Front Cover
 Title Page
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Prologue: The European backgro...
 I. The discovery of the West...
 II. The economic organisation of...
 III. The white population...
 IV. The problem of aboriginal Indian...
 V. Negro slavery and the slave...
 VI. The Spanish colonial syste...
 VII. The international struggle...
 VIII. The early organisation of...
 Back Cover
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00012808/00001
 Material Information
Title: Documents of West Indian history
Physical Description: xxv, 310 p. ;21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Williams, Eric Eustace
General Note: v. 1. 1492-1655: from the Spanish discovery to the British conquest of Jamaica. This item is part of the West Indies collection.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: UF Latin American Collections
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 23064104
oclc - 01428460
System ID: AA00012808:00001

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Front Matter
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
        Page xxv
        Page xxvi
        Page xxvii
        Page xxviii
        Page xxix
        Page xxx
    Prologue: The European background
        Page xxxi
        Page xxxii
        Page xxxiii
        Page xxxiv
        Page xxxv
        Page xxxvi
    I. The discovery of the West Indies
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    II. The economic organisation of the Spanish Caribbean
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    III. The white population problem
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    IV. The problem of aboriginal Indian labour
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
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        Page 139
        Page 140
    V. Negro slavery and the slave trade
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
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        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
    VI. The Spanish colonial system
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
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        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
    VII. The international struggle for the Caribbean
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
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        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
    VIII. The early organisation of the non-Spanish colonies
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

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Vol. I, 1492 1655




Printed by
90 Frederick Street










Introduction to the Series .. .. .. .. .. .. xxv
Foreword to Volume I .. .. .. .. .. .. .. xxix
Prologue: The European Background .. .. .. .. xxxi
No. 1. The Discovery Contract .. .. .. .. 1
(Articles of Agreement between the Sovereigns of Spain
and Christopher Columbus, April 17, 1492)
No. 2. Providing a Crew for the Voyage .. .. .. 2
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to
the Royal Officials, April 30, 1492)
No. 3. The Discovery of the West Indies .. .. .. 2
("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
No. 4. Columbus' Description of the West Indies .. 5
("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
No. 5. The Misconception of Columbus .. .. 6
("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
No. 6. The Vision of Columbus .. .. .. .. 7
("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
No. 7. The Vision Recedes .. .. .. .. .. 8
(Christopher Columbus to Pope Alexander VI,
February 1502)
-No. 8. Columbus in Royal Favour .. .. .. .. 8
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to
Christopher Columbus, August 16, 1494)
No. 9. Royal Commission of Eniquiry .. .. 9
(Royal Commission of Ferdihand and Isabella, King and
Queen of Spain, to Francis.o de Bobadilla, March 21,
No. 10. Columbus in Royal Disfavour .. .. .. 10
("Narrative of the Voyagt, which the Admiral, Don
Christopher Columbus, made the third time that he came
to the Indies, when he discovered Tierra-Firme, as he
sent it to the Sovereigns from the Island of Espanola",
October 18, 1498)
No. 11. The Discoverer pleads for Justice .. 10
(Chrisbopher Columbus to 'erdlnand, King of Spain,
Jamaica, 1503)
No. 12. The Land Columbus Loved .. .. .. 13
(Extract from the Last Will and Testament of
Christopher Columbus, May 19, 1506)
.No. 13. The Crowning Injustice .. .. .. .. 13
(Martin Waldseemuller, '0osmographiae Introductio,
St. Die, 1507)
-No. 14. Spain's Debt to Columbus .. .. .. .. 13
(Gonzalo Fernandes de Oviedo y Valdes, HIstorta
General y Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra-Firme
del Mar Oceano (1535-1557), Madrid, 1851-1855)
SPANISH CARIBBEAN .. .. .. .. 14
(i) The Mining Economy .. .. .. .. 14


No. 15. The Lust for Gold .. .. .. .. .. 14
("Journal of the Firsb Voyage of Christopher
Columbus," 1492.1493)
No. 16. The God of the Spaniards .. .. .. .. 17
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias
(1559), Madrid, 1875)
No. 17. The Gold Rush .. .. .. .. .. .. 17
("Narrative of the Voyage which the Admiral, Don
Christopher Columbus, made the third time that he
came to the Indies, when he discovered Tierra Firme,
as he sent it to the Sovereigns from the Island of
Espanola", October 18, 1498)
No. 18. The Bankruptcy of the Mining Economy .. .. 18
(The City of Puerto Rico, San Juan, to the Empress of
Spain, April 18, 1533)
(ii) The Agricultural Economy .. .. .. 19
No. 19. The Subsistence Economy of the Aboriginal Indians 19
("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher
Columbus", 1492-1493)
No. 20. Tobacco Cultivation among the Aboriginal Indians 20
(Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes Historta
General y Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra-Firme
del Mar Oceano, (1535-1557), Madrid, 1851-1855)
No. 21. The Agricultural Prospects of Hispaniola .. 21
(Memorandum of Christopher Columbus, sent to the
Spanish Sovereigns, by Antonio de Torres, January 30,
No. 22. Agricultural Pests .. .. .. .. .. 22
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559)
Madrid 1875)
(iii) The Sugar Industry .. .. .. ... 24
No. 23. The Rise and Progress of the Sugar Industry
of Hispaniola .. .. .. .. .. 24
(Gonzalo Fernandez de Ovieda y Valdes, Historia
General y Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra-Firme
del Mar Oceano, (1535-1557), Madrid, 1851-1855)
No. 24. The Profits of the Sugar Industry in Hispaniola 27
(Bartolome de las .Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 25. State Aid for the Sugar Industry .. .. .. 27
(Decree of Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg
Empire December 1518)
No. 26. Exemption of Construction Materials from
Import Duties .. .. .. .. .. .. 28
(Decree of Charles V, Emperor of the, Hapsburg
Empire, 1519)
No. 27. Providing Sugar Experts for Hispaniola .. .. 28
S(Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, to Lopez
de Sosa, Governor of Castl]la de Oro, August 16, 1519)
No. 28. Prohibiting Attachment of Sugar Factories .. 29
(Decree of Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg
Empire, January 15, 1529)
No. 29. Conditions on which Sugar Mills could be
sold for Debts .. .. .. .. .. 29
(Decree of Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg
Empire, November 8, 1838)

No. 30. Puerto Rican Sugar Production Towards the
End of the Sixteenth Century .. .. 30
(Report of Capt. Juan Melgarejo, Governor of Puerto
Rico, to Philip II, King of Spain, January 1, 1582)
No. 31. The Decline of the Sugar Economy of Puerto Rico 30
(Report of Don Sancho Ochoa de Castro, Governor of
Puerto Rico, 1602)
No. 32. The Competition of the South American Sugar
Industry .. .. .. .. .. 31
(Thomas Gage, The English-American, A New Survey
of the West Indies, London, 1648)
No. 33. Columbus' Population Proposals .. .. .. 32
(Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella,
King and Queen of Spain, 1493)
No. 34. Encouraging Settlers .. .. .. .. .. 32
(Decree of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of
Spain, April 10, 1495)
No. 35. State Aided Immigration .... 33
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to
Christopher Columbus, April 23 and June 15, 1497)
No. 36. The Transportation of Convicts .. .. .. 35
(Proclamation of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and
Queen of Spain, June 22, 1497)
No. 37. Columbus' Description of the Early Settlers .. 36
(Chrisbopher. Columbus to the Nurse of the Prince
Don Juan, 1500)
No. 38. Population and Profits .. .. .. .. 37
S (Ferdinand I; King of Spain, to Nicolas de Cvando,
Governor of Hispaniola, October 21, 1507)
No, 39. The Colonial Demand for Freedom of Movement 37
(Alonso Zuazo, Judge of Hispaniola to Cardinal
Ximenes, Regent of Spain, January 22, 1518)
Nd. 40. The Surplus Population Theory .. .. .. 37
(The Jeronimite Commission in Hispaniola' to Cardinal
Ximenes, Regent of Spain, February 1518)
No. 41. The Underpopulation Problem .. .. .. 38
(Decree of Charles V, 'Emperor of the Hapsburg
Empire, January 15 1529) '
No. 42. Emigration to the Continent :'.. .. .. 39
(Ramirez Fuenleal, Bishop of Santo Domingo, to
Empress of Spain, April, 30, 1532)
No. 43. "May God take me to Peru!" .. .. 40
(Francisco Manuel de Lando to Charles V, Emperor of
the Hapsburg Empire, Puerto Rico, July 2, 1534)
No. 44. The Quality of White Immigrants.. .. .. 41
(Judge Esteve of Hispaniola to Charles V, Empexor of
the Hapsburg Empire, 1550)
No. 45. Portrait of the Conquistadores .. .. .. 41
(Lopez de Velasco, Geogralla y Descrlpclon Universal
de las Indias, 1574)
(J. Veitia de Linaje, Norte de la Contrataeion de las-
Indias Occidentales, Seville, 1672. English translation,
No: i-46. Spain's Immigration and Emigration Policy .. 41

