Indies, by Bartolome de las Casas This eBook is for the use of anyone PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DESTRUCTION OF THE INDIES ***. “A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies,” by Bartolome de Las Casas Las Casas was not the only clerical voice that criticized Spanish imperialists. A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolom√© de las Casas. No cover available. Download; Bibrec.

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There being a certain Christian who went about to defile a virgin, her mother interposed her self, and would have taken the ineies from him; the Spaniard drawing forth his dagger, cut laz her hand, and afterwards slew the virgin, because she would not give consent to his lustful desire.

And thus, also they carried their Artillery from one place to another, putting them upon their naked shoulders, whereby re oppressed with the monstrous weight of those burdens, they funk down often of them in the way, of which I was many times an eyewitness.

The first place they came to, was Hispaniola, being a most fertile Island, and for the bigness of it very famous, it being no less then six hundred miles in compass.

Now it is here to be noted that the desolation of these Islands and Provinces happened after the death of Queen Isabel, who deceased in the yearfor before that time few of the Provinces were entrenched upon by any unjust war, or over-flowed with this deluge of devastation; or if any thing was before that time done, it was conceal’d from the knowledge of the Queen, for she was always zealous and solicitous for the safety and prosperity of this poor people.

At that time the Indians presented them with several great sums of Gold, doing many other kindnesses for them. Dominic, of which I was a very real witness, as even one of those who escaped the same fate by a great miracle, which I had resolved not to have mentioned, left the horror of the fact should deter others.

This Tyrant vex’d and tormented these poor creatures with so many continual injuries, slaughters, captivities and cruelties, that no tongue is able to express them. Most of the time they were too welcoming and were eaten out of their homes. Inafter Las Casas first wrote the chronicle later known as A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indiesduring the hearings ordered by Charles I of Spain to resolve issues of forceful conversion and colonial exploitation of Indians, Las Casas presented the account before the members of the Council of the Indies as proof of atrocities committed upon Indians by colonial authorities.

Now by reason that there were beams in the house whither the Indians got up to avoid the fury of the German swords; therefore O cruel beasts the Governor sent certain men to set fire upon the house, and so burnt them alive: One of these sacrilegious Robbers, John Garcia by name, being very sick and like to die had under his bed two burdens of these Idols, who when the Indian woman that looked to him was with him, commanded her that she should not deliver those Idols at a small rate, because they were of the best fort, and therefore that she should not fell them, but for an Indian man or woman in exchange, and as he was making this kind of will he expired.

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies – Wikisource, the free online library

But they found that glorious Country so desert, so depopulated, so wasted and destroyed, that they themselves though a vartolome of blood thirsty Tyrants, were amaz’d and wondered to behold such ruins and depopulations. Badtolome who can now question but that his soul is now tormented in the flames of Hell!

He adds further, Your Majesty hath in these Countries more friends and servants then you are aware of; for there is no soldier of all those that serve in these parts, who does not publicly and openly profess, whether he rob, steal, kill or burn the subjects of your Majesty, for the obtaining of gold, but that he does it to do your Majesty service.


De Las Casas’ commitment to saving the bartoloe and to uncovering the truth of the conquest of the New World is astounding.

Las Casas, “Destruction of the Indies”

Even though it was their policy to convert the natives and protect their souls, they had a different agenda. There is no man that can sufficiently express the fertility of this Island, the temperateness of the air, or the multitude of the people that did inhabit it. Wherefore to avoid prolixity, I shall say no more concerning these things, leaving them to be revealed at the day of judgment, when God shall pour his vengeance down upon these robbers and destroyers of mankind.

The men perished in the Gold Mines with hunger and labor, the women perished in the fields, being tired out with the same calamities: All the Lords and Noble men, were kept a while in chains, and afterward at the Commandment of the Spanish Captain, tied to stakes and burnt to death.

The religious persons had not been there above forty days, when they began to bring in all their Idols, and to commit them to the fire; and afterwards they brought their children, whom they loved as dearly as the apples of their eyes, to the religious persons to be instructed. In this Island many things were done worthy observation. Jago, let us rush in upon them. The religious persons being arriv’d were received as Angels from heaven, ear being giv’n to their words with all attention, alacrity and affection, that they were able at that time, for they were ignorant of our language; it happened afterwards when the religious persons were gone, that there came a band of Soldiers, who according to their customs of fraud and impiety, carried away captive the Prince of the Province, who either because that name was given him by the Religious persons, or by the other Spaniards was call’d Alfonsus; for they delight to be called by the names of the Christians, and therefore before they are informed of any thing else they desire to be baptized.

