The first English colony in America was in Virginia at the beginning of the 17 century.
Here they didn’t find gold or silver, but they discovered tobacco. Virginians were soon making a lot of money withgrowing and selling tobacco. In the island of Barbados the inhabitants made themselves rich with the plant of sugar. These planters used Negro slaves who had to do very hard work.
This was true of all the English colonies south of Maryland, and in West Indies. Europeans used to give guns to African black people, who assaulted and destroyed rival villages and took many prisoners. They put heavy collars round their necks and tied them in long lines. If the prisoners lived too far from the sea, they made them walk many miles every day as far as the sea where Europeans waited to buy them. They struck them with whips, if they didn’t walk fast enough, and if someone fell exhausted they just shot them were they laid.
They used to sell them one by one, not in groups of families so it often happened that families were kept at distance and never met again. Then came the worst: they were taken to ships and chained together. They sailed for weeks in this condition, the smell and the heat was unbearable. Many died from desease, and some from dispair.
When they arrived they were taken to a market place, where they were sold once again. They treated them as horses for the same reason: the buyers wanted them to work and if they disobeyed they were struck with whips. Besides, they were obliged to marry the women they didn’t love. They desired to rebel and go back to Africa, but they knew they were going to be slaves, and so were their children and their children’s children forever. No one knows how many Africans were taken to America as slaves. Merchants in Liverpool and Bristol loaded their ships with cotton cloths and iron goods. They swapped these goods with slaves in Africa, and sold the slaves in the West Indies or in the southern colonies on the mainland. With the money they bought sugar and tobacco. Men in the slave trade became rich, as did the planters.
1. Where did the first English colony settle in America?
3. What did they find in Virginia?
4. What did they find in the Barbados islands?
5. Who did planters employ in the plantations?
6. How did they get negro slaves?
7. Where did they take them ?