Angola Farm T shirt
History of Ang0la Farm from ‘Virginia’s First Africans’ contributed by Martha McCartney
Virginia’s first Africans arrived at Point Comfort, on the James River, late in August 1619. There, “20. and odd Negroes” from the English ship White Lion were sold in exchange for food and some were transported to Jamestown, where they were sold again, likely into slavery. Historians have long believed these Africans to have come to Virginia from the Caribbean, but Spanish records suggest they had been captured in a Spanish-controlled area of West Central Africa. They probably were Kimbundu-speaking people, and many of them may have had at least some knowledge of Catholicism. While aboard the São João Bautista bound for Mexico, they were stolen by the White Lion and another English ship, the Treasurer. Once in Virginia, they were dispersed throughout the colony. The number of Virginia’s Africans increased to thirty-two by 1620, but then dropped sharply by 1624, likely because of the effects of disease and the Second Anglo-Powhatan War (1622–1632). Evidence suggests that many were baptized and took Christian names, and some, like Anthony and Mary Johnson, won their freedom and bought land.
1650s – By this time, Anthony and Mary Johnson, two former slaves, are living in Northampton County on the Eastern Shore, where they own 250 acres. Their two sons own adjoining farms of 450 and 100 acres each.
1660s – Anthony and Mary Johnson, both former slaves, and their two sons, all of whom own land on the Eastern Shore, move to Maryland.
1677 – John Johnson Jr., whose grandfather Anthony was a Virginia slave who bought his freedom, buys a forty-four-acre farm in Maryland and names it Angola, suggesting the origin of his family.