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1102
In England the Westminster Council outlawed “the selling of men like brute animals.”
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1471
The Portuguese arrived in Ghana as intermediaries, bringing slaves and other goods from Senegal and Benin in order to sell them to the Asante and other local people.
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1573
The city of Potosi, Bolivia, at the foot of Cerro Rico grew to surpass Seville, Madrid, Rome or Paris. During colonial rule, an estimated 30,000 Africans worked as slaves in Potosi.
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1632
Olivier Le Jeune (7), a black boy born in Madagascar, was sold to a clerk in the future province of Quebec. He was later considered the first known black enslaved in Canada.
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1649
1653
This period marks the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland or Cromwellian war in Ireland. The Parliamentarians deported about 50,000 people as indentured laborers. They were sent to the English colonies of America and West Indies.
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1652 May 18
A law was passed in Rhode Island banning slavery in the colonies but it caused little stir and was not enforced. More than 1,000 slave voyages were mounted from Rhode Island, mostly in the 18th century, carrying more than 100,000 Africans into slavery.
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1652
The English Parliament passed the Act for the Settlement of Ireland which classified the Irish population into one of several categories according to their degree of involvement in the uprising and subsequent war. Dr. William Petty, Physician-General to Cromwell's Army, estimated that as many as 100,000 Irish men, women and children were transported to the colonies in the West Indies and in North America as slaves.
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1695 Nov 20
Zumbi, a Brazilian leader of a hundred-year-old rebel slave group, was killed in an ambush in Palmares. In January 2003 legislation established November 20 as Black Consciousness Day.
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1701
In England presiding Chief Justice Lord Hold (1642-1710) ruled that “As soon as a Negro comes into England, he becomes Free.”
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1717 Apr 26
Pirate Black Sam Bellamy died along with 143 others when their ship, the Whydah, sank off of Wellfleet, Cape Cod. 2 men on the Whydah survived as did 7 others aboard the Mary Anne, a smaller ship loaded with Madeira wine. The slave ship Whydah had just been captured by Bellamy in February as it left Ouidau, Benin, with a load of sugar and indigo as well as chests of silver and gold. 6 or the 9 survivors were later hanged for piracy in Boston. In 1984 the wreck of the ship was discovered by Barry Clifford.
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1734
In Canada a black slave named Marie-Joseph Angelique was hanged for setting fire to the Montreal home of her master. She became the title character in a 1999 play by Lorena Gale.
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1741
A slave revolt in New York caused considerable property damage but left people unharmed. Rumors of a conspiracy among slaves and poor whites in New York City to seize control led to a panic that resulted in the conviction of 101 blacks, the hanging of 18 blacks and four whites, the burning alive of 13 blacks and the banishment from the city of 70. In 2005 Anne Farrow, Joel Lang and Jennifer Frank authored “Complicity: The North Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery,” which included a chapter on the 1941 NYC slave revolt.
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1761 Jul 31
The French ship L’Utile, hit a coral reef near the Ile de Sable in the Indian Ocean. Nearly half of 160 slaves were killed. The French crew of 163 survived. On Sep 27 a white crew of 123 set sail on the Providence, built from the remains of L’Utile, and managed to reach Madagascar with just one death in four days. Fifteen years later a rescue ship found seven female survivors.
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1764
Half the slaves aboard the ship Sally, owned by the Brown family, died enroute to Rhode Island.
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1765
More than 100 Africans perished on the slave ship Sally in the voyage from Africa. Some hanged themselves or starved to death. Some rebelled and were shot dead or drowned. In 2007 the ship's log book, detailing the deaths of slaves that occurred almost daily aboard the ship, was encased in glass in an exhibit at Brown University.
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1768 Mar 17
A failed slave uprising took place on Montserrat on St. Patrick’s Day.
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1770
1779
Blacks were 1st brought to Argentina in the 1770s to toil on large haciendas and work as domestic servants.
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1772 Jun 22
Slavery was in effect outlawed in England by Chief Justice William Murray, First Earl of Mansfield, following the trial of James Somersett. In 2005 Steven Wise authored “Though the Heavens May Fall: The Landmark Trial that Led to the End of Human Slavery.”
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1775
Lord Dunmore, Royal Governor of Virginia, called on local slaves to join the British side to suppress the American Revolution: “When we win we will free you from your shackles.” The British issued similar proclamations throughout their North American colonies and enticed thousands of indentured servants and slaves, known as Black Loyalists, to the British side.
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1776
The Quakers of Pennsylvania abolished slavery within the Society of Friends and then took their crusade to society at large by petitioning the state legislature to outlaw the practice.
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1777 Jul 8
Vermont became the 1st American colony to abolish slavery.
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1779 Nov 12
A group of 20 slaves who had fought in the war submitted a petition to the New Hampshire General Assembly, while the war was still being fought. Lawmakers decided the time was not right. 6 of the slaves were later freed. In 2013 a state Senate committee recommended that the state posthumously emancipate 14 of the slaves who died in bondage. On June 7, 2013, they were granted posthumous emancipation when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a largely symbolic bill that supporters hope will encourage future generations to pursue social justice.
