This is a timeline of the history of Africans and their descendants in what is now the United States, from 1565 to the present.
Christopher Columbus makes his first voyage to the New World opening a vast new empire for plantation slavery.
The first Africans arrive in Hispaniola with Christopher Columbus. They are free persons.
The Spanish king allows the introduction of enslaved Africans into Spain's American colonies.
The first enslaved Africans arrive in Hispaniola.
Thirty Africans accompany Vasco Núñez de Balboa on his trip to the Pacific Ocean.
Bishop Bartolome de Las Casas petitions Spain to allow the importation of twelve enslaved Africans for each household immigrating to America's Spanish colonies. De Las Casas later regrets his actions and becomes an opponent of slavery.
King Charles I of Spain grants the first licenses to import enslaved Africans to the Americas.
The first shipload of enslaved Africans directly from Africa arrives in the West Indies. Prior to this time, Africans were brought first to Europe.
Hernán Cortés begins conquest of the Aztec Empire.
Enslaved Africans are used as laborers in Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico.
African slaves stage a rebellion in Hispaniola. This is the first slave uprising in the New World.
Spanish colonists led by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón build the community of San Miguel de Guadape in what is now Georgia. They bring along enslaved Africans, considered to be the first in the present-day United States.
These Africans flee the colony, however, and make their homes with local Indians. After Ayllon's death, the remaining Spaniards relocate to Hispaniola.
Esteban, a Moroccan-born Muslim slave, explores what is now the Southwestern United States.
An African from Hernando de Soto's Expedition into the Lower Mississippi River valley decides to remain behind to make his home among the Native Americans there.
The Spanish Crown abolishes Indian slavery.
The first slaves directly from Africa arrive in the Brazilian city of Salvador.
An expedition to Hispaniola led by John Hawkins, the first English slave trader, sparks English interest in that activity. Hawkins’ travels also call attention to Sierra Leone. Hawkins is knighted in 1588 for his service in England's victory over the Spanish Armada.
African farmers and artisans accompany Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on the expedition that establishes the community of San Agustin (St. Augustine, Florida).
Professor Bartolome de Albornoz of the University of Mexico writes against the enslavement and sale of Africans.
Isabel de Olvera, a free mulatto, accompanies the Juan Guerra de Resa Expedition which colonizes what is now New Mexico.