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 Bartolomé de las Casas. No cover available. Download; Bibrec.

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A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolomé de las Casas

Neither are those, which are prov’d, verifi’d to any purpose, neither is there that credit given to them as indeed there should be; for if they would but do their duty both to God and the King, they would soon made the King to have been cheated by the German Tyrants of above three millions of Gold; for the Region of Venezuela being about This Furcifur carried himself obscenely toward a deserving religious person, boasting to him, that he had got as many Indians as he could with childe, that they might yield the more profit in the sale of them.

The images described by Las Casas were later depicted by Theodor de Bry in copper plate engravings that helped expand the Black Legend against Spain. But as for that abominable tyrant that exceeded all that were before in tyranny, and is equal to all that remains behind, let us now find him out in Guatemala. Now let us judge of the love which such kind of men bear toward Christianity, or after what manner they believe in God, whom they boast to be good and just, and whose Law is without blemish.

In which these words are written. And this may be also a general rule, that the Spaniards to what ever part of the Indies they did come to, after that time ceased not to exercise their abominable slaughters, tyrannies, and execrable oppressions upon the poor people, and being delighted with new kinds of torments, daily increased their cruelty and rage.

Domingue, being five hundred miles in length, might be till’d; which promises I am very confident he would cheerfully have performed; and then might the King of Castile have had a revenue of above Three millions of Castilian Crowns, and there had been still remaining in the Island above fifty Cities as large all of them as Seville.

This King thw from the cruelty and enormous murders of the Spaniards, being depriv’d of his Kingdom, died poorly in the mountains.

A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolomé de las Casas – Free Ebook

Neither is it to be hop’d that these losses can be repaired as long as the World stands, unless God by some miracle should raise indirs the dead so many people as have been slain; besides the blasphemies and curses wherewith they have been bold to provoke even God himself. To this place came the old sea Captain that first discovered America, who was received with so much courtesy and friendship by Guacanagari, who gave him and his associates all the help and assistance that might be for his ship was there sunk that upon his return into Spain he would often affirm, that his own parents in his own Country were never so friendly to him.

De Las Casas is also noted as one of the first writers and thinkers to racialize the indigenous people of the Americas.

A Short Account of tge Destruction of the Indies is a book that is acclaimed by scholars for its rhetorical effect. Las Casas won the debate but pas timid judges refused to make their decision public.

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 ineies 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, cass 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 indiies.


This Tyrant out of the Province of Panucon, went to Methuaca Xalisco, which were Countries fruitful both in men and money, and no small glory of the Indian Nation, having Cities that were in length above seven miles. The rest of his Nobles ended their se in that servitude and slavery which shall be hereafter related. About this time a certain man who came to visit their purses rather then their souls, knowing the Indians to be adorers of Idols, for the Spaniards had not taught them better, kept them captive till they had delivered all their Images, for they thought that they had been all of Gold, but when they found themselves deceived, he inflicted upon them punishments as if they had committed some great offence, destructionn because he would not utterly lose their hopes, caused them to redeem vartolome Idols with Gold, to adore them; and thus did the Spaniards procure the worship of God among the Indians.

As for him that went by sea, he vex’d all the shore with his incursions and cruelties, to whom there came certain out of the Kingdom of Yucatan, which lies in the way to the Kingdoms of Naco, and Naymura, whither he was la marching, and brought him many presents, yet he was no sooner come into the Country, but he sent the soldiers to depopulate and waste the same, who ceased not to barotlome many abominable outrages.

This we are sure of, that at the beginning he carried himself very cruelly; and if he be alive, most assuredly he hath destroy’d an infinite number of people; for he among all those who have done most mischief in ruining both Provinces and Kingdoms, is famous for his Savage fury; wherefore I am apt to believe that God hath put the same end to his life, as to the others.

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

For the Indians, believed that the religious persons were guilty of the said treachery, partly because that their promises concerning the return of their King in four months had prov’d so vain, partly because the Indians bwrtolome no distinction between the religious persons ccasas the thieving Spaniards. Hereupon many sent home for the price of their Redemption, that they might be at liberty to seek for Victuals: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos.

Among the rest, a certain seditious rebel entering into a region bordering upon Guatemala, burnt up their City, killing the Inhabitants, and laying waste all the Country, which he did on purpose, that if he should be pursued by his enemies, they might be liable to the revenge of the Indians as they passed along; which happened accordingly, for there the chief Commander from whose power the foresaid Captain had rebell’d, was slain; but he was succeeded by many other fell tyrants, who with their wonted cruelties and captivity destroyed the people, selling them to those that brought garments and other provision, and by that kind of servitude, which they practiced from the year Of the Island of Cuba In the year,they went over into the Island of Cuba, which extends as far in length as it is from Valladolid to Rome, in which bartolkme were many fair Provinces, inhabited with an infinite number of people, where the humanity and clemency of the Spaniards was not only as little as it had been in other places, but their cruelty and rage much greater.


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He describes the extensive torture, murder, and mutilation of the Natives, referring to them as “innocent Sheep” who were “assaulted” by the Spanish colonizers. Once they were sold they were worked to death within months, sometimes even days because they were overworked and never fed. This infinite multitude of people was so created by God, as that they were without fraud, without subtlety or malice, to their natural Governors most faithful and obedient.

Moreover he destroyed not a few by compelling them to carry ships from one shore to another, causing them to bear great vessels, together with their Anchors of an extraordinary weight from the North sea to the South, being distant one from the other a hundred and thirty miles.

When the Spaniards departed out of the Kingdome invited the son of a certain Noble man, Governor either of a City or great Province, that he would go along with him, who answering that he was unwilling to leave his native Country, they threatened to cut off his ears unless he would go along with him; notwithstanding all which, he persevered in his resolution; whereupon they cut off his nose and the upper part of his lip, with as little remorse as if they had been paring their nails.

And as for the poor Captives they served them with so much zeal and affection, that they could require nothing more then adoration it self. Once entering into a certain Village, they were with great joy and exultation received by the Spaniards, who gave them provision till they were satisfied, allowing them also six hundred Indians to carry their burdens, and to look to their horses. 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.

De Las Casas supported the overall Spanish colonial experiment in the Americas, while condemning the abuse of the indigenous people. Since the Spaniards horded most of the gold that they stole from the native villages and gave only a tiny fraction to the Spanish royal treasury, it was a higher priority for the Spanish nobles to recover the stolen gold and to prosecute the soldiers.

In the year Toward the Spaniards whom they serve, patient, meek and peaceful, and who laying all contentious and tumultuous thoughts aside, live without any hatred or desire of revenge; the people are most delicate and tender, enjoying such a feeble constitution of body as does not permit them to endure labor, so that the Children of Princes and great persons here, are not more nice and delicate then the Children of the meanest Country-man in that place.

For the slaughters, massacres, cruelties, devastations of Countries, destructions of Cities, violences, tyrannies, and rapines of the Spaniards, which they did commit in these so many several and so large Kingdoms, are so numberless, and strike the mind with such a horror, that those which we have before related, are nothing in respect of these which we are to relate, being all perpetrated in the year From toLas Casas traveled back and forth between Spain and Spanish colonies in Latin America numerous times, struggling to find a common ground between Spanish authorities and his own humanitarian aims to improve the conditions of Indian subjects in Spanish dominions.

And a little after he proceeds thus.