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Goviuuar, 191S, it ' B. AFFUTON AND COMPANY




Printed in the UnitciJ Stetes of America




For twenty years I have panned the sands of the stream of Southern life and garnered their golden treasure. Many of the nuggets rewarding the search have already been displayed in their natural form ; ^ and this now is a coinage of the grains great and smalL The metal is pure, the minting alone may be faulty. The die is the author's mind, which has been shaped as well by a varied Northern environment in manhood as by a Southern one in youth. In the making of coins and of histories, however, locality is of kss moment than are native sagacity, technical training and a sense of truth and proportion. For these no warrant will hold. The product must stand or fall by its own quality.

The wide ramifications of nefp-o slavery are sjj^etched in these pages, but the central concern is with its rise, nature and influence in the rgrfo^y of itn mt^ri>ti»rati#yi In these the plantatiflD f^*"^ prevailed. The characteristic American slave, indeed, was not only a, negro, but a plantation workman ; and for the present pur- pose a knowledge of the plans and requirements of plantation industry is no less vital than an understanding of human nature. While the latter is of course taken for granted, the former has been elaborated as a principal theme. Slaves were both persons and pcQBcrty» s^d as c}iattgls they were ioXfisUOfints. This phase has invited analysis at some length in the two chapters following those on the plantation regime.

Ante-bellum conditions were sharply different in some respects from those of colonial times, largely because of legislation enacted in the last quarter of the eighteenth century and the first decade of the nineteenth. For this reason the politics of that period of sharp transition are given attention herein. Otherwise the words and deeds of public men have been mostly left aside. Polemic writings also have been little used, for their fuel went so much to

>U1ridi B. Phillips, ed., PlamiaUan and FronHer Documents, printed also ■8 vols. I and 11 of the Docmmeniary HiHery of American Industrial Society (devdaad, Ohio, 1909)1 and cited in the present irork as Plantation and


heat that their light upon the living conditions is faint. Reminis- cences are likewise disregarded, for the reason that the lapse of decades has impaired inevitably the memories of men. The con- temporary records of slaves, masters and witnesses may leave gaps and have their shortcomings, but the asseverations of politi- cians, pamphleteers, and aged survivors are generally tmsafe even in supplement

On the other hand, the tone of social elements in the Black Belt of the present is something of a gauge of the temper of genera- I tions past. My sojourn in a National Army Camp in the South / while this book has been going through the press has reenforced W my earlier ccmviction that Southern racial asperities are mainly ,' ' superficial, and that the two great elements are fundamentally in ' accord. That the harmonv is not a new thing is evinced by the very tone of the camp. The men of the two races are of course quartered separately; but it is a daily occurrence for white Georgian troops to go to the negro companies to seek out their ac- customed f riet^s and compare home news and experiences. The negroes themselves show the same easy-going, amiable, serio- comic obedience and the same personal attachments to white men, as well as the same sturdy light-heartedness and the same love of laughter and of rhythm, which distinguished their forbears. The non-commissioned officers among them show a punctilious pride of place which matches that of the plantation foremen of old ; and the v^hite officers who succeed best in the command of these companies reflect the planter's admixture of tact with firmness of control, the planter's patience of instruction, and his crisp though cordial reciprocation ot sentiment. The negroes are not en- slaved but drafted ; they dwell not in cabins but in barracks ; they shoulder the rifle, not the hoe ; but the visitor to their company streets in evening hours enters nevertheless a plantation atmos- phere. A hilarious party dashes in pursuit of a fugitive, and gives him lashes with a belt "moderately laid on." When ques- tioned, the explanation is given that the victim is "a awnrooly nigger" whose ways must be mended. In the quiet which follows, a throng fills the quarter with an old-time unmartial refrain :

I ain' go' study war no mo',

I ain' go' study war no mo',

Study war no mo' I


As the music pauses there comes through a nearby window the mention of two bits as a wager, and an earnest adjuration of "sebben or lebben." The drill which they do by day with splen- did snap is wonderfully out of their minds by night. The grim realities of war, though a constant theme in the inculcation of discipline, is as remote in the thought of these men as is the planet Mars. Yet each of their lieutenants is justly confident that his platoon will follow whithersoever he may lead. It may be that the change of African nature by plantation slavery has been ex- aggerated. At any rate ^ g^eratinn nf f repHom ha*; wrought less

transformation in the bulk of tl^<> l>1ar1cR than might ragiia^|y b?


