Captives of Conquest

By Erin Woodruff Stone,

Book cover of Captives of Conquest: Slavery in the Early Modern Spanish Caribbean

Book description

Captives of Conquest is one of the first books to examine the earliest indigenous slave trade in the Spanish Caribbean. Erin Woodruff Stone shows that the indigenous population of the region did not simply collapse from disease or warfare. Rather, upwards of 250,000 people were removed through slavery, a lucrative…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Captives of Conquest as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book illuminates a period that is all too often glossed over in early American history: the first few decades of Indigenous-European interaction in the Caribbean.

Stone uses archaeological evidence to painstakingly reconstruct the social and political dynamics of Indigenous societies in the larger islands of the Greater Antilles prior to the arrival of Columbus and then turns to colonial sources to show how these societies responded to European incursions.

She convincingly argues that the enslavement of Indigenous people was not just incidental but integral to Spanish exploration, conquest, and settlement of the Caribbean. By keeping Indigenous people at the…

From Tessa's list on the Early Indigenous Caribbean.

Historians in the past have celebrated the myths of European “discovery” and “exploration” in the Americas. What these historians never actually said in those accounts that pretty much every one of those discoverers and explorers funded those trips through the capture and sale of Indigenous people both in the Spanish colonies and Spain. Stone situates the Indian slave trade at the heart of the early Spanish colonizing project in the Americas, with more than 500,000 people bought and sold before 1542, when the Indigenous slave trade was prohibited by the Spanish crown (it never disappeared completely though) and was replaced…

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