Topic: Slavery

Flagmen of Lowestoft - Vice-Admiral Sir William Berkeley, 1639-66

Sir William Berkeley and Native American Slavery

Sir William Berkeley was a highly educated courtier in the regime of Charles I, then twice governor of Virginia. 1Billings, Warren M, Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2004. As governor, he stacked the Council and House of Burgesses with Royalist planters then institutionalized race-based slavery in 1661 and 1662.  Prior to that time in Virginia, Native American and Africans were theoretically forced laborers; legally classified as indentured servants like their European counterparts, who would be supposedly set free after seven years of work for a master.  After passage of this law,

Indian Slaves in the Rocky Mountains

All through the Rocky Mountains, except in what we have called the northeastern triangle, this system of human slavery extended, and it had obtained such a root that it was very hard to extirpate. In Colorado it was brought to a summary end, so far as white slaveholders were concerned, in 1865, through the efforts of the government. Indian Agent Head, accompanied by Deputy Marshall E. R. Harris, visited all owners of Indian slaves and informed them that they must be released. Says Mr. Head, “I have notified all the people here that in future no more captives are to be purchased or sold, as I shall immediately arrest both parties caught in the transaction. This step, I think, will at once put an end to the most barbarous and inhuman practice which has been in existence with the Mexicans for generations.

The Case of the State Vs. Will

One of the most remarkable cases ever tried in the North Carolina courts was the case of The State vs. Will. It was the most important case on the subject of slavery and fixed a slave’s right to defend himself against the cruel and unjust punishment of a master. It was decided at the December term, 1834, of the Supreme Court (State vs. Will, 1 Devereux and Battle, 121-172). The facts of the case are as follows: Will was the slave of Mr. James S. Battle, of Edgecombe County, and was placed under the direction of an overseer named Richard


I knew so little back then. I had only the slightest grasp of my Creek Indian heritage.  I couldn’t even begin to answer Dr. Piña-Chan’s questions.  I did tell him that we had a lot of gold in the Georgia Mountains, but our archaeologists said that the Indians didn’t know anything about it.  Even then, however, I agreed with Dr. Piña-Chan. Why would our Indians be so skilled with working copper, which is also abundant in some parts of the mountains, but not work gold? Well, anthropologists knew so little back then, too.  They were just beginning to translate Maya

Early Slave Raid Period 1657-1684

In 1567 Captain Juan Pardo explored an extensive area of what is now the Carolina Piedmont & Highlands. He probably also traveled through sections of the upper Tennessee Valley and northeastern Georgia – possibly even SW Virginia. Licenciado (attorney) Juan de la Bandero recorded names of indigenous communities that he visited and gave some geographical descriptions of certain important towns; but gave incomplete information as to the locations of these communities. All but one of the political titles that Bandero recorded, are words in Muskogee or Hitchiti. Scholars are not aware of any other detailed accounts of the region for

Middle Slave Raid Period 1684-1706

Stark changes occurred during the mid-1680s in the Southeast. There were many movements of population as the intensity of attacks on the Spanish mission by the Westo, Chickmawka’s, Yamassee and pirates intensified. The Rickohockens were completely pushed out of their stronghold at the Peaks of the Twin Otter by Iroquois raids. The Iroquois had obtained firearms first from the Dutch, and now from the English. Many minor ethnic groups and villages in the Carolina’s had disappeared during the previous twenty years due to Rickohocken and Westo slave raids. Now African slaves were much more available, so the emphasis of the