Humanities › History & Culture Enslavement Timeline 1619 to 1696 Share Flipboard Email Print Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain History & Culture African American History Segregation and Jim Crow The Black Freedom Struggle Major Figures and Events Important Figures Civil Rights Slavery & Abolition American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Femi Lewis African-American History Expert M.S.Ed, Secondary Education, St. John's University M.F.A., Creative Writing, City College of New York B.A., English, City College of New York Femi Lewis is a writer and educator who specializes in African-American history topics, including slavery, abolitionism, and the Harlem Renaissance. our editorial process Femi Lewis Updated November 13, 2019 Historian Frances Latimer argues that enslavement "happened one law at a time, one person at a time." As the American colonies grew throughout the 17th Century, human bondage transformed from indentured servitude to a life of enslavement. Enslavement Timeline: 1619 to 1696 1612: Commercial tobacco is raised in Jamestown, Va.1619: Twenty Africans are transported to Jamestown. They were imported to work as slaves in Great Britain's American colonies.1626: The Dutch West India Company brings eleven African-American men to the New Netherlands1636: Desire, the first carrier in the United States to participate in human trade. The ship is built and first sails from Massachusetts. This marks the beginning of colonial North America's participation in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.1640: John Punch becomes the first documented slave to receive servitude for life. An African servant, John Punch, is sentenced to life after running away. His white friends, who also ran away, received extended servitude.1640: Residents of New Netherlands are prohibited from providing any assistance to fugitive slaves.1641: The D'Angolas become the first recorded marriage between people of African descent.1641: Massachusetts becomes the first colony to legalize enslavement.1643: A fugitive slave law is established in the New England Confederation. The Confederation includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Haven.1650: Connecticut legalizes enslavement.1652: Rhode Island creates laws restricting and then forbidding slavery.1652: All black and Native American servants are mandated to take military training by Massachusetts law.1654: Blacks are granted the right to be slaveholders in Virginia.1657: Virginia passes a fugitive slave law.1660: The Council of Foreign Plantations is ordered by Charles II, King of England, to convert slaves and indentured servants to Christianity.1662: Virginia passes a law establishing hereditary slavery. The law states that children of African-American mothers "shall be bond or free according to the condition of the mother."1662: Massachusetts passes a law prohibiting blacks from bearing arms. States such as New York, Connecticut, and New Hampshire followed suit.1663: The first documented slave rebellion takes place in Gloucester County, Va.1663: The state of Maryland legalizes enslavement.1663: Charles II gives North Carolina and South Carolina to slave proprietors.1664: Enslavement is legalized in New York and New Jersey.1664: Maryland becomes the first colony to make marriage between white women and black men illegal.1664: Maryland passes a law making lifelong servitude for black slaves legal. Colonies such as New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Virginia pass similar laws.1666: Maryland enacts a fugitive slave law.1667: Virginia passes a law stating that Christian baptism will not change a person's status as a slave.1668: New Jersey passes a fugitive slave law.1670: Free Africans and Native Americans are prohibited from owning white Christian servants by Virginia law.1674: New York lawmakers declare that enslaved African-Americans who convert to Christianity will not be freed.1676: Slaves, as well as black and white indentured servants, participate in Bacon's Rebellion.1680: Virginia passes laws prohibiting blacks--freed or enslaved--from bearing arms and congregating in large numbers. The law also enforces stiff punishments for slaves who try to escape or attack white Christians.1682: Virginia passes a law announcing that all imported Africans will be slaves for life.1684: New York prohibits slaves from selling goods.1688: Pennsylvania Quakers establish the first antislavery resolution.1691: Virginia creates its first anti-miscegenation law, prohibiting marriage between whites and blacks as well as whites and Native Americans.1691: Virginia declares it illegal to free slaves within its borders. As a result, freed slaves must leave the colony.1691: South Carolina establishes its first set of slave codes.1694: The importation of Africans increases tremendously into the Carolinas after rice cultivation is developed.1696: Royal African Trade Company loses its monopoly. New England colonists enter into the slave trade.