Columbus decides that Cuban captives should be taken to Castile for training in language, faith, and custom so they might be resettled in Cuba, much as the Portuguese had done with African captives in their African trading posts. He orders the seizure of five young men who had come aboard the Santa María. He also dispatches armed sailors ashore to seize seven women and three small children.
One woman’s husband—the father of the children—later canoes to theSanta María and begs to be allowed aboard to reunite with his family. Columbus consents.
On November 12, Columbus recounts in the Journal that the Indians lacked religion, didn’t know evil, and believed the Christians came from the heavens. He observed that, unlike peoples in Africa, the Indians all spoke one language. This would facilitate their subjugation.