African Americans in Illinois

Though Illinois' constitution prohibited slavery, African Americans often found themselves in a quasi-slavery life through indentured servitude.  Those who were free were restricted by the Black Laws and were subject to kidnapping to return them to slavery.
Slavery in Illinois  An fairly detailed article on the history of slavery in Illinois by Darrel Dexter on Freedom Trails: Legacies of Hope website by the Illinois Department of Tourism's Arts, Humanities and Tourism Development Commission.
 
 
Generations of Pride: African American Timeline
A Selected Chronology by Kathryn M. Harris
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A brief timeline from 1619 to 2002 from the Abraham Presidential Library.
 
 
 
 
Slavery in Illinois Kit by the Abraham Presidential Museum This comprehensive kit for 5-8h graders contains reproductions of artifacts, books, lesson plans and copies of primary documents related to all aspects of slavery in Illinois.  The kit can be borrowed from Lincoln Log Cabin State Park or from a public library near you.  The two dimensional materials are also available on-line:
 
 
Picture
"The Illinois Black Laws," Harper's Weekly Feb. 11, 1865  This is a scan of the actual magazine page that contains an article about the repeal of the Black Laws and describes what they contained.
 
 
Slavery in Illinois by Ethan A. Snively, 1901 This is an essay on the history of slaves in Illinois from the French era through the 1848 Illinois Constitution.
 
 
Public Notice for the sale of a slave
The Illinois Black Codes by Roger D. Bridges A comprehensive article on the Illinois Black Codes from Illinois History Teacher's Magazine digitized by Northern Illinois University.  This site also has curriculum materials by Harry Daly that would assist in teaching 7-12th graders including some handouts and lesson plans.
 
 

James O. Horton Ph.D.

 
 
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