The Anthony Johnson Story

The following is from The Confederate Handbook by Curtis Patranella (page 14):

It was common practice in the early days of Colonization of the New World for the wealthy to sponsor the poor for passage to the New World. In exchange for passage, the poor would become an indentured servant for a limited amount of time (usually 2 to 7 years).

After their term of service, an indentured servant would receive their freedom and a modest plot of land to call their own.

Anthony Johnson came to Jamestown in 1619 as an indentured servant; and within 4 years, he worked off his debt and settled down with his wife as a land owner. By 1651, Anthony Johnson became wealthy enough to sponsor 5 individuals for passage to the New World. The sponsorship not only garnered Anthony workers, but also increased his land holdings by 250 acres in headrights.

Unlike his contemporaries, Anthony Johnson put a twist in the normal sponsorship, when he outright purchased one of his wards (an African) as a slave.

Within a year or two, John Casor (the slave) pleaded with a local farmer (Robert Parker) to save him. Casor stated that Anthony Johnson had sponsored him as an indentured servant and that he had worked off his debt, but Mr. Johnson refused to release him.

Outraged, Robert Parker took John Casor under his wing. Anthony took Parker to court. After a year and a half court battle, the English Court had to make a ruling on something they never had before… whether a man could possess another man as chattel.

In 1654, the decision was rendered, and the court ruled that “seriously consideringe and maturely weighing the premisses, doe fynde that the saide Mr. Robert Parker most unjustly keepeth the said Negro from Anthony Johnson his master….It is therefore the Judgement of the Court and ordered That the said John Casor Negro forthwith returne unto the service of the said master Anthony Johnson, And that mr. Robert Parker make payment of all charges in the suit.”.

John Casor had become the first ever slave of the New World Colonies.

The People of Jamestown, and elsewhere, began to see the benefit and cost savings of purchasing Africans outright for a life of servitude, as opposed to sponsoring freemen for a limited duration, and slavery was underway in force.

The above story is not spectacular, nor does it give rise to gasps of shock or surprise; what should surprise and shock you however is this…

Anthony Johnson, the man responsible for slavery in the New World was not named Anthony Johnson; that was the name he adopted upon arriving in the New World. Anthony Johnson signed on as an indentured servant under the name “Antonio, a Negro”. You see, slavery was birthed in the New World by a black man from Africa.

I am sure that this accomplishment will not be the subject of a Black History Month special.

NOTE: Be sure to read through the replies for information that conflicts with what is presented in this article. The relevant reply is dated October 12, 2013.

December 1, 2013 – Comments are now closed on this post. This has just become a lightning rod for those looking for any opportunity to attack The South and our Southern heritage. It has been an interesting and informative discussion, and my thanks to those who constructively participated, but it has run its course. Discussion of slavery is not, and never has been the purpose of the Confederate Colonel blog. It is addressed here because we cannot pretend that the issue does not exist, so it must be addressed head-on. We have done that in several posts here. I have no intention of addressing the issue of slavery in any future posts, nor will I be approving any future comments on the subject.

To review what has been posted here on the topic of slavery, click on the “slavery” tag on the right side of this page. You will also find information on slavery in the Resources section.

About Stephen Clay McGehee

Born-Again Christian, Grandfather, husband, business owner, Southerner, aspiring Southern Gentleman. Publisher of The Confederate Colonel and The Southern Agrarian blogs. President/Owner of Adjutant Workshop, Inc., Vice President - Gather The Fragments Bible Mission, Inc. (Sierra Leone, West Africa), Webmaster - Military Order of The Stars and Bars, Kentucky Colonel.
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37 Responses to The Anthony Johnson Story

  1. Michael Simons says:

    The Left will howl about this. They could not accept that a Free Black man started Slavery in the US.

  2. Unfortunately, they won’t howl about it at all. They simply bury it, then ignore it, then attempt to discredit it.

    The only way that this sort of thing ever works toward the truth is when we make sure that our children and grandchildren and so on down the line are told the truth. The public schools will not do it, and many of the private schools won’t either.

  3. KCLARK35 says:

    This wouldn’t be howled about or discredited. It would simply be the truth. As a black man, I accept the fact that it was the Afrikaan Kings who first started slave trade. It is just a matter of being ignorant to truth. All we’re ever taught is that we were brought over into slavery, then when we go to higher institutions we learn more indepth information. I’ll continue being educated! Thanks!

  4. Thank you, Mr. Clark, for adding your perspective to the discussion. I count it as an honor to have you here and I hope that we will see more commentary from you, sir.

