The Abolition Movement Timeline: 1820 - 1829

The 1830s may have marked the transformation of the abolition movement but the 1820s definitely laid the groundwork for the next decade.

During this decade, schools were established to educate young African-American children.

At the same time, the American Colonization Society helped African-Americans emigrate to present-day Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In addition, several antislavery societies were formed.

These organizations began using slave narratives and newspapers to publicize the horrors of enslavement.  

1820

  • The Missouri Compromise allows Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state and Maine as a slave state. The Compromise also bans slavery in territory west of Missouri.
  • African-Americans in New York organize and emigrate from Africa to Sierra Leone. The emigration was organized by the American Colonization Society, an association established to send freed African-Americans back to Africa.

1821

  • The first American antislavery newspaper, The Genius of Universal Emancipation is published in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio by Benjamin Lundy. Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison helps to edit and publish the newspaper.

1822

  • A freed African-American, Denmark Vessey organizes a slave uprising in Charleston.
  • Segregated public schools are established in Philadelphia for African-American children.

1823

  • The Anti Slavery Society is established in Great Britain.

    1824

    • Liberia is founded by freed African-Americans. Founded by the American Colonization Society, the land was originally known as Monrovia.
    • Elizabeth Hyrick publishes the pamphlet, Immediate not Gradual Emancipation

    1825

    • The slave narrative, A Narrative of Some Remarkable Incidents in the Life of Solomon Bayley, Formerly a Slave, in the State of Delawar, North America: Written by Himself is published in London. 
    • The slave narrative, Narrative of the Enslavement of Ottobah Cugoano, a Native of Africa: Published by HImself on the Year 1787" is included in The Negro's Memorial; or Abolitionist's Catechism, by an Abolitionist is published in London by Thomas Fisher. 
    • Former slave, William B. Grimes publishes Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave. Written by Himself. 

    1826

    • Sojourner Truth, feminist and abolitionist, escapes slavery with her infant daughter, Sophia.

    1827

    • Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm publish the first African-American newspaper, Freedom's Journal. The publication is circulated in eleven states, Haiti, Europe and Canada.
    • Sarah Mapps Douglass establishes a school for African-American children in Philadelphia.

    1829

    • Abolitionist David Walker publishes his pamphlet, Walker's Appeal in Four Articles. David Walker's Appeal is considered the most radical antislavery publications when it was published because of its emphasis on promoting rebellion and opposition to colonization.
    • The slave narrative,  Life and Adventures of Robert, the Hermit of Massachusetts, Who Has Lived 14 Years in a Cave, Secluded from Human Society. Comprising, an Account of His Birth, Parentage, Sufferings, and Providential Escape from Unjust and Cruel Bondage in Early Life and His Reasons for Becoming a Recluse: Taken from His Own Mouth, and Published for His Benefit, is told to abolitionist Henry Trumbull by Robert Voorhis.