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Black History Month Timeline
1787
The United States Constitution, adopted in 1787, protected the rights of slaveholders to slave property throughout the union.
1787
1793
The passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 explicitly stated that slaveholders could retrieve their slave "property" from free states and territories.
1793
1820
Missouri was allowed to enter the Union as a slave state and Maine was allowed to enter into the Union as a free state, to keep the balance of free and slave states equal in Congress. The remaining portion of Louisiana Purchase Territory north of the 3 30' line was declared to legally be "forever free of slavery." This arrangement became known as the "Missouri Compromise."
1820
1831
The era of immediate abolitionism is generally acknowledged to have begun on January 1, 1831, when William Lloyd Garrison first published his abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator.
1831
1833
The abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison grew impatient with the idea of the existence of slavery and with the desire to end it, he advocated immediate abolition and, with black help, found the American Anti-Slavery Society
1833
1846
Dred Scott and his wife Harriet filed suit for their freedom in the St. Louis Circuit Court.
1846
1850
As a part of the Compromise of 1850, a new Fugitive Slave Act was passed that made it both possible and profitable to hire slave catchers to find and arrest runaways.
1850
1857
the Supreme Court rules on the Dred Scott case. On March 6, the Supreme Court decided that an African-American could not be a citizen of the U.S., and thus had no rights of citizenship. The decision sharpened the national debate over slavery.
1857
1861
The national argument over where slavery should be legal and where it would be prohibited spiralled the nation toward Civil War
1861
1863
The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect
1863

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