  5. Confederate Papist says:

    Hot darn! My memory was better than I thought!

  6. Irene McKay says:

    No. It won’t be howled about,it will just be recognized for the mis-information that it is. Mr. Johnson’s slave was the first in Virginia. The first African American slave was a man who escaped with two white indentured servants, was caught and sentenced to slavery in 1640.

  7. Set-it-Straight says:

    Just a quick note about Ms. McKay’s contribution – it’s a matter of semantics. First off, Punch was not considered African American as America was not considered a nation. He would have still been considered simply African. Nothing wrong with that, just an important PC distinction.

    Secondly, his lifetime servitude was a penalty for trying to escape a debt. Not that it’s fair – just saying it was a prison sentence not a purchase and sales agreement as was Johnson’s slave. The court ruled that a man can be purchased for life servitude in Johnson’s case as opposed to being sentenced as a penalty.

    The fact remains that the precedence to purchase another for life servitude was set by a black man.

  8. Souliej says:

    Antonio, a Negro, or Mr. Johnson’s case might be the first that the researcher came across with. Before 1654 there have been thousands of indentured servants in the colonies who have been denied their freedom and didn’t take their owners to court and they just ran away. A court that rules Mr Robert Parker’s humanitarian action to help to a man who worked off his debt to freedom unjust shouldn’t be call Court, but a bunch of them!!

  9. Please name one African King who was invloved in slavery so I can research it. Most people regurgitate that with no proof. Name one and I will research it and get back to you.

  10. I suspect that you are looking for the same type of historical accounts that would be found in European historical records where names and genealogies were carefully recorded. This is Africa that we’re talking about – a land where even today, even the most routine record keeping is inept beyond description.

    I know it’s off topic a bit, but a timely example: As I am writing this reply, I have had one phone call from the bank regarding a wire transfer that I am trying to send to Africa; I have also had two phone calls from the missionary in Africa (Sierra Leone, to be specific) who is trying to receive that wire transfer. These almost never go through without a hitch – account numbers are changed on a whim, bank routing numbers are changed without notice, and the bank personnel in Africa are completely clueless. The concept and importance of keeping accurate records is apparently beyond their grasp even today. What is a routine transaction for other parts of the world requires multiple phone calls (no small matter itself, in Africa), manual intervention by the bank here, and several attempts before it goes through. At this point, we’re trying again and hoping that it will go through by Friday, but making other plans in case things go as they usually do.

    Given this attitude toward record keeping, expecting to have an accurate reference to even one African king involved in the slave trade is either naive or setting up a straw man argument. Most likely, it is a matter of the wholesale buyer of slaves dealing with an African who represents himself as the king of his people, and that is what the buyer wrote in his notes. The lack of a verifiable reference to “King such-and-such” that can be confirmed using a web search would mean nothing. Perhaps there are such specific and verifiable references, but I highly doubt it. That does not, in any way, indicate that this is some sort of myth.

    This post – – includes a link to a Nigerian rights group that calls for an apology from African tribal chiefs for their role in the slave trade. You can also dismiss that as being “regurgitated with no proof” if you like.

  11. Roger says:

    For Mr Thomas (& others), I would recommend ‘The Diligent: A Voyage through the Worlds of the Slave Trade’ by Robert Harms. He tells the story of a 1731 French slave ship through the diary of its 1st Lieutenant. Harms spends a great deal of time setting the stage of the African kings on the ‘slave coast’ who were battling each other to dominate the trade and becoming extremely wealthy in the process. It is quite clear, they had no moral problem selling other Africans or enslaving them for their own purposes. The book has extensive end notes on sources.

    The book is available on Amazon (used) for under a dollar. I would highly recommend it, as it deals with the topic away from an American perspective.

  12. Roger thanks for the reference. I just ordered a copy for my own library.

  13. Jen says:

    The issue of slavery in America does not stand on anyone man’s shoulders. Slavery was a common practice in many parts of the world. Even indentured servants were made to pay endless amount of debt through hard labor over many years before earning their freedom. Dressing the name up doesn’t make the inhumane actions of many Europeans in North America go away. The fact is, the Native Indians were the first slaves of Europeans. Many of the Indians captured and were relocated to regions they were not accustom to. Indians were not immune to the same diseases Europeans were. Dead men don’t make for good laborers. Africans were of more use to these greedy Europeans who needed free laborers to produce profit through tobacco and soon many other crops that African tradition would bring to the Americas. It is not the fact that slavery existed, it is inhumane way North American Europeans treated other human beings. America has more rights for animals than they did for slaves. That was due to a collected effort of many lazy greedy individuals who wanted free labor. Anthony Johnson simply assumed the American culture. After Johnson’s death the powers that be stole most of his land. Which is certainly nothing new, as the Native Indians would tell you.

