American Colonists Buy Wives, Slaves And Put Slum Kids To Work

encyclopediaofamericanhistoryThe year, 1619, is filled with some notorious acts — actions which created the foundation for the United States. Two of the acts affected the Claywell line.

First a new land policy was introduced to the Virginia colony. Any colonist who arrived on the continent before 1616 was granted 100 acres of land. Any colonist transport (like Peter Clavell) receives 50 acres of land at the end of their indentured servitude.

The land policy was pretty non-traumatic, but the handling of a different type of property — humans — was more troubling. Three groups of people were brought to the colonies in 1619. One of the groups was definitely coerced while the other two were most likely brought to the continent against their will.

An Encyclopedia of American History in Chronological Order records these events for 1619:

Shipload of marriageable girls, to be sold to planters at 120 pounds of tobacco each, sent to Virginia by Virginia Company.

One hundred children from London slums sent as apprentices to Virginia.

And in August the beginning of the peculiar institution.

First negroes brought to Virginia, possibly in the Treasurer, a ship of Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, possibly in a Dutch vessel. Sold as servants, they are the beginning of slavery in English colonies.

Slavery is the second act that affects the Claywell line since both Shadrach Claywell’s forefathers and descendants owned slaves.

Source: An Encyclopedia of American History in Chronological Order

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Categories: American History, Colonial Era, Family History

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