Montesquieu

If what the rela­tions tell us is true, the cons­ti­tu­tion of a peo­ple in Louisiana cal­led the Natchez is an excep­tion to this. Their chief dis­po­ses of the pro­perty of all his sub­jects, and makes them work at his whim ; they can­not refuse him their heads1 : he is like the Turkish sul­tan. When the pre­sump­tive heir is born, all nur­sing infants are given to him to serve him throu­ghout his life­time. You would take him for the great Sesostris. This chief is trea­ted in his cabin with cere­mo­nies befit­ting an empe­ror of Japan or China.

The pre­ju­di­ces of super­sti­tion take pre­ce­dence over all other pre­ju­di­ces, and its rea­sons over all other rea­sons. Thus, although savage peo­ples do not natu­rally know des­po­tism, this peo­ple does. They wor­ship the sun ; and if their chief had not ima­gi­ned that he was the bro­ther of the sun, they would have seen nothing more in him than a poor devil like them­sel­ves.

Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, 20th volume.