In his letter describing his findings to his king, he wrote, “And there I found very many islands filled with people innumerable and of them all I have taken possession for their Highnesses. …” Columbus never stopped to consider that these islands were not his to take, nor were the people that inhabited them. He simply took over these lands, even going so far as to rename them all. His first sight of what he termed “Indians” was of a group of attractive, unclothed people. Speculation is that, to him, their nakedness represented a lack of culture, customs, and religion.
Columbus saw this as an opportunity to spread the word of God, while at the same considering how they could possibly be exploited. He believed that they would be easy to conquer because they appeared defenseless, easy to trick because they lacked experience in trade, and an easy source of profit because they could be enslaved. It obviously did not occur to Columbus to consider these people in any terms aside from that of master and slave. Columbus thinks that New World could be well adapted for the working of the gold mines and for all kinds of commerce.