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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Of the Kingdoms which the Island of Hispaniola did contain The Island of Hispaniola had in it five very great Kingdoms, and five very potent Kings, to whom the other Lords, of which there was a very great number were for the most part subject; for there were some few Lords of peculiar Countries that did not acknowledge the jurisdiction of these Kings; one of these Kingdoms is called Maqua, which signifies a plain.

Who with an unanimous shout cried out all, Well said, well said; and so they went to dancing round this box, not ceasing till they had sufficiently wearied themselves. This King had three or four brothers stout and valiant men, who being offended at the Captivity of their Lord and King, hearing of the devastations and rapines daily committed by the Spaniards in these Countries, and understanding that their brother was dead, resolved to take arms for the relief of their Country; but the Spaniards meeting them with a certain number of horse, which are a very great terror to the Indians made such a slaughter among them, that they depopulated the greatest part of this Country.

Some of which Lords I very well knew; this King was not meanly virtuous, by nature peaceful, and much devoted to the King of Castile. All these Massacres were committed within the space of fourteen years.

Las Casas was not the law clerical voice that criticized Spanish imperialists. Dominick consulted about sending some of their Order to this Island, to spread the light of the Gospel among the Indians, for the salvation of their souls; Whereupon casa sent a Licentiate, famous for his sanctity with a lay man, to accompany him, to visit the Country, converse with the Inhabitants, and to seek out fit places for the building of Monasteries.

These and many other things were prov’d before the fiscal of the Indies Council, and the several proofs are kept by the said Council; though it is most certain that they never put to death any of those cursed Tyrants, as if all the devastations and murders by them committed had not been at all to be regarded.

The cause of all these things are their own wicked purposes; that is to say, by the sale of the Indians to heap up treasure, yet furnishing the ships not with half provisions for the sustenance of those that they ijdies, because they would not be at too much charges; and sometimes there are hardly provisions enough to suffice the Spaniards themselves, so that the Indians ready to die for hunger and thirst, are immediately thrown into desturction sea.

Browse all BookRags Study Guides. These exercises they in their language call’d Mercies, but he Islanders Areytos. The purpose of the expeditions was primarily to convert the natives to Christianity and save them from eternal damnation. In the year 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.

And because the Country hath no Gold, for if it had they had soon ended the lives of the inhabitants, by digging in the Mines, making a gain of those bodies and souls for which Christ died, therefore those that they left alive, they made slaves of, sending whole ships away freighted with people, bartering them for Wine, Oyle, Vinegar, Pork, Horses, and other things which they stood in need of. 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.

Now being in this manner gathered together in a great and wide place, part of the Spaniards all in arm, stood at the door to keep the rest out, while others with Swords and Lances kill’d the innocent Lambs, so that not one escaped.


One flame the Roman City now destroys, And shrieks of people made a dismal noise, While Nero sung, and moved with delight, From Tarpey Hill beheld the woeful sight.

The chief Lord of the Province they took captive, putting him to several torments to squeeze his Gold from him; but he escaping fled to the Mountains, and thereupon his Subjects that lay hid among the Woods and Bushes began to raise a tumult; The Spaniards followed destroying abundance of the people; and as for those who were taken alive, they were publicly sold for slaves. This is also reported that while the Spaniards were busily acting this bloody Tragedy, killing and destroying above six thousand innocent creatures, their chief Captain in sport sung these verses: The Cities they burnt to the ground; Their Princes, having first tormented them, they carried away captive, binding them in chains.

For from the South 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: 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.

Those whom their pity did think fit to spare, they would send away with their hands half cut off, and so hanging by the skin. Now because the Indians have but few servants, for it is a very great matter to see above three servants in that place waiting upon a Noble man; therefore the Nobility were fain to come to their subjects, from whom first they took all the Orphans, then coming to those that had many children, from them that had two they took one, and from those who had three they demanded two; and thus they were fain to make up the Number which the threatening Tyrant required, while the poor people wept and deplor’d the sad misfortune of their Children, over whom they are very tender.

