Dear Queen Isabella | Teen Ink

Dear Queen Isabella

December 14, 2007
By Ethan Strong, Eugene, OR

Dear Queen Isabella,

Why me? Why did Columbus and his men choose me to be the last slave alive? I cry when I think of my dead wife and kids laying there on the ground, struck down by a mighty blade. Now, I please ask you to hear my plea for help. My whole world was flipped on its head on that fateful day at the beginning of the winter.

On the day I saw a ship coming out of the heavy fog and mist, I was one of the men sent out to greet the new and different people. Now I sorely wish they had never come to this island and cursed us for the rest of my tribe’s lives. That was the day history was changed.

He came with a crew of 90 odd men. They had white skin and carried sticks that fired small pellets at an incredible speed and could kill if they found there mark. We greeted them with gifts of parrots, balls of cotton, spears of cane and many other things. At first they were considerate, trading with us and mingling. Then they enslaved us, killed us if we didn’t find gold and, took women and children to do heinous deeds.

My brother was one of the first men to get carried, struggling, to the quarries to mine for gold and he didn’t get the required quantity over a moons period and his hands were cut off. He lived for a full 3 days before he died of loss of blood. My child, my dear, dear child was one of the ones to go in an impossibly hideous way. The soulless beasts cut him down to test the sharpness of their blades.

Yet he continually called his work “the lords will”. What kind of Supreme Being would create 250,000 people just to have them enslaved and killed off in cold blood? He would murder children in their beds and leave the parents to deal with the body. I ask you again: who could do this and why? Why would anyone do something that would make them fall from the graces of your so called “god” who leaves the kids to die from starvation or heat stroke?

I am begging you to reconsider taking all of my people as slaves and killing those who don’t submit to your reign. I myself am a slave for Columbus’s captain and have worked hard to do many hard jobs such as cleaning the bilge and working to scrub the grime off the meal tables. My pay wage: nothing. My meals: the bare leftovers after the animals have had their fill.

It was an amazing journey but in essence, he came to an unknown land, took the resources, killed many people and left my tribe in ruins. Leave our people to pick up the pieces and mend ourselves or even more than 125,000 people will commit suicide.

An anonymous slave

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