March 8 - 1655 - John Casor is Legally Declared a Slave
John Casor was an African who became an indentured servant in the Virginia Colony during the mid-seventeenth century. None of that was remarkable, yet when he believed his indentured servitude had ended, he sought paying work as was typical of indentured servants who had served their term. Instead, his master as an indentured servant, a free black man named Anthony Johnson, argued Casor was still his servant and had no end to his term in a suit against Casor's new employer Robert Parker. A court in Virginia agreed with Johnson, ruling that Casor had no right to seek free work. This effectively made John Casor the first slave in America that was officially considered a slave, that is a servant who is duty bound to serve for life. Slavery, of course, would grow into the system of life in the American South. The Casor case would make slavery a possibility, then set a template for legally enshrining slavery throughout the Colony of Virginia and other British colonies.