The word being thus given, the Soldiers all fell on, and with their swords began to hack and hew those delicate bodies, spilling that generous and noble blood with such an unheard of malice, that they left not one alive.

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

They left these Countries very much troubled and confused, having incurred no small infamy by reason of the Crimes which they committed, though they were not many: In which these words are written. Bartplome Plain is there be any thing in the world worth taking notice, claims a very nice observation.

But that very day, as was told me by some that were there, they seized upon the King, little suspecting any such matter, setting a guard upon his person of above eighty Soldiers: Out of fifty or a hundred Virgins which he had chosen out, he exchanged the best of them for the smallest vessel ddestruction Wine, Oyle, Vinegar or Pork: Here they put to the sword an infinite number of people, with many additions of cruelty.

Read more from the Study Guide. But when the Spaniards would not depart from thence, although the Viceroy used all his endeavors to recall them; he declared them Traitors and guilty of high Treason; and moreover, when the persevered in their tyranny and oppression, the religious persons seeing, that though revenge came late, that yet they would not go unpunished, and fearing left that revenge might fall upon their own heads, and besides not being able to preach the Gospel in quiet, by reason of the incursions of the Spaniards, resolv’d to leave the Kingdome, which now remains destitute of all knowledge, the souls of these poor Indians remaining in their past destruvtion of ignorance and Heathenism, all the streams of divine knowledge being taken from them, by these cursed Spaniards, as when water is taken from dr young plants; for at the time when they went away, the Indians were very covetous after the knowledge of our Religion.


Ghe then gathering together very great Forces, they sought bartooome vigorously, that the Spaniards despairing of victory resolved to retreat in a tempestuous night and to leave the City.

Neither do we now wreck on those that died under the intolerable yoke and burdens of their captivity. Which being understood by the neighbors, they were all struck with inndies.

Of Hispaniola In the Island of Hispaniola, to which the Spaniards came first, these slaughters and ruins of mankind took their beginning. Now it happened one day, that the Governor of the Island with sixty Horse, and three hundred Foot though the Horsemen were sufficient not invies to waste the Island, but also the whole Continent called to him about three edstruction of the Peers and Lords of the Nation, the greatest part dw who were the more powerful, having by craft got them together in a straw Cottage, he cause to the burnt alive together with the house, the rest with an infinite fight of people he caused to be put to death by the Soldiers, who murdered the poor people like dogs with their Swords and Lances.

When the religious persons, who had ths to the Indians that their King should return within four months, saw that he did not come in eight months, they prepared themselves for death, and to give up their lives to Christ to whom they had offer’d them before their departure out of Hispaniola; and so the innocent Indians reveng’d themselves upon the innocent Friars.

Jago, let us rush in upon them.

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

During the s, people did not know what caused disease or how it spread. These were letters dated the At the same time I arriv’d at this Island, where I saw this tyrant, and was told the relation of what he had done. 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 of the Turk against the Roman Catholic Religion.

The name of the King that there ruled was Guacanagari, under whom there were many other potent Lords, some of whom I knew: Christian missionaries such as De Las Casas were also present and did their best to try to bring justice to the lands. 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.

This Kingdom was govern’d by Guarionex, who had under his jurisdiction as his vassals, Lords and Governors so potent, that every one of them was able to bring into the field for the service of Guarionex, above Sixteen thousand men apiece.

And the men being separated from the women, there was no more issue to be expected from them. It can hardly be said or expressed, with how many injuries and unjust actions they used to afflict the poor Indians in these Countries from John and Jamaica that look’d like fruitful gardens, were possessed by the Spaniards, with the same bloody intentions, as the other were; for there they also exercised their accustomed cruelties, killing, burning, roasting men, and throwing them to the dogs, as also by oppressing them with sundry and various torments in the Gold Mines, as if they had come to rid the earth of these innocent and harmless creatures, of whom above six hundred thousand were murdered in these two Islands, so lavish were the Spanish swords of the blood of these poor souls, scarce two hundred more remaining; the rest perished without the least knowledge of God.

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 from the dead so many people as have been slain; besides the blasphemies and curses wherewith they have been bold to provoke even God himself.