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African Immigration

The initial flow of Africans to North America began as early as the 1500s, with a trickle of Africans coming from Mexico and the Caribbean to the then Spanish territories of Florida and Texas. It generated into a distinct and significant wave in 1607 with the founding of the British colony of Jamestown. These African immigrants came not as slaves but willfully as bonded or indentured servants, a status held by many whites who also immigrated to the New World. Indentured servants were sought as laborers to work in the southern regions of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and other colonies where labor-intensive tobacco, rice, and indigo production was a major source of income. As indentured servants, Africans received contracts that included free passage to ...

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