Some of the many debts incurred in the prosecution of re- searches leading to this book have been acknowledged in my pre-* vious publications, and others are indicated in the footnotes here- in. It remains to say that in stimulus and criticism, as well as in the revision of proofs while exigent camp duties have engrossed my main attention, my wife has given great and unflagging aid.

U. B. P.

Army Y.M.C.A.,

Camp Gordon, Ga«




^ I. The Early Exploitation op Guinea . i

^11. iThs Masitims Slaite Trade 20

III. The Sugar Islands 46

" IV. The Tobacco Colonies ty

^-V. The Rice Coast 85

^-VL The Northern Colonies 98.

""^VII. Revolution and Reaction 115 -

>iVIIL The Closing op the African Slave Trade . . 132

*IX. The Introduction of Cotton and Sugar . . .-^^so*'-.

- X. The Westward Movement 169 •-•^

^^XI. The Domestic Slave Trade 187^

XII. The Cotton Regime 205 --^

XIII. Types op Large Plantations 228^

XIV. Plantation Management ..'.... 261 ^'^ XV. Plantation Labor 291 4c t

XVI. Plantation Life 30914

XVII. Plantation Tendencies . . -. . . 33^ ^

XVIII. VCconomic Views of Slavery: a Survey of the

Literature 344 fj*^

XIX. t^usiNESS Aspects op Slavery 359 ^*

XX. Town Slaves . 402^

XXI. Free Negroes 425 ^^

XXII. Slave Crime 454 Vj

XXIII. The Force of the Law 489 »>"

Index 515

.- V











THE So^HEuese b^;an exploring the west coast of Africa shortly before Christopher Columbus was bom; and no sooner did they encounter n^^roes than they began to seize and carry them in captivity to Lisbon. The court chron- icler Azurara set himself in 1452, at the command of Prince Henry, to record the valiant exploits of the negro-catchers. Re- flecting the spirit of the time, he praised them as crusaders bring-'^ ing savage heathen for conversion to civilization and christian- _jty. Me gently lamented the massacre and sufferings involved, but thought them infinitely outweighed by the salvation of souls. This cheerful spirit of scdace was destined long to prevail among white peoples when contemplating the hardships of the colored races. But Azurara was more than a moralizing an- nalist. He acutely observed of the first cargo of captives brought from southward of the Sahara, less than a decade before his writing, that after coming to Portugal "they never more tried to fly, but rather in time forgot all about their own country," that "they were very loyal and obedient servants, without malice"; ami UmI ''SfTer they b^^an to use clothing they were for the most part very fond of display, so that they took great delight in robes of showy colors, and such was their love of finery that they picked up the rags that fell from the coats of other people of the country and sewed them on their own garments, taking g^eat pleasure in these, as though it were matter of some greater perfection.*'^ These few broad strokes would portray with

^ Gomez Eaimes de Azurara, Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Gmnea, translated by C. R. Beazley and E. P. Prestage, in the Hakluyt So- ciety Publications, XCV, 65.



.•• ••

equally happy precision a ipyxi^ other black servants bom cen- turies after the writer^i^ "death and dwelling in a continent of whose existence* he* Yievtf dreamed. Azurara wrote further that while some Jt)£^ wte'captives were not able to endure the change and d)e(f*liapptfy as Christians, the others, dispersed among Por- tugHesciTlouseholds, so mgratiated themselves that many were .^*«free and some were marrif f^ tn men anH wQP^" of the land

•. •..'

and acquired^comfortable estates. This may have been an ear- *• * nest of future conditions in Brazil and the Spanish Indies ; but in the British sft^klHf"^*^ H f^H out far otherwise.

