Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Columbus Day?

I figure what better way to salute the man who accidentily stumbled across this great land of ours than to give you a few exerpts from his journals and letters back to Europe.

Of his first encounter with "Indians":

"They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things,
which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded
everything they owned. They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome
features. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a
sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignoragnce. They have
no iron. Their spears are made of cane. They would make fine servants. With fifty
men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want."
And:
"As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some
of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information
of whatever there is in these parts."
Consider these facts, reported by Spanish missionaries of the time.
In two years, through Murder, Mutilation, or Suicide half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.
In the first twelve years of Spanish Colonization the population of the island of Hispaniola was reduced by almost Three Million, due to "war, slavery, and the mines."
"While I was in Cuba, 7,000 children died in three months" from starvation. - Las Casas
Just a little History to think about on this Columbus Day. Have a nice day.
-Ward

2 comments:

wesley's mom said...

you should read "A Journey Long and Strange" By Tony Horowitz (confederates in the attic). It's all about Columbus and his ilk.

Cheryle said...

Uh-oh, Ward, now you've done it! You've pushed another one of my buttons!

We started out by exploiting the natives and we never stopped. Even today we refuse to honor treaties we signed with Native Americans when we took their land.

ACK!

~Cheryle (formerly cjc)