In the Tower of David series on U.S. history it has already been pointed out and documented how much of the early history of the European colonization of America as put forth by establishment histories and the media has consisted of distortions, half-truths, omissions, and out-right falsehoods. In other words, much that has been put forth as fact is, in fact, myth. This portion of our series will examine a good number of these myths and misrepresentations, many which stem from an anti-Catholic bias, or a "political-correctness" outlook. We will follow a chronological order, rather than a topical one. (The "Myth Busters" series is split into parts.)
Myth #1: Looking for a new trade route and gaining riches was the primary motive and purpose of Columbus' voyage.
Fact: No, as revealed in his journal, his letters, and his actions, as well as in the letters of his sovereigns (Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand), Columbus was sent primarily to Spread the Holy Catholic Faith and to convert those whom he encountered (and he did just that!). The finding of a new trade route -and its benefits- was used by Columbus to help justify the great expenses that were needed for the expedition.
Proof:(See proofs provided in answer to Myth #4 below.)
Myth #2: When Columbus first saw natives he named them "Indians" because he thought he had landed in India.
Fact: No, Columbus called the natives "una gente in Dios," which means "a people in God." He declared this because those he first encountered on San Salvador were peaceful, generous, and open to hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. His poor Spanish grammar led people to mistakenly think he called the natives Indios or Indians. He knew he did not land in India. The name "Indian" had nothing to do with what we today call India, for at that time it was known as Hindustan. This common mistake is a classic example of the anti-Spanish (and thus anti-Catholic) propaganda put forth in the WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) dominated history texts for generations, and by the current media. It was (and is) meant to make the Catholic Spaniards look stupid, thinking they were somewhere where they were not.
Proof: The prayer Columbus recited when he first landed on San Salvador demonstrates that he knew he was not in India. It reads:
"Almighty and eternal Lord God, Who by Thy sacred Word has created heaven, earth, and sea, blessed and glorified be Thy Name and praised be Thy majesty, and grant that through Thy humble servant Thy sacred Name may be made known and preached in this hitherto unknown portion of Thy empire. Amen."India was already a known portion of God's empire. Remember, Christian Europe, particularly Italy, Spain, and Portugal, had already been traveling to and trading with India by 1492, thus it would not have been considered a "hitherto unknown portion" of God's empire. And, again, what we call "India" today, was not known by that designation back then, for it was called Hindustan.
Another proof of this fact is the letter Queen Isabella of Spain sent to Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) about Columbus' second voyage wherein she stated that: "Columbus has set sail to bear the light of Christ west to heathen undiscovered lands." Again, Spain had already been trading with India by this time, so the good Catholic queen would not have used the term "undiscovered lands" if it was thought that Columbus had made it to India.
Myth #3: As a result of the voyages of John Cabot, (Protestant) England, not Catholic Spain, had the rightful claim to the eastern part of America that would become the United States.
Fact: First, though Cabot sailed along the Atlantic coast of North America in 1498, he was only searching for a northern route to the east. Second, he never landed, nor did he claim for England any of the land he saw along the coast. (His first voyage in 1497 had him land only in, and claim only, Newfoundland in today's Canada.) Third, Cabot was a Catholic, and he sailed for what was, at the time, Catholic England under the Catholic king, Henry VII (1485-1509).
Nevertheless, Catholic Spain claimed the following regions long before England: Florida (which included present-day Georgia) in 1513 (Ponce de Leon expedition), Carolinas in 1520 (Francisco Gordillo and Pedro Quexos expedition); Virginia and Maryland in 1526 (Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon expedition); New Jersey, New York, New England in 1525 (Estaban Gomez expedition). These areas were all explored (at least along the coastal areas), claimed, and even named and appeared on maps by the 1530s with their names. For example New England was originally named, Corterreal (Royal Court) by Esteban Gomez in 1525; New Jersey and Delaware were named Land of Gomez.
Myth #4: The Spanish were greedy and came to the New World primarily seeking gold, riches, and to increase the territory and power of Spain.
Fact: Though gold was needed to finance expeditions (and to pay back those who invested in each expedition), Catholic Spain came primarily to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and increase His kingdom on earth, and not simply her own territorial power. All her expeditions to the New World had this as the primary goal.
