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[170] colonies? And would the purchaser be scrupulously
Chap. V.}
inquisitive of the birthplace and instruction of his laborers? Besides, the culture of sugar was now successfully begun; and the system of slavery, already riveted, was not long restrained by the scruples of men in power. King Ferdinand himself sent from Seville
fifty slave1 to 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,2 and de-
liberately sanctioned by repeated decrees.3 Was it
not natural that Charles V., a youthful monarch, surrounded by rapacious courtiers, should have readily granted licenses to the Flemings to transport Negroes
to 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 robust4 health under the sun of Hispaniola, returning from America to plead
the cause of the feeble Indians, in the same year which saw the dawn of the Reformation in Germany, suggested the expedient,5 that negroes might still further be employed to perform the severe toils which they alone could endure. The avarice of the Flemings greedily seized on the expedient; the board of trade

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, i .203, 204, needs correction. A commerce in negroes, sanctioned by the crown, was surely not contraband.

3 Irving's Columbus, III. 372.

4 Ibid. III. 370, 371.

5 The merits of Las Casas have been largely discussed. The controversy seems now concluded. Irving's Columbus, III. 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, b. III. It may yet gratify curiosity to compare Gregoire, Apologie de B. Las Casas, in Mem. de l'inst. Nat. An VIII.; and Verplanck, in N. Y. Hist. Coll. III. 49—53, and 103—105

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