That such a colony, in such an age, should have existed thirteen years prior to the introduction of Negro Slavery, indicates rather its weakness and poverty than its virtue.
The probability is that its planters bought the first slaves that were offered them; at any rate, the first that they were able to pay for. When the Pilgrim Fathers landed on the rock of Plymouth,
December 22, 1（20.
The first slaves brought to Virginia were sold from a Dutch vessel, which landed twenty at Jamestown, in 1620. Virginia had already received and distributed her first cargo of slaves.
In the first recorded case (Butts v. Penny, 2 Lev., 201; 3 Kib., 785), in 1677, in which the question of property in negroes appears to have come before the English courts, it was held, that, being usually bought and sold among merchants as merchandise, and also being infidels, there might be a property in them sufficient to maintain trover.
U. S., vol II., p. 214.