Lies my Teacher told me about Christopher Columbus

By James W Loewen

"A boat could sail from the Bahamas to Haiti without a compass or chart, guiding itself solely by the Trail of the dead Indians who had been thrown from the ships."
Pg 38 Bartolome De las Casas

In Defense of the Indians: The Defense of the Most Reverened Lord, Don Fray Bartolome De Las Casas, of the order of Preachers, Late Bishops of Chiapa, Against the persecutors and Slanderers of the Peoples of the New World Discovered Across the Seas.

By Bartolome De Las Casas
Translated and edited by Stafford Poole
Published by Northern Illinois University Press

"Pagans, therefore must be treated most gently and with all charity. Nor should any trace of Evil be visible in our actions and then you will be innocent and genuine, perfect children of God among a deceitful and understood brood. Let your moderation be known to all men and in everything you do make yourself an example to them of working for good. When you are teaching, be an example; moreover Peter, the first Pontiff says, " Always behave honorably among pagans so that they can see your good works for themselves and, when the day of reckoning comes, give thanks to God for the things which now make them denounce you as criminals."

Pg 287 Bartolome De las Casas

"He has committed us to attracting those who are outside of the church."

Pg 64 Bartolome De las Casas

"Christ did not give the church power over the pagans to annoy, persecute, afflict, and arouse them to riot and sedition, and to hatred of the Christian religion, but only the power of gentleness, service, kindness, and the words of the gospel to encourage them to put on the gentle yoke of Christ."
Pg 72 Bartolome De las Casas

A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
By Bartolome De las Casas
Edited and Translated by Nigel Griffin
With and Introduction by Anthony Pagden
Published by Penguin Classics

"The Natives are also among the poorest people on the face of the Earth, they own next to nothing and have no urge to acquire material possessions. As a result they are neither ambitious nor greedy and are totally uninterested in worldly power."

Pg 10 Bartolome De las Casas

"The Spaniards forced their way into Native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords as though they were so many sheep herded into a pen. They even laid wagers on whether they could manage to slice a man in two at a stroke, or cut an individual?s head from his body, or disembowel him with a single blow of their axes. They grabbed suckling infants by the feet and, ripping them from their mothers breasts, dashed them headlong against the rocks."
Pg 15 Bartolome De las Casas

"All those who could do so took to the hills and mountains in order to escape the clutches of these merciless and inhuman butchers, these mortal enemies of human kind trained hunting dogs to track them down. Wild dogs who would savage a Native to death as soon as look at him, tearing him to shreds and devouring his flesh as though we were a pig."
Pg 16 Bartolome De las Casas

They spared no one, erecting especially wide gibbets on which they could string their victims up with their feet just off the ground and then burn them alive.
pg 16 Bartolome De las Casas

Yet another member of the governor?s party galloped about cutting the legs off all the children as they law sprawling on the ground.
Pg 22 Bartolome De las Casas

Indeed they invented so many new methods of murder that it would be quite impossible to set them all down on paper.
Pg 23 Bartolome De las Casas

" Not a single Native of the Island committed a capital offense, as defined in law, against the Spanish while all this time the Natives themselves were being savaged and murdered."
Pg 23 Bartolome De las Casas

"Both women and men were given only wild grass to eat and other unnutritions foodstuffs. The mothers of young children promptly saw their milk dry up."
Pg 24 Bartolome De las Casas

"During the three or four months I was there, more than seven thousand children died of hunger, after their parents had been shipped off to the mines."
Pg 30 Bartolome De las Casas

"A Spaniard who was out hunting deer or rabbits realized that his dogs were hungry and not finding anything they could hunt, took a little boy from his mother, cut his arms and legs into chunks with his knife and distributed them among his dogs."
Pg 74 Bartolome De las Casas

"He sent fifty men on horseback who proceeded to annihilate the entire population of an area greater than the county of Roussillon, sparing not a single man or woman, old man, or child, and this they did on the flimsiest of pretexts, accusing their victims of not coming quickly enough when they were summoned, or of not having brought enough cargas of maize or of not surrendering sufficient of their kinsmen as slaves either to the governor himself or to one or another of his henchmen. These men were driven by the Devil and not a single Native managed to escape, what with the land being as flat as it was and the Spaniards having horses."
Pg 37 Bartolome De las Casas

"They cut his head from his shoulders so they would not have to break the chains that held the line of prisoners together and his head would fall to one side of the baggage train and his trunk to the other."
Pg 38 Bartolome De las Casas

