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Indentured Servants Brought to Old Point Comfort, Virginia

In August of 1619 the first 19 Africans arrived at Old Point Comfort, Virginia (today’s Hampton, Virginia) aboard the ship White Lion.

Three to four days later another ship, Treasurer arrived with more captured Africans, “28 or thirty negroes.”

The Africans are made indentured servants—not slaves.

Slavery is prohibited within the colony of Virginia by English rule of law.

The Africans after a prescribed period of indentured servitude were granted freedom and British subject hood. Their children, born in Virginia were freeborn Englishmen by law. Anthony Johnson was an early African who lived in Virginia.

Slave traders pointing at kidnapped African people on the shores of Jamestown

Portuguese Slave Ship Attacked

A Portuguese slave ship sailing from Angola to Veracruz, Mexico was attacked by a Dutch man-of-war and an English ship out of Jamestown. The two attacking ships captured about 50 enslaved persons—men, women, and children—and brought them to outposts of Jamestown, where more than 20 of the African captives were purchased.

Yeardley and Piersey Buy Slaves

Governor George Yeardley, with his head of trade Abraham Piersey, bought 20 odd Negroes at Point Comfort, Virginia.

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