The Changing Demographics of the Virginia Colony's Laborers

When stuck by slavery, the colony of Virginia had only white Europeans as the workhorses of their society, however this racial levee was soon destroyed and the majority of slaves became of African descent due to the process of indentured servitude, a negative public eye on indentured servitude in Bacon’s Rebellion, and the simple fact that forcing the Africans into slavery was an extremely facile task.

The racial change in slavery in the colony of Virginia was in part due to the dynamics of indentured servitude. White slavery originated in Virginia because of the evolution of practicing indentured servitude. The term “indentured servant” originated from the process of wealthy landowners in the New America paying for the passage of others, from their homeland to Virginia, in exchange of the promise they made to work for the landowners until their debt was repaid, usually over a time span of seven years. After being discharged from their work, the servants were very poor and now forced to live on the streets of the Virginia colony. This extreme influx of poverty, now put on exhibition, made the people of Virginia outraged. Something had to be done. What could satisfy the need for someone who would work for nothing, not need to be let loose, and have fiscally economized upkeep? Due to this the slave as we see it today was born.

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The swap from Anglo to African regarding slavery in Virginia was instigated by the rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon and a small army. Bacon was a farmer who lived on the outskirts of society, on the boarder of what they believed as savages, or Indians. After experiencing continuous quarrels with the Indians, Bacon gathered dozens of ex-indentured slaves to support his cause. Bacon yearned for Virginia to act against the Indians. Governor Berkeley unfortunately refused to aid Nathaniel Bacon, not realizing the consequences this decision would bring. In 1676, Bacon and his army of collaborators marched into Jamestown and set it ablaze. This angered and shocked the citizens of Jamestown, causing Bacon and his army to be scrutinized. The force that stood behind Bacon was rampant with white ex-indentured slaves. Therefore, Bacon’s Rebellion indirectly changed the slave race in the colony of Virginia from white to black because of the colonists’ feelings on indentured slaves after the Rebellion. They viewed the ex-indentured slaves a dangerous and vengeful impact on the colony of Virginia. This negative feeling towards members of Bacon’s Rebellion was constant throughout Virginia. Some action was needed to prevent further rebellions similar to this. The action that was carried out was to change the race of the slaves to what most colonists believed as less than human, the African.
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In the colony of Virginia, the slave demographics were altered in part by the ease of enslaving Africans. Africa in the 1700’s did not yet have a centralized government. The country was composed of thousands of tribes, or individual governments. Languages were vastly different and this caused Africans to be unable to construct a defense against Americans, aiming to replace the white slaves that had caused trouble. Europeans had previously interacted and traded with Africans on the coast and on occasion, further inland. A link was formed between coastal African tribes and the colonists. With Africa being a country of mass poverty, colonists could use their excess money to convince coastal tribes to capture members of their enemy tribes. The colonists did not have to struggle and wander out into a foreign land searching for susceptible Africans to enslave; they have the slaves being delivered to them. Earlier European trade with Africa also meant that because they had already been exposed to Europeans, the Africans were somewhat immune to the viruses and diseases of the white race. Colonists of Virginia took this into consideration when


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Bacon's Rebellion
Colonists of Virginia felt the need to destroy the racial demographics of established indentured slaves and introduced the idea of owning African slaves. When stuck by slavery, the colony of Virginia had only white Europeans as the workhorses of their society, however this racial levee was soon destroyed and the majority of slaves became of African descent due to the process of indentured servitude, a negative public eye on indentured servitude in Bacon’s Rebellion, and the simple fact that forcing the Africans into slavery was an extremely facile task.

The racial change in slavery in the colony of Virginia was in part due to the dynamics of indentured servitude. White slavery originated in Virginia because of the evolution of practicing indentured servitude. The term “indentured servant” originated from the process of wealthy landowners in the New America paying for the passage of others, from their homeland to Virginia, in exchange of the promise they made to work for the landowners until their debt was repaid, usually over a time span of seven years. After being discharged from their work, the servants were very poor and now forced to live on the streets of the Virginia colony. This extreme influx of poverty, now put on exhibition, made the people of Virginia outraged. Something had to be done. What could satisfy the need for someone who would work for nothing, not need to be let loose, and have fiscally economized upkeep? Due to this the slave as we see it today was born.

