In Defense of the Indians: The Defense of the Most Reverend Lord, Don Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, of the Order of Preachers, Last Bishop of Chiapa, Against the Persecutors and Slanderers of the People of the New World Discovered Across the Seas
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
xx+385 pages with frontispiece and figures. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 6 1/4") bound in original publisher's green cloth with red label to spine in gilt lettering to spine and cover in original pictorial jacket. Translated, annotated and edited by Satfford Poole. First edition.
Written toward the end of an active career of championing Indian rights, the Defense may be seen as a summary of the teach of Las Casas's life. This manuscript (the only one of Las Casas's writing that has never-before published) was written in part as a translation and in part as a commentary of the Apologia--a 500 page formal argument in Latin which Las Casas delivered at Valladolid in 1550-1551. The disputation there between Sepulveda and Las Casas was arranged by the Council of the Indies to settle the doctrinal issue on the conversion of the innocents. Sepulveda was seeking permission to have his manuscript Democrates Alter published; his thesis was that the Indians of Mexico and Central America were no better than "beasts" to be enslaved or brutally forced into accepting the Catholic faith. Las Casas, on the other hand, saw them as innocent children, artistically and mechanically adroit, capable of learning when properly taught, and willing to accept the intrusion of the Spanish into their land. In Spain, the results of the debate were intended to be far-reaching and would establish the attitude of both the Crown and the Church towards slavery in the New World. The argument of Las Casas won the day: Sepulveda's rude generalizations concerning Indian barbarity were overthrown by carefully reasoned but emotionally charged defense of Las Casas. Father Poole contends that in this work, one may find all that Las Casas spent his life fighting for, it is an amazing and vigorous defense of an oppressed people against unjust colonial policies.
Back head corner bumped. Jacket with light edge wear, back corner head small chip else a very good to fine copy in like jacket.
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