First Slaves Arrive in Massachusetts




The first slaves are recorded as having arrived at the Massachusetts colony on December 12, 1638 on board Desire. The Desire had made a seven month voyage to the West Indies. It had returned with cotton, tobacco and slaves. In 1641 slavery was officially recognized in Massachusetts. In the Body of Liberty of 1641 it stated: "there shall never be any bond slaveried, villing age or Captivities amongst us, unless it be lawful captives taken in just warres, and such strngers as willingly sell themselves or are sold to us."