c. 800 B.C./B.C.E. - - Evidence suggests that African travelers may have come to the Americas before Europeans. One indication is the great stone carvings of the Olmec era in Mexico, bearing African facial features.
A.D./C.E. 1442 - Antam Goncalvez, a Portuguese explorer under Prince Henry the Navigator, kidnaps several members of African nobility. He receives as ransom "ten blacks, male and female," whom he sells into slavery at Lisbon. This marks the beginning of the trade in enslaved Africans.
c. 1465 - The trade in enslaved Africans grows as a result of Portuguese exploration.
1482 - The Portuguese establish the first slave-trading port on the African Gold Coast, Sao Jorge de Mina.
1492 - 1493 - - Africans accompany European explorers in their expeditions to the Americas. The captain of one of Columbus' ships on his first voyage is an African.
1501 - The Spanish king allows the introduction of enslaved Africans into Spain's American colonies
1511 - The first enslaved Africans arrive in Hispaniola
1513 - Thirty Africans accompany Vasco Nunez de Balboa on his trip to the Pacific Ocean
1516 - Cardinal de Cisneros bans the importaion of enslaved Africans to Spain's American colonies
1517 - Bishop de Las Casas petitions Spain to allow the importation of 12 enslaved Africans for each household immigrating to America's Spanish colonies. De Las Casas later regrets this plea, and becomes a strong opponent of slavery.
1518 - King Charles I of Spain begins granting licenses to import enslaved Africans to the Americas
1518 - The first shipload of enslaved Africans directly from Africa arrives in the West Indies. Prior to this time, Africans were brought to Europe first.
1520s - Enslaved AFricans are used as laborers in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico
1526 - Spanish colonists led by Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon build the community of San Miguel de Guadape in what is now Georgia. They bring along enslaved Africans, considered to be the first in the present-day United States. These Africans flee the colony, however, and make their homes with local Indians as the first nonnative settlers of what will become the United States. After Ayllon's death, the remaining Spaniards erlocate to Hispaniola.
1527 - 1536 - - Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and Estevanico, the African guide, are credited with being the first non-Native Americans to explore the territory that is now Arizon and New Mexico. African scout and explorer Estevanico is later killed by Zuni tribesmen.
Estevanico, a Moroccan on the de Narvaez expedition to Florida, escapes after capture by local Indians and with three Spaniards, crosses the lower Gulf Coast region to Upper Mexico, reaching Mexico City in 1536.
1539 - Estevanico is killed by Pueblo Indians while leading the exporations to New Mexico in search of the seven golden cities of Cibola.
1540 - An African from Hernando de Soto's expediton makes his home in the region that is now Alabama. He likes the countryside and lives among the Native Americans there.
1540 - Africans serve in the New Mexico expedition of Coronado and Hernando de Alarcon.
1543 - King Charles I of Spain (who is also Holy Roman Emperor Charles V) gives permission for the importation of enslaved Africans to Spain's American colonies.
1562 - An expedition to Hispaniola led by John Hawkins, the first English slave trader, sparks English interest in that activity. Hawkins' travels also call attention to Sierra Leone. Hawkins is knighted in 1588 for his service in England's victory over the Spanish Armada.
1565 - African farmers and artisans accompany Pedro Menendez de Aviles on the expedition that establishes the community of San Agustin (St. Augustine, Florida).
1573 - Professor Bartolome de Albornoz of the University of Mexico writes against the enslavement and sale of Africans.
c. 1582 - King Philip II of Spain sends some enslaved Africans to work in San Agustin (St. Augustine, Florida).
1600 - Records indicate there are approximately 900,000 enslaved Africans in Latin America.
1602 - By Spanish law, mulattos (people of combined African and European ethnicity), convicts, and "idle" Africans may be shipped to Latin America and forced to work in the mines there.
1619 - Approximately 20 blacks from a Dutch slaver are purchased as indentured workers for the English settlement of Jamestown . These are the first Africans in the English North American colonies.
1624 - The first African American child born free in the English colonies, William Tucker, is baptized in Virginia.
1624 - Dutch colonists in America import Africans from Angola and Brazil to work on their farms. Under Dutch authority, any child of a freed African formerly a slave is born into slavery.
1626 - The first African slaves arrive in New Amsterdam (now New York City.)
1629 - The first enslaved Africans arrive in what is now Connecticut.
1634 - Slavery is introduced in Maryland.
1636 - The first enslaved Africans arrive in New Amsterdam (New York City).
1638 - France's North American colonies open to trade in enslaved Africans.
1641 - Massachusetts explicitly permits slavery of Indians, whites, and Negroes in its "Body of Liberties."
1641 - Mathias De Sousa, an African indentured servant who came from England with Lord Baltimore, is elected to Maryland's General Assembly.
1642 - Virginia passes a fugitive slave law. Offenders helping runaway slaves are fined in pounds of tobacco. An enslaved person is branded with a large "R" after a second escape attempt.
1642 - When a French privateer brings to New Netherlands some Negroes taken from a spanish ship, they are sold as slaves because of their race, despite their claims to be free.
1643 - The New England Confederation reaches an agreement that makes the signature of a magistrate sufficient evidence to convict a perons of being a fugitive slave.
1645 - In Boston, merchant ships arrive from Barbados, where they traded their cargoes of enslaved Africans for sugar and tobacco. The profitability of this actions encourages the slave trade in New England.
c. 1645 - Dutch colonists transfer some of their landholdings in New Amsterdam to their former enslaved Africans as compensation for their support in battles with Native Americans. A condition of the land transfer, however, is the guarantee of a specified amount of food from those lands to their former owners.
