In late August, 1619, 20-30 enslaved Africans landed at Point Comfort, today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., aboard the English privateer ship White Lion. In Virginia, these Africans were traded in exchange for supplies. Several days later, a second ship (Treasurer) arrived in Virginia with additional enslaved Africans. Both groups had been captured by English privateers from the Spanish slave ship San Juan Bautista. They are the first recorded Africans to arrive in England’s mainland American colonies. hampton.gov
A few thoughts on the Revolutionary War period in U.S. history.
“The wealthy, educated men who led the revolt against Britain needed to unify the disparate colonists across social class and region. For those leaders, the comparison to slavery constituted a powerful rhetorical tool.” The 1619 Project
George Washington’s words:
“‘The Crisis has arrived when we must assert our rights or submit to every imposition that can be heap’d upon us; till custom and use, will make us as tame & abject slaves, as the Blacks we rule over with such arbitrary sway,” Washington warned in an August 1774 letter to his friend and neighbor Bryan Fairfax.
It is important, even imperative, that we stop Disney-fying our “Founding Fathers” and see their darker sides as well, especially those sides which involve enslaving people. Surely we can all agree that darker sides abound in us all.