(1619 - 1789)

Chronology On The History of Slavery, 1619 To 1789


The forerunner of slavery in English colonies begins in Jamestown, Virginia, with the arrival of 20 black indentured servants aboard a Dutch vessel. Most indentured servants are released after serving a term, usually seven years, and allowed to own property and participate in political affairs (The Negro Almanac - a reference work on the Afro American, compiled and edited by Harry A. Ploski, and Warren Marr, II. Third Edition 1978 Bellwether Publishing)

Jamestown had exported 10 tons of tobacco to Europe and was a boomtown. The export business was going so well the colonists were able to afford two imports which would greatly contribute to their productivity and quality of life. 20 Blacks from Africa and 90 women from England. The Africans were paid for in food; each woman cost 120 pounds of tobacco. The Blacks were bought as indentured servants from a passing Dutch ship low on food, and the women were supplied by a private English company. Those who married the women had to pay their passage--120 pounds of tobacco. (Gene Barios, Tobacco BBS: tobacco news ( http://www.tobacco.org/History/Jamestown.html#aaa2 )

With the success of tobacco planting, African SLAVERY was legalized in Virginia and Maryland, becoming the foundation of the Southern agrarian economy. (The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, 1995 by Columbia University Press from MS Bookshelf.)

Although the number of African American slaves grew slowly at first, by the 1680s they had become essential to the economy of Virginia. During the 17th and 18th centuries, African American slaves lived in all of England’s North American colonies. Before Great Britain prohibited its subjects from participating in the slave trade, between 600,000 and 650,000 Africans had been forcibly transported to North America. ("Immigration," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation.)

Following the arrival of twenty Africans aboard a Dutch man-of-war in Virginia in 1619, the face of American slavery began to change from the "tawny" Indian to the "blackamoor" African in the years between 1650 and 1750. Though the issue is complex, the unsuitability of Native Americans for the labor intensive agricultural practices, their susceptibility to European diseases, the proximity of avenues of escape for Native Americans, and the lucrative nature of the African slave trade led to a transition to an African based institution of slavery.
During this period of transition, however, the colonial "wars" against the Pequots, the Tuscaroras, the Yamasees, and numerous other Indian nations led to the enslavement and relocation of tens of thousands of Native Americans. In the early years of the eighteenth century, the number of Native American slaves in areas such as the Carolinas may have been as much as half of the African slave population. During this transitional period, Africans and Native Americans shared the common experience of enslavement. In addition to working together in the fields, they lived together in communal living quarters, produced collective recipes for food and herbal remedies, shared myths and legends, and ultimately became lovers.
The intermarriage of Africans and Native Americans was facilitated by the disproportionality of African male slaves to females (3 to 1) and the decimation of Native American males by disease, enslavement, and prolonged wars with the colonists. As Native American societies in the Southeast were primarily matrilineal, African males who married Native American women often became members of the wife's clan and citizens of the respective nation. As relationships grew, the lines of distinction began to blur. The evolution of red-black people began to pursue its own course; many of the people who came to be known as slaves, free people of color, Africans, or Indians were most often the product of integrating cultures.
In areas such as Southeastern Virginia, The Low Country of the Carolinas, and Silver Bluff, S.C., communities of Afro-Indians began to spring up. The depth and complexity of this intermixture is revealed in a 1740 slave code in South Carolina: all Negroes and Indians, (free Indians in amity with this government, and Negroes, mulattos, and mustezoes, who are now free, excepted) mulattos or mustezoes who are now, or shall hereafter be in this province, and all their issue and offspring...shall be and they are hereby declared to be, and remain hereafter absolute slaves.
(Patrick Minges, "Beneath the Underdog: Race, Religion and the "Trail of Tears" " Union Seminary Quarterly Review Email: pm47@columbia.edu Union Theological Seminary, New York http://www.columbia.edu/~wl27/underdg7.html)

Millions of Native Americans were also enslaved, particularly in South America. In the American colonies in 1730, nearly 25 percent of the slaves in the Carolinas were Cherokee, Creek, or other Native Americans. From the 1500s through the early 1700s, small numbers of white people werealso enslaved by kidnapping, or for crimes or debts. (SUGGESTED READINGS: Herbert Klein's, African Slavery in Latin American and the Caribbean (1986); Ramon Gutierrez's When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico 1500-1846 (1991); Great Documents in American Indian History (1995), edited by Wayne Moquin; J. McIver Weatherford's Native Roots: How the Indians Enriched America (1991); Native Heritage: Personal Accounts by American Indians 1790-Present (1995), edited by Arlene Hirschfelder; Robert Edgar Conrad's Children of God's Fire: A Documentary History of Black Slavery in Brazil (1983); and Sidney Mintz's and Richard Price's An Anthropological Approach to the Afro-American Past: A Caribbean Perspective (1981). (Ten Myths, Half-truths and Misunderstandings about Black History, Ethnic NewsWatch SoftLine Information, Inc., Stamford, CT)
For more information about the history of the contact between Native Americans, Africans and Americans of African descent, see the work done by Patrick Minges, Union Theological Seminary http://www.users.interport.net/~wovoka/chap1.html)

Also see: Winthrop Jordan's White Over Black (see the index to find the relevant pages), and in an old publication by Almon Wheeler Lauber called Indian Slavery in Colonial Times within the Present Limits of the United States, Columbia University Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law, Columbia University, 1913

In the Americas, there were added dimensions to this resistance, especially reactions to the racial characteristics of chattel slavery. This fundamental difference from the condition of slaves in Africa emerged gradually, although the roots of racial categories were established early. Acts of resistance that combined indentured Irish workers, African slaves, and Amer-Indian prisoners did occur, although in the end these alliances disintegrated. Furthermore, slaves did not consolidate ethnic identifications on the basis of color, but it was widely understood that most blacks were slaves and no slaves were white. Although there were black, mulatto and American-born slave owners in some colonies in the Americas, and many whites did not own slaves, chattel slavery was fundamentally different in the Americas from other parts of the world because of the racial dimension. (Hilary McD. Beckles, "The Colors of Property: Brown, white and Black Chattels and their Responses to the Colonial Frontier", Slavery and Abolition, 15, 2 (1994), 36-51. Cited by Paul E. Lovejoy in "The African Diaspora: Revisionist Interpretations of Ethnicity, Culture and Religion under Slavery" Studies in the World History of Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation, II, 1 (1997). http://hnet2.msu.edu/~slavery/essays/esy9701love.html


The Pilgrims settled at Plymouth Massachusetts.


The price tag for an African male was around $27, while the salary of a European laborer was about seventy cents per day. (Willie F. Page. "The Dutch Triangle: The Netherlands and the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1621-1664". Studies in African American History and Culture. New York: Garland Publishing, 1997. xxxv + 262 pp. Bibliographical references and index. $66.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-8153-2881-8. Reviewed for H-Review by Dennis R. Hidalgo <3X5GFXP@CMICH.EDU>, Central Michigan University)


Whipping and branding, borrowed from Roman practice via the Iberian-American colonies, appeared early and with vicious audacity. One Virginian slave, named Emanuel, was convicted of trying to escape in July, 1640, and was condemned to thirty stripes, with the letter "R" for "runaway" branded on his cheek and "work in a shackle one year or more as his master shall see cause." (Charles P.M. Outwin, Securing the Leg Irons: Restriction of Legal Rights for Slaves in Virginia and Maryland, 1625 – 1791, http://earlyamerica.com/review/winter96/slavery.html   footnote taken from Catterall, Helen Honor Tunnicliff. Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro, vol. I, Cases from the Courts of England, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, and vol. IV, Cases from the Courts of New England, the Middle States, and the District of Columbia. Washington, D. C., Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1926 & 1936. Page 77)


Massachusetts colony legalizes slavery. (Underground Railroad Chronology, National Park Service, http://www.cr.nps.gov/htdocs1/boaf/urrtim~1.htm )


Virginia colony enacts law to fine those who harbor or assist runaway slaves. (Underground Railroad Chronology, National Park Service, http://www.cr.nps.gov/htdocs1/boaf/urrtim~1.htm )


Black laborers in the Virginia colony still number only 300 (see 1619; 1671). (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Tobacco exports bring prosperity to the Virginia colony.(The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Slavery introduced into law in Maryland, the law also prohibited marriage between white women and black men. This particular act remained in effect for over 300 years, and between 1935 and 1967 the law was extended to forbid the marriage of Malaysians with blacks or whites. The law was finally repealed in 1967. (Maryland State Archive, THE ARCHIVISTS' Record Series of the Week, Phebe Jacobsen "Colonial Marriage Records" Bulldog Vol. 2, No. 26 18 July 1988  http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/refserv/bulldog/bull88/html/bull88.html)


Africa occupies just over 20 percent of the earth’s land surface and has roughly 20 percent of the world’s population, but European slave traders in the 17th century and the next will decimate the continent by exporting human chattels and introducing new diseases. (The People's Chronology, 1994 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf.)

