Slave rebellion
    Slave rebellion
    A slave rebellion is an armed uprising by slaves. Slave rebellions have occurred in nearly all societies that practice slavery, and are amongst the most feared events for slaveholders...

  • Slavery in Indian Territory
  • Slavery on the Barbary Coast
    Slavery on the Barbary Coast
    Slavery on the Barbary Coast was a form of unfree labour which existed between the 16th and 18th centuries in the Barbary Coast area of North Africa....

  • Sojourner Truth
    Sojourner Truth
    Sojourner Truth was the self-given name, from 1843 onward, of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she...

  • Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680–1800
    Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680–1800
    Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680–1800, is a book written by historian Allan Kulikoff. Published in 1986, it is the first major study that synthesizes the historiography of the colonial Chesapeake region of the United States...

    (book)
  • U.S. Constitution, slavery debate in Convention
  • White guilt
    White guilt
    White guilt refers to the concept of individual or collective guilt often said to be felt by some white people for the racist treatment of people of color by whites both historically and presently...

  • York (Lewis and Clark)
    York (Lewis and Clark)
    York was an African American slave best known for his participation with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. As William Clark's slave, he performed hard manual labor without pay, but participated as a full member of the expedition. Like many other expedition members, his ultimate fate is unclear...



History of slavery in individual states


  • Alabama
    History of slavery in Alabama
    Following the War of 1812 and the defeat and expulsion of the Creek Nation, European-American settlement in Alabama was intensified, as was the presence of slavery on newly-established plantations in the territory...

  • Alaska
    History of slavery in Alaska
    The history of slavery in Alaska is different from that of the other states that comprise the United States of America. Whereas the continental United States mostly saw enslavement of Africans brought across the Atlantic Ocean, in Alaska indigenous people, and some whites, enslaved indigenous...

  • California
    History of slavery in California
    The arrival of the Spanish colonists—participants in the Atlantic slave trade and owners of both Indian and African slaves—introduced such concepts as chattel slavery and involuntary servitude to the area. Anglo settlers from the Southern and Eastern United States brought centuries of experience...

  • Georgia
  • Indiana
    History of slavery in Indiana
    Slavery in Indiana occurred between the time of French rule during late seventeenth century and 1826, with a few traces of slavery afterward. When the United States first took control of the region, slavery was tolerated as a necessity to keep peace with the Indians and the French...

  • Kansas
    History of slavery in Kansas
    While cotton never had a significant role in Kansas' early agrarian economy, a tiny portion of the population did engage in the ownership of slaves and plantations in the fertile grounds lining the Missouri River during the mid-19th century.-Armed civil conflict:...

  • Kentucky
    History of slavery in Kentucky
    The history of slavery in Kentucky dates from the earliest permanent European settlements in the state until the end of the Civil War. Although Kentucky was generally classified as the Upper South or a Border state, rather than the Deep South, enslaved African Americans made up a substantial...

  • Louisiana
    History of slavery in Louisiana
    The history of slavery in Louisiana began before its settlement by Europeans, as Native Americans also captured enemies to use as slaves. The French began to use slaves in the area soon after their first settlement at New Orleans; the Spanish also had slavery, as did the United States, which...

  • Maryland
    History of slavery in Maryland
    The institution of Slavery in Maryland would last around 200 years, and initially it developed along very similar lines to neighbouring Virginia...

  • Massachusetts
    History of slavery in Massachusetts
    Massachusetts was the first colony in New England with slave ownership, although Vermont, in its constitution, was the first state to abolish it.-History:...

  • Missouri
    History of slavery in Missouri
    The history of slavery in Missouri began in 1720, when a man named Philippe Francois Renault brought about 500 negro slaves from Santo Domingo to work in lead mines in the River des Peres area, located in the present-day St...

