1739: The Stono Rebellion, one of the earliest slave insurrections, leads to the deaths of at least 20 whites and
more than 40 blacks west of Charleston in the black-majority colony of South Carolina
1772: Jean-Baptist-Point Du Sable builds a fur-trading port on the Chicago river at Lake Michigan. Its success
leads to the settlement that later becomes the city of Chicago.
1773: Phyllis Wheatley, the first black woman poet in the United States, is acclaimed in Europe and America following
publication in England of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
1800: Gabriel (Prosser) plans the first major slave rebellion in U.S. history, massing more than 1,000 armed slaves near
Richmond, Va. Following the failed revolt, 35 slaves, including Gabriel, are hanged.
1816: The African Methodist Episcopal Church is formally organized and consecrates Richard Allen as its first bishop.
1821: The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is organized, developing from a congregation of blacks who left the
John Street Methodist Church in New York City because of discrimination.
1831: Nat Turner leads the only effective, sustained slave rebellion in U.S. history, attracting up to 75 fellow slaves
and killing 60 whites. After the defeat of the insurrection Turner is hanged on November 11.
1833: The American Anti-Slavery Society, the main activist arm of the Abolitionist movement, is founded under the leadership
of William Lloyd Garrison.
1856: In the ongoing contest between pro and anti slavery forces in Kansas, a mob sacks the town of Lawrence, a "hotbed
of abolitionism" leading to retaliation by John Brown at Pottawatomie Creek.
1857: In its Dred Scott decision the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes slavery in all the territories exacerbating
the sectional controversy and pushing the nation toward civil war.
1861: The Civil War begins in Charleston, S.C. as the confederates open fire on Fort Sumter
1862: Future U.S. congressman Robert Smalls and 12 other slaves seize control of a Confederate armed frigate in Charleston
harbor. They turn it over to a Union naval squadron blockading the city.