tv 1619 - First Africans in Virginia CSPAN July 5, 2021 4:00pm-4:56pm EDT
ric murphy talks about his book, arrival of the first africans in virginia, which profiles the 20 and odd african who is arrived in jamestown colony in 1619. this group included mr. murphy's own ancestors, the virginia museum of history and culture hosted this event and provided the video. >> today's lecture takes place about 200 years prior to that event in creole n. 1619, a group of 32 african men, women, and children arrived on the shores of virginia. they had been kidnapped in angola and forced aboard the spanish slave slip san juan bautista. the ship was attacked by privateers, and the captives were taken by the english to their new world colony. but this group has been shrouded in controversy ever since.
today, our speaker is ric murphy, who is an acclaimed historian and award winning author who explores the rich contributions made by african-americans in united states history. ric has a bachelor's degree from the universe of massachusetts and a masters degree from boston university. he is the author of several books including the subject of today's lecture, arrival of the first africans in virginia, which explore this is fascinating story of colonialism, treason, patientsy, kidnapping, enslavement, and british law. please welcome ric murphy. >> adam, thank you very much much for that kind introduction. and vmhc thank you for your warm invitation today. i am going to take you through the writing of the book the arrival of the first africans in
virginia. you will tell you about the behind the scenes stories. i am going to tell you how i got involved in this. and more importantly i am going to explain who were the first african who is arrived in virginia, subsequently english america. when i first took pen to paper there were some thing i wanted to do -- you have to excuse me, all of a sudden my throat got dry -- if you see me drinking water, i don't want to have to keep interrupting myself. when i took pen to paper, i found it very interesting who these men, women, and children were. and my interest in the story, i hope it would be the same interest all of you would have. when i took pen to paper i wanted to talk about the historical significance of who the original angolans were. the importance of society in they had. the circumstances of their departure from their homeland. the circumstances in whichy they lived when they came here. and equally important, the
conditions in which they lived once they were here. now, when it comes to history, and when it comes to our knowledge of history, and particularly for authors, we tend to write what we know. we only know what we are taught in school. and i have to admit, i knew nothing of virginia's history. i never learned about the founding of jamestown. i never learned about yardley's representative government. i never learned about the arrival of the 20 and odd. i knew a little bit about bacon's rebellion. i had no context for the 1705 slave codes and i really didn't understand how the resolve helped the southern colonies get into the revolutionary war. since all of you are virginians you are going to have to ask yourselves how in world didn't he know that.
it is because, as you can tell were my accent i am from massachusetts and we have our own distinct history. i learned about the arrival of the mayflower, the founding of plymouth rock, i learned about the mayflower compact. the arrival of the 120 pilgrims. i learned about america's first thanksgiving and the boston tea party. and of course, the shot heard around the world at lexington and concord. so that was the basis of my learning in school and the basis of my historical knowledge of colonial america. now when i first got into this, i didn't do it as a historian. quite frankly, i fell into this strictly by accident. what i want to do is to explain to you how i, as a historian and genologist came to learn about the 20 and odd as referred to by john roth. my story starts in the early 1980s relative to a land dispute
on martha's vineyard. the family owned a substantial track of land on martha's vineyard. it goes back to the 1700s. and in this land dispute, we were told that we would have to create a family pedigree. now, that dumbfounded us, particularly myself and siblings, and cousins because in my family, we raised german shepherds. when you think of a family pedigree, i only knew of the american kennel association, aka. and that was the raising of pure bred puppies. we certainly didn't see ourselves as pure breds, nor as puppies. but we soon learned that the discussion was one of creating a family pedigree. so what we had to do is we had to construct our family lineage going back to the 1700s that
clearly documents that our family owned the land. now, this dispute was with a very famous person who had a lot of money. in fact, even hired an attorney on our behalf because they didn't want any kind of problems in the press. truncate the story, we ended up with a settlement. this is a beautiful piece of property. you will know that that's one of the most expensive tracts of land that could be. this track of land, once the settlement came about -- this was on my maternal grandfather's side of the family. my ma aren't the grandmother wanted us to do an information on land that her family owned. before i get into that, that
