The first 19 or so blacks arrived ashore near Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, brought by Dutch traders who had seized them from a captured Spanish slave ship. The Spanish usually baptized slaves in Africa before embarking them and English law considered baptized Christians exempt from slavery, so these Blacks joined about 1,000 English indentured servants already in the colony. Some achieved freedom and owned land. Anthony Johnson, a free black, later owned the American Colonies' first true slave. Another thing often overlooked is that, of the slaves taken from Africa, only a tiny minority were captured by whites. That was a relatively slow, difficult, and risky - and therefore expensive - way of acquiring slaves, who would then try to escape. It was much quicker, and not at all difficult, to simply buy them from their own tribal chieftains. Since the slaves would then think their slavery was proper and they couldn't go back to their homes, they'd also be much less troublesome.
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