  14. Michael says:

    The fact that Mr. Johnson who was African owned another human was no different of profitable than President Thomas Jefferson who owned and had children with his servants. The biggest point make the great cost of human lives lost to keep the ownership of such slaves that is real sad. But I wanted to add most slave owners were Mullatto women as outlined in the “Black Slave Owner” written by Joseph E. Holloway So as a proud man of color I welcome history as it is just that a story of the past. So if you are on the left or right voting you still such believe that treatment of the slaves were a bigger issue being whipped for non performance and later how Black were viewed even today is a matter of the heart we all need to focus on God son loved that word that he gave his only begotten son for (all) who so ever believe will have everlasting life

    Thanks for allowing m to express myself God Bless all members of the human race

  15. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Michael. While the story of Thomas Jefferson fathering children by his servants has proven to be unproven (latest research shows that while there is clearly a DNA link, it could have been any of several in the Jefferson family), you brought up the one fact that rises above all others. God sent His son, Jesus Christ to die for the sins of ALL men – Black, White, Jew, Gentile, free, slave, male, female – ALL men. Those who allow themselves to get distracted by other matters so that they miss that point are among the saddest creatures on the planet and will pay for that mistake in eternity. If you have put your full faith and trust in Jesus for the remission of your sins, then you are my brother. If that is the case, then may God bless you, my brother!

  16. Stucker says:

    Well let me just get straight to the point. What Antonio was trying to maintain for a lifetime was what John Ceasar (name conveniently spelled another way) “expertise” belongs to him for a lifetime. We don’t know home much he paid to bring that expertise or lease it out.

    See very often we get the argument about documentation of history. In the case of African culture and the oral traditions have just as much credence. Humanity has a way of distinguishing our traditions and cultures that have been handed down orally through the years and maintained very well. We know full well, that even documented history can be fallacious in facts based upon the intent of the author alone. Particularly when it comes to protecting the reputations of the wealthy in this country. So, while scholars depend upon documents and DNA, and they definitely help, other things come into play when analysis data (particularly in the African American culture).

    Of course I respond out of love for humanity.

  17. Stephen you have to think. When Anthony took Parker to court who made the final decision? Twleve white jurors correct? That makes white man responsible for bringing slavery in America. Stick to a different kind history not black history. I can probably prove you wrong in that too.

  18. Prove me wrong. Maybe you are as smart as you write. Maybe

  19. Thanks for writing, Jamall. Let’s take a look at your logic and see how it works. If you are correct, then the same logic will work in any case it is applied to. Here’s one:

    Black thug robs a liquor store. He is arrested and put on trial. The prosecution is unable to introduce evidence that the defense claims was obtained without the defendant being read his “Miranda Rights”. The defendant is the same man who committed the robbery. A White judge presiding over a jury of twelve White men, find the defendant not guilty according to the law due to lack of evidence. He is, in fact, guilty. Using your logic, that makes the robbery and his release the fault of the twelve White jurors.

    You can switch the races any way you want to. I’m just trying to keep it consistent for the discussion. The action in the Anthony Johnson case was initiated by one Black man against another Black man. The Whites were not involved in the actual case – their involvement was limited to passing judgement on which side of the case most closely agreed with the law (I say “most closely” because legal issues are seldom clear-cut, which is why we have a judicial system). I can’t prove it, but I seriously doubt that the men on that jury sat down and conspired to set this as a legal precedent so that White plantation owners two hundred years later could have slaves to pick their cotton. I don’t think so. They were just doing what a judge and jury do – in this case, deciding a case brought by one Black man against another Black man. At that time, those White men had nothing in the game.

    No, I stand by the wording as written. With that said, let me clarify a few points:

    1) This post was not written by me, so I cannot take credit for it. It was written by (and fully credited to) Curtis Patranella – a man whose writing I have great respect for.

    2) If your objective is to blame slavery on the White man, well, there’s plenty of “blame” to go around. The institution of slavery has been going on since the beginning of recorded history, and still goes on to this day – mainly in parts of Africa and the Middle East, yet the focus is on what happened in The South that ended 150 years ago.