The transatlantic slave trade produced one of the largest forced migrations in history. From the early 16th to the mid-19th centuries, between 10 million and 11 million Africans were taken from their homes, herded onto ships where they were sometimes so tightly packed that they could barely move, and sent to a strange new land. Since others died before boarding the ships, Africa’s loss of population was even greater. ("Slavery in the United States," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation.)
The slave trade from Africa is said to have uprooted as many as 20 million people from their homes and brought them to the Americas. Slavery had existed as a human institution for centuries, but the slaves were usually captives taken in war or members of the lowest class in a society. The black African slave trade, by contrast, was a major economic enterprise. It made the traders rich and brought an abundant labor supply to the islands of the Caribbean and to the American Colonies. (Compton's Encyclopedia Online http://www.comptons.com/encyclopedia/ )
The mortality rate among these new slaves ran very high. It is estimated that some five percent died in Africa on the way to the coast, another thirteen percent in transit to the West Indies, and still another thirty percent during the three-month seasoning period in the West Indies. This meant that about fifty percent of those originally captured in Africa died either in transit or while being prepared for servitude. Even this statistic, harsh as it is, does not tell the whole story of the human cost involved in the slave trade. Most slaves were captured in the course of warfare, and many more Africans were killed in the course of this combat. The total number of deaths, then, ran much higher than those killed en route. Many Africans became casualty statistics, directly or indirectly, because of the slave trade. Beyond this, there was the untold human sorrow and misery borne by the friends and relatives of those Africans who were torn away from home and loved ones and were never seen again. (Norman Coombs, The Immigrant Heritage of America, Twayne Press, 1972. CHAPTER 2 The Human Market, The Slave Trade. ( http://www.rit.edu/~nrcgsh/bx/bx02a.html ))

It was obvious, however, that the victims of the modern slave trade could not be said to have been acquired directly in war. They had been purchased from African rulers who had seized them in raids whose only purpose had been to acquire this valuable human commodity for the insatiable European market. To this, the advocates of the trade replied by claiming that the Africans purchased by the traders had originally been taken prisoner in "just" wars between Africans. The speciousness of this argument was evident from the beginning. But most slavers accepted what they claimed were African assurances that their human merchandise had indeed been "saved" in a just war, on the principle that it is not up to the purchaser to discover if the goods he is buying have been acquired legitimately or not.
In this way slavery remained linked, throughout its 300-year history, to internecine African warfare.
Thomas seems to imply that Africans, since they were involved in the trade, must take some measure of the blame for it. This can hardly be denied. What Thomas overlooks, though, is the degree to which the European slave trade contributed to the situation from which it benefited. The abolitionists had always been fully aware of the possible impact of the trade upon Africa. "The slave trade," bewailed Granville Sharp, one of the earliest of the English abolitionists, in 1776, "preyed upon the ignorance and brutality of unenlightened nations, who are encouraged to war with each other for this very purpose." The consequences of this for the continent have only just begun to be examined, but there is sufficient evidence to suggest that at least some of the horrors that modern African rulers continue to inflict upon their peoples, and that African states continue to inflict upon one another, can be linked not only to the disastrous process of de-colonization, but also to the long experience of the European slave trade. Modern slavers were faced with a further problem: religion. (Anthony Pagden The Slave Trade, Review of Hugh Thomas' Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade. The New Republic; ; 12-22-1997)

Africans cooperated with Europeans in the slave trade, and some slaves transported to America were already of the slave class. But most slaves were simply hostages of the trade, and very few were slaves before. A set of political and military circumstances that the Portuguese, the Dutch, and other Europeans imposed on the West Africans forced many African kingdoms to cooperate with the slave trade. Stronger nations had driven many coastal kingdoms from the interior before the arrival of the Europeans. Yet with the coming of European tools and weaponry as payment for African slaves, these coastal kingdoms found themselves in power positions and began slave-raiding expeditions against their former enemies. European slave traders used these rivalries to increase tensions among the African kingdoms for their own mercenary purposes. By fomenting war between kingdoms and by introducing superior arms to those cooperating with the trade, the Europeans obligated many unwilling kingdoms to collaborate with them or face enslavement themselves--raid or be raided. The "most abominable aspect of the slave trade, was fueled by the idea that Africans, even children, were better off Christianized under a system of European slavery than left in Africa amid tribal wars, famines and paganism" (p. 218). (Willie F. Page. "The Dutch Triangle: The Netherlands and the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1621-1664". Studies in African American History and Culture. New York: Garland Publishing, 1997. xxxv + 262 pp. Bibliographical references and index. $66.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-8153-2881-8. Reviewed for H-Review by Dennis R. Hidalgo 3X5GFXP@CMICH.EDU , Central Michigan University)

The attempt to legitimate slavery was a powerful contributing factor in the spread of modern racism. For modern slaves were almost all Africans, and the fact that the Africans were black made it possible to defend their enslavement in terms of the color of their skin. One argument, widespread at a time when most people were prepared to accept the literal truth of the Bible, took the Africans to be the descendants of Canaan. In the biblical account of the peopling of the world by the sons of Noah after the Flood, Canaan was condemned to be "a servant of servants unto his brethren," because his father Ham had seen "the nakedness of his father"; and Canaan was believed to have settled in Africa. Noah's curse served conveniently to explain the color of the Africans' skin and their supposed "natural" indebtedness to the other nations of the world, particularly to the Europeans, the alleged descendants of Japheth, whom God had promised to "enlarge." This reading of the Book of Genesis merged easily into a medieval iconographic tradition in which devils were always depicted as black. Later pseudo-scientific theories would be built around African skull shapes, dental structure, and body postures, in an attempt to find an unassailable argument--rooted in whatever the most persuasive contemporary idiom happened to be: law, theology, genealogy, or natural science--why one part of the human race should live in perpetual indebtedness to another. (Anthony Pagden "The Slave Trade, Review of Hugh Thomas' Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade." The New Republic; ; 12-22-1997)
For an analysis of the bibles teachings on Slavery from one modern fundamentalist Christian perspective, read on; "If the Bible is from God, why did it tolerate the institution of slavery?" " The slavery tolerated by the Scriptures must be understood in its historical context. Old Testament laws regulating slavery are troublesome by modern standards, but in their historical context they provided a degree of social recognition and legal protection to slaves that was advanced for its time (Exodus 21:20-27; Leviticus 25:44-46)" "20 If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. 22 "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.. (see 1997 RBC Ministries--Grand Rapids, MI 49555-0001 http://www.gospelcom.net/rbc/questions/counsel/bible/slave.html) For more on religion in this Chronology see 1831)

Journal article refutes the notion that Protestantism contributed to harsher treatment of slaves in North America, compared to Catholic South America. The Anglican Church in Virginia underwent 50 years of debate regarding the desirability of providing religious instruction to slaves. Several church leaders and political officials were involved in the ongoing discussion, including scientist Robert Boyle, Bishop Henry Compton, William and Mary College President James Blair, Governor Edmund Andros, and Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood. Ultimately, efforts to convert slaves to Christianity were thwarted by the landowners and slaveholders who served as the church vestry in most parishes. Fearful that if blacks were converted they could no longer, as Christians, be enslaved, these men successfully opposed efforts to convert their valuable chattel.

(Based on writings of William Berkeley, Alexander Spotswood correspondence, Anglican Church documents and manuscripts, the Virginia Statutes, House of Burgesses journals, and the Executive Journals of Colonial Virginia; 83 notes, 6 illus. (Anesko, Michael. SO DISCREET A ZEAL: SLAVERY AND THE ANGLICAN CHURCH IN VIRGINIA 1680-1730. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 1985 93 (3): 247-278.)


For centuries the issue of equal rights presented a major challenge to the state. Virginia, after all, had been the primary site for the development of black slavery in the Americas. By the 1650s some of the indentured servants had earned their freedom. Because replacements, whether black or white, were in limited supply and more costly, the Virginia plantation owners considered the advantages of the "perpetual servitude" policy exercised by Caribbean landowners. Following the lead of Massachusetts and Connecticut, Virginia legalized slavery in 1661. In 1672 the king of England chartered the Royal African Company to bring the shiploads of slaves into trading centers like Jamestown, Hampton, and Yorktown. (Compton's Encyclopedia Online. http://www.comptons.com/encyclopedia/


Slavery spread quickly in the American colonies. At first the legal status of Africans in America was poorly defined, and some, like European indentured servants, managed to become free after several years of service. From the 1660s, however, the colonies began enacting laws that defined and regulated slave relations. Central to these laws was the provision that black slaves, and the children of slave women, would serve for life. This premise, combined with the natural population growth among the slaves, meant that slavery could survive and grow even after slave imports were outlawed in 1808. ("Slavery in the United States," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation.)


Maryland, Settlers pass law stipulating that all imported blacks are to be given the status of slaves.
Free white women who marry black slaves are to be slaves during the lives of their spouses, Ironically, children born of white servant women and blacks are regarded as free by a 1681 law.

(The Negro Almanac - a reference work on the Afro American, compiled and edited by Harry A Ploski, and Warren Marr, II. Third Edition 1978 Bellwether Publishing)


First serious recorded slave conspiracy in Colonial America takes place in Virginia. A servant betrayed plot of white servants and Negro slaves in Gloucester County, Virginia. (Major Revolts and Escapes, Lerone Bennett, Before the Mayflower, http://www.afroam.org/history/slavery/revolts.html )


Slavery sanctioned by law; slaves to serve for life. (MD info from Maryland A Chronology & Documentary Handbook, 1978 Oceana Publications, Inc. And Maryland Historical Chronology http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/chron.html

Throughout most of the colonial period, opposition to slavery among white Americans was virtually nonexistent. Settlers in the 17th and early 18th centuries came from sharply stratified societies in which the wealthy savagely exploited members of the lower classes. Lacking a later generation’s belief in natural human equality, they saw little reason to question the enslavement of Africans. As they sought to mold a docile labor force, planters resorted to harsh, repressive measures that included liberal use of whipping and branding. ("Slavery in the United States," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation.)

One characteristic which set American slavery apart was its racial basis. In America, with only a few early and insignificant exceptions, all slaves were Africans, and almost all Africans were slaves.
This placed the label of inferiority on black skin and on African culture. In other societies, it had been possible for a slave who obtained his freedom to take his place in his society with relative ease. In America, however, when a slave became free, he was still obviously an African. The taint of inferiority clung to him. Not only did white America become convinced of white superiority and black inferiority, but it strove to impose these racial beliefs on the Africans themselves. Slave masters gave a great deal of attention to the education and training of the ideal slave, In general, there were five steps in molding the character of such a slave: strict discipline, a sense of his own inferiority, belief in the master's superior power, acceptance of the master's standards, and, finally, a deep sense of his own helplessness and dependence. At every point this education was built on the belief in white superiority and black inferiority. Besides teaching the slave to despise his own history and culture, the master strove to inculcate his own value system into the African's outlook.
The white man's belief in the African's inferiority paralleled African self hate. (Norman Coombs, The Immigrant Heritage of America, Twayne Press, 1972. CHAPTER 3, CHAPTER 3, The Shape of American Slavery. http://www.rit.edu/~nrcgsh/bx/bx03a.html )

The psychological impact on the individual of slavery contrasted to that of individuals who survived the Nazi holocaust, is too lengthy to excerpt here but available for reading on line. (see Norman Coombs, The Immigrant Heritage of America, Twayne Press, 1972. CHAPTER 3, Slavery and the Formation of Character. http://www.rit.edu/~nrcgsh/bx/bx03c.html )


