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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Development of Race-slavery in America

Did Gentle Reader know that from 1607, when Virginia was founded, until 1655, there were no slaves, black or white, in America? Did Gentle Reader know that the first person in colonial America to legally "own" another person as a slave was
a black man? Did Gentle Reader know that it was not until 1670 that whites in colonial America were awarded the legal "right" to "own" blacks as slaves -- between 1655 and 1670, only blacks could "own" other blacks as slaves. Did Gentle Reader know that the legal logic by which that first black slave-owner was enabled to legally "own" another black man as a slave was later the same legal logic by which blacks, in general, were not recognized as subjects/citizens in American society, but rather were accounted as aliens ... starting with that man's own children?

Did Gentle Reader know that the Stuart Restoration (absolute) monarchs, Charles II and James II, had an important hand in fostering slavery in America? Did Gentle Reader know that Thomas Jefferson's calumnies against George III, in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, concerning the King's alleged fostering of slavery weren't total lies (as I myself had long believed until today).

I call Gentle Reader's attention to this post by Beastrabban -- and the comments and linked articles -- John Locke and the Origins of British and American Democracy A Reply to Ilion


edit:
(h/t to Katht Shaidle) Today I Found Out
The First Legal Slave Owner in What Would Become the United States was a Black Man
-- there are some differences between the information he and I present. For example, he says, "About 7 years later [after Anthony Johnson's court-approved-and-ordered enslavement of John Casor], Virginia made this practice legal for everyone, in 1661, by making it state law for any free white, black, or Indian, to be able to own slaves, ..." whereas the information I'd found says that legislation was in 1670.

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