John Casor was a indentured servant in North Hampton County in the Virginia Colony.

Casor date of birth is unknown. In 1655 Casor became the first African American person in Britain’s Thirteen Colonies to be declared as a slaves for life. In on of the earliest freedom suit, Casor argue that he was an indentured servant who has been forced by a free black man Anthony Johnson to serve past his term. Casor said he was only suppose to work for Johnson for seven to eight years and his term was up.

He also claimed he was freed by Johnson and went to work for Robert Parker and his brother George Parker as an indenture servant.

When Johnson attempted to reclaim his indenture servant from Parker he was told he didn’t have one. In fear was going to lost his servant, in 1654 Johnson brought a suit in North Hampton Courts against the Parkers for detaining his “Negro servant, John Casor,” saying “Hee never did see any indenture papers, but the hee had ye Negro for his life”.

In the case of Johnson V. Parker, the court of North Hampton upheld Johnson’s right to hold Casor as a slave, saying in it’s ruling in March 8, of 1655:

“This daye Anthony Johnson negro made his complaint to the court against mr. Robert Parker and declared that hee deteyneth his servant John Casor negro under the pretence that said negro was a free man. The court seriously consideringe and maturely weighing the premisses, doe fynde that the saide Mr. Robert Parker most unjustly keepeth the said Negro from Anthony Johnson his master … It is therefore the Judgement of the Court and ordered That the said John Casor Negro forthwith returne unto the service of the said master Anthony Johnson, And that Mr. Robert Parker make payment of all charges in the suit.”

Casor was returned to Johnson. The end of 1655 Anthony Johnson, his wife Mary Johnson, his son John Johnson, his wife Sasanna, and their slave John Casor moved to Somerset County, Maryland. Casor remained Johnson’s slave for the rest of his life.

Casor death is unknown.


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