Early Chicago, 1833–1871
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives

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March 23, 1863

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Under the Consolidation Act for Chicago Ordinances which took effect on February 13, 1863, schools in the city were to be segregated. The part of that act which related to schools for blacks read, "It shall be the duty of the common council and board of education to provide one or more schools for the instruction of negro and mulatto children, to be kept in a separate building to be provided for that purpose, at which colored pupils, between the ages of five and twenty-one years, residing in any school district in said city, shall be allowed to attend; and hereafter it shall not be lawful for such pupils to attend any public schools in the city of Chicago, at which white children are taught, after a school for the instruction of negro and mulatto children has been provided." Document 42 conformed with state law and stipulated that the school for blacks would be in the South Division where a majority of black Chicago residents lived. Although most Chicago citizens opposed slavery, black freedom but not equality was the prevalent sentiment.

Points to Consider

Where did most blacks live in Chicago in 1863?

Why was this order passed?

What Supreme Court ruling in 1954 would outlaw this order?

How does this document reflect any difference of opinion between Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln?

See Related Document:

18, 19, 22, and 33
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