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there there is no more and more big picture power produces texaco are just in this state and the collection is represented as with all image accomplishments just suggested the english explorer mission will also talk about english as their designs have a picture of the family england the hindu world was a remote possibility at first you have to remember that the spanish were the dominant european power they had explored much further than the than the english in the english view themselves as being a second not a second rate
power but they did they had something to prove you know and so they are their sense of the new world came off on from what they had learned about the spanish and how successful courtiers had been in conquering mexico so there's a great deal of jealousy that was charlie one element of their of their entire view overseas but there was also a whole scientific element that touched the english as well as other european countries this comes through in shakespeare's the tempest to know this this fascination with the world that we haven't seen before with plants and animals and had a geography that we don't fully understand an ann so when john white goes to roanoke you know he's making paintings of all the people on the plants and the animals that he sees and so
there is a there's a scientific awakening that that goes along with the geopolitics for the english this idea was that i think because this has been the english word in it in a difficult place they had separated from the from the church in rome so talking about an issue the english in the time of elizabeth were in a difficult situation they had separated from the catholic church in rome they had joined the protestant reformation time and their attitude
toward the powerful catholic spanish was ambivalent you know on the one hand that's the enemy them but on the other hand there's some jealousy and so there's this dilemma both in europe and overseas as too whether to beat them or join them and i certainly on the issue of slavery there is a question of whether you should try too horn in on their lucrative slave trade in and get a piece of that action has many of them people who saw profits in that group we're tempted to go with there was also a competing since that if that's what the spanish do we shouldn't do that and we'll do it differently so and an insect our protestant heritage demands that we do it differently prove that were where better than for the enslaving catholics that
was a difficult choice and the dilemma went on for many years and in sixteen twenty it precisely the year that the english pilgrims land at plymouth rock another englishman named job center is on the african coast engaging in trade he's offered some african slaves he says we we don't trade in in people like ourselves another says that's not the trade that we take part course the year before the colonists and jamestown had already bought some africans have but but the english as a whole at that point were ambivalent and in that period says we are living in a more low income parts of the charts that
is an issue for the concept in me i don't know and we know from shakespeare that elizabeth in england was a tumultuous of many faceted world all those different facets were translated to the new world so on the one hand some of the idealism that was in the protestant reformation is transferred particularly to new england but where you get people who are actually too extreme in their protestant views to be tolerated in england being shipped are sent overseas and the whole notion of the city on the hill involves the idea of love reformation how that we're going to and purifying ourselves and those around us will work in a live at a
higher standard but at the same time there's a sense among the same generation of englishman that there's wealth to be made in the new world and certainly that the jamestown settlement epitomizes this from that it's a it's an investment that people have paid money to keep this colony started they're looking for a fast return on their pound and there's a lot of pressure on the people living on the chesapeake to come up with some sort of commodities that will bring a profitable returns to the mother country describe those kind of people we romanticize i think the people who come in that in that first settlement to jamestown it's a it's a very mixed lot of people that after a member that it's
primarily men that it's primarily a military outpost there's the the hope that that this new colony will be able to chat challenge the spanish further south in florida and so and there's also pressure on them to come up with prophets and return so they're either a very military bunch and they are living under very difficult conditions are starving they're even some evidence of some cannibalism during the earliest toughest times it's a it's an outpost remember that their geography is very limited by our standards they actually are unsure have no idea how broad the american continent is one of their instructions is to go up on the highest hill look off to the west and see if you can see the pacific you know maybe we're know maybe this is just another law is most like the one that the spanish found further south
so passe billy the chesapeake will just be a way station towards greater riches greater discovery's elsewhere and it's only over the course of the seventeenth century that they begin to realize where they really are what the nature of the virginia landscape and climate is all about continuity talk about how there are very clear that the every day interactions forces there it is what the indians will be when the air conditioning is the only thing i come across country for it it's probably not surprising that english and going oversees brought mixed baggage with them with respect to the natives of the new world now on the one hand these were protestants hoping to mission eyes and and hoped that they could convert
these people to christianity and draw them into the church on the other hand they suspected that many of these people may have been the camps of satan that they may be forces of darkness they may have been put there by god to tempt them or punish them and so they're very ambivalent from the beginning about how they relate to these people very excited if they have positive contact an exchange very frustrated and the ferocious when they they feel it's not communicated well and often the native people that they were encountering had already had encounters with earlier english sailors or with the spaniards cruising the coast so those encounters were not good so the native americans for their part were very wary and and looking for different options early on there was a leak were doing they could
convert there were these dark fearful greek people who are possibly our human family talk about the notion that some part of the process europeans in the early sixteenth century were convinced that are that were or aware that the world was full of people who appeared differently but but physical differences were not the major factor for them religious differences were the were the boundaries so that they were carried cognizant all time of who was a christian who was a heathen and if this person is not a christian can i make are christian out of this
person and what would that mean if i made them into a christian wouldn't just mean that they accepted the bible or would it mean that they had to read it in a european language would they have to dress like europeans to know what is it is a christian just a believer in christ or is it does it carry a whole lot of cultural baggage with and those were the struggles that and that they had to face in the same issue you guys to register how does that title house a live concert there is this what you do is an annuity rates for you your rights to to transform or change it to publication see it there's no question that the europeans generally and the english specifically were arrogant aggressive
self confident that they may have had their doubts but they hit them so they were they felt that they were literally conquering and controlling laying claim to new lands and other people who had been there before we're not had relatively little standing now this was english now this was spanish and that kind of aggressiveness shaped a lot of their behavior in this early period so it's clear he says because
most of these elizabeth and adventurers whose names have come down to his work or people grew up as sailors or in seaports and john hawkins for instance came from plymouth not the same plymouth that a generation later would be sending columnists to the new world and his father had been engaged in ocean trade ahead had contacts with africa and with brazil hawkins spends time in the canary islands and realizes that there's money to be made in and buying africans and treating them to the spanish in the new world and he takes and it takes a really large ventures and whipped with several ships transporting three four hundred people making a quick profit coming home does is to a three times by the third trip it falls apart i mean he does the spanish drive him out he and
drake both have to leave just barely escaped the profits are limited to what's interesting about that first encounter between english and english and the slave trade is that it doesn't immediately lead to anything this day and so there's a whole nother generation after that where the english are quite uncertain about their participation in that world and that is the generation of the spanish armada bonneau of real hostilities between the english and the spanish and a sense on the part of the protestant english that maybe they don't i want to be involved in the new world in exactly the way that the spanish so drake for instance in fifteen eighties actually liberates song slaves from the spanish colonies in the caribbean and brings them to
roanoke island a fleet distributed the fleet is destroyed by a storm and we don't really know what would've happened but there's a possibility that he would've said look these are people who've been liberated from what did spanish tyranny and now they can live in an english colony just like everybody else do you in accolades description there's a very cryptic notations about parkinson's trip to africa saying that he obtained some of his slaves by force and by other means it's and so it sounds as though he literally captured some people himself he probably bargained for others mean he was plugging into days slaving
system that was already in existence along the west african coast so he what he was in for an english interloper but there were there was already some familiarity with his transatlantic trade it also in some way seen as a repressive regime and admired for or what it means in terms of you know allusions to this idea of slavery i think each generation revisits great historical up oxygen out and when you now revisit it was beaten period it's a it's still as fascinating and and dramatic and amazing as it as it has always been presented but when we factor in the african slave trade that puts a different hue on that
end and you can't simply turn it around and say people were once thought were great work evil villains to me use it's more important to see the the ambivalence and uncertainty of that period the dye is not yet cast as foreigners english relations to africa francis drake when he poses for a portrait is holding a little lockett that is the face of a black man carved upon it and inside the locket we still have the lock it and inside is the portrait of queen elizabeth is queen at very interesting ambiguous symbol we don't get really know what it means now it may mean that there's profits to be heading in africa but it may also be unfair this queen and the sailor and will ever differed relation to africa then some of the spaniards who
preceded so this is working here's the difference is is the competition so one way to do this for the english in the new world are really three labor options one is to transport for people from england to the new world another is to employ or exploit the indigenous labor that's already living there in america and the other option is to bring
people from africa the spanish and explored all three of these options and and now with james ten the english have to explore these options and they try the law bringing africans is not their first choice since the last if you will know these are people from another culture they don't speak english they're not christians and that it's all it's a long voyage and an expensive investment in the early days of the people the english settlers in jamestown don't have enough money to be able to invest in in any kind of expensive labor but they do take whatever they can find you know so when a dutch ship shows up in the chesapeake and sixteen nineteen with several
dozen africans to whom they were unable to sell in the west indies and unfair bloss and put to work in a jamestown just the way indentured servants were big and board at the docks and put to work and coming from england describe the process please please please there's so many people in north america in the seventeenth century were on free in some form that has their labor was not their own if you were indentured it meant that you had signed away your working life for
a set number of years you would work for someone else they would feed you at the end of your term of indentured you would become a free person and have a right to life and the issue always was how long that indenture would be enough and under what conditions you'd be forced to work at its best it was a short friendly apprenticeship you know at its worst it was all along and exploitative situation in which you might die before you ever obtained your freedom and in the seventeenth century most workers whether they were originally from africa or from europe and fell somewhere into this very uncertain system i work for you alexa polygamy as long and as hard as you can but you don't have too much
control over me this is a frontier province i can run away pretty easily you know if you treat me too harshly and you made pay a price for it there's no institutionalized controls to help you enforce their contracts so thomas consciousness this is interesting that the first people who come to the jamestown from africa innocent come as slaves that were not sure what how whether they had being captured off of a slave ship and the caribbean or whether they had been transported directly but they had already been pulled into the trans atlantic the system of slavery which had been going on for a long time bui in english be american sometimes think of them as the first
slaves arriving in jamestown in sixteen nineteen but there had been many africans in north america before that traveling with spanish explorers and and throughout the southeast and southwest this is different to have these people arrive aboard a slave ship and be sold as workers in jamestown virginia sixteen hundreds were first of all remember what a small colony this was you know that were just talking about a few thousand people spread over very small area only one or two
ships arriving and leaving each year very isolated the theory violent in some ways end in the first half of the century everyone is living on the edge if you will and it's only gradually that certain peoples are in families or merge with more land more power how more possibilities for exploiting the tobacco crops a once tobacco is established as as a viable commodity then the more land you control the bigger profits you convey and in order to make those profits you need more labor and look for that labor wherever you can find and in the first of a generation's its european suits africans its native americans those people live together and then the second generation now involves
some of all three of those groups but no one is confined to lifelong servitude end people's status is still determined more by their religion them by their appearance that's important to understand first of all remember that there's a spanish precedent for all of this so that that africans are already being enslaved in the caribbean the english are aware of that president there are uncertain whether a follower or not they're also aware that the people
who are working for them as non christians if they convert to christianity their status improves in other words that's your religious status or something he can change overnight so that indeed the use of religion as a determinant for for your status is it is a difficult one or for the platter and if you can switch to using race or physical appearance as the distinguishing mark of then it's harder to change that and changeable and people can be exploited more fully one of the things that's going on in the second half of the seventeenth century and is that the workers in the tobacco fields black and white are joining together they are a very they've are the vast majority of
