Before the Civil war began slaves were very cheap. They were shipped in ships that stuck as many slaves as possible in the below-decks where they put storage. Once they were at the docks of a colony they either marched across land and into a slave auction house or went to one on the harbor. There were so many slaves bought and so many slaves born into slavery, that some plantation owners thought of freeing their slaves, but all thought of that was abandoned when the cotton gin was invented. Before it had been invented it was hard, unsuccessful work that didn’t pay very well. With the invention of the cotton gin, the machine separated the tangled fibers for you! Before, the slaves had to do that themselves with their hands, it was hot sticky work, and not very fast. Slaves were suddenly in demand again. Slave merchants got back their jobs, and everybody tried to get a cotton gin and plantation. The Underground Railroad started up, and began helping slaves to the free states. Most stayed in the free states, but some went back and helped more slaves back to the free states. People had been trying to stop slavery for some time, mostly people who did not own slaves. Finally someone figured it out, Henry Clay, he negotiated the Missouri Compromise. A treaty saying that any states past Missouri’s boarder would be a free state. Soon after that two territories became states, Kansas and Nebraska. Everybody assumed that Kansas would become a slave state, but the Missouri Compromise was still in place, so they held a council about it. They decided to repeal the Missouri Compromise. The free states were furious! They elected Abraham Lincoln as president, South Carolina was so angry that they attacked Fort Sumter which marked the beginning of the Civil war. The free states had most of the advantages. The biggest battle of the war was the battle of Gettysburg. After the battle General Lee surrendered at Appomattox court house in Virginia. After Lee surrendered Lincoln was assassinated at a theater when he was making a surprise appearance.