track of land was the land that later became red gate farm in aquina, which was the property owned by jackie kennedy owe nas it. if you look at the right arrow, you can see the farm in the background and where i am standing to take the picture is the lands that we own. and she had acquired her property in the late '70s. but because of all the gawkers, as myself on this particular day here, she wanted to take as much land as she could for her own privacy. now i mentioned how my grandmother wanted us to do an investigation on her family in terms of all the land that the family owned. my grandmother born in massachusetts, her parents came from a county called granville county, north carolina. she often talked about how the family owned thousands and thousands of acres of land. now, as young people, it had no
really meaning to us, but she insisted that i began to do a similar type of research. and in that research find out about the land documents. my mother, in 1983, as part of the settlement where we had to establish our family pedigree joined the dar. i would come down to dar, daughters of the american revolution. i would go to their library and i would research the documents on granville, north carolina. now my grandmother, as i know her maiden name she knew her grandmother's maiden name. i was able to foon my first great grandparents' marriage certificate at the dar. i found both of their grandparents birth certificates in the dar. that took me into the early
1780s. then i had to start looking at the land patterns. what is very interesting, what i am about to do and about to share with you, had i done it through a gene joe logical perspective, i would never have found the people i am about to share in this story with you. because i did it in an unusual way, lieu the land records, which is what my grandmother requested we were able to find out an awful lot of information. i drove down to the granville county courthouse. and lo and behold not only did i find land patents. i found the actual goin family land deed actually signed by lord granville himself. lard granville -- the county named after him. from that i was able to find other abstracts going back. what it actually enabled me to do was to track the family land.
in tracking the family land, it took me all the way back to virginia. now, these land records were very interesting because when someone dies with land, they leave the name of their family. so they almost provided a genealogy within the land records and within the wills. what that enabled me to do, as you can see here, if you look at the bottom, harriet goins which was my grandmother's maiden name, i found her father, henry, his faerks he was edward, his father, who was edward, his father, who was farder, to well helm, to mihelld and to john. now, i knew nothing about the family history. i wasn't looking for these individuals from a historical perspective. only looking for them in a gene
lolg perspective. and frankly, not even from that perspect sif, from land records. as you can see, the lands records took me in a direct line from north carolina to north carolina to the james river. flipping that technically meant that the family started on the james river and ended in north carolina and granville county. now, someone might want to say, how were you able to trace back that far? well, these are just some of the books that i used at the d.a.r. library tracing land patents. nothing mysterious about it. not trying to do anything fancy. these books had some very
interesting records in them. what i was able to do was absolutely connect our family genealogy from my first -- my second great grandmother all the way through to my 11th great grandfather. and fortunate for me, the family only dotted out at my grandmother's grandmother. and because she knew her, i believe -- i was able to follow all the men in a direct line from land patent to land patent. it even showed how they sold one in location to purchase the land in another location. that became quite invaluable to me. but in doing this research, all of a sudden out of the clear blue sky i made a remarkable discovery. the discovery of 1619. i will explain a little bit about 1619, how i made this discovery. but those of you who are
virginians who know virginia history, you knew that 1619 was the year of the first representative government, in july of 1619. and a month later in august 1619 was the arrival of what was known by john rolfe as the 20 and odd. you can see his documents here where he refers to them as 20 and odd. it is interesting, that's not really the total number who came here. now, the white lion was the first ship to arrive. it arrived on august 25th, 1619. three or four days later arrived the treasurer as documented in the colonial records. now, in my research, in 1984, 1985, i believe, i may have the dates off, two publications came out in the william and mary quarterly. and the name goin flagged up in
those two documents, angel executer a danish researcher, explained the story about a ship called the san juan battista and how that ship was privated by two english ships. for a wheel year i tried to piece together the story that angle had in the william and mary quarterly. in the next year what happened is john thornton came out with a book. let me show this one a little bit longer. those of you who may want to -- it is william and mary, volume 54, april 1997. i got my dates wrong. then the following year. john thornton came up with a book. and what that did is john thornton explained where they came from and the historical significance of the city where they came from, which i will get into momentarily. so, again, i now have a wealth of material that allowed me to
understand the arrival of the first african-americans in virginia. again, this wasn't anything that i was planning because had i been looking for this, i would have never found it. i found it purely by accident. or those of you genealogists know woe all have a secret. and our secret is our ancestors speak to us. frankly, mine spoke to me because they told me where to look for them. most unusual. when i wrote the book i wanted to talk about the historical significance of who they were, where they came from, their importance in society, how they happened to depart their home land, the circumstances in which they brought here. that brought me to four conclusions. let's first talk about globalization. did you know why european
nations felt that they had ownership over africa and south america and other parts of the world? the pope told them that. in the treaty of society. now, spain and portugal were on the same iberian peninsula. my family, they didn't get along and they were exploring around the world. they kept bumping into each other. they were going to go the war. the pope knew that was going to be a disaster. so he divided the world in half. he said to spain, you have west. portugal, you have east. many people would say how is that possible? because brazil is in the west and the reality is, it depends on how the pope divided the world up. this is an example of how the pope divided the world. and that's why portugal during the early period of the colonial era believed that it owned
africa and everything there, including the people. and it began to colonize, which brings us now to colonization, colonization is when you establish control over indigenous people. in 1493, a year after columbus in 1982 when he sailed the ocean blue, cao founded the kingdom of congo in angola. we know so much from his writings. now, very different than what we learn in his history books but he said it was such an advanced civilization, he said they lived in cities much like the cities that were existing in portugal at the time. they had a form of government. they were very sophisticated. they had very sophisticated languages, which i happen to find very interesting because my first appearance was africans, i'm sure many of you were the
same was tarzan and they only have four syllables. but to learn they had a developed language. not only did they have a developed language and religion, the portuguese said the angolans had such a strong trading and international relationship that many of the royal subjects' sons were educated in spain, portugal, and in rome. how do we know that? it's in the colonial records. but something happened, and obviously i am really truncating this because you are going to buy the book. but something happened. and despite that good long strong relationship that portugal had with angola, when they found silver underneath the royal city -- yep, you named it -- they were determined to take control of the city.
and in the fall of 1618, they sent 36 ships loaded with sailors and armaments to take control of the city. and in january and february of 1619, the royal africans were beaten. now, approximately 4,000 were captured. now whenever you try to take over a government, you obviously take the most educated, the land owners, those of prestige. those were the ones that were captured. now, the last ship to arrive was the first ship to leave, and that was the san juan bautista. and because it was the first ship to leave, it had the most royal of the royals on it. now, while they were placed on 36 slave ships, it's really important to understand that 350
left on the san juan pa teesa. but that ship was pirated by two english ships illegally pirated by two english ships that almost led england and spain back into a costly war that no one wanted. now, this is what the san juan bautista looks like. this is a replica. look at how small the ship is. and originally, 350 captured angolans were on this ship headed to new spain. veracruz, new spain, present day mexico. this ship was actually built in japan. but that's another story you will find in the book. now, where did the angolans come from? they came are the capital city of kabaza. they had the characteristics of the bands two people that woe know of today.
they were royal subjects and came from the upper ranks. and they were catholics because within that 200 period that they had the relationship with portugal they converted the entire population to catholicism. as a result of that, they had names of patriot saints, catholic patriot saints. now, when the angolans were taken from the royal city, they were enslaved. when they were placed on the san juan bautista, they were slaves. and they were destined to be slaves when they reached new spain. but those that came to the colony of virginia, that would not be their destiny. i will share with you how we know that. now, when the white lion and the
treasurer attacked the san juan bautista, they thought there was gold and silver on it. they certainly weren't going to release it at that point in time a 1619 attack of a ship of enslaved africans and run the risk of being hung. two hours they battled n. that two-hour battle they boarded the san juan battista and realized there was nothing more than enslaved men, women, and children on it. they searched the entire ship. they ripped it apart board by board because they just knew that there was gold on that ship. and that would not be the case. one of the reasons they thought gold was on the ship. it was a very elaborate looking ship becauseship belonged to the emperor of japan who sailed around the world debating
whether he wanted his country to become a christian company. decided not, and then sold the ship to spain. so it wasn't just an old barge. it was very elaborate looking ship, as you saw in the picture. now, the english pirates, when they attacked the san juan battista, they created such an international crisis that it created specific problems for the two captains because sing james conducted a privy council inquiry. now, when the angolans came from virginia on august 25th, 1619, virginia is not what we think of today when they arrived at point comfort. when they arrived at point comfort, the first ship, the white lion, they knew, those two
captains that they now were in trouble. when the white lion arrived he was told that there was a warrant out for the arrest of the captain, the second captain who was to arrive four days later on the treasure ear and that the ship was to be seized. that's how serious an inquiry that they had. now the white lion, they sold the 29 angolans who were on board. once they arrived they became just like the poor english indentured servants, and they had no contract. you are going to ask, how do we know? i will get into that moment terrell. now the settlement of jamestown -- it was founded in 1607. it was on a peninsula. the colony was actually owned by the virginia company of london. the employees -- the inhabitants were the employees of virginia
company. and the first 20 years was an absolute failure. now, with that, it was high attrition. atrocities by local tribesmen. famine, disease, and poor management. they could not recruit or build a colony. most came are the pleasant class of england. they were poor, uneducated many orphaned or homeless, and many had commuted prison sentences. again, they worked for the virginia company as indentured servants. >> now, their survival here in virginia was very much like the tv show we see today, survivor. and survival of the fittest. but in matter how hard they worked -- no matter how hard they worked they didn't have the skills necessary for survival because they didn't have the basic skills of agriculture, farming, or animal husbandry.
particularly as we look at undeveloped countries today, particularly those in a semipropcal climate, that's what they came to when they came here. now you are going the ask how do we know this? well, there was one book in particular, the original list of persons of quality. i like the title this book, original list of persons of quality because it leads one believe that everyone who came here and most virginians who have ancestors that came from that time period believe they came here because they were people of quality. but if you look at the second heading, immigrants, religious exiles, political rebels, men who were serving a period of time. children who were stolen, maidens pressed, you know what that means, and others who went from great britain to the american plantations. that's who was here. and another book from peter wilson coleman is a social
history to the fourth immigration of americans, of felonies and des stut children, none conformans, having a bands, beg ars and other undesires. every man, woman, and child who came here from england was put on a ship's registrar, manifest, and that's how woe know who these folks were, and their stations in life. when it comes to the angolans, some historians profess that president weren't christian. we don't know their names. that they were slaves and they arrived with no skills. and we have that belief because there is an actual document that somewhat conforms to that. that document came out in the ferrara papers. in this paper is the virginia sentence of 1620, which would have been just a couple of months, march of 1620, the when the first angolans came here.
and you will notice on this here, you see where it says non-christians, in the service of the english. now, those of you who understand religion, they came from a catholic environment, and the english colony was a protestant colony, protesters, and the pope had a number of comments with respect to the religion of england and those in africa because he, in fact, made the leading angolan catholic in their country an actual archbishop before there is one even in some of the protestant countries. you will notice here the numbers. the number was 32. even though john rolfe wrote in his notes 20 and odd, that really was a cover-up for the crime that had been committed, but the actual census was take within 32. how do we know that rolfe is not correct and this is correct? you can tell by number of people
who get off the ships through the ship's manifest. some historians as we said we don't know their names. that's another faulty narrative because in the 1623 accepts us as you will see the list of the living, and this was a year after the great massacre n this list here, you will see the beginning of some of the names being listed. and you will notice many of these names have spanish names or were recently converted from spanish names to english-sounding names. and then, as we find where they lived, who the captains were on the plantations that they lived on, and where they lived in the colony. and what happens is they were distributed throughout the colony. so they were integrated within the colony. some professed that they were slaves. someone not too long ago made the statement that the first africans that their skin was black and dirty and represented evil, so they had to be slaves.
i'm going to show you that that wasn't necessarily the case because in the 1624-1625 muster -- again you have got these ship captains. these captains were salty old men. they traveled all over the world. they were captains. they knew what an enslaved person was and what an enslaved person wasn't. so the head of each of these plantations or developments or settlements was headed.by a captain. and they gave their districts these fancy names. and you can see the names of the plantations or the areas in which these angolans lived. but these sea captains who were worldly men, what they did in that same muster is they listed their legal status. and they didn't list them as slaves. they listed them as servants.
