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Slavery in Spanish North America
A Few Brief Notes for the White Indians Project

Saw this article, Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties to It. It seems some in the southwest are getting to come to grips with the “white” washed history of slavery in the U.S.

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself."

-Thomas Jefferson


Briefly, Keith, I found a trace of this in Jeanette Walls Half Broke Horses, a novelized memoir of her grandmother, which placed the sale of an Indian girl at around 1906.

The Sale Of Pricilla Loosefoot

Indian slavery by Spanish is also touched upon in Montserrat Fontes: Dreams Of The Centaur

The best brief description of the cultural evolution of the New Mexican slave society was done my Hampton Sides in Blood and Thunder, his superb history of Kit Carson. New Mexicans and Native Americans were at a military stalemate, with the Mexicans only able to hold urban areas and the Indians owning the hinterland, basically like the Appalachian frontier in early English North America. The New Mexicans had very little fire power and basically fought as lancers and swordsmen. After the search for gold died so did the interest of military men.

This standoff resulted in both sides raiding each other for slaves. Native Americans, for some bizarre reason, get a pass on their slavery practices and it is wrongly thought [something I once bought into] that they have a mental makeup incompatible with slavery and die like mayflies in bondage. This was based on the Taino experience and De la Casas’ work, which was documented under rapacious mining conditions in an epidemic disease matrix.

The difference between Indian slavery and non Indian slavery, was that Indians were—as far as I have been able to determine—not racialists and did not maintain hereditary slave casts outside of mass economies: meaning the Inca, Mayan, Aztec and Mississippian civilizations. So when the Indian kid got kidnapped by a Spaniard, her son would be a slave. But if a Spanish boy got kidnapped by an Apache he might grow up to be a war chief. So in that situation, years later, one slave raiding society looks like non slave holders and the other looks like slave holders because their culture was wedded to the Lord and Peasant ideal of manorial Europe which was the basis for the plantation system in English America.

And Keith, don’t forget about the Mescalaros, an Indian/Mexican tribe that raided Tahano and Anglo settlements for sex slaves to sell in Mexico. In the east, in the 1600s, there was a mixed-breed tribe called the Westos who actually migrated to good slave hunting grounds. They would steal anyone and sell to anyone.

Our Captain: A Sickness of the Heart-Part Two: The Expedition Of Juan De Grijalva

A Sickness of the Heart: Part One: The Blood Gods and The Sunrise Serpent: An Adaptation of Bernal Diaz' The Conquest of New Spain - The Expedition Of Francisco Hernandez De Cordoba

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