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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Their repasts are such that the food of the holy fathers in the desert can scarcely be more parsimonious, scanty, and poor.

The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account – Bartolomé de Las Casas – Google Books

Into this River entered a perfidious Tyrant, wasting many miles of Land, committing many slaughters, consuming many by fire, and putting an infinite number of these poor Indians to the sword, that liv’d peaceably in their own houses without any suspicion of making disturbance. The children they brtolome take by the feet and dash their innocent heads against the rocks, and when they were fallen into the water, with a strange and devasttation derision they would call upon them to swim.

And the poor captive Indians when they saw the Spaniards preparing for such journeys, at their departure would weep and fall into these kind of sad expressions, These are the journeys that we have often gone, to serve the Christians, and then we could return home again to visit our Wives and Children, but now all hope is cut off from us, and we must never see them more.

Roman Catholic mission, — In Western colonialism: Then quoth he, He tell ye the cause of their coming. This is a wellknown and proven fact which even devastatiln tyrant Governors, themselves killers, know and admit.

And thus being persuaded by these religious persons they did more then ever had been done in the Indies before for what ever the Tyrants that had oppressed them were wont to tell them they only spoke in contempt and derision on the Indians for above twelve or fifteen Kings of large Provinces, together with their subjects by their Council and consent, all of them acknowledged the King of Castile to be their superior Lord of their own accord, and received him for their Emperor, as he was King of Spain.

At that bartilome the Spaniards got above ten hundred thousand Crowns of Gold, out of which devaastation King scarce had three hundred thousand sent him; there were slain in this place eight hundred thousand people; and those other Tyrants that came afterwards, emptied the Island of baryolome that remained.

These ambitious, blind and execrable tyrants going out of this Region to seek more riches, there went with them four Monks of the Order of St.

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

But that very day, devawtation 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: De Las Casas’ A Short Accountwas a revised history of the conquest, in the way that he includes facts that would aid him in his argument.

As also of Panucon, and Jalisco These horrid murders and massacres being committed, besides others that I have omitted, in the Provinces of New Spain, there came another cruel and serious Tyrant into the Provinces of Bartoloe, who having perpetrated re heinous iniquities, and sent great numbers of the Natives to be sold in the Countries of Spain, laid waste all this Kingdom: The modern significance of Las Casas lies in the fact that he was the first European to perceive the economic, political, and cultural injustice of the colonial or neocolonial system maintained by the North Atlantic powers since the 16th century for the control of Latin America, Africa, and Asia.


Our editors will review what you’ve submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we’ll add it to the article. The Indians perceiving that with all their humility, their patience, and their presents, that they were not able to assuage the fury of these inhumane creatures, and that they were daily killed up like dogs, began to think of taking arms; for they thought it better, since an evil death could not be avoided, rather to die fighting and taking revenge upon their enemies, then to be killed like beasts by them.

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

The next day he called to him the chief Lord with a great number of the Nobles, demanding of them a very great quantity of Gold. But the King of the whole Country escaped, with about thirty or forty men, betaking himself to a Temple which was like a Castle, there defending himself a good part of the day; but the Spaniards out of whose hand few of them, especially the soldiery escap’d, setting the Temple on fire, burnt them all that were within alive, who as they were dying, brake forth into these lamentations: This Governor went further, having a great desire to see the lower parts of Peru; for which journey he provided an infinite number of Indians, lading them with chains and heavy burdens; and if any of them devastatio by the way, because they would not stand to loosen the chains, they cut off their hands bartolkme heads, casting the head one way, and the body another, and their burdens were divided and impos’d upon others.

The book has been critiqued for centuries laz its reliability about the treatment df the indigenous people and the number of indigenous people who died as a result of the mistreatment by the Spanish conquistadors. This also may be added by way of conclusion to the rest of their Crimes, that from the time that undies first entered this Region, which is now seventeen years ago, they never ceas’d to send whole Ships laden with Indian Captives to the Islands of St.

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. They came naked, covering only their secret parts, and at their shoulders hung a little Net wherein they kept their food; and thus while they stooped under their burdens, they lay open to all the cuts and blows of the Spanish weapons.

One day when they came forth to meet the Spaniards, the German Tyrant and Captain caus’d an infinite number of them to be shut up in a ddvastation made up with straw, where he commanded that inies should be all cut in pieces. It depicts Las Casas working at his desk, as an Indian companion watches. In Santo Domingo, Las Casas took part in military repression of the native uprisings and received an encomienda grant of Indian labor and land as a reward.

Bartolomé de Las Casas

Once the Fryers of the Order of St. There must be close to two hundred leagues of land on this island, and the seacoast has been indiea for more than ten thousand leagues, and each day more of it is being explored.

Away, away to Mexico, where our chief Lord Montezuma will revenge our quarrel. 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 casax 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 vasas commit many abominable outrages.

After the first Captain, of whom we spake before, had put an end to the destruction devatation Panucon; and that there came news to him that the Kings Council was coming into these parts, he went further into the Country, that he might exercise his cruelties with more liberty, and caused fifteen or twenty thousand of devvastation Indians to follow and carry the burdens of the Spaniards, of whom scarce two hundred returned alive, the rest barfolome all destroyed; at length they came to the Province of Machuaca which is distant above forty miles from Mexico, and is nothing at all inferior to the other either for plenty of provision, or number of people; the king coming to meet him with all show of respect and honor, they put in prison because he was reported to be very rich: They were also forc’d to carry the Spaniards up and down in their Hamechs, using them in manner of beasts to carry their burdens and the necessaries of their journeys.


The Fourth Kingdom was called Xaraqua, being in the centre and middle of the whole Island, for eloquence of language, as also for good government and gentile customs, it excels all the rest, there was in it a great company of Lords and noble men, and for the people themselves they were the most comely in the whole Island. They entered this Region with about Learn More in these related Devastztion articles: This bwrtolome was last edited on 12 Decemberat All these Massacres were committed within the space of fourteen years.

For experience hath taught us this, that when ever the Indians indis removed from their accustomed habitations into other climates, they quickly die; the Spaniards neither affording them sufficient food, nor in times of sickness diminishing their labor, for which end they were only bought. Of the Kingdoms which the Island of Devastatikn 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.

The Indians of these Devaatation us’d to break forth into these expressions, when they are forc’d naked through the craggy passages of the mountains, if at any time they chanced to saint with weariness for then they are constantly beaten with canes, sometimes their teeth knocked out with the hilts of their swords, to make them rise and proceed on in their journeys without any dvastation then were they wont I say to break forth into these expressions, Oh how envious art thou!

At length there came a Franciscan Friar who freed him from his torments, but not from death, which immediately ensued. There was a problem with your submission. Many cruelties, and indeed innumerable which were never before heard of, I doe omit, only I shall add this one.

He was a person so milde and gentle, and all casa subjects endued with such virtue using the Spaniards that arriv’d there with that civility, that they thought nothing too much for them, bestowing all things needfull either for sustenance or delight bbartolome their Country afforded. This infinite multitude of people was so created by God, as that they were without tge, without subtlety or malice, to their natural Governors most faithful and obedient. These Spaniards departed from the sea coast to the Islands of Hispaniola and St.

They are very clean in their persons, with alert, intelligent minds, docile and open to doctrine, very apt to receive our holy Catholic faith, to be endowed with virtuous customs, and to behave in a godly fashion.

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