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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But, rather than a chronicle, it is a prophetic interpretation of events. Here a Cacicus or Governor offer’d himself devastatiin the service of the King of Castile, upon condition, that he would take care that all the Country from Isabella to St.

Whole families hang themselves in despair. Note on the Translation of.

It happened also, by reason that it came into the Governors mind to change the Indians from one Master to another, pretending to take away force from some that he saw began to envy him, that there was no seed time nor harvest for a whole year; now rather then the Spaniards would want, they took it from the Indians, by which deastation there perished no less then thirty thousand people; which caused one woman te hunger to eat her own childe.

They entered this Region with about Originally a Spanish settler, Las Casas was appalled at the treatment of the Indians by the rapacious Spaniards.

And so the whole Country was wasted by them, especially all the coast and the bartoolome adjoining, until the year 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. Overrunning Cities and Villages, where they spared no sex nor age; neither would their cruelty pity Women with child, whose bellies they would rip up, taking out the Infant to hew it in pieces.

Bartoleme de Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies

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: O dsvastation men, how have we injured you, that you should thus torment us?

And since men and women were separated, there could be no marital relations. These ambitious, blind and execrable tyrants going out of this Region to seek more riches, there went with them four Bartolmoe of the Order of St. And when the lot fell upon a company that had an old or a sick man, he to whom the lot fell, was wont to break forth into these expressions, Indeis be this old fellow, why do you give him me?

They go naked, only hiding the indecencies of tge, and a poor shag mantle about an ell or two long is their greatest and their warmest covering. On August 15,Las Casas delivered a now-famous sermon devaststion his intent to return the serfs to the governor of the West Indies. De Las Casas supported the overall Spanish colonial experiment in the Americas, while condemning the abuse of the indigenous people.


This also may be added by way of conclusion to the rest of their Crimes, that from the time that they first entered this Region, which is now seventeen years ago, they never ceas’d to send whole Te laden with Indian Captives to the Islands of St. It is a very hard thing, if not altogether impossible, to react all the murders and cruelties there committed; besides that, it would cloy the reader.

Las Casas, “Destruction of the Indies”

Only after the Spaniards had used violence against them, killing, robbing, torturing, did the Indians ever rise up against them The rigorous enforcement of his regulations led to vehement opposition on the part of the Spanish faithful during Lent of and forced Las Casas to establish a council of bishops to assist him in his task.

He is buried in Madrid, Spain. He gave me this answer, Pray sir be patient, for I was commanded by those that sent me, that those that I could not take by fair means, I should seize by force: European exploration and colonialism, — The failure to recruit a sufficient number of farmers, the opposition of the encomenderos of Santo Domingo, and, finally, an attack by the Indians themselves all were factors that brought disaster to the experiment in January The Captain made answer, that he would not receive them, and that moreover he would kill them all unless they would declare whither their Lords were fled: He joined the Dominican order in The fifth Kingdom was called Hiquey, where an ancient Queen, by name Hiquanama, governed, who was afterward crucified by the Spaniards: John, having sold at the least a million of men; neither they yet forebear in this year Thus upbraiding their flight, Go carry letters to those who lye bid in the mountains and are fled from us.

They burnt a very potent Peer of the Nation in a great fire, saying that he was much honored with that kind of death. So that now the whole Region lay waste and desolate, the inhabitants being all fled to the Mountains for safety.

The Devastation of the Indies

It happened once that the Citizens of a very fair City distant about twelve miles from the place where we devasttation, came forth of the City to do us honor, and to submit themselves to the King of Castile, but they being returned home, the Governor of the Spaniards about the middle of the night as they were sleeping in their bed, and least suspecting any such thing, sent a company who came suddenly upon them, and set fire upon their houses, burning up both men, women and children, here some they murdered, others whom they spared, they tormented to make them tell where they had hid their Gold, after which they made them their slaves, having first marked them in the body: 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.

He worked his charges hard and became very prosperous. All this region was more populous then either Toledo, Seville, Valladolid, Augusta Cesarea, or Faventia; nay I may affirm that there is not at this present, neither was there when those places were at the highest of their flourishing estate, so many people as in those parts, which take up the space of above a thousand and eight hundred miles.

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Coming to the entry of the City, there stood the King himself with all his attendants, who being carried in a golden Litter accompanied undies to the Palace which was prepared for them. The Continent is distant from this about Two thr miles, stretching it self out in length upon the sea fade for above Ten thousand miles in length. On how many children did he deprive of their parents, how many men of their wives, how many wives did he make widows, how many widows did they vitiate, how many married women adulterate, how many virgins did they ravish, how many did they enslave, how many did he cause to languish in calamity, how many tears, how many sighs did he provoke, upon how many did he bring desolation in his worldly pilgrimage, and endanger their damnation vevastation the world to come?

John and Jamaica In the yearthe Islands of St.

And this I dare affirm, that the enormities committed by there two Captains, and by him especially that was sent to Guatemala for the other dyed an evil death in good time are enough to fill a particular volume, so devastaion were the slaughters, violences, injuries, butcheries, and beastly desolations which they perpetrated, as do not only amaze the present, but must of necessity strike a horror into future ages: Have they not rational souls?

As for the vast mainland, which is ten times larger than all Spain, even including Aragon and Portugal, containing more land than the distance between Seville and Jerusalem, or more than two thousand leagues, we are sure that our Spaniards, with their cruel and abominable acts, have devastated the land and exterminated the rational people who fully inhabited it.

Be certain that, in such a state as this, you can no more be saved than the Moors or Devaxtation. And never have the Indians in all the Indies committed any act against the Spanish Christians, until those Christians have first and many times committed countless cruel aggressions against them or against neighboring nations.

Further conquest of the Indians In Spain: His name came into prominence again in the latter half of the 20th century, in connection with the indigenista movements in Peru and Mexico. Besides all this they caused them to carry great burdens of a hundred and fourscore pound, and to travel with it a hundred or two hundred miles.

They look out a window at the native peoples whose enslavement he denounced. Hereupon many sent home for the price of their Redemption, that they might be at liberty to seek for Victuals: And thus they have deprived the Indians of their lives and souls, for vevastation millions I mentioned have died without the Faith and without the benefit of the sacraments.