Were we slaves in America for 400 years? Historical fallacies related to John Hawkins & the Good Ship Jesus

Were we slaves in America for 400 years? Historical fallacies related to John Hawkins & the Good Ship Jesus


By Sheik Way-El

M.S.T. of A. historian and researcher

Islam, peace and greetings to you all.

In this research paper, we shall shed some historical light on one of the greatest historically taught fallacies within the so called “black” conscious community. This fallacy centers on the very year that John Hawkins the English slave trader began his his slave trade ventures and why people believe that he brought slaves to the U.S. in the year of 1555. This exposition will also detail the very likely nature behind the name of John Hawkins ship, the “Good Ship Jesus” and if it relates to the image of the pale skin Jesus of Christian lore. We will also elucidate, dissect, and disprove the oft-quoted misconception that we were slaves on this land for 400 years which is borne of this theory that John Hawkins brought enslaved Africans to America in 1555.

It appears that the present misconception can be traced back to the teachings of the Nation of Islam. Growing up as a 5%er (also called Nation of Gods and Earths), that this ahistorical (lacking historical merit) myth was as prevalent as it was pervasive. So-called black leaders like Dr. Malachi Z. York also made this myth popular throughout his teachings and the same can be found among the Hebrew Isrealites and many news pundits who call themselves black as well. The origin of this myth begins however, with a misinterpretation of one of the Bible’s verses which state:

“God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.” Genesis 15:13”

When we analyze this particular verse and understand what is being said here in context, then we get a better understanding of what the actual verse pertains to.

This is specifically speaking about the ancient land of Canaan where, according to the bible, Abraham and his family went after the god of the bible commanded them to leave Babylon. The reason that we know this verse does NOT pertain to the Moors or whom some falsely misnomer black people is because we were not enslaved on this land 400 years which segues right into our discussion.

John Hawkins did not, let me repeat, DID NOT bring slaves to America (the United States specifically) in 1555. This is historically inaccurate and there is not one iota of proof that can back up this claim in any of the historical records. In this BBC article dated 3/10/05 we read:

 “Our story, here in the sixteenth century, centres on three voyages of John Hawkins. Hawkins was the first established English slave trader. Between 1562 and 1567 he made such profits so lucrative that he was supported by the Queen who showed her investment by donating two of her own ships, the Jesus of Lubeck and the Minion. The pattern was consistent. Hawkins sailed for the west coast of Africa and, sometimes with the help of other African natives, kidnapped villagers. He would then cross the Atlantic and sell his cargo, or those who survived the voyage, to the Spanish. The slave trade was better business than plantations.”[1]

To verify and ultimately confirm this claim, we cite from several sources on the subject. According to the book The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440 – 1870 by Hugh Thomas, whose subtitle on the cover says, is the “most comprehensive account of the Atlantic slave trade ever written”. It states:

“Under Queen Elizabeth, more English captains set off to Guinea: for example, there was Richard Baker, whose journey is said to have inspired Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner; there was even discussion of founding and English trading post; and then in 1562, Captain John Hawkins initiated the English slave trade. No doubt his father, by then dead, had passed to him useful information about currents, geography, people and markets.” [2]

His (John Hakwins) first voyages speak of nothing dealing with the trade of slaves. In 1556 for instance, when he was 25 years old, Hawkins would go on several missions that had personal purposes in relation to his family. During one of these trips, he and a blood brother of his seized a ship named Peter from the French and used that ship for a trip to the Canary Islands.[3] History shows us that it was not until the year 1562 that John Hawkins began his trade in slaves after he had hijacked a Portuguese ship to which some sources claim that he had 301 Moors on board.

