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By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own.
Augustine (Spanish Florida), is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, and the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865.
These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, and the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom.
Massachusetts was the first British colony to legally recognize slavery in 1641.
In 1662 Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women (who were of African descent and thus foreigners) took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law. In 1670 the colonial assembly passed a law prohibiting free and baptized negroes (and Indians) from purchasing Christians (in this act meaning English or European whites) but allowing them to buy people "of their owne nation".King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism. Augustine, but escaped slaves also reached Pensacola. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683.The popular conception of a race-based slave system did not fully develop until the 18th century.The earliest African-American congregations and churches were organized before 1800 in both northern and southern cities following the Great Awakening.