1619 – The First Africans In Virginia And The Making Of Virginia

The history of Virginia’s first Africans

“America was not built for black people, it was built by back people. We have no roots in these trees, only our blood on the leaves.”

The history of the first Africans in Virginia

Virginia’s first Africans arrived at Point Comfort, on the James River, late in August 1619. There, “20 and odd Negroes” or more from the English ship White Lion were sold in exchange for food and some were transported to Jamestown, where they were sold again. Three or four days later another English ship, the Treasurer, arrived in Virginia, where its captain sold two or three additional Africans. Historians have long believed these Africans to have come to Virginia from the Caribbean, but Spanish records suggest they had been captured in a Spanish-controlled area of West Central Africa. They probably were Kimbundu-speaking people, and many of them may have had at least some knowledge of Catholicism. While aboard the São João Bautista bound for Mexico, they were stolen by the White Lion and the Treasurer. Once in Virginia, they were dispersed throughout the colony. The number of Africans in Virginia increased to

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