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Tue, 08.20.1619

African slaves arrive at Point Comfort (Hampton), VA

Fort Monroe Marker

It was on this date in 1619 that 20 African slaves arrive at Hampton, Virginia, aboard a Dutch ship. They were the first Africans on America's record to be forcibly settled as involuntary laborers in the North American British Colonies.

The slave trade began in the mid 1400's and the first arrivals in what we now know as South America.  Brazil was the first country in the Americas to benefit from the slave trade initiated by Portugal. Slavery in the western hemisphere moved up the South American coast through the Caribbean into what became Florida with few records kept before the Dutch cargo docked in Virginia.

Africans came ashore at Point Comfort, present day Fort Monroe in Hampton, VA. President Barack Obama declared Fort Monroe a National Monument in 2011 in part because he said that is where the first Africans came ashore in North America.

Reference:
Black First:
2,000 years of extraordinary achievement
by Jessie Carney Smith
Copyright 1994 Visible Ink Press, Detroit, MI
ISBN 0-8103-9490-1

Project 1619

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