On August 20, 1619, “20 and odd” Angolans, kidnapped by the Portuguese, arrive in the British colony of Virginia and are then bought by English colonists. The arrival of enslaved Africans in the New World marks the beginning of two and a half centuries of slavery in North America.

Founded at Jamestown in 1607, the Virginia Colony was home to about 700 people by 1619. The first enslaved Africans to arrive in Virginia disembarked at Point Comfort, in what is today known as Fort Monroe. Most of their names, as well as the exact number who remained at Point Comfort, have been lost to history, but much is known about their journey.

They were originally kidnapped by Portuguese colonial forces, who sent captured members of the native Kongo and Ndongo kingdoms on a forced march to the port of Luanda, the capital of modern-day Angola. From there, they were ordered on the ship San Juan Bautista, which set sail for Veracruz in the colony of New Spain.

As was quite common, about 150 of the 350 captives aboard the ship died during the crossing. Then, as it approached its destination, the ship was attacked by two privateer ships, the White Lion and the Treasurer.

Crews from the two ships kidnapped up to 60 of the Bautista’s enslaved people. It was the White Lion that docked at Virginia Colony’s Point Comfort and traded some of the prisoners for food on August 20, 1619.

WATCH: The Middle Passage on HISTORY Vault 

Scholars note that the arrivals were technically sold as indentured servants. Indentured servants agreed, or in many cases were forced, to work with no pay for a set amount of time, often to pay off debt, and could legally expect to become free at the end of the contract. Many Europeans who arrived in the Americas came as indentured servants.

Despite this classification—and records that indicate that some of them did eventually obtain their freedom—it is clear that the Africans arriving at Point Comfort in 1619 were forced into servitude and that they fit the Universal Declaration of Human Rights definition of enslaved peoples.

The arrival at Point Comfort marked a new chapter in the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which began in the early 1500s and continued into the mid-1800s. The trade uprooted roughly 12 million Africans, depositing roughly 5 million in Brazil and over 3 million in the Caribbean.

Though the number of Africans brought to mainland North America was relatively small—roughly 400,000—their labor and that of their descendants were crucial to the economies of the British colonies and, later, the United States.

READ MORE: How Slavery Became the Economic Engine of the South

Two of the Africans who arrived aboard the White Lion, Antonio and Isabella, became “servants” of Captain William Tucker, commander of Point Comfort. Their son William is the first known African child to have been born in America, and under the law of the time, he was born a freeman. In the coming decades, however, slavery became codified.

Servants of African origin were oftentimes forced to continue working after the end of their contract, and in 1640 a Virginia court sentenced rebellious servant John Punch to a lifetime of slavery. With fewer white indentured servants arriving from England, a racial caste system developed, and African servants were increasingly held for life. In 1662, a Virginia court ruled that children born to enslaved mothers were the property of the mother’s owner.

As cash crops like tobacco, cotton, and sugar became pillars of the colonial economy, slavery became its engine. Though the slave trade was outlawed in 1807, chattel slavery and the plantation economy it made possible to flourish in the South. The 1860 census found that there were 3,953,760 enslaved people in the United States, making up roughly 13 percent of the total population.

The conflict between abolitionists and those who wanted to preserve and spread slavery was a major catalyst in the outbreak of the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln formally freed enslaved people in the South with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, although it was not until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 that slavery was formally abolished in the United States.

In the end, 246 brutal years of slavery had an incalculable effect on American society. It would take another century after the Civil War for racial segregation to be declared unconstitutional, but the end of state-sanctioned racism was by no means the end of racism and discrimination in America. Because it became a crucial part of the culture and economy of early America after its introduction in Jamestown, slavery is often referred to as the nation’s “original sin.”

SOURCEHistory.com

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Alfredo August 20, 2022 at 11:07 am…….

    Perfectly correct.

    “AS ALWAYS…BIASED STORY. The black Africans bought by the “Potuguese” slavers (who were Jews, it is documented) were sold in the ports by other blacks. In the fights between black tribes in the interior of Africa, the winning side enslaved the losers and sold them to the owners of the ships in the port. And the blacks themselves enslaved the vanquished for their profit, – while the majority were sold to the whites…”

    WTF is all this non-sense about whites v blacks……
    (((fith)))….(((filth)))…and more *ckin (((filth)….
    the “chosen”….
    Vomit doesnt begin to describe them.