LABOUR .. .. .. .. .. .. 47
(i) The Aboriginal Indians .. .. .. .. 47
No. 47. The Civilisation of the Aboriginal Indians .. 47
("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher
Columbus", 1492-1493)
No. 48. The Caribs .. .. .. .. .. .. 55
(Dr. Chanca to the Town Council of Seville, 1493)
No. 49. Slavery among the Indians .. .. .. .. 51
(Tratado que el obispo de La ciudad de Chiapa I). Fray
Bartolome de las Casas compuso por comnislon 'del'-
Consejo Real de las Indias, sobre la materia de los
indios que se han hecho en ellas esclavos, Seville, 1552)
'ii) The Spanish Dilemma-Conversion or
Enslavement of the Aboriginal Indians? .. 52
(a) The Dilemma of Columbus .. .. .. 52
No. 50. The Enslavement of the Indians? .. .. ... 52
("Journal of the First. Voyage of Christopher
Columbus", 1492-1493)
No. 51. Or the Conversion of the Indians ? .. .. 53
("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher
Columbus", 1492-1493)
No. 52. The Salvation of Souls? .. .. .. ... 54
(Speech of Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and
Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, at Barcelona, 1493)
No. 53. Or the Enslavement of Caribs? .. .. .. 54
(Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella,
King and Queen of Spain, 1494)
No. 54. Columbus' Proposals for an Aboriginal Indian
Slave Trade to Europe' .. .. .. .. 55
(Memorandum of Christopher Columbus, sent to the
Spanish Sovereigns, by Antonio de Torres, January 30,
No. 55. Columbus calls the New World into existence to
redress the balance of the Old .. .. .. 57
(Christopher Columbus, Governor of :Hispaniola, to
Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, 1496)
(b) The Dilemma of the King and Queen. .. .. 57
No. 56. The Essential Point, the Spread of the Faith .. 57
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to
Christopher Columbus, May 29, 1493)
No. 57. The Ban on Aboriginal Indian Slavery in Spain.. 58
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spaiii, to
Pedro de Torres, June 20, 1500)
No. 58. Mutual Aid .. .. .. .. .. 58
(Isabella, Queen of Spain, to Nicolas de Ovando,
Governor of Hispaniola, December 20, i503)'
No. 59. The Requisition .. .. .. .. .. .. 59
(Noblficacion e Requerimlento que se ha de hacer a
los moradores de las Islas .e Tierra Firme del mar
oceano que aun no estan sugetos al :Rey Nuestro
S*nor, 1509)

No. 60. the Requisition in Practice .. .. .. 61
(Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes, Historia
General y Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra-Firme
del Mar Oceano (1535-1557), Madrid, 1851-1855)
No. 61. Sanctioning the Aboriginal Indian Slave Trade
in the Caribbean .. .. .. .. .. 62
(Contract between Isabella, Queen of Spain, and
Cristobal Guerra, July 12, 1503)
No. 62. Enslavement of Caribs Authorised .. .. 62
(Proclamation of Isabella, Queen of Spain, October 30,
No. 63. Who are Caribs? .. .. .. .. .. 63
(Antonio de Herrera, Historia General de los Hechos
de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar
Oceano, Madrid, 1601-1615)
No. 64. Proposal for an Intercolonial Carib Slave Trade.. 64
(Vasco Nunez de Balboa to Ferdinand II, King of Spain,
January 20, 1513)
No. 65. Enslavement of Natives of Useless
Islands Authorised .. .. .. .. .. 65
(Ferdinand II, King of Spain, to Diego Columbus,
Governor of the Indies, May 3, 1509)
No. 66. The Indian Slave Trade and the Middle Passage 65
(Bartolome de las Casas, Ilistoria de las Indias
(1559), Madrid, 1875)
No. 67. Enslavement of Natives of Larger Islands
Prohibited .. .. .. .. .. 67
(Ferdinand II, King of Spain, to Diego Columbus,
Governor of the Indies, June 15, 1510)
No. 68. The Indian Slave Trade from the Continent
to the West Indies .. .... .. .. 68
(Don Fray Juan de Zumarraga, Bishop-elect of Mexico,
to Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire,
August 27, 1529)
No. 69. The Need of Indian Labour .. .. .. .. 69
(Ferdinand II, King of Spain, to Diego Columbus,
Governor of the Indies, November 12, 1509)
No. 70. The Value of Indian Labour .. .. 69
(Ferdinand II, King of Spain, to Diego Columbus,
Governor of the Indies, June 21, 1511)
S No. 71. The Royal Profit from Indian Slavery .. .. 69
Ferdinand II, King of Spain, to Juan Ponce de Leon,
Governor of Puerto Rico, February 25, 1512)
(iii) The Encomienda .. .. .. .. .. 70
No.. 72. Trusteeship: Report of the Royal Commission of
of Lawyers and Theologians, 1512 .. .. 70
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias
(1559), Madrid, 1875)
No. 73. The Aboriginal Code of Puerto Rico .. .. 70
: (Decree of Ferdinand II, King of Spain, January 23,
No. 74. Instructions to the Jeronimite Reform
Commission ... .. .. .. .. . 74
(Bartolome .de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)

No. 75. Defence of the Encomienda .. .. .. .. 79
(Memorandum of the Jeronimite Commission to
Cardinal Cisneros, Regent of Spain, 1516)
No. 76. The King's Confessors Oppose the Encomienda 80
(Bartolome de las Casas, Hlstoria de las Indias
(1559), Madrid, 1875)
No. 77. The Feudal Concept .. .. .. .. 84
(Opinion of the Dominican Fathers, 1544)
No. 78. Borrowed Goods .. .. .. 84
(Bernardino de Manzanedo, Emissary of the Jeroni-
mite Commissioners, to Charles V, Emperor of the
Hapsburg Empire, 1518)
No. 79. The Destruction of the Indians in Hispaniola .. 84
(Alonso de Zuazo, Judge of Hispaniola, to M. de
Chevres, January 22, 1518)
No. 80. The Destruction of the Indians in Puerto Rico .. 85
(Report of Capt. Juan Melgarejo, Governor of Puerto
Rico, to Philip II, King of Spain, January 1, 1552)
No. 81. The Ban on Indian Slavery: The Church .. 85
(Bull of Pope Paul III, Sublimis Deus Sic Dilexit,
June 17, 1537)
No. 82. The Ban on Indian Slavery: The State .. .. 88
("The New Laws for the Good Treatment and Pre-
servation of the Indians", November 20, 1542)
(iv) The Revolt of the Aboriginal Indians .. 88
No. 83. Spain's Military Superiority .. .. .. 88
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias t1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 84. Treachery in the Indian Ranks .. .. .. 89
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de aIs Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 85. United Front of the Aborigines .. .. 90
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indlas (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 86. The Suppression of the Revolt .. .. .. 91
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias '1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 87. The Unquenchable Spirit of Resistance .. 92
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 88. Guerrilla Warfare .. .. .. .. .. 98
(Bartolome de las. Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 89. Passive Resistance .. .. .. .. .. 94
(Fray Pedro de Cordoba, Vice-Provincial of the
Franciscan Friars in Santo Domingo, to Ferdinand II,
King of Spain, May 28, 1517)
(v) The Protector of the Indians, Bartolome de
las Casas .. .. .. .. .. 95
No. 90. The Appointment of Las Casas .. 95
(Decree of Ferdinand II, King of Spain, September 17,
No. 91. Las Casas Condemns the Royal Policy .. .. 95
(Speech of Bartolome de las Casas to Charles V,
Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, 1519)

