As slavery grew and expanded, slave owners worked out new justifications for the institution. While many focused upon the various ways that slavery "improved" the lives of the African race, some fearlessly delved into the sciences. The number of slaves escaping into the free states and Canada greatly increased as the
During the Secession Winter of 1860-1861, several seceding slave states sent commissioners to border slave states in the hopes of convincing them to join them in leaving the United States. In some cases, such as Virginia and Tennessee, the targeted states seceded. In others, such as in Kentucky and Delaware,
George Washington Albright was born enslaved to a Mississippi planter, but later served in the Reconstructed legislature. While in bondage, his mother secretly taught him to read and write. During the war, he took part in a secret organization bringing news of freedom to the enslaved people of the South. After the war ended, not only was he part of the new Mississippi government, he helped to organize free schools for the former slaves. When the Ku Klux Klan began to push back, he helped to form black militias to beat them back.
Mr. Albright goes on to explain why poor whites decided to side with the rich whites rather than with blacks and their own self-interests. He also explains why, by the 1900s, he could no longer consider himself part of the Republican Party.
In the years leading up to the Civil War, there was a small but vocal set of Southern Senators who desperately wanted to re-open the Atlantic Slave Trade. Though they were unsuccessful, this radical position allowed the political central to shift more toward the extreme, paving the way for secession.