The appearance of no less than four books in English marked 1971 as a banner year for Black Legend studies, especially for their colonial side. As in the past discussion emphasized the sixteenth century, dominated by the commanding and controversial Dominican, Bartolomé de Las Casas on one hand, and the grim Indian demographic catastrophe on the other. This was no less so during the Enlightenment's passionate debates on the subject. Modern research gives greater credence to mortality rates suggested by Las Casas, but centers on the dire effects of disease as the main agent causing mass death. As this essay will suggest, eighteenth century discussants were somewhat betwixt and between concerning the American experience and the Hispanic impact. Clearly much of the ongoing appeal of Las Casas' interpretation of the Indians' calamity, which stressed the conquerors' brutality, comes from its foreshadowing of modern agonies over race relations and western treatment of other colonialized peoples.