1619 arrival of first Africans at Old Point Comfort
Perhaps no site is more significant than this place where African slavery both began in Virginia and started its demise 242 years later. In August 1619 the English ship White Lion arrived here with “20. and odd Negroes” seized from a Portuguese vessel. Officials traded food for people who were likely taken from the kingdom of Ndongo. Some (or perhaps all) of the captives were taken to Jamestown, where they were sold into slavery. Forced migration in the following decades included servitude and slavery even before Virginia officials fully institutionalized slavery in the 1600s.
Location: Fort Monroe
Image: Library of Virginia