so in 1624, 1625, we hear people say that slavery started all the way to the beginning. and that's not what the legal document -- that's not what the colonial records are showing. these colonial records weren't just made up because the same records are in england, and here in virginia. now, those of you who work in government or work in the private sector, you know what ksas are. for those of you who have not worked in jobs or not heard the expression of ksas, it stands for knowledge, skills, and abilities. these angolans brought tremendous knowledge, skills, and abilities because they were farmers, they were merchants. they were cattlemen. they raised crops. they traded crops. now how do we know this? well, in the original list of
persons of quality, there is just so much information in these colonial records that no one knew they were there or chose not to share it. again, we have where they are religious exiles and immigrants and so on. but it also shows the ships that these people came on. now i'm going to show you -- this is the cover. and to the right is a page. i am just going to take one page out of this. in this one page, you will see the servants that are listed at the muster of captain william pierce, who is one of the most wealthy men on the colony. and you will notice thomas smith, who is an englishman, he's a servant, came on the abigail. henry broad fard is a englishman. he's a servant. he came on the abigail. ester alfred, a maid servant came on the jonathan.
and lo and behold, angelo -- name converted to angela, a negro woman on the treasurer, and this was written in 1623. who knew? the angolans who came here on the san juan bautista their legal status we find throughout those early colonial records, and we do not find them as enslaved. indentured servants? no different than the english, we find. as they come out of their indenture, what is even more interesting, we find they have the ability to own their own animals. an enslaved person cannot do that. they were able to indenture they are own children for protection. enslaved people cannot do that. they entered into contracts
bought land, leased lands, an enslaved person could not do that. i am going to share with you some of these angolans. i am going to talk fast because my time is running out. anthony mary johnson, on the 164-1625 census. he and his wife became a head right. for every head you bring over you are entitled to 50 acres of land. anthony and his wife are listed as head writes. lo and behold, they came on the treasurer. the tressurer was not allowed to lands. they went to bermuda because of the privy council of investigation. they were hid in england and brought back on different james. anthony kams back on the james. and mary came back on the margaret and john in 1622 in time for the census. but lo and behold, this man, who in his life toim was captured as
an enslaved and was destined to be enslaved for the rest of his life, he bought 250 acres of land in north hampton county in 1651 on page 36. and he transported four englishmen and his son richard from another county. and that enabled him five people in total times 50, 250 acres of land. he was a catholic martyr. you all are probably familiar with the servant battle. this catholic martyr he was juan pedro. they believe he was one of the catholic priests in angola. because he was the one of the highest ranking catholic priests in the colony of maryland. he was the first to be killed. where do we find him?
on the 1624-1625 muster. john goin, my 11th great grandfather. this is how i happened to stumble upon story of 1619. as i'm falling on the information of john goin, came on the treasurer, his name is spelled different. in the next document you will find he is actually on the patent of william catastrophe listen yewens. his name is spelled here differently but a it is performed by many other documents. margaret cornish his wife is right there on the 1623 census. and there is her name right there, my 11th great grandmother. now we know the names of these angolans. again, they said we didn't know their names. now, through research, i and others have now on able to document the names of the original an goalans and we know who they are from the original colonial records. and there were so few africans
in the colonies up until the 1640s, 1650s, when the names surfaced based on the relationships with the plantations that they came from and their captains were able to determine who they were. i just did something wrong here. i apologize for that. now, when i did my research, i went through court transcripts, judicial rulings, personal statements, wills, deeds, and orders, and estate papers. again, all in these documents right here. but you know, those originally angolans because they were smart people who could read and write and understood the tenettes of religion were so check check sophisticated that the next generation they began strip away the rights. one of the things that they did
is -- you know, many people would say why is it in the black community it is such a matriarchal society? because in 1662, the laws were changed and the child took the status of the mother. and after bacon's rebellion there was a legacy that was left behind. that legacy was integration. you know bacon's rebellion was a multiracial rebellion because the english and the after karns and the americans were all into marrying with each other. if you did back to those original eight counties within virginia, a gentleman wrote a book about white slaves -- i think the title is a little too narrow but he was able to find between 1660 and 1720 more than 5,000 white children were kidnapped and take tony maryland and virginia. those same individuals are the ones who enter married with those angolans. from bacon's rebellion we have
