Slaves Come to Virginia

Lead: The first slaves brought to Virginia may have arrived here as part of the spoils of a privateering expedition organized by a wealthy English Puritan Lord.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: In the first decades of the 1600s, Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, was fascinated with the trading opportunities in the Caribbean, but he had a problem. His monarch, King James I of England had signed a treaty with the Spanish and the Spanish controlled most of the Caribbean. Rich was interested in North American colonies. He was a Puritan and as the century matured he and others of like mind were concerned that James enthusiasm for the Spanish was wrong and they began to urge the King to attack the Spanish on all fronts. When he refused they asked if they could engage in privateering in the Caribbean, attacking Spanish ships for profit. James, who was usually hard-up for cash, was not averse to taking a little on the side even if it flew in the face of his pro-Spanish official policy.

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Charles Nalle and the Fugitive Slave Law (1850)

Lead: Under pressure from Southern states, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. In the spring of 1859, escaped slave Charles Nalle almost got caught.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Increasingly under siege from northern abolitionists and fearful of the loss of their property, Southern slave holders and their allies sought legal protection. If an escaped slave was caught in a free state, federal law demanded that he or she be returned their owner by the arresting authorities.

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LFM: Massachusetts 54th Colored Regiment

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro: A Moment In Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: During the Civil War, the south was not the only region of warring America where blacks faced a struggle to overcome racism. In the north, they fought for the right to fight. In the early days of the Civil War, African Americans in the north and in areas liberated by Union armies were not allowed to fight for the Federal cause. When a group of blacks tried to form a local militia in Cincinnati they were told, “we want you damned niggers to keep out of this, this is a white man’s war.” The vast majority of northerners were just as bigoted, just as prejudiced as southerners.

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Abolition – III

Lead: The end of slavery required almost a century in America following the Declaration of Independence.  It came from a powerful political movement but ultimately a great war.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: By 1800 Europeans were moving slowly but surely to abolish slavery at home and in their colonies.  In Latin America, slavery progressively to an end on a nation by nation basis.  Chile came first in 1811, Brazil last in 1888.  In the United States evolution was a much more agonizing process.

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Abolition II

Lead: For almost 3 centuries after 1500, the growing and lucrative trade and practice of slavery went unchallenged. Then an unlikely alliance of enlightened thinkers and Evangelicals began to chip away at that cruel institution. 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: As the leaders of the American Revolution began to formulate their Declaration of Independence in 1776, it was clear to most of them gathered in Philadelphia that there was in colonial society a massive violation of the sentiments of that document: millions of African slaves.  Most of the founders were schooled in Enlightenment thinking which sought to advance the cause of human rights. Throughout the years of revolution and the great effort to develop an effective federal government, the demands of the economically lucrative system of slavery and the sentiments of enlightenment were engaged in a titanic struggle for the future of America.

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Abolition I

Lead: Of all the questions left unresolved by the founders of the United States none had more long-term and ultimately fatal consequences than that of human bondage, slavery.

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                Content: Slavery has been found in both primitive and modern societies. Even in Western civilization, the institution was accepted by both ancient Greeks and Romans.  Even early Christianity did not directly oppose slavery although that religion helped broker economic changes the transformed the agricultural slave culture into that of medieval serfdom in the years following the fall of the Roman Empire.

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Slaves to Virginia – I

Lead: Black Africans were brought to Virginia in 1619. Their numbers soon swelled as tobacco plantations thirsted for cheap labor and slavers on the great slave triangle trade found a new market.

                Intro.: Dan Roberts and 'A Moment in Time,' with 'Jamestown - Journey of Democracy,' tracing the global advance of democratic ideals since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607.

                Content: Portugal was the first European country to explore the West African coastline. It was seeking a trade route around Africa to the rich spice islands of the Far East. In Africa, however, it found a another form of trade more lucrative and much more ominous, human chattel. Inter-tribal warfare among Africans had long before created traffic in slaves. The Portuguese, then Dutch and English merchants after them perfected the commerce in a way that was severely damaging to African societies.

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