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National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Mostrando recursos 1 - 20 de 78

  1. Letter to editor of the Quincy Patriot

    Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
    In 1837, Adams began to send reports on Congressional affairs to a local newspaper, the Quincy Patriot. In this letter dated September 21, 1838, he refers to a duel in which a pro-slavery Kentucky member of Congress, William Graves, killed a Maine Representative, Jonathan Cilley. After the incident took place, Adams persuaded Congress to pass a law outlawing dueling in the District of Columbia. The letter also discusses petitions made concerning the right to petition and its suppression through the "gag rule," abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia and the slave trade in the U.S., Adams' opposition to the...

  2. The first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet

    Ritchie, Alexander Hay, 1822-1895
    Steel engraving by A. H. Ritchie after the painting by Francis B. Carpenter. Fully titled "The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet. From the original picture painted at the White House in 1864." Large "premium engraving from 'The Independent.'" The image depicts Lincoln and his cabinet at his first reading of the proclamation, ending slavery in states still in rebellion. From left to right the men are indentified (per the caption): Edwin M. Stanton, Salmon P. Chase, President Lincoln, Gideon Welles, Caleb B. Smith, William H. Seward, Montgomery Blair and Edward Bates. A Confederate printer issued a...

  3. Letter to Uriah Tracy

    Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
    In 1804, Federalist Senator Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) called for a constitutional amendment apportioning each state's representation in the House of Representatives solely on the basis of the number of freemen. Such an amendment would have overturned the Three-Fifths Compromise and greatly reduced the number of slave state representatives. While Federalists, during the first years of the nineteenth century, attacked the three-fifths clause as a source of Republican power, they hesitated to directly challenge the institution of slavery itself. Their descendants, however, would assume a leading role in the antislavery campaign. Nevertheless, it is striking that as early as 1804, Adams...

  4. Letter to John F. Mercer

    Washington, George, 1732-1799
    Letter to John F. Mercer, dated September 9, 1786. Written at a time when he owned some 277 slaves, Washington expresses his hopes for the gradual abolition of slavery. In the letter, Washington writes that "it is among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by the Legislature by which slavery in this Country may be abolished by slow, sure & imperceptible degrees." Washington did not want to accept slaves as payment for Mercer's debt. This letter not only reveals Washington's principles and distaste for slavery, but also an outlook shared by many of the founders, including many from...

  5. Fremont's proclamation

    Frémont, John Charles, 1813-1890
    Proclamation declaraing martial law in Missouri and the emancipation of slaves.

  6. Letter to Charles Schultz

    Crockett, Davy, 1786-1836
    Letter dated December 25, 1834, in which Crockett complains of Andrew Jackson's sway with American voters, calling them "Volunteer Slaves (i.e., paid industrial labor)," and announces his plans to leave the United States and move to Texas. Crockett writes that if Martin Van Buren is elected President, "I will leave the United States ... I will go to the wildes of Texas."

  7. Letter from John Brown to his wife and children

    Brown, John, 1800-1859
    Letter written by John Brown from Springfield, Massachusetts, dated April 16, 1857, to his wife, Mary, and children concerning his return after hiding from "Uncle Sam's Hounds." This mention of "Uncle Sam's Hounds" is perhaps related to either the Potawatomi massacre or the defeat of pro-slavery forces and raiding on the Kansas-Missouri border.

  8. Papal bull granting Spain possession of lands discovered by Columbus

    Alexander VI, Pope, 1431-1503
    A broadside, titled in Spanish, containing a copy of the Latin text of the bull, Inter cetera, of May 4, 1493 of Pope Alexander VI, granting Spain possession of lands discovered by Christopher Columbus.

  9. Letter to Joshua F. Speed

    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
    Confidential letter written on stationery of the Executive Mansion, dated Mary 17, 1863, to Joshua F. Speed. Lyman Guinnip, a coloel in the 79th Illinois Volunteers, had been accused of helping slaves escape and Lincoln writes, "I scarcely think he is guilty of any real crime."

  10. Men of color, to arms! Now or never!

    Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895
    Caption title. Text continues: This is our golden moment. The government of the United States calls for every able-bodied colored man to enter the army for the three years' service, and join in fighting the battles of liberty and the Union. A new era is open to us ... Fail now and our race is doomed ... Strike now, and you are henceforth and forever freemen! Signed by Frederick Douglass and 54 influential Black Philadelphians. Recruitment coordinated by the local Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments.

  11. Letter to Ebenezer Dole

    Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879
    Letter dated July 14, 1830, from William Lloyd Garrison to Ebenezer Dole, thanking him for a donation. The letter refers to Garrison's imprisonment for criminal libel. In the Genius of Universal of Emancipation, an antislavery newspaper, Garrison had accused merchant Francis Todd of transporting 75 slaves from Baltimore to New Orleans, and declared that the man should be "SENTENCED TO SOLITARY CONFINEMENT FOR LIFE." In Baltimore, Garrison was found guilty and fined $50.00 plus court costs. Unable to pay, Garrison was confined in prison for seven weeks, before Arthur Tappan, a New York merchant and philanthropist, provided the money for...

