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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Cape Charles in Northampton County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Slavery on the Eastern Shore

 
 
Slavery on the Eastern Shore Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 17, 2013
1. Slavery on the Eastern Shore Marker
Inscription. During the early decades of the l7th century, natives of Angola were brought to the Caribbean islands to work on the tobacco and sugar plantations. From there they were brought to Virginia. In 1619 a Dutch man-o-war ship brought the first Negroes numbering about "20 and odd" to Virginia at Point Comfort near the mouth of the James River. Records do not show when the first Negroes were carried to the Eastern Shore; however, none were listed in the musters for 1624/25 nor for 1625/26. By 1635 several were indicated as headrights but the numbers were few. Until late mid-century, energetic slaves could purchase their freedom and some few even earned enough to buy land. Thus small group of free black planters lived side by side with their white neighbors.

In 1655 John Custis II owned five slaves and nine indentured servants. By 1677 he had increased his holdings to 17 slaves, very probably to help build the Arlington mansion. As he bought more land, he also bought more slaves. The descendants of some of those slaves, known as the Custis Slaves, lived in the Old Plantation Creek area until the beginning of the 20th century.

Later, during the l8th century, the Royal African Company, which had been established by Parliament in 1762, began to send large shipments of slaves from the west coast of Africa directly to the Chesapeake
Slavery on the Eastern Shore Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 17, 2013
2. Slavery on the Eastern Shore Marker
Bay. Combined with the declining supply of British indentured servants and the start of a 30-year depression in the tobacco market, the shift to slave labor as a more available and manageable labor force was inevitable. Laws later passed by the colony made life increasingly harsh for slaves.
 
Erected by Arlington Foundation, Inc.
 
Location. 37° 13.727′ N, 76° 0.198′ W. Marker is near Cape Charles, Virginia, in Northampton County. Marker is on Arlington Chase Road north of Custis Tomb Drive. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cape Charles VA 23310, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mansion Site (here, next to this marker); Bacon's Rebellion (here, next to this marker); Indians (here, next to this marker); The Custis Tombs (within shouting distance of this marker); Arlington (approx. 1.2 miles away but has been reported missing); Cape Charles Colored School (approx. 2.4 miles away); Cape Charles (approx. 2.7 miles away); Cape Charles to Little Creek (approx. 2.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cape Charles.
 
Additional comments.
1.
This and the other three markers are in obvious disrepair (this
Slavery on the Eastern Shore Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, July 17, 2013
3. Slavery on the Eastern Shore Marker
one less-so). I visited this site in 2013, but am only just now posting. I hope they are in better shape now.
    — Submitted October 16, 2016, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

 
Categories. African AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Slavery on the Eastern Shore Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox
4. Slavery on the Eastern Shore Marker
The Slavery marker is the one in the rear. Only the back-side is visible.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 95 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on October 17, 2016.
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