6. In 1493 Columbus returned with an invasion force of seventeen ships and as Viceroy and Governor of the Caribbean island, he immediately enslaved the people. Armed with the latest weaponry and armoured mastiffs trained to rip people apart, the Spanish tortured, maimed, raped, slaughtered, and burned the inhabitants in search of gold. Bartolomé de Las Casas, an eyewitness who eventually became a Dominican friar and fought for the Indians’ rights, left a harrowing description:
“…whenever the Spaniards found them, they pitilessly slaughtered everyone like sheep in a corral. It was a general rule among Spaniards to be cruel; not just cruel, but extraordinarily cruel so that harsh and bitter treatment would prevent Indians from daring to think of themselves as human beings or having a minute to think at all. So they would cut an Indian’s hands and leave them dangling by a shred of skin and they would send him on saying “Go now, spread the news to your chiefs.” They would test their swords and their manly strength on captured Indians and place bets on the slicing off of heads or the cutting of bodies in half with one blow. They burned or hanged captured chiefs…”
7. Columbus rewarded his lieutenants with sex slaves, particularly young girls who had been forced into sexual slavery. In a letter to a friend, he remarked upon how girls between the ages of nine and ten could be used as currency. “A hundred coins are easily obtained for a woman and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”
8. Columbus reported that when he reached Haiti, the Native Americans told him that Black-skinned people had come from the south and southeast in boats, trading spears. Other European explorers, including Vasco Nunez de Balboa also reported seeing or hearing of Blacks when they reached the Americas.
Indigenous people who showed any sort of resistance to Columbus and Spanish occupation were hung, mutilated or burned alive.
9. In the early years of Columbus’ conquests there were butcher shops throughout the Caribbean where Indian bodies were sold as dog food. There was also a practice known as the montería infernal, the infernal chase, or manhunt, in which Indians were hunted by war-dogs.
10. After a multitude of complaints against Columbus about his mismanagement of the island of Hispaniola, a royal commissioner arrested Columbus in 1500 and brought him back to Spain in chains. Though he was stripped of his governor title, he was pardoned by King Ferdinand, who then subsidized a fourth voyage.
I was looking up Dogs of Conquest found the above article. In it the author recommends Bury my heart at wounded Knee and
The First New Chronicle and Good Government: On the History of the World and the Incas up to 1615
or order them of thrift books.
Reading Dogs of the Conquest by John and Jeannette Varner reminded me of reading Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee almost forty years ago. After a while you just want it to stop. Every page in the Varners' book has a horror. Just one example: