That is one year before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Today I saw black women on tv marching with that date as the beginning of slavery in America. The first slave ship arrived at Jamestown in 1619.
With the aid of Ancestry we are able to learn so many things about the lives of our early American families. My family were Canadians and so no connection to Jamestown but, they are connected to other horrific deeds in Scotland. My husband’s family were in Jamestown. Once after visiting Jamestown we saw the commemoration of the landing of the first slave ship.
With further research we realized that the ancestor who was a doctor, brought from England to treat the soldiers, had obtained 6 individuals off that ship to help work their plantation. It was a shock to us and not something that made us happy.
I had the opportunity to visit the Flower Dew plantation along the James River. It was even in modern times absolutely lush, green and beautiful. It was a place that made me pause and think about the family history that happened on that very spot.
Relationships with the native people were not good and our relative the doctor was killed by Indians while coming back from treating a patient. His wife hid his two sons during the attack…. one under a tub(for bathing) and the other in a potato hole. They all survived and in later ancestry years individuals claimed to be from “potato hole Woodson” our family or ” bath tub Woodson.”
Life was incredibly hard for all and we know that there are stories telling us the 6 individuals off the ship were treated well. They were even given schooling opportunities. We know that is naive and very unrealistic. But, we want to believe ..then the story hurts less.
As I looked around at the large space that was the plantation it was obvious help would have been needed. It is too bad a more humane way wasn’t found.
Today as I watched the Black Women March with that date in their hands. I felt sympathy and was proud of them for joining together and standing up for their rights. Their people worked and helped build our country from the beginning.