1607 Jamestown, Virginia, settled by English Colonies. 1619 Twenty Africans are shipped to Jamestown, Virginia, on Dutch Ships. 1641 Massachusetts colony legalizes slavery. 1642 Virginia colony enacts law to fine those who harbor or assist runaway slaves. 1660 Virginia colony legalizes slavery. 1741 North Carolina colony enacts laws to prosecute any person caught assisting runaways. 1775 The Pennsylvania Abolition Society is established to protect fugitives and freed blacks unlawfully held in bondage. 1776 North American colonies declare independence from Great Britain. 1777 Vermont became the first U.S. territory to abolish slavery. 1777-1804 Northern states abolish slavery through state constitutions. 1780 Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery 1787 Northwest Ordinance prevents slavery to exist in the new federal territories. Free African Society of Philadelphia, an abolitionists group, is organized by Richard Allen and Absolm Jones. 1793 Fugitive Slave Act becomes a federal law. Allows slaveowners, their agents or attorneys to seize fugitive slaves in free states and territories. 1794 Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is established in Philadelphia, PA. 1800 Nat Turner and John Brown are born. Gabriel Prosser stages an unsuccessful slave insurrection in Henrico County, VA. 1804 Underground Railroad is "incorporated" after slaveowner, Gen. Thomas Boudes of Columbia, PA refuses to surrender escaped slave to authorities. 1816 Seminole Wars begin in Florida as a result of many slaves taking refuge with Seminole Indians. 1818 As a response to the Fugitive Slave Act (1793), abolitionists use the "underground" to assist slaves to escape into Ohio and Canada. 1820 Missouri Compromise admits Missouri and Maine as slave and free states, respectively. The measure establishes the 36 degree, 30' parallel of latitude as a dividing line between free and slave areas of the territories. 1821 Kentucky representatives present resolution to Congress protesting Canada's reception of fugitive slaves. 1822 Former slave Denmark Vesey performs a slave uprising in Charleston, SC. 1829 Black abolitionist, David Walker issues David Walker's Appeal. Afterwards, severe slave revolts occurred throughout the South. 1830 Levi Coffin leaves North Carolina, settles in Indiana and continues abolitionist activities. 1831 William Lloyd Garrison prints first issues of this anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator. Black entrepreneur and abolitionist Robert Forten becomes chief financial supporter of the publication. Nat Turner stages insurrection in Southampton County, VA. 1832 Louisiana presents resolution requesting Federal Government to arrange with Mexico to permit runaway slaves from Louisiana to be claimed when found on foreign soil. 1834 National Antislavery Society organizes Underground Railroad as a response to pro-slavery argument. 1838 Underground Railroad is formally organized. Black abolitionist Robert Purvis, becomes chairman of the General Vigilance Committee and "president" of the Underground Railroad. 1842 Supreme Court rules in Prigg v. Pennsylvania that state officials are not required to assist in the return of fugitive slaves. 1845 Frederick Douglass prints Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an account of his slave experience and escape to freedom. 1847 Douglass edits anti-slavery newspaper, the North Star. 1849 Harriet Tubman makes her escape from Maryland. 1850 Compromise of 1850 attempts to settle slavery issue. As part of the Compromise, a new Fugitive Slave Act is added to enforce the 1793 law and allows slaveholders to retrieve slaves in northern states and free territories. 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is published as a response to the pro-slavery argument. 1857 Supreme Court declares in Scott v. Sandford that blacks are not U.S. citizens, and slaveholders have the right to take slaves in free areas of the county. 1859 John Brown's failed raid on federal arsenal and armory in Harper's Ferry, Virginia which was aimed at starting a general slave insurrection. 1860 Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the United States. 1861 Civil War begins. 1863 President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation which declares "all persons held as slaves within any state...be in rebellion against the United States shall be then...forever free." 1865 Civil War ends. Thirteenth Amendmentis amended to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery permanently.
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