No. 92. Las Casas Condemns the Policy of Columbus .. 98
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de Las Indias :1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 93. The Four Lords and Masters of the Indians .. 98
(BarColome de las Casas, Entre los Remedios para la
Reformacion de las Indias, Madrid, 1543)
No. 94. Las Casas Condemns the Poor Whites .. .. 99
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias ,1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 95. Las Casas Condemns the Repartimiento .. .. 100
(Bartolome de las Casas, Hisboria de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 96. Las Casas Condemns the Laws of Burgos .. 105
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 97. The Indians are not Africans .. .. .. 108
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559).
Madrid, 1875)
(vi) The Battle of the Books: .. .. .. 108
(a) The Nature of the Aboriginal Indians .. .. 108
No. 98. A People steeped in Vice and Bestiality .. 108
(Speech of Fray Tomas Ortiz before the Council of the
Indies, 1512)
No. 99. The Happiest People in the World, if only' they
knew God .. .. .. .. .. 109
(Bartolome de las Casas, Coleccion de ''ratados,
(1552-1553) Buenos Aires, 1924)
No. 100. The Indians are "Little Men" .. .. 109
(Juan Gines de Sepulveda, Democrates Alter, TMadrid,
No. 101. All the Peoples of the World are Men .. .. 110
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 102. There are no Backward Races .. .. .. 110
(Bartolome de las Casas, Apologetica Historia, Madrid,
No. 103. "It repenteth me that I made them" .. .. 111
(Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes, Historia
General y Natural de la Indias, Islas y Tierre Firme
del Mar Oceano, (1535-1557), Madrid 1851-1855)
No. 104. Oviedo's "Gossip' .. .. .. .. 113
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 105. "I retract everything I said" .. .. .. 119
(Deathbed Declaration of Fray Domingo de Betanzos,
to Antonio de Causeco, Notary Public of the King of
Spain, in Valladolid, September 13, 1549)
No. 106. "America is a rich and beautiful Whore" 120
(Francisco de Quevedo, La Hora de Todos y la Fortuna
con Seso, 1636)
No. 107. The Revenge of the Indians .. .. .. 120
(Francisco de Quevedo, El Entrometido y la Duena y
el Soplon, 1628)
No. 108. New World Utopia .. .. .. .. .. 120
(Sir Thomas More, Utopia, London, 1516)


No. 109. The Noble Savage .. .. .. .. .. 123
(Michael de Montaigne, "Of Coaches" (1585-1588) and "Of
Cannibals", (1578-1580), Paris)
(b) Spain's Title to the Indies .. .. .. 127
No. 110. Theory of Spanish Imperialism .. .. 127
(Matias de Paz, "Concerning the Rule of the King of
Spain over the Indies", 1512)
No. 111. Royal Censorship .. .. .. .. .. 128
(Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, to Prior
of San Esteban Monastery in Salamanca, November 10,
No. 112. Spain's Just Title to the Indies .. .. .. 129
(Francisco de Viboria, De Indis, Madrid, 1540)
No. 113. The Spiritual Welfare of the Indians .. .. 130
(Fray Tomas de Torre, Prior of the Dominicans, Speech
to the Municipal Council of Guatemala, 1545)
No. 114. The Valladolid Inquiry .. .. .. .. 130
(Domingo de Soto, Speech to the Judges at Valla.
dolid, 1550)
No. 115. Las Casas versus Sepulveda .. .. .. 131
(Bartolome de las Casas, Speech to the Judges at
Valladolid, 1550)
No. 116. The Condemnation of Spanish Rule in the Indies 131
(Barbolome de las Casas, La Solucion a las Doce Dudas,
Madrid, 1564)
No. 117. The Defence of Spanish Rule in the Indies .. 132
(Francisco de Toledo, Viceroy of Peru, to King of
Spain, 1573)
(vii) The Opinion of the Spanish Settlers and
Planters .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 133
No. 118. The Conquistadores and the Encomienda .. 133
(Antonio de Herrera, Historia General de los Hechos
de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del
Mar Oceano, Madrid, 1601-1615)
.No. 119. The Settlers and the Encomienda .. .. 134
(Report of the Jeronimite Commission to Cardinal
Cisneros, Regent of Spain, 1516)
No. 120. "I have come to take their gold" .. .. 136
(Fray Bernardino de Minaya, Memorial to Charles V,
Emperor of the Hapsburg empire, n.d.)
No. 121. Las Casas, The Trouble-Maker .. .. .. 137
(Municipal Council of Guatemala to Charles V,
Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, September 19, 1543)
No. 122. The Colonial Opposition to Las Casas .. .. 137
(Fray Tolibio de Mobolinia to Charles V, Emperor of
the Hapsburg Empire, January 2, 1555)
No. 123. The Colonials and the New Laws .. .. 139
-(Memorial of the Attorneys of New Spain to Charles V,
Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, June, 1545)
No. 124. "Let it be obeyed but not enforced" .. .. 140
(Tratado que el Obispo de la Ciudad Real de Chiapa,
D. Fray Bartolome de las Casas, compuso por Comision
del Consejo Real de las Indias sobre la material de
los Indios que se hal hecho en ellas esclavos, Seville,

(i) The Rationalisation of the Negro Slave
Trade and Slavery .. .. .. .. .. 141
No. 125. The Preservation of the Indians: Las Casas .. 141
(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 126. The Preservation of the Indians: The Jeronimites 142
(The Jeronimite Fathers in Hispaniola to Cardinal
Ximenes,.Regent of Spain, January 18, 1518)
No. 127 The Dominican Argument: One Negro is worth
Four Indians .. .. .. .. .. 142
(Antonio de Herrera, Historta General de los Hechos
de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tferra Firme del Mar
Oceano, Madrid, 1601-1615)
No. 128. No Negroes, no Sugar .. .. .. 142
(Gonzalo Fernandes de Oviedo y Valdes, Historia
General y Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra.Firine
del Mar Oceano (1535-1557), Madrid 1851-1855)
No. 129. The Development of the Colonies .. .. 143
(Bartolome de las Casas to the Council of the Indies,
January 20, 1531)
No. 130. The Development of Hispaniola .. .. 143
(Attorneys of the City) of Santiago de Cuba and the
Towns of Puerto Principe and Sancti Spirltus in His-
paniola to Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg
Empire, 1542)
No. 131. The Development of Cuba .. .. .. 143
(The City of Santiago de Cuba to Charles V, Emperor
of the Hapsburg Empire, April 10, 1537)
No. 132. The Development of Puerto Rico .. 144
(Diego de Salamanca, Bishop of San Juan, to Philip II,
King of Spain, April 6, 1579)
No. 133. The Development of Trinidad .. .. .. 144
(Dr. Salcedo de Merva *o Philip III, King of Spain,
January 31, 1618)
No. 134. The Welfare of the Spaniards .. .. ... 144
(Judge Hurtado of Hispaniola to Charles V, Emperor
of the Hapsburg Empire, April 7, 1550)
No. 135. The Welfare of the Negroes .. .. .. 144
(Alonso Zuazo, Judge of Hispaniola, to Cardinal
Ximenes, Regent of Spain, January 22, 1518)
No. 136. The Profit to the King .. .. .. 145
(The Jeronimite Fathers in Hispaniola to Cardinal
Ximenes, Regent of Spain, June 22, 1517)
No. 137. The Profit to the Treasury .. 145
(Report of Capt. Juan Melgarejo, Governor of Puerto
Rice, to Philip II, King of Spain, January 1, 1582)
(ii)-The Organisation of the Negro Slave Trade 146
No. 138. The Royal Monopoly .. .. .. 146
(Decree of Ferdinand II, King of Spain, August 18
No. 139. The Asiento .. .. .. .. .. .. 146
(J. Veitia de Linaje, Norte de la Contratacion de Las
Indias Occidentales, Seville, 1672t English Translation,

