Slavery

How did slavery begin in America?

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February 19, 2014 2:47AM

In regard to North America, slavery began by accident. The

English Colonist arrived at Jamestown in 1607. They began importing

White endentured servants from England but as many as 50% of the

White servants died in the fields from disease or the harsh

conditions of the environment that were drastically different from

the cool and damp environment of England.

Virginia Governor George Argall supported piracy although it was

illegal. He commissioned the ship Treasurer to go to the West

Indies and pirate Portuguese and Spanish ships. In August 1619 the

Tresurer met up with the White Lion, an English ship flying a Dutch

flag, and they agreed to partner and attack ships.

The first ship thay attacked was the Sao Joa Bautista, a

Portuguese ship laden with enslaved Africans headed for Mexico. The

two ships mistook the slave ship for a merchant ship. After

capturiing the Bautista, they found their cargo to be Africans. So

the attack would not be futile they took 60 Africans and headed to

Virginina where the White Lion traded 20 and odd Negroes for food

at Point Comfort, today's Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA.

There would not be another slave ship landing in Virginia until

1628. During those first nine years the plantations that had

acquired the negroes reaped the benefits of free labor and

prospering tobacco crops to be sold in England. Slavery then began

to grow and by 1860 there were 4 million slaves in North America.

So what began as an accidental attack on a slave ship, led to

slavery in North America.


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