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CHAPTER V.

SLAVERY. DISSOLUTION OF THE LONDON COMPANY.

While Virginia, by the concession of a represen- CHAP. tative government, was constituted the asylum of a 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 de' Veneziani; Venezia, 1789, 8 Historische Werke, v. ii. p. 260. vols.; v. i. p. 206, and v. ii. p. 55. Heeren cites C. A. Marin, Storia I have never met with the work civile e politica del commerzio of Marin. VOL. I.

23

V.

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

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 ex

ported 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

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

1415.

1 Heeren on the Crusades. 4 Giraldus Cambrensis, in Wil

2 Hallam, in Middle ages, c. ix. kins, v. i. p. 471. Anglorum nampart i. near the end, cites a law of que populus, adhuc integro eorum Carloman, ut mancipia Christia- regno, communis gentis vitio, lina paganis non vendantur. beros suos venales exponere, et,

3 Concilium Londinense, ex- priusquam inopiam ullam aut intracted from William of Malmes- ediam sustinerent, filios proprios bury and Eadmer, in Wilkins' et cognatos in Hiberniam vendere Concilia magnæ Britanniæ, &c. consueverant.

Decretum est igifolio, v. i. p. 383. Ne quis illud tur, ut Angli ubique per insulam, nefarium negotium, quo hactenus servitutis vinculo mancipati, in homines in Anglia solebant velut pristinam revocentur libertatem. bruta animalia venundari, dein- 5 Compare Lyttleton's History ceps ullatenus facere præsumat. of the Life of Heary II., v. iii. p.70.

ORIGIN OF NEGRO SLAVERY IN EUROPE.

179

V.

2

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, 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

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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 niga to W. H. Prescott, of Boston. remarkable one. “Avia años que Irving's Columbus, v. ii. p. 351, desde los Puertos de Andaluzia se 352; Herrera, d. i. l. iv. c. xii.

5

V.

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 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 val-
ley, 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 Eu-
rope 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

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, Life of Colum-
luyt, v. v. p. 404, 405. 407. In bus, Appendix, No. 27, v. iji. p.
citing, perhaps for the last time, 367, of first American edition.
the venerable historian of the Af- The 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 Irving's Columbus, b. viii. c. v.
from the place of its origin. There v. ii. p. 84-86. First Am. edition.

2

EUROPEANS ENSLAVE NATIVE AMERICANS.

181

V.

5. and

5.

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.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 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

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.

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. ij. p. 245, and again,

7 Baylies' Memoir of Plymouth, v. ii. p. 249.

part iii. p. 190.

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