No. 140. The Opposition to Monopoly .. .. .. 149
(Opinion of the Council of the Indies to Charles V,
Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, June 19, 1552)
No. 141. The Contraband Slave Trade .. .. .. 150
(Judge Esteve of Hispaniola to Charles V, Emperor of
of the Hapsburg Empire, 1550)
No. 142. The Goods in the Slave Trade .. .. .. 150
(Antonio de Berrio, Governor of Trinidad, to Council
of the Indies, January 1, 1593)
No. 143. The Demand for Slaves .. .. 151
(Ferdinand I, King of Spain, to a Royal Official in
Hispaniola, June 21, 1511)
No. 144. Supply and Demand .. .. .. .. 151
(Royal Officials of Hispaniola to Charles V, Emperor
of the Hapsburg Empire, March 30, 1550)
(iii) Negro Slavery .. .. .. .. 151
No. 145. Spain's Code Noir .. .. .. .. .. 151
(Ordenanzas para.... la villa de la Habana.... que
hizo y ordeno el lustre Sr. Dr. Alonso de Caceres....
January 14, 1574)
No. 146. The Danger of Male Slaves .. .. .. 155
(Ferdinand I, King of Spain, to Don Pedro Suarez de
Deza, Bishop of La Concepcion de la Vega, Hispaniola,
September 27, 1514)
No. 147. 'The Advantage of Married Slaves .. .. 155
(Ferdinand I, King of Spain, to Miguel Pasamonte,
Treasurer of Hispaniola, April 1514)
No. 148. How to handle Negro Rebellions .. .. 155
Alonso Zuazo, Judge of Hispaniola, to Cardinal
Ximenes, Regent of Spain, January 22, 1518)
No. 149. Fear of Negro Rebellions .. .. .. 155
(Audiencia of Hispaniola to Charles V, Emperor of
the Hapsburg Empire, July 23, 1546)
No. 150. The Negro Danger in Hispaniola: A Warning .. 156
(Alvaro de Castro, Archdeacon of Hispaniola, to
Council of the Indies, March 26, 1542)
No, 151. Christianity a Dead Letter .. .. .. 157
(Father Daimen Lopez de Haro, Bishop of San Juan,
Report of a Diocesan Synod, San Juan, April 30 -
May 6, 1645)
(iv) The Attitude to Negroes, Slavery and the
Slave Trade .. .. .. .. .. 157
No. 152. The Repentance of Las Casas .. .. .. 157
(Bartolome de Las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)
No. 153. The Inhumanity of the Negro Slave Trade .. 158
(Fray Tomas Mercado, Suma de Tratos1 y Contratos,
Seville, 1587)
No. 154. The Injustice of the Negro Slave Trade .. 160
(Fray Alonso de Sandoval, De Instauranda Aethtopum
Salute, Seville, 1627)
No. 155. The Attack on the Rationalisation of Negro Slavery 161
(Bartolome de Albornoz, Arte de los Contratos,
Valencla, 1573)

No. 156. Danger of Slave Revolts .. .. .. 162
(Fray Alonso de Sandoval, De Instauranda AethMopum
Salute, Seville, 1627)
No. 157. The Value and Beauty of Freedom .. .. 163
(Fray Alonso de Sandoval, De Instauranda Aethfopum
Salute, Seville, 1627)
(i) The System of Monopoly .. .. .. 164
No. 158. The Royal Monopoly of Gold .. .. .. 164
(Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella,
King and Queen of Spain, 1493)
No. 159. The Royal Monopoly of Trade .. .. .. 166
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain,
to Admiral Christopher Columbus and Councillor D.
Juan de Fonseca, May 23, 1493)
No. 160. The Royal Monopoly of Mines .. .. .. 167
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain,
to 'the Governors and Royal Officials In the Indies,
September 3, 1501)
No. 161. The Early Monopoly of Cadiz .. .. .. 168
(Decree of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen
of Spain. April 10, 14951
No. 162. Monopoly in the Colonies .. .. .. .. 168
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain,
to Christopher Columbus. August 3, 1499)
No. 163. The Monopoly of Hispaniola .. .. .. 169
(Antonio de Herrera, Historia General de los Hechos
de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar
Oceano, Madrid, 1601-1615)
No. 164. The Monopoly of Spaniards from Castile, Leon
and Aragon .. .. .. .. .. 171
(J. Veitia de Linaje, Norbe de la Contratacfon de las
Indias Occidentales, Seville, 1672. English Translation,
(ii) The Organisation of Spanish Trade with
the Colonies .. .. .. .. .. 173
No. 165. The House of Trade in Seville .... .. .. 173
(Decree of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of
Spain, January 20, 1503)
No. 166. The Greatest House in the World .. .. 176
(J. Veltia de Linaje, Norte, de la Contratacion de las
Indtas Occidentales, Seville, 1672. English Translation,
No. 167. Royal Instructions to the Bureaucracy .. .. 177
(Ordinance of Ferdinand I, King of "Spain, for the
House of Trade, June 15, 1510)
No. 168. Collective Responsibility of the Bureaucracy .. 180
(Ordinance of Ferdinand I, King of Spain, for the
Organisation of the House of Trade, May 18, 1511)
No. 169 The Armada .. 182
(Antonio. de Herrera, Historia General de los Hechos
de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar
Oceano, Madrid, 1601-1615)


No. 170. The Flota ....
(J. Veitia de Linaje, Norte de la Contratacion de las
Indias Occidentales, Seville, 1672. Engish Translation,
No. 171. The Pilots .. .. ..
(J. Veitia de Linaje, Norte de la Contratacion de las
Indias Occidentales, Seville, 1672. English Translation,
(iii) The Government of the Colonies
No. 172. The Absolute Monarchy
(Ferdinand II, King of Spain, to Diego Columbus,
Governor of the Indies, May 3, 1509)
No. 173. Spanish Colonialism
(Gil de Lemos, Viceroy of New Spain, to a Deputation
from the Collegians of Lima)
No. 174. Town Planning by the Metropolitan Government
(Ordinance of the King of Spain, July 3, 1573)
No. 175. The Colonial Municipality
(Ordenanzaa para el cabildo y regimiento de la villa
de la Habana que hizo y ordeno el lustre Sr. Dr.
Alonso de Caceres,...January 14, 1574)
(iv) The Colonials and the Metropolitan Monopoly
No. 176. The Colonial Opposition to Monopoly
(The Colonists of Cubagua to Count Luis Lampumano,
No. 177. The Shortage of Essential Commodities
(Dean and Council of Hispaniola to Charles V,
Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, May 27, 1555)
No. 178. High Prices of Imports
(Dr. Fray Diego Sarmiento, Bishop of Cuba, April 20,
No. 179. The Scarcity of Ships
(Pedro de Beltranilla to President of the Council of
the Indies, Trinidad, January 8, 1613)
No. 180. The Spanish Fleets for the New World ..
(Thomas Gage, The English.American, A New Survey
of the West Indies, London, 1648)
No. 181. Commercial Concessions to Trinidad
(Council of the Indies to Philip IV, King of Spain,
November 22, 1630)
No. 182. The Bankruptcy of the Spanish Colonial System
(Council of the Indies to Philip IV, King of Spain,
October 24, 1653)
CARIBBEAN .. .. .. ..
(i) The Diplomatic and Intellectual Attack on the
Spanish Monopoly .. ..
No. 183. The Papal Donation of the New World to Spain
(Bull of Pope Alexander VI, May 4, 1493)
No. 184. The Portuguese refuse to accept the Donation
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen, of Spain, to
Christopher Columbus, August 16, 1494)
No. 185. The Partition of the World between Spain and
Portugal .. .
(Treaty of Tordesillas, June 7,. 1494)


















