The Black Legend

Just how "unspeakable" is the Black Legend?

The Spanish came to the New World and decimated the native people in horrible, and most definitely, unspeakable ways as documented by "A Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies".

Thanks to: Bartolome de las Casas

The "Protector of the Indians", de las Casas was a 16th century Spanish historian and Dominican friar. His famous work, "Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies", details the horrid treatment of Native Americans. It was this work, among others, that fueled the "Black Legend", changing the course of history for a groups of "noble savages" forever.


Decimation

“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 Hispaniola once so populous (having a population that I estimated to be more than three million), has now a population of barely two hundred persons.”


- Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies

Disrespect

"And the Christians attacked them with buffets and beatings, until finally they laid hands on the nobles of the villages. Then they behaved with such temerity and shamelessness that the most powerful ruler of the islands had to see his own wife raped by a Christian officer."


- Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies

Death

They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor 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. They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers' breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, "Boil there, you offspring of the devil!"


-Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies


Fueling the Fire

Countries like Holland and England used de las Casas works and the Black Legend to justify their own settlements and brutality towards the Native Americans.


A Disaster for the Ages

And from here on out, things don't get better for the Natives. Disease and oppression will rampage and they will be kicked from their lands.