Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Spanish Friar Indicts the Conquistadors for the Massacre of Indians, 1542

In the year 1492 the West Indies were discovered, and in the following year they were visited by the Spaniards. The islands were inhabited by an infinite multitude of people who were without fraud, without subtlety or malice, and faithful and obedient to their Princes. To this quiet and peace loving people, the Spaniards came like tigers, wolves, and lions, enraged with hunger. At Hispanola, where the Spaniards first landed, they took captive their women and children to serve them as slaves; but not satisfied with this, they commenced to assault the highest and mightiest among them, and when the natives attempted to retaliate, the Spaniards started on their campaign of devilish cruelty and slaughter, sparing neither women nor children. They often laid wagers as to who was the most dexterous in cleaving a man's skull open, cutting him in the middle, or taking an arm or leg off in a single blow. The treatment accorded women, and the indignities their bodies suffered, cannot be related. MORE

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