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Slavery In The De Bry Collection: The Formation Of A Worldwide Comparative Perspective

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the treatment of slavery in the De Bry collection largely through the prism of the prints. The plates showed the customs of overseas peoples and the interaction with Europeans. They dealt with what differed from Europe and with differences between foreign peoples. Benzoni described how the conquistadores destroyed the Indians of the Caribbean. They requisitioned food and robbed them of golden objects. The African slaves on Hispaniola were caught in a quite different social mechanism, as four plates from the Benzoni edition show. Comparisons between the customs of overseas peoples and of Europeans and of overseas peoples among each other frequently occurred in the texts of European travel reports. The plates of the De Bry collection hardly suggested that the development of civility led to a milder treatment of slaves.

Keywords: African slaves; Benzoni; Caribbean; De Bry collection; Europeans; Hispaniola; slavery



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