"They are an inoffensive, unwarlike people, naked, except that the women wear a very slight covering at the loins; their manners are very decent, and their complexion not very dark, but lighter than that of the inhabitants of the Canary Islands. 'I have no doubt, most serene Princes,' says the Admiral, 'that were proper devout and religious persons to come among them and learn their language, it would be an easy matter to convert them all to Christianity, and I hope in our Lord that your Highnesses will devote yourselves with much diligence to this object, and bring into the church so many multitudes."
Columbus (Journal of First Voyage to America)
de Otermín (Letter on the Pueblo Revolt)
Cabeza de Vaca (Relation of Alvar Núñez)
"If e'er you deign these lowly lines your eyes, / Give thyme or parsley wreath, I ask no bays; / This mean and unrefined ore of mine / Will make your glist'ring gold but more to shine."
Anne Bradstreet (Prologue)
Anne Bradstreet (Queen Elizabeth)
Judith Sargent Murray (On the Equality)
Phillis Wheatley (To Maecenas)
"These arriving in numbers, and having themselves viewed the strange appearance, and observing that it was actually moving towards the entrance of the river or bay; concluded it to be a remarkably large house in which the Mannitto (the Great or Supreme Being) himself was present. and that he probably was coming to visit them."
"Origin of Stories"
"Arrival of the Whites"
"Confederacy of the Five Nations"
"Creation of Whites"
"The space of colonial encounters, the space in which people geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict."
de Las Casas (Brief Relation of the Devastation of the Indies)
Mary Louise Pratt (Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation)
"The latter killed in that pueblo Fray Juan de la Pedrosa, two Spanish women, and three children. There died also at the hands of the said enemies in Galisteo Joseph Nieto, two sons of Maestre de Campo Leiba, Francisco de Anaya, etc."
Cabeza de Vaca (Relation)
de Las Casas (Devastation of the Indies)
Christopher Columbus (First Voyage to America)
"To instance in the most perfect of all bodies, Christ and his church make one body: the severall partes of this body considered aparte before they were united were disproportionate and as much disordering as soe many contrary quallities or elements but when christ comes and by his spirit and love knitts all these partes to himselfe and each to other, it is become the most perfect and best proportioned body in the world."
John Winthrop (A Modell of Christian Charity)
William Bradford (Of Plymouth Plantation)
John Smith (Advertisements)
New England Primer
"Everything looked as green as in April in Andalusia. The melody of the birds was so exquisite that one was never willing to part from the spot, and the flocks of parrots obscured the heavens."
de Las Casas (Brief Relation of Devastation of the Indies)
Christopher Columbus (Journal of the First Voyage to America)
John de Crévecoeur (Letter II)
"Yet to have lived neere 37. yeares in the midst of wars, pestilence and famine, by which many an hundred thousand have died about mee, and scarce five living of them [that] went first with me to Virginia: and [yet to] see the fruits of my labours thus well begin to prosper: though I have but my labour for my paines, have I not much reason both privately and publikely to acknowledge it and give God thankes, whose omnipotent power onely delivered me."
de Otermín (Pueblo Revolt)
"All this while the Indians came skulking about them, and would sometimes show themselves aloof off, but when any approached near them, they would runaway; and once they stole away their tools where they had been at work and were gone to dinner. But about the 16th of March, a certain Indian came boldly amongst them and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand but marveled at."
John Smith (Advertisements)
de las Casas (Devastation of the Indies)
Winthrop (A Modell of Christian Charity)
"Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain, / Who after birth did'st by my side remain."
Phillis Wheatley (On Being Brought from Africa to America)
Rowson (Slaves in Algiers)
Anne Bradstreet (Author to Her Book)
"Thou hast an house on high erect, / Framed by that mighty Architect, / With glory richly furnished, / Stands permanent though this be fled."
Anne Bradstreet (Upon the Burning of Our House)
Anne Bradstreet (A Letter to her Husband)
"Being very hungry I had quickly eat up mine, but the Child could not bite it, it was so tough and sinewy, but lay sucking, gnawing, chewing and slobbering of it in the mouth and hand, then I took it of the Child, and ate it myself, and savoury it was to my taste."
Equiano (Interesting Narrative)
de Otermín (Letter on Pueblo Revolt)
Mary Rowlandson (Sovereignty and Goodness of God)
"I have learned to look beyond present and smaller troubles, and to be quieted under them, as Moses said, Exod. 14. 13. Stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord."
Bradford (Of Plymouth Plantation)
"I put it in my pocket; there it lay, till it was so mouldy (for want of good baking) that one could not tell what it was made of; it fell all to crumbs, and grew so dry and hard, that it was like little flints; and this refreshed me many times. when I was ready to faint. It was in my thoughts when I put it into my mouth; that if ever I returned, I would tell the World what a blessing the Lord gave to such mean food."
"It is heartbreaking to see those naked Indians, heartbreaking for anyone with a vestige of piety, the famished state they are in, fainting and falling down, weak from hunger, men, women, old people, and children."
