[Rushtalk] Wow. Father of U.S. slavery 'was actually BLACK'
John A. Quayle
blueoval57 at verizon.net
Mon Feb 25 21:36:24 MST 2013
Father of U.S. slavery was a black man
Exclusive: Ben Kinchlow reveals true history of legal human bondage
Published: 1 day ago
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Ben Kinchlow is a minister, broadcaster, author
and businessman. He was the long-time co-host of
CBN's "The 700 Club" television program and host
of the international edition of the show, seen in
more than 80 countries. He is the founder of
Israel and the African American Political
Awareness Coalition, and the author of several
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February has been officially designated,
recognized by many and even celebrated by some as
Black History Month or National African-American
History Month. While it is acknowledged in some
other countries (most notably Canada and the
U.K.), it is primarily devoted to the
achievements of African-Americans in the U.S. It
will, henceforth, include the historical fact
that Barack Hussein Obama became the first
African-American president of the United States.
However, early American history also reveals
another dramatic first involving a black American.
In truth, it should be considered a joint
celebration. We are, in actuality, acknowledging
the achievements of both blacks and America.
Since we are celebrating the achievements of
both, it may be appropriate to begin at the beginning.
Black History remembrance began as Negro History
Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a son of
former slaves. The second week of February was
chosen in honor of Frederick Douglass and Abraham
Lincoln (both born in that week), and in 1976 the
entire month was declared Black History Month.
Now to the beginning. It is well known that the
first colonials arrived on these shores following
the settlement of Jamestown by the Virginia
Company in 1607. Perhaps what is not so well
known is the fact that following the Thirty
Years War, the European economy was extremely
depressed. Consequently, many skilled and
unskilled laborers there were without work, and
the New World offered hope and a chance for a new future.
According to some reports, one-half to two-thirds
of the immigrants who came to the American
colonies arrived as indentured servants, and this
included some Africans, who arrived in Jamestown
in 1619. This distinction is critical; indentured servants were not slaves.
The first blacks to arrive in America were not slaves but indentured servants.
In 1619, all indentured servants (white or black)
had specified periods of servitude ranging from
four to seven years and received precisely the
same treatment and rewards. At the conclusion of
their respective periods of servitude, each was
entitled to freedom, citizenship and a land grant
of 25 to 50 acres. Throughout the early colonial
period when all land was held in trust for the
king, the basis of land disposition were grants,
dispensed by the local government in accordance with the kings wishes.
Land grants in Virginia were issued in accordance
with a particular system. Under this system,
every person who paid his own way to Virginia
would be entitled to 50 acres of land, known as a
headright. There was no stigma attached, and
all families, black or white, subsequently
enjoyed all the rights and privileges of other
citizens in the community. A father could
indenture a family of four, and since each family
member was entitled to 50 acres at the conclusion
of the period of servitude, they were given their
freedom and the family would qualify for a parcel of 200 acres.
Using this method, one colonist, Anthony Johnson,
by indenturing his own family members, was able
to secure 250 acres of land. His sons, utilizing
the same strategy, gained an additional 650
acres. The Johnsons settled on Pungoteague
Creek on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and thrived for almost 40 years.
For the indentureds, there were both economic and
civic benefits associated with this practice:
British law protected the rights of the
individual, the masters power over his
indentured servants was limited, and a specific skill must have been taught.
The Virginia Company, however, changed the rules.
They would now allow anyone to pay a persons
transportation to the colony in exchange for a
period of indentured servitude, subject to
certain caveats. Under the new rules, knowledge
of a skill of any kind was not included in this
contract and whoever paid the cost of passage
would receive the 50 acres of land for each
passage purchased. Indentured servants would now
get nothing but a trip and often found themselves
without rights or freedom. As one white
indentured servant, Thomas Best, wrote from
Virginia in 1623, My master Atkins hath sold me
for 150 pounds sterling like a damned slave.
Indentured servants, especially whites, could
(and often did) slip away, become part of another
settlement and simply disappear. A permanent,
economically beneficial solution for the elites was sought and implemented.
Note: The Bible points out a common failing and
path to social injustice: The love of money is
the root of all evil. Nothing against money per
se, but the love of same precipitates activities
that generate misery; not a high endorsement for
a concept it is supposed to propagate and
undergird. (As an aside, the overwhelming
majority thinks the Bible is a religious book
designed to promote religion. In actuality, there
are seven references to religious/religion in the
Bible, and six of them are negative.)
Here, history takes a bizarre turn. When I came
upon this one particularly astonishing bit of information, I was flabbergasted.
Part of the problem with facts is they can cause
discomfort when they do not conform to our
preconceived notions. Not once had I ever heard
so much as a whisper of this, and it flew in the
face of everything I knew everybody knew
about the origins of slavery in the English
colonies. Talk about political incorrectness!
Remember the aforementioned Anthony Johnson? He
raised livestock, prospered and as was customary
with prosperous landowners, indenturing one black
and several white servants. Johnson had sued in
court and won several cases, but one case in
particular would set the stage for a dramatic
shift in the workforce. There are several reports
as to the origin of this landmark case, which
would indelibly change the American cultural
landscape and impact relationships between blacks and whites for centuries.
One report says John Casor, a black indentured
servant, swindled Johnson out of the remainder
of his servitude. Another says the family
convinced Johnson to free Casor. Still another
says Casor convinced a white neighbor, Robert
Parker, that he was being illegally detained.
Whatever the reason, Johnson was not satisfied
with the status quo and took Casor and Parker to
court, alleging that Casor had not been obtained as a servant, but as a slave.
Understand the true significance of this case.
Johnson was not suing to have John Casor fulfill
some measure of a debt of servitude. Instead, he
insisted the court grant his petition that he
had ye Negro for his life. He was claiming the
services of John Casor for the remainder of
Casors natural life. To my knowledge, there is
no earlier record of judicial support given to
slavery in Virginia except as a punishment for
crime. Anthony Johnson was asking the court to
award him John Casor (who had committed no crime) as a slave.
Parker and one other influential landowner, both
white, sided with Casor. However, the court ruled
for Johnson. In the original language taken from
the original documents is the decision of the county court:
Court of Northampton; Eight Mar, Anno1654:
Whereas complaint was this daye made to ye court
by ye humble peticion of Anth. Johnson Negro ag[ains]t Mr. Robert Parker
I needed to read it slowly and in modern English:
Whereas complaint was this day made to the court
by the humble petition of Anthony Johnson, Negro,
against Mr. Robert Parker that he detains one
John Casor, a Negro, the plaintiffs servant
under pretense that the said John Casor is a
freeman. The court seriously considering and
maturely weighing the premises do find that the
said Mr. Robert Parker most unrightly keeps the
said Negro John Casor from his rightful master
Anthony Johnson, as it appears by the Deposition
of Capt. Samuel Goldsmith and many probable
circumstances. Be it therefore the Judgment of
the court and ordered that said John Casor,
Negro, shall forthwith be turned into the service
of his said master, Anthony Johnson, and that the
said Mr. Robert Parker make payment of all
charges in the suit and execution. (Eighth March, Year 1654)
This is apparently the first legal sanction of
slavery (not for a crime) in the New World.
Johnson who had himself been captured in Angola
and brought to America as an indentured servant was a black man.
From evidence found in the earliest legal
documents, Anthony Johnson must be recognized as
the nations first official legal slaveholder.
The father of legalized slavery in America was a black man.
Do we celebrate that as part of Black History Month?
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