“A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from [ages] nine to ten are now in demand.” — Christopher Columbus
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue from Europe for a place called the Indies, in search of gold, silk, spices, and mostly gold, under the flag of one of history’s more accomplished church sponsors.
But instead of finding the Indies, Columbus found a new hemisphere, populated by “the best people in the world and above all the gentlest.” According to Columbus himself, these people were “very simple and honest and exceedingly liberal with all they ha[d], none of them refusing anything he may possess when he is asked for it.” Additionally, “they exhibit[ed] great love toward all others in preference to themselves.”
So, Columbus called them Indians, and demanded that they bring him all of their gold.
When the Indians didn’t bring Columbus as much gold as he wanted, he hacked off their body parts with swords, threw them into vats of boiling soap, and chased them to the hills with trained attack dogs. When that didn’t work either, Columbus turned them all into slaves, including, especially, girls from ages nine to ten, who would be trained early in the ways of presumable complaisance.
From here, Columbus and his son Diego would become founding partners in the Trans-Atlantic African slave trade, and the United States of America was born: A nation in need of a pastime.
Hundreds of years later, this great tradition is honored in the city of Cleveland, Ohio by the Major League Baseball club called the Indians, and its logo, Chief Wahoo, which is never ever going anywhere because it is a portrait of great Indian ballplayer Louis Sockalexis, who logged 367 at-bats with the Cleveland team before ruining his career by jumping from a second-story window of a whorehouse.
And the second Monday of every October is Columbus Day, a great American holiday. Banks and post offices are closed and there is free parking downtown all day if you can get it.