Tennessee State Library and Archives


Year State and National Events Slavery and Racial Issues African American Institutions and Accomplishments
1800   Gabriel Prosser gathers an army of slaves to attack Richmond VA.

Prosser and others are captured and hanged.
Of Nashville’s 345 inhabitants, 154 are black.  Fourteen of them are free; by 1810, 130 free blacks live in Nashville.
1801 Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated the nation’s third President (1801-1809). Nashvillian “Black Bob” Renfro is granted emancipation from his owner Robert Searcy by an act of the Fourth Tennessee General Assembly.  
1803 The Louisiana Purchase doubles the size of the US Haitian slaves continue their rebellion against Napoleon’s generals.

Hundreds of people on both sides die in the violent fighting.

The French surrender makes Haiti an independent republic.  The success of the rebellion will haunt American plantation owners for years.
1804 Lewis and Clark expedition to the Northwest, 1804-1806    
1807   The British Parliament abolishes the slave trade.  The US Congress bans the importation of slaves after January 1, 1808.  
1809 James Madison is inaugurated the nation’s fourth President (1809-1817).    
1811   In the largest slave rebellion in the US, Louisiana slaves revolt in two parishes near New Orleans but are eventually subdued by federal troops.  
1812 The War of 1812 begins    

About 2,000,000 Africans now live in America; around ten percent of them (roughly 200,000) are free persons of color.

1816   Federal troops are sent to destroy a runaway-slave (Maroon) settlement in Apalachicola Bay, Florida.  All the slaves are killed or sold at auction.

The American Colonization Society is established in Washington, D.C. Its white membership wants to enable blacks to return to Africa (Liberia).
1817 James Monroe is inaugurated the nation’s fifth President (1817-1825).   Richard Allen’s Bethel A.M.E. Church hosts a mass meeting to protest the deportation policies of the American Colonization Society.
1820 The Missouri Compromise settles the issue of slavery in the areas obtained by the Louisiana Purchase.    
1822 The Illinois legislature amends the state constitution to permit slavery.  Anti-slavery activists fight the proposal, defeating it in the 1824 election.  

Denmark Vesey designs one of the most complex slave plots in history, involving thousands of African Americans in the Charleston SC area.

1824 Illinois passes a referendum declaring the state free; however, a complex series of indenture/apprenticeship laws keeps many people in bondage.    
1825 John Quincy Adams becomes the nation’s sixth President (1825-1829).    
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