Friday, August 10, 2012



JAMESTOWN -- They were known as the "20 and odd," the first African slaves to set foot in North America at the English colony settled in 1607. For nearly 400 years, historians believed they were transported to Virginia from the West Indies on a Dutch warship. Little else was known of the Africans, who left no trace. Now, new scholarship and transatlantic detective work have solved the puzzle of who they were and where their forced journey across the Atlantic Ocean began. The slaves were herded onto a Portuguese slave ship in Angola, in Southwest Africa. The ship was seized by British pirates on the high seas -- not brought to Virginia after a period of time in the Caribbean. The slaves represented one ethnic group, not many, as historians first believed. The discovery has tapped a rich vein of history that will go on public view next month at the Jamestown Settlement. The museum and living history program will commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown's founding by revamping the exhibits and artifacts -- as well as the story of the settlement itself. Although historians have thoroughly documented the direct slave trade from Africa starting in the 1700s, far less was known of the first blacks who arrived in Virginia and other colonies a century earlier. A story of memory and cultural connections between Africa and the early New World is being unearthed in a state whose plantation economy set the course for the Civil War. "We went entirely back to the drawing board," said Tom Davidson, senior curator of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. "The problem has always been that all of the things that make for a human story [of the Africans] were missing. . . . Now we can talk about the Africans with the same richness we talk about the English and the Powhatans." Behind him, an Angolan man was depicted stripping bark from a baobab tree in a re-created village featured in the museum's new 30,000-square-foot gallery, which will open Oct. 16. It's double the space of the previous one, to cover a long span of the 17th century and the African story, which was barely featured before. How the story of the charter generation of Africans in Virginia has come to life in a new $25 million museum wing is a tale of two scholars who helped connect two coasts of the Atlantic Ocean.

The early 1600s was a time of war and empire-building in Southwest Africa; Portuguese traders under the rule of the king of Spain had established the colony of Angola. The exporting of slaves to the Spanish New World was a profitable enterprise. The Portuguese waged war against the kingdoms of Ndongo and Kongo to the north, capturing and deporting thousands of men and women. They passed through a slave fortress at the port city of Luanda, still Angola's capital. At Jamestown, tobacco was on the verge of a boom after the British had failed at several industries. Indentured servants from England were common in the settlement, now close to 1,000 people strong. John Rolfe, Virginia's first tobacco planter and husband of the Indian princess Pocahontas, wrote the widely held account of the African landing in a letter to the Virginia Company of London. The captain of a Dutch warship that arrived in Jamestown in August 1619 "brought not any thing but 20 and odd Negroes, wch the Governor and Cape Marchant bought for victuale . . . at the best and easyest rate they could." Rolfe explained that the ship and another called the Treasurer had embarked from the West Indies. A retired University of California at Berkeley historian, Engel Sluiter, made a startling discovery in the Spanish national archives in the late 1990s as he did research for a book on Spanish America. A colonial shipping document he uncovered in an account book identified a Portuguese slave ship called the San Juan Bautista. About 350 slaves were bound for Veracruz, on the east coast of modern-day Mexico, when the ship was robbed of its human cargo off the coast of Mexico in 1619 by two unidentified pirate ships, the record said. Sluiter, who died in 2001, published his discovery in the William and Mary Quarterly. It caught the eye of John Thornton, an expert on the Portuguese colonies in Africa in the 16th and 17th centuries. The outlines of the other half of the story took shape. "I said, 'I can figure out how these people were enslaved,' " said Thornton, a Boston University professor who, with his wife, historian Linda Heywood, is publishing a book on the slave trade between Angola and the North American colonies. Previous scholarship has documented the slave trade from Ghana, Senegal and other parts of West Africa. "We know Angola was a big exporter of slaves to Brazil and the Spanish colonies, but now we know that they showed up here," Thornton said. Through records of a legal dispute between the pirate ships, Thornton identified the British vessels as the Treasurer and the White Lion, which was flying a Dutch flag. Each took 20 to 30 slaves before the San Juan Bautista continued to Veracruz.

