[The status of the first Africans that arrived in Virginia varied according to many factors. It is believed that most of the early Africans who came to Virginia were classed as indentured servants. According to Winthrop Jordan, however, by 1640, Africans and their descendants increasingly were seen as bound for life. In White Over Black (Call number: E29.N3 J76), Jordan writes that "the legal enactment of Negro slavery followed the social practice, rather than vice versa." Between 1662 to 1705, the Virginia House of Burgesses codified slavery. These laws served as a model for those passed in other colonies.]
1662– Children born to Negro women were free or bonded according to the condition of the mother.
1667– The baptism of slaves as Christians did not alter their status as slaves.
1669– A master who killed a disobedient slave could not be accused of a felony.
1670– Free Negroes and Indians were prohibited from buying Christian indentured servants.
1680– Slaves were prohibited from carrying weapons and leaving their owner's plantations without a pass.
1682– No master or overseer could permit a slave to remain on his plantation for longer than four hours without the permission of the slave's owner.
1691– Any white man or woman who married a Negro, mulatto, or Indian was banished from Virginia.
1705– All servants not Christians in their native countries (except for Turks, Moors, and others who could prove they were free in England or another Christian country) and imported to Virginia were slaves. Slaves remained slaves even if they traveled to England.