The Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery north of latitude 36°30' north except in Missouri, which was admitted to the Union as a slave state while Maine (up to then part of Massachusetts) was admitted as a free state.
In Kansas, pro-slavery delegates drafted the Lecompton Constitution, a pro-slavery document that created great debate about Kansas’s future. It was ultimately rejected but prompted turmoil in the territory.
David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World, a radical pamphlet that attacked slavery and the colonization movement, was published in Boston. It called for the abolition of slavery by any means.
Congress adopted the Compromise of 1850, which admitted California to the Union as a free state without forbidding slavery in other territories acquired from Mexico. The law prohibited the sale of slaves in Washington, DC, but included a strict law requiring the return of runaway slaves to slaveholders.
Denmark Vesey, a former slave who had purchased his freedom after winning a lottery, organized an insurrection in Charleston, South Carolina, in May 1822. After several slaves informed their masters of the plot, 131 blacks were arrested and thirty-five hanged.