Milestones in the History of Slavery in the United States

The following timeline is a modified extract from the book "Finding the Family: The Coleman-Webb-Looney-Phillips Family History Including Associated Kin" by Celia Webb. The original timeline includes bullets specifically related to The Coleman-Webb-Looney-Phillips Family History. The timeline presented here is of a more general nature.

Year Event
1581 First African slaves brought to St. Augustine, Florida which was founded on September 8, 1565 by the Spanish.
1607-1763 Period of Colonial America. During this period there were about 250 cases of men of African descent fathering children with white women out of wedlock. These cases most frequently occurred between slaves and indentured servants. Almost half of the white women in Colonial America reached America by indenturing themselves in order to earn passage. The offspring would be treated with the status of the mother. Indenturement for a period of 20 or 30 years was common; after that they were free people. Only about 1% of black people in Virginia during this period were mulattoes descended from white women.
1607 First settlement in Jamestown, Virginia by 104 men and boys.
1619 Twenty slaves imported to Virginia to work on tobacco plantations.
11 Nov 1620 The Mayflower arrives at what is now Provincetown Harbor at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
1636 Colonial America enters the slave trade with a Yankee clipper sailing from Massachusetts.
1641 Massachusetts first state to legalize slavery.
1643 The New England Confederation passes fugitive slave law.
1650 Rhode Island restricts slavery.
1654 Virginia passes law granting blacks the right to hold slaves.
1657 Virginia passes fugitive slave law.
1662 Virginia passes Hereditary Slavery Law decreeing children of black mothers "shall be bond or free according to the condition of the mother".
1663 Maryland legalizes slavery.
1664 New York and New Jersey legalize slavery.
1664 Maryland first colony to take action against marriage between white woman and black males.
1664 Maryland first colony to mandate lifelong servitude for all black slaves. New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Virginia all pass similar laws.
1666 Maryland passes fugitive slave law.
1668 New Jersey passes fugitive slave law.
1670 Virginia passes law preventing free blacks and Indians from holding Christian (i.e. white) slaves.
1676 Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia.
1680 Virginia passes law forbidding blacks and slaves from bearing arms, prevents blacks from gathering in large number, and mandates harsh punishments for slaves who assault Christians or attempt to escape.
1682 Virginia declares all imported black slaves are slaves for life.
1694 South Carolina starts rice plantations and the importation of slaves rises dramatically.
1695 -1829 English Crown enacts severe Penal Codes; the cause of some migration to the Americas.
1776-1783 Revolutionary War.
2 Jan 1788 Georgia ratifies the Constitution and becomes a State.
25 Jun 1788 Virginia ratifies the Constitution and becomes a State.
1789-1833 Land grants awarded to veterans of the Revolutionary War. Nine states also provided land grants in their western regions shaping the futures of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Maine, and Tennessee. The states providing veterans with bounty land included: Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.
22 Mar 1794 U.S. prohibits the outfitting of ships for the purpose of carrying slaves in the Slave Trade Act of 1794.
1 Jun 1796 Tennessee ratifies the Constitution and becomes a State.
5 Aug 1797 John Brown of Providence, Rhode Island, became the first person tried under the law of 1794.
7 Apr 1798 Congress passed an act that imposed a three hundred dollar per slave penalty on persons convicted of performing the illegal importation of slaves.
1800 U.S. enacts stiff penalties on American citizens participating in the slave trade between two foreign countries under the Slave Trade Act of 1800.
1 Mar 1803 Ohio admitted to the union and becomes a State.
1807 Britain, the principal slave trading nation, bans the Atlantic slave trade.
1807 U.S. bans the trading of slaves effective 1 Jan 1808. The Cambridge University Press Database estimates 361,100 Africans or 3.8% of all slaves transported to the New World were taken to colonial North America and later the United States.
1807 Peak year of importation of slaves to the U.S. totaling 28,892 people.
1812-1815 War of 1812 between the U.S. and Britain.
1815-1858 Land grants awarded to veterans of the War of 1812 leading to the settling of Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan and Missouri.
10 Dec 1817 Mississippi admitted to the union and becomes a State.
1817 Illegal slave trade peaks with 1420 slave brought to the U.S.
14 Dec 1819 Alabama admitted to the union and becomes a State.
1820 U.S. deems slave trading an act of piracy punishable by death.
1825 Slaves in the United States number about 1,750,000. More than 80% had been born in America.
26 May 1830 Indian Removal Act signed into law to move all Native Americans living east of the Mississippi to the west.
27 Sep 1830 Choctaw Indians sign the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek which grants the U.S. government their lands in Mississippi including the area which becomes Sunflower, Leflore, and Bolivar Counties.
1831 The Trail of Tears begins with the removal of the Choctaw.
1832 Chickasaw Indians sign Treaty of Pontotoc Creek ceding land including the northern most counties in Mississippi to the U.S. government in exchange for land and roughly $3 million which went unpaid for 30 years.
1836 Portugal, the second largest slave trading nation, bans the trading of slaves.
20 Jan 1837 Michigan admitted to the union and becomes a State.
3 Mar 1845 Florida admitted to the union and becomes a State.
18 Sep 1850 Fugitative Slave Act requiring that all escaped slaves were, upon capture, to be returned to their masters and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate in this law. Abolitionists nicknamed it the "Bloodhound Law".
9 Sep 1850 California admitted to the union and becomes a State.
1860 Last group of slaves brought illegally to the U.S. totaling 110 people.
1860 U.S. Census records 3,953,761 slaves (about 12.7% of the U.S. population) held by 393,975 slave holders (about 7.6% of U.S. families). The total free population was 27,233,198 of which 476,748 were free people of African descent (about 1.75% of the free population).
12 Apr 1861 Start of the Civil War.
1 Jan 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issues an Emancipation Proclamation for all slaves held in the 10 states in rebellion against the United States. The practical effect of this proclamation was that any slave who could escape to Union-held territory became free.
3 Mar 1865 Legislation passed to establish the Freedmen's Bureau tasked to help newly freed slaves.
9 May 1865 Civil War ends.
18 Dec 1865 Emancipation declared effective for all with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
1865-1866 Southern states pass "Black Code" laws aimed at restricting the freedom of African American.
1867-1965 Jim Crow laws passed by state and local jurisdiction to maintain racial segregation with "seperate, but equal" facilities. The name "Jim Crow" comes originally from an old song and dance practiced in the black community. Around 1828, the white comedian Thomas Dartmouth "Daddy" Rice developed a routine in which he blacked his face, dressed in old clothes, and sang and danced in imitation of an old and decrepit black man. Rice published the words to the song, "Jump, Jim Crow," in 1830. He became famous for his protrayal and the character of Jim Crow became a standard in minstrel shows.
1865-1877 Reconstruction.
9 Jul 1868 14th Amendment to U.S. Constitution ratified granting citizenship to former slaves.
1914 Start of World War I.
1910-1930 The Great Migration is the largest mass internal movement of people. It outranks the migration of any other ethnic group. Some historians divide it into two periods. The first being between 1910 and 1930 when 1.5 million people move. A lull followed during the Depression years.
5 Jun 1917 Draft Registration in U.S. for men born between 6 Jun 1886 and 5 Jun 1896.
5 Jun 1918 Draft Registration in U.S. for men who turned 21 since last registration.
24 Aug 1918 Draft Registration in U.S. for men who turned 21 since 5 Jun 1918.
12 Sep 1918 Draft Registration in U.S. for men born between 11 Sep 1872 and 12 Sep 1900. In total the Draft Registration for WWI results in the registration of approximately 24 million men born between 1872 and 1900 about 98% of men born in that period.
1 Sep 1939 Start of World War II.
16 Sep 1940 Selective Service Act signed into law. In total from Nov 1940 to Oct 1946 over 10 million men registered. Men born between 17 Feb 1877 and 31 Jul 1900 may have registered for both world wars.
7 Dec 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor.
8 Dec 1941 U.S. enters WWII.
1945 World War II ends.
1940-1970 The Second Great Migration when 5 million African-Americans moved out of southern States to northern industrial cities and western states in the 1940s to 1970s.
2 Jul 1964 Civil Rights Act passed outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
6 Aug 1965 Voting Rights Act passed prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.
June 1967 The Supreme Court ruled that all laws barring marriages between blacks and whites were unconstitutional.
Nov 2000 Alabama becomes the last state to overturn a law banning interracial marriage.