English merchants form the Royal Company to exploit the African slave trade. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Dutch traders buy black slaves at 30 florins each in Angola and sell 15,000 per year in the Americas at 300 to 500 florins each. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)
Regarding Jewish investment in the Dutch West India Company (WIC), which had a monopoly of the Dutch slave trade in the 17th Century, Jews accounted for a share of 1.3% of the founding capital. When the Governor of New Amsterdam (now New York) attempted to bar the entrance of Jewish refugees from Brazil, Jewish investors accounted for about 4% of the investors in the WIC. Jews could not, of course, participate in the management of the WIC. (Seymour Drescher syd+@pitt.edu citing what will appear in a collective volume on Jews and the Expansion of Europe to the West, forthcoming from Berghahn Books. From "The history of slavery, the slave trade, abolition and emancipation" SLAVERY@LISTSERV.UH.EDU > 20-AUG-1998 08:27:34.45)


All the Indians about the Chesapeake Bay were made tributary to the whites as the result of a campaign against them by Nathaniel Bacon, who defeated and nearly exterminated them in a battle fought on the present site of the city of Richmond, VA (Richard Sylvester, District of Columbia Police, Washington DC 1894, Page 2)


Bacon's Rebellion illustrates class dynamics in the colonies. In 1676 landless, poor, and frontier colonists and other residents of Virginia were mobilized by a wealthy demagogue, Nathaniel Bacon. The rebels set Jamestown ablaze and took over the colonial government. Britain sent an army to restore law and order. The rebellion was a popular, anti-aristocratic uprising--but not just that. The rebels had grievances against their rich and powerful rulers in the east. The elite of seventeenth century Virginia already owned huge tracts within the colony. It served their interests to minimize conflict with Native Americans, so the colonial government they controlled set limits on the settlers' drive west. The rebellion began when Bacon defied the Governor's order by leading attach on friendly Native American villages, stealing furs, slaughtering the inhabitants or taking them into slavery. What the rebels mainly sought was freedom to secure land by killing or driving Native Americans further west. (Lyons, David, The balance of injustice and the War of Independence.., Vol. 45, Monthly Review, 04-01-1994, pp 17)
Journal article states that a central paradox and a challenge to historians of America's colonial past is the simultaneous rise of liberty and equality and the rise of slavery. With particular attention to Jefferson's Virginia, the author offers a tentative resolution of the paradox. In keeping with general 18th-century commonwealth notions, Jefferson feared the presence of large numbers of landless and dependent poor people as antithetical to political liberty and social well-being. Yet, this is what was happening in Virginia before Bacon's Rebellion. Large numbers of young, armed, single white men found themselves working for wages and without much prospect of becoming landowners.
They became a source of peril in the society and invited repressive measures by government. Black slavery reduced the need to import white servants, opened opportunities for whites who remained, and enabled Virginia to build its free political institutions upon slavery. 78 notes. (Morgan, Edmund S. Title: SLAVERY AND FREEDOM: THE AMERICAN PARADOX. Journal citation: Journal of American History 1972 59(1): 5-29.)


The system of American slavery developed and became codified beginning in the mid-seventeenth century; by about 1680, it was fully established. Under this system, a slave was chattel--an article of property that could be bought, punished, sold, loaned, used as collateral, or willed to another at an owner's whim. Slaves were not recognized as persons in the eyes of the law; thus they had no legal rights. Slaves could not legally marry, own property, vote, serve as witnesses, serve on juries, or make contracts. The offspring of female slaves also belonged to their owners, regardless of whom their fathers were. (Theresa Anne Murphy, SCHOLARSHP ON SOUTHERN FARMS AND PLANTATIONS 1996 American Studies Department of George Washington University, for the National Park Service Web Page on Slavery http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/underground/ )

Since the beginning of the 20th century, historians have disagreed as to whether slavery in colonial Virginia was made politically and psychologically acceptable by an inherent racism among white Europeans, or if slavery emerged as a result of economic factors and racism developed as a consequence of it. What evidence there is indicates that the enslavement of Africans was due to economic requirements for labor, to the inability of Africans to resist slavery, and to European beliefs that Africans were an inferior branch of humanity, suited by their characteristics and circumstances to be lifelong slaves. Based on contemporary philosophical and legal writings, and secondary sources; 130 notes.(Vaughan, Alden T. THE ORIGINS DEBATE: SLAVERY AND RACISM IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY VIRGINIA. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 1989 97 (3): 311-354.)
While there was much sentiment in North America supporting marriages among slaves, and there was much animosity against masters who separated families through sale, the law was unambiguous on this point. Slaves were property, and therefore could not enter into contracts including contracts of marriage. Jurists also noted that to prevent the sale of separate members of a family would lower the sale price, and this was to tamper with a man's property. Therefore, property rights had to be placed above marriage rights. In contrast, in South America the Church insisted that slave unions be brought within the sacrament of marriage. The Church also strove to limit promiscuous relationships between slaves as well as between masters and slaves, and it encouraged marriage instead of informal mating. Also, the law forbade the separate sale of members of the family, husband, wife, and children under the age of ten. (Norman Coombs, The Immigrant Heritage of America, Twayne Press, 1972. CHAPTER 3b, North American and South American Slavery. http://www.rit.edu/~nrcgsh/bx/bx03b.html
Typical sermons admonished slaves to be obedient, not to steal, and to remember that "what faults you are guilty of towards your masters and mistresses, are faults done against God himself, who hath set your masters and mistresses over you in His own stead, and expects that you will do for them just as you would do for Him." ("Plantation Agriculture in Southeast USA by Jim Jones West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Cause in African History to 1875 taught Fall 1997; THE DECISION TO BECOME A PLANTER See also John W. Blassingame, The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his311/plantati.htm )
Farming in North America, for example, developed out of traditional farming in the Old World. Corn was soon seen to be a valuable crop and became the dominant grain raised. Tobacco, cotton, and rice, which require many hands to tend, stimulated slavery. (Compton's Encyclopedia Online http://www.comptons.com/encyclopedia/ )


Bridget Bishop was hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, the first official execution of the Salem witch trials. Bridget Bishop "I am no witch. I am innocent. I know nothing of it." Following her death, accusations of witchcraft escalated, but the trials were not unopposed. Several townspeople signed petitions on behalf of accused people they believed to be innocent.(The Salem Witch Trials 1692 A Chronology of Events http://www.salemweb.com/memorial/ )


Parliament opens the slave trade to British merchants, who will in some cases carry on a triangular trade from New England to Africa to the Caribbean islands to New England. The merchant vessels will carry New England rum to African slavers, African slaves on "the middle passage" to the West Indies, and West Indian sugar and molasses to New England for the rum distilleries. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)
The colonists imported their manufactured goods from Britain, payment for which had to be made in sterling funds. The colonists gained control over sterling funds as the result of their exports. In the Southern colonies trade between the colonies and Great Britain was direct. A Virginia planter might export his tobacco to Britain, consigning it to a commission merchant who would sell it and place the proceeds to the Virginia planters account. The proceeds produced a fund of sterling money upon which the Virginia planter might draw. Perhaps he accompanied the shipment of his tobacco with an order for goods. His correspondent in Britain would buy the goods and debit his account for the cost. The goods would then be shipped to the colony when the tobacco ships again returned to Virginia. Here no more than a bookkeeping transaction was necessary. If, however, the Virginia planter wished to transfer some of his balance with his London correspondent to Virginia for use in the colony, he might draw a bill of exchange on his correspondent for, say, £100 sterling.
The bill was in the nature of an order to his correspondent to pay £100 sterling. The planter then sold the bill at the going rate of exchange to a fellow Virginian who had need of sterling funds to pay an obligation in Britain. The purchaser forwarded the bill to his creditor in Britain, who presented it to the correspondent of the Virginia planter for acceptance--for the custom was to draw bills of exchange payable thirty days after sight. If the correspondent accepted the bill, the creditor then held it for thirty days, at the end of which time he presented it for payment. The rate at which sterling bills were sold in the colonies was determined at any one time by the effective supply of, and demand for, sterling bills. Footnote 11 ( Despite Ernst's statement to the contrary, the author and Ernst have never been at variance on this point. Ernst wrote: "In holding rigidly to the quantity theory [of money] and trying to show how monetary policy influenced overall price levels, historians have tended to ignore the other forces at work at the time and to overlook the seasonal, short-run, and cyclical nature of colonial prices. On the other hand they have also generally failed to take into account the effect on exchange rates of swings in the volume of British loans to America, shifts in British wartime expenditures in the colonies, and changes in the colonies terms of trade and volume of trade. The most important example [of this] is Brock, Currency of the American Colonies, "Ernst, Money and Politics, 6-7. Ernst, in the paragraph quoted, scarcely does justice to the views expressed by in Currency of the American Colonies, where many of the forces that Ernst mentions that affect the price of foreign exchange are discussed by Brock in his Colonial Currency. One may consult pages 58, 62-63, and 352. )
The basic question, however, concerning the effect of currency issues upon exchange rates revolves around the effect of such issues upon the demand for, or, to a lesser degree, the supply of, bills of exchange. In the case of New England and the Middle colonies, where direct trade between the colonies and Britain was at a minimum, it was necessary for the colonies to have recourse to a roundabout trade to procure the necessary bills of exchange and specie to pay their adverse balances with Britain. (The Colonial Currency, Prices, and Exchange Rates Leslie V. Brock Professor Emeritus of History, College of Idaho with Introductory Comments by Ron Michener, Associate Professor Department of Economics, University of Virginia.
http://www.lib.virginia.edu/journals/EH/EH34/brock34.htm )


New York Slave revolt. Nine whites killed, Twenty-one slaves executed. (Major Revolts and Escapes, Lerone Bennett, Before the Mayflower, http://www.afroam.org/history/slavery/revolts.html)


A slave revolt at New York ends with six whites killed before the militia can restore order; 12 blacks are hanged July 4 (six have hanged themselves). (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)
The colonial era witnessed two significant slave rebellions. In 1712, some twenty-five slaves armed themselves with guns and clubs and set fire to houses on the northern edge of New York City.
They killed the first nine whites who arrived on the scene and then were killed or captured by soldiers. In the aftermath, eighteen participants were executed in the most brutal manner (individuals were burned alive, broken on the wheel, and subjected to other tortures). The event set a pattern for subsequent uprisings - the violence of the retribution far exceeded the mayhem committed by the rebelling slaves. (Slave Rebellions., The Reader's Companion to American History Edited by Eric Foner sources used, Herbert Aptheker, American Negro Slave Revolts (1943); Eugene D. Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution (1979) entry date 01-01-1991.)


