First African Americans Arrive in Jamestown





On August 20, 1619 a Dutch ship arrived at Jamestown. On board were 20 captured Africans, who were sold as slaves at Jamestown. The initial Blacks to arrive were considered indentured servantes like many whites in similar circumstances. The Blacks were freed many years later when the terms of their servitude ended.


John Rolfe Recorded the arrival by writing "About the latter end of August, a Dutch man of Warr of the burden of a 160 tunes arrived at Point-Comfort, the Comandors name Capt Jope, his Pilott for the West Indies one Mr Marmaduke an Englishman. … He brought not any thing but 20. and odd Negroes, w[hich] the Governo[r] and Cape Merchant bought for victuall[s]."