In one of the earliest freedom suits, Casor argued that he was an indentured servant who had been forced by Johnson to serve past his term; he was freed and went to work for Robert Parker as an indentured servant. Johnson sued Parker for Casor's services. In ordering Casor returned to his master Anthony Johnson, a free black, for life, the court both declared Casor a slave and sustained the right of free blacks to own slaves.
Slavery law hardened during Casor's lifetime, though slavery is not considered restricted to people of African descent, as more than 500,000 Irish, as young as 10 years old were enslaved by England from 1610-1843, under the aims of King James I. - See : Walsh, Michael (March 8, 2008) White Cargo NYU Press ISBN 0814742963 - In 1662, the Virginia colony passed a law incorporating the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, ruling that children of enslaved mothers would be born into slavery, regardless of their father's race or status. - See : Taunya Lovell Banks, "Dangerous Woman: Elizabeth Key's Freedom Suit - Subjecthood and Racialized Identity in Seventeenth Century Colonial Virginia", 41 Akron Law Review 799 (2008), Digital Commons Law, University of Maryland Law School, accessed 21 Apr 2009 - This was in contradiction to English common law for English subjects, which based a child's status on that of the father. In 1699 Virginia passed a law deporting all free blacks.
Later in the article we see Anthony Johnson was from Angola:
Anthony Johnson was an Angolan colonist, one of the original indentured "20 and odd negroes" brought to Jamestown after arriving at Cape Comfort in August 1619. - See : Heinegg, Paul (2010). "Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina,South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware". Retrieved 7 March 2011. - By 1623, Johnson had completed his indenture and was a "free Negro". - See : "Anthony Johnson", Virginia Pilot, 1994, Digital Scholar, Virginia Tech University Library, restricted access
Which brings us to Angola:
The Atlantic slave trade provided a large number of black slaves to merchants and to slave dealers in Angola. - See : Fleisch, Axel (2004). "Angola: Slave Trade, Abolition of". In Shillington, Kevin. Encyclopedia of African History 3-Volume Set 1. Routledge. pp. 131–133. ISBN 1-57958-245-1. - European traders would export manufactured goods to the coast of Africa where they would be exchanged for slaves. Within the Portuguese Empire, most black African slaves were traded to Portuguese merchants who bought them to sell as cheap labour for use on Brazilian agricultural plantations. This trade would last until the first half of the 19th century.
So Virginia had slaves, originally indentured servants intended to get freed after seven years, from Angola and from Ireland.
Those from Angola were sold by Africans, it would seem, for European manufactured goods. Probably these Africans were Pagans. Or, only some were Catholics.
Those from Ireland were deported by orders of King James VI & I. Note, as I found the article, it said James II (i e VII & II), who was a Catholic. But he never did such cruel things to Ireland and he reigned shortly decades later than the start of this. In 1610, which is when Irish slaves started to be deported, it was James VI & I, raised by Calvinists and attracted only ceremonially, not doctrinally to High Church, who ruled the kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland. Somehow, someone prejudiced against James II, who was deposed by the so called Glorious Revolution, had remade the article, by mistake most probably, though knowing ill will cannot be excluded, since there was no link to the article about him. I also, after restoring correct regal number, linked to the article so it would appear he reigned the year concerned.
The origin of lifelong slavery in the Thirteen Colonies, as said, was Virginia. The governors of which were very certainly Anglicans.
But does Catholicism come in anywhere? It does. We go to beginning of article on John Casor:
John Casor (surname also recorded as Cazara and Corsala), a servant in Northampton County in the Virginia Colony, in 1655 became the first person of African descent in Britain's Thirteen Colonies to be declared as a slave for life as the result of a civil suit. In an earlier case, John Punch was the first man documented as a slave in the Virginia Colony, sentenced to life in servitude for attempting to escape his indenture.
So, where did John Punch try to escape to?
In 1640, Punch ran away to Maryland with two European indentured servants of Gwyn. The three men were returned to Virginia and on 9 July, the Virginia Governor's Council, which served as the colony's highest court, sentenced the two Europeans to have their terms of indenture extended by four years each, but they sentenced Punch to a life of servitude. In addition, the council sentenced the three men to thirty lashes each.
