St. Peter’s bell ringing Aug. 25, 2019

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Title:St. Peter’s bell ringing Aug. 25, 2019

We rang St. Peter’s bells on Sun., Aug 25, 2019 at 3pm for one minute as part of remembrance of the 20 slaves brought to Va. Thanks to Jim and Elizabeth for doing the bell ringing. The bell is in the gallery with the front of the church in the distance showing the altar piece we restored in 2016.

Governor George Yeardley and his head of trade bought the “20. and odd Negroes” aboard in exchange for “victuals” — meaning, they traded food for slaves.

The human cargo that arrived in Virginia in 1619 had come from the port city of Luanda, now the capital of present-day Angola. Back then, it was a Portuguese colony, and most of the enslaved are believed to have been captured during an ongoing war between Portugal and the kingdom of Ndongo. That ship was en route to the Spanish colony of Veracruz when two English privateer ships, the White Lion and the Treasurer, intercepted it and seized some of the Angolans on board.

Today, Fort Monroe, VA stands where the White Lion landed. The proclamation that made the fort a national monument reads, “The first enslaved Africans in England’s colonies in America were brought to this peninsula on a ship flying the Dutch flag in 1619, beginning a long ignoble period of slavery in the colonies and, later, this Nation.”