Synopses & Reviews
Revisionist spin has long held sway concerning the role of Negroes during Virginia's founding. The typical explanation given is that greedy, white Europeans enslaved blacks to shoulder the burden of their large plantations. Yet the first Negroes who came to Jamestown in 1619 intermarried freely with Europeans, owned land, conducted trade, and played a leadership role in a number of key endeavors in the early days of colonization.
When Nathaniel Bacon raised a militia to interpose against Governor Berkeley's ill-advised Indian policy in 1676, for example, black Angolans who descended from Jamestown's first settlers made up a large number of his troops. Bacon's defeat, however, was used as a pretext for prejudice against blacks and led over time to bad new laws being enacted, with slavery becoming institutionalized in 1705.
Pastor Joseph Morecraft sets the record straight on the first Africans in Jamestown in this fascinating and informative lecture.