Topic: African Americans

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Codicil to Will

In this amendment to his will, Jefferson freed 5 of his 162 slaves. Two of the five were Madison and Eston Hemings, his sons by his enslaved mistress,...
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Conference Committee Report on the Missouri Compromise

This report from a committee representing both houses of Congress paved the way for the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Missouri became a slave state and Maine became a...
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Crisis No. 1 or Thoughts on Slavery

In this early anti-slavery pamphlet, William Hillhouse of Connecticut strongly opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. The controversy over slavery in Congress in 1820 resulted...
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Decks of a Slave Ship

This image of a slave ship reflects conditions aboard slave-trading vessels. Although the U.S. had banned the importation of slaves after 1807, other nations continued to engage in...
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Declaration of the Anti-Slavery Convention

This document is the Declaration of Sentiments issued in Dec. 1833 by the first meeting of the National Anti-Slavery Society. It was later published in William Lloyd Garrison’s...
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Executor’s Sale

This newspaper notice announced the sale of Thomas Jefferson’s personal property in 1827. Because Jefferson owed roughly $110,000 when he died, his estate had to be sold to...
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Francis Kinloch to Jefferson

This South Carolina planter reacted to Jefferson’s view that “the minds of our citizens may be ripening for a complete emancipation.” In the Carolina low country, slaves vastly...
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Frederick Douglass

When he posed for this portrait, Frederick Douglass was one of the most well-known men in America. Douglass escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist writer and orator....
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Guinea Slaves

Colonial newspapers often featured advertisements announcing the sale of slaves. The slaves mentioned in this advertisement are from Guinea, a region in western Africa. Known as the “Slave...
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Interior of the Slave Ship Vigilante

This image depicts the cramped and inhumane conditions existing on a slave ship. Although by 1829 both the U.S. and Britain had banned the international slave trade, other...