They landed at Jamestown within four days of each other and traded the Africans for provisions. The Treasurer then sailed to Bermuda, dropping off more slaves, and returned to Virginia a few months later, trading the final nine or 10 more. Many Angolans followed -- not just to Virginia, but to New York and New England, say Thornton and Heywood, who are consultants to the Jamestown Settlement. Their research draws a portrait of the first Africans as urban people connected by common languages, who had had contact with Europeans for many years. Virginia's first Africans spoke Bantu languages called Kimbundu and Kikongo. Their homelands were the kingdoms of Ndongo and Kongo, regions of modern-day Angola and coastal regions of Congo. Both were conquered by the Portuguese in the 1500s. The Africans mined tar and rock salt, used shells as money and highly valued their children, holding initiation ceremonies to prepare them for adulthood. During the slave trade, the countries in Africa had different names and different borders. Keep this in mind when tracing the origin of African slaves in Virginia. Western African countries were the most common locations for slave-traders to go. This is because it is closer to the United States. Many of the intended slaves ended up in the Caribbean. Slave traders who dealt in Asia and Europe often went to Eastern Africa. The majority of African slaves in Virginia came from Mozambique. This is a country in South-eastern Africa, and is a former Portuguese colony. Nigeria had the next highest amount of slaves brought to Virginia. This is a fairly-large country is located in Western Africa, and British used to control it. Sierra Leone had the third highest amount of slaves. It is located in Western Africa, and was a British colony at the time of the slave trade. The prevalence of slaves from the Gold Coast was the next highest. This is technically a region of Africa, not a country. Ghana is the name used today. This is a former British colony that is located in Western Africa. The fifth highest was Congo. This is a Western African nation formerly ruled by the French. Senegal and Gambia were once combined into the former French/British colony, Senegambia. It was sixth highest in percentage of slaves brought to Virginia. Bight of Benin, a former African slave trade port, was another area where many slaves were taken from. Other areas include Madagascar, Windward Coast, Bight of Biafra, Ivory Coast, and Angola.

If you believe you are descended from an African slave, you could try doing genealogical investigation to figure out the specific area your ancestors came from. If any of your family members have already done genealogy tracing, you could ask to use their work for your family tree... ORIGINS OF VIRGINIA SLAVERY AKA THE CAPITALISTIC TOBACCO PRODUCTION AND SLAVE LABOR: The Origins of Slavery in Virginia The English did not immediately enslave the Native Americans when they arrived at Jamestown, nor did they bring slaves from Africa in the first years. For years a Dutch ship was credited with bringing the first slaves to Virginia in 1619. Latest scholarship indicates that two English pirate ships intercepted a Portuguese ship in the Gulf of Mexico, then transported slaves to Jamestown. The Portuguese ship had acquired a cargo of slaves in Angola, and was planning to sell them to Spanish in Mexico. (There is even some debate about the possibility that blacks arrived earlier). The concept of slavery was not a new one to the English. The Portuguese had been importing slaves from Africa for over a century, and the Spanish had enslaved the Indians in Central and South America to work the mines and to grow crops. John Smith had been a slave himself, after being captured by the Turks.1 (He claims that a beautiful woman helped him escape, a story that parallels his tale of Pocahontas.) However, the colony lacked a legal framework for slavery until 40 years after that date, and the great increase in the slave population did not start until 1700. Tobacco was a labor-intensive crop. Each slave or indentured servant working on a tobacco plantation may have processed 10,000 plants a year. That would require bending over 10,000 times to plant seeds, 10,000 times to dig seedlings from the early planting bed, 10,000 times to plant seedlings in a field.

