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An Account Of The Persecutions In Spanish America








The bloody tenets of the Roman catholic persuasion, and the cruel
disposition of the votaries of that church, cannot be more amply
displayed or truly depicted, than by giving an authentic and simple
narrative of the horrid barbarities exercised by the Spaniards on the
innocent and unoffending natives of America. Indeed, the barbarities
were such, that they would scarce seen credible from their enormity, and
the victims so many, that they would startle belief by their numbers, if
the facts were not indisputably ascertained, and the circumstances
admitted by their own writers, some of whom have even gloried in their
inhumanity, and, as Roman catholics, deemed these atrocious actions
meritorious, which would make a protestant shudder to relate.

The West Indies, and the vast continent of America, were discovered by
that celebrated navigator, Christopher Columbus, in 1492. This
distinguished commander landed first in the large island of St. Domingo,
or Hispaniola, which was at that time exceedingly populous, but this
population was of very little consequence, the inoffensive inhabitants
being murdered by multitudes, as soon as the Spaniards gained a
permanent footing on the island. Blind superstition, bloody bigotry, and
craving avarice, rendered that, in the course of years, a dismal desert,
which, at the arrival of the Spaniards, seemed to appear as an earthly
paradise; so that at present there is scarce a remnant of the ancient
natives remaining.

The natives of Guatemala, a country of America, were used with great
barbarity. They were formerly active and valiant, but from ill usage and
oppression, grew slothful, and so dispirited, that they not only
trembled at the sight of fire-arms, but even at the very looks of a
Spaniard. Some were so plunged into despair, that after returning home
from labouring hard for their cruel taskmasters, and receiving only
contemptuous language and stripes for their pains, they have sunk down
in their cabins, with a full resolution to prefer death to such slavery;
and, in the bitterness of their anguish, have refused all sustenance
till they perished.

By repeated barbarities, and the most execrable cruelties, the
vindictive and merciless Spaniards not only depopulated Hispaniola,
Porto-Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahama islands, but destroyed above
12,000,000 of souls upon the continent of America, in the space of forty
years.

The cruel methods by which they massacred and butchered the poor
natives, were innumerable, and of the most diabolical nature.

The Spaniards stripped a large and very populous town of all its
inhabitants, whom they drove to the mines, leaving all the children
behind them, without the least idea of providing for their subsistence,
by which inhuman proceeding six thousand helpless infants perished.

Whenever the people of any town had the reputation of being rich, an
order was immediately sent that every person in it should turn Roman
catholics: if this was not directly complied with, the town was
instantly plundered, and the inhabitants murdered; and if it was
complied with, a pretence was soon after made to strip the inhabitants
of their wealth.

One of the Spanish governors seized upon a very worthy and amiable
Indian prince, and in order to extort from him where his treasures were
concealed, caused his feet to be burnt till the marrow dropped from his
bones, and he expired through the extremity of the torments he
underwent.

In the interval, between the years 1514 and 1522, the governor of Terra
Firma put to death, and destroyed, 800,000 of the inhabitants of that
country.

Between the years 1523 and 1533, five hundred thousand natives of
Nicaragua were transported to Peru, where they all perished by incessant
labour in the mines.

In the space of twelve years, from the first landing of Cortez on the
continent of America, to the entire reduction of the populous empire of
Mexico, the amazing number of 4,000,000 of Mexicans perished, through
the unparalleled barbarity of the Spaniards. To come to particulars, the
city of Cholula, consisted of 30,000 houses, by which its great
population may be imagined. The Spaniards seized on all the inhabitants,
who refusing to turn Roman catholics, as they did not know the meaning
of the religion they were ordered to embrace, the Spaniards put them all
to death, cutting to pieces the lower sort of people, and burning those
of distinction.





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Previous: An Account Of The Persecutions In The States Of Barbary



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