“They have no iron or steel or weapons, nor are they capable of using them, although they are well-built people of handsome stature, because they are wondrous timid” (Columbus p. 5). It amazes me how such kind words from Christopher Columbus was first said about the Native people of Hispaniola and then he turns around and to simply put it, slaughters them. The three readings “Letter To The Sovereigns On His First Voyage” by Christopher Columbus, “The Very Brief Relation Of the Devastation Of The Indies”, and The Coast Of Pearls, Paria, and the Island of Trinidad” both by Bartolome de las Casas displayed two very accounts of how the Natives were being treated, given the letter Columbus sent was the first interaction he had with these people and hadn’t completely decided how he would later on mistreat them.
In “Letter To The Sovereigns On His First Voyage” by Christopher Columbus, Columbus first talks about meeting these indigenous people and calling them “timid” multiple times and how they have no weapons. Then in De las Casas depiction of his experience in Hispaniola, he sees these natives being tortured. He describes it as “They attacked the towns and speared neither the children nor the aged nor the pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house” ( De la Casa p.10). This leads me to believe that Columbus knew he could take not only the Natives land and resources but also their lives with out a fight. If these people were so “timid” then why did he feel the need to murder them in the masses for their land if they were so unable to fight? He could have easily robbed them and just left them alive with no belongings but for the pure fact that he could, he murdered communities for play.
Columbus paints himself as such a “godly man” and giving these people things so they will be willing not only to work with his and him crew but...
Cited: Casper, Scott E., and Richard O. Davies. Five Hundred Years: America in the World. Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Pub., 2006. Print.
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