Enslaved Africans to Virginia Planters: The Complex Journey of the 1619 First Africans

August 17, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm America/New York Timezone
$9/adult, $7/children ages 3-12; Henricus Patrons: free

10 am – 5 pm

In August 1619, a Portuguese ship transporting enslaved Africans bound for Mexico was hijacked by the English and arrived at Point Comfort, Virginia.  Henricus interpreters will present and demonstrate through lectures and living history the circumstances, myths, and realities of the introduction of Africans into the lives of the Powhatan and English communities, focusing on English laws of slavery at that time and the blending of three cultures into one, especially the food, tools, and clothing.

Cost:  $9/adult, $7/children ages 3-12; Henricus Patrons: free


Event Schedule

Special Presentation Lecture

Journey to a New World: The Complex Journey of Virginia’s First Africans and the Makings of a New Society in 17th Century Virginia”

Location: Church

Times: 11am and 2pm

Description: This program identifies the social and legal complexities of Africans living in Elizabethan and Jacobean England and then eventually the Virginia colony after 1619. It will look more closely at the people who comprised the Africans that arrived in Virginia in 1619, offering clarity on their identity, where they were from, what life was like for them prior to enslavement, and their eventually journey to Virginia.


Ongoing Presentations and Demonstrations

Powhatan Town – an interpreter will be demonstrating comparative technologies and daily living perspectives between the Africans and Powhatan Indians.

English Fort – an interpreter will be demonstrating comparative construction technologies, showing the differences between an English axe, Powhatan Axe, and African axe, and how they may have been made and used in structural construction in Africa and Virginia in 1619.  

Tobacco Plantation – interpreters will be demonstrating African agriculture and cooking, as well as other cultural items common to the first Africans of 1619, and how it may have compared to English agriculture and cooking.

Rocke Hall – interpreters will be presenting the religious and political concerns that came with the arrival of the first Africans.  They will tackle how Virginia planters and governors may have felt about the issue in 1619.

Hospital – interpreters will be demonstrating the cloth, fashion, and assembly of what the first Africans would have to wear in transforming to becoming part of the English community in the summer and autumn of 1619. 


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