Last updated: September 27, 2019
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The missouri compromise

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The 1820 Missouri Compromise was an important agreement passed in an attempt to decrease the friction between the proslavery and anti slavery factions of that time. Slavery was a very controversial issue in the years and decades leading up to The Civil War.  Many people thought that a civil was was inevitable but others tried hard to either postpone or even to eradicate the entire possibility of a civil war.  The 1820 Missouri Compromise was one such attempt.

The Missouri Compromise prohibited the spread of slavery past the 36” 30” parallel except within the proposed state of Missouri. Also as a result, Maine was allowed into the Union as a free state.  The balance of power between slave and free states was a very important issue as each side was well aware of the possibility of the delicate balance of power tipping in the favor of their opponent and would try every desperate measure to avoid that from happening.

“On the constitutional side, the Compromise of 1820 was important as the first precedent for the congressional exclusion of slavery from public territory acquired since the adoption of the Constitution, and also as a clear recognition that Congress has no right to impose upon a state…”  The issue of the legality of the Compromise was an important question that needed to be answered and finally was answered in the 1857 Supreme Court Decision , Dred Scott v. Sanford in which it was ruled that persons of African descent could not be U.S. and therefore, had no rights under the Constitution.


The War of 1812



The War of 1812 was fought between American and British troops from 1812-1814. This second war with Great Britain was bought on by America’s annoyance that from the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783, Britain had failed to withdraw from American territory along the Great Lakes, Britain’s backing of the Indians on American frontiers and their unwillingness to stop the seizure of American ships during times of peace.

President Jefferson, in response, urged Congress to pass the Embargo Act of 1807. But since Jefferson himself had done much in his previous six years as President to decrease the size of America’s navy, America was helpless in their attempt to enforce the Embargo against Britain. These troubles continued between American and Britain until, after the Madison Administration received pressure from Congress, most notably, John Calhoun and Henry Clay, a Declaration of War was signed in 1812.

The first phase of the war did not go well for America. The above mentioned members of Congress pressed for an invasion of Canada but when this finally came to fruition, it did not go well and the desired results were not achieved. British troops marched into Washington D.C and burned the White House which was then referred to as the Executive Mansion and major repairs were needed.

However, major victories for the American forces, led by Andrew Jackson and more recently in the war, Thomas MacDonough at the Battle of Lake Champlain, helped turn the tide in favor of the Americans and it was

Fighting continued for several weeks after signing the treaty, including the Battle of New Orleans, because news of the treaty took time to reach North America. However, by terms of the treaty, the war was not officially over until ratifications were exchanged and the treaty proclaimed. The U.S. Senate unanimously advised ratification on February 16, 1815. President James Madison ratified the treaty on February 17 at which time the ratifications were exchanged. The treaty was proclaimed on February 18.






The village of Harveysburg has the honor of having had the first free Black School

built in the Northwest Territory. Dr. Jesse Harvey, with his wife Elizabeth Burgess Harvey was its first teacher built the school in 1831. In the fall just before the opening of the school,

Mr. Wall brought a number of bright young students of a mixed racial background to Harveysburg. Along with Mr. Wall’s children were other children which made the total number of pupils at overt two dozen. Mrs. Harvey was a housewife, and mother of three children. She taught in the Academy of Sciences for two years; Isaac Woodward taught the school until his death and again, Mrs. Harveysburg Quakers were highly criticized for an institution comprising of an all Black school. However, opinions changed when positive sentimentality toward the oppressed people and opposition to the slave owners seemed overwhelming.  With the new trend in tact, the Harveys were highly criticized for not having integrated schools. Dr. Harvey was the first to integrate by building a seminary in 1837 that included classes for black students as well as white. The school closed in 1845 and from it came the building for the Zion Baptist Church, an influential church in the community still to this day.

The Black school, customarily known as the East End School, operated from 1831 to 1906 as a one room school house, when it was merged with the other Harveysburg schools. The Harveysburg Historical Society had spent considerable time and money on the restoration of the building. Lucy McCarren said Wilberforce University showed considerable interest in the building as an extension of it its Black history center, but money was the deterrent.

This meager beginning was an important step in the attempt by African Americans to form their own schools and to compete in society for their own rights as educated men and women.