Newest Release!

Finding the Family Book Cover

Finding the Family
The Coleman-Webb-Looney-Phillips Family History Including Associated Kin 2015

By Celia Webb

Finding the Family is a journey through time and place; tracing the history of an ordinary and extraordinary family. American history becomes personal as ancestors are found and their lives and the events that shaped them are uncovered. The start seemed simple: who were Mack’s grandparents? What the search revealed was fascinating.

DNA analysis held a surprise. Records found on the internet, in courthouses, books, libraries, military and national archives, family collections and photograph albums gave details not remembered by living relatives. The search turned into a wild, exciting ride with unpredicted answers.

The document trail starts in several Mississippi counties including Sunflower, Leflore, Carroll, Tallahatchie, and Copiah and Pike County in Alabama. Memphis and Hawkins County in Tennessee, and Houston County in Georgia, what was then Augusta County and is now Botetourt County in Virginia all figured in the family history. There is even a line of family which stretches back to the Isle of Mann. With the Great Migration, the trails diverge to Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, and California. Now members of the family can be found in just about every state of the Union.

Major Family Lines include: Barnes, Booker, Coleman, Everett, Gilbert, Hunter, Harper, Looney, Mack, Kaigler/Kegler, Sanders, Webb, and Wilson.

Examining slave holding families is also important to understanding the family history and therefore these families have been included: Everett, Greene, Looney, Kaigler, and Sanders.


ISBN: 978-1-944390-00-6

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