History Of Slavery


Hispaniolas First Slaves


The very first black slaves were brought into Hispaniola

Slave Revolts

1520 - 1540

There were slave revolts in Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Santa Marta, and what is now Panama. Shortly after those rebellions, the Spanish established a special police for chasing fugitive slaves.

Secretary Of Venice Writes to Italian Merchants


Ramusio, secretary to the rulers in Venice, wrote to the Italian merchants: "Let them go and do business with the King of Timbuktu and Mali and there is no doubt that they will be well-received there with their ships and their goods and treated well, and granted the favours that they ask..."

Starving Time

1609 - 1610

Five Hundred Colonist where brought down to sixty.

Enslavement By Church Doctrine


A Catholic priest in the Americas named Father Sandoval wrote back to a church functionary in Europe to ask if the capture, transport, and enslavement of African blacks was legal by church doctrine.

Cargo Ship


Colonist learn to grow tobacco and send first cargo ship to England.

Ship Arrives North America


Ship brings 20 slaves to Jamestown.

One Million Slaves


A million blacks had already been brought from Africa to South America and the Caribbean, to the Portuguese and Spanish colonies, to work as slaves.

The Virginia House of Burgesses


The Virginia House of Burgesses was created as the first representative assembly in America.

Start of the Massachusetts Bay Colony


The governor, John Winthrop, declared the philosophy of the rulers: "... in all times some must be rich, some poore, some highe and eminent in power and dignitie; others meane and in subjection."

Court Orders Beating to white man


A white man named Hugh Davis was ordered "to be soundly whipt... for abusing himself... by defiling his body in lying with a Negro."

First American Slave Ship


Some Americans in New England entered the business, and in 1637 the first American slave ship, the Desire, sailed from Marblehead. Its holds were partitioned into racks, 2 feet by 6 feet, with leg irons and bars.

Gun Law Passed


"all persons except Negroes" were to get arms and ammunition—probably to fight off Indians.

First lockout in American labor history


Took place when the authorities told a group of troublesome shipwrights they could not "worke a stroke of worke more."

Negro Woman Gives Birth to White Man Child


Negro woman servant who begot a child by Robert Sweat, a white man. The court ruled "that the said negro woman shall be whipt at the whipping post and the said Sweat shall tomorrow in the forenoon do public penance for his offense at James citychurch..."

Five revolts against the proprietor

1650 - 1689

The Fundamental Constitutions were written

1660 - 1670

The Fundamental Constitutions were written by John Locke, his constitution set up a feudal-type aristocracy, in which eight barons would own 40 percent of the colony's land, and only a baron could be governor.

Rebellious Statites


Statutes for controlling rebellious slaves were passed.

A Master was Convicted of Raping


A master was convicted of raping two women servants. He also was known to beat his own wife and children; he had whipped and chained another servant until he died. The master was berated by the court, but specifically cleared on the rape charge, despite overwhelming evidence.

White Servant Law Passed


A law was passed in Virginia that "in case any English servant shall run away in company of any Negroes" he would have to give special service for extra years to the master of the runaway Negro.

Governor Flees Burning Capital Building


Virginia colony faced a rebellion of white frontiersmen, joined by slaves and servants, a rebellion so threatening that the governor had to flee the burning capital of Jamestown.

Petition of Deer-field


"You may be pleased to know that the very principle and best of the land; the best for soile; the best for situation; as laying in ye center and midle of the town: and as to quantity, nere half, belongs unto eight or nine proprietors. ..."

Guinea Coast


"very civil and good-natured people, easy to be dealt with, condescending to what Europeans require of them in a civil way, and very ready to return double the presents we make them."

Lack of white men to superintend our negroes


White Man Massacre Plot


In Virginia the colony's Northern Neck, a plot was discovered in which slaves planned to kill all the whites in the area and escape during a mass funeral.

Dutch set up patroonship system along the Hudson River


With enormous landed estates, where the barons controlled completely the lives of their tenants, many of the grievances of the poor were mixed up in the farmers' revolt of Jacob Leisler and his group.

Black slaves were 8 percent of the population


The House of Commons received a petition


The House of Commons received "a petition of divers merchants, masters of ships, planters and others, trading to foreign plantations... setting forth, that the plantations cannot be maintained without a considerable number of white servants, as well to keep the blacks in subjection, as to bear arms in case of invasion."

Virginia Banishment


Virginia provided for the banishment of any "white man or woman being free who shall intermarry with a negro, mulatoo, or Indian man or woman bond or free."

South Carolina passed a "deficiency law"


The law requiring plantation owners to have at least one white servant for every six male adult Negroes.

6,000 Slaves in Virginia


By this time in Virginia, there were 6,000 slaves, one-twelfth of the population.

The population of the colonies was 250,000


law was Passed for the better of White Indentured Slaves


Law was passed requiring masters to provide white servants whose indenture time was up with ten bushels of corn, thirty shillings, and a gun, while women servants were to get 15 bushels of corn and forty shillings. Also, the newly freed servants were to get 50 acres of land.

Virginia Dismemberment


Dismemberment was provided for in the Virginia Code of 1705.

New York had the largest slave population in the North


And there was some contact between blacks and Indians, when Africans and Indians joined in an insurrection. But this was quickly suppressed.

