Myths of American History – Part 5

In winning the case, Anthony Johnson created a new protocol. That is, the treatment of Africans not as Indentured servants, who need be freed after a period of years and given land and supplies, but as slaves who would beget slaves.

It must not be missed that the first Africans in the colony were NOT considered slaves. The first Africans were considered Indentured Labourers, and freed after a period of years. Freed and given land and supplies.

This is how Anthony Johnson became one of the richest tobacco planters in the colony. He had come from Africa. He had been an indentured labourer. He had been freed. He had gotten land, and created his plantation using indentured labour.

Until John Castor, who he claimed was his slave.

The matter went to Court, Johnson won. The decision to treat Africans as slaves was decided to be in the best interest of the colony.

Firstly, it would truncate indentured labour, meaning that it would avoid having to find land to give one who completed his or her term of servitude.  This should avoid conflict with the native population.

Secondly, it would limit the dissent that was brewing among the various settler groups, for the new arrivants often caused early problems.

Having a limited population of’citizens’  would allow power to concentrate in the hands of those who had power.

There was no arguments about ‘superiority/inferiority’, all that came later to justify slavery.


What do you think?

Written by jaylar