Enslaved Africans and white indentured servants planned a revolt in Gloucester County, Virginia, but were betrayed before they carried out their plan. This was the first organized resistance to bondage in the English colonies. Learn more about slave conspiracies in colonial Virginia.
1675-1676 Native American
King Philip's War began in the Plymouth colony. The war was devastating and destructive, with numerous towns and homes destroyed, and thousands killed. Many Native American survivors of the war were sold into slavery. Learn more about King Philip's War.
The American Revolution was fought. African Americans served in both the British and American armies, some gaining their freedom as a result. Inspired by the revolution, northern states began to abolish slavery. Learn more about the unfinished revolution.
The United States declared independence from Great Britain. Even though the Declaration of Independence declared "all men are created equal," this only applied to white males. Future generations would fight to make the principles embodied in the declaration a reality. Learn more about the paradox of freedom and slavery.
January 1831 Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison began publishing the influential anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator. Read The Liberator online.
Nat Turner led the largest slave revolt in American history in Virginia. The revolt was crushed and numerous African Americans, many not even involved in the revolt, were killed. Slave Codes were strengthened throughout the south in the wake of the rebellion. Learn more about the federal government's involvement in the rebellion.
The first women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The convention produced a Declaration of Sentiments, which called for equal treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights for women. Learn more about the offspring of the abolition movement.
1849 African American
In Roberts v. The City of Boston, an African American parent sued to desegregate a public school in Boston and lost. In 1855, Massachusetts became the first state to ban segregated schools, but the US Supreme Court still cited the case as precedent in Plessy v. Ferguson. Learn more about the struggle for integration in Massachusetts.
The Kansas-Nebraska act was passed, allowing settlers in Kansas and Nebraska to decide if they would be free or slave states. Kansas erupted in violence known as "Bleeding Kansas." Learn more about the early settlers of Kansas.
In Dred Scott v. Sandford, the US Supreme Court ruled slaves were not citizens and Congress had no right to ban slavery in any part of the United States. Learn more about the case.
Eleven southern states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. The Civil War began when Confederates fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina. See the evolution of the CSA.
January 1863 African American
President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. Though the proclamation only applied to parts of the Confederacy that the Union did not control and thus had no authority, the proclamation did turn the war into a fight not only to save the Union, but to end slavery. Learn more about Lincoln, slavery, and emancipation.
1864 Native American
Colorado troops attacked Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians encamped along Sand Creek under the promised protection of Fort Lyon. Over the course of the day, 200 Indians, mostly women, children, and elderly, were murdered in what became known as the Sand Creek Massacre. Read editorials from the Rocky Mountain News in 1864.