The Colonial Period 1500s–1776

1526 Spanish explorer Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon brings African slaves to coastal South Carolina to establish a settlement

1530s Africans take part in numerous Spanish expeditions to the New World, from present-day Florida to California

1542 Criticism from humanitarians leads Spanish monarch Charles V to outlaw Native American slavery and theencomienda system on the Caribbean islands and other Spanish-controlled colonies

Charles V grants contracts to import African slaves rather than use Native Americans as slaves

1565 Africans take part in the founding of St. Augustine,Florida, the first permanent city in North America built by non-Native Americans

c. 1590 Portuguese begin to supply Brazil with African slaves from Angola and the Congo

1606 First recorded birth of a black child in North America (St. Augustine)

1619 First group of twenty African indentured servants arrives in the English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia

1623 William Tucker is the first recorded birth of a black child in the English colony of Jamestown, Virginia

1624 Dutch slavers bring first enslaved Africans to New Amsterdam (present-day New York City)

1634 Enslaved Africans arrive in Massachusetts and Maryland

1641 Massachusetts becomes the first colony to give slavery statutory recognition; other colonies to follow include Connecticut (1650), Virginia (1661), Maryland (1663), New York and New Jersey (1664), South Carolina (1682), Rhode Island and Pennsylvania (1700), North Carolina (1715), and Georgia (1750)

1644 Eleven Africans in New York successfully petition for their freedom

1649 Colonial officials report that Virginia is home to ”about fifteene thousand English and of Negroes brought thither, three hundred good servants”

1652 Rhode Island enacts the first antislavery law in the colonies, limiting the term of servitude to ten years for both African and European servants

1663 House servant foils insurrection attempt between white indentured servants and black slaves of Gloucester County, Virginia

1672 King Charles II of England charters the Royal African Company, which monopolizes the transatlantic slave trade for the next 50 years

1688 Quakers publish pamphlets condemning slavery in the colonies

1695 Reverend Samuel Thomas, a white cleric in Charleston, South Carolina, establishes the first known school for African Americans

1700 Enslaved population in North America reaches 28,000 (23,000 of whom live in the South)

1708 Number of enslaved Africans in North and South Carolina exceeds that of European colonists in these states

1712 Revolt by enslaved Africans in New York City causes nine deaths and destroys buildings; 20 conspirators are killed or commit suicide

South Carolina requires all slaves to carry a pass when traveling to another plantation

1715 North Carolina legally recognizes slavery, passes anti-miscegenation laws (preventing marriage or cohabitation between whites and blacks), and outlaws meetings between slaves

1724 Louisiana forbids slaves from carrying weapons and sentences slaves to death for striking or killing their owners

1730s First Maroon War in Jamaica leads to British treaty that allows maroon communities of runaway enslaved Africans to exist as freed communities

1738 Fugitive slaves take refuge with the Creek tribe in Georgia and Spanish in Florida

1739 Stono Rebellion in South Carolina: 100 enslaved conspirators rebel unsuccessfully and are either killed in battle or hanged

1746 Lucy Terry’s “Bars Fight” is the first poem written by an African American; it recounts the Deerfield Massacre, a battle between British locals and Native Americans in Massachusetts

1750 Enslaved African population in the American colonies reaches 236,000

1761 African American inventor and astronomer Benjamin Banneker constructs the first wooden clock to keep precise time; later, he predicts the solar eclipse of 1789; drafts a survey blueprint of Washington, D.C.; and issues the first of ten almanacs (1791)

1770 African American seafarer Crispus Attucks is the first colonist killed in the Boston Massacre

1773 Phyllis Wheatley becomes the first African American to publish a book: Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral

First known black Baptist church is founded in Sliver Bluff, South Carolina; other congregations form in Georgia and Virginia over the next several years

1774 Massachusetts becomes the first American colony to ban importation of slaves

1775 African American minutemen in the American Revolutionary War fight with distinction in the battles at Lexington, Concord, Ticonderoga, and Bunker Hill

Pennsylvania Quakers organize the first abolition society in the United States

1776 Declaration of Independence is adopted, severing ties between the American colonies and Great Britain
Credit: sparknotes

The Colonial Period 1500s–1776
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