people in the colony they're very ill treated and they're forming certain alliances so the possibility of splitting apart african workers in european workers setting them at odds with each other or treating them differently becomes one way to divide the labor force and therefore to control it a little more effect of so so we begin to see is we began to see the slave codes and laws separate the various lawsuits and how is the surge there are several legal changes that come about in the course of the seventeenth century that turned the tide toward race slavery one is the argument that you inherit the status of your mother
in english law you always inherited the status of your father if your father was free you were free in virginia in those sixteen sixties they turned that around to make a special exception and say that these workers will inherit the status of their mother which means that the mulatto child of love of a black servant woman inherits that and free status the shift from indian should servitude to lifelong slavery to hereditary slavery and we're not only my enslaved but mike children as well that's a remarkable shift and one of the things that goes into that i think is that absence of feedback within the trans atlantic
slave system for the europeans who came to the new world they head constant feedback to the old world they could send letters they could return home the reputation of a given colony like virginia or south carolina or new york could be established and day and was something that wasn't known about for the africans the situation is completely different if i'm in africa and brought to virginia brutally mistreated there's no way that that negative feedback can return home to to alert my relatives of the problem and that lack of communication means that means that the exploitation can continue so here's a group of people who are isolated from their from their old world roots compared to the europeans that means they can be exploited more
extensively and there are plenty of people willing and able to do that so the fed the first exploitation is to extend the terms of servitude you're going to serve for life and an hour i may have told you you're gonna serve for fifteen years but i'm a tear that up and nothing you can do about an iron and so to suddenly find themselves involved in a lifelong servitude and then to realize that in fact their children might inherit the same status that was a terrible blow when i called the terrible transformation there is a shift that takes place in the second half of the seventeenth century from now situation where exploitation is based more on religion to a situation by the end of the century where race has become determining factor for for instance what we're
seeing in recent comments what this could vote for you what do you think that we will lose that sells services office in the bakken and one one thing and this transformation is taking place there is one final nail in the coffin it seems to me and that comes with the head right system the english had devised a way of encouraging immigration by saying that each person who migrated could have a head right of so many acres if you brought your wife or children played to win would deserve an extra head right the question came up in the late seventeenth century as to whether this kid right system would apply to african workers if i
purchased ten africans could i have a head right for each of those workers that is what i get many more acres so suddenly in this sixteen eighties and nineties you have a situation where wealthy virginians who control enough money to buy cohen's start demanding this change in the head right system we walk i have the money to buy this labor now what this labor to also give me more land i'm powerful enough so that i can help control the colonial legal system me and my friends are or more or the judges and legislators and within a generation this transition has taken place so the rich get much richer suddenly they have a large labor force now they are able to not simply by a few africans from the west indies but to send ships directly
to africa bring whole boatloads of workers and by that time by the early eighteenth century the two wheels or are in place the machinists fix william byrd rights in it was a virginia planter in seventeen twenties and thirties he writes to a friend in england and says you should come over here and try this at home in that that it's a normal says the money falls off trees you know that once the slavery system is in place the prophets for some of these white investors were enormous some businesses if you owned a small plot of land in
virginia ian sixteen fifty life expectancy is very short you're gonna want whatever workers you can get but you're not going to pay huge amounts of money for someone who may die within a year or two by seventeen hundred life expectancy has increased the general welfare in the colony has improved the possibilities of people living longer now exist you have amassed more capital it makes more sense from an economic point you for these the investors to buy people who will become their workers over there their whole lifetime and of course the way kid hidden profit is that if you once you've made slavery hereditary you then own all or austria so your labor force is literally self perpetuating and the prophets office were enormous we
sometimes forget that these planners were retaining their initial investment on on an african slave within a couple of years ago and then everything beyond that was sheer profit it's extraordinary so this is what this is the size of the future you know there are certain things in history that happened overnight bank and now before after that these terrible transformation into race slavery takes more than a generation and so at any given point in the story do the whole poem
in his three sometimes there are immediate drastic changes before after overnight bank a terrible transformation into slavery that occurs in north america in that late seventeenth and early eighteenth century stretches over more than a generation and the individuals involved themselves may not quite always have seen what was happening either that planters on the one hand as they compromise and change their values or the africans themselves who head perhaps in the middle of the seventeenth century if you were one of several thousand africans living in virginia you certainly knew that your children were going to be free you might have that expectation and imagine that since you're on a lifetime of watching a change realizing
that your labor situation was to be extended through your whole life that your children might inherit a worse status than you rather than a better but i mean it's it's the opposite of what we've always considered the american dream may be hard for me but my children will do better that notion has taken away my children will do worse so that transformation his amazing and you could only market by small subtle daily changes at the end of the seventeenth century colonies begin to pass laws against misogyny nation that while a decade ago for an african and european to live together it was perhaps not considered proper but was thoroughly tolerated all of a sudden there's a law on the books that says that's
illegal and many of those laws stayed on the books right up the end of the twentieth century why is this is the hector member that africans living in english america in the seventeenth century first or second generation after jamestown is founded are living in a relatively english context there were very few other africans most of them came not directly from africa but through the west indies where they may have lived for wild may have learned to speak english they find themselves living on the
chesapeake amid other englishman and sometimes being discriminated against sometimes being exploited but often being given opportunities than in making possibilities for themselves and we have records of specific families there's a man named johnson on the eastern shore who builds and an elaborate the farm for himself when he dies his wife takes over when she dies she wields a couch each of the children and they divide up the land at that these these are seventeenth century farmers in that in not very different from their english neighbors but within a generation of this family has disappeared from the record books now we know that they named one of their farms angola which makes us think they probably had some some
