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A Lesson in Slavery

Chapter 2

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Famous Slaves

By the year 1750, all of the original 13 British colonies had legalized slavery.

The rise in agriculture, specifically rice and sugarcane, the higher the need rose for plantation workers. This caused more Africans to be brought over from Africa (before 1808). Africans had much more skill in planting and agriculture since they were born doing so, while the Europeans did not have the skill for it. In order to make slave trading and importing easier the Europeans set up trading posts. In these posts Africans were set up for sale or traded for goods.(1)

As more and more land was purchased among the territories and colonies the farther out that agriculture was spreading. The need for slaves grew more and more every day. The new Louisiana land territory purchase was a pricey one, but it gave so much land to the U.S. for agriculture. Once again slaves were on the rise.(2) Even after some newer states were given the option of popular sovereignty most still chose to keep slaves to do the work.

Gradually, after many years of abuse and mistreatment, Africans were beginning to be freed. Even though some became free, their rights were so limited it was almost like they were slaves. Most of these limits were based on if they lived in the North or South. Some laws were pliable in the North. They were required to register with the state yearly, were given special taxes, denied any form of schooling and had to carry papers with their status like they were a piece of property still. However, they were allowed to marry and have children. But those children were going to be brought into the same status: free, but not.(3)

Many black men enlisted into the army and helped fight the in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Few acquired land and had their own farms. Others founded churches which helped build the African community. Some free blacks even became involved in freeing slaves from the South through underground railroad systems and the help of Quakers. Most of the slaves were freed to the North, but some went as far as going all the way back to Africa.(4)

A runaway
Photo courtesy to

Free African soldier.
Photo courtesy to

Slaves in the cotton fields.
Photo courtesy to

Converse College. December 2004. Art Exhibition and
Symposium Show Use of Slave Images in Confederate Currency, (

Franco Manzoni. 1997. The Rise of the U.S. Theatre. 21 July 2005 (

ThinkQuest USA. 2001. Maryland's African American Heritage. 22 July 2005 (

1 PBS Online. Africans in America. 21 July 2005. (

2 Roger G. Kennedy. Common Place: The Louisiana Purchase. 12 July 2005. (

3 James Roake, et al, The American Promise: A History of the United States.Vol. 1: To 1877 (Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002) 435-6.

4 African American Odyssey. 21 July 2005. (

Published by Toni Crocilla