Rollin, Frank [Frances] A.
|CHAPTER XXVII -- A NEWFIELD|
This subject must now be examined in the light of political economy, and, for reasons stated in a previous article, treated tersely in every sentence, and, therefore, will not be condemned by the absence of elaboration and extensive proof
America was discovered in 1492 -- then peopled only by the original inhabitants, or Indians, as afterwards called. No part of the country was found in a state of cultivation, and no industrial enterprise was carried on, either foreign or domestic. Not even in the West Indies -- prolific with spices, gums, dye-woods, and fruits-- was there any trade carried on among or by the natives. These peoples were put to labor by the foreigners; but, owing to their former habits of hunting, fishing, and want of physical exercise, they sank beneath the weight of toil, fast dying off, till their mortality, in time, from this cause alone, reached the fruitful figure of two and a half a millions. (See Ramsay's History.).
The whites were put to labor, and their fate was no better--which require no figures, as all are familiar with the history and career of Thomas Gates and associates at one time; John Smith and associates, as consists in the South, at another; how, not farther than Virginia--at most, North Carolina-- they "died like sheep," to the destruction of the settlements, in attempting to do the work required to improve for civilized life
Neither White, as foreigners, nor Indians, as natives, were adequate to the task of performing the labor necessary to their advent in the New World.
So early as 1502 --but ten years after Columbus landed-- "the Spaniards commenced bringing a few negroes from Africa to work the soil." (See Ramsay's History) In 1515, but thirteen years afterwards, and twenty-three from the discovery of America, Carolus V.King of Spain, granted letters patent to import annually into the colonies of Cuba, Ispaniola (Hayti),Jamaica, Porto Rico, four thousand Africans as slaves-- people contracted with to "emigrate" to these new colonies, as the French, under Louis Napoleon, attempted, in 1858, to decoy native Africans, under the pretext of emigrating to the colonies, into French slavery, then reject international interference, on the ground that they obtained them by "Voluntary emigration.
Such was the success of this new industrial element, that not only did Spaniards and Portuguese employ them in all their American colonies, but so great was the demand for these laborers, that Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of England, became a partner in the slave trade with the infamous Captain Hawkins; and, in 1618, her successor to the throne, and royal relative, James L, King of England, negotiated for the obtained the entire carrying trade, thus securing, by international patent, the exclusive right for British vessels alone to "traffic in blood and souls of men," to reap the profits arising from their importation
Was it the policy of political economists; such as were then the rulers and statesmen of Europe, to employ a people in preference to all others for development of wealth, if such people were not adapted to the labor designed for them? Would the civilized and highly polished, such as were then Spanish, French, and Portuguese nations, together with the English, still have continued the use of these people as laborers and domestics in every social relation among them, if they had not found them a most desirable domestic element? Would, after the lapse of one hundred and sixteen years' rigid trial and experience from their first importation, the King of England have been able--whatever his avarice as an individual-- to have effected so great a diplomatic treaty, as the consent from all the civilized