The South Sea Company receives asientos to import 4,800 African slaves per year into Spain’s New World colonies for the next 30 years. Founded 2 years ago in anticipation of receiving the asientos, the company is essentially a British finance company, but it begins the most active period of British participation in the slave trade (see 1720). (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Maryland State Constitution enforced slavery. (Lisa Cozzens the American Revolution, http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/E/integration/integr1.htm)


Black slaves comprise 24 percent of the Virginia colony’s population, up from less than 5 percent in 1671. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Georgian Style, neoclassical style of architecture and interior design, popular in Great Britain during the reigns of the first four Georges, or from about 1715 to 1820. The style developed from the Roman Palladian style and was largely employed in domestic architecture and in planned sections of towns. Georgian-style architects included Scottish-English architect Robert Adam and English architects John Wood the Elder, John Wood the Younger, Sir William Chambers, and James Gandon. By 1785 the Georgian style was popular in the United States as a native version called the Federal style. The Georgian style was superseded in England by the Greek and Gothic revivals of the 19th century. (Encarta 98 Desk Encyclopedia Microsoft Corporation)


Onesimes was the property of a Puritain leader. In 1721 Onesimus developed a cure for the smallpox virus. (The Timeline of African American Contributions to Science, Technology and Medicine.



A Negro slave could not be freed in Virginia except by acts by the Governor and the Council for "meritorious service." (see Hening, Vol. 4, p 132). This function was taken over by the legislature from 1775 on and slaves could be freed only by special act of the legislature until 1782. The permissive emancipation stature of 1782 (see Hening, vol. II pp 39 & 40) allowed a person to free his Negroes provided he, or his estate if freed by will, were responsible for the support of the sick or crippled, all females under 18 or over 45, and all males under 21, or over 45. (Paper Titled About General Washington's Freed Negroes part of a fax sent by Barbara McMillan of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association to the Society of the Cincinnati. August 26, 1994)


Slave conspiracy discovered in Norfolk and Princess Anne counties, Va. (Major Revolts and Escapes, Lerone Bennett, Before the Mayflower, http://www.afroam.org/history/slavery/revolts.html)


Cato's Conspiracy, originated in Stono, South Carolina, in 1739. England at this time was at war with Spain, and a group of about eighty slaves took up arms and attempted to march to Spanish Florida, where they expected to find refuge. A battle ensued when they were overtaken by armed whites. Some forty-four blacks and twenty-one whites were killed. (Slave Rebellions., The Reader's Companion to American History Edited by Eric Foner sources used, Herbert Aptheker, American Negro Slave Revolts (1943); Eugene D. Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution (1979) entry date 01-01-1991.)


Slave revolt, Stono, S.C., Sept 9. Twenty-five whites killed before insurrection was put down.
(Major Revolts and Escapes, Lerone Bennett, Before the Mayflower, http://www.afroam.org/history/slavery/revolts.html)


Series of suspicious fires and reports of slave conspiracy led to general hysteria in New York City, March and April. Thirty-one slaves, five whites executed. (Major Revolts and Escapes, Lerone Bennett, Before the Mayflower, <http://www.afroam.org/history/slavery/revolts.html>) New Yorkers charge a "Negro Conspiracy" with having started fires that break out through March and April. Roman Catholic priests are inciting slaves to burn the town on orders from Spain, they say; four whites and 18 blacks are hanged December 31, and 13 blacks are burned at the stake. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Records of Washington, DC is Part of Frederick County which was formed from Prince Georges County. (Montgomery Country Historical Society)


Fairfax County was dominated by slave labor, the majority of slaves were held in groups of over twenty slaves by old established families, and the large slaveholders governed the county. Much land and many of the slaves wee held by men who lived outside the Fairfax County. It was a slave empire in the classic sense. (Fairfax County, Virginia a History. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax, Virginia, 1978 p 31-32


Massachusetts has 63 distilleries producing rum made from molasses supplied in some cases by slave traders who sell it to the Puritan distillers for the capital needed to buy African natives that can be sold to West Indian sugar planters (see 1733). (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


The Maryland Assembly appoints commissioners to lay a town on the Potomac River, above the mouth of Rock Creek, on 60 acres of land to be purchased from George Gordon and George Beall. This settlement becomes Georgetown. (DC Homepage "Office of Public Records")


The Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar in England and her colonies.


After the passage of the Transportation Act in 1718, 50,000 convicts were sentenced to foreign exile in the American colonies. The bulk were transported to Maryland and Virginia for sale as servants. By 1755, convicts formed 10% of all adult white males in four of Maryland's most populous counties. Although colonists agonized about the presence of such persons in their midst, they neither worked to cease transportation nor returned convicts to England unpurchased.
Socially, convicts occupied a position just above black slaves and just below indentured servants.
For the most part, they were ill-treated and exploited. As free, white, and British, the convicts deeply resented their lot as servile laborers in the American colonies. (Ekrich, A. Roger. EXILES IN THE PROMISED LAND: CONVICT LABOR IN THE EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY CHESAPEAKE. Maryland Historical Magazine 1987 82(2): 95-122.)


Slaves on William Byrd III's plantation on the Bluestone River in Lunenburg County formed the earliest black church in Virginia. (Colonial Williamsburg's online Historical Almanack. Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783 http://www.history.org/dateline/polcron.htm)
Many Africans had little trouble adopting Christianity because it preached many of the same beliefs that were central to African religions--supreme being, creation myths, priest-healers, moral and ethical systems. Christianity's "life after death" was also attractive because it offered the promise that they would someday regain contact with their ancestors. A Baptist missionary to the Yoruba of Nigeria in 1853 observed that they had words for monotheistic god, sin, guilt, sacrifice, intercession, repentance, faith, pardon, adoption; and they believed in heaven and hell. Muslim slaves had even more points of identification with Christianity, since they were used to a religion based on a written text, some of which was the same as that of Christianity (Old Testament). An American minister reported in 1842 that Muslim Africans called God Allah, and Jesus Mohammed.
According to them, "the religion is the same, but different countries have different names."
("Plantation Agriculture in Southeast USA by Jim Jones West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Cause in African History to 1875 taught Fall 1997 THE DECISION TO BECOME A PLANTER See also John W. Blassingame, The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his311/plantati.htm)  


John Tayloe II completed his great house, Mount Airy, in Richmond County, Virginia. The design was inspired by James Gibbs's (1682-1754) pattern book. (Colonial Williamsburg's online Historical Almanack. Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783 http://www.history.org/dateline/polcron.htm)


Martha married George Washington. The marriage changed George from an ordinary planter to a substantially wealthy landowner. He had resigned his commission in the militia and so, George, Martha, Jacky (4), and Patsy (2) moved into the enlarged and remodeled Mt. Vernon. (Historic Valley Forge, Who served her? Martha Washington http://libertynet.org/iha/valleyforge/served/martha.html by the Independence Hall Association)


Slave traders are excluded from the Society of Friends by American Quakers despite the fact that many Quakers own slaves. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)
Despite Quaker opposition to slavery, about 4,000 slaves were brought to Pennsylvania by 1730, most of them owned by English, Welsh, and Scotch-Irish colonists. The census of 1790 showed that the number of African-Americans had increased to about 10,000, of whom about 6,300 had received their freedom. The Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition Act of 1780 was the first emancipation statute in the United States. (PENNSYLVANIA STATE HISTORY, " THE QUAKER PROVINCE: 1681-1776" Pennsylvania state Web page, July 22, 1996. http://www.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Historical_Museum/civil.htm)
Diane Richardson had a personal interest in this topic: "Two of my ancestors, Abraham and Isaac Op den Graeff (Updegraff), along with Pastorious, wrote the first protest against slavery in the 1690s and presented it to their monthly meeting. The monthly meeting decided that it was too weighty of a question to be decided, and passed the protest to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
They talked about it, but refused to make any decision on it. This is pretty much what happened to the issue for nearly 100 years. Some monthly meetings came out very strongly opposed to slavery, while others tolerated it to some extent until the 1800s. It seems as though the issue would 'take fire' at a meeting for awhile and then lapse. I imagine some of it had to do with visits by traveling Quaker preachers, several of whom were strongly opposed to slavery. (from: ftp://ftp.msstate.edu/pub/docs/history/afrigen/Slavery/quakers-slavery posted by Cgka@aol.com See also Gary B Nash and Jean R Soderlund, "Freedom by Degrees" Oxford NY, 1991 p 43)


After the death of his half-brother, George Washington purchased his sister-in-laws share in the Mount Vernon estate including 18 slaves. The ledgers and account books which he kept show that he bought slaves whenever possible to replenish the original 18. In the account books of Washington, the entries show that in 1754 he bought two make and a female; in 1756, two males, two females and a child, etc. In 1759, the year in which he was married, his wife Martha, brought him thirty –nine "dower-Negroes." He kept separate records of these Negroes all his life and mentions them as a separate unit in his will. Washington purchased his slaves in Alexandria from Mr. Piper and perhaps in the District in 1770 "went over to Colo. Thos. Moore's Sale and purchased two Negroes. (Matthew T. Mellon, Early American Views on Negro Slavery, Boston 1934, 1969)


George Washington a member of Alexandria Masonic Lodge No. 22 took the first step into Masonry on November 4, 1752 in Fredericksburg. (Charles H. Callahan, Washington, The man and the Mason, George Washington Masonic National memorial Association, 1913)


The Virginia colony’s population reaches 250,000; more than 40 percent are slaves, up from 24 percent in 1715. (The People's Chronology, 1994 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf.)