As plantation agriculture spread up the Potomac River, the demand for field workers exceeded the supply of people in the colonies and England willing to do such work. The economic solution was to obtain laborers from another source - slaves from Africa, imported through the Caribbean islands as well as directly from that continent. In the 1660's, the demand for labor in Virginia exceeded the supply of indentured servants from England after the end of the civil war there. The Virginia colony revised its laws in that decade to establish that blacks could be kept in slavery permanently, generation after generation. An influx of slaves was spurred at the same time by a drop in the value of sugar grown on Caribbean islands, causing the planters there to sell their "property" to the tobacco farmers in Virginia.2 There is a continuing debate regarding whether racism against blacks preceded the adoption of a legal system upporting lifetime slavery in Virginia, or whether the practice of slavery triggered the colonists' racist attitudes. Blacks were not automatically slaves in the early colonial days. Some held property, married, and raised families outside the institution of slavery. In the 1660's, however, the government of the colony (not the officials in London...) established the legal framework for perpetual servitude based on color. "Every year between 1667 and 1672 the General assembly enacted legislation which increasingly defined a Virginian's status by skin color. Similar laws followed in 1680, 1682, and 1686. By the final decade of the seventeenth century, those characteristics most associated with the plantation society of the eighteenth century were already evident."3 Importing Slaves to Virginia The slave trade lasted almost 200 years, until the importation of slaves was officially prohibited in 1808 by Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution: The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person. Most Virginia slaves were apparently imported from the Caribbean islands, rather than shipped directly Africa. According to the acting governor in Virginia in 1680, "what negoes were brought to Virginia were imported generally from Barbados for it was very rare to have a negro ship come to this Country directly from Africa." 4 Angolan Americans are Americans of Angolan descent. According to estimates by 2000 there were 1.642 people descended from immigrants Angolans in the U.S. Angolan immigration in the United States began in the 17th century, 18th century and early 19th century, when many of the Angolans who were bought as slaves were exported to the United States. The slaves were stolen by English and Dutch pirates to previous owners, the Portuguese, when went out with the slaves of the Angolan port of Luanda. Angolan slavery in the United States had its stronghold between 1619 and 1650. Two of the Angolan tribes more prominent in the U.S. slavery was Ndongo and Mbundu.[1]. Thus, in states like Virginia or Maryland, the majority of slaves came from within the boundaries of the modern nation-states of Nigeria and Angola. Large-scale Angolan immigration to the United States began in the 1970s; they settled primarily in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Phoenix, and Chicago.[2] There are also some in Brockton, Massachusetts; they were attracted to the area by the presence of an already-established Cape Verdean community.[3]. This was due to Cape Verdeans speaking Portuguese as do many of the immigrants from Angola. Currently, most Americans of Angolans ancestries speak Portuguese and English. TIME LINE AND EXTRA INFO ON THE FIRST AFRICANS P.O.W.Z IN VIRGINIA Virginia's first Africans arrived at Point Comfort, on the James River, late in August 1619. There, "20. and odd Negroes" from the English ship White Lion were sold in exchange for food and some were transported to Jamestown, where they were sold again, likely into slavery. Historians have long believed these Africans to have come to Virginia from the Caribbean, but Spanish records suggest they had been captured in the Portuguese colony of Angola, in West Central Africa.

They probably were Kimbundu-speaking people from the kingdom of Ndongo, and many of them may have been urban dwellers with some knowledge of Christianity. While aboard the São João Bautista bound for Mexico, they were stolen by the White Lion and another English ship, the Treasurer. Once in Virginia, they were dispersed throughout the colony. The number of Virginia's Africans increased to thirty-two by 1620, but then dropped sharply by 1624, likely because of the effects of disease and the Second Anglo-Powhatan War (1622–1632). Evidence suggests that many were baptized and took Christian names, and some, like Anthony and Mary Johnson, won their freedom and bought land. By 1628, after a shipload of about 100 Angolans was sold in Virginia, the Africans' population jumped dramatically. Meanwhile, their experience in West Central Africa cultivating tobacco contributed greatly to the crop's success in the colony. Arrival Title: A Chain of Slaves travelling from the Interior Source: Library of Virginia More informationSometime in 1619, the Portuguese slave ship São João Bautista left the port city of São Paulo de Loanda in Portugal's West Central African colony of Angola and sailed for Vera Cruz, New Spain (present-day Mexico). The captain, Manuel Mendes da Cunha, carried with him 350 African slaves, 200 of whom were part of an asiento, or contract, with a slave dealer in Seville. When da Cunha arrived at Vera Cruz on August 30, however, he delivered only 147 slaves, including, according to Spanish records, twenty-four African boys who he at some point sold in Jamaica. Those same records indicate that da Cunha had been robbed off the coast of Campeche (also in present-day Mexico) by "English corsairs," or privateers. Those privateers were likely two ships. The White Lion sailed out of the port of Vlissingen (Flushing), Holland, and its captain, John Colyn Jope, bore a Dutch letter of marque, paperwork that allowed him, as a civilian, to attack and plunder Spanish ships. The English Treasurer also sailed out of Flushing and was partly owned by Virginia's deputy governor, Samuel Argall. (In 1612, Argall had sailed the Treasurer on what at the time was the fastest-ever voyage from England to Virginia.