“English participation in the lucrative slave trade seems to have begun when John Hawkins hijacked a Portuguese ship carrying Africans to Brazil in 1562. Hawkins traded the slaves at Hispaniola for ginger, pearls and sugar, making a huge profit which could not be ignored by his countrymen. One year later, Hawking sold a cargo of Black slaves in Hispaniola and the floodgates were opened. Though Queen Elizabeth spoke out against the dark business, she later took shares in Hawkins” ventures, even lending him one of her ships in the enterprise that pitted her adventurous navigators against those of Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands (It was Hawkins who introduced tobacco into England in 1565).”[4] (added emphasis mines)

Every historical reference will confirm this same exact account and the same exact date. So now, we have historically established that John Hawkins did not begin the slave trade in 1555 nor was he even the first to trade in enslaved Moors (Africans) to the western hemisphere. That distinction goes to the Portuguese and Spanish who started trading enslaved Moors across the Atlantic to South American colonies in 1502.[5] In fact, we do not have enslaved Moors being introduced to the country we know today by the Demonym “America” referring strictly to the United States of America and NOT colonial territories in South America e.g. islands etc., until 1619 by some sources and by others 1621 with what is known as the landing of the “first twenty.” These particular enslaved Moors were brought over here by a ship called the “Dutch man-o-war” and not the Good Ship Jesus. Basic research will yield these facts quite easy.

This brings us now to another interesting point about the 400 years of enslavement. According to the book Africans in America, by Ira Berlin, he details the accounts of one of the first enslaved men to be brought over here who was named ‘Antonio the Negro’. Antonio the Negro was one of the first enslaved servants in Virginia. He was brought to Virginia in 1621 and listed as a servant. After a few years, he became free, got married, had children and owned land as any other European servant in the colony (at that time Europeans were sold into servitude as well). Berlin mentions that Antonio, after being freed, accepted the new name, Anthony Johnson, and was so well off financially that he even purchased his own servant, a Moor (so-called Negro) named John Casar. Antonio’s neighbors tried to claim his “slave,” but he won the lawsuit. Therefore, beyond any doubt, he had a wide range of rights: to marry, to own property or to sue. That put him into the position of a recognized member of the society. He attained it mainly by assimilating himself into the popular culture, precisely as any “slave” (they were servants) could in previous times. Berlin concludes that “Freedom was measured by the degree of communal integration, not by ability to secure individual autonomy”.[6]

In reviewing this, we see that this man, Antonio who became Anthony Johnson had the mind of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” and accepted the status of “negro” and agreed to change his name to a European one. This was not forced upon him. From this, we can gain some further understanding into why the Most Noble, Prophet Drew Ali said:

“That is why the nationality of the Moors was taken away from them in 1774 and the word negro, black and colored, was given to the Asiatics of America who were of Moorish descent, because they honored not the principles of their mother and father,and strayed after the gods of Europe of whom they knew nothing.” – Ch. 47 v. 17

One thing that must be stressed in this instance is that, It is a little-known fact that Moors have been living free on this land, free from Colonial oppression in some of the Colonies as the very records of this land proves to us. Below is section 9 of the laws of Virginia of 1774 as issued by King George II. Let me stress, this is just ONE of the records:


According to this particular excerpt and many others that this researcher has been privy to preview, study, and teach on, Moors in this instance represent those who are Islamic while the Negro, are those of the Christian faith. In the book Bridge to Light: Spiritual Wayfaring Towards Islam  By Kathleen St. Onge, we read :

“In 1539, the first-ever land crossing of the US was completed by Azenmouri, a Muslim Berber. In 1654, English explorers reported a colony of bearded people in North Carolina who called themselves ‘Moors’ and dropped to their knees to pray while working silver smelting operations. In 1670, ‘Turks and Moors’ were excluded from slavery by the Virginia National Assembly. On March 3, 1753, Abel Conder and Mahamut petitioned in Arabic for their freedom from slavery in South Carolina. On June 28th, 1786, a Declaration of Naval Peace between Moors and America was signed by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Taher Ben Abdelhack Fennish. In 1787, a Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the Cherokees and the US government was signed by Abdel Khak and Muhammad Ibn Abdullah. And on January 20, 1790, the Free Moors Act allowed Moors to be tried as South Carolina citizens rather than under the Negro Act. ”[7]

