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[27] indelibly soiled and stained by his undeniable and conspicuous implication in the enslavement of the Aborigines of this continent, so improperly termed Indians. Within two years after his great discovery, before he had set foot on the continent, he was concerned in seizing some scores of natives, carrying them to Spain, and selling them there as slaves.1 His example was extensively followed. The fierce lust for gold, which inflamed the early adventurers on his track, incited the most reckless, shameless disregard of the rights and happiness of a harmless and guileless people, whose very helplessness should have been their defense.2 Forced to hunt incessantly for gold, and to minister in every way to the imperious appetites of their stranger tyrants, they found in speedy death their only relief from intolerable suffering. In a few years, but a miserable remnant remained. And now the western coast of Africa was thrown open to replace them by a race more indurated to hardship, toil, and suffering.3 Religion was speciously invoked to cover this new atrocity with her broad mantle, under the plea of relieving the Indians from a servitude, which they had already escaped through the gate of death. But, though the Papacy was earnestly importuned to lend its sanction to this device, and though its compliance has been stoutly asserted, and was long widely believed, the charge rests upon no evidence, is squarely denied, and has been silently abandoned. For once, at least, avarice and cruelty have been unable to gain a sacerdotal sanction, and compelled to fall back in good order upon Canaan and Ham.4 But, even without benefit of clergy, Negro Slavery, once introduced, rapidly, though thinly, overspread the whole vast area of Spanish and Portuguese America, with Dutch and French Guiana and the West India Islands; and the African slave-trade was, for two or three centuries, the most lucrative, though most abhorrent, traffic pursued by or known to mankind.5 It was the subject of

1Columbus himself did not escape the stain. Enslaving five hundred native Americans, he sent them to Spain, that they might be publicly sold at Seville.” --Ibid.

2 “ In 1500, the generous Isabella commanded the liberation of the Indians held in bondage in her European possessions. Yet her native benevolence extended not to the Moors, whose valor had been punished by slavery, nor to the Africans; and even her compassion for the New World was but a transient feeling, which relieves the miserable who are in sight, not the deliberation of a just principle.” --Bancroft's Hist. U. S., vol. i., p. 128.

3 “It was not Las Casas who first suggested the plan of transporting African slaves to Hispaniola; Spanish slaveholders, as they emigrated, were accompanied by their negroes.” --Ibid.

4 “ Even the voluptuous Leo X. 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 curse on the Europeans who would enslave Indians, or any other class of men.” --Ibid., p. 172.

5 Upon the suggestion of Las Casas in favor of negroes for American slaves, in contradiction to the Indians, negroes began to be poured into the West Indies.

“It had been proposed to allow four for each emigrant. Deliberate calculation fixed the number esteemed necessary at four thousand. That very year in which Charles V. sailed with a powerful expedition against Tunis, to attack the pirates of the Barbary States, and to emancipate Christian slaves in Africa, he gave an open, legal sanction to the African slave-trade.” --Ibid., p. 170.

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