The first documented Africans in English America arrived at Jamestown in August 1619. A Dutch man-of-war captured them from the Spanish, who had enslaved them, and sold them to the Virginia colonists. The "twenty and odd" Africans, some of whom had been given Spanish names, may have been treated like indentured servants and later freed after their periods of servitude expired. From this beginning the institution of slavery evolved during the 17th century as the Virginia colonists extended the length of service for Africans from a fixed term to life. The United States abolished slavery in 1865.
Geographic Location: James City County
Physical Description of Location: Williamsburg, VA 23185. Located on Jamestown Road (Rt. 31), less than 1/5 of a mile southwest of the junction of Jamestown Road (Rt. 31) and State Route 614. Marker is on the left when traveling southwest on Jamestown Road (Rt. 31).
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