The Treaty of Paris, ending the French and Indian War, was signed. The French relinquished claims to Canada and all land east of the Mississippi except New Orleans. (Colonial Williamsburg's online Historical Almanack. Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783



George III signed the Proclamation of 1763, which restricted settlement west of the Appalachians and reserved land for the Indians. Virginians resented limitations on western lands. (Colonial Williamsburg's online Historical Almanack. Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783 http://www.history.org/dateline/polcron.htm)


The war against France and its Native American allies impressed on Britain the high cost of securing and especially of expanding colonial settlements. The British government imposed new taxes on the colonists. [8] To minimize conflict with Native Americans and reduce its costs, the government sought to check the colonies' westward expansion. Its Proclamation of 1763 prohibited colonial settlement beyond the crest of the Appalachians. Its Quebec Act of 1774 invalidated the colonies' claims to vast Native American lands by assigning territory north of the Ohio to Quebec. These policies became significant sources of conflict between the colonists and the Crown. One of the aims of colonial partisans of independence was to eliminate the British government's limits on expropriation of Native American lands. This helps explain why Native Americans sided mainly with the British against the rebellious colonists, just as they had mainly sided earlier with the French against the British and their colonists. From 1. Francis Jennings, "The Indians' Revolution," in The American Revolution: Explorations in the History of American Radicalism, ed. Alfred F. Young (De Kalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1976 cited in David Lyons, The balance of injustice and the War of Independence, Vol. 45, Monthly Review, 04-01-1994, pp 17)


Patrick Henry (1736-1799) argued the Parsons' Cause before the Hanover County Court, challenging the Crown's right to nullify colonial laws. This case brought Henry both popular acclaim and political leadership. (Colonial Williamsburg's online Historical Almanack. Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783 http://www.history.org/dateline/polcron.htm)


Mason and Dixon survey Pennsylvania boundary with Maryland. Part of the original Mason and Dixon's Line was marked by stones that bore on one side the arms of Lord Baltimore and on the other those of William Penn. (Compton's Encyclopedia Online http://www.comptons.com/encyclopedia/)


Colonial American shipping interests have 28,000 tons of shipping and employ some 4,000 seamen. Exports of tobacco are nearly double in value the exports of bread and flour, with fish, rice, indigo, and wheat next in order of value. The major shippers are the Cabots and Thomas Russell of Boston, Thomas Francis Lewis of New York, and Samuel Butler of Providence. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Virginia planter-miller George Washington ships an unruly slave off to the West Indies to be exchanged for a hogshead of rum and other commodities. (The People's Chronology, 1994 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf.)
By the time of Washington's death, (in 1799) more than 300 (314 given by Mt. Vernon) slaves resided at Mount Vernon. Besides the field hands, there were blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, brickmakers, and spinners. (Compton's Encyclopedia Online http://www.comptons.com/encyclopedia/)
Though in death Washington willed that his slaves would be freed upon the death of Martha. The will provided that a special fund, be set up for the support of the aged and infirm. No evidence was found that the executors set up a trust fund as specified in the will. (Paper Titled About General Washington's Freed Negroes part of a fax sent by Barbara McMillan of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association to the Society of the Cincinnati. August 26, 1994, vertical file Society of Cincinnati)
An African American, Samuel Fraunces, was Chief household Steward to President George Washington and Patriot Member of the Holland Lodge Number Eight of New York City – 1762.
He was a West Indian black man who was owner and keeper of "Fraunces Tavern," in the Wall Street area of New York City, between 1762-1765 and from 1789 to 1794. (Masonic Documentation: "Ten Thousand Famous Masons." Cited in Joseph Mason Andrew Cox, Great Black men of Masonry, Alpha Books, NY 19822, 1987)
It is usually the large plantations and estates that have been preserved and memorialized as museums and tourist destinations in twentieth century America (Thomas Jefferson's house at Montecello is a very good example of this). When persons wish to travel to see those places where slaves lived and work, they usually end up on large estates. The reality is that in North America--where only about 6% of the slaves transported westward across the Atlantic from Africa were brought--most slaves lived on small and medium sized farms and most masters owned few slaves. In the late eighteenth century, for example, most whites did not own slaves and more than half of Chesapeake slaveowners owned fewer than five slaves. Two of the larger slave owners during this period, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, were among the richest persons in their counties. In 1774 Jefferson owned 45 slaves who he kept at Montecello and 142 slaves at six other locations. George Washington held 67 slaves at his own estate in 1786 and owned another 149 distributed at five other farms. Even those who owned a large number of slaves, then, distributed them out into smaller farms rather than concentrating them all together at one place. This pattern of small slave holding remained the norm through the nineteenth century. In 1860, for example, only 2.7% of southern slave holders owned more than 50 slaves and only 0.1% of slave owners held 200 or more slaves. What this meant was that slaves were not concentrated in only a few hands (as in the Caribbean and South America), but more widely spread. The majority of slave owners held less than ten slaves. If we look at these statistics in terms of slaves' experiences, 1/4 of all southern slaves lived on holdings of 1-9 slaves; 1/2 of all southern slaves on holdings of 10-49 slaves; and 1/4 of all southern slaves on holdings of more than 50 slaves.
The primary exception to the norm of small to medium sized holdings of slaves was the sea coast or Low Country area of South Carolina and Georgia, where plantations of rice were generally very large in size and where many slaves lived together on any one plantation. As a result of these patterns of slave holding, a characteristic of North American slavery was the high degree of contact between slaves and masters. When large numbers of slaves were concentrated on a few plantations, as they generally were in the Caribbean and South America (especially Brazil), there were few situations in which masters and slaves even saw each other. In North America, however, masters and slaves generally saw each other daily; masters lived on their farms and worked them along with slaves (as the bosses, of course) but the pattern of slaveholding created conditions in which masters and slaves influenced each other culturally and socially to a much greater extent than elsewhere in the Americas. The dispersal of slaves on North American farms also helps to explain why it was so difficult for slaves to unite in rebellion in North America: they were spread out, not concentrated. By thinking of huge plantations of the past, Americans tend to deny the degree to which Africans and Europeans mixed socially, culturally, and sexually on American farms. Mixing created lasting features of cultural uniformity across important cultural differences; it is one of the distinguishing features of North American slavery in comparison to slavery in other regions of the Americas. (History Museum of Slavery in the Atlantic Web site by Pier M. Larson, an assistant professor of history at the Pennsylvania State University. See http://squash.la.psu.edu/~plarson/smuseum/about.html)
(For a discussion of sexual relations under slavery see: Katy Riley, SEX RELATIONS BETWEEN FEMALE SLAVES AND THEIR MASTERS http://weber.u.washington.edu/~sunstar/ws200/katy.htm   )


Less then two weeks after purchasing slaves for his estate, Washington signed a resolution framed by the "Association for the Counteraction of Various Acts of Oppression on the Part of Great Britain." This resolution read in part, "we will not import or bring into the Colony, or cause to be imported or brought into the Colony, either by sea or land, any slaves, or make sale of any upon commission, or purchase any slave or slaves that may be imported by others, after the 1st day of November next, unless the same have been twelve months upon this continent." It is important to not that his resolution neither condemns slaveholding or the slave trade. It appears to have been drafted in a spirit of retaliation and is not in the least inspired by a moral disapproval. (Matthew T. Mellon, Early American Views on Negro Slavery, Boston 1934, 1969)


The Somersett case marks a turning point in British toleration of slavery. James Somersett, one of 10,000 black slaves in Britain, has escaped from his master and been apprehended. Britain’s Lord Chief Justice William Murray, 67, Baron Mansfield, rules after some hesitation June 22 that "as soon as any slave sets foot in England he becomes free" (see 1763; 1787).(The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)
The landmark judgment in the case of Somerset v. Stewart in England, decided by Lord Mansfield in June of 1772, declared the state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political; but only by positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory: It's so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from a decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged. Thus slavery could not exist in England, regardless of socioeconomic implications, and the final push for statutory abolition began, culminating a half century later an the empire-wide ban. (Charles P.M. Outwin, Securing the Leg Irons: Restriction of Legal Rights for Slaves in Virginia and Maryland, 1625 – 1791, http://earlyamerica.com/review/winter96/slavery.html   footnote taken from Catterall, Helen Honor Tunnicliff.
Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro, vol. I, Cases from the Courts of England, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, and vol. IV, Cases from the Courts of New England, the Middle States, and the District of Columbia. Washington, D. C., Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1926 & 1936. Page 15)


George Washington was a member of the House of Burgesses which drafted a petition to the throne labeling the importation of slaves into the colonies from the coast of Africa "a trade of great inhumanity" that would endanger the "very existence of your Majesty's American dominions." And two years later he was certainly involved in the composition of the July 1774 Fairfax Resolves one of the resolutions of which recommended that no slaves should be imported into the British colonies. The resolutions took the opportunity of "declaring our most earnest Wishes to see an entire Stop forever put to such a wicked cruel and unnatural Trade." On the other hand in 1772 Washington himself purchased five additional slaves for use on his plantations. (The Papers of George Washington "That Species of Property": Washington's Role in the Controversy Over Slavery Dorothy Twohig, Originally Presented at a Conference on Washington and Slavery at Mount Vernon, October 1994. Note 8 from. John P. Kennedy, ed., Journal of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1770-1772 (Richmond, 1906), 283-84); PGW, Colonial Series, 10:119-28). http://www.virginia.edu/gwpapers/slavery/slavery.html )


Massachusetts slaves petitioned legislature for freedom, Jan. 6. There is a record of 8 petitions during Revolutionary War period. (Major Revolts and Escapes, Lerone Bennett, Before the Mayflower, http://www.afroam.org/history/slavery/revolts.html)
The African Lodge of Freemasons, which started up in the 1770s in Boston under the leadership of Prince Hall, was considered clandestine by many white Freemasons--although it did receive a charter from the Grand Lodge in England. Among Freemasons, Debates about the authenticity of Prince Hall Masonry persisted into the twentieth century. Two sources you may want to consult: Charles H. Wesley, _Prince Hall. Life and Legacy._ 1977. Joseph A. Walkes, Jr., _Black Square and Compass: 200 Years of Prince Hall Freemasonry._ 1979. (Contributed by Joanna Brooks < brooksj@ucla.edu , Department of English UCLA in H-NET/OIEAHC Electronic Association in Early American Studies H-OIEAHC@H-NET.MSU.EDU  Wed, 24 Jun 1998 09:01:42 EDT)


England ordered all colonial governors to cease granting lands except to veterans of the French and Indian War. In Virginia, Dunmore gave this order the most liberal interpretation possible and included colonial troops as well as regular British Army soldiers. (Colonial Williamsburg's online Historical Almanack. Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783   http://www.history.org/dateline/polcron.htm )


About one-fifth of the people of the mainland colonies were of African ancestry. Unlike Latin America and the West Indies, North American slaves had a high rate of natural increase. About 250,000 Africans were brought to the mainland colonies before 1775, but the total black population numbered 567,000 on the eve of independence. Most lived as slaves working on tobacco and rice plantations in the Southern colonies. Slaves and some free blacks also lived in the Northern colonies, working on small farms or in cities. ("American Revolution," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation.)