    3) I trust you are fully aware that it was Blacks who did the capturing and selling of the slaves before they were bought by the Whites. Least we miss the point, slavery was actually the more merciful outcome at their time of capture. Before they figured out that they could sell captives from their Tribal wars, there were no captives – they were simply ritually tortured and slaughtered. When tribal chiefs learned that they could make a profit by selling their captives, that meant that the losing side of a tribal war was more valuable alive and in good physical shape than tortured or killed. You can proclaim, “better dead than a slave”, but that wasn’t your choice to make. It’s history.

    Slavery isn’t a pleasant topic no matter how you look at it. One of the objectives of this blog is to point out that slavery is not the simplistic “innocent Blacks exploited and enslaved by evil Whites” story that has been promulgated for the past 50 years or so.

    Bottom line – there is plenty of blame to go around. Claiming that Whites are the only guilty party for slavery just doesn’t fit the facts.

  20. ” logic” comparing Doesnt prove me right or wrong. Whites were always in the “game” and had superiority back then. If that White judge let the thug go then he made the decision so he is responsible for just that. Letting the thug go. The judge being responsible for the robbery, NO i disagree. Your logic doesnt match mine at all. It makes a good story for me to read, yes. And yes blacks have sold blacks to white men. White men have also made other white men into slaves or indentured servants. I bet that wont be any subject for a lot of writers. Why would they need to conspire to do anything for future gains when they already had as you say Their way? No Whites arent the only party responsible for btslavery but they are tue Main one. Your friend Curtis should write about how white men have sold their own race. Enslaving their own since the beginning of man. I bet curtis

  21. (Your reply came through exactly as shown here – somewhat jumbled up. If you would like to make any corrections, just add another reply and I’ll replace this one.)

    I’ll let others pass judgement on whether the logic holds true or not.

    You said: “White men have also made other white men into slaves or indentured servants. I be that wont be any subject for a lot of writers.”

    I don’t know what you mean by “a lot”, but if you’ve spent any time looking through this blog, you’ll see it covered here and in the links. In fact, I even wrote a post that includes a scanned image of my own grandfather’s Indentured Servant document that he and his father signed in 1897. If you consider that to be “slavery” (which I seriously question), that puts me a lot closer to it than you probably are, yet in the post, I defend the practice and wouldn’t mind seeing it be legal again.

    Yes, Blacks enslaved Blacks, Whites enslaved Whites and Blacks, Muslims enslaved just about everybody, and there are plenty of other groups who enslaved other groups as well as their own. Your point? The fact is that slavery is a part of human history. Man is inherently wicked – The Bible makes that very clear. Surely that doesn’t surprise you.

    The reason that slavery is a topic that we deal with here is for one reason, and one reason only: “Political Correctness” has indoctrinated people to believe that slavery started and ended with Southern Whites enslaving Blacks. That is false. You know it, and I hope that you have the honesty to admit it. That doesn’t excuse anything of course, it is just a matter of trying to set the record straight. Political Correctness has also indoctrinated people in the idea that all Black slaves in The South were treated horribly, beaten regularly, thought of as mere beasts of burden, and then simply disposed of when they had outlived their usefulness. If you have spent any time reading the first-hand accounts of former slaves and first-hand accounts of those living at the time, you would know that is also false. (Copies of The Slave Narratives and other sources are freely available on this site). Take a look at this post that tells my own family’s story. You’ll see photos of the descendant of a former family slave working alongside my grandfather, and a photo of the slave graves right next to our family graves in the private family cemetery.

    You will find nothing here even hinting that I think slavery was a “good thing” or that slavery should not have been outlawed. You will, on the other hand, probably find me point out that you (I am assuming that you are Black), and other descendants of those who came to America as slaves, have an infinitely better life because of that than you would have had you been born in modern-day Africa.

    There are some people who fantasize that life in Africa would be better than life here. I probably have a better idea of what life is really like in Africa today than most. I am vice-president of a non-profit corporation that provides financial and logistical support for missionaries in Sierra Leone. Literally on a daily basis, I deal with the cold hard facts of what life is like there. It ain’t pretty. Even the poorest Blacks living in America today should be on their knees thanking God for the suffering and sacrifice of their slave ancestors for the opportunity that was given to their descendants by being brought out of Africa.

  22. My bad for the mispellings, I type from my phone. Yes i am black. Your assumption was right. I meant a lot of White writers wouldnt. Every first hand slave story ive read they talk about how horrible life. How they Were beaten and treated unfairly. Just because your grandfather treated One indentured servant like he was human doesnt mean they All were. You could never be closer to slavery than me im black. Life in Africa wouldve been lovely for i mightve been King. I assume that you are wealthy so it easy for u to judge the poor. Africans have lived that way for years. They are adapted to it, without any help.

