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The Influence of Slavery on American University's Founding

A timeline of important events

Influence of Slavery

Timeline created by the AU Working Group on the Influence of Slavery in August 2018. It is organized into five categories:

  1. Bishop John Fletcher Hurst focuses on the founder of American University's personal life. [Color: Warm Blue]
  2. American University history depicts milestones in the founding of the university, as well as the history and ownership of the site of the University before its founding. [Color: Blue]
  3. Local events contextualizes relevant events in Maryland and the District of Columbia in tandem with events in the Hurst and American University categories. [Color: Gray]
  4. National events contextualizes relevant national events in tandem with events in the Hurst and American University categories. [Color: Slate]
  5. Methodist Church category contextualizes relevant events of the Church's history in tandem with events in the Hurst and American University categories. [Color: Light Blue]

American University was founded in 1893 after efforts led by Bishop John Fletcher Hurst

African slavery in the future United States begins with the arrival of around 20 African slaves in Jamestown, Virginia colony.

Maryland legalizes slavery with "an Act Concerning Negroes & other Slaues" [sic] during the Maryland General Assembly in 1663-1664.

Piscataway Indians inhabit the Potomac Valley, including the Tenleytown area, historically through the 1690s.

In 1713, the “Friendship tract” is granted by Charles Calvert to Colonel Thomas Addison and James A. Stoddert, the southern part of which becomes the site of American University.

John Murdock, whose relatives married into the Addison family and inherited the land, builds Friendship house (current site of the President’s house), the first substantive country manor in the area. Murdock inherited from Anthony Addison who at the time of his death had “20 Negroes” who would have worked the tobacco farm; however, it is not clear if anyone was living on the property itself aside from treating the home as a “country house.” Historically this land was owned by slave owning families and had their slaves working the land.

The Wesleyan Methodist movement introduced to North America in 1766 by Irish immigrants near Strawbridge, Maryland.

The 13 colonies declare independence from Great Britain and engage in the American Revolutionary War as the United States of America.

At Christmas Conference at Lovely Lane Church in Baltimore, Maryland, the Methodist Episcopal Church (ME Church) is founded. Francis Asbury named first Bishop.

The Rule of the 1784 Discipline is suspended for a time for “practical” reasons, with the caveat: “We do hold in the deepest abhorrence the practice of Slavery, and shall not cease to seek its destruction, by all wise and prudent means.”

The U.S. Constitution is ratified and includes the Three-Fifths Compromise, found in Article 1, Section 2, which counted slaves as three-fifths of a person.