As HTc"5fteenth century wore on and fleets explored more of the African coast with the double purpose of finding a passage to India and exploiting any incidental opportunities for gain, more and more human cargoes were brought from Guinea to Portugal and Spain. But as the novelty of the blacks worc^off they were hflH in amallpr <>st<>#>m and treated with less liberality. Gangs of them were set to work in fields from which the Moorish occupants had recently been expelled. The labor demand was not great, however, and when early in the sixteenth century *^ West Indian settlers wanted negroes for their sugar fields, Spain willingly parted with some of hers. Thus did EufopeJbyegip

the rnflgninn ni AfnVan asQigfanre tn »li#> rn*iq||f«^t; ^f ffi^ l^.TTTr-

ican_w|ldfirxie3s. J ^' "guinea comprises an expanse about a thousand miles wide V^ lying behind three undulating stretches of coast, the first reach- ing from Cape Verde southeastward nine hundred miles to Cape Palmas in four degrees north latitude, the second running thence almost parallel to the equator a thousand miles to Old Calabar at the head of "the terrible bight of Biafra," the third turning abruptly south and extending some fourteen himdred miles to a short distance below Benguela where the southern desert begins. The country is commonly divided into Upper Guinea or the Sudan, lying north and west of the great angle of the coast, and Lower Guinea, the land of the Bantu, to the south- ward. Separate zones may also be distinguished as having dif- ferent systems of economy: in the jungle belt along the equator bananas are the staple diet; in the belts bordering this on the


oordi and south tiie growing of millet and manioc respectively,

in small clearings, are the characteristic industries; while beyond

die edges of the continental forest cattle contribute much of the

food suppfy. The banana, millet and manioc zones, and espe-

oally their swampy coastal plains, were of course the chief

9oarces of slaves for the transatlantic trade.

Of all r^ohs of extensive habitation equatorial Africa is the worst The climate is not only monotonously hot, but for the greater part of each year is excessively moist. Periodic rains Img deluge and periodic tornadoes play havoc. The dry sea- ma give partial relief, but they bring occasional blasts from the desert so dry and burning that all nature droops and is grateful ^ the return of the rains. The general dank heat stimulates ^^egetable growth in every scale from mildew to mahogany trees, >od multiplies the members of the animal kingdom, be they OKMquitoes, elephants or boa constrictors. There would be abun- dant food but for the superabundant creatures that struggle for it and prey upon one another. For mankind life is at once easy *nd hard. Food of a sort may often be had for the plucking, and SH0Qtj&JQficdl£S3 ; but aside from the menace of the elements li^"!^ life is endangered by beasts and reptiles in the forest, Cf^^codiles and hippopotami in the rivers, and sharks in the sea, ^ existence is made a burden to all but the happy-hearted by I^^es of insects and parasites. In many districts tse-tse flies terminate the cattle and spread the fatal sleeping-sickness *®oog men ; everywhere swarms of locusts occasionally destroy the crops ; white ants eat timbers and any other useful thing, ^rt of metal, which may come in their way ; giant cockroaches and dwarf brown ants and other pests in great variety swarm in ^ dwellings continuously— except just after a village has been raided by the great black ants which are appropriately known as "<lrivers.'* These drivers march in solid columns miles on miles until, when they reach food resources to their fancy, they deploy for action and take things with a rush. To stay among them is to die; but no human being stays. A cry of "Drivers 1" will de- populate a village instantly, and a missionary who at one moment ^ been combing brown ants from his hair will in the next find





himself standing safely in the creek or the water barrel, to stay until the drivers have taken their leave. Among less spectacular things, mosquitoes fly in crowds and leave fevers in their wake, gnats and flies are always on hand, chigoes bore and breed under toe-nails, hook-worms hang themselves to the walls of the in- testines, and other threadlike worms enter the eyeballs and the flesh of the body. Endurance through generations has given the people large immunity from the effects of hook-worm and malaria, but not from the indigenous diseases, kraw-kraw, yaws and elephantiasis, nor of course from dysentery and smallpox ^ which the Europeans introduced. [Vet robust health is fairly com- mon, and where health prevails there is generally happiness, for the negroes have that within their nature. They could not thrive . in Guinea without their temperament 7

