Virginia Colonists’ John Rolfe’s reaction
The first 20 Africans who were brought to Jamestown in 1619 came as indentured servants. You can read Virginia Colonists’ John Rolfe’s reaction to the new slaves in Give Me Liberty.
Slavery and indentured servitude was legal and practiced in all of the colonies, although slavery become a central part of life in the Chesapeake and Southern Colonies. Why did slavery become deeply rooted in those colonies?
Why factors led to Africans becoming chattel slaves rather than indentured servants? Was slavery, as practiced in the American colonies in the 17th and early 18th century, a product of racism or of other cultural, social or economic factors? You may answer these questions in separate posts if you find it easier.
Please be sure to support your answers with readings from the Give Me Liberty, Voices of Liberty and other appropriate sources. You may find these links useful:
Virtual Jamestown – Enforcement and development of slave laws and first person accounts of slave owners.
Africans in America: Part 1 – (PBS) Development of slave laws.
You might also wish to read some of the primary documents available in Foner – Online, Chapters 2 & 4.
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