Maryland was to John Punch what The North was to Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn : a haven of freedom.
Who was responsible for that haven?
Maryland is also considered to be the birthplace of religious freedom in America dating back to its earliest colonial days when it was made a refuge for persecuted Catholics from England by George Calvert the first Lord Baltimore, and the first English proprietor of the then-Maryland colonial grant.
Instead of inserting references three each in two places, and two in common, I will give them in order:
- "Religious Freedom Byway Would Recognize Maryland's Historic Role", Megan Greenwell, Washington Post, Thursday, August 21, 2008
- "George Calvert and Cecilius Calvert, Barons Baltimore" William Hand Browne, Nabu Press (August 1, 2010), ISBN 117662539X ISBN 978-1176625396
- "Reconstructing the Brick Chapel of 1667" Page 1, See section entitled "The Birthplace of Religious Freedom"
- Cecilius Calvert, "Instructions to the Colonists by Lord Baltimore, (1633)" in Clayton Coleman Hall, ed., Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684 (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), 11-23.
And George Calvert was of what religion? A Quaker like Penn? No. Wiki says:
Religion : Roman Catholic (previously Anglican and prior to that, raised Catholic but converted under pressure).
One could of course nearly have guessed it, just from the name Baltimore. US Catholic Catechisms are traditionally the Baltimore Catechisms, there are four of them, first for little children and fourth for advanced teachers.
A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Prepared and Enjoined by Order of the Third Council of Baltimore (or, simply, the Baltimore Catechism) was the de facto standard Catholic school text in the United States from 1885 to the late 1960s.
The article Baltimore Catechism also says there are the four editions and links to them:
- Baltimore Catechism No. 1 at Project Gutenberg. An abridged edition for younger students.
- Baltimore Catechism No. 2 at Project Gutenberg. The main edition.
- Baltimore Catechism No. 3 at Project Gutenberg. An expanded edition for older students.
- Baltimore Catechism No. 4 at Project Gutenberg. An annotated edition for teachers.
As I mentioned Maryland as being free in religious as well as in regards to slavery (unlike Anglican Virginia), I cannot escape a certain reference to William Penn and the state he founded:
On March 4, 1681, Charles II of England granted a land tract to William Penn for the area that now includes Pennsylvania because of a £16,000 - See : Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Governors, ed. (1916). "Samuel Carpenter". Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Governors, Volume 1. pp. 180–181. - (around £2,100,000 in 2008, adjusting for retail inflation) - See footnote* - debt the King owed to Penn's father. Penn founded a colony, providing for it as a place of religious freedom for Quakers, and named it for his family "Penn" and the "woods" (from Latin) sylvania.
Note the year? 1681. George Calvert died in 1632. Religious freedom in the modern political sense started with a Catholic, not with a Quaker. And even the Quaker got the grant from an Anglican King who was secretly a Catholic, and had been so since in exile in France.**
So, what are the details about George Calverts early Catholicism?
In 1569, Sir Thomas Gargrave had described Richmondshire as a territory where all gentlemen were "evil in religion", by which he meant Roman Catholic; - See : Krugler, John D. (2004). English and Catholic: the Lords Baltimore in the Seventeenth Century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-7963-9. - p. 28 - it appears Leonard Calvert was no exception. During the reign of Elizabeth I, the royal government exerted authority over the matter of the church. Acts mandating compulsory religious uniformity were enacted by Parliament and enforced through penal laws. See : Krugler again, p. 12–16; From 1571, graduated fines were imposed on anyone attending [[mass (Catholic Church)|]], and generous rewards were offered to informers. Middleton, Richard (3rd ed. 2002). Colonial America: A History. 1565–1776. Oxford, UK; Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-22141-7. - p. 95. - The Acts of Supremacy and the Uniformity of 1559 also included an oath of allegiance to the Queen (Henrietta Maria) and an implicit denial of the Pope's authority over the English church. This oath was required of any common subject (citizen), who wished to hold high office, attend university, or take advantage of opportunities controlled by the state (king/kingdom).