No. 186. Spain's Warning to England .. .. .. 205
(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to
Dr. de Puebla, Spanish Ambassador in England,
M3rch 28, 1496)
No. 187. England refuses to heed the Warning .. .. 208
(Letters Patent of Henry VII, King of England, to
Sebastian Cabot, 1497)
No. 188. The Impending Anglo-Spanish Conflict .. 206
(Don Pedro de Ayala, Spanish Ambassador to England,
to Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain,
July 25, 1498)
No. 189. The Impending Franco-Spanish Conflict .. .. 207
(Statement of Francis I, King of France, 1526)
No. 190. "God had not created those lands for
Spaniards only" .. .. .. .. .. 207
(Antonio de Herrera, Historia General de los Flechos
de las Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del
Mar Oceano, Madrid, 1601-1615)
No. 191. England's Opposition to the Papal Donation .. 207
(Sir William Cecil to the Spanish Ambassador in
England, 1582)
No. 192. England's Insistence on the Freedom of the Seas 208
(William Camden, Annales Rerum Anglicarum et
Hibernicarum regnante Elizabetha, London, 1615)
No. 193. Queen Elizabeth's "Western Design" .. .. 209
(Letters Patent of Elizabeth, Queen of England, to
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, 1584)
No. 194. The Ass in the Lion's Skin .. .. .. .. 209
(Richard Hakluyt, A particular discourse concerning
the great necessity and manifold commodities that are
like to grow to this Realm of England by the Western
discoveries lately attempted, London, 1584)
No. 195. England's Place in the Sun .. .. .. .. 212
(Richard Hakluyt, Preface to the Second Edition of
The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and
Discoveries of the English Nation, London, 1598)
No. 196. England's Opportunity .. .. .. .. 214
(Richard Hakluyt, "The Epistle Deddcatorie" In the
Second Volume of The Principal Navigations, Voyages,
Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation,
London, 1599 edition)
No. 197. The Dragon of the Golden Fleece .. .. .. 215
(Sir Francis Bacon, Speech in the House of Commnrn,
June 17, 1607)
(ii) The Commercial Attack on the
Spanish Monopoly .. .. .. .. .. 215
No.198. The First violationn of the Monopoly .. .. 215
(Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, to the
Judges of the Audiencia of Hispaniola, March 27,
No. 199. Hawkins and the Beginnings of the English
Slave Trade .. .. :. .. .. .. 216
Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages,
Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation,
London, 1M7)

No. 200. The Colonials Connive at Contraband- Trade .-." 217
S(Lcentiate : of Hispaniola to King -of Spain, May 20,
S1563) *
No. 201. The Basis of Contraband Trade .. .. .. 219
(Antonio de Berrio to Licentiate Bernaldez of'
Hispaniola, April 4, 1565)
No. 202. Hawkins refuses to observe the Monopoly .. 219
.., (John Hawkins to Licentiate Bernaldez of Hispaniola,
April .16, 1565)
No..203. Queen Elizabeth supports Hawkins .. .. 220
(Guzman de Silva, Spanish Ambassador. in England,
to Philip II, King of Spain, July 12, 1567)
No. 204. The Royal Officials Connive at Contraband Trade 221
(Accountant of Venezuela to Philip II, King of Spain,
April 21, 1586)
No. 205. The Only Way .. .. .. .. 222
(Beriardino de Mendoza, Spanish Ambassador in Eng-
land, to Philip II, King of Spain, 1580)
(iii) The Corsairs .. .. .. .. 222
No. 206.. No Peace beyond the Line .. .. .. .. 222
(Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis, 1559)
No..207. Lords of the Sea .. .. ... ..... 222
(Lazaro de Vallejo Aldrate and Hernando Costilla to
Philip II, King of .Spain, September 26, 1568)
No. 208. The Lust for Gold .. .. .. .. .. 223
(The City of Panama to Philip II, King of Spain,
May 25, 1571)
No. 209. El Draque .. .. ... .. 223
(Philip Nicholls, Sir Francis Drake Reviv'd...by this
Memorable Relation of the Rare Occurrences.. .in a
Third Voyage by him into the West Indies, in the years
(15) 72 and (15) 73, London, 1626)
No. 210. The Fear of Drake .. .. ... 224
(Venetian Ambassador in Spain, ca. 1580)
No. 211. The English Capture of Santo Domingo .. .. 224
(The Audiencia of Santo Domingo to Philip II, King
of Spain, February 24, 1586)
No. 212. Drake the "Crusader" . .. .. .. 230
(Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral of Santo Domingo
to Philip II, King of Spain, February 19, 1586)
No. 213. Drake's Gospel of Ransom .. ... .. 231
,, (Pedro Fernandez de Busto to Philip II, King of
Spain, Cartagena, May 25, 1586)
No. 214. "I will Return!" .. .. .. 235
(Alonso Suarez de Toledo to Philip I, King of Spain,
Havana, June 27, 1586)
No. 215. A Very Great Gap Opened :' .. .. 235
(Sir Francis Walsingham to Earl of Leicester, 1586)
No. 216. The World Sufficeth Not .. .. .. .. 235
(Captain Walter Biggs, A Summary and True Discourse
of Sir Francis Drake's West Indian Voyage, begun in
the year 1585, London, ca. 1586)
'" No. 217. The Colossus with Feet of Clay .. .. .. 23
(Garcia Fernandez de Torrequemada, His Majesty's
Factor -for Hispaniola, to Philip II, King of Spain,
February 1, 1587)


(iv) The Collapse of the Spanish Monopoly .. 239
No. 218. The Defeat of the Spanish Armada .. .. 239
(Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Vnyages,
Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, London,
No. 219. The Corsairs attack with utter impunity .. 241
S(Juan de Texeda to Philip II, King of Spain, Havana,
August 24, 1590)
No. 220. Pour Encourager les Autres .. . .. 242
(Antonio Navarro, Captain General of the New Spanish
Fleet, to the House of Trade, October 12, 1591)
No. 221. Spain's Manpower Shortage .. .. .. .. 242
(Antonio de Berrio to Philip II, King of Spain, July 27,
No. 222. Caribs within, Corsairs without .. .. .. 243
(Antonio de Berrio to Philip II, King of Spain, November
24, 1593)
No. 223. The English Capture of Puerto Rico .. .. 244
(Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
October'24, 1598)
No.'224. The Influence of Sea Power on West Indian
History .... .. .. .. .. 245
(Don Juan Maldonado Barnuevo to King of Spain,
November 12, 1604)
No. 225. The Weakness of Spain .. .. .. .. 250
(Sir Thomas Roe to Earl of Salisbury, Lord High Trea-
surer of England, Trinidad, February 28, 1611)
No. 226. The Contraband Tobacco Trade of Trinidad .. 250
(Council of the Indies to Philip III, King of Spain,
May 15, 1611)
N( t27. Proposal to ban Tobacco Cultivation in Trinidad 250
(Bernardo de Vargas Machuca, Governor of Margarita,
to King of Spain, August 16, 1612)
,' ~, 228. The Destitution of the Colonies .. .. 251
(Juan, Bishop of Puerto Rico, to Philip IV, King of
Spain, February 23, 1634)
Mo. 229. The King of Spain loses his Temper .. .. 252
(Memorandum of Philip IV, King of Spain, on a Report
from the House of Trade, January 23, 1638)
(v) The Establishment of Non-Spanish Colonies
in the Caribbean .. .. .. .. 252
No. 230. El Dorado .. .. .. .. .. 252
(Sir Walter Raleigh, The Discovery of the larga, rich,
and beautiful Empire of Guiana, London, 1595)
No. 231. To Supplant Spain in the West Indies .. .. 253
(Sir Benjamin Rudyerd, Speech in the House of Com-
mons, March 17, 1623)
No. 232. The First French West Indian Colony .. .. 254
(Commission given by Cardinal de Richelieu to the
Sieurs d'Enambuc and du Rossey for the establishment
of a colony in the West Indies, October 21, 1626)
No. 233. Religion and the Rise of British Imperialism
in the West Indies .. .. .. .. .. 255
(John Pym, Speech in the House of Commons, April 17,

No. 234. The End of the Papal Donation
(Treaty of Munster between Spain and the United
Provinces of the Low Countries, January 30, 1648)
No. 235. England's Claim to a Share of Adam's Will
(Thomas Gage, The English.American, A New Survey
of the West Indies, London, 1648)
No. 236. Cromwell's Western Design ..
("Instructions to General Robert Venables given by
His Highness by advice of his Council upon his Expedi.
tion to the West Indies", December 1654)
No. 237. The Western Design: The Intellectual
(Oliver Cromwell, Protector of England, Commission
of the, Commissioners for the West Indian Expedition,
December 9, 154)
No. 238. The British Conquest of Jamaica .
(Henry Whistler, "Journal of the West Indian Expedition,
No. 239. The British Army of Occupation ..
(An Anonymous Letter from Jamaica, November 5,
(i) Mercantilism .. .
No. 240. The Vision .. .
(Richard Hakluyt, A particular? discourse concerning
the great necessity and manifold commodities that are
like to grow to this Realm of England by the Western
discoveries lately attempted, London, 1584)
No. 241. The Balance of Trade
(Edward Misselden, The Circle of Commerce, London,
No. 242. The Colonies and the Balance of Trade ..
(Reasons for Raising a Fund for the Support of a
Colony at Virginia, London, 1607)
No. 243. The Theory of Bullion
(Sir Edwyn Sandys, Speech in the House of Commons,
February 17, 1620/1)
No. 244. The Drain of Bullion .. .
(Petition of the House of Commons to James I, King
of England, May 28, 1824)
No. 245. Commercial Nationalism
(Jean Eon, Le Commercd Honorable, Nantes, 1646)
No. 246. Planned Economy ..
(J.B. Colbert to Cardinal Jules Mazarin, Minister of
France, 1653)
No. 247. Colonisation, The Theory
(Sir Francis Bacon, "Of Plantations", London, 1625)
No. 248. Living Space
(Sir Francis Bacon to James I, King of England, 1606)
No. 249. Relieving Unemployment in the Metropolitan
Country .... ..
(Robert Johnson, Nova Britannia, London, 1609)
(ii) The Monopolistic Companies and Private Fiefs


No. 250. The Dutch West India Company .. .. .. 275
(Charter granted by their High Mightinesses the Lords
the States.General of Holland' to the West Indian Com-
pany, June 3, 1621)
No. 251. The Foundation of the French West Indian
Empire .. .. .. .. .. .. 278
(Act of Association of the Lords of the Company of
the Islands of America, October 31, 1626)
No. 252. The French West India Company .. .. .. 278
(Contract for the Re-establishment of the Company of
the Islands of America, February 12, 1635)
No. 253. The "Carlisle Islands" .. .. .. .. 279
(Grant of Charles, I, King of England, to James, Earl of
parlisle, July 2, 1627)
No. 254. The National State assumes Control .. .. 280
(Ordinance of the Two Houses of Parliament, November
2, 1643)
(iii) The Economic Organisation of the Colonies 282
No. 255. The West Indies more beneficial to England
than the East Indies .. .. .. .. .. 282
(Minutes of the Lords of Trade and Plantations,
.628 (?))
No. 256. The Distress of the Early Planters in St. Kitts 282
(Petition of their Planters and Adventurers to the
Caribbee Islands to the Lords of the Privy Counci
February 4, 1630/1)
No. 257. The Overproduction of Tobacco in the British
West Indies .. .. .. .. .. .. 283
(Charles I, King of England, to Governor of Virginia,
August 4, 1636)
No. 258. The Overproduction of Tobacco in the French
West Indies .. .. .. .. 283
(Ordinance of M. de Poincy, Governor General of the
French West Indies, May 26, 1639)
No. 259. British Encouragement of Agricultural
Diversification .. .. .. .. 284
(Charles I, King of England, to the Feoffees of James,
Earl of Carlisle, April (?) 1637)
No. 203. The Beginnings of Sugar Cultivation in Martinique 284
(Register of the French West India Company, October 6,
No. 261. The Early Difficulties of Sugar Manufacture .. 285
(M. de Poincy, Governor of the French West Indies,
to Directors of the French West India Company,
November, 15, 1640)
No. 262. Sugar Technology in Barbados .. .. .. 285
(Petition of William Pennoyer to the House of Lords,
October 14, 1647)
No. 263. The Beginnings of Mainland Trade with
the Caribbean .. .. .. .. .. 286
(Winthrop's Journal, 1630--49)
No. 264. The Garden of the Indies: Jamaica .. .. 286
((Henry Whistler, "Journal of the West Indian Expedi-
tion, 1654-1655")
(iv) The Problem of Labour .. .. .. 287

No. 265. The White Indentured Servant .. .. .. 287
(Ordinance of the Houses of Parliament, January 23,
No. 266. Getting Rid of Undesirables .. .. .. 288
(H. Robinson, England's Safety in Trades Encrease,
London, 1641)
No. 267. The Transportation of Convicts to Barbados .. 288
(Petition of Thomas Devenish, Keeper of Winchester
House Prison, to the House of Lords, March 20,
No. 268. To "Barbadoes" the Irish .. .. .. .. 289
(Oliver Cromwell to William Lenthall, "Speaker of the
Parliament of England", Dublin, September 17, 1649)
No. 269. Land Hunger in Barbados .. .. .. .. 289
(Proclamation o the Earl of Carlisle, November 22,
No. 270. Barbados, England's Dunghill .. .. .. 290
(Henry Whistler, "Journal of the West Indian Expedi-
tion, 1654-1655")
No. 271. Encouraging the Settlement of Jamaica .. .. 290
(Proclamation of Oliver Cromwelll, Protector of England,
No. 272. Negroes the Life of Barbados .. .. .. 292
(George Downing to John Winthrop, Jr. August 26,
No. 273. Scientific Detachment: Why are Negroes Black? 292
Sir Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica or
Enquiries into very many received Tenets and Com-
monly Presumed Truths, London, 1646)
(v) The Struggle for the Caribbean .. .. 296
(a) Metropolitan Rivalry .. .. .... 296
No. 274. The Anglo-French Partition of St. Kitts .. .. 296
("Articles made between the Gentlemen Governors
Captain Warner & Captain Denumbuke, & Cap. Du
Roissey for the maintaining of their Commissions
received from the King of England & the King of
France, 1627)
No. 275. Dutch Hostility to Spain .. .. .. 297
(Order and Regulations of the States.-bt..eral, May 14,
1632 and July 15, 1633)
No. 276. Dutch Free Trade .. .. .. .. .. 298
(Register of the Resolutions of their High Mightinesses
the States-General of the United Netherlands, August
10, 1648)
No. 277. Anglo-Dutch Colonial Rivalry .. .. .. 299
(Letters from Amsterdam, December. 16 and 17. 1652)
(b) Colonial Self-Government .. .. .. 300
No. 278. Barbadian Democracy .. .. .. .. 300
(Henry Huncks to Earl of Carlisle, July 11, 1639)
No. 279. Barbados' "Declaration of Independence" .... 301
S(A Declaration of Lord Willoughby and the Legislature
of the Island of Barbados against the British Parlia-
ment, 1651)

No. 280. Barbados demands Representation in Parliament 303
(Colonel Thomas Modyford to John Bradshaw,
Barbados, February 16, 1652)
No. 281. The Independence Movement in Barbados .. 304
(John Bayes to the Council of State in England,
Barbados, June 30, 1652)
No. 282. The Barbados Free State .. .. .. 304
(Daniel Searle, Governor of Barbados, to the Council
of State in England, September 19, 1653)
Index .. .. .. .. 305



