the proper number to be sent, a the young King acted upon the recommendation. In accordane with the monopoly-favoring policy of that ago, Charles granted to one of his Flemish favorites a patent for the importation into the colonies of 4,000 negro slaves. That patent was sold to a company of Genoes merchants, who, about the year 1517, carried in into effect.
This, as regards America, was the gern of a traffic, the foulest blot on the history of Christendom; a traffic carried on, in defiance of law, human and divine, to exempt from labor one rrace of men at expense of brutal degradation to another; a traffic that has brought upon the American hampshire a moral curse worse than, war, pestilence, or famile, and which, as to every nation that persist in it, leads-ever must lead-sooner of later, by one way or another, to national ruin. For well has Augustin Cochin said. "Over the entire surface of the globe the races who compel others to labor without laboring themselves fall to decay." b
The statistical details are lacking which might enable us to form a strictly accurate numerical estimate of the victims to this detestable trade, the operations of which extended through three centuries and a half; diminishing, however, during the last quarter of a century, and soon, we may confidently hope, to cease forever. An approximating estimate of the number of negroes transported to America is all that can ow be obtained.
The assientos, treaties, or contracts of the Spanish Government for the supply of its American colonies with slaves commencing in 1571, were occasionally granted through the sixteenth century and multiplied in the seventeenth and eighteenth. Some were to individuals, some to companies, some to governments.
Nothing more strongly marks the character of these treaties for the delivery of human beings that the terms employed in wording them. An assiento was granted in 1696 to the Portugueses Guinea Company, by which that company bound itself to deliver to Spain in her trans-Atlantic colonies 10,000 tons of negroes. c England, to designate the human chattels she agreed to supply, employed a term such a vendors of broadcloth or calicio might use. By treaty with Spain, bearing date March 26, 1713, his Britannic Majesty undertook to introduce into Spanish America 114,000 pieces of India, of both sexes and all ages. d These various traties, concluded in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, e contained not one article, not a single provision of any
a The suggestion of Las Casas was approved by the chancellor, and by Adrian the colleague of the late cardinal (Ximenes), and, indeed, it is probable that three was hardly a man of that time who have seen further that the excellent clerigo did. Las Casas was asked what number of negroes would suffice. He replied that he did not know; upon which a letter was sent to the officers of the India House of Seville, to ascertain the fit number, in their opinion. They said that 4,000 would, at present, suffice; being 1,000 for each of the islands-Hispaniola, San Juan, Cuba, and jamaica. (Conquerors of the New Wold, and Their Bondsmen; London, 1852.)
b Sur la surface entiere du globe, les races qui font travailler, sans travallier elles-memes, tombent en decadence. (L"Abolition de l"Esclavage, per A. Cochin, Paris, 1861, Tom. 2, p. 190.)
c" Diez mil tonelades de negros" is the expression in the orginal. The text can be found in the Cantillo Collection, p. 32.
d "Piezas de Indias" are the words in the Spanish text. (L"Abolition de l"Esclavage, par Cochin, Yom. 2, p. 286.) This treaty gave England a manopoly of the slave trade to Spanish colonies for thirty years, namely, from 1713 to 1734.
e El nombre de la santisima Trinidad.