  • Nebraska
    History of slavery in Nebraska
    The history of slavery in Nebraska is generally seen as short and limited. The issue was contentious for the legislature between the creation of the Nebraska Territory in 1854 and the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. However, there was apparently a particular acceptance of African...

  • New Jersey
    History of slavery in New Jersey
    Slavery in New Jersey began in the early 17th century shortly after Dutch settlement. After England took the colony in 1664, it continued the importation of slaves from Africa, and for a time imported enslaved Native Americans from the Carolinas and the West Indies...

  • New York
    History of slavery in New York
    Slavery in New York was instituted when the New Amsterdam fur trading-post developed into a farming colony in the 17th century; the first African slaves were imported by the Dutch West Indies Company to New Amsterdam in 1626...

  • Pennsylvania
    History of slavery in Pennsylvania
    Slavery existed in the Dutch and Swedish colonies of the Delaware Valley, and is documented as early as 1639. William Penn and the colonists who settled Pennsylvania were at first tolerant of slavery, but Quakers and German immigrants were among the first to speak out against it...

  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
    History of slavery in Texas
    The history of slavery in Texas began slowly, as the Spanish did not rely on it for labor during their years of control. The use of slavery expanded when British-American settlers from the Southeastern United States crossed the Mississippi River and brought slaves with them...

  • Virginia
    History of slavery in Virginia
    The History of slavery in Virginia can be traced back to the very founding of Virginia as an English colony by the London Virginia Company. The headright system tried to solve the labor shortage by providing colonists with land for each indentured servant they transported to Virginia...

  • West Virginia
    History of slavery in West Virginia
    The western part of Virginia which became West Virginia was settled in two directions, north to south from Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey and from east to west from eastern Virginia and North Carolina. The earliest arrival of slaves was in the counties of the Shenandoah Valley, where...


National and comparative studies

  • Berlin, Ira. Generations of Captivity: A History of African American Slaves. (2003) ISBN 0-674-01061-2.
  • Berlin, Ira. Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Harvard University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-674-81092-9
  • Berlin, Ira and Ronald Hoffman, eds. Slavery and Freedom in the Age of the American Revolution University Press of Virginia, 1983. essays by scholars
  • Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. (2008) ISBN 978-0-385-50625-0.
  • Blassingame, John W. The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South
    The Slave Community
    The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South is a book written by American historian John W. Blassingame. Published in 1972, it is one of the first historical studies of slavery in the United States to be presented from the perspective of the enslaved...

    Oxford University Press, 1979. ISBN 0-19-502563-6.
  • David, Paul A. and Temin, Peter. "Slavery: The Progressive Institution?" Journal of Economic History. Vol. 34, No. 3 (September 1974)
  • David Brion Davis. Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (2006)
  • Elkins, Stanley. Slavery : A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life. University of Chicago Press, 1976. ISBN 0-226-20477-4
  • Fehrenbacher, Don E. Slavery, Law, and Politics: The Dred Scott Case in Historical Perspective Oxford University Press, 1981
  • Fogel, Robert W. Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery W.W. Norton, 1989. Econometric approach
  • Franklin, John Hope and Schweninger. Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation. (1999) ISBN 0-19-508449-7.
  • Gallay, Alan. The Indian Slave Trade (2002).
  • Genovese, Eugene D. Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made Pantheon Books, 1974.
  • Genovese, Eugene D. The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy and Society of the Slave South (1967)
  • Genovese, Eugene D. and Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Fruits of Merchant Capital: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism (1983)
  • Hahn, Steven. "The Greatest Slave Rebellion in Modern History: Southern Slaves in the American Civil War." Southern Spaces
    Southern Spaces
    Southern Spaces is a peer-reviewed open-access academic journal that publishes articles, photo essays and images, presentations, and short videos about real and imagined spaces and places of the Southern United States and their connections to the wider world...

