When slavery comes to mind, it is often thought of in the south, however many people do not know that slaves were commonly set free there, ensuring their freedom.
Before the Civil War, many African American Slaves were able to be given their freedom before slavery was abolished by the war. Free blacks lived in various parts of the United States, although some were still enslaved in southern states. A great justice was served in history when 1.5 million slaves living in the south were freed by 1860.
Receiving freedom was a very detailed, and sometimes complex procedure for the slaves, that became less common as the 1800s progressed. One way slaves could earn their freedom was buying it from their master. Also, slaves became free from manumission, the voluntary emancipation of a slave by a slave owner. A slave might have been given their freedom for some reasons including the well built relationship of them and their master, their master letting them go due to great impact of the abolonist movement, slaves were often set free in their master's lifetime, and more commonly their master's will. A great amount of African Americans soughted to escape their plantations, and other locations. Sometimes Americans of African heritage came to the United States as immigrants, many times in the New Orleans sea area.
It is shameful, and should have never occurred that people of different colored skin did not have the same rights as white skinned people in our country. Looking back to the 1830s a law was created in Virginia preventing slaves to learn how to read and write. Laws in the south prevented slaves from possessing firearms, and having a religion to practice. Terribly, slaves could not justify themselves in court. An example of why this law was so unbearable was that if a slave catcher claimed that a free African American was a slave, he or she could not defend his or her self in court.
Attending church, and practicing religion was a very crucial component in the lives of free slaves. The creation of the African Methodist Episcopal Chruch spread from Philedalphia, to Charleston, then later into many southern areas, despite the laws that forbade blacks from worshiping their religion. Conflict resulted into the law challenging the exsistence of these churches, and countless abolitionists stood up for their rights.
Occupations free blacks prospered were being artisians, business men and women, educators, writers, planters, musicians, tailors, hairdressers, and cooks. Many African Americans invented very useful methods to implement in the everyday lives of Americans living in their time. Thomas L. Jennings came up with a method of drying clean clothes, and Henry Blair Glenn Ross, patented a seed planter, thus contributing to the advancement of science. An amount of freed slaves had owned property and kept boarding houses. Sadly, some former slaves owned slaves themselves as time continued on.
Other examples of advocates for the freedom of people of color were Fredrick Douglass, Richard Allen, Abasalom Jones, and Harriet Tubman. Originating in 1619 on American soil, slavery began when the first African slaves were brought to the colony of Jamestown to do farm work, and produce crops such as tobacco. After two unbearable, and unecessary decades of this ruthless process that once was “justified” in our land, slavery concluded on December 6th 1865, the day the 13th Ammendment to the constitution was further changed.
In conclusion, slavery was a long, bitter, and cold road, although it ended, and those negatively impacted by it broke away from it, and have descendants that are free today. It will be intriguing to see how the freeing of slaves will be in the text The Land by Mildred D. Taylor.