The introduction of tobacco, Virginia's staple crop, created a demand for labor, superseding the supply of indentured servants coming to the colony. However, due to the increase in labor, an increase in skilled labor also resulted - to build houses, to make the hogsheads, to pack and ship the sugar, tobacco, or rice. As the demand for labor grew large, the rising cost of white labor tended to make slaves a less expensive source of unskilled labor than additional servants. Eventually, the majority of the bound labor force then changed from white to black. During this period, the servant became an inevitable, and necessary, source of skilled labor.
Slave trade in Jamestown slowly developed as degrees of prejudice towards dark skin formed. The African slaves were continuously held to servitude as colonists considered them typically cheaper to feed and clothe and better "seasoned" for work in Virginia's hot climate. As indentured European servants proved unruly and rebellious, and immigration sporadic, the planters turned to African slaves as better sources for labor.
Similarities and differences between indentured servitude and slavery. The similarities between slaves and indentured servants were that both could be bought and sold.