Christopher Columbus Was a Slave Trader

Although he’s most remembered for “discovering” the Americas, land on which native peoples had been living for thousands of years, Christopher Columbus was also a slave trader.

After Columbus found what he thought was the eastern edge of India on his first voyage, he found the natives he encountered “ought to make good and skilled servants” according to his diaries. He also at first expressed an eagerness to bring religion to the natives, saying “I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion.”


Above: Columbus “discovers” the New World
However, when Columbus realized that he couldn’t use people he converted as slaves (at the time, Christians couldn’t be used as slaves according to Spanish law), he decided not to convert them after all so he could use and sell them as slaves.

On the contrary, Columbus didn’t just not let religion get in the way of his profiting off slavery: he actually believed God embraced his slave business. On his third voyage, Columbus wrote during his return to Hispaniola in 1498, “From here one might send, in the name of the Holy Trinity, as many slaves as could be sold…”

When word of Columbus’ torture sessions and brutal rule over “the new world” made it back to Spain, the explorer was hauled back to Spain in chains to serve in prison. Despite all this however, he’s still celebrated each year in much of the United States on Columbus Day, October 12.

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7 Responses to “Christopher Columbus Was a Slave Trader”

  1. Too bad you didn’t mention that to get rid of natives who opposed being captured and sold as slaves, Columbus would report them to the Spanish crown as cannibals to get permission from them to kill those natives.

  2. Good article. It is rather unfortunate that over the last one decade, the travel industry has had to take on terrorism, SARS, tsunamis, influenza, swine flu, as well as first ever true global economic downturn. Through it the industry has really proven to be strong, resilient plus dynamic, locating new strategies to deal with adversity. There are constantly fresh problems and opportunities to which the marketplace must yet again adapt and answer.

  3. Aishah Bowron on May 19th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I find it outrageous that an Indian-killing slave trader gets his own holiday ! . Christopher Columbus is an evil, coldblooded, deceitful, greedy, brutal genocidal murderer who enslaved, killed and butchered Native Americans !. Chris is the guy who brought death and destruction to the Americas !. He lied !. He stole !. He killed !. I fucking hate Christopher Columbus !. I want this dreadful Columbus Day abolished !.

  4. [...] I’ve show them blogs and opinion articles by historians who discuss the less palatable facts about Columbus, by historians like Howard Zinn who highlight how dangerous he was for the [...]

  5. He was the first to think of slavery.

  6. He believe god was alright with the idea of slaves.

  7. The piece that stuck out the most was when they heard about Columbus
    in Spain they put him in jail but however they still put him in jail