The arrival of the first captives to the Jamestown Colony, in 1619, is often seen as the beginning of slavery in America—but enslaved Africans arrived in North America as early as the 1500s. The landing of the first Africans in English North America in 1619 was a turning point, but slavery was already part of U.S. history by then Damages Our Understanding of American History The year the first enslaved Africans were brought to … “The Black Atlantic explores the truly global experiences that created the African American people. The arrival of the “20 and odd” African captives aboard a Dutch “man of war” ship on this day (August 20) in the year 1619 historically marks the early planting of the seeds of the Amer… Painting of the arrival of the first Africans arriving in Virginia . Beginning a full century before the first documented “20-and-odd” slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on the North American shores. The first enslaved Africans to arrive there disembarked … … Though the history of blacks in Virginia begins in 1619, the transition of status from indentured servant to lifelong slave was a gradual process. Across three and a half centuries—from 1501 to 1867—more than 12.5 million Africans were … The Misguided Focus on 1619 as the Beginning of Slavery in the U.S. The first Africans arrived in Virginia because of the transatlantic slave trade. Some historians believe that some of the first blacks who arrived in Virginia were already slaves; they were certainly enslaved. The first documented arrival of Africans to the colony of Virginia was recorded by John Rolfe: "About the latter end of August, a Dutch man of Warr of the burden of a 160 tunes arrived at Point-Comfort, the Comandors name Capt Jope, his Pilott for the West Indies one Mr Marmaduke an Englishman. Founded at Jamestown in 1607, the Virginia Colony was home to about 700 people by 1619.