"Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold."
- Christopher Columbus, on seizing indigenous peoples (Arawak Indians) from the island of Hispaniola, when reporting to Spain on his excursion.
When Columbus first makes landfall, he reports, after meeting the very generous, very hospitable natives of the American Indies -
"They brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned. They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, and they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane... they would make fine servants. With fifty men, we could subjugate them and make them do whatever we want."
Some pretty famous quotes there.
Christopher was a pretty ignorant man. Despite the fact that pretty much everyone educated in Europe and Asia at the time knew the circumference of the Earth pretty accurately (since around 200 BC), he thought the Earth was about 1/3rd the size it actually was. It was mainly luck that Colombus even survived to the West Indies. He simply didn't have enough supplies. While he didn't understand science very well, he did understand trade winds. The moron read maps, thinking that the miles were Italian miles (when they were actually Arabian miles, which are much much longer). The only reason Spain agreed on his insane terms was because they didn't think he would survive the trip. It's amazing that he did.