got the 1705 slave codes. from those slave codes, they were the foundation of ant belgium slavery. the slave codes mirror the accomplishments of the first angolans who came here. you can look at anthony johnson, and every accomplishment he made it was flipped into an actual code so no other african could benefit the way anthony did. john ghosn, my ancestor and his wife separated. based on my research he became the first man in the virginia custody to sue for custody of his son. that's found in the english records. margaret, years later appears to be the first woman ever to purchase her own land. now, women got their lands from the deaths of their husbands. they inherited it, or they got
it from their sons. but margaret appears based on the records to be the first woman who purchased her on land. and with all those successes they turned them around to make sure that no other african would be able to do that. so propagation came as a result of the english and the angolans into marrying one another and toes thou 20 odd angolans became 900 separate individual free american families to the early 1700s. if you look at this list here, i mean you will begin to see all the original names that came out of those first documented angolans in 1619. these are their descendant names. again, most of this is through international racial
relationships. now somebody will know -- somebody will ask, usually, all the time, well, your paperwork says this, but how do we know this is true? when i did all of my research in the early '80s through the early '90s, that was before the internet. that was before all of this new technology. and i have been asked by several of my publishers, you should take a dna test because we need to make sure that your dna follows your narrative. and lo and behold, my dna -- i have bantu dna. not only do i have bantu dna, my dna goes to the specific area of kabaza angola where margaret
cornish and john goin came from. so my dna takes me directly to john goin and margaret cornish. whether you look at the -- whatever you look at, it has been annized and overanalyzed. it goes right back to the paper trail, as everyone thought that it would. and what's more important, the legacy that these angolans left behind, i don't know if you know that there are 44 million americans of african decent in the united states today. 70% of us are related to one another. not only are 70% of us related to one another. we are beginning to find out 20 to 40 million americans of european descent also have african dna. which makes sense, again, because of presence of integration in repopulating. with that, i think my time came
right to the moment. in writing the book, the first africans who arrived in virginia, i wanted to talk about the historical significance of who they were, where did they come from, the importance of african set a in terms of being royals in terms of their knowledge, skills, and abilities. the circumstances in which they left. they left for no other reason than the portuguese found silver under their land. when you hear people say 1619 is a fake, made up story, it was africans selling other africans, that was not the case. and the legal status -- their legal status once they came here. i want to thank you all for the kind invitation. and i hope we have a lot of good questions. if you want to find out more, you can go to my website at
ricmurphy.com. i am on facebook, i'm on youtube. i'm on twitter although i have not done any tweeting for the last three or four years. so i will get back to that shortly. and with that, any questions that you have, i hope can i answer them. >> thanks, ric. great program. for those of you on facebook and youtube, please feel free to ask some questions. we have got a few minutes for ric. the one question i wanted to start off with is, not being a native virginian, your objective in this search, in telling this story, what was the biggest discovery or surprise to you as a non-virginian about this story? >> as a non-virginian, again, as i started to do the land records, i really had no idea
where i was going. i literally was just going from one land patent to another one. fortunately, they had laid out all the information. when i started the get to -- so when i went to granville county and i found i think the 1742 original land patent right in the drawer there, i was pretty impressed with that. and i was also kbrfd that it had the signature of lord granville. now, i must admit, my family in new england, we own land going back to the 1700s as well. so i guess i wasn't blown away with that, other than lord granville. but when i saw that he sold land in virginia and i started to research virginia, and then i am getting into the mid 1600s, and all of a sudden, i realize, 1635 i find john goin with this legal
dispute with his life, margaret cornish and then i found out he was one of the original, and margaret was one of the original. that blew me away. had i been looking for that i never would have been able to find it. if somebody told me about it, i wouldn't have been able to make the connection. that blew me away for weeks. >> so someone asked what happens to the africans who didn't come the virginia us a of the 32 angolans that you spoke of? >> when the ship left angola, it had 350. within one week's time, a week, week and a half over 100 men, women, and children had died. they were not cut out for this. they were not hardened people. the captain, okunga, stopped in jam kachlt he needed food and needed to wash down the ship.