There are so many sources where this researcher can prove to you that we were free upon this land and the only people called negroes at first, were they who accepted this title as shown above, meaning, those who were, for a time, bound to servitude, later to be branded as perpetual slaves at the hands of the Europeans. It is no different from those whom call themselves blacks today, not one bit of difference actually. One point to note from the above source when the above cited author speaks of a Berber who was the first to have crossed the U.S. by land, and when we understand that that the main tribes captured in Africa  and sold in the slave trade were Berber tribes whom inhabited the Niger region and points southward which included the Sanhaja, Malians, Mandigans, Fulani, Senegalese, etc., we understand further the Moors who were actually targeted under Papal Bulls like Dum Diversas and Romanus Pontifex. Proof of this is also evinced in the Negro Laws of South Carolina of 1839 which reads at chapter one (1) “The Negro, his rights and disabilities” section 4, that:

“The term negro is confined to slave Africans, (the ancient Berbers) and their descendants.”[8]

In the etymology, the second definition of Moor is Berber[9]. It is this researchers belief that all people who are called Black, Negro, Colored, African, etc, today, are in fact Moors and that this is our most ancient appellation. Again, no branch of our specific people has black skin. In extending the learning and teaching of the great Prophet Noble Drew Ali in America as it has been relayed and subsequently expounded upon, we will go back to the story of the slave trade. We read in the book Selected Articles on the Negro Problem Compiled By Julia E. Johnsen:

“In 1422 Portuguese ships brought back Moorish prisoners from a voyage to the Coast of Africa. As ransom the Portuguese accepted a certain amount of gold and a number of ‘black Moors,’ with curled hair. When the Spanish explorers and adventurers came to America they brought many of these Spanish Negroes with them (this may account for the name Antonio by one of the first slaves freed as cited above) as servants and as slaves. It is probable that a few Negroes were sent out to the West Indies as early as 1501.”[10] (added emphasis mines)

This brings us to the next interesting point about John Hawkins (I found no source actually listing him as John Harding Hawkins so if any readers have any references, I would be grateful). When John Hawkins was knighted, he chose for his crest the “Demi-Moor in his proper colour bound with cord” [11]


This crest below is the altered version of the original crest that you will find in any Google image search.


Were those who drafted this altered depiction trying to hide something? Were they ignorant of the understanding of the Moor, with this headband, which researcher believes to be proofs of the Moors Canaanite lineage? Why isn’t the headband shown in this image? If any of you have seen my video on the ancient Canaanites, Moabites and Moors, I propose a very strong case that the Moors-heads found in England which can be found on many a European family crests are exactly the same people that are shown on the walls in ancient Egypt, bound with their head bands on as well. Elijah Muhammad’s reference to Jebus, Salem, and Ariel, proves this connection to the ancient Canaanites. This researcher will expound on this in a future expository.

So now we will recap the dates surrounding this alleged 400 year enslavement:

  • 1556: John Hawkins engages in personal voyages for family business
  • 1562: John Hawkins and his crew hijack a Portuguese ship carrying Moors as negro slave cargo to which he sells in South America. (Not the geographical location of what we know as America today as has been said by many so called black people)
  • 1564: British pirates led by John Hawkins forced the Borburata settlers to buy his cargo.
  • 1568: John Hawkins attacked Borburata again and forced them to buy his cargo again. The main part of that cargo was a group of 400 African Moors that he had captured and enslaved in Western Africa.
  • 1555 + 400 years = 1955. Abraham Lincoln freed the remaining slaves (slavery was only practiced in the South during this time as Northern States had abolished the institution) in 1865 which would have only equaled 310 years from the time of 1555 only IF this was the beginning of the American slave trade. Being that our Moorish ancestors were not enslaved and sold as slaves on this specific geographic location until 1619, this dispels the 1555 cliché oft quoted by so called black conscious folk, among others.
  • 1619: The first twenty one land in Jamestown Va. marking official slavery in the United States geographic location. 1865 –1619 = 246 years of physical bondage to the European colonizers on this land.
  • Records from the 1600’s – 1700’s proves that Moors were free upon this land and hard large Moorish communities and were not governed by the same laws as those bound to servitude.[12][13]

The 400 year slave narrative that many of us have perpetuated for so long, has been hereby debunked. We must eradicate this thinking if we are to move forward as a people.


It is this researcher’s belief that, Jesus in the context of conquering the Moors, is in reference to Joshua, son of Nun. That the pale skinned image of Jesus and the forced or coerced conversion to Christianity by the Moors of that day and this day, is based on the fact that Joshua drove out and conquered the Canaanites in those ancient days. For this section, a sound theory using weighty preponderance will be proposed to support this claim.

Prophet Noble Drew Ali informs us in our Moorish Holy Koran at Ch. 46 vv.2-3 that:

“Jesus himself was of the true blood of the ancient Canaanites and Moabites and the inhabitants of Africa. Seeking to redeem His people in those days from the pressure of the pale skin nations of Europe, Rome crucified Him according to their law.”  


Prophet Noble Drew Ali also informed us that our ancient Canaanite ancestors were  ran out of Canaan by Joshua, son of Nun, something that was largely passed off as Noble Drew Ali using the bible to make his claims until we showed and proved in this day and time that at least three different historians; Procopius of Caesarea (born c.490/507- died c.560 AD), Moses of Khoren (ca. 410–490s AD), and an anonymous works from  about AD 630 entitled “Chronicon Paschale” wrote about two ancient columns that were in Tangiers which had inscriptions in the ancient Canaanite dialect which read “We are the Canaanites who fled from before the face of Joshua, the robber, the son of Nun” as I have detailed in many of my notes and videos.

I want you to observe in this definition of Joshua as given in the Smith’s bible dictionary 1966 – 1977, notice that it says “and in the N.T. he is called Jesus (Acts vii. 45; Heb. iv. 8)”



As we clearly read, Jesus is being referenced in several verses in place of the name Joshua. Clearly, this would confuse any Christian or any non-Christian who would not undertake such research. Now look at what we see contained in those verses:

Acts 7:45 (King James Version)

“Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David…”

Hebrews 4:8 (King James Version)

“For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”

Now, any follower of this book called the bible, will think that these two verses are talking about Jesus the Christ (as he is called) of Nazereth, but it is not, as the definition shows, it is speaking about Joshua, the robber and spy. But the context in which it is presented, it does gives you the impression that it is indeed “Jesus the Christ.” Remember, it was Joshua who drove out the Canaanites and in the new testament, it was “Jesus” that absolutely dissed and shamed the Canaanite  woman (some verses say Syro-Phonecian, Matthew 15:21-28,  Mark 7:24-30) calling her a “dog” not even worthy of food. From this researcher’s perspective and based on the Jesus narrative so believed by millions of people worldwide, it makes it impossible for us to believe that the all loving Jesus would be speaking in these verses, but actually a conflated Joshua to which the biblical narrative clearly shows us the content of Joshua towards the Canaanites. That is why this researcher fully asserts that John Hawkins ship was called THE GOOD SHIP JESUS, not meaning Jesus of the New Testament, but Joshua of the old Testament who conquered the Canaanites, those whom are known this day as Moors and in most ancient times as Moabites who are called today NEGROES, BLACK PEOPLE, COLORED FOLKS, AND AFRICAN AMERICANS. The bust of John Hawkins showing a bound Moor, is indicative to the bound Moors shown in European art, and on the walls of ancient Egypt.


Egyptian column base fragment depicting bound captives superimposed on name rings. The first two names are Ashkelon and Canaan. Egyptologist Manfred Görg suggests the third, incomplete, name is Israel. He believes the name list was originally compiled in the early 18th Dynasty, the time of the Exodus-Conquest according to Biblical chronology. (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung.)

Other researchers have expressed this same correlation between Joshua and Jesus in their works. In the book Secret Teachings of all Ages by Manly P. Hall on pg. 253 we cite:  

 “The Jews were led to victory by the Son of the Fish whose other names were Joshua and Jesus (the Savior). Nun is still the name of a female devotee of the Christian faith. Among early Christians three fishes were used to symbolize the Trinity, and the fish is also one of the eight sacred symbols of the great Buddha. It is also significant that the dolphin should be sacred to both Apollo (the Solar Savior) and Neptune. It was believed that this fish carried shipwrecked sailors to heaven on its back. The dolphin was accepted by the early Christians as an emblem of Christ, because the pagans had viewed this beautiful creature as a friend and benefactor of man. The heir to the throne of France, the Dauphin, may have secured his title from this ancient pagan symbol of the divine preservative power. The first advocates of Christianity likened converts to fishes, who at the time of baptism “returned again into the sea of Christ.”

“In an effort to solve some of the problems arising from any attempt to chronicle accurately the life of Jesus, it has been suggested that there may have lived in Syria at that time two or more religious teachers bearing the name Jesus, Jehoshua or Joshua, and that the lives of these men may have been confused in the Gospel stories. In his Secret Sects of Syria and the Lebanon, Bernard H. Springett, a Masonic author, quotes from an early book, the name of which he was not at liberty to disclose because of its connection with the ritual of a sect. The last part of his quotation is germane to the subject at hand:

‘But Jehovah prospered the seed of the Essenians, in holiness and love, for many generations. Then came the chief of the angels, according to the commandment of GOD, to raise up an heir to the Voice of Jehovah. And, in four generations more, an heir was born, and named Joshua, and he was the child of Joseph and Mara, devout worshipers of Jehovah, who stood aloof from all other people save the Essenians. And this Joshua, in Nazareth, reestablished Jehovah (the name of Joshua’s God in the old testament), and restored many of the lost rites and ceremonies. In the thirty-sixth year of his age he was stoned to death in Jerusalem (…)’”[14](emphasis mine)

Madame Blavatsky in her book Secret Doctrine Volume I speaks upon these same instances where the name Jesus is confused or conflated with Joshua.[15]

In doing online research, I came across this interesting article from Wikipedia speaking on the same:

“In the Toldoth Yeshu narratives, Gospel elements about Jesus are conflated with accounts of the individuals called Yeshu in the Talmud. Price interprets Yeshu as a shortened form of Yeshua and argues that the latter was the name by which Jesus was known to the Jews. However the Toldoth Yeshu narratives typically explain the designation Yeshu as the acronym yemach shemo vezikhro (may his name and memory be obliterated) or Yeshua as the acronym yemach shemo vezikhro olam (may his name and memory be obliterated from the world) and state that his real name was Yehoshua. Other Jewish sages sometimes give his name as Yeshua (2) although the usage of this form without the letter he (h) might have been chosen to indicate divine disapproval.”[16]

Notice that the definitions according to this source means “may his name and memory be obliterated from the world”“may his name and memory be obliterated” are rather curious definitions which plays to the theme in this researchers eyes, of trying to hide the true identity of Jesus, and also understanding this man was so detested by the Pharisees and the Jews, that they wished to completely remove him from the records of history. Christianity has done a good job at lease of changing the ethnic appearance of Jesus, whose true and divine name is Isa.

The very fact that Acts 5:30 speaks of Jesus being hung from a tree, as opposed to being crucified and dying on the cross, and the laws that were given forth by Joshua in the old testament, puts this whole claim into an extremely critically revealing light. Let us review:

Acts 15:30 New International Version

“The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.”

Now let us compare this to hangings in the old testament by Joshua and the Hebrew law:

Joshua 8:29 American King James Version

“And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcass down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remains to this day”

Joshua 10:26

“Then Joshua struck and killed the kings and hung them on five trees, and they were left hanging on the trees until evening.”

Deuteronomy 21:22-23

“If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree, you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance. ”

We find these same laws of Joshua applicable to Prophet Jesus in the New Testament of the Europeans bible:

John 19:31  New International Version

“Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.”

Mark 15:24-37:

“And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS…At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”…With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.”

Mark 15:25,33,37

“And it was the third hour, and they crucified him… And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour… And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost.”

“The third hour”… The ancient account divided the day into four parts, which were named from the hour from which they began; the first, third, sixth, and ninth hour. Our Lord was crucified a little before noon; before the third hour hadn’t quite expired; but when the sixth hour was near at hand. (Douay-Rheims Bible Commentary)

So here it is clear that Jesus was crucified and buried the same day according to the laws of Joshua while he was convicted under Roman law. For this reason, this researcher asserts fully that Joshua and Jesus are in fact the same personage in relation to the GOOD SHIP JESUS (not historically) because the parallels and the secrecy of Jesus’s true identity throughout Europe and among high ranking Freemasons is astounding. You can read here, the relationship between Jesus and the so-called “black-a-moor” heads found in Europe.

With this, I conclude my research into the John Hawkins accounts as it relates to the alleged slave trade of 1555 which has absolutely no historical precedence. The very notion that we were enslaved in America for 400 years which is so historically inaccurate; and a good reason as to why this researcher feels the ship with the name “Good ship Jesus” was chosen in connection to our Moorish/Moabite and Canaanite heritage, has been satisfied. This researcher must point out that the very name “Jesus of Lubeck” was already the name of the 700 ton ship before John Hawkins was conferred with it for his ventures. The name could also signify conquering. This is only a guess by this researcher however.

This note represents a challenge to the whole field from every orgination and school of thought to prove the contrary.

Love and Peace

Sheik Way-El

Grand Sheik

Subordinate Temple Atlantis




[1] JOHN HAWKINS AND THE SLAVE TRADE, EPISODE 6 – 03/10/05http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/empire/episodes/episode_06.shtml


[2] The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440 – 1870 By Hugh Thomas pg. 155


[3] Sir John Hawkins: Queen Elizabeth’s Slave Trader By Harry Kelsey pg. 11


[4] Part 7: The Age of Empire, continued England’s Role in the Slave Tradehttp://www.britannia.com/history/naremphist6.html


[5] Anstey, Roger: The Atlantic Slave Trade and British abolition, 1760–1810. 1975, pg. 5


[6] Berlin, Ira. Generations of Captivity: a History of African-American Slaves. Boston: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003. Pg. 33


[7] Bridge to Light: Spiritual Wayfaring Towards Islam  By Kathleen St. Onge pg. 269


[8] The negro law of South Carolina By South Carolina. State Agricultural Society, State Agricultural Society of South Carolina (1839- ) published in 1848, pg. 5


[9] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Moor&allowed_in_frame=0


[10] Selected Articles on the Negro Problem Compiled By Julia E. Johnsen pg. 29


[11] The history of Devonshire By Thomas Moore (writer on Devon. Pg. 134


[12]   Free Moors and Turks of South Carolina,http://sciway3.net/clark/freemoors/moors6.html


[13] Wealthy Free Women of Color in Charleston, South Carolina During Slavery, by  Rita Reynolds


[14] Secret Teachings of all ages, Manly P. Hall, pg. 591


[15] Secret Doctrine Volume I, Madame Blavatsky. “and why Jesus is recognized as Joshua of Nazareth is recognized, cabalistically, in Joshua, the son of Nun as well as other personages” pg. 322, pp. 481, 497


[16] Yehoshua ben Yosef. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Scientz/Yehoshua_ben_Yosef