Alyssa Curley Ex RR-10/01/10
The Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies
Bartolomé De Las Casas describes many horrific actions carried out by Spanish Christians against Indians living on the island of The Hispaniola in between the mid-16th and early 17th century. Bartolome De Las Casas was a 16th century Spanish priest, made famous for his advocacy of the rights of Native Americans. Las Casas lived from 1484 to July 17th, 1556. He is the Author of The Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies published in 1552, which provides a dramatic account of the genocide brought forth by the Conquistadors in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. De Las Casas witnessed many of the events described, and some others where written from eye witness accounts. He is a credible source of information to this topic. As mentioned above, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies was made from his own experiences and those of eye witnesses. You would think that being a Spanish Priest, Las Casas might be quite biased in this document, favoring his country and his church. It couldn’t be more the opposite. Las Casas makes it very clear time and time again who was carrying out the atrocities: the Spanish and Christians. For example, Las Casas states, “And Spaniards have behaved in no other way during the past forty years, down to the present time, for they are still acting like ravening beasts, killing, terrorizing, afflicting, torturing, and destroying the native peoples, doing all this with the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty, never seen or heard of before, and to such a degree that this island of The reported conduct of these Christians struck me as highly abnormal and extremely uncharacteristic of those who “follow” the Christian faith. In his account, De Las Casas explains how Christian Spaniards robbed, beat, thieved, and murder numerous Indian men, women, and children. “Why?” Well, it was simply because the Indians didn’t have enough food...
Cited: De Las Casas, Bartolome. "From The Very Brief Relation of the Devastation of the Indies." The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 6th ed. Ed.
Nina Baym. Vol. A. New York: W.W. Norton, 2003. 5 vols. 39-40.
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