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The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11
In the month of August, 1619, a Dutch man-of-war visited Jamestown and sold the settlers twenty negroes, the first introduced into Virginia. Some time before this, Captain Argall, the deputy governor of Virginia, sent out on a "filibustering" cruise to the West Indies a ship called the Treasurer, manned "with the ablest men in the colony." She returned to Virginia, after some ten months, with her booty, which consisted of captured negroes, who were not left in Virginia, because Captain Argall had gone back to England, but were put on the Earl of Warwick's plantation in the Somer Islands. It is probable that the planters who first purchased negroes[Pg 82] reasoned but little on the morality of the act, or, if any scruples of conscience presented themselves, they could be readily silenced by reflecting that the negroes were heathens, descendants of Ham, and consigned by divine appointment to perpetual bondage. The planters may, if they reasoned at all on the subject, have supposed that they were even performing a humane act in releasing these Africans from the noisome hold of the ship. They might well believe that the condition of the negro slave would be less degraded and wretched in Virginia than it had been in his native country. This first purchase was not probably looked upon as a matter of much consequence, and for several years the increase of the blacks in Virginia was so inconsiderable as not to attract any special attention. The condition of the white servants of the colony, many of them convicts, was so abject that men accustomed to see their own race in bondage could look with more indifference at the worse condition of the slaves. The negroes purchased by the slavers on the coast of Africa were brought from the interior, convicts sold into slavery, children sold by heathen parents destitute of natural affection, kidnapped villagers, and captives taken in war, the greater part of them born in hereditary bondage. The circumstances under which they were consigned to the slave-ship evince the wretchedness of their condition in their native country, where they were the victims of idolatry, barbarism, and war. The negroes imported were usually between the ages of fourteen and thirty, two-thirds of them being males. The new negro, just transferred from the wilds of a distant continent, was indolent, ignorant of the modes and implements of labor, and of the language of his master and, perhaps, of his fellow-laborers. To tame and domesticate, to instruct in the modes of industry, and to reduce to subordination and usefulness a barbarian, gross, obtuse, perverse, must have demanded persevering efforts and severe discipline. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 25821
Author: Horne, Charles F. (Charles Francis)
Release Date: Jun 19, 2008
Editor: Horne, Charles F. (Charles Francis), 1870-1942 , Rudd, John, LL. D
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