Lord Dunmore, the British governor of Virginia offered to grant freedom to any slave who ran away from his master and joined the British army. Earlier that year, in spite of the fact that both slaves and free men had served at Lexington and Concord, the colonists had shown an increasing reluctance to have any blacks serving in their Army. The Council of War, under Washington's leadership, had unanimously rejected the enlistment of slaves and, by a large majority, it had opposed their recruitment altogether. However, the eager response of many slaves to Lord Dunmore's invitation gradually compelled the colonists to reconsider their stand. Although many colonists felt that the use of slaves was inconsistent with the principles for which the Army was fighting, all the colonies, with the exception of Georgia and South Carolina, eventually recruited slaves as well as freedmen. In most cases, slaves were granted their freedom at the end of their military service. During the war some five thousand blacks served in the Continental Army with the vast majority coming from the North. (Norman Coombs, The Immigrant Heritage of America, Twayne Press, 1972. , Chapter 4, All Men Are Created Equal, Slavery and the American Revolution.
http://www.rit.edu/~nrcgsh/bx/bx04a.html )


The Pennsylvania Abolition Society is established to protect fugitives and freed blacks unlawfully held in bondage. (Underground Railroad Chronology, National Park Service, http://www.cr.nps.gov/htdocs1/boaf/urrtim~1.htm )
The first American abolition society is founded in Pennsylvania to free the slaves, whose population below the Mason-Dixon line now exceeds 450,000. Black slaves outnumber colonists two to one in South Carolina, while in Virginia the ratio is about equal. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


George III declared the colonies in a state of rebellion and threatened to deal harshly with traitors.
The Virginia Gazette printed the proclamation on November 10. (Colonial Williamsburg Web Site, Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783. http://www.history.org/ )


British troops raided areas around Norfolk, Virginia. They captured or destroyed more than 70 cannon hidden by the rebels. (Colonial Williamsburg Web Site, Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783. http://www.history.org/ )


John Adams believes that if the British were to land in Georgia with "arms and cloth, and proclaim freedom to all the Negroes who would join his camp, twenty thousand Negroes would join it from the two Provinces in a fortnight. The Negroes have a wonderful art of communicating intelligence among themselves; it will run several hundred miles in a week or fortnight. They say their only security is this; that all the King's friends, and tools of government, have large plantations, and property in Negroes; so that the slaves of the Tories would be lost, as well as those of the Whigs."
(Works of John Adams, vol. 2, p 428 from MacGregor and Nalty, Blacks in the United States Armed Forces, Vol. I, 1977)


British loyalist Lord John, Earl of Dunmore, Governor-General of the Colony of Virginia, issues Dunmore Proclamation, encouraging indentured servants and free blacks to enlist in British service, Virginia blacks began to flee to British lines in the mistaken belief that British views on slavery varied from those of the slaves' Virginia masters. Most slaves and free blacks who fled to the British continued to be employed in a service capacity, chiefly working as military laborers.[note 10]
The emergence of Dunmore's plan to enlist slaves and offer them their freedom and Washington's own desperate need for men in the face of failed recruiting policies and massive desertions, forced him--and Congress--to reconsider their initial positions at least in regard to free blacks. Indeed early in the war an important distinction came to be made in recruiting policies between slaves and free blacks. By 30 Dec. 1775 Washington had altered his views to accommodate the situation, issuing orders that since "Numbers of free Negroes are desirous of enlisting, he gives leave to the recruiting Officers, to entertain them, and promises to lay the matter before the Congress, who he doubts not will approve of it."[note 11] note 10.
Virginia enacted stringent regulations to prevent defection by slaves, ranging from execution to transportation to the West Indies. Because the state was required by law to compensate the owners of executed slaves, a more convenient punishment was a sentence to labor in the lead mines of remote Fincastle and Montgomery counties, serving the dual purpose of removing rebellious slaves and contributing to the war effort. (See Sylvia R. Frey, "Between Slavery and Freedom: Virginia Blacks in the American Revolution, Journal of Southern History, 49 (1983), 383-85.)
Indeed the appalling indifference to the plight of former slaves, hit by devastating epidemics of smallpox and by overwork and exposure in British service should not have encouraged enlistment on either side. Rumors, often unsubstantiated, persisted of slaves offered for sale by the British. In Virginia at least slaves were used by the British "as a tool instead of as a weapon" (ibid., 394-95, 398). (The Papers of George Washington "That Species of Property": Washington's Role in the Controversy Over Slavery Dorothy Twohig, Originally Presented at a Conference on Washington and Slavery at Mount Vernon, October 1994 http://www.virginia.edu/gwpapers/articles/slavery/slavery.html   Dunmore's Proclamation in MacGregor and Nalty, Blacks in the United States Armed Forces, Vol. I, 1977)
Dunmore's strategy was one that he had considered before. In a 1772 report to Lord Dartmouth, the British secretary of state for the colonies, Dunmore had suggested that in case of war with foreign powers, the colonists "trembled at the facility that an enemy would find in procuring Such a body of men." Dunmore had further expressed a belief that the slaves would rise up in huge numbers against their masters, "and therefore are ready to join the first that would encourage them to revenge themselves."[Gerald W. Mullin, Flight and Rebellion: Slave Resistance in Eighteenth-Century Virginia (New York, 1972), p. 131.] Shortly after the Gunpowder Incident in April 1775, Dunmore threatened the Mayor of Williamsburg by stating that he would destroy the town and "proclaim liberty" for slaves in response to civil unrest.
Dunmore misunderstood the slaves' potential motivation. It was not the opportunity to avenge themselves that caused them to join the British, it was the desire to secure freedom. Noted historian Dr. Benjamin Quarles assessed that the slaves "reserved allegiance for whoever made them the best and most concrete offer." [Benjamin Quarles, "The Revolutionary War as a Black Declaration of Independence," in Ira Berlin and Ronald Hoffman, eds, Slavery and Freedom in the Age of the American Revolution (Charlottesville, Va., 1983) pp. 292-293.] The fact that Dunmore was basically in exile on board a ship, did little to motivate large numbers to join him, but, nonetheless, a considerable number made the attempt. When a slave, owned by Robert Brent of Northern Neck, escaped, Brent noted that the slave's action "was long premeditated." Brent also noted that the slave's escape "was from no cause of complaint . . . but from a determined resolution to get liberty, as he conceived, by flying to lord Dunmore."[Virginia Gazette, November 17, 1775, Supplement.]
The number of slaves that actually joined the British is questionable. Dr. Quarles estimates that it may have been about 800. It should be noted, however, that other historians now suggest that thisfigure may be conservative. Accounts from the period support the view that there may have been considerably more. Robert Carter Nicholas, president of the Virginia Convention, wrote to the Virginia Delegates in Congress that "many of our Natives it is said have been intimidated and compelled to join them [the British] and great Numbers of Slaves from different Quarters have graced their Corps." The British, he continued, are "using every Art to seduce the Negroes." [Letter dated Nov. 25, 1775, quoted in Robert L. Scribner and Brent Terter, eds., Revolutionary Virginia and the Road to Independence, IV: The Committee of Safety and the Balance of Forces ([Charlottesville, Va.], 1978), p. 470.]
Edmund Pendleton, wrote to Richard Lee that "letters mention that slaves flock to him [Dunmore] in abundance; but I hope it is magnified." (from letter dated Edmund, Virginia)]. Even George Washington warned, "Dunmore should be instantly crushed. . . . otherwise like a snowball rolling, his army will get size." [Pendleton to Lee, Nov. 27, 1775, quoted in Mullin, Flight and Rebellion, p. 131; Washington to Joseph Reed, Dec. 15, quoted ibid.]
The decision to join Dunmore and support the British cause must have created tremendous debate and concern throughout the slave community. What factors influenced whether a slave's allegiance was given to the British or the colonists? There are a variety of possible answers. It is likely that the desire for freedom was so overwhelming that the slaves seized the first viable offer. It is also possible that the slaves wanted to show that they were worthy of respect and the rights of citizenry by remaining faithful to the authority of the British government. On the other hand, how does one explain the numbers of blacks, such as Salem Poor, Oliver Cromwell, and Peter Salem, who whole-heartedly supported the colonists? Were their reasons for supporting the American cause the same as white patriots? Possibly. After learning of the death of Crispus Attucks, a free black killed in the Boston Massacre in March 1770, the colonists revered him for having lost his life for liberty. But the slaves must have surely asked, whose liberty? Even as free blacks, the full rights of citizenry were denied African-Americans. Generally, they were still subject to the same curfews and laws that applied to slaves. The only difference between free blacks and slaves in the 18th century was that free blacks had the right to own and protect property.
The decision to join the British or support the patriots was one that surely split some slave families and friendships, just as it did the white citizenry. The American Revolution, for all intents and purposes, was a civil war that affected every member of society in some way. (Colonial Williamsburg Web Site "Don't Wanna Slave No More: African-American Choices in the American Revolution1." http://www.history.org/ )


After a clear victory at Kemp's Landing near Norfolk, Dunmore issued his Emancipation Proclamation, which declared martial law and freed "all indented Servants, Negroes, or others . . . that are able and willing to bear Arms, they joining His Majesty's forces." Eventually, several hundred African-Americans joined his ranks. The governor also raised the king's standard at the battle site and in Norfolk the next day. (Colonial Williamsburg Web Site, Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783. http://www.history.org/ )


The Battle of Great Bridge was fought between the British 14th Regiment and Woodford's Virginia forces. British deaths and injuries were numerous, while only one Virginian was injured. (Colonial Williamsburg Web Site, Cultural & Political Chronology 1750-1783. http://www.history.org/ )


The American Revolution or War of Independence The American Congress, and individual states.
They finance their war effort overwhelmingly by printing money. This eventually leads to hyperinflation rendering the continentals worthless – but the Revolution is successful. (A Comparative Chronology of Money from Ancient Times to the Present Day, 1750 – 1799, Based on the book: A History of Money from Ancient Times to the Present Day by Glyn Davies, rev. ed. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1996. 716p. ISBN 0 7083 1351 5. http://www.ex.ac.uk/~RDavies/arian/amser/chrono9.html )


Washington DC records east of Rock Creek changed from the jurisdiction of Frederick to Montgomery Country Maryland. (Montgomery County Historical society)


Britain’s House of Commons hears the first motion to outlaw slavery in Britain and her colonies.
David Hartley, 44, calls slavery "contrary to the laws of God and the rights of man," but his motion fails (see 1772; Wilberforce, 1787; 1789). (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Declaration of Independence from Britain. Fifty five signers, Fifty two of whom were known to be Master Masons. (Kenton N Harper, History of the Grand Lodge and of Freemasonry in the District of Columbia. Washington, DC 1911)
"How is it," asked Samuel Johnson, "that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes?" The British author was only one of many Europeans who thought it strange that a nation run by slave owners should be so noisily demanding its own freedom. (Norman Coombs, The Immigrant Heritage of America, Twayne Press, 1972. , Chapter 4, All Men Are Created Equal, Slavery and the American Revolution. http://www.rit.edu/~nrcgsh/bx/bx04a.html )


Washington's writings display no need to denigrate black ability. On the contrary, compared to most of his contemporaries, Washington readily recognized and applauded the talents among the enslaved. In early 1776, he received a poem from a young woman and, "with a view of doing justice to her great poetical Genius, I had a great Mind to publish the Poem." In gratitude for her gift, he invited her to visit his headquarters in Cambridge. The poet was the now famous Phillis Wheatley, who was then an enslaved Bostonian. In writing of and to her, Washington made no reference to her race: a remarkable omission by the standards of his day (and of our own). In private correspondence during the 1780s and 1790s, Washington repeatedly expressed a devout hope that the state governments would legislate "a gradual Abolition of Slavery; It would prevent much future Mischief." (Alan Taylor, Review of "The Good Father, George Washington:" The New Republic 01-19-1998)


Establishment of an independent United States is a set-back for women.
Married women are not granted legal status apart from their husbands; women are forbidden from obtaining education beyond elementary school (except for the wealthy) learning anything except domestic tasks owning property keeping earnings from any employment they might have inheriting money or property in their own right obtaining a divorce except in dire circumstances (adultery, desertion, non-support, extreme cruelty) enjoying custody of their children voting, serving on a jury, testifying in a trial being tried by a jury of peers signing legal contract; suing or being sued engaging in public speaking having a voice in the laws that might convict them handling money (in certain states) - in Massachusetts women cannot even serve as treasurers of their sewing societies As states adopt their new constitutions, they more clearly define qualifications for voting (i.e., free, white, male citizen) and exclude women from participating in the democratic experiment; women property owners are even taxed without representation. In 1777 New York, takes away women's right to vote. In 1780, Massachusetts takes away women's right to vote. In 1784 New Hampshire takes away women's right to vote. In 1791, The Constitution is finally ratified without granting women right to vote. The Constitution also sanctions slavery (Article IV, Section 3). (Leslie Blankenship, WOMAN'S SUFFRAGE AND ABOLITION MOVEMENT LEST WE FORGET PUBLICATIONS, P.O. Box 26148 , Trotwood, Ohio 45426-0148 E-mail: lwf@coax.net  http://www.coax.net/people/lwf/1700_99.htm )


Vermont became the first U.S. territory to abolish slavery (Underground Railroad Chronology, National Park Service, http://www.cr.nps.gov/htdocs1/boaf/urrtim~1.htm )


Thomas Jefferson, A Bill Concerning Slaves enacted by the Virginia General Assembly by Thomas Jefferson, " If any white woman shall have a child by a Negro or mulatto, she and her child shall depart the commonwealth within one year thereafter. If they fail so to do, the woman shall be out of the protection of the laws, and the child shall be bound out by the Aldermen of the county, in like manner as poor orphans are by law directed to be, and within one year after its term of service expired shall depart the commonwealth, or on failure so to do, shall be out of the protection of the laws. No slave shall go from the tenements of his master, or other person with whom he lives, without a pass, or some letter or token whereby it may appear that he is proceeding by authority from his master, employer, or overseer: If he does, it shall be lawful for any person to apprehend and carry him before a Justice of the Peace, to be by his order punished with stripes, or not, in his discretion. (Thomas Jefferson, A Bill Concerning Slaves, 1779, From the Founders Library, http://www.founding.com/library/index.asp?dir=cl01/cl013&page=bill1.htm >


Thomas Johnson (1732-1819), finishes term as Governor of Maryland. 1777-1779


Federal Style, in architecture, the dominant phase of neoclassicism in the United States, reaching its peak between 1780 and 1820. Characteristic features include elliptical fanlights; oval interiors; circular, freestanding stairs; freestanding porticoes framed by columns; and slender proportions.
Contemporaneous Federal style furniture designs were classically inspired and featured marquetry, veneering, and inlay. (Georgian Style," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation)
In colonial North America, the influence of the Georgian style is evident in very few buildings before the American Revolution. By 1785, however, in the newly formed United States, the Georgian style had become extremely popular in a native version called the Federal style. This evolved into a monumental neoclassical style exemplified by Thomas Jefferson's elegant designs (1817-26) for the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. This version of the Georgian style remained popular for public buildings in the U.S. well into the 20th century. (Georgian Style, Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia)
The Federal Style is more delicate than the colonial style which was so popular during the 1700s.
Colonial style buildings were rigidly symmetrical, with the central hall balanced by two rectangular rooms on each side. Although federal style buildings have symmetrical facades, their interiors are far more varied. A main hall may be surrounded by oval, rectangular and circular rooms and may feature a grand spiral staircase. The exteriors of these three-story square structures are characterized by low-pitched, balustraded roofs, and are often surrounded by ornate fences. The massive size of a federal style building, combined with its simplicity, creates a feeling of restrained elegance which was very attractive to the Quakers of New Bedford. (Created by DFinnerty@Umassd.edu , March 28, 1995, http://www.umassd.edu/SpecialPrograms/DFinnerty/federal.html )


The first coal mine in America was opened in Virginia, in the Appalachian bituminous field, during the 1750s; the mining of anthracite began in the late 1700s. Extensive mining in the United States commenced about 1820; until 1854 more than half of all the coal that was produced in the U.S. was Pennsylvania anthracite. ("Mining," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia Microsoft Corporation)
Journal article discusses eastern Virginia coal field development. Although free workers were employed in the mines, slave labor was essential to these enterprises, in high- and low-skill jobs.
Relates the nature of and the response to mine safety problems, including insurance on the miners.
The mines declined when capital investments shifted to the Appalachian area. 2 tables, 60 notes.
(Lewis, Ronald L. "THE DARKEST ABODE OF MAN": BLACK MINERS IN THE FIRST SOUTHERN COAL FIELD, 1780-1865. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 1979 87 (2): 190-202.)


Pennsylvania became the first state to abolish slavery. (Underground Railroad Chronology, National Park Service, http://www.cr.nps.gov/htdocs1/boaf/urrtim~1.htm )

The Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition Act of 1780 was the first emancipation statute in the United States. (PENNSYLVANIA STATE HISTORY, " THE QUAKER PROVINCE: 1681-1776" Pennsylvania state Web page, July 22, 1996. http://www.state.pa.us/PA_History/quaker.htm )


Property of Loyalists and British subjects confiscated in Maryland (Maryland Historical Chronology http://www.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/chron.html)


George Washington is the major slave owner in Fairfax County Virginia that year with 188 slaves, followed by George Mason with 128 slaves; William Fitzhugh with 122 slaves Penelope French and B Dulany with 102 slaves; Thomas Fitzhugh with 91 slaves; Philip Lee with 82 slaves; Alexander Henderson with 72 slaves: Elenor Custis with 65 slaves; and John Carlyle with 49 slaves.(Fairfax County, Virginia a History. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax, Virginia, 1978 p 35)


The Virginia legislature authorizes manumission of slaves as the "peculiar institution" begins to die out in some parts of the South. Some 10,000 Virginia slaves will be freed in the next 8 years largely because they are too old, ill, or costly for their masters to maintain. (The People's Chronology, 1994 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf.)


Maryland forbids further importation of slaves. (The People's Chronology, 1994 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf.)


Montgomery County Tax records list Col. George Beall's "Addition to the Rock of Dumbarton" consisting of 281.5 acres value at £200, (1300 acres in original grant or deed – 455.5 acres defining in original grant) 1 dwelling house, kitchen, Stable and Negro quarter, 150 acres cleared land. (Records of the Montgomery County Historical Society) Note there was also an entry for George Beall JR on the "Rock of Dumbarton 567 acres valued at 637 pounds, 17 shillings and 6 pence with a log dwelling house, old mill and other log houses 50 acres cleared sapling land and middling soil.
In the middle of the seventeenth century, Colonel Ninian Beall received from the Crown of England extensive grants of land in the upper Potomac Valley. These grants were made at the behest of the second Lord Baltimore in acknowledgement of the services rendered to him by Colonel Beall as the settlement of Maryland in 1634. Of all this vast property the new owner was most enamored of the region in and near the present Georgetown, because topographically it afforded many reminders of his native Scotland, and so he established his hunting lodge here and patented his holdings under the name of Rock of Dumbarton. Nearby was the Indian village of Tohogee which was a permanent encampment, not a nomad tribe, who were skilled craftsmen in stone. The section abounds with relics of their early work. (A Century and a Half of Freemasonry in Georgetown, 1789-1939, Potomac Lodge No. 5, F.A.A.M., Georgetown DC, 1939 page 1)
Steven R Potter, an Archeologist with the National Park Service and author of a book on Alogonquan culture, believes that the Tohogee village was not located near present day Georgetown, but rather somewhere else. His belief is based upon the soon to be published work of J. Frederick Fausz, who has done research on the original 1633 Journal account by Henry Fleet, "A brief Journal of a Voyage in the Barque Warwick to Virginia and other parts of the Continent of America." According to Potter, Fleet's account transcript was defective in the 1871 book by Edward Neal, and further mangled in an account by Raphael Semmes. (Telephone Interview with Steven R. Potter, Washington, DC. May 20th 1998
Contrary to the story that European Americans have been all too willing to accept, European immigrants came to inhabited territory in North America. Native Americans were numerous and many dwelt in stable communities. They had cleared land on the eastern seaboard and cultivated extensively. Their nations had established territories which were vital to the hunting component of their economies. These facts were evident to European settlers---especially to those who escaped starvation by accepting as gifts the fruits of Native American agriculture. (Lyons, David, The balance of injustice and the War of Independence.., Vol. 45, Monthly Review, 04-01-1994)


Maryland (Montgomery County). Documents. Economic Conditions. Social Conditions The Maryland General Assembly levied an assessment on the state's counties in 1783, and the schedule for Montgomery County provides detailed information on soil and land quality, housing, farm improvements, chattel, demographics, and wealth. A portrait of the county emerges as a relatively barren landscape with soil depleted by continual tobacco crops, poor and landless people, young people forced to seek opportunity elsewhere, and scattered, transitory communities. The high number of slaves, a third of the population, can be explained by their mobility, which made them a better investment than land. The better state of neighboring counties shows that cultural rather than physical factors were responsible for the conditions. (Barnett, Todd H. TOBACCO, PLANTERS, TENANTS, AND SLAVES: A PORTRAIT OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN 1783. Maryland Historical Magazine 1994 89(2): 184-203.

