Created by:
Jesse V. McClain
Slavery in Missouri
Slavery in Kansas
Slavery is the condition of being held against one’s will and being forced to
work without pay.
Just imagine that, having no personal freedom, but being trained and forced to
take orders from some else all day.
A slave’s life was most certainly arduous, but you will soon learn that in some
areas, slaves were a lot more fortunate and had more rights. Not because of the
law, but because of where their owner lived.
It is said that slavery in Missouri was not like it was in the deep South.
In Missouri, slaves had constant interactions with white people and other free
slaves. Furthermore, slaves were not as useful in cities. Often, masters would let
someone else hire their slaves. Sometimes, the owner would even illegally let his
slaves find their own job and lodging. Thus, allowing them to sell their capacities
while using their money as best as they could.
The American Civil War was said to be the worst of all Civil
War. It was a time of infection, sickness, brutality, and death.
The states of Kansas and Missouri were both hit very hard. It
started early and lasted quite long.
The Constitution passes different laws in a complicated system, involving the
approval of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. These two branches
are very different. While each state has two Senators, the House of Representative’s
seats vary depending on the population of each state.
It is important to realize that the number of combined white and black people
in the South was superior to the number of those living in the North. The North
did not want the slaves to be counted as part of the population, since it would give
the South a permanent majority of seats in the House of Representatives.
Thus, in order to preserve the balance of power between the North and South,
a compromise had to be reached. This was when the 3/5 Compromise came into
play. Every slave would be counted as 3/5 of an individual.
While learning about the Civil War, keep in mind that the North and South
both had different ideas, needs, and ways of life. While the North was filled with
industries and a growing population, the South focused its economy through crops
and farms.
In fact, in order to own large farms, Southerners needed man labor. This is
why many depended on slaves to keep their farms growing. Even though not
every one owned slaves, those who did were by far the most influential people. It
is very easy to understand how a man could quickly grow in power, determination
and strength. For example, if one owned a farm, he could easily buy one or two
slaves. With the extra laborers, he then could afford more land, thus expanding his
On the other hand, the North was filled with industries and at the time
experienced a large amount of immigrants. These people would later act as a huge
labor force which would impact the economy causing an industrial revolution.
Therefore, slaves were not as necessary in the North as they were in the South.
For this reason, many slaves fled North. Ultimately, the existence and
acceptance of slavery was the main reason why conflicts arose and set the Civil
War in motion. It lasted far longer then any could have imagined, and the South
put on a much better fight then any of us would have ever thought of.
Slavery in Missouri
all started when a
man named Philippe
Renault was
unwilling to pay his
workers brought 500
slaves to Missouri,
and made them
work in lead mines.
Following the Kansas-Nebraska Act, slavery in Kansas was decided by
popular sovereignty. But before it was led towards this, the government had
originally set strict slavery rules, punishing those who helped slaves get away.
Another law stated that it was illegal to question anyone's right to own a slave.
The events below where some of the key points that influenced the beginning
of the Civil War in Kansas and Missouri.
The Missouri Compromise
Kansas - Nebraska Acts
John Brown
Bleeding Kansas
As our Country was expanding with newcomers, congress was able to maintain the
balance of power between the North and South by allowing the states to join the Union
in pairs, one free state for every slave state.
Previous to this act, all territories located south of the Ohio River were
unquestionably allowed to be slave states. The problem was that a large portion of
Missouri was north of the Ohio River. Yet, many of its inhabitants were slave owners.
The Missouri Compromise of 1820, a law proposed by Henry Clay, permitted
Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state. Furthermore, an imaginary line drawn at 36
degrees 30 minutes north latitude divided Louisiana into two territories. Every state
north of this imaginary line would be free, and every state south would be a slave state.
Slavery in Missouri
really started to
spread across the
state when we made
the Louisiana
purchase and when
the cotton gin was
A slave in Missouri
often had to
complete a variety of
different tasks, so
many of them
became jacks-of-alltrades.
Slaves that tried to
oppose their owners
or other Caucasian
people were to be
given no more than
39 lashes with a
In 1847, a law was
passed in Missouri
that if any person
was found teaching
reading or writing to
a slave, they would
be fined 500 dollars
and spend six
months in prison.
In 1804, an act was
passed that made
slaves personal
property, which
basically represented
that they had no
In Missouri, a slave
found keeping a gun,
was to receive 39
stripes (lashes), and
give up their
Slaves guilty of
being involved in
riots, unlawful
assemblies, or
seditious speeches
were also to be
subject to lashing.
Generally, slaves
attended the same
church as their
masters, but they
were separated from
all white people and
usually put in special
pews in the back of
the church.
