“George Ashmun (December 25, 1804 – July 16, 1870) was a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts. Ashmun was born in Blandford, Massachusetts to Eli P. Ashmun and Lucy Hooker. He graduated from Yale in 1823 and was married to Martha E. Hall in 1828. He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1833 to 1837, and the Massachusetts Senate from 1838 to 1840. In 1841, he returned to the Massachusetts House where he served as Speaker.
Ashmun was elected to the U.S. Congress from the Sixth District of Massachusetts in 1844, held office from 1845 to 1851 and was a member of the committees on the judiciary, Indian affairs, and rules. He opposed the Mexican–American War, and was a strong supporter of Daniel Webster.”
Nothing, surely, could be more clear and emphatic, unless, perhaps, the statement of the same position by the chairman of Foreign Affairs in this House. On the 3rd of February 1845, he [Ashmun] introduced his resolutions, and spoke in explanation of them; and, on the subject of the boundary, said:
“The stupendous deserts between the Nueces and the Bravo rivers are the natural boundaries between the Anglo Saxon and the Mauritanian races. There ends of the valley of the west. There Mexico begins. Thence, beyond the Bravo, begins the Moorish people, and their Indian associates, to whom Mexico properly belongs; who should not cross that vast desert if they could, as we, on our side, too ought to stop there, because interminable conflicts must ensure our going south, or their coming north, of that gigantic boundary. While peace is cherished, that boundary will be sacred. Not till the spirit of Conquest rages, will the people on either side molest or mix with each other; and whenever they do, one or the other races must be conquered, if not extinguished.”
“Here, Mr. Chairman, we see again an official declaration of this boundary made to quiet all fear that our relations with Mexico would be disturbed by claiming to the Rio Grande! And we see, also, the spirit of prophecy proclaiming, in tones of solemn warning, that while peace is cherished, the desert will be held sacred as the boundary! that not till the spirit of conquest rages will the people on either side of it molest or mix each other! Sir, it is because peace is no longer cherished, that the boundary is not held sacred. It is because the barbarous spirit that animated this declaration, could still have controlled the councils of the President, we should now be in the enjoyment of peace. But mark how the lapse of a few months bring with it a change of opinions to suit the changing purposes of party and of men. We were called upon, a few days since, by this same chairman, to print some extra copies of a report, made at the last session by him, on the subject of the Mexican war. It had fallen dead upon the attention of the country, but by the vote to print, it was elevated to a degree of distinction which alone entitles it to attention; and I accordingly have run through its voluminous pages. And I was not surprised to find a paragraph upon the subject of boundary, so entirely contradictory of every thing contained in the above exact, that it worthy of being collated and contrasted. It is on the 44th page, and is as follows:
“President Polk had no constitutional right to stop short of the Bravo; and, in truth, the province of Texas extended to that river by territorial configuration, which nature itself has rendered the limitary demarcation of that region.”
Qouting Dr. Aisha Khan author of Islam and the Americas (New World Diasporas):“The Spanish conquistador Hernon Cortez arrived in Mexico in 1519 and referred to the Aztecs he encountered as Moors, and one priest in Cortez part said that the indigenous peoples of northern Mexico reminded him of al Arabes or Arabs, Spaniards called Aztec and Inca temples mosques and drew parallels between some Indian and Islamic rituals that involved animal sacrifice.”As late as 1572, a Jesuit explorer informed his ruler that the natives were ‘for the most part like the Moors of Granada’. See Moors in Mesoamerica: The Impact of AlAndalus in the New World by Simon Shaw
“Spoken proverbially of Pedro Carbonero, who penetrated into the land of the Moors, but failed to return, and perished there with all his followers.” See The True History of the Conquest of New Spain
“During the time of war, those Indians who were made prisoners were considered slaves, and were called Indios de guerra, just the same as when the Spaniards made war upon the Moors of Barbary, the slaves, in that case, being called Berberiscos. Then there were the ransomed slaves, Indios de rescate, as they were called, who, being originally slaves in their own tribe, were delivered by cacique of that tribe, or by other Indians, in lieu of tribute. Upon this it must be remarked that the word slave meant a very different thing in Indian language from what it did in Spanish language, and certainly did not exceed in signification the word vassal. A slave in an Indian tribe, as LAS CASA remarks, possessed his house, his hearth, his private property, his farm, his wife, his children, and his liberty, except when at certain states times his lord had need of him to build his house, or labor upon a field, or at other similar things which occurred at stated intervals. This statement is borne out by a letter addressed to the Emperor from the auditors of Mexico, in which they say that, “granted that among the Indians there were slaves, the one servitude is very different from the other. The Indians, treated their slaves as relations and vassals, the Christians as dogs.”
