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Slavery and the Making of AmericaDramatic re-enactment of slaves being transported on a boat
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

Time and Place return to introduction
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1820 1829 1831 1837 1842 1848 1850 1857 1860 1862 1863 1865 1866 1867 1869 1871 1874
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The Question of Citizenship
1857
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dred Scott v. Sanford denies citizenship to all slaves, ex-slaves, and descendants of slaves and denies Congress the right to prohibit slavery in the territories.

1857
New Hampshire declares that no one shall be denied citizenship on account of African descent and, along with Vermont, repeals laws against the enlistment of blacks in state militia.

1857
Richmond, Virginia, passes a comprehensive slave code that, among other stipulations, prohibits self-hiring by slaves, restricts blacks from entering certain parts of the city, specifies street etiquette, and forbids slaves from smoking, carrying canes, standing on the sidewalk, and using provocative language.

1857
Ohio and Wisconsin pass personal liberty laws.

1858
Vermont passes a personal liberty law and declares that no one shall be denied citizenship on account of African descent.

1858
Kansas enters the Union as a free state.

1859
Harriet E. Wilson, author of OUR NIG, becomes the first African-American novelist published in the U.S.

1859
White workers in South Carolina petition for relief against competition from slave and free black workers.

1859
New Mexico enacts a slave code.

1859
Arizona declares that all free blacks in the territory will be considered slaves on the first day of the new year.

1859
The last slave ship to bring slaves into the U.S. lands in Mobile Bay, Alabama.

1859
A group of whites and blacks, led by John Brown, conducts an unsuccessful raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia, in an attempt to undermine slavery in the South.

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