When Christopher Columbus arrived in America, he couldn’t find all the gold he had promised to bring home to his sponsors, the Spanish Crown.
As consolation, he and his men went on what today’s historians call “a slave raid.” This resulted in the capture of 1,500 of Haiti’s Arawak Indian men, women and children. Columbus had 500 of the “best specimens” selected to take to Spain. Some 200 died during the voyage. Those who made it to Spain were ultimately sold by the local arch-deacon to the highest bidders.
Howard Zinn, author of the 1980 revolutionary and revelatory, “A People’s History of the United States,” writes that Columbus’ sorties, repeatedly seeking gold, repeatedly ended in settling for shipfulls of Indian slaves – a convenient “consolation prize” to please his financiers. Soon Indian slaves were forcibly working in “great mines of gold and other metals.”
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