It is probable that no people eVeroecame resident on or near the west coast except under compulsion. From the more favored easterly regions successive hordes have been driven after defeat in war. The Fangs on the Ogowe are an exanq>le in the recent past. Thus the inhabitants of Guinea, and of the coast lands especially, have survived by retreating and adapting themselves to conditions in which no others wished to dwell. The requirements of adaptation were peculiar. To live where nature supplies Turk- ish baths without the asking necessitates relaxation. I But since tmdue physical indolence would unfit people for resistance to parasites and hostile neighbors, the languid would perish, j^ t/laxation of miqd. however, brought no penalties. The climate in fact not only discourages but prohibits mental effort of severe (or sustained character, and the negroes have submitted to that '; prohibition as to many others, through countless generations, with i excellent g^ace. So accustomed were they to interdicts of nature ! that they added many of their own through conventional taboo, some of them intended to prevent the eating of supposedly in- jurious food, others calculated to keep the commpnalty from in- fringing upon the preserves of the dignitaries.*

*A convenient sketch of the primitive African regime is J. A. Tilling- hast's The Negro in Africa and America, part I. A fuller survey is Jerome Dowd's The Negro Races, which contains a bibliography of the sources. Among the writings of travelers and sojourners particularly.


/No peq>le is without its philosophy and religion. To the Af ri- / cans the forces of nature were often injurious and always im- I pressive. To invest them with spirits disposed to do evil but capable of being placated was perhaps an obvious recourse ; and tfiis investiture grew into an elaborate system of superstition. Not only did the wind and the rain have their gods but each river and precipice, and each tribe and family and person, a tntdaiy spirit These might be kept benevolent by appropriate t^ ftlMh ceremonies ; they might be used for evil by persons having '^^'^ serially great powers over them. The proper course for com- monplace persons at ordinary times was to follow routine fetish observances ; but when beset by witch-work the only escape lay in ^ services of witch-doctors or priests. Sacrifices were called for, and on the greatest occasions nothing short of human sac- rifice was acceptable^y

As to diet, vegetable food was generally abundant, but the i>cgroes were not willingly complete vegetarians. In the jungle gsnie animals were scarce, and everywhere the men were ill ^9191^ for hunting. In lieu of better they were often fain to satisfy theiV craving for flesh by eating locusts and larvae, as bribes in the interior still do. In such conditions cannibalism ^"^ fairly common. Especially prized was an enemy slain in "^f) for not only would his body feed the hungry but fetish taogbt that his bravery would pass to those who shared the feast. t

In African economy nearly all routine work, including agri- ^ture, was classed as domestic service and assigned to the ^'^^Jcn for performance. The wife, hogghtjvjt^ a prirp ^{ the I ""^ of marriage, was virtually a slave ; her husband her mas- : ^^'^fnm mil ^yimiim mifht krrp hfr-hn-rhnnrl and children in ; nut moderate comfort. Two or more could perform the family j ^^ much better. Thus a man who could pay the customary pnce would be inclined to add a second wife, whom the first

^"^^^ are Mary Kingsle/s Travels in West Africa as a vivid picture of ft -Sy ^*» *nd her West African Studies for its elaborate and convincing I llJpiSMon of fetish, and the works of Sir A. B. Ellis on the Tshi-, Ewe- ^ j^^omba-speaking peoples for their analyses of institutions along the

**W Coast.

-, /-*



would probably welcome as a lightener of her burdens. Polyg- I . amy prevailed almost everywhere.

,.jf Slavery, too^^acas generally prevalent excent amnn<y the few [/I tribes who gained their chief sustenance from hunting. Along } with polygamy, it perhaps originated^ if it ever had a distinct beginning, from the desire to lighten and improve the domestic service." Persons became slaves through capture, debt or mal- feasance, or through the inheritance of the status. While the ownership was absolute in the eyes of the law and captives were often treated with g^eat cruelty, slaves bom in the locality were generally regarded as members of their owner's family and were shown much consideration. In the millet zone where there was much work to be done the slaveholdings were in many cases very large and the control relatively stringent; but in the banana dis- |tricts an easy-going schedule prevailed for all. One of the f I chief hardships of the slaves was the liability of being put to J death at their master's funeral in order that their spirits might i continue in his service. ^In such case it was customary on the Gold Coast to give the victim notice of his approaching death by suddenly thrusting a knife through each cheek with the blades crossing in his mouth so that he might not curse his master be- \ fore he died. With his hands tied behind him he would then be led to the ceremonial slaughter. The Africans were in general eager trafler§ I'p ^laves as well as other goods, even before the g time when the transatlantic trade, by giving excessive stimulus to raiding and trading, transformed the native economy and de- ranged the social order. J I Apart from a few great towns such as Coomassee and Benin, ! life in Guinea was wholly on a village basis, each community I dwelling in its own clearing and having very slight intercourse i with its neighbors. Politically each village was governed by its chief and its elders, oftentimes in complete independence. In occasional instances, however, considerable states of loose or- ganization were under the rule of central authorities. Such