     (2004)
  • Higginbotham, A. Leon, Jr. In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process: The Colonial Period. Oxford University Press, 1978. ISBN 0-19-502745-0
  • Horton, James Oliver and Horton, Lois E. Slavery and the Making of America. (2005) ISBN 0-19-517903-X
  • Kolchin, Peter. American Slavery, 1619–1877 Hill and Wang, 1993. Survey
  • Litwack, Leon F. Trouble in Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow. (1998) ISBN 0-394-52778-X.
  • Marable, Manning, How capitalism underdeveloped Black America: problems in race, political economy, and society South End Press, 2000
  • Mason, Matthew. Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic. (2006) ISBN 978-0-8078-3049-9.
  • Moon, Dannell, "Slavery", article in Encyclopedia of rape, Merril D. Smith (Ed.), Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004
  • Moore, Wilbert Ellis, American Negro Slavery and Abolition: A Sociological Study, Ayer Publishing, 1980
  • Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia W.W. Norton, 1975.
  • Morris, Thomas D. Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619–1860 University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
  • Oakes, James. The Ruling Race: A History of American Slaveholders. (1982) ISBN 0-393-31705-6.
  • Ransom, Roger L. Was It Really All That Great to Be a Slave? Agricultural History, Vol. 48, No. 4 (October 1974)
  • Scarborough, William K. The Overseer: Plantation Management in the Old South (1984)
  • Stampp, Kenneth M. The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South (1956) Survey
  • Stampp, Kenneth M. "Interpreting the Slaveholders' World: a Review." Agricultural History 1970 44(4): 407–412. ISSN 0002-1482
  • Tadman, Michael. Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.
  • Wright, W. D. Historians and Slavery; A Critical Analysis of Perspectives and Irony in American Slavery and Other Recent Works Washington, D.C.: University Press of America (1978)
  • Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. Encyclopedia of Slave Resistance and Rebellion. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2007.
  • Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2007.

State and local studies

  • Fields, Barbara J. Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century Yale University Press, 1985.
  • Clayton E. Jewett and John O. Allen; Slavery in the South: A State-By-State History Greenwood Press, 2004
  • Kulikoff, Alan. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680–1800 University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
  • Minges, Patrick N.; Slavery in the Cherokee Nation: The Keetoowah Society and the Defining of a People, 1855–1867 2003 deals with Indian slave owners.
  • Mohr, Clarence L. On the Threshold of Freedom: Masters and Slaves in Civil War Georgia University of Georgia Press, 1986.
  • Mooney, Chase C. Slavery in Tennessee Indiana University Press, 1957.
  • Olwell, Robert. Masters, Slaves, & Subjects: The Culture of Power in the South Carolina Low Country, 1740–1790 Cornell University Press, 1998.
  • Reidy, Joseph P. From Slavery to Agrarian Capitalism in the Cotton Plantation South, Central Georgia, 1800–1880 University of North Carolina Press, 1992.
  • Ripley, C. Peter. Slaves and Freemen in Civil War Louisiana Louisiana State University Press, 1976.
  • Rivers, Larry Eugene. Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation University Press of Florida, 2000.
  • Sellers, James Benson; Slavery in Alabama University of Alabama Press, 1950
  • Sydnor, Charles S. Slavery in Mississippi. 1933
  • Takagi, Midori. Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction: Slavery in Richmond, Virginia, 1782–1865 University Press of Virginia, 1999.
  • Taylor, Joe Gray. Negro Slavery in Louisiana. Louisiana Historical Society, 1963.
  • Wood, Peter H. Black Majority: Negroes in Colonial South Carolina from 1670 through the Stono Rebellion W.W. Norton & Company, 1974.

Historiography

  • Ayers, Edward L. "The American Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction on the World Stage," OAH Magazine of History, Jan 2006, Vol. 20 Issue 1, pp 54–60
  • Berlin, Ira. "American Slavery in History and Memory and the Search for Social Justice," Journal of American History, March 2004, Vol. 90 Issue 4, pp 1251–1268
  • Boles, John B. and Evelyn T. Nolen, eds., Interpreting Southern History: Historiographical Essays in Honor of Sanford W. Higginbotham (1987).
  • Brown, Vincent. "Social Death and Political Life in the Study of Slavery," American Historical Review, Dec 2009, Vol. 114 Issue 5, pp 1231–1249, examined historical and sociological studies since the influential 1982 book Slavery and Social Death by American sociologist Orlando Patterson
    Orlando Patterson
    Orlando Patterson is a Jamaica-born American historical and cultural sociologist known for his work regarding issues of race in the America, as well as the sociology of development, currently holding the John Cowles chair in Sociology at Harvard University. Patterson took his B.Sc in Economics...

  • Campbell, Gwyn. "Children and slavery in the new world: A review," Slavery & Abolition, Aug 2006, Vol. 27 Issue 2, pp 261–285
  • Dirck, Brian. "Changing Perspectives on Lincoln, Race, and Slavery," OAH Magazine of History, Oct 2007, Vol. 21 Issue 4, pp 9–12
  • Fogel, Robert W. The Slavery Debates, 1952-1990: A Retrospective (2007)
  • Frey, Sylvia R. "The Visible Church: Historiography of African American Religion since Raboteau," Slavery & Abolition, Jan 2008, Vol. 29 Issue 1, pp 83–110
  • Hettle, Wallace. "White Society in the Old South: The Literary Evidence Reconsidered," Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South, Fall/Winter 2006, Vol. 13 Issue 3/4, pp 29–44
  • King, Richard H. "Marxism and the Slave South", American Quarterly 29 (1977), 117–31. focus on Genovese
  • Kolchin, Peter. "American Historians and Antebellum Southern Slavery, 1959–1984", in William J. Cooper, Michael F. Holt, and John McCardell, eds., A Master's Due: Essays in Honor of David Herbert Donald (1985), 87–111
  • Laurie, Bruce. "Workers, Abolitionists, and the Historians: A Historiographical Perspective," Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas, Winter 2008, Vol. 5 Issue 4, pp 17–55, studies of white workers
  • Neely Jr., Mark E. "Lincoln, Slavery, and the Nation," Journal of American History, Sept 2009, Vol. 96 Issue 2, pp 456–458
  • Parish; Peter J. Slavery: History and Historians Westview Press. 1989
  • Penningroth, Dylan. "Writing Slavery's History," OAH Magazine of History, Apr 2009, Vol. 23 Issue 2, pp 13–20, basic overview
  • Sidbury, James. "Globalization, Creolization, and the Not-So-Peculiar Institution," Journal of Southern History, Aug 2007, Vol. 73 Issue 3, pp 617–630, on colonial era
  • Stuckey, P. Sterling. "Reflections on the Scholarship of African Origins and Influence in American Slavery," Journal of African American History, Fall 2006, Vol. 91 Issue 4, pp 425–443
  • Sweet, John Wood. "The Subject of the Slave Trade: Recent Currents in the Histories of the Atlantic, Great Britain, and Western Africa," Early American Studies, An Interdisciplinary Journal, Spring 2009, Vol. 7 Issue 1, pp 1–45
  • Tadman, Michael. "The Reputation of the Slave Trader in Southern History and the Social Memory of the South," American Nineteenth Century History, Sep 2007, Vol. 8 Issue 3, pp 247–271
  • Tulloch, Hugh. The Debate on the American Civil War Era (1998), ch 2–4

Primary sources

  • Albert, Octavia V. Rogers
    Octavia V. Rogers Albert
    Octavia V. Rogers Albert was a chronicler of slavery in the United States. She was born Octavia Victoria Rogers in Oglethorpe, Georgia, where she lived in slavery until the Emancipation. She attended Atlanta University where she studied to be a teacher.Unlike many others, Octavia Rogers saw...

    . The House of Bondage Or Charlotte Brooks and Other Slaves. Oxford University Press, 1991. Primary sources with commentary. ISBN 0-19-506784-3
  • Berlin, Ira, Joseph P. Reidy, and Leslie S. Rowlands, eds. Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867 5 vol Cambridge University Press, 1982. Very large collection of primary sources regarding the end of slavery
  • Berlin, Ira, Marc Favreau, and Steven F. Miller, eds. Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation The New Press: 2007. ISBN 978-1-59558-228-7
  • Blassingame, John W., ed. Slave Testimony: Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies.Louisiana State University Press, 1977.
  • Burke, Diane Mutti, On Slavery's Border: Missouri's Small Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865,
  • De Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America. (1994 Edition by Alfred A Knopf, Inc) ISBN 0-679-43134-9
  • A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845) (Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/23), (Audio book at FreeAudio.org http://www.freeaudio.org/)
  • "The Heroic Slave." Autographs for Freedom. Ed. Julia Griffiths Boston: Jewett and Company, 1853. 174–239. Available at the Documenting the American South website http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/douglass1853/menu.html.
  • Frederick Douglass My Bondage and My Freedom
    My Bondage and My Freedom
    My Bondage and My Freedom is an autobiographical slave narrative written by Frederick Douglass and published in 1855. It is the second of three autobiographies written by Douglass, and is mainly an expansion of his first , discussing in greater detail his transition from bondage to liberty...

    (1855) (Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/202)
  • Frederick Douglass Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1892)
  • Frederick Douglass Collected Articles Of Frederick Douglass, A Slave (Project Gutenberg)
  • Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies by Frederick Douglass, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
    Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
    Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., is an American literary critic, educator, scholar, writer, editor, and public intellectual. He was the first African American to receive the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards for his teaching, research, and...

     Editor. (Omnibus of all three) ISBN 0-940450-79-8
  • Litwack, Leon Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery. (1979) Winner of the 1981 National Book Award
    National Book Award
    The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...

     for history and the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for History
    Pulitzer Prize for History
    The Pulitzer Prize for History has been awarded since 1917 for a distinguished book upon the history of the United States. Many history books have also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography...

    .
  • Litwack, Leon North of Slavery: The Negro in the Free States, 1790–1860 (University of Chicago Press: 1961)
  • Document: "List Negroes at Spring Garden with their ages taken January 1829" (title taken from document)
  • Missouri History Museum Archives Slavery Collection
  • Rawick, George P., ed. The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography . 19 vols. Greenwood Publishing Company, 1972. Collection of WPA interviews made in 1930s with ex-slaves

Further reading


Oral histories of ex-slaves
  • Before Freedom When I Just Can Remember: Twenty-seven Oral Histories of Former South Carolina Slaves Belinda Hurmence, 1989. ISBN 0-89587-069-X
  • Before Freedom: Forty-Eight Oral Histories of Former North & South Carolina Slaves. Belinda Hurmence. Mentor Books: 1990. ISBN 0-451-62781-4
  • God Struck Me Dead, Voices of Ex-Slaves Clifton H. Johnson ISBN 0-8298-0945-7


Literary and cultural criticism
  • Ryan, Tim A. Calls and Responses: The American Novel of Slavery since Gone with the Wind. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press
    Louisiana State University Press
    The Louisiana State University Press is a nonprofit book publisher and an academic unit of Louisiana State University. Founded in 1935, the press publishes scholarly, general interest, and regional books as part of the university’s mission to disseminate knowledge and culture...

    , 2008.
  • Van Deburg, William. Slavery and Race in American Popular Culture. Madison
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

    : University of Wisconsin Press
    University of Wisconsin Press
    The University of Wisconsin Press is a non-profit university press publishing peer-reviewed books and journals. It primarily publishes work by scholars from the global academic community but also serves the citizens of Wisconsin by publishing important books about Wisconsin, the Upper Midwest, and...

    , 1984.

External links