Exhibit 1

A Journey across Four Centuries

The 1600s – From African shores

Creed in VirginiaIn 1619 Governor Yeardley traded with Portuguese privateers on the Dutch flag ship The White Dove for “20 and odd” Negroes, a cargo of captive Angolans that were bound for Venezuela before being stolen by the privateers. The muster rolls of 1623 counted eleven of these first Africans living within the borough of Charles City at Flowerdew Hundred. Another Negro was counted among the dead at West and Shirley Hundred in 1625. With this meager record – and on these banks of the James River -- begins the history of America’s Africans.


sketchDuring the 1600s most of the laborers imported to Virginia were poor and landless European men, women and children. Some Africans were imported, however, including a dozen brought to Buckland by Capt. William Perry in 1639. Richard Holmes Laurie, Publisher (London, April 12, 1821) in Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, www.slaveryimages.org


Library of CongressMany more Africans were imported during the late1600s by wealthy tobacco planters. William Byrd I of Westover imported more Africans than all but one other Virginia planter. Most of the first Africans were transshipped from the West Indies, coming to Charles City in the private sloops of James River planters along with cargoes of sugar and rum. Thomas Jeffreys, The West Indian Atlas, or a General Description of the West Indies (London, 1780) in Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, www.slaveryimages.org.


1The first Charles City Courthouse at Westover was designated a marketplace where arriving servants and slaves were offloaded and sold. Court records from the 1600s also document a small number of free Negroes living within the jurisdiction. Plat from the William Byrd Title Book showing the original Charles City Courthouse, Brew House and Westover Parish Church, courtesy Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond, Va. virginiahistory.org


pipes Seventeenth century Africans left few footprints in the surviving records. Their history may lie beneath the ground awaiting discovery in archeology yet to be conducted. This cowrie shell was discovered at Shirley Plantation in 2004 during the excavation of a “fill pit” dated to 1670-1720. Cowrie shells had a number of uses in African cultures and were brought to Virginia by imported slaves. Photo courtesy Shirley Plantation.


next: The 1700s – Importation and revolution