The swap from Anglo to African regarding slavery in Virginia was instigated by the rebellion of Nathaniel Bacon and a small army. Bacon was a farmer who lived on the outskirts of society, on the boarder of what they believed as savages, or Indians. After experiencing continuous quarrels with the Indians, Bacon gathered dozens of ex-indentured slaves to support his cause. Bacon yearned for Virginia to act against the Indians. Governor Berkeley unfortunately refused to aid Nathaniel Bacon, not realizing the consequences this decision would bring. In 1676, Bacon and his army of collaborators marched into Jamestown and set it ablaze. This angered and shocked the citizens of Jamestown, causing Bacon and his army to be scrutinized. The force that stood behind Bacon was rampant with white ex-indentured slaves. Therefore, Bacon’s Rebellion indirectly changed the slave race in the colony of Virginia from white to black because of the colonists’ feelings on indentured slaves after the Rebellion. They viewed the ex-indentured slaves a dangerous and vengeful impact on the colony of Virginia. This negative feeling towards members of Bacon’s Rebellion was constant throughout Virginia. Some action was needed to prevent further rebellions similar to this. The action that was carried out was to change the race of the slaves to what most colonists believed as less than human, the African.

In the colony of Virginia, the slave demographics were altered in part by the ease of enslaving Africans. Africa in the 1700’s did not yet have a centralized government. The country was composed of thousands of tribes, or individual governments. Languages were vastly different and this caused Africans to be unable to construct a defense against Americans, aiming to replace the white slaves that had caused trouble. Europeans had previously interacted and traded with Africans on the coast and on occasion, further inland. A link was formed between coastal African tribes and the colonists. With Africa being a country of mass poverty, colonists could use their excess money to convince coastal tribes to capture members of their enemy tribes. The colonists did not have to struggle and wander out into a foreign land searching for susceptible Africans to enslave; they have the slaves being delivered to them. Earlier European trade with Africa also meant that because Africans had already been exposed to Europeans, they were somewhat immune to the viruses and diseases of the white race. Colonists of Virginia took this into consideration when choosing to make the process of enslaving Africans more widespread. Also once the colonist bought the slave, it was their property. The aforementioned reasons were enticing to the colonists of Virginia when the switch was made from European indentured slaves to African slaves.\


The slavery the colony of Virginia is due to specific rules and also however, they where giving slavery. It is said when you live in Virginia it is morally impossible to live without slavery, and before they couldn’t hire servant or slaves for money. It was not part of any plan for slavery to be part of the Virginia colony, and in 1607 during the English settlement. The slaves where brought over to Virginia by ships and it was twenty African. There was 500,000 black slaves, which was 20% percent of general population, and 90% of black slaves lived in the south. In 1776-1789 most southern states joined north states in prohibiting the importation of slaves so no more slaves were being brought over yet they needed more south as rice culture and new cotton cultures spread.

Property rights
1705
Statute
Prior to this statute, enslaved blacks were regarded as chattel, like livestock. The new law made enslaved blacks real estate and chattel that could be used for paying a debt.
Slave Code
1691
Statute

Illegal for whites to marry blacks or Indians, whether free or not. Also made it difficult for masters to free their black slaves and for free blacks to remain in colony. Included a provision that made it lawful to "kill and distroy by gun or any otherwaise whatsoever" enslaved blacks or mulattoes who unlawfully absented themselves from the service of their masters. Also noted that any white man or woman who intermarried with a black, mulatto or Native American were to be banished. A white free woman who gave birth to a black or mulatto child was ordered to pay 15 pounds sterling within one month after child was born to church wardens. Such a child was ordered to be bound out as a servant by the church until he or she reached age 30. The mother's punishment was to be sold as a servant by church wardens for five years. In addition, the statute noted that no black or mulatto could be set free by any person unless such person paid for their transportation out of the country within six months after setting them free and paying ten pound sterling to church wardens.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1p274.html
http://www.innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html

Primary
A Collection of All Such Acts of the General Assembly of Virginia, First Volume of the Revised Code. Richmond, Va.: Samuel Pleasants, Printer to the Commonwealth, 1814.
Henning, William Waller. The Statutes at Large: Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, From the First Session of the Legislature in the Year 1619. New York: R. & W. & G. Bartow, 1823.
Shepherd, Samuel. The Statutes At Large of Virginia, From October Session 1792, to December Session 1806, Inclusive, In Three Volumes, Being a Continuation of Henning. New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1835. First AMS Edition published 1970.
Supplement to the Revised Code of the Laws of Virginia Passed Since the Year 1819. Richmond, Va.: Samuel Shepherd & Company, 1833.
Secondary
Breen, T. H., and Stephen Innes. "Myne Owne Ground": Race & Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1640-1676. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1980.
Holton, Woody. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
Morgan, Edmund. S. American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: W. W. Norton, 1975.
Morgan, Philip D. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Low Country. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.
Sobel, Mechal. The World They Made Together: Black and White Values in Eighteenth-Century Virginia. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1987.