1619: The Arrival of the First Africans in Virginia

Aug 23, 04:26 PM

On this episode of BackStory, Ed, Nathan and Joanne dig into the complicated history of 1619 and the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to the English colonies.

This month marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to land on what would become British North America. It wasn’t the first time Africans set foot in what became the United States - they’d arrived some 100 years earlier with Spanish colonists. But 1619 looms large in American history because it marks the beginning of slavery’s development in the Virginia colony and later the entire nation. 

Image: "Landing Negroes at Jamestown from Dutch man-of-war, 1619," illustration in Harper's Weekly Magazine, January 1901. Source: Library of Congress

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