All over the country, we hear how racist white people are towards black people but the truth of the matter isn’t fully disclosed.
This claim of racist behavior stems from the countries beginning when African Americans were treated poorly in the name of slavery. Interestingly enough and something they do not teach in school is that the very first official slave owner as granted by the court system of early colonial America was a black man. Not only was he of African decent but so was his first confirmed slave, and to top that off he also owned white slaves.
Sometime after 1635, Antonio gained his freedom from indenture and changed his name to Anthony Johnson.
Anthony Johnson (BC 1600 – 1670) was an Angolan who achieved freedom in the early 17th century Colony of Virginia.
In 1651 Anthony Johnson owned 250 acres and the services of four white and one black indentured servants. The black indentured servant John Casor (Casar, Cazarao, and Corsala) demanded that Johnson release him after his seven years of indenture.
In March of 1654, according to Delmarva Settlers, Anthony’s servant, a man named John Casar requested that Johnson release him from his indenture because it had long expired past the usual seven years. Johnson replied that he knew of no indenture and that Casar was to be his servant for life. Anthony Johnson’s neighbors, George and Robert Parker, stated that they knew of another indenture for the said Casar to a planter on the other side of the bay. They continued to threaten Johnson with the loss of the servant’s cattle if he were to deny him his freedom. Johnson, with the influence from his family, released the servant, and even went to see that John Casar received his freedom dues. Freedom dues are materials and supplies given to the freed person in order for them to start their new lives with the necessary materials. In the case of John Casar, clothing and corn. But after careful reflection, Johnson was certain that Casar was his servant for life; a slave. Johnson then sued the Parker brothers for unlawfully taking his property from him, and since there were no other indentures for John Casar, he was returned to the Johnsons.
The courts ruled in favor of Anthony Johnson and declared John Casor his property in 1655. Casor became the first person of African descent in Britain’s Thirteen Colonies to be declared as a slave for life as the result of Johnson’s civil suit.