This detail of a mural located in the Arizona capitol building shows, on its extreme right, the former slave Esteban, who wears a blue turban. During the early 1500s, shipwrecked Esteban traveled through Texas to Mexico. Later he joined Spanish expeditions that explored what are now New Mexico and Arizona.
In this painting African Americans await sale to slave traders, who stand at the doorway on the left.
African America 3
Chapter Objectives• Who were the peoples of colonial North America?• How did black servitude develop in the Chesapeake?• What were the characteristics of plantation slavery from 1700 to 1750?
• How did the experience of African Americans under French and Spanish rule in North America compare to that in the British colonies?• How did slavery affect black women in colonial America?• How did African Americans resist slavery?
• By fourteenth century diverse American Indian cultures• American Indian, African relationship complicated – American Indians lived harmoniously with nature, influenced Africans – Indians sometimes slaveholders – Africans helped defend against Indian attacks – Africans, Indians similarly oppressed in American colonies
Reasons for EuropeanMigrations to the Americas in the 17c
The British and Jamestown• Jamestown first permanent British colony in North America – Located in Chesapeake region, called Virginia – No gold, climate unsuitable for crops• Tobacco became mainstay of Virginia• White laborers produced most tobacco in Chesapeake colonies
Africans Arrive in Chesapeake• 1619, 32 people of African descent at Jamestown – Dutch bring 20 Angolans to Jamestown – New arrivals regarded as unfree not slaves • England had no slave laws • Some Angolans Christian, Christians could not be enslaved
• First black person born in English America – Parents baptized in Church of England – Born free• Africans remained small minority in expanding Virginia colony
English ColonizationThe Charter of the Virginia Company: Guaranteed to colonists the same rights as Englishmen as if they had stayed in England. This provision was incorporated into future colonists’ documents. Colonists felt that, even in the Americas, they had the rights of Englishmen!
England Plants theJamestown “Seedling”Late 1606 VA Co. sends out 3 shipsSpring 1607 land at mouth ofChesapeake Bay. Attacked by Indians and move on.May 24, 1607 about 100 colonists [allmen] land at Jamestown, along banks ofJames River Easily defended, but swarming with disease-causing mosquitoes.
The Jamestown Nightmare 1606-1607 40 people died on the voyage to the New World. 1609 another ship from England lost its leaders and supplies in a shipwreck off Bermuda. Settlers died by the dozens! ―Gentlemen‖ colonists would not work themselves. Game in forests & fish in river uncaught. Settlers wasted time looking for gold instead of hunting or farming.
Captain John Smith: The Right Man for the Job??There was no talk…but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load gold…
PocahontasPocahontas ―saves‖ A 1616Captain John Smith engraving
High Mortality RatesThe ―Starving Time‖: 1607: 104 colonists By spring, 1608: 38 survived 1609: 300 more immigrants By spring, 1610: 60 survived 1610 – 1624: 10,000 immigrants 1624 population: 1,200 Adult life expectancy: 40 years Death of children before age 5: 80%
Chief PowhatanPowhatan Confederacy Powhatan dominated a few dozen small tribes in the James River area when the English arrived. The English called all Indians in the area Powhatans. Powhatan probably saw the English as allies in his struggles to control other Indian tribes in the region.
Culture Clash in the ChesapeakeRelations between Indians & settlersgrew worse. General mistrust because of different cultures & languages. English raided Indian food supplies during the starving times.1610-1614 First Anglo-Powhatan War De La Warr had orders to make war on the Indians. Raided villages, burned houses, took supplies, burned cornfields.
John RolfeWhat finally made the colony prosperous??
Tobacco PlantVirginia’s gold and silver. -- John Rolfe, 1612
Early Colonial Tobacco1618 — Virginia produces 20,000 pounds of tobacco.1622 — Despite losing nearly one-third of its colonists in an Indian attack, Virginia produces 60,000 pounds of tobacco.1627 — Virginia produces 500,000 pounds of tobacco.1629 — Virginia produces 1,500,000 pounds of tobacco.
Back Servitude in Chesapeake• Demand for tobacco expanded, indentured servitude grew – Blacks, whites sold freedom for set time – Could expect to live as free people – Free black men became landowners• British assumed Africans were alien• British make slaves property of masters• Chattel Slavery – A form of slavery in which the enslaved are treated legally as property
Indentured ServitudeHeadright System Indentured Contract, 1746
Indentured ServitudeHeadright System: Each Virginian got 50 acres for each person whose passage they paid.Indenture Contract: 5-7 years. Promised ―freedom dues‖ [land, £] Forbidden to marry. 1610-1614: only 1 in 10 outlived their indentured contracts!
Richard Frethorne’s 1623 LetterIn-Class Activity: 1. Describe the life of the indentured servant as presented in this letter. 2. What are some of the problems he and the other servants experienced? 3. What are their biggest fears? 4. What does a historian learn about life in the 17c Chesapeake colony?
Why was 1619 a pivotal year for the Chesapeake settlement?
Growing Political Power The House of Burgesses established in 1619 & began to assume the role of the House of Commons in England Control over finances, militia, etc. By the end of the 17c, H of B was able to initiate legislation. A Council appointed by royal governor Mainly leading planters. Functions like House of Lords. High death rates ensured rapid turnover of members.
Virginia Becomes a Royal Colony James I grew hostile to Virginia He hated tobacco. He distrusted the House of Burgesses which he called a seminary of sedition. 1624 he revoked the charter of the bankrupt VA Company. Thus, VA became a royal colony, under the king’s direct control!
English Tobacco Label First Africans arrived in Jamestown in 1619. Their status was not clear perhaps slaves, perhaps indentured servants. Slavery not that important until the end of the 17c.