Proof: The official policy of Catholic Spain made this noble purpose clear in its royal charters, legislation, and ordinances. Columbus stated why his sovereigns sent him:
"Your Highnesses, as Catholic Christians and Princes, loving the holy Christian Faith and the spreading of it, decided to send me, Christopher Columbus, to the said regions of Hindustan (India) to see the said princes and the peoples and lands, and learn of their dispositions and the measures which could be taken for their conversion to our Holy Faith."Queen Isabella of Spain declared in a letter to Pope Alexander VI stating that: "Columbus has set sail to bear the light of Christ west to heathen undiscovered lands." In granting his second voyage, the good Catholic queen wrote, charging that "since the natives have neither dogma nor doctrine," Columbus must "strive and endeavor to win over the inhabitants of the said islands and Mainland to be converted to our Holy Catholic Faith." In her last Testament, she wrote that the primary intention of sending expeditions and governing the New World was:
"To try to draw these peoples and convert them to our Holy Catholic Faith, and to send to said lands prelates, religious, clerics and others to instruct the inhabitants in the Catholic Faith, to teach and endow them with good morals."In 1526, King Charles I of Spain made clear the continuation of this same policy when he declared:
"The principal reason behind the discovery of these new lands is so that the natives there, who are without the light and knowledge of the Faith, may be drawn to the truths of our holy Catholic Faith, so they may believe and understand them, become Christians and be saved. This is the main reason you must keep in mind and hold onto in these expeditions."This was the official policy and law of Catholic Spain in coming to the New World and in its continued expeditions. Those who write or say otherwise are slanderers. But, as they say, actions speak louder than words, so consider the following facts:
+ Missionary priests were sent on nearly every Spanish expedition to today's U.S. This would not have been the case if Spain was primarily seeking to gain material wealth or political power;
+ Between the time of the first established mission (1526- South Carolina)) and the last (1828-New Mexico), in the US alone, Spain established more than 200 missions (many of which grew into current U.S. towns and cities);
+ Since the very first expedition (Ponce de Leon in 1513) until the last established mission in the 1820s, Catholic Spain sent approximately 16,000(!) missionaries to this land (this does not include lay missionaries, a few who where martyred for the Faith).
+ By the time the Pilgrims landed in 1620, Spanish Catholic missionaries had converted and baptized more than 50,000 American Indians! (This is only in the US boundaries.)
Myth #5: Hernando Cortez was greedy and seeking glory for himself, and he and the other Spanish Conquistadors destroyed a peaceful civilization in Mexico, and suppressed and enslaved millions of Indians.
Fact: The different heathen Mexican Indian tribes were enslaved to the worship of the Devil. As God has declared in His written word: "The god's of the heathen are devils," (Ps.95:5) and they sacrifice to devils (1 Corinthians 10:20). The fact is that it was the constant wars between the different Mexican Indian tribes that caused most of the deaths and the enslavement of millions of natives. The great oppression and enslavement of native Mexicans came before the Spanish arrived, and this was by the Aztecs. Hernando Cortez freed numerous Indian tribes from their bondage to the Aztecs -who had brutally sacrificed hundreds of thousands of Indian captives over the years: "And they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to devils, and the land was polluted with blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters" (Psalm 105:37-38 DRV). This verse perfectly describes the Mexico Cortez and his men encountered. He not only freed hundreds of thousands of natives from Aztec bondage, but helped bring about the conversion of Mexico to the Faith of the One True God. Cortez was thus their deliverer from the diabolic yoke of paganism and oppression.
Cortez never enslaved tens of thousands, let alone millions, of Indians as has been accused of him. There were local groups of Aztecs who not only rejected the Gospel of Christ, but rejected any offerings of peace presented by Cortez. These Indians constantly made war, and when defeated were made prisoners of war. As prisoners of war many of these, and these only, were used for labor as was AND STILL IS done today. Prisoners of war doing manual labor is morally just. However, this important distinction between slavery and prisoners of war is ignored by those who want to defame the great accomplishments of Cortez in particular, and Catholic Spain in general.
Proof: The documents of eyewitness accounts:
1)Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a foot soldier who accompanied Cortez throughout the conquest: The True history of the Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, One of its Conquerors five volumes(1568; London: Hakluyt Society, 1908) There are dozens of abridged, condensed, and edited versions around. The aforementioned edition is the last completely unabridged edition I know of in English).
2) Father Francesco Lopez de Gomora, who was both the chaplain and secretary of Cortez: Cortez: The Life of the Conqueror by his Secretary (1552; Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1964).