recollections of their own african roots but by seventeen hundred we're unclear what had become of them so we have to suspect that vague like many others have become victims of this terrible transformation that the legal system which was allowing them to owned a farm during the counter there daughter alanna do the normal things that were being done in this farming community and those rules have changed you know and they had been sucked into this morass of race slavery and and fear descendants would remain in that system over generations the new colony sucks the beginning to
leave so especially if it be at a time when it gets into you is the importation of slaves society talk about that the rise of his company the early english colonies that we're familiar with from grade school were founded in the beginning of the seventeenth century monthly at virginia colony the massachusetts bay colony and there was a very different atmosphere in the world from the atmosphere that was created in the second half of the seventeenth century when new colonies were found south carolina for instance was founded in sixteen seventeen
but this time the terrible transformation is beginning in south carolina feeds into it many of the people who were the three founders of south carolina including john locke incidentally who was involved in in the early designs for south carolina were also investors in the royal africa company here in the sixteen sixties and then in sixty seventy two you get the creation in england sanctioned by the king of the company that will trade specifically in africa for slaves to bring them to the new world and one that that builds in a certain incentive for many of the people founding south carolina are also invested in this company they're going to have to draw on an african labor force many of
the early colonists in south carolina migrate directly from barbados which is already and intensive sugar producing colony in the caribbean for the english so they bring with them their attitudes towards race slavery in the caribbean and so south carolina has the makings of a slavery colony at its earliest age and waited for jimmy did not but it still has no crop will they grow tobacco what will they grow and their crop that they fix on in south carolina is an african crop they begin to grow rice by seventeen hundred and rice becomes the staple crop and many of the africans who are brought to south carolina to grow rice have grown rise in their own countries this is a crop they understand better than the europeans
englishman did not grow rice and so it was it was africans who had the understanding and that understanding his co opted if you will take it away from them then used to the to the prophet of these white planters snyder easily become of the people on board that boat and golden who'd pinned it been in the rescue as a consequence when they interviewed these people but it still is just the middle east this is big you
are one of the things that is striking about south carolina if you could they are today is that it's really very close to the caribbean geographically end and also closed africa people coming from the west coast of africa were in a more familiar climate and environment than the europeans coming to south carolina so it meant that that played out in a lot of ways maybe the africans were familiar with alligators for instance in ways that the europeans were afraid of them were the africans were familiar with palmetto trees making caskets out of palm leaves some of your peers were not familiar with the flag of south carolina still has the palmetto tree on it
because it seemed so strange and exotic to the europeans to west africans it was not so strange and many of these people had been involved in growing rice on the west coast of africa there was a portion of the coastal even became known as the rice coast and it took us a long time to figure this out you know but it's down quite obvious that many of those skills were translated from the old world to the new world and we actually have some pictures of africans growing rice on african coast in the eighteenth century you're getting the rice fields flooding the rice plants and we have advertisements in the south carolina gazette ship just arrived from the rice coast you know people familiar with growing rice not everybody was of course but many of these people have had exposure to growing rice to planting it they knew this
cycle of the crop they knew how to clean it wishful ailes and then hello we know it by making a big flat fan or basket or for fanning the rice tossing it up in the air letting the wind blow through and blow the chaff away a pounding the rice with a mortar and pestle to clean the whole off of rice all those were techniques that were familiar in africa even cooking in serving their price and so even put a shrimp on top of that west africans were familiar with shrimp which they found on the coast of carolina and europeans were not done so in a strange way geographically physically africans could feel relatively at home in that environment but in terms of the year social situation and their work
environment and they were being fiercely exploited their situation was terrible so i lived with this paradigm the politicians you know this is the last cut on an independent state to look at how that might have broken down and calmly like that are you know large population is larger but is the elephant here and now it is the more they will cable system here is not dependent on route and say
stick to cash the english going overseas were arrogant in some ways but they also found frustration in the fact that they were dependent on other people's they found this with native americans when they first arrived in north america not that there were other people there whom they looked down upon in many ways but who understood the environment better than they get into almost felt sorry for them and their inability to cope in the landscape something similar happens in the deep south where the africans coming to an environment as relatively familiar to them not so familiar to the europeans the europeans are dependent in many ways on the africans for lessons in how to cope in this world but even given how to deal with the heat and no verandas and porches and and use a shade was something that was much better understood in west africa
than it was understood for the english and so yet an ironic situation we're a minority of white people controlled most of the cards economically known but in terms of the social situation often they were ill at ease and dependent of course on any given plantation that same formula apply you hit a small white family and perhaps and overseers who control the economic resources but the actual social community was made up predominately of people from africa so the interchange is enormous in cultural terms languages one of the most obvious examples or southern english speech takes on many of
the attributes of african and caribbean speech and there's now lots of detail studies of how the gullah dialect for instance evolved in south carolina there's a language made up both of african components and english components and what was true with language was also true with music if i am a west african musician transplanted to their carolina i'm bringing a tonal scale a sense of music we have me a sense of certain instruments that i may know how to make or to play and i'm also marrying that tradition to the english tradition that i'm encountering different tonal scales different instruments know so that on the one hand i might learn
to play in english a violin but i may also play an african banjo made from a gorgeous the way i grandparents' knee or so and we actually have one or two of these left it's quite unbelievable but we but surviving still are several fiddles made by african americans in the colonial period using an accord for the body of the fiddle but using an english next to fill so you can really see in this instrument the combination of europe and africa and a musician playing it would have been very music coming out of that instrument would have been a combination of african music and european news so quickly in the colony the population shift into a
majority that he was that good one of those ways by seventeen can an early in the eighteenth century more than half a century before the american revolution there are already more africans and south carolina then there are europeans and that number continues to grow so that by the time of the revolution one of the thirteen colonies south carolina is more than half black and we forget the fact that most of the migration from africa this forest movement out of africa into north america takes place in the eighteenth century so
