Bartolome de Las Casas; Bartolome Casaus

[Bartolome de Las Casas] Dominican, born Seville, Spain, c.1474; died Madrid, Spain, 1566. Abandoning the practise of law, 1510, he was ordained a secular priest, and went with the Spanish governor, Ovando, to the Antilles, where he endeavored to improve the condition of the Indians; in 1519 he established a post at Cumana, Venezuela. He became a Dominican, and his philanthropic experiments failing, retired to a convent to write his "Historia de las Indias." In 1527 he investigated conditions in Nicaragua; Indian labor was the critical question. Through his influence the "New Laws" for the Indies were promulgated, 1542, and aroused a storm of indignation against him; he nevertheless disseminated his views throughout Central America, becoming embittered at the failure of his schemes. He was a prolific writer, but he is considered by many, partisan.

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