Frederick Douglass disguised himself as a sailor and escaped from Maryland to freedom in the North.
Samuel E. Cornish and John B. Russwurm published the first African American newspaper, Freedom’s Journal.
Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act as part of the Compromise of 1850. The act forced northerners to cooperate in returning runaway slaves to the South.
Harriet Tubman made her first attempt to escape slavery. Though she was forced to turn back, she successfully escaped just a few weeks later.
Former slave Isabella Van Wagener assumed the name Sojourner Truth and began her career as an abolitionist.
John Brown, with allies including five black men, led an armed abolitionist raid on the Harpers Ferry arsenal in Virginia. Two days later the US Army, led by Colonel Robert E. Lee, stormed Harpers Ferry and captured Brown.
Harriet Brent Jacobs’ “Letter from a Fugitive Slave” was printed in the New York Tribune.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was published. In the Narrative, Douglass recounted his life in slavery. The book’s publication made him one of the most famous faces of abolition.
Congress abolished the slave trade in Washington, DC, effective January 1, 1851.
The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 abolished slavery throughout most of the British empire.