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indelibly soiled and stained by his | Religion was speciously invoked to undeniable and conspicuous implica- cover this new atrocity with her tion in the enslavement of the Abori- broad mantle, under the plea of regines of this continent, so improperly lieving the Indians from a servitude, termed Indians. Within two years which they had already escaped after his great discovery, before he through the gate of death. But, had set foot on the continent, he was though the Papacy was earnestly imconcerned in seizing some scores of portuned to lend its sanction to this natives, carrying them to Spain, and device, and though its compliance selling them there as slaves. His has been stoutly asserted, and was example was extensively followed. long widely believed, the charge rests The fierce lust for gold, which in- upon no evidence, is squarely denied, flamed the early adventurers on his and has been silently abandoned. track, incited the most reckless, For once, at least, avarice and cruelty shameless disregard of the rights and have been unable to gain a sacerhappiness of a harmless and guileless dotal sanction, and compelled to fall people, whose very helplessness should back in good order upon Canaan and have been their defense. Forced to Ham. But, even without benefit of hunt incessantly for gold, and to clergy, Negro Slavery, once introducminister in every way to the imperi- ed, rapidly, though thinly, overspread ous appetites of their stranger tyrants, the whole vast area of Spanish and they found in speedy death their only Portuguese America, with Dutch and relief from intolerable suffering. In French Guiana and the West India a few years, but a miserable remnant Islands; and the African slave-trade remained. And now the western was, for two or three centuries, the coast of Africa was thrown open to most lucrative, though most abhorreplace them by a race more indura- rent, traffic pursued by or known to ted to hardship, toil, and suffering. mankind. It was the subject of
tonio Gonzales, who had brought some Moorish 1 5"It was not Las Casas who first suggested slaves into Portugal, was commanded to release the plan of transporting African slaves to Histhem. He did so; and the Moors gave him, as paniola; Spanish slaveholders, as they emigratheir ransom, not gold, but black Moors with ted, were accompanied by their negroes.”_ curled hair. Thus negro slaves came into Eu Ibid. rope."
6“Even the voluptuous Leo X. declared that "In 1444, Spain also took part in the traffic.
not the Christian religion only, but nature herThe historian of her maritime discoveries even
self, cries out against the state of Slavery.' And claims for her the unenviable distinction of hav- | Paul III., in two separate briefs, imprecated a ing anticipated the Portuguese in introducing curse on the Europeans who would enslave Innegroes into Europe.”— Ibid., p. 166.
dians, or any other class of men.”--Ibid., p. 172. 3.6 Columbus himself did not escape the stain. Upon the suggestion of Las Casas in favor of Enslaving five hundred native Americans, he negroes for American slaves, in contradistinction sent them to Spain, that they might be publicly to the Indians, negroes began to be poured into sold at Seville.”-Ibid.
the West Indies. 4 "In 1500, the generous Isabella commanded "It had been proposed to allow four for each the liberation of the Indians held in bondage in emigrant. Deliberate calculation fixed the her European possessions. Yet her native number esteemed necessary at four thousand. benevolence extended not to the Moors, whose That very year in which Charles V. sailed with valor had been punished by slavery, nor to the a powerful expedition against Tunis, to attack Africans; and even her compassion for the New the pirates of the Barbary States, and to emanciWorld was but a transient feeling, which relieves pate Christian slaves in Africa, he gave an open, the miserable who are in sight, not the delibera- | legal sanction to the African slave-trade."--Ibida, tion of a just principle."--Bancroft's Hist. U. S., p. 170. vol. i., p. 128.
gainful and jealous monopolies, and the facilities for acquiring vast wealth its profits were greedily shared by at the cost of little or no labor in the philosophers, statesmen, and kings. Eden to which they were attracted.
When, in 1607, the first abid- Probably no other colony that ever ing English colony-Virginia-was succeeded or endured was so largely founded on the Atlantic coast of made up of unfit and unpromising what is now our country, Negro materials. Had it not been backed Slavery, based on the African slave- by a strong and liberal London comtrade, was more than a century old pany, which enjoyed for two or three throughout Spanish and Portuguese generations the special favor and America, and so had already acquired patronage of the Crown, it must have the stability and respectability of an perished in its infancy. But the institution. It was nearly half a climate of tide-water Virginia is gecentury old in the British West In- nial, the soil remarkably fertile and dies. Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, facile, the timber abundant and exand British vessels and trading com- cellent, while its numerous bays and panies' vied with each other for the inlets abound in the choicest shellgains to be speedily acquired by fish; so that a colony that would fail purchasing, or kidnapping, young here could succeed nowhere. To negroes on the coast of Guinea, and bacco, too, that bewitching but selling them in the American colonies poisonous narcotic, wherewith Proviof their own and other nations. The dence has seen fit to balance the inearly colonists of Virginia were estimable gifts of Indian Corn and mainly adventurers of an unusually the Potato by the New World to the bad type—bankrupt prodigals, gen Old, grew luxuriantly on the interteel spendthrifts, and incorrigible vals of her rivers, and was eagerly profligates, many of whom had left bought at high prices by the British their native country for that country's merchants, through whom nearly good, in obedience to the urgent per- every want of the colonists was supsuasion of sheriffs, judges, and juries. plied. Manual labor of all kinds All were intoxicated by the common was in great demand in the English illusions of emigrants with regard to colonies; so that, for some time, the LAWYER'S LAW FOR SLA VERY.
86A Flemish favorite of Charles V having treachery, and force, he procured at least three obtained of this king a patent containing an ex hundred negroes, and now sold them at Hisclusive right of importing four thousand negroes 'paniola."-Ibid., p. 83. annually to the West Indies, sold it for twenty "Ferdinand" (in 1513) "issued a decree defive thousand ducats, to some Genoese mer- | claring that the servitude of the Indians is warchants, who first brought into a regular form the ranted by the laws of God and man.”-Ibid., p.32. commerce for slaves between Africa and Ame- ' "Every freeman of Carolina shall have absorica.”-Holmes's Annals of America, vol. i., p. 35. | lute power and authority over his negro slaves, “In 1563, the English began to import negroes |
of what nation or religion whatsoever.”—Locke's into the West Indies. Their first slave-trade Fundamental Constitution for South Carolina. was opened the preceding year on the coast of 9 According to Bancroft, upon the establis Guinea. John Hawkins, in the prospect of a ment of the Assiento Treaty in 1713, creating a great gain, resolved to make trial of this nefari- | Company for the prosecution of the African Slave ous and inhuman traffic. Communicating the Trade, one-quarter of the stock was taken by design to several gentlemen in London, who be Philip of Spain; Queen Anne reserved to herself came liberal contributors and adventurers, another quarter, and the remaining moiety was three good ships were immediately provided; to be divided among her subjects. “Thus did the and, with these and one hundred men, Hawkins sovereigns of England and Spain become the sailed to the coast of Guinea, where, by money, largest slave-merchants in the world.”
banishment thither of felons from the garded only with vague curiosity and mother country seems to have pro- marvel, like that which would now voked no serious objection. That be excited by the experimental insuch a colony, in such an age, should troduction of elephants or hippopothave existed thirteen years prior to ami as beasts of burden. Human the introduction of Negro Slavery, rights, in the abstract, had not yet indicates rather its weakness and been made a theme of popular dispoverty than its virtue. The proba cussion, hardly of philosophic specubility is that its planters bought the lation: for English liberty, John first slaves that were offered them; Hampden had not yet poured out his at any rate, the first that they were blood on the battle-field, nor Algerable to pay for. When the Pilgrim non Sidney laid his head on the Fathers landed on the rock of Ply- block. The negroes, uncouth and mouth, Virginia had already re- repulsive, could speak no word intelceived and distributed her first cargo ligible to British or Colonial ears, of slaves."
when first imported, and probably There is no record of any serious had a scarcely clearer conception of opposition, whether on moral or eco- their own rights and wrongs than nomic grounds, to the introduction of had those by whom they were surslaves and establishment of Slavery rounded. Some time ere the middle in the various British, Dutch, and of the Seventeenth Century, a British Swedish Colonies, planted along the Attorney-General, having the quescoast between the Penobscot and the tion formally submitted to him, gave Savannah rivers during the succeed- his official opinion, that negroes, being century. At the outset, it is cer- ing pagans, might justly be held tain that the importation of negro in Slavery, even in England itself. chattels into the various seaports, by The amount of the fee paid by the merchants trading thither, was re- wealthy and prosperous slave-traders
10 December 22, 1620. The first slaves brought attorney and solicitor general of that day. ACto Virginia were sold from a Dutch vessel, which cording to this opinion, which passed for more landed twenty at Jamestown, in 1620.
than forty years as good law, not only was bap11 "In the first recorded case (Butts v. Penny, tism no bar to Slavery, but negro slaves might 2 Lev., 201; 3 Kib., 785), in 1677, in which the be held in England just as well as in the Coloquestion of property in negroes appears to have nies. The two lawyers by whom this opinion come before the English courts, it was held, was given rose afterward, one of them to be
that, being usually bought and sold among mer chief justice of England, and both to be chancelchants as merchandise, and also being infidels, lors. Yorke, sitting in the latter capacity, with there might be a property in them sufficient to the title of Lord Hardwicke" (in 1749), “had maintain trover.'”—Tildreth's Hist. U. S., vol. ii., | recently recognized the doctrine of that opinion p. 214.
as sound law. (Pearce v. Lisle, Ambler, 76.) “What precisely the English law might be He objects to Lord Holt's doctrine of freedom, on the subject of Slavery, still remained a mat- secured by setting foot on English soil, that no ter of doubt. Lord Holt had expressed the | reason could be found why slaves should not be opinion, as quoted in a previous chapter, that equally free when they set foot in Jamaica, or Slavery was a condition unknown to English any other English plantation. All our colonies law, and that every person setting foot in Eng are subject to the laws of England, although as land thereby became free. American planters, 1 to some purposes they have laws of their own! on their visits to England, seem to have been His argument is that, if Slavery be contrary to annoyed by claims of freedom set up on this English law, no local enactments in the Colonies ground, and that, also, of baptism. To relieve could give it any validity. To avoid overturntheir embarrassments, the merchants concerned ing Slavery in the Colonies, it was absolutely in the American trade" (in 1729) “ had obtained necessary to uphold it in England."-Ibid., p. a written opinion from Yorke and Talbot, the | 426.
for this remarkable display of legal of Canaan had been by the Israelites erudition and acumen, is not re- under Joshua. Indian slavery, somecorded, but it probably included a times forbidden by law, but usually liberal consideration for wear-and- tolerated, if not entirely approved, by tear of conscience. Two or three de- public opinion, was among the early cisions from British courts were, at usages of New England; and from different times thereafter, obtained, this to negro slavery--the slavery of substantially echoing this opinion. any variety of pagan barbarians--was It was not till 1772 that Lord Mans- an easy transition. That the slaves field pronounced, in the ever-memo in the Eastern colonies were few, and rable Somerset case, his judgment mainly confined to the seaports, does that, by the laws of England, no man not disprove this statement. The could be held in Slavery. That judg- harsh climate, the rocky soil, the rugment has never since been disturbed, ged topography of New England, nor seriously questioned.
presented formidable, though not The austere morality and demo- | impassable, barriers to slaveholding. cratic spirit of the Puritans ought to Her narrow patches of arable soil, have kept their skirts clear from the hemmed in between bogs and naked stain of human bondage. But, be- blocks of granite, were poorly adaptneath all their fierce antagonism, ed to cultivation by slaves. The there was a certain kinship between labor of the hands without the brain, the disciples of Calvin and those of of muscle divorced from intelligence, Loyola. Each were ready to suffer would procure but a scanty livelihood and die for God's truth as they under on those bleak hills. He who was stood it, and neither cherished any compelled, for a subsistence, to be, appreciable sympathy or considera- by turns, farmer, mechanic, lumbertion for those they esteemed God's man, navigator, and fisherman, might enemies, in which category the sav- possibly support one slave, but would ages of America and the heathen ne- be utterly ruined by half a dozen. groes of Africa were so unlucky as Slaveholding in the Northern States to be found. The Puritan pioneers was rather coveted as a social disof New England were early involved tinction, a badge of aristocracy and in desperate, life-or-death struggles wealth, than resorted to with any with their Aboriginal neighbors, in idea of profit or pecuniary advanwhom they failed to discover those tage. poetic and fascinating traits which It was different southward of the irradiate them in the novels of Coo- Susquehanna, but especially in South per and the poems of Longfellow. Carolina, where the cultivation of Their experience of Indian ferocity Rice and Indigo on the seaboard had and treachery, acting upon their the early furnished lucrative employment ologic convictions, led them early for a number of slaves far exceeding and readily to the belief that these that of the white population, and savages, and by logical inference all whose Sea Islands afforded peculiar savages, were the children of the facilities for limiting the intercourse devil, to be subjugated, if not extir- of the slaves with each other, and GEORGIA A FREE COLONY.
ness and to the savages. South Car- characterized the British system of olina, a century ago, was as intense- Imprisonment for Debt, he devoted ly, conspicuously aristocratic and himself to their reform, and carried slaveholding as in our own day. through the House an act to this end. But when Slavery had obtained eve- His interest in the fortunes of bankrywhere a foothold, and, in most col- rupt and needy debtors led him to onies, a distinct legal recognition, plan the establishment of a colony without encountering aught deserv- to which they should be invited, and ing the name of serious resistance, it in which they might hope, by inwere absurd to claim for any colony dustry and prudence, to attain indeor section a moral superiority in this pendence. This colony was also inregard over any other.
tended to afford an asylum for the The single and most honorable ex- oppressed Protestants of Germany ception to the general facility with and other portions of the continent. which this giant wrong was adopted He interested many eminent and inand acquiesced in, is presented by fluential personages in his project, the history of Georgia. That colony obtained for it a grant of nearly ten may owe something of her preëmi- thousand pounds sterling from Parnence to her comparatively recent liament, with subscriptions to the foundation; but she is far more in- | amount of sixteen thousand more, debted to the character and efforts of and organized a company for its her illustrious founder. JAMES OGLE- realization, whereof the directors THORPE was born in 1688, or 1689, at were nearly all noblemen and memGodalming, Surry County, Eng- bers of Parliament. Its constitution land; entered the British army in forbade any director to receive any 1710; and, having resigned on the pecuniary advantage therefrom. "Berestoration of peace, was, in 1714, ing himself the animating soul of the commended by the great Marlborough enterprise, he was persuaded to acto his former associate in command, cept the arduous trust of governor the famous Prince Eugene of Savoy, of the colony, for which a royal by whom he was appointed one of his grant had been obtained of the aids. He fought under Eugene in western coast of the Atlantic from his brilliant and successful campaign the mouth of the Savannah to that against the Turks in 1716 and 1717, of the Altamaha, and to which the closing with the siege and capture of name of Georgia was given in honor Belgrade, which ended the war. of the reigning sovereign. The Declining to remain in the Austrian trustees were incorporated in June, service, he returned, in 1722, to Eng- 1732. The pioneer colonists left land, where, on the death of his England in November of that year, elder brother about this time, he in and landed at Charleston in January, herited the family estate; was elected 1733. Proceeding directly to their to Parliament for the borough of territory, they founded the city of Hazelmere, which he represented for Savannah in the course of the enthe ensuing thirty-two years, and, be- suing month. Oglethorpe, as director coming acquainted with the frightful and vice-president of the African abuses and inhumanities which then Company, had previously become