Slave Codes of Jamestown, Virginia



Slave codes of Jamestown, Virginia. Slavery was first introduced into the North American colonies in 1620, by a Dutch vessel which landed a portion of her human merchandise at Jamestown, Virginia.

The event was almost simultaneous with the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock, Dec. 22, 1620. In buying and holding negro slaves, the Virginians did not suppose themselves to be violating any law, human or divine.

Whatever might be the case with the law of England, the law of Moses, in authorizing the enslavement of "strangers," seemed to give to the purchase of negro slaves an express sanction.

Introduction of African Slaves into Virginia Colony at Jamestown, 1600s

Introduction of African Slaves into Virginia Colony at Jamestown, 1600s
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The number of negroes in the colony, limited as it was to a few cargoes, brought at intervals by Dutch traders, was long too small to make the matter appear of much moment, and more than forty years elapsed before the colonists thought it necessary to strengthen the system of slavery by any express enactments.

Landing Cargo of African Slaves, Jamestown, Virginia, 1619

Landing Cargo of African Slaves, Jamestown, Virginia, 1619
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Slave code of Jamestown, Virginia, as recorded in History of Slavery and the Slave Trade, W. O. Blake, 1856.

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