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Old 02-12-2019, 12:49 PM
slash2k is offline
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,502
Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
So are you saying the first slaves brought to Virginia weren't really slaves, but rather indentured servants who could expect to be freed at the end of their term?

Or are you saying they were called indentured servants, but were in fact slaves?

I'm genuinely unclear on your meaning.
At least some of the blacks originally brought to Virginia as "indentured servants" eventually did earn their freedom; see for example Anthony Johnson. Others seem to have been in a murkier status; Johnson himself owned the contract for John Casor and was not obligated to release him at the end of term. There's actually a fair amount of debate among historians about the transition from indentured servitude to slavery for Africans in Virginia Colony, and it's not altogether clear what the correct answer is.