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North Carolina Quakers, Anti-Slavery, and the Underground Railroad: 1830-1859



General African American Timeline

Local Quaker & African American Timeline




North Carolina emancipation law requires posting of $1,000   bond for each slave to be freed to require good behavior and   insurance that the freed slave would leave the state within    ninety days.




The Underground Railroad assists approximately 75,000 slaves to escape North and acquire freedom.




Nat Turner Slave Insurrection in Southampton County, Virginia






William Lloyd Garrisons begins publishing The Liberator, in Boston. It propels him to prominence in the abolitionist movement as the weekly newspaper advocates the end of slavery. Garrison was also among the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society and active in the women's suffrage movement.




Nat Turner's Rebellion is noted as the largest slave uprising in United States history. It occurred in Southampton County, Virginia. Between 55-65 whites were killed, and 100-200 blacks. The terror caused by this revolt lead to even stricter laws against assembly or education of slaves and free blacks throughout the South. Nat Turner was captured after two months of hiding and executed.




 The phrase "Jim Crow" is first used by a white actor in blackface. This actor, Thomas D. Rice, performed a song-and-dance routine titled "Jump Jim Crow" that caricatured black performers. The term "Jim Crow Laws," which surfaces in the 1870s, is believed to have been derived from this.




Henry Blair (1807–1860) receives a patent for his invention of a Seed-Planter used for the faster cultivation of corn. He is the second African American to be awarded a patent. The patent record states that he was a "colored man" and it was signed with an "x." He was illiterate. Blair received a second patent in 1836 for a cotton planter.




New Garden Boarding School, later re-chartered to become Guilford   College, opens as a Quaker boarding school with fifty students (all European American as the school would not integrate to enroll African American students until 1962).




English Quaker and abolitionist Joseph John Gurney visits North   Carolina and the new school at New Garden.




Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery by boarding a train carrying false papers. Later, he changes his name from Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey to what he became well known by. He would become a noted author, editor, orator, and abolitionist.




La Amistad ship is taken over by the slaves on broad. Then the captured navigator sailed the ship to Long Island instead of to their African homeland. In a famous Supreme Court case, the slaves are freed.




An African American man named Gill is paid $34 to plant elm trees along North and South Streets in Greensboro by commissioners. The street would later be known as North and South Elm.





1841 Creole, ship rebellion
(Off the Southern U.S. coast, Victorious)




Virginia Yearly Meeting lay down, leaving North Carolina Yearly   Meeting as the only yearly meeting located in what would become    the Confederacy.  The few Friends remaining in Virginia are attached   to Baltimore Yearly Meeting.




The autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave is published.




The Wilmot Proviso passes through Congress but fails to be passed by the Senate due to the strong Southern representation. It was introduced by David Wilmot, a Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania, in an effort to ban slavery from the territory that was acquired after the Mexican War.




The North Star, an anti-slavery newspaper, is launched by Frederick Douglass.




Harriet Tubman escapes slavery in Maryland and goes to Philadelphia. She returns repeatedly to guide relatives out of slavery.  Later, she would become known as "Moses" because of her tireless efforts to bring others to freedom that included guiding escaped slaves to Canada when the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed. She becomes an active "conductor" on the Underground Railroad. She recruited men for John Brown's Harpers Ferry raid. She was a Union army cook, nurse, scout and spy. And she worked in the women’s suffrage movement in New York.


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The Compromise of 1850 admits California as a free state, prohibits the slave trade in Washington DC, and

An insurance policy of $800 is written for a slave named Felix and issued by the Greensboro Mutual Life Insurance and Trust Company.




Sojourner Truth gives her "Ain't I a Woman" speech in Akron, Ohio. She is a former slave and forceful speaker in the abolition movement.




Uncle Tom's Cabin is published by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It has a powerful anti-slavery effect opposing that institution of slavery and the Fugitive Slave Act. This national focus is a contributing factor to the Civil War.




 The Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed. It creates the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening it for settlement and to the development of routes for the Midwestern Transcontinental Railroad. In the process, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 is repealed. The Act, as proposal by Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, stipulates that settlers in the new territories can determine whether they are slave states or free states by means of Popular Sovereignty, the vote. This results in a local civil war within Kansas as pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions flood into the state. It also upsets Northern abolitionist because the area had been recognized as non-slave territory since 1820.




Booker Taliaferro Washington is born on April 5 in Franklin County, Virginia. In 1881, he will become the first principal of Tuskegee Institute.




 The Dred Scott case receives a ruling by the Supreme Court that states African Americans are not citizens in the United States, and further that Congress has no power to restrict slavery.




The Wanderer discharges 409 surviving African slaves at Jekyll Island, Georgia on November 28, 1858. An investigation ensues from the Buchanan Administration that results in a report to Congress on December 3, 1860 stating that it is the last ship to arrive with slaves from Africa. This proves not to be accurate. The captain and crew are prosecuted and found not guilty.




Harriet Wilson publishes the first novel written by an African American woman. This book is titled: Our Nig; Or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black. It is republished much later by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Rev. Daniel Worth, a Wesleyan Methodist minister, is placed in Guilford County's jail for anti-slavery activity.



John Brown leads an armed slave revolt in a raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. He is captured and hanged on a charge of treason.




The schooner Clotilde arrives in Mobile Bay, Alabama. It is the last slave ship to discharge slaves in the United States.
It was burned and scuttled in the Bay.