Slave Trade and Slave Revolts c. 1850


Map Code: Ax00720

The history of slavery in the US is not one of compliance, but revolt. Revolt ranged from small acts of sabotage to open rebellion or attempts to run away to the North. It is believed that there were over 250 attempts at slave rebellion, prior to 1865: Nat Turner’s rebellion in Virginia, 1831, is the most well-known. Fugitive slaves who formed communities in the Florida Everglades and the Virginia swamp lands were named ‘Marroons’. In 1850, conditions worsened for runaway slaves who had escaped to the North. Under the Fugitive Slave Act, they had to be returned to their owners. By 1850 the cotton and rice plantations in the Deep South had become very labour intensive and over one million slaves were sold further South to provide labour. The slave population had reached 4 million by 1860 and there was a robust domestic market in slave trading.

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