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them to their ancient homes. He did so, and the CHAP. Moors gave him as their ransom, not gold only, but a “ black Moors” with curled hair. Thus negro slaves 1443. came into Europe ; and mercantile cupidity immediately observed, that negroes might become an object of lucrative commerce. New ships were despatched 1444. without delay. Spain also engaged in the traffic; the historian of her maritime discoveries even claims for her the unenviable distinction of having anticipated the Portuguese in introducing negroes into Europe. The merchants of Seville imported gold dust and slaves from the western coast of Africa ;3 and negro slavery, though the severity of bondage was mitigated in its character by benevolent legislation,4 was established in Andalusia, and - abounded in the city of Seville," before the enterprize of Columbus was conceived.5
The maritime adventurers of those days, joining the principles of pirates with the bold designs of heroism, esteemed the wealth of the countries which they might discover, as their rightful plunder; and the inhabitants, if civilized, as their subjects, if barbarous, as their slaves, by the laws of successful warfare. Even the Indians of Hispaniola were im
1 Galvano's Discoveries of the frequentava navegacion à los cosWorld, in Hakluyt, v. iv. p. 413. tas de Africa, y Guinea, de donde
2 Navarette, Colleccion. Intro- se traian esclavos, de que ya abunduccion, s. xix.
dava esta ciudad, &c. &c. p. 373. 3 MS. History of the Reign of Eran en Sevilla los negros trataFerdinand and Isabella, the Cath- dos con gran benignidad, desde el olic, of Spain. See above, p. 7, tiempo de el Rey Don Henrique note 1.
Tercero, &c. &c. p. 374. I owe 4 Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla, pp. the opportunity of consulting Zu373, 374. The passage is a very ñiga to W. H. Prescott, of Boston. remarkable one. “Avia años que
3 Irving's Columbus, v. ii. p. 351, desde los Puertos de Andaluzia se 352; Herrera, d. i. 1. iv. c. xii.
CHAP. ported into Spain. Cargoes of the natives of the
north were early and repeatedly kidnapped. The coasts of America, like the coasts of Africa, were visited by ships in search of laborers; and there was hardly a convenient harbor on the whole Atlantic frontier of the United States, which was not entered by slavers. The native Indians themselves were ever ready to resist the treacherous merchant; the freemen of the wilderness, unlike the Africans, among whom slavery bad existed from immemorial times, would never abet the foreign merchant, or become his factors in the nefarious traffic. Fraud and force remained, therefore, the means by which, near Newfoundland or Florida, on the shores of the Atlantic or among the Indians of the Mississippi valley, Cortereal and Vazquez de Ayllon, Porcallo and Soto, with private adventurers whose names and whose crimes may be left unrecorded, transported the natives of North America into slavery in Europe and the Spanish West Indies. The glory of
Columbus himself did not escape the stain; enslaving 1494. five hundred native Americans, he sent them to Spain,
that they might be publicly sold at Seville. The
1 Compare Justin Martyr d’An- is, then, a slight inaccuracy in a ghiera, d. vii. c. i. and ii. in Hak- note of Irving, Litè of Columluyt, v. v. p. 404, 405, 407. In bus, Appendix, No. 27, v. iii. p. citing, perhaps for the last time, 367, of first American edition. the venerable historian of the Af- Thé error may be corrected from fairs of the Ocean, I have given Tiraboschi, Storia della Letterat. him his whole name. He is called Ital. t. vii. p. 1011, or Navarette, d'Anghiera, not because he was introduccion, s. xlv., and the note born there; for his native town of de la Roquette, in the French was Arona, where he first saw the translation of Navarette, t. i. p. light in 1455; but because it was 161. the name of his family, derived 2 Irving's Columbus, b. vüi.c.v. from the place of its origin. There v. ii.p. 81–86. First Am. edition. 1 For the cédula, liberating the 3 See a cédula on a slave conIndians, sold into bondage, por tract, in Navarette, v. iii. p. 514, mandado de nuestro Almirante de 515, given June 20, 1501. las Indias, see Navarette, Collec- 4 Winthrop's N. England, Apcion, v. ii. p. 246, 247.
generous Isabella commanded the liberation of the CHAP. Indians held in bondage in her European possessions. Yet her active benevolence extended neither to the 1500. Moors, whose valor had been punished by slavery, nor to the Africans; and even her compassion for the New World implied no hostility to the condition of servitude itself; it was rather the transient compassion, which relieves the miserable who are in sight; not the deliberate application of a just principle. For the commissions for making discoveries, issued June a few days before and after her interference to rescue
July those whom Columbus had enslaved, reserved for herself and Ferdinand a fourth part of the slaves, which the new kingdoms might contain. The slave- 1501. ry of Indians was recognized as lawful."
The practice of selling the natives of North America into foreign bondage, continued for nearly two centuries; and even the sternest morality pronounced the sentence of slavery and exile on the captives, whom the field of battle had spared. The excellent Winthrop enumerates Indians among his bequests. A scanty remnant of the Pequod tribe in Connecticut, the captives treacherously made by Waldron in New-Hampshire, the harmless fragments of the tribe of Annawon, the orphan offspring of King Philip
pendix, v. ii. p. 360. 2 Esclavos, é negros, é loros que 5 Ibid, v. i. p. 234. en estos nuestros reinos sean hab- 6 Belknap's Hist. of N. Hampidos é reputados por esclavos, &c. shire, v. i. p. 75, Farmer's edition. Navarette, v. ii. p. 245, and again, 7 Baylies' Memoir of Plymouth, v. ii. p. 249.
part iii. p. 190.
CHAP. himself,' were all doomed to the same hard destiny of
perpetual bondage. The clans of Virginia’ and Carolina, for more than a hundred years, were hardly safe against the kidnapper. The universal public mind was long and deeply vitiated.
It was not Las Casas, who first suggested the plan of transporting African slaves to Hispaniola ; Spanish slaveholders, as they emigrated, were ac
companied by their negroes. The emigration may 1501. at first have been contraband; but a royal edict soon
permitted negro slaves, born in slavery among Christians, to be transported to Hispaniola. Thus the
royal ordinances of Spain authorized negro slavery 1503. in America. Within two years, there were such
numbers of Africans in Hispaniola, that Ovando, the governor of the island, entreated that the importation might no longer be permitted.* The Spanish government attempted to disguise the crime by forbidding the introduction of negro slaves, who had been bred in Moorish families, and allowing only those, who were said to have been instructed in the Christian faith, to be transported to the West Indies, under the plea, that they might assist in converting the infidel nations. But the idle pretence was soon abandoned; for should faith in Christianity be punished by perpetual bondage in the colonies ? And would the purchaser be scrupulously inquisitive of
1 Davis on Morton's Memorial, undisputed, its previous existence. Appendix, p. 454, 455; Baylies Lawson's Carolina. Memoir of Plymouth, part iii. p. 3 Herrera, d. i. 1. iv. c. xü. 190, 191.
Irving's Columbus, Appendix, 2 Hening's Statutes at large, v. No. 26, v. iii. p. 372, first Amerii. p. 481,482. The act, forbidding can edition. the crime, proves, what is indeed 5 Herrera, d. i. I. vi. c. xx.
the birth-place and instruction of his laborers? The CHAP. system was already riveted and was not long restrained by the scruples of men in power. King Ferdinand himself sent from Seville fifty slaves' to 1510. labor in the mines; and, because it was said, that one negro could do the work of four Indians, the direct traffic in slaves between Guinea and Hispaniola was enjoined by a royal ordinance, and deliberately sanc- 1511. tioned by repeated decrees. Was it not natural 1512-3 that Charles V., a youthful monarch, surrounded by rapacious courtiers, should have readily granted licenses to the Flemings to transport negroes to 1516. the colonies? The benevolent Las Casas, who had seen the native inhabitants of the New World vanish away, like dew, before the cruelties of the Spaniards, who felt for the Indians all that an ardent charity and the purest missionary zeal could inspire, and who had seen the African thriving in robust* health under the sun of Hispaniola, returning from America 1517. to plead the cause of the feeble Indians, suggested the expedient, that negroes might still further be employed to perform the severe toils, which they alone could endure. The avarice of the Flemish
1 Herrera, d. i. I. viii. c. ix. Irving's Columbus, v. iii. p. 367—
2 Ibid, d. i. l. ix. c. v. Herrera 378. Navarette, Introduccion, s. is explicit. The note of the lviii. lix. The Memoir of Las French translator of Navarette, t. Casas still exists in manuscript. i. p. 203, 204, needs correction. Herrera, d. ii. I. ii. c. XX. RobertA commerce in negroes, sanc- son's America, v. i. b. ïï. It may tioned by the crown, was surely yet gratify curiosity to compare not contraband.
Grégoire, Apologie de B. Las Cas3 Irving's Columbus, v.in. p.372. as, in Mem. de l’Inst. Nat. An. 4 Ibid, v. jii. p. 370, 371. viii.; and the excellent discourse
5 The merits of Las Casas have of Verplanck, in New-York Hisbeen largely discussed. The con- torical Collections, v. iii. p. 49— troversy seems now concluded. 53, and p. 103-105.