In 1616, the ship delivered Pocahontas to England.) Its captain, Daniel Elfrith, also bore a letter of marque, his on the authority of Charles Emmanuel I, duke of Savoy, an independent duchy whose land has since been subsumed by present-day France and Italy. Working as a "consort," the two ships attacked the São João Bautista late in July or early in August 1619 and apparently robbed da Cunha of about 50 of his African slaves. (A large portion of the ship's Africans, perhaps as many as 150, probably died during the Atlantic crossing.) Title: Point Comfort Source: Library of Virginia More informationThe White Lion and the Treasurer immediately set sail for Virginia, where they hoped to sell their cargo. According to a letter written by the colony's secretary, John Rolfe, to the Virginia Company of London treasurer, Sir Edwin Sandys, the White Lion arrived first and landed at Point Comfort sometime late in August, having lost its "consort shipp" on the passage from the West Indies. Rolfe mistakenly described the ship as a "Dutch man of Warr," perhaps because it bore a Dutch letter of marque. "He brought not any thing but 20. and odd Negroes," Rolfe wrote, which the governor, Argall's successor Sir George Yeardley, and the cape merchant, Abraham Peirsey, "bought for victualle [food] … at the best and easyest rate they could." Some (or perhaps all) of the Africans were then transported to Jamestown and sold. The Treasurer arrived at Point Comfort three or four days later carrying between twenty-five and twenty-nine additional slaves. Although he apparently managed to sell some of his slaves, Captain Elfrith found that the residents of Kecoughtan (present-day Hampton) refused to sell supplies to him or his crew, perhaps because port officials knew that his letter of marque from the duke of Savoy was no longer valid. The duke had made peace with Spain, which meant that Captain Elfrith now could be accused of piracy, a legal complication the Virginia merchants may have wanted to avoid. Elfrith might have heard that Governor Yeardley had sent Secretary Rolfe, Lieutenant William Peirce, and a Mr. Ewens (probably William Ewens) to meet the Treasurer, and decided that he had better leave. Whatever the case, he was gone by the time the Virginia men arrived.

Title: The Summer Ils. Source: the Virginia Historical Society More informationElfrith sailed to the English colony at Bermuda, where, for 50,000 ears of corn, he sold fourteen of his Africans to acting governor Miles Kendall and his successor, Nathaniel Butler. Butler later told a superior that if not for the Africans, he would not have been able "to rayse one pound of Tobacco this year" to generate revenue. He added that "Thes[e] Slaves are the most proper and cheape instruments for this plantation." Origins The discovery by the historian Engel Sluiter of Spanish records linking the slaves sold in Virginia to the attack on the São João Bautista discredits earlier theories that the Africans had been bought in the Americas for resale. Instead, following the research of John K. Thornton, Virginia's first Africans may have been enslaved in the kingdom of Kongo, north of Angola; Title: Life in Seventeenth-Century Africa Source:, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the University of Virginia Library. More informationin territory to Angola's east; or in the region south of Angola, across the Kwanza River, where the Portuguese had been buying slaves since late in the sixteenth century. Most likely, though, they were captured from the nearby kingdom of Ndongo, where in 1618 and 1619 the governor of Angola, Luis Mendes de Vasconçelos, fighting alongside a ruthless African mercenary group called the Imbangala, led two campaigns against the kingdom's Kimbundu-speaking people. Thousands were captured and likely provided the cargo for six Portuguese slave ships from Angola that arrived in Vera Cruz between June 18, 1619, and June 21, 1620. The Ndongo people lived in densely populated cities—in 1564 the city of Angoleme seems to have had 20,000 to 30,000 residents living in 5,000 to 6,000 thatched houses—interspersed with rural areas where farmers tended livestock and raised crops such as millet and sorghum. As such, Ndongos did not fit what Thornton has called "the stereotyped, parochial image of Africans from precolonial villages." They may even have been Christians; many in the kingdom attended Mass conducted by Jesuit priests, and the Portuguese required that all slaves be baptized before they arrived in America. Title: African Slave Trade Source: Library of Virginia More informationIn the decades that followed, most slaves arriving in Virginia through the Portuguese slave trade were captured not by the Portuguese but by other Africans who sold them to the Europeans at markets. As a result, slaves suffering through the Middle Passage often hailed from different regions and villages, spoke different languages, and abided by different social, political, and religious customs. The Ndongos, by contrast, were captured more or less directly by the Portuguese and shared with one another a complex ethnic identity. That they also may have been Christians is, perhaps, ironic. A Virginia law, passed in 1670, defined as slaves-for-life all non-Christian servants brought to the colony "by shipping." Such servants were, almost without exception, Africans, suggesting an assumption on the part of lawmakers that Africans were, by definition, non-Christians. The law already precluded freedom through conversion, and in 1682 it expanded its description of slaves-for-life to include all non-Christian servants (in other words, Virginia Indians who were imported into the colony, in addition to Africans).

In this way, Christianity served as an early stand-in for racial identification. In the Colony Virginia's first muster, or census, was compiled in March 1620, at which time the population included 892 Europeans and, among "Others not Christians in the Service of the English," four Indians and thirty-two Africans. Fifteen of the Africans were male and seventeen were female. Although it is uncertain where the Africans lived, some probably resided at Jamestown in the households of Sir George Yeardley and Captain William Peirce, both of whom later were credited with having black servants. Title: The Massacre of the Settlers Source: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation More informationBy 1624, when the next muster was compiled, Virginia's African population had dropped to twenty-one. Some of the Africans probably had succumbed to the so-called seasoning process, whereby summertime diseases killed a majority of new residents during the colony's first few decades. For this reason, Virginia leaders periodically requested that ships carrying new servants arrive during the winter months, as opposed to August, when the White Lion landed. This allowed newcomers time to build up immunity before summer. Research by Darrett B. Rutman and Anita H. Rutman suggests that, even before their arrival in Virginia, the Africans may have been carrying Plasmodium falciparum, a blood parasite that transmits a virulent form of malaria. Their close contact with the European slave traders likely exposed them to other unfamiliar parasites and infectious diseases, and they would have been susceptible to the various agues and fevers common to the Chesapeake Bay region. And those Africans who did not die of disease may have died on March 22, 1622, when Virginia Indians led by Opechancanough attacked European settlements, killing as many as a quarter of the colony's inhabitants. Some of the twenty-one Africans listed in the 1624 muster had European names, suggesting that they had been baptized. This could have occurred prior to their leaving Africa, while they were in the Caribbean, or after they reached Virginia. Four of the eleven Africans living at Flowerdew Hundred Title: Tobacco Tamper Source: University of Virginia Special Collections, courtesy of the Flowerdew Hundred Foundation More information—a plantation on the upper reaches of the James River that leading merchant Abraham Peirsey had purchased from Governor Yeardley—were identified by name: Anthony, William, John, and another Anthony.