3) Father Bartolome de Las Casas, a missionary priest to the West Indies (not Mexico). His work, A Brief Relation of the Destruction of the Indies was very critical of the Spanish rule of certain areas (not in general), and was primarily limited to the West Indies, though he makes some mention of Mexico. It has been recognized by both non-Spanish and non-Catholics that his work was full of exaggerations.
A) As to the charge of greed and seeking glory for himself: Hernando Cortez was a faithful and devout Catholic who was trained in the virtues of Christian knighthood: fidelity, honor, courage, truthfulness, sacrifice, valor, and devotion. This training also emphasize the mastering of the four primary moral virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. Though in his youth he had a few vices to overcome (don't we all!), Cortez conquered them and was noted by his men for his virtues. He had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. James the Greater (the Moore Killer), and St. John the Baptist. He was known for his firm resolve to perform his duties for the love of God and always in honor of Our Lady, whose medal he wore.
Cortez approached his expedition as a holy crusade and a sacrificial work for the glory of God. After he and his men went to Confession, worshipped God at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and received Holy Communion, just before they departed Cortez declared:
"Soldiers of Spain, we are standing upon the verge of the greatest adventure ever taken by so small a body of men... We are on a crusade. We are marching as Christians into a land of infidels. We seek not only to tame boundless territory in the name of our Emperor Don Carlos, but to win millions of souls to the True Faith."
At no time did Cortez ever lose sight of the true purpose of his expedition. Weeks later, after struggling through insurmountable odds, Cortez encouraged his weary men with these words:
"We are obligated to exalt and increase our Holy Catholic Faith, which we undertook to do like good Christians, uprooting idolatry - that great blasphemy to our God- abolishing sacrifices and the eating of human flesh, which is so contrary to human nature and so common here."
Cortez had cast down numerous idols, erected large crosses, and proclaimed Christ to the natives. The Aztec temples, stained with the blood of human sacrifice, were torn down and churches rose up in their place. The idols of false gods were toppled and replaced with statutes of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, whom true believers honor (Luke 1:48). The amazing faith, determination, sacrifice, and courage of Cortez and what he accomplished should never be forgotten or smeared by anti-Catholic or anti-Spanish bigotry.
B) As to the charge of suppressing and enslaving tens of thousands or more: After conquering the Aztecs, Cortez made great efforts to improve their welfare -spiritually, morally, socially, and civilly. Yes, Cortez was their conqueror, but more than that he was their liberator, their deliverer from darkness and cruelty, and he ruled justly. He made amazing efforts to introduce better methods of agriculture and even established fair pay for Indian labor, a policy that put him centuries ahead of his time. The hours of work were fixed from sunrise to sunset, with an hour off in the morning for religious instruction and an hour off in the afternoon for rest. This meant a ten-hour workday, which was quite remarkable for the 16th century. (In England, for example, under Queen Elizabeth the workday was twelve hours.) The fact that each morning was set aside for teaching the Christian Faith proves that Cortez had the conversion of the Indians as central to his efforts in governing the natives.
However, there were other Spaniards who were poor examples of being Catholic, with no true piety, who were both covetous of and jealous of Cortez' success. These others caused much trouble for Cortez, for the missionaries, and for many native Indians. While Cortez was away trying to solve problems in the Honduras, these others began to abuse some of the Indians and make them slaves -precisely against official Spanish policy as quoted above. Anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic historians have blamed Cortez for these problems, and claim the natives resented him as a result. But this is simply not true. Cortez did not cause the problems, they were caused by, 1) those who disregarded their own Faith and the laws of Spain, and 2) by those who pretended to be Catholic, but in reality secretly remained Jews.
The prime example of # 1 listed above was Gonzalo de Salazar. He was left in charge while Cortez was away in the Honduras, and ran the government as if he was a dictator. Cortez punished and imprisoned Salazar and those Spaniards who willingly cooperated with him after he returned.
As to # 2 listed above: In the 16th century, as there had been for previous centuries, there were false converts to the Catholic Faith from Judaism. These were Jews who, though rejecting the one true Triune God, the divinity and teachings of Christ and His Church, remained Jewish (with their false Talmudic religion) yet pretended to convert for numerous reasons. In Spain they were known as "Marranos," or "false Conversios." Throughout Europe the Marranos, because of their rejection of the Kingship of Christ and His laws, had always attempted to weaken and destroy Christian monarchies and the Christian social-moral order and civilization inspired by the Church. Many of these Jewish false converts came over to the New World to escape detection in Spain. As they had in Spain, and elsewhere in Europe, they caused trouble once arriving here. Some of the Marranos, as a result of their greed for earthly riches, had positions whereby they were able to force many native Indians to work in the mines as slaves. It is an established fact that the slavery throughout the Caribbean Islands was mostly organized and run by the Marranos, and a number had come to Mexico after the Conquest and did the same. Much of the bad reputation some of the Spaniards had among some of the Indians was because of the Marranos, not because of authentic Catholic Spaniards. But no one wants to "touch" this "politically incorrect" topic.
A respected Jewish historian named Cecil Roth even wrote a famous work entitled: History of the Marranos (Buenos Aires: Israel Editions Publications, 1946), wherein he shows that Jews not only admitted these facts, but are proud of them. These facts are further substantiated in an official work on Jews entitled: Jewish-Spanish Encyclopedia. Therein it is stated that:
Since the founding [of the New World] there were secret Jews who, in order not to have to abandon worldly goods, pretended to believe in Christianity, for the Portuguese and Spanish needed settlers for their possessions in the Western Hemisphere. Also in the trade with African slaves they played an important role (Vol. II, pp.42-43).The high-regard the native Indians had for Cortez, their liberator, is proven by the joyful reception thousands gave him on his return from the Honduras in June of 1526. During his trek from the coast to Mexico City he was greeted in every village by bonfires, cheers, and shouts of thanksgiving, with triumphal arches made and placed across the roads and flowers strewn in the streets. As he entered the capital city, he was greeted with singing, with dancing, and with a procession to the convent of St. Francis where services of thanksgiving were rendered for his return. Cortez immediately set things in order. No, the natives in general did not resent Cortez.
Myth #6: The oldest European settlement in America was Jamestown in Virginia, founded by English Protestants in 1607. Thus, America is rightfully English and Protestant.
Fact: The oldest European settlement in America is St. Augustine, Florida, founded by Catholic Spaniards in 1565, and, unlike Jamestown, it still exists. (Jamestown, because of both flooding and fires, was moved farther north in 1699, and became known as Williamsburg; it has not been a "living" town for nearly three centuries.) Besides, by the time Jamestown was settled, there were already in existence more than thirty (30!) Catholic mission/settlements in just the areas of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, and this does not count those established in the American Southwest. (see U.S. Catholic History: scroll down and click on the Georgia/Carolinas and Florida articles.) Thus, America was rightfully Catholic in her origins.
Myth #7: The earliest European settlement attempted in America was the one sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, in 1586.
Fact: The earliest European settlement attempted in America was the one established in today's Newport, Rhode Island, by the Prince Henry St. Clair expedition back in 1398. The "Newport Tower" is from this settlement and is the oldest existing European structure/building in America. Then there is the settlement of St. Michael of Guadalupe in present-day South Carolina founded in 1526. Even St. Augustine, FL. (1565), was earlier than the failed Roanoke settlement.
Proof: See the book: Prince Henry Sinclair: His Expedition to the New World, Frederick J. Pohl (New York: 1974). This work documents all the known evidence and conclusively demonstrates the factuality of the Prince Henry St. Clair settlements here in America. (Establishment historians, school texts, and the media have simply ignored, if not purposely suppressed, knowledge of this discovery.) For the latter two settlements, Spanish records and maps of the 16th century prove this.
Myth #8: The American Indians were, for the most part, a) peace-loving people and, b) were in harmony with nature.
Fact: The American Indians were, for the most part, a) savage and cruel to one another, and, b) engaged in numerous unnatural practices, and thus were not in harmony with nature.
A) Many tribes in every region were often, if not constantly, at war with other tribes. For brevity sake just a few examples will do. The Mohawk and other Iroquois tribes of New York were constantly at war and attacking their Huron and Algonquin neighbors to the north, their Mohican and Machican neighbors to the east, and numerous tribes as far south as the Cherokee in the Carolinas. In the Southeast, the Creek were terribly brutal to their neighbors, and had taken over such smaller tribes as the Hitchiti, Kosati, Osochi, Okmulgee, and others. In the Southwest, the Apache and Comanche tribes also were constantly at war with each other and the surrounding tribes, treating each other brutally and without mercy. Farther west the Navajo had attacked and raided Hopi villages for centuries. To the north in the Plains the Pawnee and Crow were quite hostile and terribly brutal to their neighboring tribes.
White men were not the first to either enslave American Indians, nor drive them off their land, nor wipe them out of existence (as myth would have it). The Indians did this to each other before any Europeans arrived and settled. All of the tribes mentioned above, and numerous others, enslaved those whom they defeated and drove others off their native homelands. It was even known for tribes to totally wipe out other tribes from existence. By the beginning of the 18th century, the Shuman Tribe in Texas was destroyed totally by the Apache. The warring tribes of the Sacs (or Sauk) and the Foxes had wiped out the entire Illini Tribe in what is now Iowa. (There was no trace of the Illini by the middle of the 18th century.) By 1800, both the Foxes and the Sacs nearly wiped out the Missouri Indians. The Manahoac Indians of Virginia were completely wiped out after being at war with the Iroquois and Powattan Indians. The Choctow and Chickasaw tribes destroyed the Chakchiuma Tribe of Mississippi out of existence. As late as the 1850s, the Delaware and Shawnee tribes massacred the Tonkawan Tribe nearly out of existence. The Atatkapa and Coahuiltecan tribes from southeast Texas and Louisiana had killed and literally eaten some of their neighbors almost out of existence.
B) In every region in North America, American Indians were not in harmony with nature since they were, 1) at enmity with the one true God of nature/creation, for they practiced all types of sorcery, idolatry and witchcraft, and 2) engaged in numerous unnatural practices such as abortion, homosexuality, infanticide, the sacrificing of humans to false gods, and the consuming of human flesh. The practice of cannibalism was not limited to the Aztecs and other Mexican tribes as many think. The practice was known in the four-corners region (where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah meet) as both Indian converts and the Franciscan missionaries attested. The ancient Lamoka Tribe practiced cannibalism, and it, along with ritual human sacrifice, was practiced by numerous tribes in the Southwest, in Texas, in Louisiana, in Mississippi, in Florida, in Virginia, and in New York. America was a land in desperate need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (and is once again in desperate need of the Gospel).
Proof: The numerous documents (i.e., official correspondence, letters, records, registers, reports, testimonies) of the French and Spanish missionaries, soldiers, colonists, as well as those of Indian converts, which testify to these facts.
Myth #9: White Europeans first introduced permanent black slavery in America.
Fact: Actually, a black man (!) named Anthony Johnson of Virginia first introduced permanent black slavery in the 1650s by becoming the first holder in America of permanent black slaves. Here are the details:
As is well known, in 1619 a Dutch ship landed at Jamestown and sold 20 black slaves from Africa to some of the landowners. They were sold and bought as "bonded-slave laborers." In other words, they were indentured laborers whose masters could hold them for a fixed period of time -usually seven or fourteen years (unfortunately, the years did not count until a boy, for example, reached the age of 16, thus he would not be released until he was 23 or 30). They were not regarded as permanent slaves, though this is the impression left in history books. After their seven to fourteen year period was up they gained their freedom.
One of the original twenty sold in Jamestown became known as Anthony Johnson. After working off his indenture (he was only a boy when he first arrived), he was not only a free man, but became a landowner with a prosperous plantation. (A certain amount of property was granted to male slaves after they were discharged -or freed- from their indentured time of labor -something the establishment texts fail to tell us.) He also obtained his own bonded-slave laborers for his plantation. Although Johnson's success was itself significant in black history, he became famous (relatively speaking) as the first black man in the colonies to effect a landmark decision in a court of law.
Johnson, who was not a member of the Bar or Law Guild, established in a Virginia court in 1650 a radical new concept in the laws relating to master and slave -lifetime indenture (Durante vite -servitude for life). The claimant was John Casor (or Castor), a black slave indentured to Johnson. Johnson successfully argued in court that he had a claim to the labors of Casor for the remainder of Casor's life. The presiding judge of the court, Samuel Goldsmith, agreed and ruled that Casor must remain "in the service of Master Anthony Johnson." As a result, Johnson thereby became America's first holder of black slaves for life. ("Indentured servant" soon became a euphemism for life-time servitude of both whites and blacks in colonial America.) Thus, a black man, Anthony Johnson, is the "Father of American Slavery." Therefore, despite what Americans have been taught, it was a black man who began permanent black slavery in America.
What also is not well known is that Johnson also "owned" white bonded-slave laborers. In 1651, he purchased five white slave laborers and a sixth one by the end of the year. His son, John Johnson, who obtained over 500 acres after being discharged from his servitude, purchased eleven white males and females for servitude. After their Virginia property and plantation had burned down, Johnson and his wife Mary, with their black and white slaves, moved to the Eastern shore of Maryland in early 1655. They leased a 300 acre plantation, on which Johnson stayed until his death.
