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As for the Atlantic slave trade, this began in 1444 A.D., when Portuguese traders brought the first large number of slaves from Africa to Europe. Eighty-two years later (1526), Spanish explorers brought the first African slaves to settlements in what would become the United States—a fact the Times gets wrong.
The transatlantic slave trade began during the 15th century when Portugal, and subsequently other European kingdoms, were finally able to expand overseas and reach Africa. The Portuguese first began to kidnap people from the west coast of Africa and to take those they enslaved back to Europe.
In August 1518, King Charles I authorized Spain to ship enslaved people directly from Africa to the Americas. The edict marked a new phase in the transatlantic slave trade in which the numbers of enslaved people brought directly to the Americas—without going through a European port first—rose dramatically.
That day—January 1, 1863—President Lincoln formally issued the Emancipation Proclamation, calling on the Union army to liberate all enslaved people in states still in rebellion as “an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity.” These three million enslaved people were declared to be “then, …
However, many consider a significant starting point to slavery in America to be 1619, when the privateer The White Lion brought 20 enslaved African ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. The crew had seized the Africans from the Portugese slave ship Sao Jao Bautista.
Sometime in 1619, a Portuguese slave ship, the São João Bautista, traveled across the Atlantic Ocean with a hull filled with human cargo: captive Africans from Angola, in southwestern Africa.