The Fourth of July during the era of slavery and the year slavery ended in the United States -Guam and Hawaii 1900

Fourth of July during the era of slavery
and the year slavery ended in the United States -Guam and Hawaii 1900

This is a brief historical look back at newspapers on Independence Day in the United States – Fourth of July, during the era of slavery. Also, this is a brief look back at the hidden history of America’s last overseas lands that had economic systems of slavery: Guam and Hawaii.

At the start of the American Revolutionary War, George Washington was a vocal opponent of recruiting black men, both free and enslaved. They feared training and arming free and enslaved African descent people, thinking it would lead to a rebellion. The nation’s entire economic system was built off of free enslaved labor.

When the American colonists went to war with Britain in 1775, in Massachusetts, black men (both free and enslaved) served at Lexington and Concord and then at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The British saw an opportunity to weaken the Americans,the royal governor of Virginia offered freedom to any enslaved African who join British forces.

Although George Washington, as president, took no official position on slavery, he established provisions for emancipation of the African decent people he enslaved in his last will and testament. George Washington also hired for varying periods of time individual enslaved African descent people, usually skilled artisans, from white neighbors and acquaintances. George Washington became an enslaver at the age of 11, when his father died and left him the 280 acre farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Of the 317 enslaved African descent people at Mount Vernon in 1799, 123 people, who were directly enslaved by George Washington and would go free. Mrs. Washington had received a life interest in one-third of her first husband Daniel Parke Custis’ estate, including enslaved African descent people. The other two-thirds of the estate went to their children. Neither George nor Martha Washington could free these enslaved African and, upon her death they reverted to the Custis estate and were divided among her grandchildren. By 1799, 153 enslaved Africans at Mount Vernon were part of this dower property. In December 1800, Martha Washington signed a deed of manumission for her deceased husband’s enslaved African descent people. They would become free on January 1, 1801. Mrs. Washington freed them early because she feared they would kill her.

The Washingtons’ relentlessly pursued a runaway named Ona Judge in 1796. George Washington spent the last 3 years of his life trying to force her to return to enslavement. Martha’s 153 dower enslaved African descent people were divvied up between her children when she died in 1802. None of Martha’s children freed more than a few enslaved African descent people or their children during their lifetimes. Martha Washington never freed the single enslaved African descent person she owned outright, even willing him to her grandson.

1808 The U.S. Congress bans importation of enslaved Africans.

1816 The American Colonization Society forms—assists in repatriating free African Americans to a Liberian colony on the west coast of Africa.

1820 The Compromise of 1820 admits Maine as a free state, Missouri as a slave state and prohibits slavery in territories north of Missouri.

1830 The U.S. Congress passes the Removal Act, forcing Native Americans to settle in Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.

1838 Cherokee Indians forced on thousand-mile march to the established Indian Territory. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees die on this “Trail of Tears.”

1845 Potato crop fails in Ireland sparking the Potato Famine which kills one million and prompts almost 500,000 Irish to immigrate to America over the next 5 years.

1848 The Mexican-American War ends: U.S. acquires additional territory and people under its jurisdiction.

1857 U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision declares African Americans are not U.S. citizens and rules 1820 Missouri Compromise’s ban on slavery in the territories unconstitutional.

1860 Poland’s religious and economic conditions prompt immigration of approximately 2 million Poles by 1914 to the United States.

1862 The Homestead Act of 1862 allows for any individual, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or country of origin, over the age of 21 or head of household to claim up to 160 acres of free land if they have lived on it for 5 years and made the required agricultural improvements.

The Union Army permits black men to enlist as laborers, cooks, teamsters, and servants.

1863 The Emancipation Proclamation abolishes slavery and permits African-American men to join the Union Army.

1864 The U.S. Congress legalizes the importation of contract laborers.

Thousands of Navajo Indians endure the “Long Walk,” a 300 mile (482.8 km) forced march from a Southwest Indian territory to Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

1865 Formally abolishing slavery in the United States – The 13th Amendment

1868 The 14th Amendment of the Constitution endows African Americans with citizenship.

A clause in the 14th Amendment “excluding Indians not taxed” prevents Native-American men from receiving the right to vote.

Japanese laborers arrive in Hawaii to work in sugar cane fields.

1870 The 15th Amendment of the Constitution provides African American males with the right to vote.

1880 Italy’s troubled economy, crop failures, and political climate begin the start of mass immigration with nearly 4 million Italian immigrants arriving in the United States.

1882 Russia’s May Laws severely restrict the ability of Jewish citizens to live and work in Russia. The country’s instability prompts more than 3 million Russians to immigrate to the United States over three decades.

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 suspends immigration of Chinese laborers under penalty of imprisonment and deportation.

1885 The U.S. Congress bans the admission of contract laborers.

1887 The Dawes Act dissolves many Indian reservations in United States.

1896 The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that “separate but equal” accommodations for African Americans and whites are Constitutional. This decision allows for legalized racial segregation.

1898 The Spanish-American War begins with a naval blockade of Cuba and attacks on the island. The four-month conflict ends with Cuba’s independence and the U.S. acquisition of Puerto Rico and Guam.

1900 Congress establishes a civil government in Puerto Rico and the Jones Act grants U.S. citizenship to island inhabitants. U.S. citizens can travel freely between the mainland and the island without a passport.

Spain ceded Guam to the United States of America in 1898. During World War II, Guam was attacked and invaded by the Empire of Japan and was captured by the the Japanese in 1941. Guam was retaken by the U.S. in 1944. The military installations on the island are some of the most strategically important U.S. bases in the Pacific.

The Hawaiian islands were annexed by the United States in 1900, and as a U.S. territory saw its population expand. The islands had a plantation system, growing sugar cane and pineapples. Hawaii gained statehood on August 21, 1959.

July 4, 1838

July 4, 1839

July 4, 1843

July 4, 1859

July 4, 1860

February 1900

March 1900

April 1900

Religion of former enslaved Africans after slavery ended in the United States

December 18, 1865: Formally abolishing slavery in the United States – Statement issued verifying the ratification of The 13th Amendment -150 years

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