Brief account of the devastation of the indies

In the following year a great many Spaniards went there with the intention of settling the land.

Brief account of the devastation of the indies

In the following year a great many Spaniards went there with the intention of settling the land. Thus, forty-nine years have passed since the first settlers penetrated the land, the first so claimed being the large and most happy isle called Hispaniola, which is six hundred leagues in circumference.

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. This large island was perhaps the most densely populated place in the world.

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 all 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. And of all the infinite universe of humanity, these people are the most guileless, the most devoid of wickedness and duplicity, the most obedient and faithful to their native masters and to the Spanish Christians whom they serve.

They are by nature the most humble, patient, and peaceable, holding no grudges, free from embroilments, neither excitable nor quarrelsome. These people are the most devoid of rancors, hatreds, or desire for vengeance of any people in the world. And because they are so weak and complaisant, they are less able to endure heavy labor and soon die of no matter what malady.

They are also poor people, for they not only possess little but have no desire to possess worldly goods. For this reason they are not arrogant, embittered, or greedy. Their repasts are such that the food of the holy fathers in the desert can scarcely be more parsimonious, scanty, and poor. As to their dress, they are generally naked, with only their pudenda covered somewhat.

And when they cover their shoulders it is with a square cloth no more than two varas in size. They have no beds, but sleep on a kind of matting or else in a kind of suspended net called bamacas. 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.

And once they begin to hear the tidings of the Faith, they are so insistent on knowing more and on taking the sacraments of the Church and on observing the divine cult that, truly, the missionaries who are here need to be endowed by God with great patience in order to cope with such eagerness.

Some of the secular Spaniards who have been here for many years say that the goodness of the Indians is undeniable and that if this gifted people could be brought to know the one true God they would be the most fortunate people in the world.

Yet into this sheepfold, into this land of meek outcasts there came some Spaniards who immediately behaved like ravening wild beasts, wolves, tigers, or lions that had been starved for many days.

And Spaniards have behaved in no other way during tla! The island of Cuba is nearly as long as the distance between Valladolid and Rome; it is now almost completely depopulated.

San Juan [Puerto Rico] and Jamaica are two of the largest, most productive and attractive islands; both are now deserted and devastated.

Brief account of the devastation of the indies

On the northern side of Cuba and Hispaniola he the neighboring Lucayos comprising more than sixty islands including those called Gigantes, beside numerous other islands, some small some large. The least felicitous of them were more fertile and beautiful than the gardens of the King of Seville.

They have the healthiest lands in the world, where lived more than five hundred thousand souls; they are now deserted, inhabited by not a single living creature.Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies () Source: with riches in a very brief time and thus rise to a high estate disproportionate to their merits.

It should be kept in mind that their insatiable greed and ambition, the Bartolome de las Casas - Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies Author: Tom Richey Created Date. A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolomé de las Casas.

No cover available. Download; Bibrec; Bibliographic Record. Author: Casas, Bartolomé de las, Title: A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies Or, a faithful NARRATIVE OF THE Horrid and Unexampled Massacres, Butcheries, and all manner of Cruelties.

A Brief Account of the Destruction of the by Bartolome de las Casas The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies, by Bartolome de las Casas This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. Bartoleme de Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies.

() The Indies were discovered in the year one thousand four hundred and ninety-two. In the following year a great many Spaniards went there with the intention of settling the land.

The only ironical part is that he suggests that the Spanish use African people instead of using the Natives of the Indies for labor. Unfortunately at the time, there were still mass amounts of racism, even amongst the most noble of men.

The Devastation of the Indies is an eyewitness account of the first modern genocide, a story of greed, hypocrisy, and cruelties so grotesque as to rival the worst of our own century. Las Casas writes of men, women, and children burned alive "thirteen at a time in memory of /5(28).

The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account by Bartolomé de las Casas