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1780 Mar 1
Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state to abolish slavery (for new-borns only). It was followed by Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784, New York in 1785, and New Jersey in 1786. Massachusetts abolished slavery through a judicial decision in 1783 (see July 8 1777).
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1781 Nov
British Capt. Luke Collingwood, commander of the slave ship Zong, in the face of endemic dysentery that had already killed 7 crewmen and 60 of 470 slaves, ordered his crew to throw sick slaves overboard in order to claim insurance money at the end of the voyage. Over 100 slaves were cast overboard. In 2007 Marcus Rediker authored “The Slave Ship,” an account of this and the slave trade from 1700-1808.
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1783
Some 3,000 Blacks, who had obtained British certificates of freedom for their loyalty in the American Revolution, arrived in Nova Scotia and spent some miserable years there. In 1785 a delegation sailed to Britain where they were offered passage to Africa in return for establishing a British colony in Sierra Leone.
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1787
British settlers bought land from African tribal leaders in Sierra Leone and used it as a haven for freed African slaves. The settlers intermarried but held themselves aloof, monopolized power and discriminated against the original population. In 2005 Simon Schama authored “Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution.”
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1787
Granville Sharp, English abolitionist, formed the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade.
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1789 May 12
In England William Wilberforce laid out his case for the abolition of slavery to the House of Commons. This speech directly led to Britain’s abolition of slavery in 1807.
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1789
English Thomas Clarkson and his fellow abolitionists published 700 posters with the image of the slave ship Brookes loaded with 482 slaves. The ship, owned by the Brookes family of Liverpool, operated between the Gold Coast of Africa and Jamaica.
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1792
James Penny, Liverpool slave trader, was presented with a magnificent silver epergne for speaking in favor of the slave trade to a parliamentary committee. Liverpool’s Penny Lane was named after him.
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1792
In England consumers began an organized boycott against West Indian sugar. The Anti-Saccharine Society displayed a cross-section of a slave ship with men shackled head-to-toe like sardines.
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1793 Feb 12
The US federal government passed its first fugitive slave law. This gave slave holders the right to reclaim their human property in free states.
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1794 Feb 4
France’s First Republic (Convention) voted for the abolition of slavery in all French colonies. The abolition decree stated that "the Convention declares the slavery of the Blacks abolished in all the colonies; consequently, all men, irrespective of color, living in the colonies are French citizens and will enjoy all the rights provided by the Constitution." Slavery was restored by the Consulate in 1802, and was definitively abolished in 1848 by the Second Republic, on Victor Schoelcher’s initiative.
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1794 May 6
In Haiti Toussaint Louverture (L’Ouverture), Haitian rebel leader, ended his alliance with the Iberian monarchy and embraced the French Republicans. An order followed that led to the massacre of Spaniards.
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1794 Dec 27
The Portuguese slave ship Sao Jose--Paquete de Africa sank off the coast of South Africa’s Cape Town. Some 400-500 African slaves from Mozambique were on board the vessel bound for Brazil. About half of them perished. Wreckage of the ship was found in 2015.
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1801 Jan
Toussaint Louverture, ignoring the commands of Napoleon Bonaparte, overran Spanish Santo Domingo, where slavery persisted.
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1802
James Callender, an English-born journalist, published a report in the Richmond, Va., Recorder about Thomas Jefferson and his relationship with the slave Sally Hemmings [Hemings]. In 1997 Annette Gordon-Reed published: "Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings, an American Controversy." DNA tests of descendants in 1998 indicated that Jefferson fathered at least one child with Hemmings, her youngest son Eston Hemmings in 1808. Dr. Eugene Foster, author of the DNA report, later said the DNA tests showed that any one of 8 Jefferson males could have fathered Eston. In 2008 Annette Gordon-Reed authored “The Hemmingses of Monticello: An American Family.”
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1805
The slave ship Tryal, under Captain Don Benito Cereno, was taken over in a slave insurrection led by a man named Babo. The rebellion failed and the slaves were tried and executed in Concepcion, Chile. In 1854 Herman Melville’s authored his novella “Benito Cereno,” based on the Tryal revolt. In 2014 Greg Grandin authored “The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New World,” also covering the Tryal story.
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1807 Mar 2
US Congress banned slave trade effective January 1, 1808. The further importation of slaves was abolished but an inter-American slave trade continued.
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1807 Mar 3
US Pres. Thomas Jefferson signed into law a bill passed by Congress a day earlier to shut down the foreign slavery trade. Congress gave all traders nine months to cease their operations in the United States.
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1807
After Britain outlawed the slave trade people called “Recaptives,” those freed from slave ships, were sent to join the settlers in Sierra Leone. The settlers formed a new tribe called the Kri and created a language called Krio.
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1811
1843
Some 500,000 slaves arrived at Valongo, Brazil’s main landing stage for African slaves. This port area of Rio de Janeiro was re-discovered in 2010 as the city prepared for the 2016 Olympics.
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1813 Jul 6
Granville Sharp (b.1735), biblical scholar and English abolitionist, died.
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1815
Sant’ Antioco, Sardinia, was the site of the last big Moorish raid on Italy. More than a hundred Sardinians were seized as slaves.