"After a day or two had gone by, several victims surfaced, soaked from head to foot in the blood of their fellows beneath whose bodies they had sheltered and, with tears in their eyes, pleaded for their lives, but the Spaniards showed them no mercy nor any compassion, and no sooner did they crawl out from under the pile of corpses than they were butchered. The Spanish commander gave orders that the leading citizens, who numbered over a hundred and were roped together, were to be tied to stakes set in the ground and burned alive. "

Pg 46 Bartolome De las Casas

"During these eleven years, more than two million souls have perished and, in an area of more than a hundred leagues by a hundred leagues, only two thousand survivors are to be seen, and even this number is shrinking day by day as the survivors succumb to the rigours of a life of slavery."
Pg 56 Bartolome De las Casas

"Once the Natives saw that their deep humility, generosity and submissiveness did nothing to soften the hearts of these ravening beasts, and that the Spaniards were prepared to hack them to pieces for absolutely no reason whatever, they decided that although they stood no chance of defeating ferocious enemies who were on horseback and were armed to the teeth, they might as well die as men in defense of their homes, avenging themselves on their wicked and hellish enemies, even though they were well aware that, weak as they were, on foot and unarmed, they were doomed to die whatever they did."
Pg 58 Bartolome De las Casas

"The Spanish captain, meanwhile requested the local dignitaries to bring him large quantities of gold, this being the main object of the expedition."
Pg 60 Bartolome De las Casas

"One of his officers was responsible for the indiscriminate slaughter of many locals, hanging some, burning others alive, and throwing yet others to wild dogs, sometimes sawing off their hands and feet, sometimes pulling out their tongues or hacking off their heads. Even though the locals never raised a finger against the Spaniards, the distinguished commander knowingly allowed this spate of atrocities to continue unchecked, directed as it was to terrorizing the local people into doing his bidding and into brining him gifts of Gold or other precious objects."
Pg 60 Bartolome De las Casas

"A man would be invited to choose from among the fifty or a hundred young girls the one he most fancied and she would then be handed over in exchange for wine or oil or vinegar, or for a side of salt pork."
Pg 70 Bartolome De las Casas

"One woman, who was indisposed at the time and so not able to make good her escape, determined that the dogs should not tear her to pieces as they has done her neighbors and, taking a rope, and trying her one-year-old child to her leg, hanged herself from a beam. Yet she was not in time to prevent the dogs from ripping the infant to pieces."
Pg 73 Bartolome De las Casas

"I testify that I saw with my own eyes Spaniards cutting off the hands, noses, and ears of local people, both men and women, simply for the fun of it, and that this happened time and again in various places through the region. On several occasions I also saw them set dogs on the people, many being torn to pieces in this fashion, and they also burned down houses and even whole settlements, too numerous to count."
Pg 112 Bartolome De las Casas

"They tortured him with the strappado, put burning tallow on his belly, pinned both his legs to poles with iron hoops and his neck with another and then, with two men holding his hands, proceeded to burn the soles of his feet. From time to time, the commander would look in and repeat that they would torture him to death slowly unless he produced more Gold."
Pg 117 Bartolome De las Casas

" I Bartolome de las casas, or casaus, a brother in the Dominican order was by the Grace of God, persuaded by a number of people here at the Spanish court, out of their concern for the Christian faith and their compassion towards the afflictions and calamities that be fall their fellow men, to write the work you have before you in order to help ensure that the teeming millions in the New World, for those sins Christ gave his life, do not continue to die in ignorance, but rather are brought to knowledge of God and thereby saved."
Pg 127 Bartolome De las Casas


In Defense of the Indians: The Defense of the Most Reverened Lord, Don Fray Bartolome De Las Casas, of the order of Preachers, Late Bishops of Chiapa, Against the persecutors and Slanderers of the Peoples of the New World Discovered Across the Seas.
By Bartolome De Las Casas
Translated and edited by Stafford Poole
Published by Northern Illinois University Press

"Such in humanities and Barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel. My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that I now tremble as I write."

Bartolome De Las Casas


Lies my teacher told me:
Everything your American History Text book got wrong.
By James W Loewen.

What we committed in the Indies stands out among the most unpardonable offenses ever committed against God and mankind, and this trade as one of the most unjust Evil and cruel among them.

Pg 31 Bartolome De las Casas.