Extermination of American Indians
TERROR: EVENTS THAT TESTIFY TO GOD'S DIVINE GLORY
In the words of John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts
Bay Colony: "… justifieinge the undertakeres of the intended Plantation in
New England... to carry the Gospell into those parts of the world... and to
raise a Bulworke against the kingdome of the Ante-Christ." (sic) [SH235]
On average, two thirds of the native population was killed by
colonist-imported smallpox before the violence began. This was a great
sign of "… the marvelous goodness and providence of God.” The Governor of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony wrote in 1634, “As for the natives, they are near all
dead of the smallpox, so as the Lord hath cleared our title to what we
possess." [SH109, 238]
On Hispaniola alone, on Columbus’s visits, the native population
(Arawak), a rather harmless and happy people living on an island of abundant
natural resources, soon mourned 50,000 dead. [SH204] The surviving
Indians fell victim to rape, murder, enslavement and Spanish raids.
As one of the culprits wrote: "So many Indians died
that they could not be counted, all through the land the Indians lay dead
everywhere. The stench was very great and pestiferous." [SH69]
The Indian Chief Hatuey fled with his people, but was captured and
burned alive. As "… they were tying him to the stake a Franciscan
friar urged him to take Jesus to his heart so that his soul might go to heaven,
rather than descend into hell.” Hatuey replied, “If heaven is where the
Christians go, I would rather go to hell." [SH70]
An eyewitness described what happened to his people: "The
Spaniards found pleasure in inventing all kinds of odd cruelties... They built
a long gibbet, long enough for the toes to touch the ground to prevent
strangling, and hanged thirteen [natives] at a time in honour of Christ Our
Saviour and the twelve Apostles... then, straw was wrapped around their torn
bodies and they were burned alive." [SH72]
Or, on another occasion: "The Spaniards cut off the arm
of one, the leg or hip of another, and from some their heads at one stroke,
like butchers cutting up beef and mutton for market. Six hundred,
including the cacique, were thus slain like brute beasts... Vasco [de Balboa]
ordered forty of them to be torn to pieces by dogs." [SH83]
“The island's population of about eight million people, at the
time of Columbus's arrival in 1492, already had declined by a third to a half
before the year 1496 was out." Eventually, all the island's natives
were exterminated, so the Spaniards were "forced" to import slaves
from other Caribbean islands, who soon suffered the same fate. Thus
"The Caribbean's millions of native people were thereby effectively
liquidated in barely a quarter of a century". [SH72-73] "In
less than the normal lifetime of a single human being, an entire culture of
millions of people, thousands of years resident in their homeland, had been
"And then the Spanish turned their attention to the mainland
of Mexico and Central America. The slaughter had barely begun. The
exquisite city of Tenochtitlan [Mexico City] was next." [SH75]
Cortez, Pizarro, De Soto and hundreds of other Spanish
conquistadors likewise sacked southern and meso-american civilisations in the
name of Christ (De Soto also sacked Florida).
"When the 16th century ended, some 200,000 Spaniards had
moved to the Americas. By that time probably more than 60,000,000 natives
were dead." [SH95]
Of course the founders of North America were no different.
Although none of the settlers would have survived winter without native help,
they soon set out to expel and exterminate the Indians. Warfare among
North American Indians was rather 'harmless', by European standards, and was
meant to avenge insults rather than to conquer land. In the words of some
of the Pilgrim Fathers: "Their Warres are farre less bloudy..." so
that there usually was "… no great slawter of nether side".
Indeed, "They might fight seven yeares and not kill seven men."
What is more, the Indians usually spared women and children. [SH111]
In the spring of 1612, some English colonists found life among the
friendly and generous natives attractive enough to leave Jamestown, "… being
idell did runne away unto the Indyans," to live among them, which probably
solved a sex problem.
Governor Thomas Dale had these settlers hunted down and executed:
"Some he apointed to be hanged some burned some to be broken upon wheles,
others to be staked and some shott to deathe." (sic)
[SH105] Of course these elegant measures were restricted for fellow
Englishmen: "This was the treatment for those who wished to act like
Indians. For those who had no choice in the matter, because they were the
native people of Virginia" methods were different: "… when an Indian
was accused by an Englishman of stealing a cup and failing to return it, the
English response was to attack the natives in force, burning the entire
community down." [SH105]
On the territory that is now Massachusetts the founding fathers of
the colonies were committing genocide, in what has become known as the
"Peqout War". The killers were New England Puritans, refugees
from persecution in England.
When however a dead colonist was found, apparently killed by
Narragansett Indians, the Puritan colonists wanted revenge. Despite the
Indian chief's pledge, they attacked. Somehow they seem to have lost the
idea of who they were after, because when Pequot Indians, long-time foes of the
Narragansetts greeted them, the troops made war on them and burned their
The Puritan commander-in-charge John Mason after one massacre
wrote: "And indeed such a dreadful Terror did the Almighty let fall upon
their Spirits, that they would fly from us and run into the very Flames, where
many of them perished... God was above them, who laughed his Enemies and the
Enemies of his People to Scorn, making them as a fiery Oven... Thus did the
Lord judge among the Heathen, filling the Place with dead Bodies." [SH113-114]
So "the Lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder
Parts, and to give us their land for an inheritance". [SH111]
Because of his readers' assumed knowledge of Deuteronomy, there
was no need for Mason to quote the words that immediately follow:
"Thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt
utterly destroy them..." (Deut 20)
Mason's comrade Underhill recalled how "… great and doleful
was the bloody sight to the view of the young soldiers." Yet he
reassured his readers that "Sometimes the Scripture declareth women and
children must perish with their parents". [SH114]
Other Indians were killed in successful plots of poisoning.