The Calvert household suffered the intrusion of the Elizabethan religious laws. From the year of George's birth onwards, his father, Leonard Calvert was subjected to repeated harassment by the Yorkshire authorities, who in 1580 extracted a promise of conformity from him, compelling his attendance at the Church of England services. In 1592, when George was twelve, the authorities denounced one of his tutors for teaching "from a popish primer" and instructed Leonard and Grace to send George and his brother Christopher to a Protestant tutor, and, if necessary, to present the children before the commission "once a month to see how they perfect in learning". As a result, the boys were sent to a Protestant tutor called Mr. Fowberry at Bilton. The senior Calvert had to give a "bond of conformity"; he was banned from employing any Catholic servants and forced to purchase an English Bible, which was to "ly open in his house for everyone to read".
In 1593, records show that Grace Calvert was committed to the custody of a pursuivant, an official responsible for identifying and persecuting Catholics, and in 1604, she was described as the "wife of Leonard Calvert of Kipling, non-communicant at Easter last".***
George Calvert went up to Trinity College, Oxford, matriculating in 1593/94, where he studied foreign languages and received a bachelor's degree in 1597. - See : Browne, William Hand (1890). George Calvert and Cecilius Calvert: Barons Baltimore of Baltimore. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company. - p. 3. - As the oath of allegiance was compulsory after the age of sixteen, he would almost certainly have pledged conformity while at Oxford. The same pattern of conformity, whether pretended or sincere, continued through Calvert's early life. After Oxford, he moved to London in 1598, where he studied municipal law at Lincoln's Inn for three years.
So much for his forced aposasy. Now for his reconversion, he had been in the privy council of James I:
As the chief parliamentary spokesman for an abandoned policy [of prince Charles marrying a Spanish princess], Calvert no longer served a useful purpose to the court, and by February 1624 his duties had been restricted to placating the Spanish ambassador. The degree of his disfavour was shown when he was reprimanded for supposedly delaying diplomatic letters. Calvert bowed to the inevitable. On the pretext of ill health, he began negotiations for the sale of his position, finally resigning the secretariat in February 1625.
No disgrace was attached to Calvert's departure from office: the king, to whom he had always remained loyal, confirmed his place on the Privy Council and appointed him Baron Baltimore, in County Longford, Ireland. Immediately after Calvert resigned, he converted to Roman Catholicism.
The connection between Calvert's resignation and his conversion to Roman Catholicism was a complex one. George Cottington, a former employee of Calvert, suggested in 1628 that Calvert's conversion had been in progress a long time before it was made public. George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, (and ecclesiastical head of the Church of England), reported that political opposition to Calvert, combined with his loss of office, had "made him discontented and, as the saying is, Desperatio facit monachum, so hee apparently did turne papist, which hee now professeth, this being the third time that he hath bene to blame that way [sic]". Godfrey Goodman, Bishop of Gloucester, later claimed Calvert had been a secret Catholic all along ("infinitely addicted to the Catholic faith"), which explained his support for lenient policies towards Catholics and for the Spanish match.
However, no one had questioned Calvert's conformity at the time, and if he had indeed been secretly Catholic, he had hidden it well. It seems more likely Calvert converted in late 1624. At the time, Simon Stock, a Discalced Carmelite priest reported to the Congregation Propaganda Fide in Rome on November 15 that he had converted two Privy Councillors to Catholicism, one of whom historians are certain was Calvert. Calvert, who had probably met Stock at the Spanish embassy in London, later worked with the priest on a plan for a Catholic mission in his Newfoundland colony.
I will give the references in order, since they are plentiful and would clutter the text:
- First paragraph:
- Pp. 65 - 66 of Krugler, John D. (2004). English and Catholic: the Lords Baltimore in the Seventeenth Century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-7963-9.
- Second paragraph:
- "On 16/26 February, in recompense for past services, James I appointed Calvert Baron Baltimore of Baltimore, in County Longford, Ireland." Codignola, 12; In March, Lord Carew wrote: "Calvert is removed from his place as secretary, but yet without disgrace, for the king hath created him baron of Baltimore in Ireland, and remaynes a councillor". Krugler, p. 74.
- Amerigo Salvetti, Tuscan representative in London, wrote in his January–February newsletter "being resolved for the future to live and die as a Catholic, he knew he could not serve him [the duke] where he was without the jealousy of the state and danger from Parliament." Krugler, p. 74.
