First African Marker

In late August 1619, the first ship carrying “20 and odd” enslaved Africans arrived at Point Comfort in Virginia, where Fort Monroe is today. They landed being treated as human cargo captured by the White Lion and English privateer ship from the Spanish slave ship São João Bautista or San Juan Bautista during a fierce battle in the Bay of Campeche.

After the battle, the White Lion started its journey back to Europe. Before they could make the long journey they were in desperate need of rations. They landed at Point Comfort seeking to trade the “20 and odd” Africans for provisions. The landing of the first enslaved Africans was one of the most significant events in our country’s history,