Rappahannock County, it turns out, has historical ties to the first African child born in mainland America.
Records of the Virginia Colony draw attention to the 1624 baptism of an infant named “William” Tucker, his parents Antony and Isabella among the “20 and odd” slaves transported to Jamestown in 1619 by the English vessel White Lion.
The Africans, who were kidnapped from modern-day Angola and later captured from a Portuguese slave ship, were traded to the Jamestown colonists in exchange for food. Their arrival in the New World was also documented by the pen of John Rolfe, the widower of Pocahontas.
A 1625 census taken by the Virginia Colony additionally lists Antony and Isabella as belonging to the household of Capt. William Tucker, among the colony’s original settlers. As was common in America in the centuries that followed, the African family took Tucker’s surname. The same census shows their son William as being recently “Baptised.”