Proof: We still have the abstracts of the Johnson family's deeds which list how much property they owned, how many slaves and their names. These can be found in the archives of the Virginia Historical Society. (See also, John H. Russell, The Free Negro in Virginia: 1619-1865, Johns Hopkins Press, 1913, Dover Publications, 1969)
Myth #10: The first slaves used by English colonists in America were blacks from Africa.
Fact: The first slaves used by the English colonists were Irish, English and Scottish Catholics and criminals -who were white! It was against the law in England (and in occupied Ireland and Scotland) from 1558 to the 1820s to openly practice the Catholic religion. Those who were caught were either fined or sent to prison, and those who could not afford the fine, were also sent to prison. Along with legitimate criminals, many of these imprisoned Catholic Irish and English folk were shipped to the American colonies as slave laborers to work off their fines. Many were made permanent slaves. White slaves had begun to arrive by 1609, and came in ship-loads for the next century and half. (Blacks did not start arriving until 1619, and at first came in only few numbers.) These white slaves included women and children, as well as men.
The Privy Council of King James I (November, 1619) established the law concerning white slaves sent to the American colonies. In fact, the Privy Council of 1620 included the kidnapping and shipping of poor white children to the colonies for slave labor. Sir George Sandis, in his 1618 plan for Virginia, referred to bound whites assigned to the Treasurer's Office (which managed the slave transfer business) "to belong to said office forever." Their servitude also was termed "perpetual" -in other words, they were life-long slaves. In 1653 the English commissaries of the commonwealth ordered "Irish [i.e. Catholic] women to be sold to merchants and shipped to Virginia." It is a fact that of the white persons who came to the English-American colonies in the 17th-18th centuries nearly HALF of them were slaves in some manner. In fact, John Van Der Zee, in his work, Bound Over, documents that:
"From 1609 until well after the founding of the Republic, half of all colonists who came to America arrived under some form of involuntary labor" (p. 33).It was white men, women and children, who were the first slaves in colonial America. An honest Black historian, Eric Williams, even recognized this fact where he admitted in his book, From Columbus to Castro (p.103):
"The practice [of slave merchants] developed and tolerated the kidnapping of whites, [which] laid the foundation for the kidnapping of negroes."It was white slaves who first labored to clear the woods and build the roads for the establishment of the English colonies. A classic representation of those who advocated white slavery in "Nova Brittania" (New Britain) was Elizabethian preacher and geographer, Richard Hycliff. He advised Queen Elizabeth that poor whites should be:
"condemned for certain years in the western parts of the New World, where they would do their country good service by performing such useful chores as felling timber, mining precious minerals, and laboring for the land owners."Such information, because it is not "politically correct," has been hidden from students of history for decades. In fact, what most Americans have never been told is that of the 120+ Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower, twelve were slaves -white slaves.
Proof: Documents and historical records of Virginia, see: William Henning, Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in the Year 1619 to 1823, 13 volumes, Charlottesville, VA.: University Press of Virginia, 1969. See also, Michael A. Hoffman II, They Were White and They Were Slaves: The Untold History of the Enslavement of Whites in Early America, Coeur d'Alene, ID: The Independent History & Research Co., 1992; John Van Der Zee, Bound Over: Indentured Servitude & American Conscience, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1985.
Myth #11: Indians were there to greet the Pilgrims when they landed at Plymouth.
Fact: No Indians were seen, let alone greeted the Pilgrims when they arrived. They did not meet any Indians for nearly three months.
Myth #12: The (Protestant) Pilgrims were the first Europeans to explore and settle New England.
Fact: French Catholics had first arrived and claimed the New England region long before the Pilgrims arrived. A French settlement was established along the Kennebec River (in Maine) in the 1570s. Champlain and his expedition had entered and explored today's Vermont in 1609; and Franciscan missionaries had entered that same region in 1615 and had some limited success in evangelizing the local natives. Two mission/settlements were established in Maine before the Pilgrims arrived: in 1604, along the St. Croix River (the Holy Cross Mission headed by Father Nicholas Aubrey) and, in 1611 along the Penobscot River (Holy Savior Mission run by Father Peter Biard, S.J.). Unfortunately, the latter two were both attacked and destroyed by English Protestants who came up from the Jamestown settlement for that express purpose.
Proof: Click to the Tower of David article Catholics: The First In New England from the US Catholic History page for details.
Go to Part 2 of U.S. History Myth Busters
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