Three Africans resided at Jamestown, but only one was listed by name: a woman named Angelo belonging to William Peirce. An African named Edward lived in the Neck O'Land, the mainland behind Jamestown, and was part of the household headed by Richard Kingsmill, guardian of the late Reverend Richard Bucke's children. Peter, Antonio, Frances, and Margaret resided on the lower side of the James River at the PuritanEdward Bennett's plantation near the former Indian town of Warraskoyack, while Anthony and Isabella were members of Captain William Tucker's household in Elizabeth City (formerly Kecoughtan). One African was listed among the dead at West and Shirley Hundred, in the corporation of Charles City. The 1625 muster listed twenty-three Africans and a single Indian, all servants, who resided on plantations scattered from the mouth of the James to Flowerdew Hundred. As servants, they probably lived in houses separate from their European masters. And while the 1625 muster included, for most Europeans, the year in which they arrived and the ship on which they came, little such information was provided for Africans. Three male and five female Africans lived in Yeardley's household at Jamestown; at Flowerdew Hundred, there were four African men, two women, and a child. An African man named John Pedro lived in the household of Francis West, of Elizabeth City, and the same Edward from 1624 still lived with Richard Kingsmill at Neck O'Land. Captain Peirce's female African, Angelo, was said to have come to Virginia on the Treasurer in 1619. By 1625, Captain Tucker's Anthony and Isabella, in Elizabeth City, had produced a son, William; all three had been baptized. Among the African slaves owned by the Bennett family in 1625 was Antonio (also listed in 1624), who had arrived on the James in 1621. In March 1622, he was one of just a handful of people who managed to survive Opechancanough's attack on the plantation, and he eventually gained his freedom. At some point, Antonio wed a woman named Mary, who had come to Virginia in 1622 on the Margaret and John, and the two lived as Anthony and Mary Johnson in Northampton County on the Eastern Shore. There, they raised four children and by the 1650s owned 250 acres of land. Their two sons owned adjoining farms of 450 and 100 acres each before the whole family moved to Maryland, in the 1660s. Anthony Johnson's grandson, John Johnson Jr., purchased a 44-acre farm there in 1677 and named it Angola. Other Africans began to turn up in Virginia court records. On September 19, 1625, for instance, the General Court ordered Captain Nathaniel Bass to provide clothing for an African man named Brass (or Brase), who had come to Virginia with a Captain Jones and been sold to Captain Bass. The same decision awarded temporary custody of Brass to Lady Temperance Flowerdew Yeardley, the wife of Sir George Yeardley and a resident of Jamestown, who was then ordered to pay forty pounds of good tobacco per month for his labor "so long as he remayneth with her." It was a decision that both distinguished between African servitude and slavery, and put a price on the labor of an African male. On October 3, the court ruled again, this time transferring Brass to the custody of Governor Francis Wyatt and voiding the original sale Captain Jones had made to Captain Bass. By 1628, the African population in Virginia jumped dramatically when the ship Fortune, out of Massachusetts Bay, captured a Spanish slaver carrying about 100 Angolans, whom the captain sold in Virginia for tobacco. A muster planned for 1629 either did not take place or the records did not survive.

Contributions Title: Tobacco wrapper Source: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation More informationMany of the Africans brought to Virginia during the seventeenth century, like the urban dwellers of Ndongo, had led lives far from the fields and of some social distinction. Others, however, carried with them a specialized knowledge of agriculture and of tobacco production in particular. The Portuguese had introduced the crop to West and West Central Africa during the 1500s. Africans readily took to the habit of smoking and, over time, the practice gradually spread. In 1607, an English visitor to Sierra Leone noticed that it was planted near most of the houses. In 1620, another Englishman encountered people near the Gambia River who offered to trade tobacco and pipes for English goods. In Senegambia, women often raised tobacco in small family plots, while men typically grew large plots intended for trade. Tobacco was planted on the floodplain, after the corn harvest, and Africans knew that its characteristics depended on the soil in which it grew. The Africans' method of tilling the ground also readily transferred to Virginia. In West Africa, farmers practiced the same hoe-and-hill method of growing corn and tobacco that the early colonists had learned from the Indians. John Barbot, traveling in West Africa about 1680, noted that "two [African] men will dig as much land in a day, as one plow can turn over in England." Although tobacco and corn were not staple crops in West Africa, most African immigrants knew how to raise them. Their knowledge and skill would have been invaluable to Tidewater planters. Many of northern Senegambia's inhabitants were nomads who tended wandering herds of foraging livestock, usually cattle, sheep, and goats. Farther south, where rain was more abundant, settled people raised poultry and grew peas, beans, peanuts, rice, millet, sweet potatoes, cotton, and indigo. Others worked as fishermen, potters, weavers, blacksmiths, and leather-dressers, all skills that Virginia's first Africans contributed, against their will, to the colony. Time Line 1618–1619- Luis Mendes de Vasconçelos, governor of the Portuguese colony of Angola, in West Central Africa, leads campaigns against the kingdom of Ndongo, capturing thousands. These Africans likely provided the cargo for six slave ships from Angola that arrived in Mexico from June 1619 until June 1620. 1619- Sometime in the first half of the year, the Portuguese slave ship São João Bautista leaves the port city of São Paulo de Loanda in Portugal's West African colony of Angola and sails for Vera Cruz, New Spain (present-day Mexico). It carries a cargo of 350 African slaves.