  23. Let me address a few of your points:

    1) I fully understand that “Every first hand slave story Ive read they talk about how horrible life…” I have absolutely no doubt that such things did occur. The key point here is that “Every” story you have read was that way. We are presented with only one point of view on this issue – the point of view that shows Southern Whites in the worst possible light. No other viewpoints are permitted. They are not mentioned in school or anywhere else. The material is certainly there – you just have to dig for it. That is why I don’t presume malice when someone, such as yourself, is only aware of that which shows my ancestors and my culture and my heritage in the worst possible light. That is all you have been shown, and you quite understandably have nothing motivating you to dig further.

    2) To clarify my family history: The grandfather who was an Indentured Servant was on my mother’s side. His indenture was done in his native Ireland. The grandfather with the sawmill was on my father’s side. That is the family who previously owned the slave called “Uncle Henry” whose son continued to work for the family (as did his father after he was freed). That has no real relevance to the discussion, but just wanted to clarify that.

    3) “You could never be closer to slavery than me im black”. That’s an interesting statement since it was you who previously pointed out that Whites were slaves also. It is my opinion that those who cling so closely to their slave roots are using that as an excuse for their own shortcomings. It is much easier to blame others, and blame something that happened to ancestors who died generations before you were born, than to face the fact of one’s own faults and failures and the faults and failures of one’s own heritage and culture. I don’t know you, so I have no reason to accuse you of that; however, I stand by the theory as a valid one in general.

    4) “Life in Africa wouldve been lovely for I mightve been King.” Surely, you can’t be serious! You DO mean that as a joke, don’t you?

    5) “I assume that you are wealthy so it is easy for u to judge the poor. Africans have lived that way for years. They are adapted to it, without any help.” Where do I start? OK, you assume that I am wealthy based on what? In fact, I do consider myself wealthy – while others would scoff at the notion. Wealth depends on you – it is based solely on contentment. If you are content with where you are in life, then you are wealthy. The idea that if someone is “wealthy”, then they automatically cannot possibly understand “the poor”. That, sir, is the darkest lie from the Socialist playbook. Believe it, and you are doomed to be a tool of others wallowing in your own self-pity.

    For the record, 18 years ago, I borrowed a “Learner’s Edition” of a Microsoft programming language. I took it home, spent nights and weekends learning how to use it, bought a “Learn how to program” CD from Microsoft (yes, in the early days, they really had that kind of stuff), wrote a piece of software (and then rewrote it and rewrote it until it did what my customers wanted), and I still work on, support it, and sell it to this day. It was the first of its type, and is still the leader in its niche. My customers buy it directly from me, and they have rewarded me well for what I do. Prior to that, I worked the midnight shift at a factory producing plastic hubcaps for cars; I came home every morning soaked with sweat and covered with grease and paint. It was not a nice, comfy desk job. Today, I live on a dirt road, have chickens and a garden in back, and I absolutely love the life that God has blessed me with.

    Sorry if I popped your “cigars and champagne” image of me being so wealthy. Again, wealth depends on contentedness. The business that I created has allowed my wife and I to spend much of our time and our resources to helping spread The Gospel – including places like Sierra Leone (in Africa – where you might have been King). If you went to that link and looked through the photos, you would have seen a classroom building standing in a clearing in the bush. Money from that software business financed that entire building.

    6) “Africans have lived that way for years. They are adapted to it, without any help.” You’re right about part of that – they have lived that way for years. Thousands of years, to be exact. Very little has changed in those thousands of years either. Yes, they are adapted to it – those who survived had to adapt. “Without any help”??? Are you serious? In the village where our missionaries are stationed, the natives import chicken eggs (from India, if I recall correctly)! They won’t even raise chickens for their eggs (chickens, by the way, are native to Africa). Virtually everything is imported from – and largely paid for by – non-African countries. If the foreign aid were to stop, most of Africa would collapse. You have an absolute fantasy image of The Dark Continent. Help is poured in to that part of the world, but is wasted. They have a village Health Officer provided by the government (and paid for by foreign aid) who, after years of work, still cannot convince the people to use even the most basic of sanitation. Cholera ravages the place, but they still refuse to wash their hands or use even basic toilet facilities.

    And you might be a King in Africa?? If you truly want to do something, then head right on over there to Africa and become the next king. They certainly need someone who can lead them out of their utter darkness and their resolute refusal to learn and to advance, and you might be just the man to do it.

