Earlier historians often suggested that planters’ preferences for slaves from particular African regions influenced the ethnic composition of the slaves in the Chesapeake region. However, the analyses of the . B. DuBois Institute Project indicates other factors resulted in Virginia planters’ frequent purchase of laborers originating in the Bight of Biafra and Angola, people for whom, one author comments “no Chesapeake planter is known to have expressed a preference” (Walsh 2001:30–21). These factors included the market that British slave traders judged to be the most lucrative outlet, their interest in the planters’ exports, . tobacco, which slaves were being offered, and even the tonnage of the ships on which a group of Africans were captive. The merchants took the ships with the greatest number of Africans to the best markets first (Curtin 1969). Learn more about the African origins of people enslaved in colonial Chesapeake .
In 1767, the Parliament passed the Townshend Acts which placed duties on a number of essential goods, including paper, glass, and tea, and established a Board of Customs in Boston to more rigorously execute trade regulations. The new taxes were enacted on the belief that Americans only objected to internal taxes and not to external taxes such as custom duties. The Americans, however, argued against the constitutionality of the act because its purpose was to raise revenue and not regulate trade. Colonists responded by organizing new boycotts of British goods. These boycotts were less effective, however, as the Townshend goods were widely used.