NEGRO RACE IN AMERICA. 17
THE BEGINNING OF SLAVERY IN THE
The first Negroes landed at Jamestown, Va.,
In the year 1619, a Dutch trading vessel, being in
need of supplies, weighed anchor at Jamestown, and
exchanged fourteen Negroes for food and supplies.
The Jamestown people made slaves of these four¬
teen Negroes, but did not pass any law to that effect
until the year 1662, when the number of slaves in
the colony was then nearly 2000, most of whom
had been imported from Africa.
How They were Employed. The Jamestown
colony early discovered the profits of the tobacco
crop, and the Negro slaves were largely employed
in this industry, where they proved very profitable.
They were also enlisted in the militia, but could
not bear arms except in defence of the colonists
against the Indians. The greater part of the
manual labor of all kinds was performed by the
The Slaves Imported came chiefly from the
west coast of Africa. They were crowded into the