“In 1878, his attention as directed to its former presence at the Belvidere Museum by a notice in Baron von Sacken’s descriptive catalog of the Imperial Ambras collection printed in Vienna in 1855, wherein, among rare objects from various parts of the world, it is mentioned as follows: “No. 3—A Mexican head-dress about 3 ft. in height composed of magnificent green feathers studded with small plates of gold. This specimen was termed in the inventory of 1596 ‘a Moorish hat.”“Guided by this note, Herr von Hochstetter with the assistance of Dr. Ilg, the custodian of the Ambras collection, found the precious relic and rescued it from an obscure corner of a show-case where it hung, folded together, next to a medieval bishop’s mitre and surrounded by sundry curiosities from North America, China and Sunda Islands.”
“On folio 472 of the ancient document, it is cataloged with other objects in feather-work contained in a chest (No. 9) and is described as a Moorish hat of beautiful, long, lustrous green and gold-hued feathers, bedecked above with white, red and blue feathers and gold rosettes and ornaments.In front, on the forehead, it has a beak of pure gold. The term Moorish, as here applied can scarcely be regarded as a deceptive one inasmuch as “Montezuma, the king of Temistitan and Mexico,” is subsequently designated as “a Moorish king” in this same inventory of 1596. (See p.9)”
“It is interesting to note the gradual changes that occur in the wording of the subsequent periodical official registrations of this “Moorish hat. In 1613 its description was faithfully reproduced. In 1621 the word “Indian” was substituted for “Moorish:” with this single alteration, the original text was transcribed in 1730.”
“In 1788, however, a remarkable transformation was effected, the hat became “an apron” and the official record reads An Indian apron of long green feathers. It is garnished above with a narrow band of white feathers, followed by a broad one of green, then there is a narrow stripe of red and broad one of blue. The bands are studded with crescents or horseshoes, small circular plates and other than gold pieces. The old inventory designates this object as an Indian hat.”“The Inventory of 1596 affords the corroborative proof of a previously existing method of labeling the articles in the Arch-ducal Museum by the reference (after its brief entry) to ” a slip of paper attached to it,” for further details concerning the history of an Indian axe ” that had belonged to a Moorish king. This weapon belonged to Montezuma II, king of Temistitan and Mexico.” It was sent by the Spanish Captain Ferdinand Cortes to the Pope whence it came as a present to Archduke Ferdinand.”Source: Standard or head-dress?: an historical essay on …, Volume 1, Issues 1888-1904 By Zelia Nuttall
“The blurring of Indian and Moor was not limited to architectural expression but also arose in dramaturgy. A play entitled ‘The Conquest of Jerusalem’, organized by the mendicant orders in Tlaxcala in 1539, saw a re-enactment of an epic battle between Christian and Muslim in which Fray Motolinía informs us ‘troops from Castilla y León made up the vanguard, with real weapons and standards’ alongside Indians. In also casting the natives as Moors, the Spanish reveal much of how Islam continued to affect them in the New World.
“This popular genre of play has been analyzed by historians as mere cultural hangovers from Spain’s Islamic past; however it can also provide further insights into the preoccupations of the Franciscans through their casting of actors and plot, as well as emphasising the need to assess Spanish behaviour in the context of their experiences with Muslims. The continuing tendency for Christians to evoke their Moorish rivals in a range of mediums in the New World reveals the importance of Al-Andalus in the struggle to interpret the nature of the Indians as well as their primary goal of liberating Jerusalem. Clearly, the ‘discourse of similitude’, favoured by both missionary and soldier alike, is a theme that is not confined to the writings of the Spanish but to a wider range of cultural products than historians have so far admitted. Thus, dramaturgy and architecture can be used to highlight the way in which the Spanish treated Moors and Indians as the same race.”