' Slavery among the Africans and other primitive peoples has been elab- orately discussed by H. J. Nieboer, Slavery as an Industrial System: Ethnological Researches (The Hague, 1900).


states were likely to be the creation of invaders from the east- ward, the Dahomans ^nd Ashantees for example ; but the king- | dam of Benin appears to have arisen indigenously. In many cases _ _. the subordination of conquered villages merely resulted in theii' pa^ annual tribute. As to language, Lower Guinea spoke / unltiladinous dialects of the one Bantu tongue, but in Upper I Gnima there were many dialects of many separate languages. I

Land was so abundant and so little used industrially that as a ndc it was not owned in severalty; and even the villages and tribe) had little occasion to mark the limits of their domains. ^ For travel by land there were nothing but narrow, rough and tortuous foot-paths, with makeshift bridges across the smaller ■trams. The rivers were highly advantageous both as avenues and as sources of food, for the negroes were expert at canoeing and fishing.

Intertribal wars were occasional, but a crude comity lessened \\ tlu frequency. Thus if a man of one village murdered one of \j """•ier, the aggrieved village if too weak to procure direct re- ': dna might save its face by killing someone in a third village, [ i^Kmqxm the third must by intertribal convention make com- I , >W aose with the second at once, or else coerce a fourth into ^ punitive alliance by applying the same sort of persuasion that .' >t hid just felt These later killings in the series were not re- Pfded as murders but as diplomatic overtures. The system hard upon those who were sacrificed in its operation, but ■i fctjH a check upon outlawry.

A skin stretched over the section of a hollow tree, and usually Mconslructed as to have two tones, made an instrument of ex- lifwdinary use in communication as well as in music. By a kwig anticipating the Morse code the Africans employed graph drum" in sending messages from village to village distances and with great speed. Differences of speech bar, for the torn torn code was interlingual. The official could explain hy the high and low alternations of his a lieed ol iKilence just done was not a crime but a r^ fa; wfi- -'"ig of * league. Every week for three toms doubtless carried the news through-



out Ashantee land that Kin^ Quamina's funeral had just been repeated and two hundred more slaves slain to do him honor In 1806 they perhaps reported the ending of Mungo Park's trav^ els by his death on the Niger at the hands of the Boussa people Again and again drummers hired as trading auxiliaries woulc send word along the coast and into the country that white men's vessels lying at Lagos, Bonny. Loango or Benguela as the caa* might be were paying the best rates in calico, rum or Yankee notions for all slaves that might be brought.

In music the monotony of the torn tom's tone spurred th« drummers to elaborate variations in rhythm. The stroke of tha skilled performer could make it mourn a funeral dirge, voice tha nuptial joy, throb the pageant's march, and roar the ambust alarm. Vocal music might be punctuated by tom toms and prim- itive wind or stringed instruments, or might swell in solo o> chorus without accompaniment. Singing, however, appears nol so characteristic of Africans at home as of the negroes ic America. On the other hand garrulous conversation, interspersed with boisterous laughter, lasted well-nigh the livelong day. Dai^ life, indeed, was far from dull, for small things were esteemed great, and every episode was entertaintt^. It can hardly be main- tained that sav^e life is idyllic. Yet the question remains, and may long remain, whether the manner in which the negroes were brought into touch with civilization resulted in the greater bless- / ing or the greater curse. That manner was determined in part al j"^ J least by the nature of the typical negroes themselves. Impulsive > v| and inconstant, sociable and amorous, voluble, dilatory, and negit' y I gent, but robust, amiable, obedient and contented, they have been jV J the world's premium slaves. Prehistoric Pharaohs, mediaeval Pashas and the grandees of Elizabethan England esteemed thens V" as such; and so great a connoisseur in household service as the