  2. Imre Tihanyi….”owned by Sephardim Jews”…
    your post is spot-on.
    i would add…the “blacks” that were captured in “darkest Africa”…who do you think dragged them to the jewish ships….for sale!!….Other Black Africans dragged them to the ports.
    Fortunately upon arrival they were treated with more respect than where they left.
    Because they had Value.
    The white landowners…probably (((filth)))….*ucked the black women and had children….
    So now USA has an American African contingent…that has representation.
    Look at Africa today…it is still the cesspit of “humanity”…all gasping to migrate.
    Personally…I want to re-colonize Africa…but lets do it properly next time.

  3. Don’t forget the first Slaves in the Western Hemisphere were the IRISH, who worked in Barbados on Sugar Cain Plantations, owned by Sephardim Jews in the Dutch west Indies, around the first part of the 17th century! The Jews had trouble keeping the Irish in line, enslaved, so after a half a century they switched to African Slaves who were more ‘docile’ easier to keep in line! This historical fact is hidden from the general public!

  4. [” The Reader Adair Brion is right, as the other readers2. The SLAVERY-BUSINESS was found way earlier, there is no time window to fix. For our momentarily History and Jurisdiction the brutal SLAVERY-BUSINESS was found by the Roman Empire, supported by the FREEMASONS already with the CAPITAL-LETTERS !!! S.P.Q.R Senatus Populusque Romanorum. the key is the word “que” which means, the Senat of the People=Plebs of Rome, which is today named as UNITED STATES INC of America, or Federal Republic of GERMANY Inc. GOVERNMENT DU CANADA, which means by facts, a PRIVATE COMMERCIAL INC. controls their Nations Folks via the FREEMASONS and ZIONISM-BANKSTERS-FAMILIES and under the hand of ROM, the VATICAN-STATE CORP….however: Matth.6:24: nobody can serve two Masters, God OR LORD-LORDSHIP. So the SENAT of Rome created the SERVI=SLAVE=THING=Person=PERSON. So the admost profitable TRADEPRODUCTS of the CORPORATIONS up today, which called them STATE of…NATION of… a.s.o.. So, in all their TERMS of CONDITIONS you find the §§, that the PRODUCT Person; PERSON belongs to the CORP. So, with your signature under all CONTRACTS from BIRTH-CERTIFICATE-via PASS-PORT, now the CERTIFICATE of VACCINATION IDentification CONTRACT, called CoVID19, LICENSES all sort off and s.o, the :man or the :maid, have sold their RIGHTS to be sovereign, a living being”]….

  5. [“..ii)..THE MOTHER DELIVERS THE BABY !! From the HIGH SEA via the PASS-PORT into a DOCing-STATION into the JURSIDICTION of the LAND-LORD, controlled by the SEA and ROMAN CANON LAW. THESE CONTRACTS are everyday renewed by your signatures, be traded at their MARKETS for Billions, parked on the Dep.of the Treasury. It starts with the BIRTHCERTIFICATE = OBLIGATION = BOND=ACCOUNTS at the DEP.of the Treasury, than the PASS-PORT, than the ID-CARD, all kind of LICENSES, an now the TopCoronae of the SLAVERY : the CERTIFICATE of VACCINATION IDETIFICATION No = SOCIAL-CREDIT-ACCOUNT-BOND, called CoVID19 correctly. But why “ 19” ?? in the year 19 AD there was an abrupt interruption of the peaceful coexistence between the Romans in Rome and the immigrant Jews. What is certain, however, is that under Emperor Tiberius in 19 AD the Jews were expelled from the city of Rome and 4000 of them were conscripted into military service. Divoc, hebrew: SEPARATION. Others were sacrificed in the colosseums as Entertainment objects. So follow the hundred year ladder to 2019, what world events unfolded, with grave consequences for humanity. And all coordinated and sworn in by the FREEMASONS and their LORDS, ISIS-AMUN RA and EL BA’AL = SATAN-based on KING NIMROD, the First FREEMASON. Now you begin to think about everything. Do the same with the 17 up to 2017 CONTRACTYEARS !!!! follow the History and you will see, what happened and will be….the TRANSHUMANISM SLAVERY smartPERSON. TrackThePack”]…

