First Enslaved Africans Arrive in Jamestown Colony

On August 20, 1619, “20 and some” Angolans, kidnapped by the Portuguese, arrived in the British colony of Virginia and were then bought by English colonists. The arrival of enslaved Africans in the New World marks the beginning of two and a half centuries of slavery in North America.

Founded in Jamestown in 1607, the Colony of Virginia was home to about 700 people in 1619. The first African slaves to arrive there landed at Point Comfort, in what is today known as the Hampton Roads. Most of their names, as well as the exact number that remained at Point Comfort, have been lost in history, but a lot is known about their journey.

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