    Some of this comes across as pretty critical, and my guess is that you will dismiss it as the rantings of just another White Supremest who spends his days plotting ways to keep the Black man down. I truly hope I’m wrong on that and that you will take this as constructive (though harsh) criticism. Until Blacks reject the victim status that lets the Left so completely control them, they will continue to be little pawns in the game, and Black children will continue to grow up without hope. It’s your choice.

  24. Thanks for your time. I agree to disagree Help out Africans by building them a school and you had 1 indentured servant gfather and you Think you know the race? You could help a Million Sierre leonens but if I still will get more respect,love from them in one meet. They recognize me. If the President of the U S a “little pawn in the game” im in he looks black to me. Being in Africa has affected your thought process a tad. Surely the small amount of kids you work with have no hope, im sure your not helping out a large population of Sierre Leon. Only a small crowd. They are not All Africans or African Americans. Over here in the US black kids have more hope than ever. Im sure u thinking his mom is white yes but his African genes are stronger. Obama gives black kids a chance to see they Can be the Biggest Pawn in the Game. In Africa without any missionaries or Gospel wannabees, their life would go on and they will Still live and be content with their lives. They are Wealthy the history that is being passed down is Correct more than not. Africans are content with their lives. Resting off of your grandfathers past accomplishments doesnt “pop my cigarettes and champagne.” Because he was an indentured servant or your other one owned a slave proves what? He needed money would be my assumption. The indentured servant that is. The history thatv

  25. Thanks for sticking with the discussion, Jamall. My guess is that neither of us has moved in what we believe, but that’s OK, that’s not necessarily the point of discussion. It’s about showing how different people think. If I can understand your thinking and what motivates you, and you can do the same with me, then we both benefit. The same holds true for those who are just reading this post and these comments.

    My grandfather’s time as an indentured servant is nothing more than an interesting curiosity to me. It is just the way he learned his trade. I definitely do not see that as giving me any special insight or “status” or anything like that. It means nothing more to me than knowing he did what he had to do to learn a skill and become a more productive man who could support his family. Also, I do not in any way think that having a grandfather who was an indentured servant helps me “know the race”; you first mentioned indentured servants, so I thought I’d point that out.

    I don’t pretend to understand the Black race and how they think and feel. All I can do is observe what I see and form conclusions from that. I can get glimpses of insight from discussions like this and from Blacks I have personal dealings with, but that’s the extent of it. By the same token, you will never know what it is like to be White. We are both who we are, apparently pretty content with who we are, and take some amount of pride in our ancestors, our heritage, and our culture. That’s as it should be. Another point we can take from this discussion is that race is far more than mere skin color. Neither of us could just change our skin color and “become” one of the other race. It is deeply engrained in who we are – in our very being. It is a huge part of who we are.

    Again, thanks for sticking with the discussion. It’s been interesting and informative for me, and I trust it has been the same for you also. I wish you well, sir!

  26. Pingback: Éléments d’histoire américaine | Le Monarchomaque

  27. Mark Ramius says:

    Well this has been a fun read, but it seems to me the author is enjoying thumbing his nose at black folks while chanting “nah-nah-nah it’s all your fault, you started it!” just a little too, too much. You are clearly smug, condescending, and just plain wrong. Since you have brought up this thin legalistic mask to try and disguise the deep historical guilt of southern whites, I’ll play along. According to what I was able to dig up on this guy, he was brought to Jamestown as the property of the Virginia Company and known as “Antonio a negro”. Since he was transported to Jamestown as a slave, one wonders how blame for legal slavery per se could be placed upon his back seeing as how if slavery had not predated his arrival he would never have even arrived. Your cart sir, has been placed ahead of your horse…and your motives for writing this execrable piece are hereby impugned. I look forward to your indignant retort.

  28. Mark, sorry to disappoint you, but you won’t get to see my “indignant retort.” I’m too busy being “smug, condescending, and just plain wrong” to spend time with someone who clearly has his mind made up, is certain that Southern Whites are evil incarnate while Blacks and Northern Whites are innocent heroic good guys, and no amount of history or reasoning will change that. If you can’t understand the original post and the exchange of replies that follows it, then nothing I could add would make it any clearer to you.

  29. Alesha Flint says:

    And this is further reason why Black Americans still keep one eye open when it comes to White america. SLAVEY is not a laughing matter , a joke, or a mockery. We all know that some African Kings sold us into slavery. We all know that it wasnt just Southern whites who wanted slavery. My educated self would have thought this to be an interesting post if you would have not put the following smug comments “. I am sure that this accomplishment will not be the subject of a Black History Month special.” AND that sir is where you went wrong. An accomplishment and owning slaves should not even be in the same sentence. You evidently didn’t look at too many specials or research black history because it is always mentioned how we were betrayed by our so called own.

