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The White Lion: Seeding Racism in America

On August 25, 1619, the privateer vessel White Lion landed at Point Comfort, now Hampton Roads, Virginia, just outside Jamestown.  The ship and its partner, the Treasurer, had encountered and raided the San Juan Bautista in the mid-Atlantic, a Portuguese craft transporting some 200 enslaved Africans as part of its freight, carrying off some 60 for sale in the West Indies.

 

But the two privateers became separated at sea, and the White Lion with its 20-odd captured slaves made port in Virginia, and there traded their human cargo for badly needed food and supplies.  This was the origin of African slavery in the land which would become the United States (some indigenous tribes had practiced slavery with captured enemies for centuries), thus establishing one of the country’s Original Sins (the other being genocide of the native population).

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