that african americans have deeper roots in this country then most european americans or most asian americans came at a later time it's also important to remember that the africans came to north america or just a very small portion surprisingly small five to ten percent less than ten percent of the entire diaspora out of west africa into the new world if you go to the caribbean or go to brazil you realize that most of that migration it was across the south atlantic the only a small corner now deemed a foothold in the southern so the united states has been
it's been if i'm an african living in an english colony in the seventeenth century i probably speak pretty good english i probably lived with englishman in the west indies both after coming from africa i'm i'm living with very few other africans within two generations that has all changed especially many of the coastal areas virginia maryland south carolina and by the eighteenth century i would find myself on one hand i've been in america longer a more americanized but in fact i'm living amid more africans know that number of people arriving from africa every year is greater the size of the plantation his larger my
isolation from the english and english culture is greater the possibilities for retaining and using and elaborating many of my african traditions is greater that the fast mating possibility it's in the eighteenth century in this period of constant new arrivals from africa that what we know as african american culture really begins to take root it's not africa because in fact i may bring certain traditions from my culture but the person in the next cabinet come from a different part of africa speak a different language no different songs you know we're we are combining things came from the old country and were also using and borrowing some of the things that come with the european culture
but so where we are in touch with africa still are but somewhat cut off from never able to go back we are in touch with english culture but isolated from it not allowed to enter into it too closely i came across a record of a slave in the nineteenth century were calling someone who had lived on the plantation who had come directly from africa one of the last african in south carolina and it actually built his home the way he had headed in west africa the planter had come and made him tear down and the description the recollection of this old man in gullah speech was the masses say he don't want no africa house on the plantation that is to say that's to africa for the planter he doesn't want anything that's that africa on his plantation on the other hand
he doesn't want africans talking and dressing and acting precisely like europeans are categorized as being a pretty you know that was out of line so that african americans in the eighteenth century now are living in a world that's neither african nor is it english america and they create their own space their own culture and their own words and music and way of life so if it's true then in the nineteenth century and african house look out of place on a south carolina plantation because there are very few newcomers arriving from africa in the eighteenth
century it must have been very different tact the direct carry overs from africa and the direct minute this is the way i made a banjo as a child this is the way i'm going to make it here but this is the way we played the drum in west africa this is the way it could've played here there was a very direct carryover and so it's hard to imagine how africa and fat world might well have looked in one of the ways we know is from advertisements for runaways that appear in the colonial newspapers so so ran away and this is what you should look for and often his name is africa or her name off and the hair style reflects african descent where's is here this way and now prefers does kind of clothes that they're all
kinds of ways in which the african presence was still they are often in these advertisements it will say still has his african scars on his face in a scarf occasion that was put here ritualistically for for a child now as a grown up that person living in the new world still has those more for micheletti was a prison terms of misconceptions the years old going to get to do you see emerging as he began to talk about this the large majority of africans living in this is part of the external
also maybe you can explain that if we lived as slaves enslaved africans on south carolina rice plantation and seventeen twenties and thirties how we would be surrounded by other africans that would be african newcomers are rising annually and we would be separated from the white owner we would be very conscious of our power in numbers there were fifty others last year now there are seventy albums they're still only eight people living in the big house or from our point of view that provides negotiating possibilities at least not from the planners point of view it generates fear and anxiety had many of these planners lived in a constant state of fear and uncertainty torn
between a desire to maximize their profits and grow as much rice as they possibly could but anxious that they would not be able to control the workforce and so colonial legislation begins to set limits too what the ratio should be between enslaved black workers and white overseers and planters me but someone anxious for extra profit may exceed those limits so we're in the majority and our plantation we africans but were not isolated on a plantation we're taking the race to market in charleston were talking with other african americans who live in charleston so who work on the docks have contact with the ship some of them are sailors on the ships and have just arrived from barbados one of the things that means is that by the
eighteenth century the black grapevine has grown very strong you know word travels about changes in the social system word of revolts in different caribbean islands moves back and forth along this great fine people we're much more informed probably than we do sometimes its suspect there is eros was sensitive no preoccupation with the uprisings that grew because of running any discussion of that because that is predestination isn't fleshed out there and it is seventeen thirties the race culture in south carolina is an incredibly profitable for the few white landholders who were in
control of their pushing his engine to the extreme know they're very aware that it might fly apart note that it could all explode on them as they try to squeeze extra profits out of the system so they're very away here of explosions in other parts of the of the slavery world you know uprisings and violence in a meter individual acts of violence that are reported in the newspaper war holes are islands being thrown into revolt and they pay close attention to it but they're anxious about whether or not to publish it in the newspapers sometimes though printed in the newspaper but they also are very worried that word of these events will spread within the black community the other hand if you're a member of the enslaved community you are your obviously paying close attention to stories that
come and rumors that come from other parts of the british empire there's also accuses of real concern to what makes america north american consulate different from the caribbean to revise that silence that you had this large population they will because the president has two months and years ms bishop so it's better race slavery must have been a terribly
isolating experience you're in a situation where you literally do not know who you can trust no from that because the incentives are so high to undercut one another to sell people out and know that it's very hard to establish friendships and connections that means that you pay all the more attention to nevada to establish a close friendship and alliance not even if it maybe broken up later on by sailors nine but to know who your allies in your friends are is important end it begins when you arrive on the boat you have solidarity and connections with people who arrived not just on an ebola but on that same boat you've been through that particular version of hell with them and you may recognize them and know them and see them later on your form alliances on the plantation with
people who maybe from your own regent in the old world who may speak your same language who may dress the same await wear their hair the same way or cook the same foods that you remember but he'll also be looking for wider alliances all time some of the alliances will be within ironically the white community end and working class white people who who don't see race as a major barrier but who feel some sort of connection that maybe opportunistic in short term and maybe long term but a connection with with some white english also a connection with native americans and very quickly you realize that this is not the caribbean were not isolated on an island we're on a very broad mainland there are