to get the food and medicine that he needed he left 24 young boys as shows in the ship's mast manifest. the remaining arrived in veracruz, mexico. the captain went bankrupt. captain okunga. when he went back to spain, he talked to his cousin, his cousin was count sewedo my major. that's why it became such a big deal, because count sewed mayor was trying the recoup the funds that his cousin went bankrupt over. so only 14 actually arrived in ver as cruz in spain. what is interesting is some of the people today who are doing dna are finding distant relatives in parts of brazil and in mexico and jamaica as well.
>> another listener has asked, where did the first angolans who had been royals work with the english to get back to their home? >> probably the same reason that the english peasants who came here couldn't work with the english to go back home. they weren't -- the ships were not leaving here to go take people back. when the ships left here, they were taking barrels of tobacco back to england. some of the children who were kidnapped, based on some of the colonial records, they kidnapped the wrong kids, and their family had the funds and resources to come and get them. but reality is, no one went back to their home. and you are only dealing with 32 angolans, and you were dealing
with thousands and thousands of english peasants, and they didn't get back home either. >> so one of the vessels that you spoke with, the tressurer was apparently half owned by samuel arwell, a former admiral and governor of virginia. was he charged by the king for his pie wrassesy? >> i was a marginal owner a minor stake holder. the real person who owned it was sir robin witch. he owned a large fleet of ships. yes, he was charged. there were a number of lawsuits. and the only reason he got away is because governor yardley died i think in 1625. cape merchant piercy died in 1626. and count sewed my major died in
1627. the three major principles who were going to go after him, each died in three consecutive years. and king james died in i think 1625 as well. his son charles took over. so the principles in investigation, it was a pretty serious investigation, because if you recall, sir walter rawly in 1618 was beheaded for piracy of spanish ships. >> so on a family note, you mentioned when you were doing your geneological research, one of your predecessors had a custody case. do you know how that turned out? >> yes, he won the case. that's why i found out so much information about him, because of the custody case. and i didn't initially know who his son and the grandson was, which would have made that last
connection, but i happened to have went through one of the books and found the family name. and once i found the name gowin, then i made the connection to the three generations, because i had all of these edwards and they kept leaving land to my son, edward. and that's how i made the connection. because the grandson, william, left land to his son, edward, which was edward the first. so what's next for you, rick? what projects are you working on for the future? >> i'm actually doing the biography of john gowin. i'm writing about another family group out of massachusetts. they were involved in the revolutionary war. they had 100 acres of hand, and
because of smallpox, they gave the land to the town for perpetual care of their children. he had three girls. he was afraid they would be sold into prostitution. they were war he rose, part of the green mountain boys. seth warner's group, they were prisoners of war for 18 months, and half of the prisoners had keyed and they got land grants. and i'm also going to write the book "the legacy of the first gowins," because of all the discussions today about 1619 and 400 years, i think it's really important that people understand the legacy of these first people and how their successes were turned into the slave codes which became the antislavery laws and hence the jim crow laws. that's about four books i have
next, on american history tv, author michael harris discusses the 1777 battle of brandywine and misconceptions surrounding general john sullivan's role in the battle. the office of historic alexandria, in partnership with emerging revolutionary war, hosted this talk and provided the video. in 55 minutes, national park service historian mark malloy
talks about several myths surrounding the 1776 battle of trenton, including whether or not the german mercenary soldiers were really drunk during george washington's attack. in an hour and 50 minutes, lonny bunch, secretary of the smithsonian institution, and ken burns discuss the complex challenge of telling america's story. >> all right. it's my pleasure to introduce our last speaker, michael harris has worked for the national park service here in virginia, also in new jersey, and at brandywine battlefield. he's conducted numerous tours, which i've had the pleasure of taking a few of brandywine battlefield and germantown. his second campaign, germantown, was released in 2020. michael is a graduate of the