The historian Ira Berlin noted that what he called the "charter generation" in the colonies was sometimes made up of mixed-race men (Atlantic Creoles) who were indentured servants, and whose ancestry was African and Iberian.
They were descendants of African women and Portuguese or Spanish men who worked in African ports as traders or facilitators in the slave trade.
New communities of African-American culture were developed in the Deep South, and the total slave population in the South eventually reached 4 million before liberation.
The first six states to secede held the greatest number of slaves in the South.
There were no laws regarding slavery early in Virginia's history.
But, in 1640, a Virginia court sentenced John Punch, an African, to slavery after he attempted to flee his service.
In some cases, convicted criminals were transported to the colonies as indentured laborers, rather than being imprisoned.
The indentured laborers were not slaves, but were required to work for four to seven years in Virginia to pay the cost of their passage and maintenance.
For slavery among Native Americans, see Slavery among Native Americans in the United States.