Topic Guide to Abolition & Slavery

The information and links below include search tips and a selection of articles covering this topic in the digitized Louisiana newspapers. The dates and suggested search terms can help to further explore this topic on Chronicling America. For the most search results, try the search terms in different combinations, in proximity, and as phrases.

Significant Dates

1839 – Henry Clay, a Whig senator from Kentucky makes an incendiary speech to Congress about Abolition.
1847 – Frederick Douglass establishes influential abolitionist newspaper The North Star in Rochester, NY
1848 – The Free Soil Party is established
1850 – The Compromise of 1850 eases tensions between the slaveholding south and the free states of the north for the next four years.
1850 – The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 is granted as part of The Compromise of 1850
1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which sells 300,000 copies in its first year
1857 – Dred Scott v. Sanford is decided by the US Supreme Court, ruling that African Americans are not United States citizens
1854 – Tensions between North and South erupt once more after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which undermines the Missouri Compromise
1859 – Abolitionist John Brown leads the Raid on Harpers Ferry
1860 – Abraham Lincoln elected president
1862 – Slavery abolished in Washington D.C. and the US territories
1863 – Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation
1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the United Stated Constitution is passed, abolishing slavery
1865-1877 – Reconstruction period

Suggested Search Terms

underground railroad, John Brown, abolition, abolitionism, antislavery, the slavery question, Lincoln, Free soil, Emancipation Proclamation, Thirteenth Amendment

Sample Articles