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William Cowper’s poem “The Negro’s Complaint” circulated widely and was set to music.
In 1820, the Missouri Compromise banned slavery in all new western territories, which Southern states saw as a threat to the institution of slavery itself.
In 1857, the Supreme Court decision known as the Dred Scott Decision said that Negroes (the term then used to describe the African race) were not citizens and had no rights of citizenship; therefore, slaves that escaped to free states where not free but remained the property of their owners and must be returned to them.
Abolition, however, was the “first object” of Wilberforce’s life, and he pursued it both in season and out.
May 12, 1789, was clearly out of season for abolition.
Thomas Clarkson and others toured the country and helped to establish local antislavery committees.
These committees in turn held frequent public meetings, campaigned for a boycott of West Indian sugar in favor of East and circulated petitions.With the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 along with the growing demand for the product in Europe, the use of slaves in the South became a foundation of their economy.In the late 18th century, the abolitionist movement began in the north and the country began to divide over the issue between North and South.Few knew anything of the horrors of the middle passage from Africa.Over time, it became more and more difficult for anyone to plead ignorance of this matter.Slavery In America summary: Slavery in America began in the early 17th Century and continued to be practiced for the next 250 years by the colonies and states.Slaves, mostly from Africa, worked in the production of tobacco crops and later, cotton.Wilberforce had concluded with a solemn moral charge: “The nature and all the circumstances of this trade are now laid open to us.We can no longer plead ignorance.” Having failed to obtain a final vote, the abolitionists redoubled their efforts to lay open the facts of the trade before the British people.So far, the public had easily ignored what it could not see, and there had been no slaves in England since 1772.English people saw slave ships loading and unloading only goods, never people.