Collections: 
0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Page 7 of Address delivered before the Colonization society of Kentucky : at Frankfort, on the 6th day of January, 1831 / by Robert J. Breckinridge.

item | thumbnails | details | text | pdf
Download this image
xhiar1iahle prophecy. Conquered by the Persians, tinder Camnhy ses, within fifty years after this prediction; conquered again by the Macedonians; subjugated and pillaged by the Roiuans, and made the theatre of many of their bloodiest wars; overwhelm- ed by the Saracens; suhbjigated, scourged and inade dessolate by the Mamelukes; devastated by the Turks; overrun by the French; for a hundred generations, made the battle field of na- tions, and tile constant victim of them all; and worse than all, her children, for centuries together, swept into distant and hope- less bondage-scattered and sifted throughout the universe, as it is this day. The discovery of America, which was destined to exert so exten- sive and so benign an influence upon the European race, the de- scendants of Japhet, adldled increased bitterness to the cup of afflic- tion which seemed already overflowing for the children of Ham. The first adventurers to the western continent and the islands a- long the atlantic coast, without the least remorse, red uced the sim- ple and ignorant aborigines to a servitude so Monstrous, that in the island of Hispaniola alone, from the year 1508 to 1517, the In- dians were reduced, by the the brutal oppression under which they groaned, from sixty thousand to fourteen thousand souls; and the extinction of this miserable remnant was hastened bv more aggravated calamities. You will observe that this whole- sale butchery was perpetrated tinder thessameexecrable pretence of political necessity, under which every public crime which has disgraced our race, has found its constant defence. It was sanctioned by a formal decree of the king of Spain, ",that the ser- vitude of the Indians was warranted by the laws both of God and man." I have no intention of entering into details which are not necessary to the complete understanding of the subject before me. And perhaps enough has been said to show how easy was the transition fromn Indian to Africani subjugation; from crime perpetrated on a feeble and nearly extinguished1 race, to similar crime inflicted on one mimore robust, inote (legrad(led. and therefore more suitable to the purposes of an insatiable rapaci- ty. Barthelemi de las Casas, Bishop of Chiapa, heading the little band of ecclesiastics who still recognized tile oblijoations of justice and humanity to the Indians, beset the Spaiiish throne with prayers in their behalf, until bv a fatality, singular and most unhappy, lie saw their chains, which it was the object of his life to break, rivited forever; and those whom lie had de- signated, in the madness of his zeal, as their substitutes in wretch- edness, become only their fellows in slavery. As early as 1503, a few negroes had been sent to the new world. In 1511 Ferdi- nand permitted their importation in large numbers. Charles the Fifth, on his accession to the throne, rejecting what was 'who and humane in the plans of Las Cauas, and adopting 60