Who First Started Slavery in America?

The names of the men who first started Slavery in America were Daniel Elfrith and John Colyn Jope. Although they can’t be even nearly considered to be the creators of slavery in general, they do represent the beginning of an almost three-century-long era of African submission inside the new world.

A Brief Look At Start of Slavery In Human History

The precise year remains unknown because the phenomenon of slavery is a relation between people developed during a period of time rather than just a single moment that shapes the face of the societies. However, some of the certain facts are:

Slavery dates back to 3500 b.c. back to the first civilizations as Sumer in Mesopotamia was.
Fruitful soils for slavery are the societies with highly developed hierarchies that lead to diverse social stratifications. There was no recorder example that shows slavery emerging from hunter-gather populations.
In slavery societies, slaves are considered to be a form of chattel.

Slavery Origins In America

Already mentioned Daniel Elfrith and John Jope Rogers were rich Englishmen. They were first to arrive at the colony of Virginia and sell slaves they won in the “robbery”.

Daniel Elfrith

Daniel Elfrith was a privateer who served the Earl of Warwick. At the time, Earl of Warwick was the most prestigious title in English peerage. From 1607 he was appointed for a commander of the ship called Treasurer which was owned by the Earl of Warwick.

John Colyn Jope

John Jope Rogers, another privateer, was the captain of the ship White Lion. He earned the famous nickname “Flying Dutchman” for his cunning maneuver. He would take the pinnace, fill it with the prize before consorts would manage to take their share, and sail away to sell it. By some claims, this historic figure was Wagner’s inspiration for his famous opera. However, John Colyn was not a Dutchman but an Englishman.

How Did They Bring Slaves to America?

Slave Ship That Brought Africans On The Soils Of Virginia

Portuguese Ship Sailing Out

It all started with a slave ship Sao Jao Bautista leaving the port of Sao Paolo in the year 1619. The captain’s name was Manuel Mendes. He carried 350 enslaved Africans to New Spain(Mexico).

English Privateers Merging On Open Waters

In mid-July 1619 Elfrith and Jope were sailing together. Elfrith was on Treasurer while Jope held his command over the White Lion which was smaller than the treasurer. The two ships met on the sea. From that point on it is told that Jope took the command. They crossed paths with Sao Joao Bautista, Portuguese warship that carried slaves and was going to Mexico. Jope took the pinnace and accompanied by 25 men from both ships, went for the prize. They attacked the vessel and took around sixty slaves and some additional supplies – substantial quantities of grain and tallow. Then both ships turned their courses towards Virginia with a goal to sell their plunder.

First Slave Selling On The Soils Of Today’s America

White Lion was the first one to dock. John Colyn Jope managed to sell more than twenty slaves. That was the first time enslaved afro-Americans were sold on the territory of a new world. Four days later the Treasurer arrived. However, Daniel Elfrith didn’t find much warmth in Virginia welcoming. He sold a few slaves but was unable to buy any supplies due to residence refusing to engage in any kind of exchange with him or his crew. It is highly probable that the reason for this was that port officials knew that his letters of marque from the duke of Savoy were no longer valid.

Letters of marque, when originating from the right authority, provided captains with rights to attack ships from hostile conutries. However, in times of peace, those letters would lose its validity and attacking acts would be reffered to as piracy.

The duke had made peace with Spain about a month after the Treasures had left England, which meant that Captain Elfrith and the ship’s owners now could be accused of piracy. And that possibility was a complication that Virginia officials wanted to avoid.

Happy End For Some Of The Slaves

One happy circumstance we like to share is that researches tracked documents about some of the sold slaves. It showed that they were indexed as free people which means that in the meantime they had managed to gain their freedom. In a whole history of America, up until the Civil War, this was the rarest occasion in which slaves achieved to free themselves from chains and live free like the rest of the folks.



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