Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter I >> Page 11

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 11

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
at the success of his unworthy scheme, pursued his
way to St. Domingo, where a slave market had been
already established, by the policy of Las Casas, who
proposed to supply, with a hardier population, the place
and numbers of the feeble natives, who were perishing
fast under the unmeasured cruelties of their iron-handed
masters. But his triumph was not entirely without its
qualifications. One of his vessels foundered before he
reached his port, and captors and captives alike were
swallowed up in the seas together. His own vessel sur-
vived, but many of his captives sickened and died ; and
he himself was reserved for the time, only to suffer a
more terrible form of punishment. Though he had lost
more than half of the ill-gotten fruits of his expedition,
the profits which remained were still such as to encour-
age him to a renewal of his enterprize. To this he
devoted his whole fortune, and with three large vessels
; and many hundred men, he once more descended upon
the coast of Carolina.
As if the retributive Providence had been watchful of
the place, no less than the hour of justice, it so hap-
pened that, at the mouth of the very river where his
crime had been committed, he was destined to meet
his punishment. His largest vessel was stranded as
he reached the point he aimed at, and the infuriate
natives, availing themselves of the event, set upon the
struggling Spaniards in the sea. Two hundred of them
were massacred, and, according to one account, though
this has been denied, Velasquez himself, with others of
his company, fell victims to the cannibal propensities
of the savages. Whatever may be the doubts cast upon