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The First 10 Years Of Slavery

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Autor:  reviewessays  09 January 2011
Tags:  Slavery
Words: 482   |   Pages: 2
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In Alfred T. Vaughan's "Blacks in Virginia". A note on the first decade located in the William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul, 1972) 469-478, he writes that little is known about the status of black slaves until about 1630. However, there is a little evidence from 1619-1629 that give some, yet not vivid detail on those early years of slavery. Mr. Vaughan uses mostly primary resources for his argument. Those resources consist of letters from John Rolfe , accounts of court entries, and the census of 1624-1625.

According to letters written by John Rolfe to Sir Edwin Sandys, Rolfe describes the arrival of a Dutch soldier that sold the governor twenty negros. To Rolfe they were no different than white-indentured servants. That would be the first and last reference towards blacks until 1624. There is also court entries in which a black man by the name of Anthony Johnston, who imported blacks into Virginia in the mid 1620's, and made clear that not all blacks arrived in Virginia first, were tied in bondage. Some arrived as free-men and others had an un-negotiated term of service in which they might be set free.

The Census of 1624 tell us that no blacks had a full name even though they had been in America for 5 years, yet very few non-negros have incomplete names. Alfred Vaughn writes " In short, the census of 1624 suggests the early appearance of an attitude deeply prejudicial towards blacks in Virginia." Evidence in the census of 1625 show that the information on non-negros progressed such as incorporating age, date of arrival in Virginia, and shop of passage. As the information for blacks remained the same, scarce.

In the text The Essential America: the information does not point out the evidence of the census of 1624-1625, but the text does agree that a Dutch "vessel" did in fact arrive at Virginia in 1619 and dropped of Twenty blacks. Yet the text also mentions nothing of the letters that John Rolfe wrote to Sir Edwin Sandys

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