Bartoleme de Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies. (). The Indies were discovered in the year one thousand four hundred and. Bartolome de Las Casas’ The Devastation of the Indies: A brief Account and the context of. Spanish colonisation reveal that the colonisers were repressive and. THE DEVASTATION. OF THE INDIES: A BRIEF ACCOUNT by Bartolomé de Las Casas. T. THE INDIES’ were discovered in the year one thou- sand four.

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At length they receiv’d them, but on condition that they would come alone and not let any other of the Spaniards enter in among them, which those religious persons promis’d, for they had not only a liberty, but a command from abrtolome Governor of New Spain, that they should so promise them, and that the Spaniards should do them no harm or injury.

This is already found out, and more is daily discovered.

It was a sad spectacle to behold this poor people preparing themselves to carry those burdens. Then the Lord Hathvey going on with his speech, quoth he, If we do keep this God till he be taken from us, we shall be surely slain, and therefore I think it expedient for us to cast it into the River; so his counsel being followed, the Chest was cast into the River.

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.

Perhaps the first person in America to receive holy ordershe was ordained a priest in either or Now it happened one day, that the Governor of the Island with sixty Horse, and three hundred Foot though the Horsemen were sufficient not only to waste the Island, but also the whole Devastatioh called to him about three hundred of the Peers and Lords of the Nation, the greatest part whereof who were the more powerful, having by craft got them bxrtolome in a straw Cottage, he cause to the burnt alive together with the house, the casss 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.

Here they put to the sword an infinite number of people, with many additions of cruelty. The name of the King that there ruled was Guacanagari, under whom there were many other potent Lords, some of whom I knew: Upon which they began to preach the Gospel among them, and to declare to them the nidies intention of the King of Spain, of which things they had not yet received any knowledge, nor that they had any other King then him who oppressed them with so much tyranny.

It is three hundred miles in compass.

And ds the land so far discovered is a beehive of people; it is as though God had crowded into these lands the great majority of mankind. This Tyrant with three hundred men made war upon these innocent Indians living peaceably in their debastation, and offering injury to none, destroying many people.

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. And the men died in the mines and the women died on the ranches from the same causes, exhaustion and hunger.


A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

And since men and women were separated, there could be no marital relations. All these Massacres were committed within the space of fourteen years. 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.

There is nothing more detestable or more cruel, then the tyranny which the Spaniards use toward the Indians for the getting of pearl.

There must be close to two hundred leagues of land on this island, and the seacoast has been explored for more than ten thousand leagues, and each day more of it is being explored. And some of the Indians concealed their foods while others concealed their wives and children and still others fled to the mountains to avoid the terrible transactions of the Christians.

De Las Casas is also noted as one of the first writers and thinkers to racialize the indigenous people of the Americas. European exploration and colonialism, — In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikisource. As for those that came out of Spain, boasting themselves to be Christians, they took two several ways to extirpate this National from the face of the Earth, the first whereof was a bloody, unjust, and cruel war which they made upon them: Tell me, by what right or justice do you keep this Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude?

The problem of slavery and persecution In Christianity: Dec 5, See Article History. 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 De Las Casas has been accused by many scholars [ citation needed ] about making exaggerated claims in terms of the death toll and mistreatment of the indigenous people.

At length there came a Franciscan Friar who freed him from his torments, but not from death, which immediately ensued. And as for their Children, because they could not carry them, they were forc’d to throw them away, by which a number of Infants were destroyed.

Las Casas, “Destruction of the Indies”

And therefore some of them hid their Children, others their Wives, others their Victuals in obscure and secret places; Others not being able to endure a Nation that conversed among them with such a boisterous impiety sought for shelter in the devstation abrupt and inaccessible mountains. The great God showing bartklome Judgments of his wrath upon these unjust and wicked wretches as he had done upon the others.

In the mean while all the Nobility and commonalty of the City minded nothing else but to exhilarate the mind of their captive King with several varieties of sports and recreations. Devastqtion the Spaniards being departed, a certain Captain, of Kin to the chief Tyrant, returned to spoil them that mistrusted nothing; who there flew the King of the Province with cawas Lance, and committed many other cruelties.


Into the Province of Cuzcatan, where the City of our Savior is situated, being a Country, which together with the neighboring sea coast is extended about forty or fifty miles in length; and also into the City of Cuzcatan it self, which is the Metropolis of the whole Country, he was received devastatkon very great joy, the Indians expecting his coming, laden with a present of above thirty thousand Turkies and other things necessary for their refreshment.

The argument was continued inand its repercussions were enormous.

Here those Christians perpetrated their first ravages and oppressions against the native peoples. The German Tyrant gave command that all the Indians with their wives and children if possible, should be gathered together and shut up in one large place; which done, they were also commanded to signify to them, that whoever desired to be at liberty, must redeem themselves with their wives and children at a certain Ransom, impos’d upon them at the discretion of the Governor; and to hasten them the more and bring them to a greater necessity, he commanded that no sustenance should be given them, till they had paid the sum required.

But the cruelties and injuries of the Tyrants that went from these parts to depopulate which they called discover other Regions overtaking them; many Indians were by them slain, while they sought to defend themselves in the rocks: Learn More in these related Britannica articles: This King flying from the cruelty and enormous murders of the Spaniards, being depriv’d of his Kingdom, died poorly in the mountains.

And when certain of the Indians, who escaped this furious massacre fled into an Island distant from them about some eight miles, they were by the Governor condemned to perpetual servitude.

Around it in all directions are many other islands, some very big, others very small, and all of them were, as we saw with our own eyes, densely populated with native peoples called Indians. Their hair also, which is by nature black, is hereby chang’d and made of the same color with that of the sea Wolves; their bodies are also so besprinkled with the froth of the sea, that they appear rather like monsters then men.

Among the first–and most insistent–voices raised in that debate was that of a Spanish priest, Bartolome de Las Casas, acquaintance 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.