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Angelo was her name: Historian speaks of 1st Africans in Virginia

Deciphering the photographs of ancient script took nearly two days per page; but the reward for historian Martha McCartney of Williamsburg and Mathews was finding the date on which the ship Treasurer brought some of the first Africans to Virginia in 1619.

Treasurer was the second ship that brought Africans to the colony, a few days after White Lion which arrived at Old Point Comfort in late August 1619. Aboard was Angelo, an African woman known to have arrived on the Treasurer.

Angelo (McCartney said she insists on the “o” ending which is clear in the script, although some interpretations make the woman’s name “Angela,”) lived in the household of Captain William Peirce at Jamestown. The site of his homeplace is known and is being excavated, in hopes of learning more about Angelo, McCartney said.

McCartney, the featured speaker of a Mathews County Historical Society meeting, addressed a large audience on Oct. 2 at the Kingston Parish House on Main Stree...

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