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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 1:501. at first have been contraband; but a royal edict soon
l 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. xii. 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.
NEGRO SLAVERY IN THE WEST INDIES.
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. l. viii. c. ix. 2 Ibid, d. i. l. ix. c. v. Herrera is explicit. The note of the French translator of Navarette, t. i. p. 203, 204, needs correction. A commerce in negroes, sanctioned by the crown, was surely not contraband.
3 Irving's Columbus, v.iii. p.372. 4 Ibid, v. iii. p. 370, 371.
5 The merits of Las Casas have been largely discussed. The controversy seems now concluded.
Irving's Columbus, v. iii. p. 367— 378. Navarette, Introduccion, s. lviii. lix. The Memoir of Las Casas still exists in manuscript. Herrera, d. ii. l. ii. c. xx. Robertson's America, v. i. b. iii. It may yet gratify curiosity to compare Grégoire, Apologie de B. Las Casas, in Mem. de l'Inst. Nat. An. viii.; and the excellent discourse of Verplanck, in New-York Historical Collections, v. iii. p. 49— 53, and p. 103-105.
CHAP. greedily seized on the expedient; the board of trade är at Seville was consulted, to learn how many slaves
, would be required. It had been proposed to allow
four for each Spanish emigrant; deliberate calcula1517. tion fixed the number, esteemed necessary, at four
thousand. The monopoly of annually importing that number of slaves into the West Indies was eagerly seized by La Bresa, a favorite of the Spanish monarch, and was sold to the Genoese, who purchased their cargoes of Portugal. We shall, at a later period, have occasion to observe a stipulation for this lucrative monopoly, forming an integral part in a treaty of peace, established by a European Congress; and shall witness the sovereign of the most free state in Europe stipulating for a fourth part of the profits of the abominable commerce.? Thus a hasty benevolence, too zealous to be just, attempted to save the natives of America by sanctioning an equal oppression of another race. But covetousness, and not a mistaken benevolence, established the slave trade; which existed and had nearly received its development, before the charity of Las Casas was heard in defence of the Indians. Reason, policy, and religion alike condemned the
1 Herrera, d. ii. 1. ii. c. XX. Curtius, l. vii. c. viï. John Locke,
2 Southey's History of Brazil, who yet seems to have sanctioned v. iii. p. 136. Queen Anne re- slavery in Carolina, gives a simiserved to herself one fourth part lar definition of it. * The perfect of the contract for slaves, and the condition of slavery is the state of king of Spain another fourth. war continued between a lawful The queen of England soon dis- conqueror and a captive.” Composed of her share to the South pare, also, Montesquieu de l'EsSea Company
prit des Lois, l. xv. C. v., on negro 3 Inter dominum et servum mul- slavery. la amicitia est; etiam in pace belli 4 See A.Q. Review, for Dec. 1832, tamen jura servantur. Quintus for the effects of slavery in Virginia.
OPINIONS ON SLAVERY.
traffic. It was never sanctioned by the see of Rome. CHAP. Pope Alexander III.,' in the very darkness of the middle
ages, had written, that, “nature having made no slaves, all men have an equal right to liberty. Even Leo X., though his voluptuous life, making of his pontificate a continued carnival, might have deadened the sentiments of humanity and justice, declared,” that “not the Christian religion only, but nature herself cries out against the state of slavery.” And Paul III., in two separate briefs,imprecated a 1537. curse on the Europeans, who should enslave Indians, or any other class of men. It even became usual for Spanish vessels, when they sailed on a voyage of discovery, to be attended by a priest, whose benevolent duty it was, to prevent the kidnapping of the aborigines. The legislation of independent America has been emphatic in denouncing the hasty avarice, which entailed the anomaly of negro slavery in the midst of liberty. Ximenes, the gifted coadjutor of Ferdinand and Isabella, the stern grand inquisitor, the austere but ambitious Franciscan, saw in advance the danger, which it required centuries
1 See his letter to Lupus, king tion. The first is probable; yet of Valencia, in Historice Anglica- Herrera, d. ii. I. ii. c. xx., denounnæ Scriptores, in folio; Londini, ces not slavery, but the monopoly 1652; t. i. p. 580. Cum autem om- of the slave trade. nes liberos natura creasset, nul- 3 See the Brief, in Remesal, lus conditione naturæ fuit subdi- Hist. de Chiappa, 1. iii. c. xvi. and tus servituti.
xvii. 2 Grahame's United States, v. ii. 4 T. Southey's West Indies, v. p. 18; Clarkson's History of the i. p. 126. Abolition of the Slave Trade, v. i. 5 Walsh's Appeal, octavo, Philp. 35, American edition. Clark- adelphia, 1819, p. 306–342; Bel
v.i. p. 33, 34, says that Charles knap's letter to Tucker, i. Mass. V. lived to repent his permission Historical Collections, v. iv. p. 190 of slavery and to order emancipa- —211. VOL. I.
CHAP. to reveal, and refused to sanction the introduction
of negroes into Hispaniola; believing that the favorable climate would increase their numbers, and infallibly lead them to a successful revolt. A severe retribution has clearly manifested his sagacity; Hayti, the first spot in America that received African slaves, was the first to set the example of African liberty.
The odious distinction of having first interested England in the slave trade, belongs to Sir John Hawkins. He had fraudulently transported a large cargo of Africans to Hispaniola; the rich returns of sugar,
ginger and pearls, attracted the notice of Queen 1567. Elizabeth ; and when a new expedition was prepared,
she was induced, not only to protect, but to share the traffic. In the accounts, which Hawkins himself gives of one of his expeditions, he relates, that he set fire to a city, of which the huts were covered with dry palm leaves, and, out of eight thousand inhabitants, succeeded in seizing two hundred and fifty. The deliberate and even self-approving frankness, with which this act of atrocity is related, and the lustre which the fame of Hawkins acquired, display in the strongest terms the depravity of public sentiment in the age of Elizabeth. The leader in these expeditions was not merely a man of courage; in all other emergencies he knew how to pity the unfortunate, even when they were not his countrymen, and
1 Irving's Columbus, v. iii. p. Keith's Virginia, p. 31; Ander374, 375.
son's History of Commerce. 2 Compare Hakluyt, v. ii. p. 3 Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 618, 619. 351, 352, with v. iii. p. 594. Hew- Compare Mackintosh's England, itt's Carolina, v. i. p. 20—26; v. iij. p. 178, American edition.