NOTICE: Most of these words are not my own, It is information I have gathered from various sources that I have posted at the bottom of this thread.
I changed the words around a bit to better help everyone understand.
"Antonio a Negro" was among the very first Angola-African people to arrive in America. He came by boat on "The James" to Virginia in 1619, with
other blacks and whites, as an indentured servant.
Indentured servant- A person who signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified time especially in return for payment of
travel expenses and maintenance.
For nearly 12 years he worked on a plantation for the Bennetts, a wealthy white family. The Bennetts owned Antonio, but allowed him to farm a small
plot of land for himself, in addition to the work he did on the Bennett plantation. There he grew tobacco and corn. He was also able to own several
head of cattle while still a slave.
Antonio married a black woman named Mary and had four children. Antonio was praised for his hard work and good service, and he eventually became free.
One of the first things he did was change his name to Anthony Johnson. Most servants did not have last names, or else they used the name of their
master. By creating a new name for himself, Anthony Johnson was announcing that he was no longer an indentured servant.
Anthony Johnson worked hard to become a landowner, acquiring a patent for 250 acres of land. He eventually made enough money to buy an African slave
of his own, John Casor
Casor had also been imported as an indentured servant and attempted to transfer his remaining time of service to Robert Parker, a white colonist.
However, Anthony Johnson brought suit in Northampton County court against Robert Parker in 1654 for detaining his servant, saying "hee had ye Negro
for his life". In the case of Johnson vs Parker, the court of Northampton County upheld Johnson's right to hold Casor as a slave, saying:
"Seriously consideringe and maturely weighing the premisses, doe fynde that the saide Mr. Robert Parker most unjustly keepeth the said Negro from
Anthony Johnson his master… It is therefore the Judgement of the Court and ordered That the said John Casor Negro forthwith returne unto the service
of the said master Anthony Johnson, And that Mr. Robert Parker make payment of all charges in the suit."
In other words, the court gave judicial sanction to the right of Negroes to own slaves of their own race. Indeed no earlier record has been found of
judicial support given to slavery in Virginia except as a punishment for crime.
The defendant, John Casor, thus became the first individual known to be declared a "slave" in what later became the United States.
And there you have it, folks. Before this court case, there was no such thing as a "slave". There were only indentured servants. Therefore, The
first legal SLAVE owner in America was BLACK!
Anthony Johnson 2