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A landmark history — the sweeping story of the enslavement of tens of thousands of Indians across America, from the time of the conquistadors up to the early 20th century.
Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering The Other Slavery, it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors, then forced to descend into the “mouth of hell” of eighteenth-century silver mines or, later, made to serve as domestics for Mormon settlers and rich Anglos.
The Other Slavery upends conventional historiography to show how slavery, more than epidemics, led to the catastrophic decline of Native populations in the Americas. Andrés Reséndez tracks slavers across centuries, digs for evidence in brutal gold and silver mines, and tells stories of real captives to personify a system that enslaved as many as 4.9 million. Neither abolition nor the 13th Amendment brought an end to the other slavery, hidden from much of our history until now.