About the time the young Marquis de Lafayette first came to America in 1777, the international movement that eventually brought an end to the institution of  slavery was just gathering steam.  Lafayette’s own ardent opposition to slavery seems to have been an outgrowth of his experiences fighting for American liberty.  At some point, late in the American Revolution, he ceased to regard slaves as chattel, and embraced what was to become his lifelong commitment to equality for the “black part of mankind.”  Throughout the rest of his long and eventful life, he continued to champion freedom for all men-black or white-everywhere.

Slavery Timeline

1619 U.S. Slaves are first brought to Virginia
 1688 U.S. Pennsylvania Quakers voice opposition to slavery
1772 England Granville Sharp secures legal decision that West Indian planters cannot hold slaves in Britain
1777 U.S. Vermont Constitution is first U.S. document to abolish slavery
1781 France Slave revolt in Haiti under the leadership of Toussaint L’Ouverture against the free Blacks and Whites
1794 France National Assembly abolishes slave trade and slavery outright
1802 France Napoleon Bonaparte re-establishes slavery and the slave trade as they existed in 1789
1777-1804 U.S. All states north of Maryland abolish slavery
2 March 1807 U.S. Slave trade with Africa abolished, but smuggling continues until about 1862
1807 England Slave trade to British Colonies abolished under leadership of William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson
1838 England Slavery abolished in British West Indies
1848 France Slavery abolished in French Possessions
1863 U.S. Emancipation Proclamation frees slaves in areas of rebellion
1865 U.S. 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlaws slavery