When west European conquistadors and colonists staked their claims to territories in the vast New Worlds they discovered across the Ocean-Sea, they took great pains to establish the legality, morality, and philosophical legitimacy of their possession and occupation of the new lands, and their subjugation of the indigenous populations. Critical to these European discussions was the relationship of the native peoples to their lands prior to European conquest, a relationship that had to be in some way devalued or invalidated in order to justify colonial appropriation. In righteous tracts and heated debates, in decrees, laws, and ceremonies of possession, Englishmen, Frenchmen, and, most vehemently, Spaniards weighed the competing interests of indigenous peoples and the colonists. In a series of exchanges epitomized by the famous debates between Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda and Bartolomé de Las Casas, the Spanish explored the moral obligations and pitfalls involved in their seizure of land in the New World, while the English, less conflicted on the issue, confidently composed apologetics under such titles as “The Lawfulness of Removing out of England into the Parts of America.”1