To countermand the insistence that America is solely responsible for slavery according to the 1619 Project, here are the facts which prove their blatant falsehood of research.
One must understand how, when Christianity became widespread throughout Europe, there was a distinction pertaining to the enslaving of Christians that endured through to the latter part of the 17th century, a baptized Christian could not be sold as a lifetime slave. This held true when the first black “slaves” were traded for food from a Dutch slave ship in August of 1619. The eyewitness, John Rolfe wrote in his diary, “About the last of August came in a dutch man of warre that sold us twenty negars. They were needed for the booming tobacco crop, but had been baptized, so as Christians they could not be enslaved for life, but only indentured, just like many of the English colonists, for 5-7 years.”1
As an interesting point to consider is how historians refute Rolfe’s statement, stating it was in fact a Portuguese slave trader San Juan Bautista which had been captured by the British privateers by The White Lion and The Treasurer in the Gulf of Mexico. The San Juan Bautista was bound for Mexico to sell its ‘cargo’.2 While this can perhaps be accepted, what cannot be is the demand that African slaves began at this point in our history and what becomes more dangerous, is the omission and absence of the rest of Rolfe’s diary entry regarding their status as Christians. This in and of itself marks of shoddy scholarship, for this was the basis for decades.
The other point that is not explored is the fact that England was unable to break into the African Slave Trade, as it was under the monopoly of African tribal leaders, the Middle East, the Portuguese and later the Dutch; (The White Lion was flying the Dutch flag.) The difficulty at the time for England, was that her economy was somewhat spent in maintaining their fledging colony of Virginia and with France occupying the vast territory to the north and Spain occupying the vast territory to the south, England had little inclination at the time to invoke either country in war.