1784 George Washington becomes president of the Potomac Company, which had for its purpose the development of trade and commerce with the West. (H. Paul Caemmerer, The Life of Pierre Charles L'Enfant Planner o the City of Beautiful, The City of Washington, Washington DC, 1950)

In the later part of his life, Washington had to raise funds by selling off most of the Ohio Valley lands that he had acquired at the Indians' expense during the 1760s. (Review of The Good Father By Alan Taylor, George Washington: in The New Republic 01-19-1998)


In a letter to George Washington, Governor Thomas Johnson, writes that slaves would be used to build the canals to circumvent Great Falls on the Potomac River. (McPherson-Johnson Papers, Maryland Historical Society Manuscript Collection. Manuscript #1714)
"It was in May 1785 that the gentry of Virginia and Maryland met in Alexandria at Lomax's Tavern on Princess Street to organize the much heralded company to improve the navigation of the Potomac River. Known as the Potomac Company. It was spearheaded by Gen. George Washington who served as its first president. The enterprise was formed to construct a lateral canal around the Great Falls of the Potomac as Matilaville and to improve navigation along this commercial artery as far north ad Cumberland, Maryland. Opened by 1801, the canal linked the western frontier to the eastern ports of Georgetown and Alexandria, thus ensuring that trade would flow east instead of down the Mississippi River. Beset by many problems including labor riots and foul weather, the canal was not a viable financial venture and the company passed into oblivion on August 15, 1828, when it was purchased by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company. (William Francis Smith and T. Michael Miller, A Seaport Saga, p 301) In November 1884, the first meeting had Daniel Carroll was elected chair, George Washington elected President, George Gilpin, John Fitzgerald, Thomas Johnson and Thomas Simms Lee, directors, Present were many people including William Deakins, Thomas Beall. Ad on 11/1785, 100 Negroes wanted to work on the canal; (Artisans and Merchants of Alexandria, Virginia 1780-1820 Vol. 2 Compiled by T. Michael Miller, Lloyd House. P44-46, footnoted Corra Bacon-Foster, "The Patowmack Company, 1784-1828, NY Burt Franklin Press, 1912)


"I never mean (unless some particular circumstance should compel me to it) to possess another slave by purchase; it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by which slavery in this country may be abolished by slow, sure and imperceptible degrees."--George Washington, September 9, 1786 (Fritz Hirschfeld , George Washington and Slavery, A Documentary Portrayal, 1997)


The Constitutional Convention adopts a "three-fifths rule" as a compromise to settle differences between Northern and Southern states over the counting of slaves for purposes of representation and taxation. Slaves are to be counted as three-fifths of a free man for both purposes. (The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf)


Constitution is approved, extending slavery for 20 years.(The History Channels Chronology of Slavery in America, http://www.historychannel.com/community/roots/chrono.html )


The Free African Society is founded at Philadelphia by freedman Richard Allen, 27, and other blacks who were pulled off their knees in November at a "white" Methodist church. With Absalom Jones and others, Allen establishes the African Methodist Episcopal Church while working to improve the economic and social conditions of American blacks through the Free African Society.
(The People's Chronology 1995, 1996 by James Trager from MS Bookshelf. Also see http://earlyamerica.com/review/spring97/allen.html )

As a result of the egalitarian notions of the American Revolutionary War and the Great Awakening, there was widespread abolitionist sentiment in southern churches between 1789 and the late 1820s. There is plenty of evidence that some southern planters were uneasy about owning slaves and made every effort to educate and manumit them. During the 1820s, one group of white southerners (American Colonization Society) arranged to transport freed slaves back to a colony on the West African coast in what became the independent country of Liberia. (Slave owners feared that the sight of free blacks would incite slaves to revolt). ("Plantation Agriculture in Southeast USA by Jim Jones West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Cause in African History to 1875 taught Fall 1997 THE DECISION TO BECOME A PLANTER See also John W. Blassingame, The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his311/plantati.htm )


A British bill designed to restrict the number of slaves carried by each ship, based on the ship’s tonnage, was enacted by Parliament on June 17, 1788; and that year the French abolitionists, inspired by their English counterparts, founded the Société des Amis des Noirs (Society of the Friends of Blacks). Finally in 1807, the British Parliament passed an act prohibiting British subjects from engaging in the slave trade after March 1, 1808—16 years after the Danes had abolished their trade. In 1811 slave trading was declared a felony punishable by transportation (exile to a penal colony) for all British subjects or foreigners caught trading in British possessions. Britain then assumed most of the responsibility for abolishing the transatlantic slave trade, partly to protect its sugar colonies. In 1815 Portugal accepted £750,000 to restrict the trade to Brazil; and in 1817 Spain accepted £400,000 to abandon the trade to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo. In 1818 Holland and France abolished the trade. After 1824, slave trading was declared tantamount to piracy, and until 1837 participants faced the penalty of death. ("Blacks in Latin America," Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation.)


Alexandria Lodge No. 39 at Alexandria, Virginia, was warranted by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (Ancient) on February 3, 1783. It was constituted on the 25th of that month and has been in continuous existence ever since that date. The Grand Lodge of Virginia having been formed, October 13, 1778, the Lodge withdrew from Pennsylvania obedience and received a Virginia charter dated April 28, 1788 as Alexandria Lodge No. 22. George Washington, then serving as President of the United States, with his personal consent, was named Worshipful Master in the Virginia charter. Following George Washington's death on December 14, 1799, in 1804, the Grand Lodge approved the change of name to the Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, conditioned upon the surrender of the 1788 charter. To this condition, the Lodge objected, not desiring to lose its original Virginia charter in which Washington was named Master. Accordingly, the Grand Lodge of Virginia adopted a resolution in 1805, permitting the change of name with retention of the old charter. (Official Web page: History of the Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 Maintained by Jack Canard http://aw22.com/index_aw.htm )


George Washington takes office in New York City, Washington acted carefully and deliberately, aware of the need to build an executive structure that could accommodate future presidents.
Hoping to prevent sectionalism from dividing the new nation, he toured the New England states (1789) and the South (1791). An able administrator, he nevertheless failed to heal the widening breach between factions led by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Because he supported many of Hamilton's controversial fiscal policies--the assumption of state debts, the Bank of the United States, and the excise tax--Washington became the target of attacks by Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans. (George Washington, Composite from Washington, D.C. Quick Guide, Washington, D.C. Quick Guide, I Love Washington Guide, by Marilyn J.Appleberg and The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia in http://sc94.ameslab.gov/TOUR/gwash.html )

Washington was reelected president in 1792, and the following year the most divisive crisis arising out of the personal and political conflicts within his cabinet occurred--over the issue of American neutrality during the war between England and France. Washington, whose policy of neutrality angered the pro-French Jeffersonian, was horrified by the excesses of the French Revolution and enraged by the tactics of Edmond Genet, the French minister in the United States, which amounted to foreign interference in American politics. Further, with an eye toward developing closer commercial ties with the British, the president agreed with the Hamiltonians on the need for peace with Great Britain. His acceptance of the 1794 Jay's Treaty, which settled outstanding differences between the United States and Britain but which Democratic-Republicans viewed as an abject surrender to British demands, revived vituperation against the president, as did his vigorous upholding of the excise law during the WHISKEY REBELLION in western Pennsylvania. (George Washington, Composite from Washington, D.C. Quick Guide, Washington, D.C. Quick Guide, I Love Washington Guide, by Marilyn J. Appleberg and The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia in http://sc94.ameslab.gov/TOUR/gwash.html )

By the time the Revolution broke out in France, there was already a strong hostility to the trade among the educated elite. The Societe des Amis des Noirs, founded in 1788, included among its members not only the philosopher Condorcet (who wrote extensively, under a pseudonym, against slavery), Lafayette, and Brissot, but also Robespierre himself. Opposition to abolition set at least one member of the National Convention, Antoine Barnave, on the road to the guillotine. Ending slavery and the slave trade thus became part of the Revolutionary agenda; and in 1794, after bitter disputes between the deputies, the National Convention finally outlawed the trade. Eight years later, however, after the success of the greatest slave revolt in history on the former colony of Guadeloupe, Napoleon attempted to revive the trade. (He was prompted by Josephine, "the brilliant daughter of Martinique" as Thomas calls her.) His success was only partial and short-lived, but in most subsequent histories of slavery it has been allowed to eclipse the achievements of the revolutionaries. (Anthony Pagden he Slave Trade, Review of Hugh Thomas' Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade. The New Republic; ; 12-22-1997)


Journal article describes the efforts of the Maryland Abolition Society, founded in 1789, to extend the natural rights principles of the new nation to include African Americans. While Maryland did not abolish slavery, the society's agitations caused the state legislature to loosen restrictions on the slaves' abilities to buy their own freedom and made it more difficult to export slaves from Maryland. The society also filed lawsuits in their effort to free slaves. Men from various social classes were members of the society, which suddenly disappeared in 1798. Based on the Votes and Proceedings of the House of Delegates of Maryland, documents from the Maryland Abolition Society, correspondence, and secondary sources; 24 notes.(Guy, Anita Aidt. THE MARYLAND ABOLITION SOCIETY AND THE PROMOTION OF THE IDEALS OF THE NEW NATION. Maryland Historical Magazine 1989 84(4): 342-349.)


George Washington becomes President. John Adams, Vice President.


1790 - 17991800 - 18291830 - 18401841 - End

Permission was granted to mirror this document on this site. For the original see:
© The Holt House (http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html)