- Third paragraph:
- P. 12 of Codignola, Luca (1988). The Coldest Harbour of the Land: Simon Stock and Lord Baltimore's Colony in Newfoundland, 1621–1649. Translated by Anita Weston. Kingston, Ontario: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN 0-7735-0540-7.
- Krugler, p. 69. Abbot's remark suggests previous wavering on Calvert's part; Krugler speculates that the two previous times "he had bene to blame that way" were during his childhood, when his Catholic family was forced to become Protestant, and during the period of distress and doubt Calvert experienced after the death of his wife.
- Krugler, p. 70.
- Fourth paragraph:
- "The Sacred Congregation de propaganda fide, officially established by Gregory XV on 22 June 1622 with the bull Inscrutabile divinae providentiae, had the double mission of spreading the True Faith among the infidels and of protecting it where Catholics lived side-by-side with non-Catholics. 'Propaganda' was meant to pursue these goals by co-ordinating all missionary activities and centralising information on foreign lands...on the global chessboard on which Propaganda was operating, England was one of its most difficult problems.", Codignola, p. 9.
- Letter of Simon Stock, 15 November 1624 quoted by Codignola, p. 11. Plus more on same page.
This was then the man who proposed Maryland as a haven for Catholics and Puritans persecuted by Anglicans. And this Maryland was where the indentured servant John Punch was heading when fleeing.
In 1640, when John Punch was condemned, the governor of colonial Virginia was Sir Francis Wyatt. In 1655, when it was the turn of John Casor, it was, if early in the year, Richard Bennett, if later in the year Edward Digges.
Of Richard Bennet we know the Puritan extraction:
His uncle, Edward Bennett, was a wealthy merchant from London and one of the few Puritan members of the Virginia Company, who had travelled to Virginia Colony in 1621 and settled in Warrascoyack, renamed Isle of Wight County in 1637. Richard Bennett followed his uncle there as a representative of his business interests, and quickly rose to prominence, serving in the House of Burgesses in 1629 and 1631 and becoming a leader of the small Puritan community south of the James River, taking them from Warrasquyoake to Nansemond beginning in 1635. He was a member of the Governor Francis Wyatt's Council in 1639-42. In 1648, he fled to Anne Arundel, Maryland.
Governor William Berkeley had been sympathetic to the Crown during the Civil War, but on 12 March 1652, he surrendered to representatives of the Commonwealth, and Bennett, then back in Virginia, was unanimously elected by the House of Burgesses on 30 April.
[Omitting two references.] So Richard Bennett was the representative, not of Charles I, but of Oliver Cromwell and so was later in the year 1655 Edward Digges, baptised in an Anglican parish:
Born at Chilham Castle, Kent, England, and christened in Chilham parish on 29 March 1620, Edward Digges was the fourth son of Sir Dudley Digges (1583-1638) and his wife Mary Kempe (1583-?). Sir Dudley was the Master of the Rolls for King Charles I and an investor in the Virginia Company of London.
Under Charles I, indentured servitude could become lifetime slavery as a punishment for criminal elopement during indenture, but under Cromwell a former indentured servant could be returned to lifelong slavery because he took service under someone else after the term was over. And the instigator of slavery was a black man, as I can readily believe, since the black antiracialists here in France have been behaving in partly slave hunting manners to someone simply homeless and not even totally a bum ... or that depends where you come from. I don't dislike all who could be described as bums, but neither do I consider myself as one of them, since I am writing. And partly the manners have been very cordial - but with a deference I consider undue. Besides, cordial deference, as if to a child while adressing someone adult, is in itself kind of slave hunting.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Hilarion of Cyprus, Abbot
* This reference would be totally unpractical to give inserted into the text, here it is:
http://www.measuringworth.com/ppoweruk/result.php?use%5B%5D=CPI&use%5B%5D=NOMINALEARN&year_early=1681£71=16000&shilling71=&pence71=&amount=16000&year_source=1681&year_result=2008 Measuring Worth
** This fact of his religion is not mentioned in the article. I know it from not just a novel by Benson (about the priest who gave him the last sacraments in secret), but also by Belloc. Both authors being Catholics.
*** Mid two paragraphs of quote are from Krugler, p. 28–30.