  30. Alesha, thank you for writing. I’ll have to admit that I never saw that combination of words that you pointed out.

    You said, “You evidently didn’t look at too many specials or research black history because it is always mentioned how we were betrayed by our so called own.” It’s been quite a while since I have watched anything on TV about the subject – we removed TV from our house almost 15 years ago, so perhaps I have just missed out on seeing that pointed out. I’m not doubting you – just saying that I haven’t seen anything more than a very brief mention before going back to laying the blame for slavery on Southern Whites.

    The point of this entire post and many of the replies is that there is plenty of blame to go around when it comes to the subject of slavery. If, as you said, television specials and other forms of Black history are now pointing out that the slaves imported to America were captured and sold by other Africans, then that is certainly a big step in the right direction. It is my opinion that one of the biggest obstacles to resolving some of the racial conflict in America is the one-sided blame game in which Southern Whites are assumed to shoulder the blame for slavery. Yes, there are brief mentions here and there of Black involvement, but when it comes to popular opinion and “political correctness”, there is only one villain and one victim; one is evil incarnate and the other is an innocent victim. I am quite confident that you know that is not the case, and I am quite confident that many other Blacks are, at some level, aware of that also.

    It won’t be until it is openly understood that it was system with both Blacks and Whites profiting that there will be some level of honesty injected into the discussion. Frankly, I don’t really see that happening any time soon. There are too many people (both Black and White) with too much at stake to finally destroy such a popular notion.

    Again, thank you for writing.

  31. Tyke says:

    The statements and narrative in this article are a flat out lie. John Casor wasn’t the first to be made a slave in the new world and Anthony Johnson wasn’t the man responsible for slavery in the new world. Spanish colonies had slavery since the mid 1500s, Massachusetts legalized slavery in 1641, and Connecticut legalized slavery in 1650. All of these occurred before the court decision in Johnson v. Parker in 1654. So, you’d have to narrow it down to just Virginia, and even then it’s a lie.

    Historians do differ on when slavery started in Virginia. Some historians think it started with the onset of Negros arriving in Jamestown in 1619. Some historians don’t consider anything before 1660 to be slavery. However, if historians do decide to identify the first legally documented example of slavery, then they refer to John Punch who was an indentured servant forced into slavery in 1640. Punch is the earliest legal account of slavery in Virginia and his master was a white man named Hugh Gwyn. This has been thoroughly recognized by historians and published in peer reviewed and scholarly journals. Most historians don’t even mention Casor when outlining important events that lead to the development of slavery. The ones that do mention Casor, like Breen and Foner, only use his civil case as an example to argue how hard it was for Negro indentured servants to escape from being reduced into lifetime slavery.

    “”In another decision that same month, the Virginia Count demonstrated that it would not be reluctant to subject blacks who were not already enslaved to lifetime servitude….Thus, although he committed the same crime as the Dutchman and the Scotsman, John Punch, a black man, was sentenced to lifetime slavery.”
    A. Leon Higginbotham. In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process: The Colonial Period. Oxford University Press. 1980.

    “The third servant, ‘a negro named John Punch,’ was punished differently. Rather than take on additional years, he was made a slave for life. Scholars have argued that this decision represents the first legal distinction between Europeans and Africans to be made by Virginia courts.”
    Tom Costa. Runaway Slaves and Servants in Colonial Virginia. Encyclopedia Virginia. 2011.

    “In 1640…there is the first evidence that some blacks were not being held as servants but at least as life-long slaves. The General Court session of 22 July 1640 saw the sentencing of several runaway servants who had been captured in Maryland and returned to Virginia….The third servant was John Punch.”
    W. T. M. Riches. “White Slaves, Black Servants and the Question of Providence: Servitude and Slavery in Colonial Virginia 1609-1705. Irish Journal of American Studies. 1999.

    “Ten years later, the Virginia Courts would establish servitude for life in a case involving runaway servants…John Punch ‘was ordered to serve his master or his assigns for the time of his natural life’…Thus, John Punch’s name should go down in history as being the first official slave in the English colonies.”
    Rodeney D. Coates. Law and the Cultural Production of Race and Racialized Systems of Oppression. American Behavioral Scientist. 2003.

