From Africa to Colonial America

Image of slaves on the beach at Jamestown, VA
Photo caption

Howard Pyle created this image for Harper's Weekly in 1917. The slaves were captured from a Spanish ship by Dutch sailors, who are trading them to the settlers at Jamestown in exchange for food

Library of Virginia
(January 31, 2014)

Between 1617 and 1619, the first  African-Americans landed in Jamestown and the first shipment of tobacco was sent to London.  The two profoundly unequal and seemingly unrelated events provide a tragic prologue to four hundred years of black history in America.

EDSITEment, the National Endowment for the Humanities' educational website, offers original documents, diaries, records, and artwork to help students and teachers study  the economic, cultural, legal, and social beginnings of African American history in the New World.