Anthony Johnson, a black man, was the first person in America to hold a person as a slave indefinitely. In 1651 Johnson owned 250 acres, and had the services of four white and one black indentured servants.
In 1653, John Casor, a black indentured servant whose contract Johnson appeared to have bought in the early 1640s, approached Captain Goldsmith, claiming his indenture had expired seven years earlier and that he was being held illegally by Johnson.
It was time for Anthony Johnson to release the black indentured servant named John Casor. But insteadof letting him go, Anthony told Casor that he was extending his time. Casor left anyway and sought employment elsewhere. Casor then became employed by the free white man, Robert Parker.
Anthony Johnson saw this so he sued Robert Parker in the Northampton court in 1654. In 1655 the court ruled that Anthony Johnson could hold John Casor indefinitely. The court gave judicial sanction for blacks to own a slave of their own race. Thus Casor became the first slave and Johnson the first slave owner in America.
In 1655 John Casor became the first person of African descent in The Thirteen Colonies to be declared as a slave for life as the result of a civil suit.
This was the first instance of a judicial determination declaring that a person who had committed no crime could be held in servitude for life.
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