African American Research Project 1700-1799

Our group project centers around:
› The earliest African- Americans
› The challenges they faced
› How their actions affected the lives of future
African- Americans
Many theories exist
 Many historians believe that the rebels
were planning the rebellion for a while,
but never had the opportunity
 That opportunity came when the South
Carolina Colonial Assembly passed the
Security Act of 1739
 The slaves were able to revolt because
all white males who carry firearms had
their firearms at church
The Stono Rebellion took place on Sunday,
September 9, 1739
Twenty slaves, lead by an Angolan named Jemmy,
raided a firearms store and killed the two white
They then headed South toward Florida, because the
Spanish King passed a decree stating that any slave
escaping to Florida would be granted freedom
The rampaging slaves killed all slave-owning whites,
whether they were man, woman, or child, and set fire
to plantations
Twenty-one whites were killed in all, and only one
white, Lieutenant Governor William Bull, was able to
escape the fugitive slaves
By eleven AM, the slave group was fifty strong
Lieutenant Governor Bull managed to call the
militia, and around 100 were dispatched
The weary slaves stopped to rest in a field, and
the militia caught up with them
A short firefight ensued, and by the end, fortyfour slaves were killed
All but one of the escaping slaves were
captured or killed within the next week, the
one exception eluded capture for three years
The South Carolina Colonial Assembly
did not take lightly to this revolt
 They hastily passed a law they had had
in place for a while, but were reluctant
to pass
 Thus, the Negro Act of 1740 was passed
 This act prohibited slaves from growing
their own food, assembling in groups,
earning money that went to them, not
their master, and learning to read
African American rebels set fire to a
white man’s outhouse
 As the whites tried to put out the fire they
were killed with axes, swords, and guns,
 Militias were ordered to “drive the
 This meant they would try to keep things
under control for a bit.
Killed 9 whites in all
 African Americans were jailed and
awaited trial.
 Tortured from being buried alive to being
broken by a wheel.
6 blacks committed suicide before being
 21 were executed in all
 Blacks were hanged, burned, or
 A new “Black Code” restricted many
slave rights
The people that were boarded first
sometimes had to wait up to two or more
weeks before the boat would even start to
 It took normally a little less than three weeks
to get to the US depending on where they
were coming from.
There was little space
below deck. Some
Africans only had about
eleven inches of head
 The whites on board
had to take the people
that lived below deck
above to keep them
There was a lack of food and water.
 Below deck there was little air and what
there was heavy.
 Hygiene was not important so there was
always a horrid odor.
 Because of this, disease spread amongst
the blacks.
There were many murders on the ships.
 Jumping over board to commit suicide.
 There were many other reasons for death
such as…
-lack of food
-lack of water
Slavery had caused a deep separation
between North and South.
› South: slavery was important
› North: opposed slavery
The conflict got worse over the issue of
fugitive slaves.
Because slave owners were treated as
property in the South, slave owners felt it
was their right to seek out and recapture
slaves who had escaped to free Northern
About the act
The slave act was when the federal
government gave local authorities in
both slave and free states the power to
issue warrants to “remove” any black
they thought to be an escaped slave.
 It also made it a national crime to help
a runaway slave.
 This discouraged African Americans
from running away because their
chances of being free decreased.
Northerners’ Opinions
Some people saw the act as providing
an excuse for Southerners to kidnap free
 Others did not like the ability of slave
owners to repossess slaves who might
have escaped many years ago and who
had new lives in the North.
 The Northern states responded to the act
by passing “personal liberty” laws, which
protected suspected escaped slaves in
various ways.
Our topics relate back to the theme of our
presentation because:
› The Stono Rebellion and the New York Rebellion
relate because they and other rebellions of the
1700’s gave white people an excuse to control the
lives of black people- whether they were slaves or
› The Middle Passage relates because this was the
route that slave traders took to get the slaves to
› The Fugitive Slave Act relates because it shows the
hardships African Americans faced while trying to run
away from plantations