1650 - Connecticut legalizes slavery. Rhode Island has large plantations worked by enslaved Africans.
1650 - In New Netherland, the Dutch West India Company introduces slavery in a form similar to indenturing. Even after gaining freedom, former slaves have to give fixed amounts of their crops to the company. After the English capture of the colony, traditional enslavement is introduced and even the limited freedoms are curtailed.
1651 - Anthony Johnson, a free African American, imports several enslaved Africans and is given a grant of land on Virginia's Puwgoteague River. Other free African Americans follow this pattern.
1652 - Massachusetts enacts a law requiring all Negro and Indian servants to undergo military training so as to be able to help defend the colony.
1655 - A free Virginia black, Anthony Johnson, successfully sues for the return of his slave John Casor, whome the court had earlier treated as an indentured servant.
1656 - Fearing the potential for slave uprisings, Massachusetts reverses its 1652 statute and prohibits blacks from arming or training as militia. Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New York soon follow.
1660 - A Connectict law prohibits African Americans from serving in the militia.
1662 - Virginia reverses the presumption of English law that the child follows the status fo his father and enacts a law that makes the free or enslaved status of children dependent on the status of the mother.
1663 - Maryland slave laws provide that all imported Africans are slaves. Free European American women who marry enslaved men lose their freedom. Children of European American women and enslaved men are enslaved. Other North American colonies have similiar laws.
1663 - A planned revolt of enslaved Africans is uncovered in Virginia.
1664 - In Virginia, the enslaved African's status is clearly differentiated from the indentured servant's when colonial laws decree that enslavement is for life and is transferred to the children through the mother. Black and "slave" become synonymous, and enslaved Africans are subject to harsher and more brutal control than other laborers.
1664 - Maryland establishes slavery for life for Negroes and, to prevent white women from marrying black men, requires children to follow the status of their fathers.
1667 - England enacts strict laws regarding enslaved Africans in its colonies. An enslaved African is forbidden to leave the plantation without a pass, and never on Sunday. An enslaved African may not possess weapons or signaling mechanisms such as horns or whistles. Punishment for an owner who kills an enslaved African is a 15-pound fine.
1667 - Virginia declares that baptism does not free a slave from bondage, thereby abandoning the Christian tradition of not enslaving other Christians.
1670 - A law is enacted in Virginia that all non-Christians who arrive by ship are to be enslaved. Those children who enter by land must serve until they are 30 or for 12 years if they are adults.
1670 - A French royal decree brings French shippers into the slave trade, with the rationale that the labor of enslaved Africans helps the growth of France's island colonies.
1670 - The Massachusetts legislature passes a law that enables its citizens to sell the children of enslaved Africans into bondage, thus separating them from their parents.
1671 - A Maryland law states that the conversion of enslaved African Americans to Christianity does not affect their status as enslaved people.
1672 - King Charles II of England charters the Royal African Company, which dominates the slave trade to North America for the next half century.
1673 - The Massachusetts legislature passes a law that forbids European Americans from engaing in trade with any African American.
1681 - Maryland laws mandate that children of European servant women and African men are free.
1682 - A harsher slave code in Virginia requires passes, prohibits weapson for slaves and forbids self-defense by African Americans.
1688 - Mennonite Quakers in Germantown, Pennylvania denounce slavery in the first recorded formal protest in North America against the enslavement of Africans.
1690 - By this year, all English colonies in America have enslaved Africans.
1690 - Enslaved Africans and Native Americans in Massachusetts plan a rebellion.
1692 - The Virginia House of Burgesses enacts the Runaway Slave Law making it legal to kill a runaway in the course of apprehension.
1693 - All fugitive Africans who have escaped slavery in the British colonies and fled to Florida are granted their freedom by the Spanish monarchy.
1694 - The introduction of rice into the Carolina colony increases the need for cheap labor to work on the new plantations. This adds another factor tot he economic justification and rationalization for expanding the slave trade.
1696 - American Quakers, at their annual meeting, warn members against holding Africans in slavery. Violators who continue to keep slaves are threatened with expulsion.
1697 - As the Royal African Company's monopoly ends, the slave trade expands.
1700 - A census reports more than 27,000 enslaved people, mostly Africans, in the Englilsh colonies in North America. The great majority live in the South.
Boston slave traders are involved in selling enslaved Africans in New England colonies and Virginia.
Massachusetts Chief Justice Samuel Sewall publishes "The Selling of Joseph," a book that combines both the economic and moral reasons to abolish the trade in enslaved Africans.
1704 - French colonist Elias Neau opens a school for enslaved African Americans in New York City.
1705 - - Virginia passes a law that demands lifelong servitude of all imported African slaves unless they are Christians. The new statute also declares that only people of African descent can be enslaved in Virginia. A later law makes African Americans' conversion to Christianity irrelevant in determining their freedom.
1739 - black unrest in South Carolina with the Stono's Rebellion (September 9, 1739)
NEW PUBLICATION AVAILABLE - From Caravels to the Constitution by Marjorie Duby at Creative Teaching Press.
Content: Blackline masters - Using word searches, hidden messages, analogies, anagrams, and creative puzzles, students will learn about history while they apply critical-thinking skills. This resource provides students with opportunities to organize and analyze information and to draw conclusions. Extension activities promote practical, informative, narrative, and expository writing skills to help meet the standards. 112 pages [LW405 - From Caravels to the Constitution - $13.99]
As of December 4, 2003, you are visitor to use this timeline.