The Passing of Spanish Dominian

Forbes-Lindsay, C. H.: The Philippines under Spanish and American Rules. Philadelphia, 1906: pp. 161-200

The Encomenderos

As the country yielded to the Spaniards it was divided into provinces and military districts and these in their turn into encomiendas, patterned after the repartimentos of Spanish America. The holders of these sections of territory collected the Government tribute and as much else as they could exact from the natives on their own account. They practically held the tributos in slavery and subjected them to the grossest cruelties. Bishop Salazar wrote to the King in 1583 regarding the encomenderos, "They collect tribute from cbildren, old men, and slaves, and many remain unmarried because of the tribute, while others kill their children. . . . But the end is not here, but in the manner of collecting, for, if the chief does not give them as much gold as they demand, or does not pay for as many Indians as they say there are, they crucify the unfortunate chief, or put his head in the stocks. . . . What the encomendero does after having collected his tribute in the manner stated is to return home and for another year he neither sees nor hears of them. He takes no more account of them than if they were deer until the next year, when the same thing occurs." There is some satisfaction in the knowledge that several of the encomenderos fell victims to the wrath of the miserable tributos.

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created: November 20, 1997
updated: November 23, 1997
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger