Slavery. In the United States. Slavery: Basics. When the North American continent was first colonized by Europeans, the land was vast, the work was harsh, and there was a severe shortage of labor.
In the United States
When the North American continent was first colonized by Europeans, the land was vast, the work was harsh, and there was a severe shortage of labor.
White bond servants, paying their passage across the ocean from Europe through indentured labor, eased but did not solve the problem, so Africans were forcefully taken as slaves.
Treatment of slaves ranged from mild and paternalistic to cruel and sadistic.
Husbands, wives, and children were frequently sold away from one another.
Punishment by whipping was not unusual.
Slaves were often not given adequate food or clothing.
1619: The first African slaves arrive in Virginia.
1808: Congress bans the importation of slaves from Africa.
1820: The Missouri Compromise bans slavery north of the southern boundary of Missouri.
1857: The Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.
1861: The Confederacy is founded when the deep South secedes, and the Civil War begins.
1863: President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate state "are, and henceforward shall be free."
1865: The Civil War ends and The Thirteenth Amendment abolishes slavery throughout the United States.
Slave Narrative: A literary form that grew out of the written accounts of enslaved Africans.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs (1861)
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington (1901)
A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, (1845)
A memoir on abolition written by famous orator and former slave, Frederick Douglass
Within four months of this publication, five thousand copies were sold.
The most famous of a number of narratives written by former slaves during the time period.