Cxar AlgWBVJtoff S^ded to his palace corps in 1810 two free ne- D American merchant ship and the other r Adams, the American minis- s to St Petersburg.*

«d, III, 471. 47* <New Yorfci



The imglils^ ^nr fhp j^nslaY^^ment of negroes hy pftiAr p^r^plAo /

^mefrom the Arabs whfi ^pp*-^*'^ ""«- "'^■t' Ai«;«>ii ;r^ the

^5i centmy, conquering and converting as they went, and stmndating the trade across the Sahara until it attained large di- mouons. The northbound caravans carried the peculiar variety of pepper called ^'grains of paradise'^ from the region later known IS Liberia, gold from the Dahomey district, palm oil from the lower Niger, and ivory and slaves from far and wide. A small Vaotity of these various goods was distributed in southern Eu- rope and the Levant. And in the same general period Arab dhows began to take slave cargoes from the east coast of Africa as far noA as Mozambique, for distribution in Arabia, Persia and vtstero India. On these northern and eastern flanks of Guinea | where the Mohammedans operated and where the most vigorous of tile African peoples dwelt, the natives lent ready assistance in Grtdiing and buying slaves in the interior and driving them in codles to within reach of the Moorish and Arab traders. Their activities, reaching at length the very center of the continent, con- steed without doubt the most cruel of all branches of the slave- ^ndt The routes across the burning Sahara sands in particular cwneto be strewn witn n^jo skeletons.*

TUs overland trade was as costly as it was tedious. Deal- n in Timbuctoo and other centers of supply must be paid their pnoe; camels must be procured, many of which died on the jour- wj;piards must be hired to prevent escapes in the early marches ^ to repel predatory Bedouins in the later ones ; food supplies iBt be bought; and allowance must be made for heavy mortality ^ttttif the slaves on their terrible trudge over the burning sands srithe chilling mountains. But wherever Mohammedanism pre- | ^de4 which gave particular sanction to slavery as well as to ; |ii|||iuy, the virtues of the negroes as laborers and as eunuch i ^nm guards were so highly esteemed that the trade was main- MM od a heavy scale almost if not quite to the present day. ^Amud of the Turks in the Levant and the Moors in Spain by exportations from the various Barbary ports. Part

Ikmd, The African Slave Trade," in the Journal of Negro n (1917). i-aa




of this Mediterranean trade was conducted in Turkish and Moor- ish vessels, and part of it in the ships of the Italian cities and Marseilles and Barcelona. Venice for example had treaties with certain Saracen rulers at the beginning of the fourteenth century authorizing her merchants not only to frequent the African ports, but to go in caravans to interior points and stay at will The

I principal commodities procured were ivory, gold, honey and

1 negro slaves.*

f The states of Christian Europe, though little acquainted with negroes, had still some trace of slavery as an inheritance from imperial Rome and barbaric Teutondom. The chattel form of bondage, however, had quite generally given place to serf- dom; and even serfdom was disappearing in many districts by reason of the growth of towns and the increase of rural popula- tion to the point at which abundant labor could be had at wages little above the cost of sustaining life. On the other hand so long as petty wars persisted the enslavement of captives contin- ued to be at least sporadic, particularly in the south and east of Europe, and a considerable traffic in white slaves was maintained from east to west on the Mediterranean. The Venetians for instance, in spite of ecclesiastical prohibitions, imported frequent cargoes of young girls from the cotmtries about the Black Sea,, most of whom were doomed to concubinage and prostitution,.; / and the rest to menial service.^ The occurrence of the Crusades I led to the enslavement of Saracen captives in Christendom as welt as of Christian captives in Islam.

The waning of the Crusades ended the supply of Saracen slaves, and the Turkish capture of Constantinople in 1453 de- stroyed the Italian trade on the Black Sea. No source of sup- ply now remained, except a trickle from Africa, to sustain the moribund institution of slavery in any part of Christian Europe east of the Pyrenees. But in mountain-locked Roussillon and Asturias' remnants of slavery persisted from Visigothic times to the seventeenth century; and in other parts of the peninsula

The leading authority upon slavery and the slave-trade in the Mediter- ranean countries of Europe is J. A. Saco, Historia de la Esclavitud desde los Tiempas mas remotas hasta nuestros Dias (Barcelona, 1877), vol. III.

