“IT is computed, by able writers,” says my Lord Kaimes, “that the present inhabitants of America amount not to a twentieth part of those who existed when that continent was discovered by Columbus. This decay is ascribed to the intemperate use of spirits, and to the small-pox, both of them introduced by the Europeans.” He seems to have forgotten that they are indebted to us also for “the intemperate use” of the sword, and the dreadful bigotry and cruelties practised by the religious and avaricious Spaniards, which certainly are not less destructive than the contagion of the smallpox, or the poison of spirituous liquors.
We may also add another proof of European humanity. A plantation in Jamaica, which employs a hundred slaves, requires an annual recruit of no fewer than seven, who fall the yearly victims to the cruelties of the lower overseers, who follow them all day with whips!
Bartholomew Casa affirms, that the Spaniards, in America, destroyed, in about forty-five years, ten millions of human souls! and this with a view of converting these unfortunate men to Christianity. He tells us that they hanged those unhappy men thirteen in a row, in honour of the thirteen Apostles! And they also gave their infants to be devoured by their dogs! There is a story recorded of an Indian, who, being tied to the stake, a Franciscan Friar persuaded him to turn Christian, and then he would go to heaven. The Indian asked him—“Whether there were any Spaniards in heaven?”—“Certainly,” the Friar answered; “it is full of them.”—“Then,” the last words of the dying Indian were, “I had rather go to hell, than have any more of their company!”