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

At that time the Indians presented them with several great sums of Gold, doing many other kindnesses for them. But the Spaniards hearing of his sight, resolved not to let him lurk any where; but immediately making war upon him that had received them so liberally, they never rested till they had wasted all the Kingdom to find him out, at length he fell into their hands; and no sooner had they taken him, but they fettered him immediately, putting him into a ship that was bound for Spain; but the ship was wrackt by the way, many Spaniards perishing, and a great treasure of Gold being lost; God so taking revenge upon their enormities.

Of the Provinces of the Country of Florida Into these Countries there went two several Tyrants at several times, from the year The great God showing the Judgments of his wrath upon these unjust and wicked wretches as he had done upon the others. Which when the Spaniards saw, they came with their Horsemen well armed with Sword and Lance, making most cruel havocs and slaughters among them.

After this the Captain required of the people a great quantity of Gold, who returned him answer, that they would give him all the Gold they had. However, in he gave up his encomienda and went to Rome where he was ordained a deacon before returning to the Americas.

Why have you told us so many untruths, promising so faithfully to us that the Desyruction should not come into our Country? In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikisource. There was a vast number of people in this Province, for it contained divers cities above four mile in length: And what care do you take that they should be instructed in religion?

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies Summary & Study Guide

Another butchery was by them committed in the City of Tepeaca, which was a much larger Destrucyion then the former. All these things were done, the Tyrant himself beholding and consenting; and not only so, but they oppressed them and continually abused them with stripes and blows of their canes and fists, leaving no cruelty unexercised toward them.

John, having sold at the least a million of men; neither they yet forebear restruction this year And this I shall further add, that I do verily believe, that at that time when the Spaniards began this horrid persecution, they had not committed the least crime against the Spaniards that could merit any revenge. Ed these two heads all the other several torments and inhumanities which they used to the ruin of these poor Nations may be reduced.

Here they put to the sword an infinite number of people, with many additions of cruelty.

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.

John where they sold them cxsas.

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

Three or four of their mad actions I will rehearse, whereby the reader may judge of the rest. Infinite of other things they did, taking captive these poor people against all faith given. When he came into these Countries, the Indians, as they were wont, met him with accustomed signs of joy and gladness; but he immediately brake forth into his wonted cruelties, to attain his usual scope, which was the heaping up of Gold, the only God which they adore.


There was a wonderful frequency of people in that Country, neither were the slaughters that were there committed, less remarkable. Being thus broken with so many evils, afflicted with so many torments, and handled so ignominiously, they began at length to believe that the Spaniards were not sent from Heaven. De Las Casas supported the overall Spanish colonial experiment in the Americas, while condemning the abuse of the indigenous people.

The Spaniards massacred millions of natives as a result, raping women and killing innocent children and infants along the way. For this was their common custom, that they no sooner had set footing in any place, but they committed immediately some notorious violence upon the people, that the rest might stand in the greater fear of them.

Many letters were sent to the King of Spain describing the horrible things that the Bargolome did in the New World. De Las Casas has been accused by many eestruction [ citation needed ] about making exaggerated claims in terms of the death toll and mistreatment of the indigenous people. Let these actions be well considered, and whether the Indians so taken may be justly enslaved or no. All which Islands, though they amount to such a number containing in length of ground the space of above Two thousand miles, lie now altogether solitary without any people or Inhabitant.

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: There was the house of a Noble man distant from Panama above 15 miles; he was by name called Paris, and he was very wealthy in Gold; to him the Spaniards came, and by him they were entertained like Brothers, he giving to the Captain, as a Present, fifteen thousand Crowns; who by that perceiving that he must of necessity have a very great treasure, feigned a departure, but about the middle of the night returning again entered the City, set it on fire, sacrificing the poor people to the flames.

The Governor being call’d away to quell one of his Captains that had taken arms against him, and ,as left Montezuma with a guard of above a hundred, it came into the minds of the Spaniards to do something which might render them dreadful and terrible to the Indians; which was a policy, as I said before, they did often use.

This study guide contains the following sections: He gave me this answer, Pray sir be patient, for I was commanded by those that sent fhe, that those that I could not take by fair ondies, I should seize by force: 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 A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies was written with the task of barto,ome the King of Spain about the murder and gold hoarding that was occurring in the New World.

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 transport, 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 oas die for hunger and thirst, are immediately thrown into the sea.

On what authority have you waged a detestable war against these people, who dwelt quietly and peacefully on their own land? 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: For the Indians call them Yaes, which in their language signifies Devils.

The Captain of the foresaid Spaniards called to him one of the Noble men of this Country, and commanded him to take these Idols and to distribute them among his people, and bring in exchange an Indian bartolomw or woman for every Idol, otherwise threatening to make war upon him; the foresaid Lord out of fear took those Idols, giving every one of them to his subjects, commanding them to worship them, and also to send back in recompense to the Spaniards some of their people to serve them.


They sent therefore to the supreme Lord of the City, as also to all the other Lords and Governors, that they should give them a meeting, but they were no sooner come to parley, but they were all immediately laid hold on, leaving none to carry back these bad tidings to the rest; first they demanded of them six thousand Indians, to carry the Luggage which they had with them, which when they were brought together they shut up in their houses.

From the shore of Paria, to the Bay of Venezuela, which takes up above two hundred desstruction in length, the Spaniards committed most wonderful depopulations; for they gave themselves wholly to their wonted Robberies, enslaving also infinite numbers of men, on purpose to sell them for money, against all the faith and pledges which they had given them for their security for those were things which they never observed though they were entertained by these innocent creatures with all civility, and fostered in their houses like their parents, or children, serving them in all things to the utmost of their power, and making them masters of all that was in their possession.

Only they tell you slightly, that because such and such a one did ill and handled the Indians so cruelly, that therefore the Treasury of the King was much diminished; and this is all they do toward the suppression of so many heinous actions. However, Las Casas found their attempts insufficient to protect the welfare of the Indians, and returned to Spain to appeal to the Spanish monarch in From toLas Casas traveled back and forth between Spain destduction Spanish colonies in Latin America numerous times, struggling to find a common ground between Casaz authorities and his own humanitarian aims to improve the conditions of Indian subjects in Spanish dominions.

Las Casas, “Destruction of the Indies”

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. In these eleven years there perished in this Country above two millions, scarce two thousand now remaining, who daily diminish through the hardness of their servitude. By this intolerable labor, or rather diabolical exercise, they have consumed all the Lucayans, for their particular gain; out of every Indians labour gaining above fifty or a hundred Crowns.

For the present I will rehearse a part of those things which the Bishops of these Provinces wrote to the King our Sovereign Lord.

His account was largely responsible for the passage of the new Spanish colonial laws known as the New Laws ofwhich abolished native slavery for the first time in European colonial history and led to the Valladolid debate.

He was a person so milde and gentle, and all his 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 that their Country afforded.

Bebechio being dead, the Kingdom was solely govern’d by his Sister. In this Kingdome, or else in some province of new Spain, it happened that a Spaniard being a hunting, his dogs seemed to him to be a hungry, whereupon he took a little Infant out of the mothers arms, and cutting off the thighs and arms of the Childe, cast it to his dogs, and when they had devoured those, he cast the whole body to them. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies is a book that is acclaimed by scholars for its rhetorical effect.