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WND: Father of US slavery was black


America’s first slave owner.

For the past year, the CofCC website has received a lot of viral publicity for talking about Anthony Johnson. This man was the first man to legally hold someone in perpetual slavery in what became the United States. Both Johnson and his slave were African Negros. The first slave owner in the US was a black man.

Many left-wing websites have falsely claimed we made this story up. Now WND, a major leading conservative news site, is reporting the same thing.

From WND.com…

Part of the problem with facts is they can cause discomfort when they do not conform to our preconceived notions. Not once had I ever heard so much as a whisper of this, and it flew in the face of everything I knew – everybody knew – about the origins of slavery in the English colonies. Talk about political incorrectness!

Remember the aforementioned Anthony Johnson? He raised livestock, prospered and as was customary with prosperous landowners, indenturing one black and several white servants. Johnson had sued in court and won several cases, but one case in particular would set the stage for a dramatic shift in the workforce. There are several reports as to the origin of this landmark case, which would indelibly change the American cultural landscape and impact relationships between blacks and whites for centuries.

One report says John Casor, a black indentured servant, “swindled” Johnson out of the remainder of his servitude. Another says the family convinced Johnson to free Casor. Still another says Casor “convinced” a white neighbor, Robert Parker, that he was being illegally detained. Whatever the reason, Johnson was not satisfied with the status quo and took Casor and Parker to court, alleging that Casor had not been obtained as a servant, but as a slave.

Understand the true significance of this case. Johnson was not suing to have John Casor fulfill some measure of a debt of servitude. Instead, he insisted the court grant his petition that “he had ye Negro for his life.” He was claiming the services of John Casor for the remainder of Casor’s natural life. To my knowledge, there is no earlier record of judicial support given to slavery in Virginia except as a punishment for crime. Anthony Johnson was asking the court to award him John Casor (who had committed no crime) as a slave.

Parker and one other influential landowner, both white, sided with Casor. However, the court ruled for Johnson. In the original language taken from the original documents is the decision of the county court:

“Court of Northampton; Eight Mar, Anno1654:
Whereas complaint was this daye made to ye court by ye humble peticion of Anth. Johnson Negro ag[ains]t Mr. Robert Parker…”

I needed to read it slowly and in modern English:

“Whereas complaint was this day made to the court by the humble petition of Anthony Johnson, Negro, against Mr. Robert Parker that he detains one John Casor, a Negro, the plaintiff’s servant under pretense that the said John Casor is a freeman. The court seriously considering and maturely weighing the premises do find that the said Mr. Robert Parker most unrightly keeps the said Negro John Casor from his rightful master Anthony Johnson, as it appears by the Deposition of Capt. Samuel Goldsmith and many probable circumstances. Be it therefore the Judgment of the court and ordered that said John Casor, Negro, shall forthwith be turned into the service of his said master, Anthony Johnson, and that the said Mr. Robert Parker make payment of all charges in the suit and execution. (Eighth March, Year 1654)”

This is apparently the first legal sanction of slavery (not for a crime) in the New World.

Johnson – who had himself been captured in Angola and brought to America as an indentured servant – was a black man.