Introduction of Slavery into the 13 Colonies in 1619
Slavery was introduced to the Western Hemisphere by Christopher Columbus in 1495, on the island of Hispaniola. The first Africans were brought to the colonies in August of 1619 as first indentured servants. Proving to be easily identifiable they soon became life long slaves. Native People died out and was unable to build a tolerance to the diseases carried by Europeans. Africans proved to be a heartier stock. At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, delegates fiercely debated the issue of slavery. They agreed that the United States would cease importation of slaves by 1808. An act of Congress passed in 1800 made it illegal for Americans to engage in the slave trade between nations, and gave U.S. authorities the right to seize slave ships which were caught transporting slaves and confiscate their cargo. Then the "Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves" took effect in 1808. However, a domestic trade in slaves persisted within the United States, as demonstrated by slave manifests and court records. However, the practice of enslavement would not end until June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth).
It is reported that during the Middle Passage 10 million Africans were stolen, enslaved and transported to North America. Enslaved people were packed into ships, traveled 3 months and were brutally treated. Many did not survive the horors of the voyage. At the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade it is estimated that 3,000,000 Africans survived to live in what became the United States. African-Americans experienced the worst form of slavery ever experienced by man.
Chattle slavery would last for 246 years. Laws were enacted against the enslaved people. Slaves were servants for life, were not permitted to marry, learn to read and testify against caucasians. At the end of slavery other laws were enacted to limit the movement, economic development and education of people of African descent
In 2019 people of African descent are still fighting for their social, civil and human rights.