    “…however, as early as 1640, colonial courts began constructing racial identities to determine who could be enslaved for a fixed term and who could be enslaved for life…In 1640, John Punch, a person of African descent, was sentenced to lifetime slavery in Virginia for running away with two bond slaves of European extraction. The latter were sentenced to flogging. This can be interpreted as the first legal sanctioning of lifelong slavery in the Chesapeake.”
    John Donoghue. Out of the Land of Bondage”: The English Revolution and the Atlantic Origins of Abolition. The American Historical Review. 2010

    “The next year, 1640, the first definite indication of outright enslavement appears in Virginia…’the third being a negro named John Punch shall serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural life here or else where.'”
    Winthrop Jordan. White Over Black: American attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812. University of North Carolina Press. 1968.

    These are just a portion of sources written by well reputed and established historians, lawyers, and sociologists with Ph. D’s in related fields. The lie of calling Casor the first slave in the new world and Anthony Johnson the father of slavery is a conservative attempt at revisionist history based on misinformation. Just like you did, it gets copied and pasted all over conservative sites and spread as truth, though no one bothers to check the sources and verify the veracity of such an outlandish claim. The fact that Curtis Patranella doesn’t list any sources or cite his work should be a red flag for anyone interested in learning the truth.

  32. “Tyke” sent a very well-written comment refuting the Anthony Johnson story. He was thoughtful enough to include documentation, and his post was very reasonable and will be posted in its entirety. I want a chance to do some research on what he wrote before posting it so that I can comment on it. Thank you, sir, for your well written reply. It WILL be published in the next day or two.

    Edited to add on 10/16/2013: I still haven’t had the time to follow up on “Tyke’s” reply, but I’m posting it anyway. While I can’t legitimately comment on the contents yet, it was well-written and thoughtfully presented – and I thank you for taking the time to do that.

  33. Tyke says:

    Thank you for posting it and I look forward to your follow up.

  34. “tosh” left a reply, but you’ll have to go to the menu item About > Hate Mail to read it. I’m starting to get quite a collection on that page. Not surprisingly, his or her IP address is a Verizon account in New York City.

  35. I finally had a chance to look through the links that Tyke included in his post. I must report that every point that he made has been well documented, and I can find no fault in anything that was written in his reply. It doesn’t change the basic facts involved in the Anthony Johnson story, but the statement that I quoted, “slavery was birthed in the New World by a black man from Africa.” does appear to be false.

    Tyke, thank you for bringing this to our attention and pointing out the facts in the case. I deeply appreciate you taking the time and effort to correct a false statement here. Most of those who disagree with what is written on this blog just fire off a long list of insults, accusations, and statements that clearly show they did not read and comprehend what was posted (see the Hate Mail page for examples). You, on the other hand, used facts and reason to make your point. Again, thank you for writing and greatly contributing to the discussion.

    I have added a note to the original article to be sure to read the “Reply” section for information that conflicts with what is presented in the original article.

  36. December 1, 2013 – Comments are now closed on this post. This has just become a lightning rod for those looking for any opportunity to attack The South and our Southern heritage. It has been an interesting and informative discussion, and my thanks to those who constructively participated, but it has run its course. Discussion of slavery is not, and never has been the purpose of the Confederate Colonel blog. It is addressed here because we cannot pretend that the issue does not exist, so it must be addressed head-on. We have done that in several posts here. I have no intention of addressing the issue of slavery in any future posts, nor will I be approving any future comments on the subject.

    To review what has been posted here on the topic of slavery, click on the “slavery” tag on the right side of this page. You will also find information on slavery in the Resources section.

  37. The following was received after the comments were closed, but the information should be included here for those who read through the archived comments. This is a reply to “Tyke”

    He stated Massachusetts was first to legalize Slavery, and cited the
    Massachusetts Body of Liberties.
    There shall never be any bond slavery, villeinage, or captivity amongst us unless it be lawful captives taken in just wars, and such strangers as willingly sell themselves or are sold to us. And these shall have all the liberties and Christian usages which the law of God established in Israel concerning such persons cloth morally require. This exempts none from servitude who shall be judged thereto by authority.

    The law established in Israel was:
    Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing.

    This seems consistent with indentured servitude, voluntary or not.
    The other instance was about John Punch, he was sentenced for a crime, the circumstances of the case were not known, the court sentenced him based on the whole case. He was not a slave but serving a form of incarceration. Anthony Johnson held the first Legal Slave. John Casor committed no crime yet he was forced into lifetime servitude. See Johnson v Parker

    Jeffrey M Schloo

Comments are closed.