As Missouri never
had a single staple
crop, large
plantations never
developed, so a
slaveholder on
average only had one
or two slaves.
In fact, a slave, his
family, and his
master often worked
together as a team in
the fields, but
everything failed
when the master did
not share the profit.
Because of the hate
held for people who
challenged their way
of life, slaveholders
generally dealt
severely with antislavery abolitionists.
Although the Kansas–Nebraska act
did not deal with both Missouri and Kansas, it
was an important point because it divided the
remaining parts of the Louisiana Purchase into
Kansas and, of course, Nebraska.
This act, established on May 30th , 1854, by
Senator Stephen A. Douglas, abolished the
Missouri Compromise of 1820.
It stated that all new territories could choose
whether or not they would permit slavery.
At first, it seemed like a good idea but the
law soon upset the balance of power between
the Northern and Southern states. As a matter of
fact, whoever controlled Kansas would likely
control the new territories and the political
power that each would have in Congress.
The Kansas-Nebraska
Act was introduced
by Stephen Douglas,
to create a Mideastern
Railroad. However,
problems arose when
popular sovereignty
was included.
This plan divided the
Louisiana Purchase into
two territories- Kansa
and Nebraska. Popular
sovereignty would
decided the question of
slavery. Also, it would
remove the Missouri
restriction of slavery
north of the 36°30‘ line.
The Kansas-Nebraska act established that
settlers could vote to decide whether to allow
slavery, in the name of popular sovereignty or
rule of the people.
When the KansasNebraska Act was
passed, it was very
damaging to the
Whigs. Every
northern Whig voted
against Douglas’s Bill,
while most southern
Whigs voted for it.
The Democrats knew
that they could not
nominate anyone
associated with the
Kansas-Nebraska Act.
In the end, they chose
James Buchanan. He
was very experienced in
Congress, and most
importantly, he was not
associated with the
Kansas-Nebraska Act.
Bleeding Kansas was
a series of violent
events, involving
northern abolitionists
and pro-slavery
southerners that took
place in Kansas,
becoming a state of
civil war. Around 200
men were killed as a
John Brown was an important figure
in the war. He was responsible for many
incidents such as the Pottawatomie Massacre.
This anti slavery leader had heard that during
an attack on the town of Lawrence, five Free
State men had been murdered. In an act of
revenge, he set out and led seven other men
along Pottawatomie creek and ended up killing
5 pro-slavery innocent men.
John Brown had killed people,
and when investigated, no actions
were taken against him. Many
Southerners were angered and
demanded justice. As lawlessness
took over, people stood by as
Kansas destroyed itself with acts of
pure cruelty.
John Brown, an abolitionist,
felt the need to punish proslavery Kansans. On the
night of May 24, 1856, he
led a group of seven men
along Pottawatomie Creek
in eastern Kansas. They
killed five pro-slavery men
in what became known as
the Pottawatomie Massacre.
Senator Charles Sumner gave a
speech called “The Crime
Against Kansas”, where he
criticized and insulted Senator
Andrew Pickens Butler.
Representative Preston Brooks,
a relative of Butler, was greatly
upset. On May 22, 1856, he
approached Sumner in the
Senate Chamber and beat him
unconscious with a walking
A few years after the
events of Bleeding
Kansas, the state was
admitted into the
Union as a free state,
less than three months
before the Battle of
Fort Sumter which
began the Civil War.
This all started when
Missouri and
Arkansas sent settlers
into Kansas all along
its eastern border.
These settlers
attempted and
brought slavery into
the state.
The secondary
settlement of Kansas
involved abolitionists
from Massachusetts
and other Free-Staters.
They attempted to
stop the spread of
slavery, which
resulted as the
Bleeding Kansas.
After Bleeding Kansas,
most of its violence
subsided. However, on
August 21, 1863, William
Quantrill of the
Confederacy led several
hundred men on a raid in
Lawrence, Kansas,
destroying much of the
city and killing nearly 200
After the Civil war,
many veterans built
homesteads in Kansas.
Many African
Americans also
looked to Kansas as
the land of “John
Brown”, and began
establishing black
colonies in the state.
Overall, slavery and
the discussion of
whether slavery
should be allowed or
not allowed in
Missouri and Kansas
helped shape how our
country, the United
States of America, is
African Americans fought in both armies. The
Confederacy used slaves as naval crew
members and soldiers and the Union enlisted
them early in the war. African soldiers did not
have equal pay and were treated badly while
serving in black units. Robert Smalls, a sailor
and later an honored Union naval captain went
on to become a Congressman after the war