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Texas Prohibits Manumission

Texas prohibits manumission.

South Carolina Secedes

South Carolina secedes from the Union, followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Later in the year, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina also secede.

Union of Confederate States Forms

The Union of Confederate States is formed. Jefferson Davis is elected its president.

Harriet Jacobs Publishes Autobiography

Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the life of a slave girl is the first published autobiography of an African-American woman.

U.S. Civil War Begins

The Civil War begins in Charleston, South Carolina.

Black Volunteers Rejected

75,000 blacks volunteering for the U.S. army are rejected.

First Confiscation Act

Slaves seeking refuge with Northern forces are considered contraband of war. The First Confiscation Act is passed, declaring all property used in support of rebellion, including slaves, subject to capture.

Southern States Secede

Southern states secede and start Civil War between the free and the slave states.

Secretary of Navy Authorizes Slave Enlistment

The Secretary of the Navy authorizes enlistment of contrabands (slaves) taken in Confederate territories.

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