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies Summary & Study Guide

There might have been erected by the Spaniards many brave and large Cities where they might have liv’d as in a Paradise, had they not rendered themselves totally unworthy of any such benefits through their own enormities and impieties.

Feed the stock of the slaughter, whose possessors slay them and hold themselves not guilty, and they that sell them say, Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich. Only a small percentage of the gold they took was given to the Spanish purse. But the Captain had given command that at a certain hour they should fall upon them; and he himself being about to lead the way, cry’d out, St.

With this kind of torture they put to death many other of the Princes and Noble men of the Country. Wikisource has original text related to this article: Through this Province runs the River of Yuya Pari which rises in other Countries about two hundred miles distant. They would often lay wagers who should with most dexterity either cleave or cut a man in the middle, or who could at one blow cut off his head.

Which having said, taking up a little Chest filled with Gold, he proceeded in these words: However, the mere injustice that occurred with the lives of innocent people was not enough to spur the nobles in Spain to action.

A certain Lord of great power among them by name Hathvey, who had fled over to Cuba, that he might avoid either death or perpetual captivity, hearing by some of the Indians that the Spaniards were also come into this Island, having assembled the Indians together, he began as followeth: In this Country at that time Canabao did reign, who for power, dignity, gravity, and the ceremonies which were used towards him, far exceeded the rest. Once they were sold they were worked to death within months, sometimes even days because they were overworked and never fed.


Among which there was none that they used more then dancing and reveling, which they performed all night long in the streets.

In this Kingdome, or else in some province of new Spain, it happened that a Spaniard being a hunting, his dogs seemed to him to be a hungry, whereupon he took a little Infant out of the mothers arms, and cutting off the thighs and arms of the Childe, cast it to his dogs, and when they had devoured those, he cast the whole body to them.

For with the excessive work you demand of them they fall ill and die, or rather you kill them with your desire to extract and acquire gold every day. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. In a word, their covetousness, their ambition, which could not be more in any people under heaven, the riches of the Country, and the patience of the people gave occasion to this their devilish barbarism.

However, in he gave up his encomienda and went to Rome where he was ordained a deacon before returning to the Americas. In these ten or twelve years, what with Men, Women, Youths, and Children, above four millions were by the Spaniards consumed part by fire, part by the sword in these destructive wars; wars more unjust and more condemn’d both by the Law of God and men, then any invasion bartoome the Turk against the Roman Catholic Religion.

For from the Destruxtion to the North it is stretched forward fourscore miles in length; in breadth it takes up sometimes eight, sometimes five, and sometimes ten miles, on all sides it is shut up with very high mountains; it is watered by thirty thousand Rivers and Rivolets, whereof twelve are not less then either Duerus, Ebrus, or Guadalquiver: Being thus broken with so many evils, afflicted with so many torments, and handled so ignominiously, they began at length to believe that the Spaniards were not sent from Heaven.

These exercises they in their language call’d Mercies, but he Islanders Areytos. De Las Casas is also noted as one of the first writers and thinkers to racialize the indigenous people of the Americas. John and Jamaica In the yearthe Islands of Od. Are you not bound to love them as you love yourselves? And inries the lot fell upon a company caszs had an old or a sick man, he to whom the lot fell, was wont to break forth into these expressions, Cursed be this old fellow, why do you give him me?

At length there came a Franciscan Friar who freed him from his torments, but not from death, which immediately ensued. Whereupon every one took a hundred less or more, according as his occasions required.

All these things were done, the Tyrant himself beholding and consenting; and not only so, but they oppressed them and continually abused them with stripes and blows of their canes and fists, leaving no cruelty unexercised toward them. All which Islands, though they amount to such a number containing in length of ground the space of above Two thousand miles, lie now altogether solitary without any people or Inhabitant.

Of Hispaniola In the Island of Hispaniola, to which the Spaniards came first, these slaughters and ruins of mankind took their beginning. But that very day, as was told me by some that were there, they seized upon the King, little suspecting any such indles, setting a guard upon his person of above eighty Soldiers: