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WHILE Virginia, by the concession of a represen- CHAP. tative government, was constituted the asylum of liberty, by one of the strange contradictions in human affairs, it became the abode of hereditary) bondsmen. The unjust, wasteful and unhappy system was fastened upon the rising institutions of America, not by the consent of the corporation, nor the desires of the emigrants; but, as it was introduced by the mercantile avarice of a foreign nation, so it was subsequently riveted by the policy of England, without regard to the interests or the wishes of the colony.

The traffic of Europeans in negro slaves was fully established before the colonization of the United States, and had existed a half century before the discovery of America. In the middle ages the Venetians,' in their commercial intercourse with the ports of unbelieving nations, purchased Christians and infidels in every market, where they were exposed; and sold them again to the Arabs in Sicily and Spain.

1 Heeren on the Crusades, in Historische Werke, v. ii. p. 260. Heeren cites C. A. Marin, Storia civile e politica del commerzio



de' Veneziani; Venezia, 1789, 8
vols.; v. i. p. 206, and v. ii. p. 55.
I have never met with the work
of Marin.

CHAP. The commerce was denounced by the see of Rome;1


but avarice triumphed, and the prohibition became limited to the sale of Christians into bondage among the infidels. Christian avarice continued to supply the slave market of the Saracens. In England, the Anglo-Saxon nobility sold their servants as slaves to foreigners; and so tempting was the gain, that the terrors of religion were required to restrain the com1102. merce. Even after the conquest, slaves were exported from England to Ireland, till the reign of Henry II., when the Irish, in a national synod, to remove a pretext for an invasion, decreed the emancipation of all English slaves within the island.5 1415. It was not long after the first conquests of the Portuguese in Barbary, that their maritime enter


prize conducted their navy to the ports of Western 1441. Africa; and the first ships, which sailed so far south as Cape Blanco, returned, not with negroes, but with Moors. The subjects of this importation were treated, not as laborers, but rather as strangers, from whom information respecting their native country was to be derived; Antony Gonzalez, who had 1443. brought them to Portugal, was commanded to restore

1 Heeren on the Crusades.
2 Hallam, in Middle ages, c. ix.
part i. near the end, cites a law of
Carloman, ut mancipia Christia-
na paganis non vendantur.

3 Concilium Londinense, ex-
tracted from William of Malmes-
bury and Eadmer, in Wilkins'
Concilia magnæ Britanniæ, &c.
folio, v. i. p. 383. Ne quis illud
nefarium negotium, quo hactenus
homines in Anglia solebant velut
bruta animalia venundari, dein-
ceps ullatenus facere præsumat.

4 Giraldus Cambrensis, in Wilkins, v. i. p. 471. Anglorum namque populus, adhuc integro eorum regno, communis gentis vitio, liberos suos venales exponere, et, priusquam inopiam ullam aut inediam sustinerent, filios proprios et cognatos in Hiberniam vendere consueverant. Decretum est igitur, ut Angli ubique per insulam, servitutis vinculo mancipati, in pristinam revocentur libertatem.

5 Compare Lyttleton's History of the Life of Henry II., v. iii. p.70.




them to their ancient homes. He did so, and the CHAP. Moors gave him as their ransom, not gold only, but “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.1 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, 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 World, in Hakluyt, v. iv. p. 413. 2 Navarette, Colleccion. Introduccion, s. xix.

3 MS. History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic, of Spain. See above, p. 7, note 1.

4 Zuñiga, Annales de Sevilla, pp. 373, 374. The passage is a very remarkable one. "Avia años que desde los Puertos de Andaluzia se

frequentava navegacion à los cos-
tas de Africa, y Guinea, de donde
se traian esclavos, de que ya abun-
dava esta ciudad, &c. &c. p. 373.
Eran en Sevilla los negros trata-
dos con gran benignidad, desde el
tiempo de el Rey Don Henrique
Tercero, &c. &c. p. 374. I owe
the opportunity of consulting Zu-
ñiga to W. H. Prescott, of Boston.

Irving's Columbus, v. ii. p. 351,
352; Herrera, d. i. l. iv. c. xii.

CHAP. ported into Spain. Cargoes of the natives of the V. 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 had 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'Anghiera, d. vii. c. i. and ii. in Hakluyt, v. v. p. 404, 405. 407. In citing, perhaps for the last time, the venerable historian of the Affairs of the Ocean, I have given him his whole name. He is called d'Anghiera, not because he was born there; for his native town was Arona, where he first saw the light in 1455; but because it was the name of his family, derived from the place of its origin. There

is, then, a slight inaccuracy in a note of Irving, Life of Columbus, Appendix, No. 27, v. iii. p. 367, of first American edition. The error may be corrected from Tiraboschi, Storia della Letterat. Ital. t. vii. p. 1011, or Navarette, Introduccion, s. xlv., and the note of de la Roquette, in the French translation of Navarette, t. i. p. 161.

2 Irving's Columbus, b. viii. c. v. v. ii. p. 84-86. First Am. edition.




generous Isabella commanded the liberation of the CHAP. Indians held in bondage in her European possessions.1 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 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.3

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 tribes 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


1 For the cédula, liberating the Indians, sold into bondage, por mandado de nuestro Almirante de las Indias, see Navarette, Colleccion, v. ii. p. 246, 247.

2 Esclavos, é negros, é loros que en estos nuestros reinos sean hab

idos é reputados por esclavos, &c. Navarette, v. ii. p. 245, and again, v. ii. p. 249.

3 See a cédula on a slave contract, in Navarette, v. iii. p. 514, 515, given June 20, 1501.

4 Winthrop's N. England, Appendix, v. ii. p. 360.

5 Ibid, v. i. p. 234.

6 Belknap's Hist. of N. Hampshire, v. i. p. 75, Farmer's edition. 7 Baylies' Memoir of Plymouth, part iii. p. 190.

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