17c Population in the Chesapeake100000 80000 60000 White 40000 Black 20000 0 1607 1630 1650 1670 1690 WHY this large increase in black popul.??
Colonial SlaveryAs the number of slavesincreased, white colonists reacted toput down perceived racial threat. Slavery transformed from economic to economic and racial institution. Early 1600s differences between slave and servant were unclear.By the mid-1680s, black slavesoutnumbered white indenturedservants.
Colonial SlaveryBeginning in 1662 ―Slave Codes‖ Made blacks [and their children] property, or chattel for life of white masters. In some colonies, it was a crime to teach a slave to read or write. Conversion to Christianity did not qualify the slave for freedom.
Frustrated FreemenLate 1600s large numbers ofyoung, poor, discontented men in theChesapeake area. Little access to land or women for marriage.1670 The Virginia Assemblydisenfranchised most landless men!
Nathaniel Bacon’s Rebellion: 1676 Led 1,000 Virginians in a rebellion against Governor Berkeley Rebels resented Berkeley’s close relations with Indians.Nathaniel Bacon Berkeley monopolized the fur trade with the Indians in the area. Governor Berkley refused to William retaliate for Indian Berkeley attacks on frontier settlements.
Bacon’s RebellionRebels attacked Indians, whetherthey were friendly or not to whites.Governor Berkeley driven fromJamestown.They burned the capital. Rebels went on a rampage of plundering.Bacon suddenly died of fever.Berkeley brutally crushed the rebellionand hanged 20 rebels.
Results of Bacon’s RebellionIt exposed resentments betweeninland frontiersmen and landlessformer servants against gentry oncoastal plantations. Socio-economic class differences/clashes between rural and urban communities would continue throughout American history.Upper class planters searched forlaborers less likely to rebel BLACKSLAVES!!
Bacon’s Rebellion• Black slaves, white indentured servants unite against elite – Bacon dies before rebellion can occur• Elite realize danger of freed, white indentured servants – Planters switch to enslaved black labor force• Whites freedom, prosperity rest on denying blacks freedom• Master class – Slaveholders
Tobacco Colonies• Tobacco, rice colonies’ economies dependent on black slaves• Black laborers’ living conditions varied – Some masters worked together with slaves – Some masters divided slaves among many holdings – Before mid-eighteenth century nearly all slaves were fieldworkers
• Masters wanted slaves to work harder, faster – After 1750 some black men had skilled occupations – Black women worked in fields, homes
Low Country Slaves• West Indian plantation system strong in Carolina, Georgia – British settlers were Barbados slaveholders, brought slaves • Black people chattel from start – Also center of Indian slave trade – Cultivated rice on large plantations, similar to West Indies • 1750s, rice cultivation, slavery spread to Georgia
Miscegenation and Creolization• Interracial sexual contacts between blacks, whites, Indians – White assemblies feared creation of mixed- race class• Creolization led African parents to produce African-American children• Miscegenation, creolization together caused physical, cultural change
The Great Awakening• Evangelical ministers preach spiritual equality• Africans – Africans link spiritual equality to earthly equality – General African conversion – Africans influence church services
Development of distinct African-Americanchurch Blacks segregated in white churches Masters used church to teach obedienceAfrican-American Christianity blendedWest African, European elements
• Development of distinct African-American church – Blacks segregated in white churches – Masters used church to teach obedience• African-American Christianity blended West African, European elements
Language, Music, and Folk Literature(contd)• Pidgens – Simplified mixtures of two or more languages used to communicate between people who speak different languages• Black English (or African-American Vernacular English) – A variety of American English that is influenced by West African grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation
The African-American Impact on Colonial Culture (contd)• African-American imprint on southern diction – Black women raised white children – White children acquired African-American speech patterns• Blacks influenced white notions of remedies, cooking
The African-American Impact on Colonial Culture• West African culture shaped work in American South – African styles influenced southern southern colonial architecture – Slaves worked harder in groups
AFRICANS AS A PERCENTAGE OF THE TOTAL POPULATION OF THE BRITISH AMERICAN COLONIES 1650–1770
The African-American Impact on Colonial Culture (contd)• Gang system – A mode of organizing labor that had West African antecedents. In this system American slaves worked in groups under the direction of a slave driver
Slavery in the Northern Colonies• Slavery less extensive in north than south – Small numbers, close to masters, isolation – Northern slaves had fewer opportunities to preserve African heritage• In Middle colonies curfews kept slaves isolated
Slavery in the Northern Colonies (contd)• In New England Puritanical beliefs, few slaves – Puritans converted Africans – Slaves could inherit, own property
Slavery in Spanish Florida and French Louisiana
Slavery in Spanish Florida and French Louisiana• Numbers small, needed as soldiers more than fieldworkers – British takeover caused slaves to grow• Louisiana imported about 6,000 slaves – Blacks outnumbered whites – Slaves became artisans, gained freedom – Sexual exploitation of black women created mixed-race
African Americans in New Spain’s Northern Borderlands
African Americans in New Spain’s Northern Borderlands• Few black people than British colonies – Some slaves, some with limited freedom – Worked as domestics, laborers or in Mexican mines• Racial Purity – Spanish top; Blacks, Indians bottom – Most Spaniards mixed race – Blacks, Indians had more status
This detail of a mural located in the Arizona capitol building shows, onits extreme right, the former slave Esteban, who wears a blue turban.
Black Women in Colonial America• Black men valued higher than black women – Worked in fields until giving birth • Suffered complications giving birth• Changed from fieldworkers to house servants – Subjected to sexual exploitation
In this painting African Americans await sale to slave traders, who stand at the doorway on the left.
Class Discussion• Work with a group of 3 to four students and write down everything you know about the similarities and difference between the slaves throughout the Americas. You have northern, Chesapeake Area, Southern Florida and Louisiana and New Spain.