First large-scale Revolt in the North America


Still, rebellions took place—not many, but enough to create constant fear among white planters. The first large-scale revolt in the North American colonies took place in New York in 1712.

Two hundred people rioted on the Boston Common


They attacked Belchers ships, broke into his warehouses looking for corn, and shot the lieutenant governor when he tried to interfere.

Severe Food Shortage In Boston


Parliament made transportation to the New World a legal punishment for crime


Fear of slave rebellion gave white servants privilages


With fear of slave rebellion growing, white servants were allowed in Virginia to join the militia as substitutes for white freemen

Report of Slaves Attempting revolution in South Carolina


A report to the English government said that in South Carolina "black slaves have lately attempted and were very near succeeding in a new revolution ... and therefore, it may be necessary ... to propose some new law for encouraging the entertainment of more white servants in the future. The militia of this province does not consist of above 2000 men."

Maryland Passed a Law


Maryland passed a law in 1723 providing for cutting off the ears of blacks who struck whites, and that for certain serious crimes, slaves should be hanged and the body quartered and exposed.

Negros Withdraw From Masters


In the colonial papers of England, a 1729 report from the lieutenant governor of Virginia to the British Board of Trade tells how "a number of Negroes, about fifteen... formed a design to withdraw from their Master and to fix themselves in the fastnesses of the neighboring Mountains.

The Start of Poorhouses


All the cities built poorhouses, not just for old people, widows, crippled, and orphans, but for unemployed, war veterans, new immigrants.

Demand For Institutions

1730 - 1740

Demand began to grow for institutions to contain the "many Beggarly people daily suffered to wander about the Streets.

Slave Owner Of Virginia Vocies Concern On Slaves


William Byrd, a wealthy Virginia slaveowner, wrote in 1736:
We have already at least 10,000 men of these descendants of Ham, fit to bear arms, and these numbers increase every day, as well by birth as by importation.

RunAway Slaves

1736 - 1801

Mullin found newspaper advertisements between 1736 and 1801 for 1,138 men runaways, and 141 women.

Governor Speaks about Indian Ploicy


"It has always been the policy of this government to create an aversion in them [Indians] to Negroes."

South Carolina Slaves Rebell


At Stono, South Carolina, in 1739, about twenty slaves rebelled, killed two warehouse guards, stole guns and gunpowder, and headed south, killing people in their way, and burning buildings.

Poor Famers Riot when made to pay rents

1740 - 1760

Basil Davidson contrasts law in the Congo


In those European countries, where the idea of private property was becoming powerful, theft was punished brutally. But in the Congo, communal life persisted, the idea of private property was a strange one, and thefts were punished with fines or various degrees of servitude.

New York Black Slaves Numbers Rise to Two Thousand


The sloop Sea-Flower left Belfast


It was at sea sixteen weeks, and when it arrived in Boston, forty-six of its 106 passengers were dead of starvation, six of them eaten by the survivors.

Bakers combined to refuse to bake


Due to high prices for wheat.

Slaves put to Death


Seven slaves were put to death for murdering their master.

The New Yorker Cadwallader Golden, Addresses to the Freeholders


The New Yorker Cadwallader Golden, in his Address to the Freeholders, attacked the wealthy as tax dodgers unconcerned with the welfare of others (although he himself was wealthy) and spoke for the honesty and dependability of "the midling rank of mankind" in whom citizens could best trust "our liberty & Property."

The forced service of seamen led to a riot against impressment in Boston


Maryland's Slaves Population


In Maryland, where slaves were about one-third of the population in 1750

Whites Faced large Numbers of Slaves and Indians

1750 - 1760

25,000 whites faced 40,000 black slaves, with 60,000 Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indians in the area.

White Servants Make Up 10 Percent of Maryland Population


Upper class had to make concessions to the middle class

1760 - 1780

Those upper classes, to rule, needed to make concessions to the middle class, without damage to their own wealth or power, at the expense of slaves, Indians, and poor whites. This bought loyalty. And to bind that loyalty with something more powerful even than material advantage, the ruling group found.

The population of the colonies was 1,600,000


Government Attempts to arm Slaves to fight Indians


The government was worried about black revolt, and during the Cherokee war, a motion to equip five hundred slaves to fight the Indians lost in the Carolina assembly by a single vote.

Virginia Slave Numbers Rise


By 1763, there were 170,000 slaves, about half the population

SC legislature Prohibits Masters To employe there slaves in certain jobs


The South Carolina legislature prohibited Charleston masters from employing Negroes or other slaves as mechanics or in handicraft trades.

Black slaves were 21 percent of population


The top 1 percent of property owners owned 44 percent of the wealth


Liverpool Ships


1795 Liverpool had more than a hundred ships carrying slaves and accounted for half of all the European slave trade.

Slaves to the Americas


10 to 15 million blacks had been transported as slaves to the Americas, representing perhaps one-third of those originally seized in Africa. It is roughly estimated that Africa lost 50 million human beings to death and slavery in those centuries we call the beginnings of modern Western civilization, at the hands of slave traders and plantation owners in Western Europe and America, the countries deemed the most advanced in the world.