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1817 Feb 14
Frederick Douglass (d.1895), "The Great Emancipator," was born in Maryland as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. He was the son of a slave and a white father who bought his own freedom and published “The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass” (1845) a memoir of his life as a slave. "The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous."
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1821
Mexico outlawed slavery.
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1828
Pres. John Quincy Adams helped Abdul Rahman Ibrahima, a former prince from Timbuktu, gain freedom following 40 years of enslavement on a cotton plantation.
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1829 Jul 4
In Boston, Mass., abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) gave a passionate antislavery sermon at the Park Street Church and was attacked by a white supremacist mob who dragged him from the pulpit and beat him nearly to death. Garrison published the anti-slavery newspaper, the Liberator, from 1831-1865.
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1831 Dec 28
Samuel Sharp (1801-1832) led a slave uprising that was put down at great cost by the British. The Rebellion lasted for eight days and resulted in the death of around 186 Africans and 14 white planters or overseers. The white vengeance convicted over 750 rebel slaves, of which 138 were sentenced to death.
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1832 May 23
Samuel Sharp was hanged in Jamaica for leading a slave rebellion. He is survived by his immortal declaration: "I would rather die upon yonder gallows than live in slavery."
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1833 Jun 16
Lucie (Ruthy) Blackburn (30), a fugitive slave, escaped from jail in Detroit and made her way to Canada. The next day a riot erupted, “The Blackburn Riots,” as her husband, Thornton Blackburn (21), was escorted for return to slavery. Thornton escaped to Canada to join his wife. The first extradition case between the US and Canada over the issue of fugitive slaves soon followed. Canada ruled it could not extradite people to a jurisdiction that imposed harsher penalties then they would have received for the same offense in Canada and the Blackburns remained in Ontario.
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1833 Jul 29
William Wilberforce (b.1759), English abolitionist, died. He was best known for his efforts relating to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. A politician and philanthropist, Wilberforce was prominent from 1787 in the struggle to abolish the slave trade and slavery itself in British overseas possessions. He was an ardent and eloquent sponsor of anti-slavery legislation in the House of Commons until his retirement in 1825. Wilberforce University in Ohio, an African Methodist Episcopal Church institution (f.1856), was named for William Wilberforce. In 2008 William Hague authored “William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner.” In 2010 Stephen Tomkins authored “The Clapham Sect: How Wilberforce’s Circle Transformed Britain.”
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1833 Aug 23
The British Parliament ordered the abolition of slavery in its colonies by Aug 1, 1834. This would free some 700,000 slaves, including those in the West Indies. The Imperial Emancipation Act also allowed blacks to enjoy greater equality under the law in Canada as opposed to the US. Some 46,000 people were paid a total of 20 million pounds in compensation for freeing their slaves.
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1833
The slave trade in Ghana ended.
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1834 Aug 1
The British Emancipation Act went into effect abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire. This ended slavery in Canada, in the West Indies and in all Caribbean holdings. Some 35,000 slaves were freed in the Cape Colony. The Minstrels Parada in Cape Town, SA, originated as a spontaneous outpouring of marches, music and dancing to mark the abolition of slavery.
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1835 Oct 6
The people of Michigan approved a new state constitution by a vote of 6,299 to 1,359. The constitution repudiated slavery and safeguarded personal liberty.
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1838

Maryland’s Jesuits sold 272 slaves to pay off debts for Georgetown Univ. located in Washington DC. In 2016 the school introduced a set of measures that included an initiative offering preferential admission status to descendants of those held in slavery by the university.

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1839 Jun 27
The Spanish coasting vessel La Amistad (The Friendship) set sail from Cuba to Porta Prince with a load of African slaves. Cinque (b.~1815-1879), originally Senghbe, and over 50 other Africans had been kidnapped in Sierra Leone and sold into slavery in Cuba. They were carried on a Spanish ship, the Tecora, to Cuba. Cinque and 49 other slaves and 4 children were placed on the ship La Amistad destined for Haiti. They revolted, killed the captain, and ordered the crew back to Africa but the ship sailed north and ran aground. It was captured by the US Navy on August 26. A legal battle ensued in New London, Conn., that went to the Supreme court where former Pres. John Quincy Adams argued for their freedom and won. An 1855 novella by Herman Melville, "Benito Cereno" looked at the rebellion through the eyes of an American interloper. Barbara Chase-Ribaud later wrote "Echo of Lions," a novel based on the Amistad. In 1996 Steven Spielberg announced plans to direct a film based on the incident titled "Amistad." The film was to be released in 1997. A 1997 opera production, "Amistad," by Anthony Davis premiered in Chicago.
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1839 Jul 2
African slaves, led by Joseph Cinque, killed Ramon Ferrer, and took possession of his ship, La Amistad. Cinque ordered the navigator to take them back to Africa but after 63 days at sea the ship was intercepted by Lieutenant Gedney, of the United States brig Washington, half a mile from the shore of Long Island.
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1839 Aug 26
The slave ship La Amistad was captured off Long Island. The USS Washington, an American Navy brig, seized the Amistad, and escorted it to New London, Connecticut.
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