Commemoration of the First African Landing

A view of the outside two stone bastion walls, a water moat, and a flagpole with the American flag flying against a blue sky.
A view of the outside two stone bastion walls at Fort Monroe.

NPS Photo

A sign explains how the first Africans in arrived Virginia. It stands along a sidewalk next to the water.
First Africans in Virginia sign stands just outside of Fort Monroe.

NPS Photo

African Landing Day

Annually in late August the park and our partners commemorate and observe the anniversary of the landing of the first enslaved Africans in English-occupied North America at Point Comfort in 1619. As recorded by English colonist John Rolfe, the arrival of “20. and odd” African men and women at Point Comfort in late August 1619, was a pivotal moment in the nation’s history. Stolen by English privateers from a Spanish slave ship and brought to Point Comfort on a ship called the White Lion, these natives of west central Africa are believed to have been traded for food and supplies. They were the first Africans to be brought to English North America. The site of the ship’s arrival is the present site of Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia.

All events are free and open to the public. Visit the Calendar for event details.


Last updated: October 6, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

41 Bernard Road
Building #17

Fort Monroe, VA 23651-1001


757-722-FORT (3678)

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