people living further west who were indians and their trading regularly with people on the coast in south carolina as the trade in deer skins develops many africans become part of that trade in the early eighteenth century travelling up into the mountains learning to speak cherokee brain first and skins back and eventually the white authorities become weary of that connection they don't want the africans and the indians to form common barnes common purpose so they start prohibiting africans from going into the back country they start paying ransom to indians who will bring back runaway slaves dead or alive and then try to drive a wedge between the red and the black another possibility for
alliances is the connection with the spanish in florida here if you're living in south carolina you're for instance you're aware that there's a colony further south which are english master's so that's worth looking into and it's not surprising in retrospect that the stonewall rebellion in south carolina begins literally on the day that south carolina gets word from europe that the english and the spanish of going to war and seventeen thirty nine so what better moment to start an uprising and tried to strike out for st augustine and find freedom in florida in the hope that the spanish authorities not because they are opposed to slavery generally but but because they would love to de stabilize the english regime
they're willing to grant freedom to english speaking slaves who escape from the carolinas into florida as you know issued their concerts occasionally how hard that he described in ways we hit the city in two by the eighteenth century i think quite virginians white carolinians and even some white slave owners in the north that become accepting of this way of life now there was the odd voice of dissent saying we're doing the wrong thing here this is not the way life should be carried on but this system has taken such hold
that very few people resisted day except they know the situation and they profit from enormously both directly if they're platters or slave traders and indirectly if they're somehow servicing the other sectors of the economy in the house this is not just cause if you're european migrant first or second generational living in an english colony in and i come from england and i come from ireland germany france but you're living in an english colony try to make a way for yourself you're trying to find allies just the ways africans would be trying to find their allies and look for other people who
follow your same religion who speak your language you know if it's french or german your also trying to figure out how to make a place for yourself in this colony that has already committed itself to racial slavery as a system of exploitation nonprofit so how much do you resist or say you own a shop on main street in the small colonial town and there's a sale of newly arrived africans going on in the square outside your temper do you protest do you participate do you identify with the end slavery or with the enslaved different people come to different answers on any given day but the pressure's on them are tremendous to go along with the system to find out if you if you like it and profit from it
that's fine if you dislike it keep quiet and don't raise objections fascinating document in the south carolina records of our young english minister well intentioned my sense is that he almost goes crazy and are these pressures you know he he begins preaching to the blacks that there are that there's going to be a second coming and they're going to benefit from it and he has a he's almost preaching rebellion to them immediately the white authorities euro in on him put him on a ship and send an acting and so that now if you're a tavern keeper watching that happen you're realizing that your chances for dissent we view new system are very limited you may decide to move you may migrate to a northern colony where slavery is less pervasive but in terms of your challenge for changing the
system you may feel frustrated you may take your religious options and decide that well i can't help this person's economic situation there exploitation but if i can convince them of the the bible i will be a step in the right direction so that you get various religious alliances across racial lines lovely vietnam this was actually intended to an economy that is not just a true slave societies in world thinking that in fact
that is probably many ways on this racial slavery turns out to be extraordinarily profitable for the people who have seized control it's you can't get away from that fact the platter can complain in his diary that it's been a big year or those crop is weak or the rainy season lasted too long but yuri in and year out tremendous profits are being made and that means that the system perpetuates itself people imitated pointed joining to it their book and and by the time of the revolution a planter way of life has evolved and where that not only do you owned african slaves and exploit them for profit but you also dress in a certain way worship in a certain church
present it's become up an aspect of that british empire earliest white abolitionists in the eighteenth century after incident abolitionist from the beginning but there was a quaker named john wall one who i actually had a conversion experience had been accepting the slavery system turned against it he describes in his journal traveling to a plantation having dinner with the planter and then very consciously taking out his his money afterwards saying how much joy you for dinner so nothing of course the hospitality says no but i saw what people out in the field working to grow this food you know they're trying to remind this plant or that he's part of a larger economic system unity pretends that
he's not that labor is going into even putting food on the table much less fancy curtains on the windows and it's important to remember how pervasive this system was it reached far beyond the plantation if you were the new england fishermen are bringing in a catch from the grand banks some of your best fish you would sell two third there housewives of boston but many of the leftovers the worst fish the damage fish would be put in barrels and shipped to the west indies to be used as food for me those slaves working there and so you were tied into that system almost without ever even seeing the system and that was true in many ways it's interesting to think about the colony of
georgia which was founded in the seventeen thirties specifically to be and on slavery column it was not going to be like its neighbor south carolina this was going to the four white workers and they're gonna have their own for tremendous pressure is brought to bear on the georgian authorities to change that rule no and within twenty years georgette has accepted race slavery and has begun to buy african workers many of them being bought from charleston from large slave dealers there is a potential for that they have to really become the us steaming nicely or because they were so concerned with what slavery was
due to the current turmoil danger are present as well as let slip into the mall in the market their work at those i think wherever slavery has occurred in the ancient or modern world you find the understanding written down that slavery affects both there and slavery and the enslaved that everybody suffers morally under this system not that it perverts in the relationships between people and the early american colonies were no different in that regard or planters themselves were very aware of the fact that they were paying a price morally and mentally for indulging in this system and most of them felt that it was worth paying the price and stuck with
it but certainly they were very aware that it was i mixed proposition you see this by the time of the american revolution when they are so articulate about being enslaved what it means to be enslaved and now her abilities along with the colony of georgia represents one possible turning point things could the balance could they have shifted the other way if georgia had held the line against slavery it would have shown