–August 1619- Two English ships, the White Lion and the Treasurer, both sailing out of Flushing, Holland, intercept the Portuguese slaver São João Bautista off the coast of Campeche in present-day Mexico. After stealing fifty or so slaves, the ships sail to Virginia with the intention of selling them. Late August 1619- The White Lion, captained by John Colyn Jope, arrives at Point Comfort, where Jope sells "20. and odd Negroes" in exchange for food. These are the first Africans to enter the Virginia colony. Four days later, the Treasurer arrives and sells an unknown number of its slaves. August 30, 1619- Manuel Mendes da Cunha, captain of the Portuguese slave ship São João Bautista, arrives in Vera Cruz, New Spain (present-day Mexico), with only 147 slaves. He left Angola in West Central Africa with 350, but some were stolen off the coast of Campeche and transported to Virginia for sale. Others probably died en route. March 1620- Virginia's first muster, or census, is compiled and lists 892 Europeans and, among "Others not Christians in the Service of the English," four Indians and thirty-two Africans. Fifteen of the Africans are male and seventeen are female. 1621- An enslaved African named Antonio arrives in Virginia aboard the James. The following March, he will be one of only a handful of people who manage to survive an Indian attack on the plantation of Edward Bennett. 1622- An enslaved African woman named Mary arrives in Virginia aboard the Margaret and John. February 1624- The population of Europeans in the Virginia colony is 906. A muster, or census, lists twenty-one Africans, down from thirty-two in 1620. Twelve of the Africans are identified by name, suggesting they have been baptized. January 20–February 7, 1625- The population of Europeans in the Virginia colony is 1,232. A muster, or census, lists twenty-three Africans and one Indian, all of them servants. They live on plantations scattered from the mouth of the James River to Flowerdew Hundred. September 19, 1625- The General Court orders Captain Nathaniel Bass to provide clothing to an African man named Brass, whom he had bought from a Captain Jones. The same decision awards temporary custody of Brass to Lady Temperance Flowerdew Yeardley, who is ordered to pay forty pounds of good tobacco per month for his labor. October 3, 1625- The General Court revisits its ruling from September 19, transferring custody of an African man named Brass from Lady Temperance Flowerdew Yeardley to Governor Francis Wyatt. The court also voids the original sale of Brass by a Captain Jones to Captain Nathaniel Bass. 1628- The African population in Virginia rises dramatically when the ship Fortune, out of Massachusetts Bay, captures a Spanish slaver carrying about 100 Angolans, whom the captain sells in Virginia for tobacco. 1650s- By this time, Anthony and Mary Johnson, two former slaves, are living in Northampton County on the Eastern Shore, where they own 250 acres. Their two sons own adjoining farms of 450 and 100 acres each.

1660s- Anthony and Mary Johnson, both former slaves, and their two sons, all of whom own land on the Eastern Shore, move to Maryland. 1677- John Johnson Jr., whose grandfather Anthony was a Virginia slave who bought his freedom, buys a forty-four-acre farm in Maryland and names it Angola, suggesting the origin of his family.... WHERE MOST U.S. P.O.W.Z(SLAVEZ)AND THE COUNTRIEZ THEY CAME FROM: This question is difficult, because Africa during the slave trade did not have the same borders as today, or even have "countries". Also, much of the slave trade was illegal smuggling without records. However, colonial records do give us a rough idea. According to the table below, Nigeria and Angola were the source for most slaves in Virginia and South Carolina. However, the slaves could have been taken far inland and traded to the coasts. Note also that the two colonies got slaves from different sources. Other colonies probably also had different relations with companies and ships and therefore different sources. When African tribes and nations were at peace, they produced few slaves. When there were a lot of wars in an area, more slaves came from that area. In general, it is safe to say that U.S. slaves came from West Africa, mainly Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Senegambia, and Congo. Place of Origin Virginia 1710-1769 South Carolina 1733-1807 Senegambia 14.9 % 19.5 % Sierra Leone 5.3 % 6.8 % Windward Coast (Ivory Coast) 6.3 % 16.3 % Gold Coast (Ghana) 16.0 % 13.3 % Bight of Benin (Nigeria) -- -- 1.6 % Bight of Biafra (Nigeria) 37.7 % 2.1 % Angola (Congo too?) 15.7 % 39.6 % Mozambique/ Madagascar 4.1 % 0.7 % AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST A GREAT ARTICLE ON THIS TOPIC CALLED THE ANGOLA CONNECTION AND SLAVERY IN VIRGINIA CLICK THE LINK FOR GREAT HISTORY ON ANGOLANS AND NEW AFRIKAN VIRGINIANS: @Haki_Shakur twitter

1 comment:

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