A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies

Written by: Bartolome de Las Casas
Introduction by:
Translated by: Nigel Griffin

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140445626
  • 192 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Bartolomé de Las Casas was the first and fiercest critic of Spanish colonialism in the New World. An early traveller to the Americas who sailed on one of Columbus’s voyages, Las Casas was so horrified by the wholesale massacre he witnessed that he dedicated his life to protecting the Indian community. He wrote A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1542, a shocking catalogue of mass slaughter, torture and slavery, which showed that the evangelizing vision of Columbus had descended under later conquistadors into genocide. Dedicated to Philip II to alert the Castilian Crown to these atrocities and demand that the Indians be entitled to the basic rights of humankind, this passionate work of documentary vividness outraged Europe and contributed to the idea of the Spanish ‘Black Legend’ that would last for centuries.

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Table of Contents

A Short Account of the Destruction of the IndiesAcknowledgements
Map of America (1540)
A Note on Editions and on this Translation

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
The Kingdoms of Hispaniola
The Islands of Puerto Rico and Jamaica
The Mainland
The Province of Nicaragua
New Spain
New Spain (continued)
The Province and Kingdom of Guatemala
New Spain, Pánuco and Jalisco
The Kingdom of Yucatán
The Province of Santa Marta
The Province of Cartagena
The Pearl Coast, Paria and Trinidad
The River Yuyapari
The Kingdom of Venezuela
The Mainland in the Region Known as Florida
The River Plate
The Great Kingdoms and Provinces of Peru
The Kingdom of New Granada