Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Soldiers of fortune not a concept valid in the modern era. But at one time a phenomenon quite common. Poverty stricken peasantry and even impecunious lower nobility seeking riches through military expeditions and conquest.
THE REWARD IN MONETARY VALUE AS WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD TODAY MADE THE RISK WORK IT? CONSIDER SEVERAL HISTORICAL EXAMPLES.
1. Conquest of the Inca Empire. Rank and file soldiers under the command of Pizzaro their reward nothing less than a tidy sum, even by modern standards.
[at the link scroll down to item # 4 to read it all.]
"The common soldiers in Pizarro's army did well, each of them getting about 45 pounds of gold and twice that much silver from the emperor's ransom."
The value of that precious metal by current value: $984,000 gold. $20,000 silver.
2. Fort Mims Massacre, Creek War, 1813. Scalps for dollars.
Rumor without foundation precipitating a massacre of American soldiers and settlers, the taking of scalps for bounty a primary motivation.
"The Red Sticks' [Creek Indians] blood lust may have been partially fueled by a false rumor which stated that the British would pay five dollars [$5] for each white scalp delivered to Pensacola [current day Florida] . When the killing ended, as many as 517 settlers and soldiers [Americans] had been struck down"
$5 in 1813 money worth in 2018 =
"Compensation labor value
$1,140.00 or $3,080.00
income value $3,060.00"
Taking of a scalp for bounty the same as modern labor value?
Any devoted reader to the blog finding my calculations based on assumptions to be questionable? Let me hear from you.