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First Africans in Virginia


The first documented Africans in Virginia arrived 
here in Aug. 1619 on the White Lion, and English 
privateer based in the Netherlands. Colonial 
officials traded food for these "20 and odd" 
Africans, who had been captured from a 
Portuguese slave ship. Among present-day 
Hampton's earliest African residents were Antony 
and Isabella. Their son, William was the first 
child of African ancestry known to have been 
born in Virginia (ca. 1624). Many of the earliest
Africans were held as slaves, but some individuals 
became free. A legal framework for hereditary 
lifelong slavery in Virginia evolved during the 1600s. 
The United States abolished slavery in 1865.

Submitted by @kerryrm and Ed Baptist.

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