that agriculture in the deep south could be conducted by englishman on her own terms without exploiting african workers and in fact it was well on its way to making that point when it when it was undermined in that in that effort but it's definitely gotten a possible turning point the home they also poses for sleeping and sleep to say honestly i think there's there was a mutiny city power away from iran african american point of view i suppose you would give a mixed feelings about the colony of georgia on the one hand it's good that theres no race slavery there on the other hand that means that you as an
african crossing over the savannah river are suddenly easily fingered as a runaway slave brought back to your plantation once georgia becomes slavery colony yet it puts african americans one step closer to possible freedom in florida which is one of the things in the eighteenth century that they're thinking about in the deep south the night we have a nineteenth century notion of running away to freedom in the north but if you had been enslaved in carolina in the eighteenth century you probably would've gone to the south or perhaps to the west to try to find freedom how hobbies beasley
says think about runaways and in a way is probably the wrong word because that's a word applied by i read englishman who feel that they're laborers have absconded from the perspective of the worker you are going to a wall i suppose but you were this is a blow for freedom either momentarily know maybe i can get a week of breathing space or it may involve up a broader idea of revolt if i can find friends if we can live in the forest or the swamp before friends can support us we may become what's known as a marine community we may establish our own separate community and in prisons in the french colony of louisiana you
find whole communities african slaves there who have moved into the into the back country are living relatively free sometimes they're even trading for their freedom you know i will cut would bring it down to the river bank leave it there you've come pick up that would leave me some sacks of flour leave me alone and now you will of god and something for my labor but i will still have my freedom so if you're all white authority you're constantly trying to figure how all it's tightly you want to impose the lee had with respect to people running away how fierce should the punishments billy shouldn't be a whipping she'd be the loss of a finger a hand or a foot no should it be wearing shackles perpetually
after all these people are enslaved for life and having a money you can't impose fines on them you can't due to survey the entire system of control is based or to a great extent on physical punishment tremendous brutality often making examples out of people so that others will be intimidated this is a system that runs on fear and so to live within that system to not becomes of the victims of those that fear and two to rise above seeing these daily acts of violence to end that's no small feat that's an extraordinary effort of solidarity and in direct losses who i assume would castrate slays if they're caught
her casket and also discusses the all punishments in this empty than eighteen century were grim and brutal by our standards i suppose and now and if you've visited english prisons at this time we would have seen some grotesque advance but there's no question that the physical punishments inflicted on african americans were much more brutal than those imposed on white americans were burning at the stake the pope and take him off it's because he co
wrote this week in miami my sense of south carolina in the seventeen thirties was his oval a potter ready to boil over know that there are thousands of people many of the newly arrived from africa who are facing were conditions that are extremely difficult and so a world situation that strange and upsetting and in fact you get the sense that the newcomers recently arrived were even more upset in some ways than the people who had been broken by the system that you imagine coming into a set
up that seems almost unbearable and finding that people have asked many owners somehow rationalize to door or are enduring it and that's the best i can do with you as a newcomer might feel i'm not going to put up with this better to die trying to change this and it must have been hundreds of people like that in south carolina in the seventeen thirty is one of them we only know his name a man named jimmy harrell income recently from angola hundreds of other people could come recently from angola and so he may not even have spoken english he met but he may have had strong contact with other angolans shipmates and people who had come with him more recently he had to try to build alliances not only with other angolans other new arrivals but with other africans african americans
people from from beauty he was not that familiar with and apparently he succeeded it's hard to know in any act of resistance how much weight to put on leadership and how much to put on the rank and file but somebody had to like this bar and so and so if i'm gonna run away i have to make a conscious choice is do i do it on my own by myself do i draw in other people can i trust these neighbors know obviously if ten of us decide to run away together it might be more effective but it might also be a greater risk of betrayal those
same problems apply if you're trying not simply to run away but to actually fall meant some kind of revolt or uprising trying to stop this system in its tracks am i better off engaging in some sort of individual act burning a barn or stealing a horse or can i draw together a network of people make a conscious plan and still might have that plan revealed in a way that we will be punished presumably killed for having undertaken this scheme so every slave rebel is faced with a terrible trade offs of trying to build bridges and alliances to different groups of slaves while still not being discovered and revealed and betrayed and often the issue at stake
is when will the uprising take place in south carolina and seventeen thirty nine and the stone no revolt just south of charleston take place in september that's the harvest period that's when the most work is being done and that's when people are most likely to be willing and able to take part in some sort of act of violence or violent resistance there's also an epidemic going on in charleston that has slow down the white community that colonial legislatures been disbanded the newspaper has stopped publishing this improves the possibilities there's also an awareness that legislation will soon take effect saying that planters must always take their guns with them to church on sunday well maybe we should pack before that
law goes into effect and then there's also word coming out of the blue on a ship from europe saying that england and spain is now going to war so that becomes the moment for all we know jimmy had planned to start this uprising somewhat later or perhaps became simply out of the local dynamics around stone know where africans were being brought from the plantations to work on a road improvement dig ditches they were working hard they work together with people from other plantations out of this comes this tonal revolt it occurs on a weekend it to a game and the middle of the night he sees a general store where their arms and powder and they
kill the owners and leave their heads on the doorstep as a sign of the air violence that will ensue and they began marching south towards st augustine in florida burning plantation houses and gathering up supporters as they go on an amazingly they encounter as they're going down the road the lieutenant governor of south carolina riding back towards charleston on its worst had they been able to take him captive using as a hostage there's no telling what might have become of this event as that is he's able to turn right away mobilize the white militia and within a day why troops are pursuing this group as they move south georgia georgia and florida are probably more than a hundred people with more adding every day there's a
confrontation with white troops on many of the africans are captured and killed others escape into the woods the militia rides back towards charleston leaving the hands of captured rebels on the mile posts as they ride into charleston so in a sense of the stonewall rebellion is is crushed but it's one of the largest and most violent uprisings to take place in north america under the slavery system in the eighteenth century and it's an extraordinary act of bravery is it's easy to see these people as freedom fighters you know in a way that fits with a long american tradition and it's easy to imagine that the recollection of their struggle would've lived
