The First Slave Owner in Virginia was Neither Jewish nor European


There has been a growing belief in progressive circles of the 1619 Project ilk, that all Jews are of European descent and all Europeans who came to the Americas owned African slaves.

It's not based on history. There is no basis for this belief other than a desire to believe it is true. Racial justification is based on an old hatred that alters form while remaining hatred. Jews, as historical records prove, are not of European origin, and most have no lineage in Europe, but that does not stop them from being classified as white by those who are inclined to base things on race.

So let's look at some authentic New World history to set the record straight.

In 1619, shortly after the first laws were passed by representative government in Virginia, the English privateer ship, The White Lion, arrived in Virginia with what was noted as ‘twenty and some odd Angolans.’ The number is believed to be closer to thirty. They had been taken from a Portuguese ship that had intended to take them to Mexico to be sold as slaves.

Upon arriving in Virginia, the Angolans were traded for supplies and became indentured servants. They became this, along with many whites in the colony, as there was no law allowing for slavery. Indentured servitude was the standard for the British, which was harsh and resulted in shortened life spans. Most, regardless of origin, did not survive their contracts, but none were held beyond what the contract allowed without violation of the law.

One of the Angolans was a man named John Gaeween, who changed his name to Gowen. He was the first to be free of the contract since he saved up the money he needed to pay for his freedom.

Following his freedom, he married Margaret Cornish, who was born somewhere in England, but the exact location is not known. What is known is that she was a white woman who violated no law and did not marry in secret. Leftist revisionist historians of today have claimed that the colonists' had an obsession with race. But there are no historical facts to support it since there were no laws based on race.

The Angolan-born John Gowen arrived at a time when no one cared about race in Virginia. Mixed marriages and children had already been happening with the local tribes with no negative societal impact of any kind. The only thing the Virginians cared about was whether a person was Christian.

John Gowan’s occupation, according to, an invaluable resource for those interested in genealogy, was, “a magistrate, auditing and ruling over smaller filings. In York County, in his later years, John judged Europeans and Africans alike until his death.” In other words, he was a judge who ruled over people equally under the law.

Anthony Johnson, another Angolan-born indentured servant, was brought to Virginia two years after John Gowan and served out the entirety of his contract before becoming a successful and wealthy farmer. Being born in Angola had no bearing on the achievements that would come later in his life.

As the owner of a farm, he had indentured servants work the crops. Among those indentured servants was the African-born, (country of origin unknown), John Casor. After the expiration of the contract, Johnson refused to give Casor his earned freedom.

The case was taken to court and initially ruled in favor of Casor. Casor indentured himself to another farmer and the entire matter should have been settled. The same judge, a year later in 1655, reversed his own ruling to enable Johnson to become the owner of Casor for life without a single law to support the ruling. Slavery had not been added into the laws of Virginia and Casor more than fulfilled his contract.

It was not until 1662 that a law was passed to enslave people based on the status of their mothers, over four decades after the first Africans arrived in Virginia.


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