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Africans at Jamestown

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D J Thornton
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:58 am

Africans at Jamestown

Postby D J Thornton » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:11 am

African Americans at Jamestown
Some Melungeon families trace their Ancestry to this group. 2 families that are researched are Anthony Johnson and Edward Mazingo. I am interested in the related families. Some of these people are mist likely Portuguese and/or African mixed. It is quite a story. Will post more on this thread.

http://www.nps.gov/jame/learn/historycu ... estown.htm

The first documented arrival of Africans to the colony of Virginia was recorded by John Rolfe: "About the latter end of August, a Dutch man of Warr of the burden of a 160 tunes arrived at Point-Comfort, the Comandors name Capt Jope, his Pilott for the West Indies one Mr Marmaduke an Englishman. … He brought not any thing but 20. and odd Negroes, w[hich] the Governo[r] and Cape Merchant bought for victuall[s]. The year was 1619, and as an institution slavery did not yet exist in Virginia. Slavery as we know it today, evolved gradually, beginning with customs rather than laws. To further shed light on how this institution evolved legally, from indentured servitude to life long servitude, the following laws and/or facts are given as well as other sources on 17th century servitude among Blacks in Virginia.

1619 Arrival of "20 and odd" Africans in late August 1619, not aboard a Dutch ship as reported by John Rolfe, but an English warship, White Lion, sailing with a letters of marque issued to the English Captain Jope by the Protestant Dutch Prince Maurice, son of William of Orange. A letters of marque legally permitted the White Lion to sail as a privateer attacking any Spanish or Portuguese ships it encountered. The 20 and odd Africans were captives removed from the Portuguese slave ship, San Juan Bautista, following an encounter the ship had with the White Lion and her consort, the Treasurer, another English ship, while attempting to deliver its African prisoners to Mexico. Rolfe's reporting the White Lion as a Dutch warship was a clever ruse to transfer blame away from the English for piracy of the slave ship to the Dutch.

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