'W. C Hazlitt, The Venetian Republic (London, 1900), pp. 81, 82,


the intermittent wars against the Moors of Granada supplied captives and to some extent reinvigorated slavery among the Christian states from Aragon to Portugal. Furthermore the con- quest of the Canaries at the end of the fourteenth century and of Teneriffe and other islands in the fifteenth led to the bringing of many of their natives as slaves to Castille and the neighbor- ing kingdoms.

Occasional docummts of this period contain mention of negro slaves at various places in the Spanish peninsula, but the number was clearly small and it must have continued so, particularly as loi^ as the supply was drawn through Moorish channels. The source whence the negroes came was known to be a region below the Sahara which from its yield of gold and ivory was called by the Moors the land of wealth, "Bilad Ghana/' a name which on the tongues of European sailors was converted into "Guinea." To open a direct trade thither was a natural effort when the age of maritime exploration began. The French are said to have made voyages to the Gold Coast in the fourteenth century, though 'apparently without trading in slaves. But in the absence of rec- ords of their activities authentic history must confine itself to the achievements of the Portuguese.

fa I4I5 Tohn II of Pprfngal, part]y ^^;^ pye hJS fivC^SO^nS OppOr- •-

tniuty to win knighthood in battle, attacked and captured" the | Moorish stronghold of Ceutnj faring Gibrnltnr across the strait, j •or several years thereafter the town was left in charge" of the i youngest of these princes. Henry,,ji£aHired. a.n._en- * daring desire to ff^" ^^^ Pprtl^ff^l anH rVirigtjanity t^^ regions iffiience ^^t pnrihhrtttnA caravano were eeming. Returning j home, he fixed his residence at the promontory of Sagres, on Cape St. Vincent, and made his main interest for forty years the promotion of maritime exploration southward." His perse- verance won him fame as "Prince Henry the Navigator," though he was not himself an active sailor; and furthermore, after many disappointments, it resulted in exploration as far as the Gold Coast in his lifetime and the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope

'The chief source for the early Portuguese voyages is Azurara's CkranicU of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea, already cited.


twenty-five years after his death. The first decade of his en* deavor brought little result, for the Sahara shore was forbidding and the sailors timid. Then in 1434 Gil Eannes doubled Cape Bojador and found its dangers imaginary. Subsequent voyages added to the extent of coast skirted until the desert began to give place to inhabited country. The Prince was now eager for captives to be taken who might inform him of the country, and in 1441 Antam Gonsalvez brought several Moors from the southern edge of the desert, who, while useful as informants, advanced a new theme of interest by offering to ransom them- selves by delivering on the coast a larger ntmiber of non-Mo- hammedan negroes, whom the Moors held as slaves. Partly for the sake of profit, though the chronicler says more largely to in- crease the number of souls to be saved, this exchange was ef- fected in the following year in the case of two of the Moors, while a third took his liberty without delivering his ransom. After the arrival in Portugal of these exchanged negroes, ten in number, and several more small parcels of captives, a company organized at Lagos under the direction of Prince Henry sent forth a fleet of six caravels in 1444. which promptly returned with 225 captives, the disposal of whom has been recounted at the beginning of this chapter.

In the next year. the Lagos Company sent a great expedition of twenty-six vessels which discovered the Senegal River and brought back many natives taken in raids thereabout; and by 1448 nearly a thousand captives had been carried to Portugal. Some of these were Moorish Berbers, some negroes, but most were probably Jolofs from the Senegal, a warlike people of mixed ancestry. Raiding in the Jolof country proved so haz- ardous that from about 1454 the Portuguese began to supple- ment their original methods by planting "factories" on the coast where slaves from the interior were bought from their native captors and owners who had brought them down in caravans and canoes. Thus not only was missionary zeal eclipsed but the de- sire of conquest likewise, and the spirit of exploration erelong /partly subdued, by commercial greed. By the time of Prince Henry's death in 1460 Portugal was importing seven or eight



