Page 103 - ap-european-history-2-sampler
P. 103

 Document 1:
Source: Christopher Columbus, letter to the King and Queen of Spain, 1494
[All gold shipped from the island to Spain] should be taken on board the ship, both that belonging to your Highnesses and the property of everyone else; . . . that there should come with the gold, for a testimony, a list of all that has been put into the said chest, properly marked, so that each owner may receive his own; and that, for the faithful performance of this duty, if any gold whatsoever is found outside of the said chest in any way, be it little or much, it shall be forfeited to your Highnesses.
That all the ships that come from the said island shall be obliged to make their proper discharge in the port of Cadiz, and that no person shall disembark or other person be permitted to go on board until the ship has been visited by the person or persons deputed for that purpose, in the said city, by your Highnesses, to whom the master shall show all that he carries, and exhibit the manifest of all the cargo, it may be seen and examined if the said ship brings anything hidden and not known at the time of lading [loading]. That the chest in which the said gold has been carried shall be opened in the presence of the magistrates of the said city of Cadiz, and of the person deputed for that purpose by your Highnesses, and his own property be given to each owner.
 Document 2
Source: Amerigo Vespucci, letter to Lorenzo di Medici, 1503
They have no cloth, either of wool, flax, or cotton, because they have no need of it; nor have they any private property, everything being in common. They live amongst themselves without a king or ruler, each man being his own master, and having as many wives as they please. The children cohabit with the mothers, the brothers with the sisters, the male cousins with the female, and each one with the first he meets. They have no temples and no laws, nor are they idolaters.
What more can I say! They live according to nature, and are more inclined to be Epicurean than Stoic. This statement implies that the inhabitants pursue pleasure rather than consider philosophical matters. They have no commerce among each other, and they wage war without art or order. The old men make the youths do what they please, and incite them to fights, in which they mutually kill with great cruelty. They slaughter those who are captured, and the victors eat the vanquished; for human flesh is an ordinary article of food among them.
(continued on next page)

   101   102   103   104   105