In intellectual, as in political matters the Caribbean is a geo-
graphical expression. There is no history of the Caribbean area as a
whole. Indeed, histories worthy of the name exist for only a few of
the Caribbean territories.
After more than four and a half centuries of metropolitan con-
trol, shared among several countries of Europe and America, all that
we can boast of is a few monographs, the product of a metropolitan
scholarship that has been fragmented, irregular, sporadic, and often
pathetically inaccurate and prejudiced. Few "colonials" have to date
extended their nationalism to the cultural field and dedicated them-
selves to the task of writing or rewriting, where necessary -
their own history.
The present publication is designed to fill this gap and to correct
this deficiency. Its scope is the entire West Indian area, including
the Guianas whether their connections have been or are British
or French, Spanish or American, Dutch or Danish, or whether they
have discarded or are about to discard the alien rule of previous
Its goal is the cultural integration of the entire area, a synthesis
of existing knowledge, as the essential foundation of the great need of
our time, closer collaboration among the various countries of the
Caribbean with their common heritage of subordination to and dicta-
tion by outside interests.
The series thus aims at bringing together, in English, the avail,
able scholarship and research on the West Indian area, whatever the
original language of publication. It thus will embrace the great col-
lections whether public or private-among the Spanish, the works
of Las Casas, Navarrete, Herrera, Oviedo and the little-known Saco of
Cuba; among the French, the monumental collection of Moreau de
Saint Mery and the works of Schoelcher; among the British, the
Calendars of State Papers, the Parliamentary Debates and Hansard,
reports of Commissions, the works of the Hakluyt Society, and the
more modern documentary selections of Harlow, Bell and Morrell, and
Eric Williams; among the Americans, the great collections of the
Carnegie institution by Stock and Donnan.
The series originated in the author's personal researches on
West Indian history beginning with abolition and emancipation in the
British West Indies. The expansion to the larger Caribbean area was
facilitated by a Rosenwald Fellowship which permitted research in
the Havana archives in 1940 and by a Carnegie grant which per-
mitted travel and research in Europe, from Copenhagen to Seville,
in 1953. Some collaboration with the Social Science Research Centre
of the University of Puerto Rico, involving mainly translations, and
typing aid, is also gratefully acknowledged.


The undertaking was begun over ten years ago, but increasing
pressures and commitments relegated it to cold storage, until more
propitious and leisurely times. The recent reappraisal of the role of
the University of the West Indies following on its emancipation from
British tutelage, and the decision to make West Indian studies com-
pulsory at the very time when a large accession to its clientele, in
decentralised colleges of arts, has been agreed to, make more neces-
sary than ever the provision of appropriate West Indian materials.
So the assignment has once more been brought into the light of
day. It was no easy matter to complete it, far from the metropolitan
research centres, in the midst of official responsibilities and political
commitments. The resurrection took place in Tobago at Easter of
1963 and the work has been done in such odd moments as could be
snatched from other chores a little in Barbados, some in Jamaica,
more in Trinidad, a little in Curacao, and the final bits put together
in Tobago. If the combination of the national responsibility of the'
head of a government and the personal hobby of the student has
resulted in blemishes, untidiness and obvious evidence of haste, the
author can only reply however arrogant it may sound that
West Indian development in any field today is an urgent and not a
leisurely matter, and that it is much better to have tried to play both
roles than to have played neither.
A rapid appraisal of the possibility of condensing the voluminous
data into a single manageable volume was quickly rejected too
much injustice would have been done thereby to West Indian history.
Thus it is that the present work has been planned in five volumes,
divided at convenient watersheds, as follows:
Vol. I, 1492 1655: From the Spanish Discovery to the British
Conquest of Jamaica
Vol. II, 1656 1783 : To the Independence of the United States
of America
Vol. III, 1784 1897: To the bankruptcy of the British West In-
dian Sugar Industry
Vol. IV, 1898 1941: From the Spanish-American War to the
United States/United Kingdom Leased Bases
Vol. V, 1942 1962: From the emergence of Puerto Rican de-
mocracy to the Independence of Jamaica and
Trinidad and Tobago.
The book is based on the collation of documentary material in
almost every case contemporary with the period under discussion.
Unlike those anthologies in which heterogeneous documents are col-
lected, with no pattern and according to no plan, the documents are
divided up according to subject matter into distinct chapters. Each
document, in addition, has been given a title which, it is hoped, will
assist in the telling of the West Indian story in pointing a moral
as well as adorning the tale.
The first volume of the series is now presented to the West
Indian citizen and student and to the interested metropolitan public,
as the intellectual cement of the edifice of Caribbean collaboration
which has no future whatsoever unless it is the work of West Indian

architects, and these are like blind men if their past continues to
remain inaccessible to them.
It is the answer to those philistines who, inside and outside the
West Indies, deny that the West Indies have a history or, where
they do concede that we have, bleat that the West Indies must not
divorce themselves from the metropolitan intellectual comments. In
so far as there is any substance in either this metropolitan contempt
or this colonial servility, then the answer is to be found in a series
which deals with metropolitan history in so far as it affects and has
relevance for the West Indies. For example, the defeat of the
Spanish Armada by England is presented in its West Indian context,
as dealing a mortal blow to the Spanish monopoly in the Caribbean.
Or, again, the rise of Cromwell and the struggle with the royal auto-
cracy in England emerges, in West Indian history, as Cromwell's
Western Design or the protests of Barbadian democracy against Bri-
tish efforts to control its trade. Similarly, Spanish history, so neglected
in British colonies, is seen in its best light in the contributions of
Las Casas to West Indian society.
For over four and a half centuries the West Indies have been
the pawns of Europe and America. Across the West Indian stage
the great characters, political and intellectual, of the Western World
Jtrut and fret their hour Louis XIV and Bonaparte, Chatham and
Pitt, Castlereagh and Canning, John Stuart Mill and Carlyle, Clark-
son and the Abbe Raynal, Victor Schoelcher and Jose Marti, Jeffer-
son and Adams, Joseph Chamberlain and Theodore Roosevelt, the
ancien regime and the Revolution of 1789, Gladstone and Disraeli,
Cobden and Bright, Russell and Palmerston, the mercantilists and
the Manchester School. The beet sugar industry of Prussia, slave
labour from Africa, contract labour from India and China, Christi-
anity, Hinduism and Islam-all have left their mark on our West
Indian society. Of the West Indies more than of most geographical
areas is it possible to say that we are one world.
Far, therefore, from this effort to cultivate West Indian histori-
cal materials and rescue them from scorn and oblivion being dis-
missed as cultural autarchy, the presentation of Europe and America
in the West Indian context can confidently be expected to throw new
light on many European and American situations and personalities,
and open up new avenues of research where these are concerned.
It may not, after all, amount to very much in a world in which
independent West Indian pigmies strive to maintain their existence
against giant international corporations and in which tiny West In-
dian communities separated by miles of sea try to live side by side
with nations migrating to outer space. But let us in the West Indies
not be dismayed. Small though we may be, let us take heart, as the
late Pope John XXIII sought to encourage the author, in the re-
minder that the Lord will hasten in his time that a little one shall
become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.
Trinidad and Tobage,
August 31, 1968.



