Isabella was captured from the village of Ndongo in Angola during a Portuguese raid between 1618 and 1619. She was held in captivity until a ship arrived in bay of 1619. Between 1617 and 1619 over 50,000 Africans were captured from the villages of Ndongo, Kabasa and the Congo. Angelo, another African women, was also one of the many men, women and children captured.
Official Landing Date
The one official document that confirms the first Africans landed at Point Comfort is a journal entry by John Rolfe, who was the widower of Pocahontas and also the Secretary of the Virginia Company. His job was to keep a daily journal and report back to England what was taking place in the colony. In August 1619 John Rolfe was at Point Comfort supervising the planting of the fall crop. In January 1620 he wrote a letter back to England which states. “About the latter end of August, a Dutch man of Warr of the burden of 160 tons arrived at Point Comfort, the Commanders name was Capt. Jope. He brought not anything but 20 and odd Negroes [sic.]”'
Many mathematicians will say the 20th is not the latter part of August. So when did they arrive? The National Endowment for Humanities was instrumental in creating a database of slave voyage records incorporating 40 years of archival research from 35,000 slave crossings through the middle passage.
Voyage from Ndongo
If you attended primary school in Virginia and probably the entire South, you received an Intentionally distorted version on the arrival of the first Africans to land on English occupied land in America. The truth has been known since 1619 when the first ship carrying enslaved Africans landed at Point Comfort (Fort Monroe) in Hampton, VA. Jamestown historians chose to rewrite history to meet their agenda. In August of 1619, John Rolfe, widower of Pocahontas, was at Point Comfort on this fateful day and he wrote in his diary “About the latter end of August, an English ship flying a Dutch flag of the burden of 160 tons arrived at Point Comfort, the Commanders name was Capt. Colyn Jope. He brought not anything but 20 and odd Negars”.
John Rolfe was serving as the Secretary to the Virginia Company of England. His job was to report back to the Virginia Company current events in Virginia. In addition to Rolfe’s manuscript, John Pory, Secretary of State of the Virginia colony, who was also at Point Comfort, on September 30, 1619, wrote a letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, English envoy to the Hague that 20 and Odd Negars had arrived at Point Comfort near Jamestown.
But Jamestown historians took that passage, deleted Point Comfort, and said the Africans arrived at Jamestown. And ever since historians have written that the first Africans landed at Jamestown. In the memoirs of Capt. John Colyn Jope, captain of White Lion, he wrote in his journal that he unloaded the 20 and odd Negroes at Point Comfort and one of them was named Antonio who he captured from the Bautista.
Africans are the only ethnic group brought to America in chains and against their will. Slavery existed. We cannot re-write history like it is “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. We cannot forget that one segment of our society was held in bondage for 246 years. We need to remember that torturous journey from freedom to slavery, and the long struggle from slavery to be free again. We cannot revise history by changing school text books to say that slavery did not exist.
History of the First Africans
Two of the original Africans who arrived on the White Lion in 1619 were Antoney and Isabella.
In January 1625, according to the Virginia census, those two Africans, Isabella, Antonio and their son William were living in present day Hampton in Capt. William Tucker’s home; who was the commander at Point Comfort, (today’s Fort Monroe). Their son William was the first documented African child born in English North America. He was baptized on January 4, 1624, but no one knows for sure when he was born.
The descendants of William Tucker continue to conduct research into the life of William Tucker and their ancestors.
The history of the 1619 landing of the first enslaved Africans and their descendants is a story of human strength and endurance in the face of adversity.
It is a story that refuses to be buried in obscurity or diminished for its impact.
It continues to unfold in its entirety..