hundred n^ro slaves each year. From this time forward the\ traffic was conducted by a succession of companies and individ- ual grantees, to whom the government gave the exclusive right for short terms of years in consideration of money payments and pledges of adding specified measures of exploration. As new coasts were reached additional, facilities were established for trade in pepper, ivory and gold as well as in slaves. When the route round Africa to India was opened at the end of the cen- tury the Guinea trade fell to secondary importance, but it was by no means discontinued. Of the negroes carried to Portugal in the fifteenth century a

the southern provinces recently vacated by the Moors, and others were employed as domestic servants in Lisbon and other towns. Some were sold into Spain where they were similarly employed, and where their numbers were recruited by a Guinea trade in Spanish vessels in spite of Portugal's claim of monopoly rights, even though Isabella had recognized these in a treaty of 1479. 1 In short, at the time of the discovery of America Spain as well r^ as Portugal had quite appreciable numbers of negroes in her I population and both were maintaining a system of slavery for I their control.

^ When Columbus returned from his first voyage in the spring of 1493 and announced his gr«>» lanHfr^H, ^painjrnnipHy en- tered upon her career of American conquest and colonization. So great was the expectation of adventure and achievement that the problem of the government was not how to enlist participants but how to restrain a great gy^ns. Under heavy penalties emi- gration was restricted by royal decrees to those who procured permission to go. In the autumn of the same year fifteen hun- dred men, soldiers, courtiers, priests and laborers, accompanied die discoverer on his second voyage, in radiant hopes. But in-f stead of wealth and high adventure these Argonauts met hard labor and sickness. Instead of the rich cities of Japan and China soi^t for, there were found squalid villages of Caribs and Lu- cayans. Of gold there was little, of spices none. Columbus, when planting his colony at Isabella, on the north-


em coast of Hispaniola (Hayti), promptly found need of draught animals and other equipment j^e lyrotp. »n tiig ^inM^r^ eipis in January^ lAf^ aglring fnr tht fruprMAT nffdrt1:-fln4 hi* oflFered, pending the discovery o^ mn^^ ptyn'm^s things, ^" ^<^ fray expenses by shipping tO Sp?fiP ^"^^ ^^ ^^^ iRlanfl ng^tivejs^ '*who are a wild people^ fit for any work, well propoftinni^H and very intelligent, and who whtn thfy ^t^vi? C"t r'H ^f-^^<v cruel habits to which they have l;>een accustomed will be better than

any other kind ofslaves." ^Though this project was discour-

aged by the crown, Columbus actually took a cargo of Indians for sale in Spain on his return from his third voyage; but Isabella stopped the sale and ordered the captives taken home and liberated. Columbus, like most of his generation, regarded the Indians as infidel foreigners to be exploited at will. But Isabella, and to some extent her successors, considered them Spanish subjects whose helplessness called for special protec- tion. Between the benevolence of the distant monarchs and the rapacity of the present conquerors, however, the fate of the natives was in little doubt. The crown's officials in the Indies were the very conquerors themselves, who bent their soft in-

j structions to fit their own hard wills. A native rebellion in Hispaniola in 1495 was crushed with such slaughter that within three years the population is said to have been reduced by

; two thirds. As terms of peace Columbus required annual tribute in gold so great that no amount of labor in washing the sands

1 could furnish it. As a commutation of tribute and as a means

]of promoting the conversion of the Indians there was soon iX * inaugurated the(encomienda systeni^jwrhich afterward spread

' throughout Spanish America. To each Spaniard selected as

' an encomendero was allotted a certain quota of Indians bound to cultivate land for his benefit and entitled to receive from him tutelage in civilization and Christianity. The grantees, however,

#were not assigned specified Indians but merely specified numbers of them, with power to seize new ones to replace any who might die or run away. Thus the encomendero was given little

*R. H. Major, Select Letters of Columbus, 2d. ed., 1890, p. 88.


ecoiKmiic interest in preserving the lives and welfare of his workmen.

In the first phase of the system the Indians were secured in the right of dwelling in their own villages under their own chiefs. But the encomenderos complained that the aloofness of the natives hampered the work of conversion and asked that a fuller and more intimate control be authorized. This was promptly granted and as promptly abused. Such limitations as the law still imposed upon encomendero power were made of no effect by the lack of machinery for enforcement. The relationship in