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Some Important Dates
related to the
UNESCO Triangular Slave Trade Project"
The Triangular Slave Trade Project (TST)

1415 - Portuguese explore Africa.

1482 - Pope Pio II condemns the slave trade while the Portuguese build the first slave-trading post at Elmina, Gold Coast (now Ghana) .

1539 - First African-American settler lives among the Native Americans in Alabama

1553 - First British ships arrive in Africa.

1562 - First recognition of the slave trade by British government; 300 slaves obtained by the British and taken to Hispaniola (now Haiti and Dominican Republic).

1565 - The Spanish take slaves to St. Augustine, the first permanent settlement in what would become Florida.

1619 - Africans brought to Jamestown, Virginia, marking the first slaves brought into the British colonies.

1642 - Louis XIII authorises involvement of France in the triangular trade.

1685 - Louis XIV normalises the triangular trade by imposing the Code Noir (black codes) in the colonies, rejecting the slave from the "human" category.

1712 - Britain obtains 30~year monopoly on slave trade from Spain.

1713 - Britain becomes the largest trader in African slaves.

1768 - The Danish-Norwegian slaver Fredensborg is wrecked in a powerful storm and sinks off the southern coast of Norway, leaving what is now the best documented slaveship in the world.

1775 ~ Revolutionary war begins in the British colonies in North America.

1776 - Declaration of Independence signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1777 - Slaves emancipated in Massachusetts. - Slavery abolished in Pennsylvania.

1783 - Revolutionary War ends.

1786 - Slavery abolished in Vermont.

1787 - The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade is founded in England. A small colony is established in Sierra Leone, Africa, for former slaves. The Sierra Leone experiment included 400 slaves who had fought with England in the American revolution.

1788 - The abolitionist current in France is defended by the Société des Amis des Noirs (February).

1788 - (15 May) The Constituent Assembly adopts the political rights of coloured people born of free parents (i.e. 5 to 6%)

1791 - (22-23 August) Uprising in the Clairiére de Bois-Calman in Saint-Domingue, led by Bouckman. This date (23 August) has been picked out by UNESCO as the "International Day to Commemorate the Slave Trade and its Abolition".

1791 - Freetown, Sierra Leone was founded.

1792 - (28 September) The Constituent Assembly abolishes slavery in France but not in the colonies.

1793 - Introduction of the "cotton gin" (from cotton engine) enables the southern states in America to become a one-crop region heavily dependent on slaves for labour.

1793 - Arrival in Saint-Domingue of Sonthonax, who abolishes slavery in the island (29 August) and organises the election of several deputies, including a Black one, Jean-Baptiste Belley.

1794 - (4 February) In France, the Convention adopts a decree abolishing slavery.

1802 - (2 May) Napoleon reinstates slavery and sends his soldiers to the colonies. Guadeloupe and Guyana are under control.
- In Saint-Domingue, the general Leclerc must face the guerrilla led by Toussaint Louverture who is arrested in June and sent to France where he will die.

1807 - Britain prohibits slave trade.

1808 - Congress prohibits the importation of African slaves into the U.S.

1810 - 3rd U.S. Census shows a population of 7.2 million including 1.2 million slaves.

1815 - Napoleon signs the decree of 29 March, abolishing slave trade for France. In reality, it was practised illegally during most of the lgth century.

1817 - American Society for the Return of Negroes to Africa is founded.

1820 - Liberia established as colony for American Africans
- Missouri Compromise is passed by Congress allowing slavery north of latitude 36 301.

1820 to 1833 - Around 1500 blacks sent to Africa by the American Colonisation Society.

1821 - Harriet Tubman is born into slavery.

1822 - Liberia is founded as an African Colony for freed American slaves with land purchased by the American Colonisation Society.

1823 - France prohibits her ships from transporting slaves across the Mediterranean.

1824 - Abolition of slavery in Central America.

1825 - Henry Highland Garnett escapes from slavery. He attends the New York African Free School.

1826 - Abolition of slavery in Brazil (north of equator).

1827 - Slavery abolished in New York.

1829 - Birth of John Mercer Langston, the first Black American to be elected to public office in the U.S.A.

1831 - Anti-slavery legislation in France.
- Southampton Virginia slave revolt orchestrated by Nat Turner, which led to the strengthening of the Black Codes.

1833 - First convention of the American Anti-Slavery Society.

1838 - Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery.

1839 - (July 1) Captured Africans revolt aboard the Amistad. (November) The trial begins in Hartford, Connecticut taking the first step towards the Civil War.

1845-1847 F. Douglass travels in Great Britain to speak for the elimination of slavery.

1848 - Slavery abolished in France. The provisional government of the IInd Republic signs the final decree inspired by Schoelcher.

1848 - Libreville, Gabon originally founded as a French trading in 1843, is expanded with the settlement of freed slaves.

1848 - Denmark/Norway abolishes slavery in its West-Indian colonies.

1850 - California adopts a constitution forbidding slavery. Fugitive Slave Law strengthened.

1853 - Abolition in Argentina

1854 - Abolition in Venezuela

1857 - Dred Scott Decision holds that a Negro slavels residence in free territory does not make him free. Missouri Compromise declared unconstitutional saying that Congress had no right to prohibit slavery in the territories.

1859 - Abolitionist'John Brown seizes arsenal at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, hoping to start slave insurrection.

1860 - Abraham Lincoln elected president. Southern states begin to secede from the Union.

1861 - U.S. Civil War begins.

1863 - Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln.
- Abolition in the Dutch colonies (Surinam, Curacao).

1865 - U.S. Civil War ends. Slavery abolished.

1866 - 14th Amendment passes securing the civil rights of Negroes.

1869 - 15th Amendment passes stating that right to vote shall not be denied because of race, colour or previous condition of servitude.

1873 - Abolition in the Spanish colony of Porto Rico.

1880 to 1886 - Abolition in Cuba.

1888 - Abolition in Brazil.

1994 - UNESCO launches the Slave Route project.

Information sources for this document: Amistad's slavery timeline, General History of Africa, General History of the Caribbean (Vol.3), Black History for Beginners, Slaveskipet Fredensborg, L'express 23/4/98, Jeune Afrique No 1949.

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