Slavery & Its Legacies in North America

Slavery in America (1600-1800)

1619: First Africans arrived in America

-          near Jamestown, Virginia

-          -later became indentured servants


Indentured Servants arrived in Virginia

-          bound to service for a period of seven years, then they would legally become free

-          about 75% immigrants from England

-          -nearly 2/3 settlers from the Old world came as indentured servants

-          -high death rate

-          only some achieved  freedom and became property owner

-          low demands for indentured servants until the adoption of stable crops e.g. tobacco and sugarcane

1640: John Punch, a black servant was sentenced by the Virginia court to slavery for attempting to escape

1661: Slaves codes

-          Defined the legal status of slaves and the rights of the masters

-          Typically strict and exacted severe punishments for the offenders

1705: Virginia Slave Code

-          Slave: from those countries that were not Christians+ Native American who were sold

-          Established the basic for legal enslavement for any non-Christian foreigner

1735: Georgia passed a law to prohibit slavery

-          To eliminate the risk of slaves rebellion

-          To turn some of England's poor into hardworking small farmers.


1774: Rhode Island forbade the import of slaves

1775:  Lord Dunmore Proclamation

-           promised freedom for any slaves of American patriots  who would leave their masters and join the royal force

1786: all colonies had banned or limit the African slave trade except Georgia

1787: Northwest Ordinance

       -slavery was prohibited in the territories northwest of the Ohio River

1796: Georgia limited the African slave trade