African American History Timeline

Abolition of slavery celebration, Washington D.C., April 19, 1866
Public domain illustration by Frederick Dielman, Courtesy Library of Congress (00651116)
wdt_ID Era Year Events Subject Country State
1 1492-1600 1492 Christopher Columbus makes his first voyage to the New World opening a vast new empire for plantation slavery. Exploration and Discovery The Bahamas
2 1492-1600 1494 The first Africans arrive in Hispaniola with Christopher Columbus. They are free persons. Africans in the New World Dominican Republic
3 1492-1600 1501 The Spanish king allows the introduction of enslaved Africans into Spain's American colonies. Spanish Slavery Spain
4 1492-1600 1511 The first enslaved Africans arrive in Hispaniola. Spanish Slavery Dominican Republic
5 1492-1600 1513 Thirty Africans accompany Vasco Nunez de Balboa on his trip to the Pacific Ocean. Exploration and Discovery Panama
6 1492-1600 1517 Bishop Bartolome de Las Casas petitions Spain to allow the importation of twelve enslaved Africans for each household immigrating to America's Spanish colonies. De Las Casas later regrets his actions and becomes an opponent of slavery. Spanish Slavery Mexico
7 1492-1600 1518 King Charles I of Spain grants the first licenses to import enslaved Africans to the Americas. Spanish Slavery Spain
8 1492-1600 1518 The first shipload of enslaved Africans directly from Africa arrives in the West Indies. Prior to this time, Africans were brought first to Europe. Spanish Slavery Dominican Republic
9 1492-1600 1519 Hernan Cortez begins conquest of the Aztec Empire. Colonial Conquest Mexico
10 1492-1600 1520 Enslaved Africans are used as laborers in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico. Spanish Slavery Puerto Rico
Era Year Events Subject Country State