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In 1619, a Dutch ship tied up at the colony of Jamestown in Virginia. The captain paid for some tobacco and food it took aboard with about 20 black African captives. The “slaves” were probably seized as a prize from a slave trader bound for the Spanish West Indies. The popular theory has been that the blacks became “indentured servants,” like white settlers who could not afford passage to the colonies. There is no record of this in the papers dealing with Virginia or Jamestown. The word “slave” did not appear in records of Virginia until 1656 and laws dealing with “slaves” did not appear until the 1660s.

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16y ago
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10y ago

Native Americans were the first slaves in the New World. It was very difficult to keep them under control and it was impossible to retrieve them if they ran away (they knew the land much better than the colonists).

So, the colonists began to capture Natives and trade them for African slaves. Native Americans who were traded found themselves in Europe, Asia, and Africa

This is only partially true, the first slaves were indentured peoples mostly children from Ireland and England (orphans). As in the case of most accounts of history poor people are not represented. Some other Europeans were given a lift to the new world in exchange for work( indentured). This period was supposed to be seven years, most were never released before their deaths. Most Black slaves actually came from the over populated West Indies, not Africa. Children and the Irish were much cheaper than Africans. It was not until the late 17th and 18th century that Africans first came to America. The actual numbers were far greater for Caucasian and Native Americans than were blacks when it came to slavery. The myth of the indentured servant is just that. The American West was built on the bodies of the Irish not the coolies of China or the Slaves of Africa. Fact,there were very few blacks in the west until after the civil war.

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12y ago

Africans

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Q: Who were the first slaves in North America?
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