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 Bartolom√© de Las Casas. T. THE INDIES’ were discovered in the year one thou- sand four.

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So that now the whole Region lay waste and desolate, the inhabitants being all fled to the Mountains for safety. John, having sold at the least a million of men; neither they yet forebear in this year The religious persons, as upright servants of God and zealous for the souls of those poor people, gave credit to the messengers and returned, and were entertained as if they had been Angels sent from heaven, and remained with the Indians for five months, receiving a thousand courtesies from them.

And in this manner a Country abounding with Gold and people was totally destroy’d; in which there was a Valley forty miles long, where they burnt a Village that contained above a thousand houses. They had also received commands to visit the Kingdoms of Naco, Honduras, and Guaimara looking toward the decastation, and being distant from Mexico above three hundred miles; the one was sent by land, the other by sea, being both of them well furnished with men and ammunition for Horse and Foot.

Bartolome de Las Casas | Biography, Quotes, & Significance |

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. By this time the aforementioned Governor was returned from subduing his enemy, bringing with him a greater number of Spaniards then he carried away with him.

On these islands I estimate there are 2, leagues of land that have been ruined and depopulated, empty of people. San Juan [Puerto Rico] and Jamaica are two of the largest, most productive and attractive islands; both bartolime now deserted and devastated. And as for the rest of their Crimes and infinite devastations, which they spread all along this part of the Continent, for a matter of Account Options Sign in.

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 devasration revenge upon their enormities.

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

However, in he gave up his encomienda and went to Rome where he was ordained a deacon before returning to the Americas. 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 then 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 to commit many abominable outrages.


Another Kingdom was called Marien, where there is a port at one end of the plain that looks toward the North, being larger and more fertile then the Kingdom of Portugal, and which very well deserves to be better peopled; for it abounds with Mountains wherein are great store of Gold Mines. Two or three of their most heinous crimes I will rehearse, whereby the reader may judge of the wickedness of those which remain untold.

Here we must observe, that they entered into these Kingdoms and territories, which for the abundance of people ought to have been the joy of all true Christians upon no pretence, but as they said to reduce them to slavery. Away, away to Mexico, where our chief Lord Montezuma will revenge our quarrel.

He published the “Devastation” inwithout seeking required permission from the Inquisition.

Their food got tthe great pain and dropping sweat, the Spaniards still consumed, not content with what the poor Indians gave them gratis out of their barholome want; One Spaniard consuming in one day as much as would suffice three families, every one containing ten persons.

A Brief Account Johns Hopkins paperbacks. From that time onward the Indians began to seek ways to throw the Christians out of their lands. They hastened also the death of many of bartplome poor people, by forcing them to carry timber and planks for shipping to the port that was distant about thirty miles from this place; compelling them also to fetch honey and wax from the Mountains, where they were many times devoured by the tigers.

But soon his uncompromisingly pro-Indian position alienated his colleagues, and in he returned to Spain. Both the Brother and the Sister were very bountiful to the Spaniards, for they had freed them from the dangers of imminent death, showing great kindnesses to the Kings of Castile.

But because it is so irksome to me to rehearse these Bloody acts not dr men but of beasts, I will no longer dwell upon them, but go to those things which followed after. This Nation either as to policy and good government, or as to their way of living and conversation, excelled all the rest; and well deserved to have had more knowledge of the true God.

Unsurprisingly, they were extremely unpopular in the Americas and were met with much resistance. At the same time I arriv’d at this Island, where I saw indied tyrant, and was told the relation of what he had done. Today, it is known that Old World diseases and the lack of immunity caused a large number of indigenous deaths.

The location selected for the new colony was on the Gulf of Paria in the northern part devaxtation present-day Venezuela.

“A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies,” by Bartolome de Las Casas

The least felicitous of them were more fertile and beautiful than the gardens of the King of Seville.

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. 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: The argument was continued inand its repercussions were enormous.


The name of the King that there ruled was Guacanagari, under whom there were many other potent Lords, some of whom I knew: This King suspecting nothing less, was by the craft and subtlety of the Spaniards taken in his own house; whom when they had taken they put a shipboard to send him to Castile; but there being six ships in the Port ready to set sail, the sea began to swell so high, and to be so unruly, that all the six ships with the Spaniards in them, together with King Canabao, who was laden with chains, all perished in the waves.

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 Colonial policy relationship with Indians In Spanish literature: With new and unusual forts of torments they destroyed above four or five millions of people; Neither do they yet put an end to their abominable crimes and enormities: 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 was especially critical of the system of slavery in the West Indies.

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

They returning him answer, that they could not satisfy his request by reason that their Country afforded not Gold, were immediately by his command, without any cause or form of proceeding, all burnt alive. Three or four years after these things happened which I have related, the other Tyrant that went along with him who there ended his days, departed out of that Country; whose cruelties and rapines while the chief Captain liv’d, and after his death were so many, bartplome we since bsrtolome, that what we said before, may still stand for an Axiom, that the further they went, the more exorbitant was their fury and iniquity.

In many Provinces, and indeed in most Provinces where they came before the captivity of the chief Lord, they were still welcom’d by the Indians with Songs and Dances and great Presents of Gold; though the thanks which they gave them was always with the points of their swords, still recompensing them with Massacres. But they found that glorious Country so desert, so depopulated, so wasted and destroyed, that they themselves though a crew of blood thirsty Tyrants, were amaz’d and wondered to behold such ruins and depopulations.

From toLas Casas traveled back and forth between Spain and Spanish colonies in Latin America numerous times, struggling to find a common ground between Spanish authorities and his own humanitarian aims to improve the conditions of Indian subjects in Spanish devasstation.

This infinite multitude of people was so created by God, as that they were without fraud, without subtlety or malice, to their natural Governors most faithful and obedient.

They usually dealt with the chieftains als nobles in the following way: These exercises they in their language call’d Mercies, but he Islanders Areytos. 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.