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[167] Seville imported gold dust and slaves from the western
Chap V.}
coast of Africa;1 and negro slavery, though the severity of bondage was mitigated in its character by benevolent legislation,2 was established in Andalusia, and ‘abounded in the city of Seville,’ before the enterprise of Columbus was conceived.3

The maritime adventurers of those days, joining the principles of bigots with the bold designs of pirates and heroes, esteemed the wealth of the countries which they might discover as their rightful plunder, and the inhabitants, if Christians, as their subjects, if infidels, as their slaves. Even Indians of Hispaniola were imported 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.4 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 time, 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

1 Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella.

2 Zuuiga, Annales de Sevilla, 373, 374. The passage is very remarkable. ‘Avia años que desde los Puertos de Andaluzia se frequentava navegacion à los costas de Africa, y Guinea, de donde se traian esclavos, de que ya abundava esta ciudad, &c. &c., 373. Eranen Sevilla los negros tratados con gran benignidad, desde el tiempo de el Rey Don Henrique Tercero,’ &c. &c., 374. I owe the opportunity of consulting Zuñiga to W. H. Prescott, of Boston.

3 Irving's Columbus, II. 351, 352. Herrera, d. i. l. IV. c. XII.

4 Compare Peter Martyr d'anghiera, d. VII. c. i. and II. in Hakluyt, v. 404, 405. 407.

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