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Slaves and Slaveholders in Bermuda 1616- 1782

Book by Virginia Bernhard

Donated to site by Roberta Estes


Sluiter in “New Light on the "20 and Odd Negroes"” makes a credible case for these early Chesapeak blacks coming directly from Africa, having been captured from a slave ship.  The incidence of a few African names, such as Sambo, Congo and Mingo lend credence to this theory, while the next generation would have English names.

And this commentary regarding the families in Bermuda:

Capt. Powell bought blacks in 1617 and others were brought by other traders, but by 1620 there were free black families, working and living independently of resident white supervisors, turning over their tobacco crop to the lease holder or landlord, just as white servants would have done.  They lived very near white families.  By 1618 these Southampton tenants with their wives and children had formed a biracial community.

She does on to say that by 1656, after a failed slave rebellion, free blacks and free mixed racial families were banned from the island.



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