The Negro eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Negro.


[70] Cf.  Helps:  Spanish Conquest, IV, 401.

[71] Helps, op. cit., I, 219-220.

[72] Helps, op. cit., II, 18-19.

[73] Helps, op. cit., III, 211-212.

[74] Theal:  History and Ethnography of South Africa before 1795, I, 476.

[75] Ingram:  History of Slavery, p. 152.


That was a wonderful century, the fifteenth, when men realized that beyond the scowling waste of western waters were dreams come true.  Curious and yet crassly human it is that, with all this poetry and romance, arose at once the filthiest institution of the modern world and the costliest.  For on Negro slavery in America was built, not simply the abortive cotton kingdom, but the foundations of that modern imperialism which is based on the despising of backward men.

According to some accounts Alonzo, “the Negro,” piloted one of the ships of Columbus, and certainly there was Negro blood among his sailors.  As early as 1528 there were nearly ten thousand Negroes in the new world.  We hear of them in all parts.  In Honduras, for instance, a Negro is sent to burn a native village; in 1555 the town council of Santiago de Chile voted to allow an enfranchised Negro possession of land in the town, and evidently treated him just as white applicants were treated.  D’Allyon, who explored the coast of Virginia in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, used Negro slaves (who afterward revolted) to build his ships and help in exploration; Balboa had with him thirty Negroes, who, in 1513, helped to build the first ships on the Pacific coast; Cortez had three hundred Negro porters in 1522.

Before 1530 there were enough Negroes in Mexico to lead to an insurrection, where the Negroes fought desperately, but were overcome and their ringleaders executed.  Later the followers of another Negro insurgent, Bayano, were captured and sent back to Spain.  Negroes founded the town of Santiago del Principe in 1570, and in 1540 a Negro slave of Hernandez de Alarcon was the only one of the party to carry a message across the country to the Zunis of New Mexico.  A Negro, Stephen Dorantes, discovered New Mexico.  This Stephen or “Estevanico” was sent ahead by certain Spanish friars to the “Seven Cities of Cibola.”  “As soon as Stephen had left said friars, he determined to earn all the reputation and honor for himself, and that the boldness and daring of having alone discovered those villages of high stories so much spoken of throughout that country should be attributed to him; and carrying along with him the people who followed him, he endeavored to cross the wilderness which is between Cibola and the country he had gone through, and he was so far ahead of the friars that when they arrived at Chichilticalli, which is on the edge of the wilderness, he was already at Cibola, which is eighty leagues of wilderness beyond.”  But the Indians of the new and strange country took alarm and concluded that Stephen “must be a spy or guide for some nations who intended to come and conquer them, because it seemed to them unreasonable for him to say that the people were white in the country from which he came, being black himself and being sent by them."[76]

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The Negro from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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