  6. [“ iii)… The PRODUCTMODIFICATION. What you guess was the 4th of July 1776 or was it MDCCLXXVI?? Independence Day or DEPENDENCE DAY and the Year of the JESUITBROTHER ADAM WEISHAUPT who took over America?? Today the totalitarian modernisation by PRODUCT-MODIFICATION via all these injected PATENTS and LICENSES into the PRODUCT BODY=PERSON=Person=SLAVE=SERVI, signed by CONTRACTS of the Plebs=Human Being, is the smart-nasa-divoc-Businesses ( nasa=hebrew: to deceive; divoc=Separation; smart=secret-militarized armaments in residential technologies, to take totally possession of all Human Beings and their God-given-rights to rob the Humanity, which means our God = Spirit, Soul, free-will and free-live. So if anyone today claims that transcontinental SKLAVE TRADE is history, he may be labelled a complete idiot and a complete fool without feeling guilty. See UN2001 REPLACEMENT MIGRTATION PLAN, DEPOPULATION PLAN, HOOTON-KAUFMAN PLAN, MORGENTHAU PLAN, all WEF-Inc. AGENDAS, read the jisraelian-babylonian Talmud-Tanach, read BARUCH, HERZL, HUNTINGTION with his book: >>The Clash of Civilisation<>MIGRAION-WEAPON<<…. Today's modernised SLAVE-TRADE is pure private illuminated Zionist extended family commerce in their trading zones and Cartel-areas and the 1o Terms of Conditions of the Georgia Guidestones are more vivid than ever, even if the stones to it as a show of destruction provided distraction and entertainment here. “]

  7. I find it noteworthy that in 1860 the percentage of slaves was at 13%, the very near equivalent of blacks in society (13%) in 1960, now and projected in 2060. A provable demographic. I can’t imagine that this is due to sickle cell anemia or any combination of diseases known mainly to the black population. The Hispanic demographic is soaring largely due to the fact that they tend to live longer than whites. Why does the black demographic stay relatively static? It’s been the same for >1.5 centuries.

  8. What a load of BS. Slavery had been going on America long before 1619. Columbus was enslaving the indigenous population upon his arrival to the “New World” in 1492 that wasn’t so “new” according to anthropological records uncovered by Charles Mann in his seminal book 1491 which is probably better reading than this politicized horse manure.

    • So much bs in one place.

      “They were originally kidnapped by Portuguese colonial forces” No mention of african tribes selling each other into slavery.

      “their labor and that of their descendants were crucial to the economies of the British colonies and, later, the United States.”

      They did little more than to make a few big plantation owners rich. The fact that the south relied on manual labor instead of industrializing like the north resulted in the south being economically stunted to this very day, compared to northern states.

      I’m sick of people trying to give so much credit to such a small group of people. 13% of the population (or less, when you consider the elderly) is nothing in terms of a workforce, nothing. Yet we keep promoting the myth that they enriched all western nations.

      Further, if they were so productive, then why do they absorb (and have always absorbed) far more government goodies compared to the larger populations?

      Why do we rarely ever hear of feudal systems and indentured servitude? Why do we no longer hear about how poor the US was prior to WWII?

  9. THIS IS ALL ANCIENT HISTORY. FROM ANOTHER TIME, WITH OTHER PEOPLE. None of those people is alive today, and none of us is responsible for it. And if we commit the stupidity of feeling guilty, allowing black people today to “victimize” themselves for it, using the presumed “guilt” (nonexistent), to live without working, and claiming privileges, then we are assholes. Go to work n *igga**!, as do most of your race, who study and prosper in the USA..- Like Alexis, for example –

  10. AS ALWAYS…BIASED STORY. The black Africans bought by the “Potuguese” slavers (who were Jews, it is documented) were sold in the ports by other blacks. In the fights between black tribes in the interior of Africa, the winning side enslaved the losers and sold them to the owners of the ships in the port. And the blacks themselves enslaved the vanquished for their profit, – while the majority were sold to the whites. And what about the white slaves of the Arabs? (white Europeans) That lasted for almost 300 years. And the white slaves of the whites, Rome for example, who enslaved white inhabitants of thousands of European towns that they conquered, taking their wealth and slaves to Rome? Remember the slave trade was a business mainly for Jews (owners of the ships, just as pornography is today. STUDY A LITTLE MORE…. READ, INFORM YOURSELF.

  11. This was a sad day for America. Over the four centuries, the descendants of those Angolans have been a tremendous drag on our society. We have Black Americans, who get an education, get a job, work for their keep, marry their spouse, support their family, and love and support America. Then, we have the other class of Blacks who do none of these things, and for the most part, live on the public dole and/or criminal activities. And even then, they are not satisfied, but continually scream, protest, demonstrate, and raise hell, wanting more free stuff. Statistics show that young Black men comprise about 13% of our society, but commit something like 80% of the violent crime in America. And there is no relief in sight. Thanks to Obama and the Democrats, and their Liberal judges and prosecutors, the situation will only get worse. Reparations for slavery is their battle cry, and many White Americans actually think they deserve it from federal tax monies.

  12. Of note, slavery in England was made illegal around 1650 or so, (indentured servants not) but was perfectly legal in the american colones.
    Just weeks before the 1776 american revolution (as long as it took to get a decree across the ocean) England decided to make slavery illegal in the american colonies.
    THIS caused the revolutionary war,