The colonists even had dogs especially trained to kill Indians and to devour
children from their mothers’ breasts, in the colonists' own words: "…
Blood Hounds to draw after them, and Mastives to seaze them." This
was inspired by Spanish methods of the time. In this way they continued
until the extermination of the Pequots was near its completion. [SH107-119]
The surviving handful of Indians "… were parceled out to live
in servitude." John Endicott and his pastor wrote to the governor
asking for a share of the captives, specifically "… a young woman or girle
and a boy, if you thinke good." [SH115]
Other tribes were to have a similar fate.
Comment the Christian exterminators: "God's Will, which
will at last give us cause to say: How Great is His Goodness! And How
Great is his Beauty! Thus doth the Lord Jesus make them to bow before
him, and to lick the Dust!" [TA]
"Peace treaties were signed with every intention to violate
them. When the Indians 'grow secure uppon (sic) the treatie',
advised the Council of State in Virginia, 'we shall have the better Advantage
both to surprise them, and cutt downe theire Corne'." [SH106]
In 1624, sixty heavily armed Englishmen cut down 800 defenceless
Indian men, women and children. [SH107]
In a single massacre in "King Philip's War" of 1675 and
1676 some "600 Indians were destroyed. A delighted Cotton Mather,
revered pastor of the Second Church in Boston, later referred to the slaughter
as a 'barbeque'." [SH115]
IN SUMMARY: Before the arrival of the English, the western Abenaki
people in New Hampshire and Vermont had numbered 12,000. Less than half a
century later about 250 remained alive, a destruction rate of 98%. The
Pocumtuck people had numbered more than 18,000, fifty years later they were
down to 920, 95% destroyed. The Quiripi-Unquachog people had numbered
about 30,000, fifty years later they were down to 1500, 95% destroyed.
The Massachusetts people had numbered at least 44,000, fifty years later barely
6,000 were alive, 81% destroyed. [SH118]
These are only a few examples of the multitude of tribes living
before Christian colonists set their foot on the 'New World.' All
this was before the smallpox epidemics of 1677 and 1678.
All the above was only the beginning of the European colonisation,
it was before the frontier age had actually begun.
Smallpox and other epidemics destroyed a total of maybe more than
150 million Indians between 1500 and 1900, amounting two thirds of the
population. This leaves some 50 million killed directly by violence, bad
treatment and slavery.
Reverend Solomon Stoddard, one of New England's most esteemed religious
leaders, in "… 1703 formally proposed to the Massachusetts Governor that
the colonists be given the financial wherewithal to purchase and train large
packs of dogs 'to hunt Indians as they do bears'." [SH241]
Massacre of Sand Creek in Colorado 29/11/1864. Colonel John
Chivington, a former Methodist minister and still an elder in the church
("I long to be wading in gore") had a Cheyenne village of about 600,
mostly women and children, gunned down despite the chiefs' waving a white flag:
From an eye-witness account: "There were some thirty or forty
squaws collected in a hole for protection; they sent out a little girl about
six years old with a white flag on a stick; she had not proceeded but a few
steps when she was shot and killed. All the squaws in that hole were
afterwards killed..." [SH131]
By the 1860s, "In Hawaii the Reverend Rufus Anderson surveyed
the carnage that by then had reduced those islands’ native population by 90
percent or more, and he declined to see it as tragedy; the expected total
die-off of the Hawaiian population was only natural, this missionary said,
somewhat equivalent to 'the amputation of diseased members of the body'."
[DA] K.Deschner, Abermals krahte
der Hahn, Stuttgart 1962.
[DO] K.Deschner, Opus
Diaboli, Reinbek 1987.
[EC] P.W.Edbury, Crusade
and Settlement, Cardiff Univ. Press 1985.
[EJ] S.Eidelberg, The Jews
and the Crusaders, Madison 1977.
[LI] H.C.Lea, The
Inquisition of the Middle Ages, New York 1961.
[MM] M.Margolis, A.Marx, A
History of the Jewish People.
[MV] A.Manhattan, The
Vatican’s Holocaust, Springfield 1986. See also V.Dedijer, The Yugoslav
Auschwitz and the Vatican, Buffalo NY, 1992.
Contraception: A History of its Treatment by the Catholic Theologians and
Canonists, Cambridge/Mass., 1992.
[S2] Newscast of S2
Aktuell, Germany, 10/10/96, 12:00.
[SH] D.Stannard, American
Holocaust, Oxford University Press 1992.
[SP] German news magazine
Der Spiegel, no.49, 12/2/1996.
[TA] A True Account of the
Most Considerable Occurrences that have Hapned in the Warre Between the English
and the Indians in New England, London 1676.
[TG] F.Turner, Beyond
Geography, New York 1980.
[WW] H.Wollschl„ger: Die
bewaffneten Wallfahrten gen Jerusalem, Zurich 1973. (This is in german and what
is worse, it is out of print. But it is the best I ever read about crusades and
includes a full list of original medieval Christian chroniclers' writings).
[WV] Estimates on the
number of executed witches:
N.Cohn, Europe's Inner
Demons: An Enquiry Inspired by the Great Witch Hunt, Frogmore 1976, 253.
Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology, New York 1959, 180.
J.B.Russell, Witchcraft in
the Middle Ages, Ithaca/NY 1972, 39.