Famous American Slaves

"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." Abraham Lincoln, 1865

It is estimated that approximately 12.5 million Africans were imported via the slave trade, however, only a small percentage by comparison were shipped direct to North America; the majority of slaves at the time of the Civil War were descended from enslaved Africans.

The life of a slave was often hard; punishment was severe and masters frequently abused their power. Sadly as slaves were considered chattels and not citizens, they were not adequately protected by the law and were subject to the will of their owner. Despite the fact that it was illegal to teach a slave to read or write in most states, some escaped and emancipated slaves published their accounts in an effort to draw attention to their plight.

  • Learn about the treatment of African American slaves.
  • Read about the childhood of famous slaves.
  • Discover what made some slaves particularly noteworthy.
  • Read about the ways in which some slaves fought against the institution of slavery.
  • Learn about the lives of famous African American slaves and the struggles that they faced.

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