on to the next generation stories would have been passed down the lesson would not have been lost on that there still is something called freedom and it's worth fighting for the opportunity does not come every day and the costs are extremely high you know is that that the houses were there and this month the small details that seem to get remain sober i assume or sooner and recently care of that and some it is true there were words of liberty were on mars and that was the announcement they were they were doing and what this
reason my assumption is that the stonewall rebellion like everything else african american in the eighteenth century would have had some african elements and some european elements we wonder for instance whether jimi himself and some of the other angolans had actually had military experience and training in africa presumably they were they had been for fighters they are in error in their earlier childhood and a young manhood and so they may have been bringing certain traditions from africa we know from some of the records that as they marched south they unfurled a banner they chanted liberty it's interesting to speculate about whether they were using some african forms of of marshall
resistance whether they were borrowing from things they had seen the colonial militia do my guess it was both the sunniest james fallows plus what does it mean leaders of the stonewall rebellion not only capture this general store but killed the two owners cut off their heads and leave them on the step in the middle of the night of the terrible act of brutality no but it's a response to protect what you have to remember that the africans running away to the west indians were rewarded
but for bringing back their heads in a bag you know the idea of castrating people of cutting off hands and feet the brutality that hit big physical brutality that had been visited on these people inevitably prompted retribution and and retribution must've been one element of this rebellion you know it was a clear message was being sent to the whites who had been part of this system minute jimmy and his followers as they marched south were selective in terms of who's houses they burned this was not a race war they were conscious as to who had participated most in the system but i think they were also trying to send a message to their own participants we see this again with nat turner and then nineteenth century that you are stealing
your your compatriots for us struggle to the day you know you know that if you're caught you are gonna hedge your head cut off and put on a polar you're going to be gene edited and i hung up on a spike overlooking charleston harbor and the there's an awareness of this you're gonna be jaded in and hung up in chains overlooking charleston harbor and there's an awareness of the of the pervasive violence within the system that these people are responding to what is it the market
with the africans leading actresses since the uncertainty about the population here are these gentle eyes that people come from his relation is this this is this it's those events to tell you see just how far something this just this fiscal year and just the way war transforms people i think this
terrible transformation into race slavery had changed people by the middle of the eighteenth century the violence you see that stone no is the violence that had become pervasive in the culture we know for instance that when englishman several years later went south to attack the spanish at st augustine black escaped slaves who had left south carolina to come to florida and been given their freedom formed the front lines of the army because they were before the spanish they were going to fight hardest against these people coming to re enslaved them and they not only killed the english they mutilate and brutalized them because that's what had been done to them you know and by the middle of the eighteenth century this had become a way of life in the english colonies
the person and the margin charging probably go and seize because of reference to identify with a gentle smile we used to just talk about africans coming to america so we're now in a position to be much more specific about which africans from which part of america of africa came to which part of america we know for instance from records of slave ships coming into charleston harbor that in the seventeen twenties and thirties there was a real upsurge of people being brought from angola angola
was farther away that it took a bigger ships larger numbers of people were arriving so they probably brought a good deal with them in terms of their culture and weekend it started to know you know what use might've been made of that of those presidents once they got to the new world but here was a group of newcomers arriving at really in a fairly short space of time in large numbers all in a specific area on the coast of south carolina now there is a there's a reason for a quick boost by the way captured what happens once the
cash cash as a cashier the rebels to take swift action the response to this revolt is swift and brutal that once these rebels have been surrounded many are killed on the spot many are brought back in charleston those have escaped into the woods are hunted down finally over the next several months over the next several years changes are maybe in the laws so that this kind of thing can happen again and you want to go and
changes are made in not laws there's a new negro code that imposes harsher penalties for all kinds of things but there also are some carrots along with the styx there are some efforts to establish a negro school to try to pick certain people out of a black community and turn them into compliance slaves and so they're so tinkering going on with the system by these white planters try to make sure this never happens again one of the things they do is put a heavy import duty on african slaves for the next few years making it harder to import newcomers like jimmy from angola and allowing the ratio of black to white to readjust slate there's this moment when you look at the charleston gazette and realize how that there's very little evidence
about to stone a revolt in part it's because there was an epidemic in charleston everything was disrupted that fall but in part two it is also because they don't want to talk about and discuss and spread the word regarding this kind of activity potentially successful resistance because if this resistance had succeeded and it came strikingly close given another forty eight hours in several hundred more people joining the cause at a certain point it would have reached uncontrollable proportions if that happened it could have changed the direction of slavery and race relations in america forever because at the white community would have had to see clearly the price that was paid for this system and the dangers that were inherent within an african americans would've
seemed that if one reveled can succeed others will soon follow
Africans in America
Episode Number
The Terrible Transformation
Raw Footage
Interview with Peter Wood, Professor of History, Duke University. 1 of 2
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Peter Wood is interviewed about the first settlers who came to America, the need for labor in Jamestown, English Protestantism, the implications of tobacco on labor needs in Virginia, the Africans' arrival in 1619, inheriting the mother's slave status, the shift from indentured servitude to lifelong slavery, the difference between being a slave and a servant, the meaning of indentured servants, and the Africans' experience.
Race and Ethnicity
American history, African Americans, civil rights, slavery, abolition, Civil War
(c) 1998-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
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Duration: 1:52:04
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Chicago: “Africans in America; 101; The Terrible Transformation; Interview with Peter Wood, Professor of History, Duke University. 1 of 2,” 1998-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 20, 2024,
MLA: “Africans in America; 101; The Terrible Transformation; Interview with Peter Wood, Professor of History, Duke University. 1 of 2.” 1998-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 20, 2024. <>.
APA: Africans in America; 101; The Terrible Transformation; Interview with Peter Wood, Professor of History, Duke University. 1 of 2. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from