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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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Freedom of Triumphs
1863
Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in areas of rebellion.

1863
Lincoln puts forth a reconstruction plan offering amnesty to white Southerners who take loyalty oaths and accept the abolition of slavery. State government can be formed in those states where at least 10 percent of voters comply with these terms.

1863
The 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry is organized. It is the first black regiment in the free states. Black soldiers are recruited and trained across the North.

1863
In Washington, D.C., the Federal War Department establishes the Bureau of Colored Troops.

1863
In New York City and other Northern cities, whites stage draft riots.

1863
Maryland state law abolishes slavery.

1864
Lincoln signs a repeal of the Fugitive Slave Law.

1864
Congress passes a new reconstruction plan called the Wade-Davis Bill. Unlike Lincoln's plan, this stipulates that only those who swear never to have fought against the Union can participate in the reconstruction of state governments. In addition to requiring bans on slavery, the bill demands the disenfranchisement of Confederate leaders and the repudiation of Confederate debts. Lincoln refuses to sign the bill.

1864
Black soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts (as well as those from other regiments) protest unequal compensation. A few months later, Congress passes the Equalization Bill, promising black Union soldiers equal pay.

1864
The Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee State governments are reconstructed under Lincoln's 1863 plan. Congress, under the sway of Radical Republicans, recognizes neither these governments nor their representatives.

1864
Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri abolish slavery.

1864
In Louisiana, the New Orleans TRIBUNE begins publication. It is one of the first African-American-run daily newspapers.

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