  12. Read and ponder the Fugitive slave law! ...


    Large, anti-Whig broadside attacking Samuel A. Elliott of Boston, and reprinting the law, with emphasis added in sections relating to proof, habeas corpus, trial, fines and costs of recovery.Read and ponder the Fugitive slave law! - which disregards all the ordinary securities of personal liberty, which tramples on the Constitution, by its denial of the sacred rights of trial by jury, habeas corpus, and appeal, and which enacts, that the cardinal virtues of Christianity shall be considered, in the eye of the law, as crimes, punishable with the severest penalties,--fines and imprisonment. : Freemen of Massachusetts, remember, that Samuel A....

  13. House divided speech fragment

    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
    Single page beginning "Why, Kansas is neither the whole, nor a tithe of the real question." Written before the debates with Stephen A. Douglas, apparently in response to that Senator's Dec. 9, 1857 speech in opposition to Buchanan's State of the Union address.

  14. The National Political Chart: Lloyd's new political chart, 1861: - with a map of the United States showing the free states, border slave states, cotton states, and territories in different colors.

    H.H. Lloyd & Co.
    Compiled and published by H.H. Lloyd & Co. Hand colored lithograph composed of map, wood-cut portraits, biographies and statistics. The images include Washington, Lincoln and his cabinet, Gen. Winfield Scott, Maj. Robert Anderson, Gen. John Wool and Lt. Slemmer (commanding Fort Pickens). The statistics include census information for major cities, electoral results for every election from 1796 and popular vote data by state for the election of 1860.

  15. Lithograph depicting the celebration of the Fifteenth Amendment


    Color lithograph with much iconography relating to passage of the Reconstruction amendments and their significance for the freed slaves. Contains many images including African-Americans voting, African-American and white representatives in the legislature and in church together, African-American soldiers, and African-American teachers. Each depiction has a caption, such as "Education will prove equality of the races." Also included are images of Grant, Colfax, John Brown, Lincoln and others. The print also includes a "charter of rights," and many short quotations and bible verses. Copyright entered by Thomas Kelly; from an original by James Beard.

  16. Copy of letter to Edward Fettyplace

    Smith, George E.
    Copy of letter to Edward FettyplaceSmith, George E.September 30, 1812AlgiersManuscript documentSmith, George E. -- Correspondence; United States -- History -- War of 1812; United States -- History -- War with Algeria, 1815.In August of 1812, Algiers captured the brig Edwin of Salem and enslaved its crew, who suffered for three years until the war's end. In this letter, dated September 30, 1812, Captain George Smith writes, "Be not astonished!! for alas! it is too true, that I am now addressing you as a Slave in Algiers... I think that all differences will be adjusted between G[reat] B[ritain], & America, Should...

  17. Letter to James McHenry

    Washington, George, 1732-1799
    Letter, dated November 11, 1786, describes Washington's scheme to return a runaway slave to his master, William Drayton of Charleston, S.C. After visiting Mount Vernon with his master, the slave escaped and returned to Washington's home. Washington writes that "[t]he fellow pretends a willingness to return to his master, but I think it would be unsafe to trust to this, especially as he has discovered a great inclination to get back to Philadelphia..." Washington notes that he has sent the slave to Baltimore "under the impression of assisting in bringing the Jack and mules home but the real design... is...

  18. A history of the Amistad captives

    [J. W. Barber]
    Advertising broadside consisting of a large, woodcut showing the enslaved Africans clubbing a white man, entitled "Death of Capt. Ferrer, the Captain of the Amistad, July 1839." Compiled from original sources by Barber. The book is advertised as being "Illustrated by an accurate profile sketch of each of the Africans, with other engravings."

  19. Letter to Edward Telfair

    Few, William, 1748-1828
    Letter written from New York and dated June 30, 1804, by William Few, a signer of the Constitution, to Edward Telfair, who served several terms as Georgia's governor. In the letter, Few condemns the importation of black slaves into Georgia as a ploy to increase the state's congressional representation. Few writes, "Is there one person of understanding & reflection among you who will not admit that every confederation of justice, humanity, and safety, forbids that any more Negroes should be brought into your state, and yet it is well known that the avarice of your citizens, and the rage for...

  20. Letter to Edwin M. Stanton

    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
    Letter dated February 1, 1864, to Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, directing a transport be sent to the Island of Vache to rescue the 450 freed slaves who were recruited to settle there. Small pox and mismanagement by a government-appointed manager contributed to the colony's failure. The transport ship dispatched by President Lincoln picked up only 368 survivors.

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