"We are convinc'd, therefore, that you mean to do us Good by your Proposal; and we thank you heartily. But you, who are wise, must know that different Nations have different Conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our Ideas of this kind of Education happen not to be the same with yours."
Ben Franklin (Information For Those Who Would Remove to America)
Ben Franklin (Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America)
"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a City, a County, a Province, or a Kingdom; but of a Continent–of at least one eighth part of the habitable Globe."
Benjamin Franklin (Information For Those Who Would Remove to America)
Thomas Jefferson (Query VI)
Thomas Paine (Common Sense)
"To die in a struggle for freedom, is better far than to live in ignominious bondage."
Foster (The Coquette)
"Boccarorra (meaning the Whiteman) make de Blackman workee, make de Horse workee, make de Ox workee, make ebery ting workee; only de Hog. He de Hog, no workee; he eat, he drink, he walk about, he go to sleep when he please, he libb like a Gentleman."
Benjamin Franklin (Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America)
"May it please the Honourable Bench to indulge me in a few Words: I am a poor unhappy Woman, who have no Money to fee Lawyers to plead for me, being hard put to it to get a tolerable Living."
Ben Frankling (Polly Baker)
Phillis Wheatley (To the University of Cambridge)
Anne Bradstreet (In Honour of Queen Elizabeth)
"The savage is feeble, and has small organs of generation; he has neither hair nor beard, and no ardor whatever for his female; although swifter than the European because he is better accustomed to running, he is, on the other hand, less strong in body; he is also less sensitive, and yet more timid and cowardly; he has no vivacity, no activity of mind."
Thomas Jefferson (Query Laws XIV)
Thomas Jefferson (Query Laws VI)
"American freeholders, the most respectable set of people in this part of the world; respectable for their industry, their happy independence, the great share of freedom they possess, the good regulation of their families, and for extending the trade and the dominion of our mother country."
"Whether the black of the negro resides in the reticular membrane between the skin and scarf-skin, or in the scarf-skin itself; whether it proceeds from the colour of the blood, the colour of the bile, or from that of some other secretion, the difference is fixed in nature."
Thomas Jefferson (Query Law XIV)
"Marriage is the tomb of friendship. It appears to me a very selfish state."
Slaves in Algiers
Judith Sargent Murray (On the Equality of the Sexes)
"Some view our sable race with scornful eye, / 'Their colour is a diabolic die.' / Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain, / May be refin'd, and join th'angelic train."
"The laws of nature still rule them, very little corrupted by ours.... I am sorry that Lycurgus and Plato did not know of them; for it seems to me that what we actually see in these nations surpasses not only all the pictures in which poets have idealized the golden age and all their inventions in imagining a happy state of man, but also the conceptions and the very desire of philosophy."
Thomas More (Utopia)
Michel de Montaigne (of Cannibals)
Mary Louise Pratt (Contact Zone)
"As if a woman's form must needs enrol, / A weak, servile, an inferiour soul; / And that the guise of man must still proclaim, / Greatness of mind, and him, to be the same."
Benjamin Franklin (Polly Baker)
"May not the intellectual powers be ranged under these four heads––imagination, reason, memory and judgment."
Benjamin Franklin (Charts)
Thomas Jefferson (Query Law VI)
"They told me that the laws of self-preservation rendered such executions necessary, and supported the doctrine of slavery with the arguments generally made use of to justify the practice, with the repetition of which I shall not trouble you at present."
"Death is too serious a matter to be sported with! An opening grave cannot be a source of amusement to any considerate mind!"
"You are a slave indeed, to rude ungoverned passion; to pride, to avarice, and lawless love;––exhaust your cruelty in finding tortures for us, and we will smiling tell you, the blow that ends our lives, strikes off our chains, and sets our souls at liberty."
"There was a free black man, a carpenter, that I knew, who, for asking a gentleman that he worked for, for the money he had earned, was put into gaol; and afterwards this oppressed man was sent from Georgia, with false accusations, of an intention to set the gentleman's house on fire, and run away with his slaves."
Thomas Jefferson (Query XIV)
"He very clearly shewed the difference between human works and free election, which is according to God's sovereign will and pleasure. These glad tidings set me entirely at liberty, and I went out of the church rejoicing, seeing my spots were those of God's children."
"There the half-ruined amphitheatres and the putrid fevers of the Campania must fill the mind with the most melancholy reflections whilst he is seeking for the origin and the intention of those structures with which he is surrounded and for the cause of so great a decay."
Benjamin Franklin (On Those Who Remove to America)
"If you let the men see you are afraid of them, they'll hector and domineer finely, no, no, let them think you don't care whether they are pleased or no, and then they'll be as condescending and humble."
"But to the disgrace of humanity and virtue, the assassin of honer; the wretch, who breaks the peace of families, who robs virgin innocence of its charms, who triumphs over the ill placed confidence of the inexperienced, unsuspecting, and too credulous fair, is received, and caressed, not only by his own sex, to which he is a reproach, but even by ours, who have every conceivable reason to despise and avoid him."