Monday, July 6, 2015

Who Was the First Slave Owner?


sue hanes said...

Joe - Who'd have thought.

Myth Debunked said...

Was the First American Slave Owner in America a Black Man?

This image claiming that the first slave owner in America was a black man is going around social media for the last few months, and we decided to check the facts on this. I took some assumptions on the meanings of some of it, like I assumed that by America, it had meant the British Colonies, which became the United States (since this predates the formation of the US). Our findings is that Anthony Johnson was in fact a black man that owned slaves, but to call him the first slave owner in America would be a stretch. If anything he owned the first slave declared a slave in a civil court of law. There were however legally declared slaves for at least 15 years before him.

John Casor wasn’t the first slave in America and Anthony Johnson wasn’t the first slave owner, slaves had been in America since 1619 When the first 20 Africans were sold to the Jamestown Virginia Colony by a Dutch man of war [1]. The Case actually makes no mention of John Casor being declared a slave for life. He did however stay with Johnson and his family until he died, so you could say he was a servant for life.

15 years earlier in 1640, John Punch (owned by Hugh Gwyn, a white man) was the first man documented as a slave in the Virginia Colony, sentenced to life in servitude for attempting to escape his indenture. On July 9, 1640, members of the General Court decided the punishment for three servants-a Dutchman, a Scotsman, and an African-who ran away from their master as a group. The proceedings reveal an example of interracial cooperation among servants at a time when the colony’s leaders were starting to create legal differences between Europeans and Africans. John Punch became the first African to be a slave for life by law in Virginia.

Technically Sir George Yeardley (White British aristocrat) was Governor of Virginia in 1619 and according to 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.”

Which would make him the first slave owner in America.

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Dave Miller said...

Myth... debunking what Joe posts here are met with pithy statements, derision, and differing opinion, without any historical links, backup or evidence.

Good response though...

Ducky's here said...

Joe, what's your point?

White America is off the hook for the slavery misunderstanding.

This is as compelling as pointing out that black slaves served in the army of the Confederacy.
Yeah, those darkies sure loved massah.

But again, what's the point?
Does this have something to do with blacks misinterpreting the benign symbol of the Confederate Battle Flag?

Weak tea, Joe.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I think that the first slave must have been Oprah

Anonymous said...

What a Prick you are.