The first letter by Afonso is a protest against the citizens of Portugal who came to the kingdom on the pretext of trade and were misusing the freedom provided by the royal representatives. They were selling goods which were banned, here he meant arms and ammunition which was sold by the merchants and made the king’s army redundant and created lawlessness.
The next thing he addresses is Kidnapping of people from noblemen to vassals from royalty to anyone imaginable the Portuguese aided by some natives were enslaving people and as Afonso says almost depopulating the country. He repeatedly requests most humbly the king to intervene and stop the atrocity. He declares that other than some priest and other good men, here he may mean doctors, as the other letter is about the need for doctors and teachers, and the things they need are Wine and flour. What he particularly emphasizes they do not require are merchants and goods as in his view this led to the slave trade, which he is totally against.
The helplessness is evident as the king states that without help from the Portuguese King no change can occur and complete dependence of the King on Portuguese is clear it also shows how vulnerable he is. His pleadings are extremely submissive.
The second part of the letter is about the actual practice of slavery, how people are bartered by those natives who desire foreign goods and men from all walks of lives, the king is more outraged about people of rank and their treatment especially between captives and free men. The way slaves, when taken by the white men, are branded like cattle, if the slaves are caught, first the merchants refuse to tell the people who sold them and if they want to take them back the Portuguese feel offended.
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