last edited: Sat, 29 Aug 2020 12:46:55 +0300
... it is paradoxical that the first slaveholder to legitimize slavery in America was the Afro-American Anthony Johnson."Anthony & Mary Johnson, Free Blacks in Virginia"
In 1619, when he arrived in Jamestown, his name was Antonio from Angola. He was brought to Jamestown by a Danish with a group of captives and sold as a servant to colonist Nathaniel Littleton. The colony needed workers, and the residents willingly purchased captives and convicts from Europe.
But in those days, there was no lifelong bondage or slavery in our understanding. Such indentured servants were paid for their labor and after working 7-10 years, they became free people. It also happened with Antonio from Angola. In 1635, the owner released him.
By this time, the former slave changed his name to English and became Anthony Johnson. He got married, he had a son Willie (the first black, born on American soil). Apparently, things went well for him, because in 1651 the Virginia colonial government, following its law aimed at expanding the cultivated land, gave him 250 acres of farmland - 50 acres for each new servant. That is, by that time Anthony was able to buy himself a slave, convicts and debtors, black and white. So a former slave from Angola became the owner (but not the lifelong proprietor) of five indentured servants.
The next stage of the development of the black planter Anthony Johnson is found in 1654, when he filed a lawsuit against a white neighbor, to whom his "Negro servant, John Casor" ran. Casor, a young black servant, claimed that the "Old Negro" (Anthony's official name in court) had detained him for seven years longer than required by state law. At the time, this was a common charge: the captives were suing their masters and, as a rule, the court took the side of the servants.
Realizing that he would have to pay substantial compensation for the delay of a servant in bondage, Anthony filed a lawsuit against the white planter Robert Parker, who had sheltered a fugitive black servant, claiming that Casor was a free man. Black man Johnson managed to prove in court that black man Casor belongs to him for life as property. It was he who became the ancestor of plantation slavery in North America, creating a judicial precedent for lifelong bondage.
In 1860 there were at least six Afro-Americans in Louisiana who owned 65 or more slaves The largest number, 152 slaves, were owned by the widow C. Richards and her son P.C. Richards, who owned a large sugar cane plantation. Another Black slave magnate in Louisiana, with over 100 slaves, was Antoine Dubuclet. http://sedmoyden.com/istorii-ob-istorii/735090-pervyj-rabovladelets-v-amerike https://americancivilwar.com/authors/black_slaveowners.htm
According to the 1790 census, in Charleston, South Carolina, 36 of the 102 (35.2%) black men who had families were slaves. In 1800, one in three free African-American men who lived in this city had slaves. In 1860 10689 free blacks living in New Orleans, Louisiana, more than 3 thousand had slaves. Also living in Louisiana, the widow C. Richards and her son had 152 slaves. In Charleston, South Carolina in 1860 there were 137 (according to other data 125) black slaves, in North Carolina - 69.
One of the richest black slave owners in South Carolina was William Allison, who had a thousand acres and 63 slaves. After the outbreak of the Civil War, Allison sent his slaves as assistants and servants in the Confederate Army, and his grandson, John Wilson Bookner, on March 27, 1863 joined the 1st Artillery Regiment of South Carolina. It is worth noting that 80% of "black slaveholders" were mulatto, about 70% were women. This is mainly due to the fact that, as a rule, after the death of white "husband", the ownership were given to mulatto cohabitants.