This, the first volume of the series of Documents of West Indian
History, covers the period from the discovery of the West Indies by
Columbus in 1492 down to the British conquest of Jamaica in 1655.
Britain's conquest represented the first successful breach in the Span-
ish claim to monopoly, the first permanent conquest of a territory
occupied by the Spaniards as distinct from settlement of islands like
Barbados or St. Kitts which were not physically occupied by the
Spaniards. It constituted therefore the first practical repudiation of
the Papal Donation of the New World to Spain.
The period covered by this volume is therefore the period of the
Spanish monopoly and the international competition thereby engen-
dered. In this period the foundations were laid of West Indian politi-
cal development, of the West Indian social structure, and of the West
Indian character and psychology.
These foundations, in general outline, were as follows:
(1) The relations of the metropolitan countries with weaker races.
Spain's relations with the Aboriginal Indians, the encomienda, slavery,
the slave trade within the Caribbean and even to Spain itself, were
the foundations on which the slavery of Africans and the indenture
of natives of India were subsequently erected. The Spanish contro-
versy over the character of the Aboriginal Indians anticipated the
later controversies over the character of the Negroes and the Hindus.
Indian encomienda and Negro slavery betrayed the same legislative
weaknesses, the same impotence of pious appeals to individual con-
It must be conceded, however, that no other metropolitan record
can achieve the absurdity of the Requisition or the fatuousness of
the Spanish determination to make the Aboriginal Indians walk and
dress like "rational men."
(2) The metropolitan monopoly of West Indian trade and production.
The extreme centralisation and the almost incredible bureaucracy
established by the Spaniards were not indistinguishable from the
mercantilist philosophy and the crown colony system of later centu-
ries. The bankruptcy, moral and material, of the Spanish monopoly
differed in degree only and not in kind from the subsequent experi-
ence of Spain's rivals.
(3) The organisation and structure of the sugar industry. The ex-
perience of Hispaniola was later carried over to other West Indian
areas, Barbados, Martinique and Jamaica. The social character of sugar
production was clearly established in early Hispaniola large capital
investment, the latifundia and the plantocracy, production for export,
and slavery.
(4) The establishment of the West Indian class and race structure,
white capital exploiting coloured labour. The value of the West Indies
as outlets for metropolitan undesirables was recognized as much by
Spain in Hispaniola as by England in Barbados and France in Mar-

tinique, and all over the West Indies the high market value of the
white skin and the metropolitan antecedents, however lowly and
humble, set a pattern which is still one of the principal obstacles to
rational social development in contemporary Tobago. Their lordly
airs, their arrogance, their conspicuous consumption, their extrava-
gant living these, transmitted to those at whose expense they lived
so well, have become the social climbing and the insatiable individual
ambition which are today the worst legacy of metropolitan misrule.
The West Indian story is presented through the eyes and mouths
of the actors themselves. It corrects various inaccuracies and distor-
tions. The easy and conventional charge of barbarity against the Span-
iards is seen against the background of the humanity of Las Casas,
the most important metropolitan figure who has ever crossed the West
Indian stage, and whose single-handed advocacy of the cause and
rights of the Aboriginal Indians, relentless opposition to metropolitan
imperialism, and tireless dedication to the cause of human rights
both by voice and by pen constitute the finest chapter in metropoli-
tan relations with the West Indies. The typically British arrogation of
primacy in the battle for the abolition of slavery can be seen in
the context of the condemnation of the slave trade and slavery by
the seventeenth century Spanish prelates as inhuman, unjust and
impolitic. The general assumption of metropolitan military superior-
ity over the weaker races, and the colonial acceptance of the result-
ant inferiority, will be disturbed by the picture of Spanish knights
in armour and on horseback, armed with lance and assisted by blood-
hounds, winning great victories over Indians with painted faces (as
in a Trinidad carnival) and armed with bows and arrows (a disparity
immortally ridiculed by Diego Rivera's canvases); and by the Bri-
tish conquest of Jamaica by an army running from crabs and shooting
at fireflies.
The two dominant themes of this first volume are race relations
and monopoly. The dominant figure is Las Casas, who, as Protector
of the Aboriginal Indians, anticipates the later crusades of the English-
man Clarkson and the Frenchman Schoelcher in defence of the
African slaves.
One other aspect of the story presented herein warrants
some mention in the light of contemporary conditions in the West
Indies. It is Columbus' lyrical descriptions of the West Indian islands
and especially of Hispaniola, the land he loved. He is really the
first of the "tourists". To anyone with experience of the European
winters or the incredible summer heat of Spain, the West Indies must
have appeared as an earthly paradise.
The first volume sets the stage for all subsequent West Indian
history. A century and a half of European power politics over posses-
sion of West.Indian territory ends with the emergence of a "West In-
dian" movement for self-government and independence. In these days
of West Indian self-determination in the face of continued outside in-
terference in West Indian affairs, it is timely and valuable to be
reminded of this first and modest claim of the West Indians them-
selves as the beneficiaries of Adam's Will.


The European Background

C.lumbus was no visionary, seeking a New World in whose
existence no one but himself believed.
Europe was ready, in every sense of the word, for the great
(1) Europe had developed, in embryo, the economic foundations
which stimulated overseas expansion. The dawn of the capitalist era
with its large scale production had begun in England, some forty
years before Columbus' first voyage.
The History of Jack of Newbury, called The Clothier of
England, ca. 1450.
"Jack had,
In one room two hundred looms all going.
Two hundred boys winding quills.
An hundred women carding.
In another room, two hundred maids spinning.
One hundred and fifty boys picking wool.
Fifty shearmen.
Eight toers.
Forty dyers in the dye house.
Twenty men in a fulling-mill.
In his own house he kept a butcher, a baker, a brewer, five
cooks, and six scullion boys. He spent every week ten fat
oxen in his house, besides butter, cheese, fish, etc...."
(2) Europe had developed the germ of the economic theory
which was to dominate the national state in the age of overseas
expansion. Eight years before Columbus' first voyage the national
concern with gold and over the drain of bullion was thus enunciated:
The Estates General of France, 1484.
"Money is in the body politic what blood is in the human body;
it is then necessary to examine what purgings the monarchy has
undergone in the last century. The first was in the time of the
popes Alexander and Martin, who in the space of four years took
out of this kingdom sums so considerable that they were reckoned
at more than two millions of gold."
(3) Europe also had the economic organisation for any potential
colonies. The sugar industry was well established in the Mediter-
ranean in the fifteenth century. Forty-four years before Columbus' first
voyage, the industry in Cyprus was thus described by an Italian
traveller :
Casola, Viagio a Gerusalamme, 1449
"The abundance of sugar cane and its magnificence in Cyprus
are beyond description. The patrician, Francisco Cornaro of Venice,
has at Limasso a great estate, Episcopia, where so much sugar is


made that I believe there must be enough for the whole world. The
best goes to Venice and every year more is sold. In this area it is im-
possible to believe that anyone can starve. It is charming to see how
the best qualities and the inferior grades are made, and how the
people, nearly 400, are employed, some here, some there. There are
so many sorts of apparatus that I thought I was in another world,
and the boilers are so large that if I described them nobody would
believe me. Moreover, all the people are paid every Saturday."
(4) Gold mining and sugar production obviously required labour.
Long before Columbus' first voyage, Europe had established contact
with Africa where it encountered a high level of civilisation that it
was later to destroy. African civilisation before European slavery
and the European slave trade was described a century and a half
before Columbus' first voyage by the Moorish traveller, Ibn Battuta.
One example is his description of the Mandingan Empire of Mali:
Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354
"My stay at Iwalatan lasted about fifty days; and I was shown
honour and entertained by its inhabitants. It is an excessively hot
place, and boasts a few small date-palms, in the shade of which
they sow watermelons. Its water comes from underground waterbeds
at that point, and there is plenty of mutton to be had. The garments
of its inhabitants, most of whom belong to the Massufa tribe, are of
fine Egyptian fabrics. Their women are of surpassing beauty, and
are shown more respect than the men. The state of affairs amongst
these people is indeed extraordinary. Their men show no signs of
jealousy whatever; no one claims descent from his father, but on
the contrary from his mother's brother. A person's heirs are his
sister's sons, not his own sons. This is a thing which I have seen
nowhere in the world except among the Indians of Malabar. But
those are heathens; these people are Muslims, punctilious in observ-
ing the hours of prayer, studying books of law, and memorizing the
Koran.... one has the impression that Mandingo was a real state
whose organisation and civilisation could be compared with those of
the Musselman kingdoms or indeed the Christian kingdoms of the
same epoch."
(5) Europe thus had, in Africa, the manpower for colonial expan-
sion and development. It needed only to rationalise its use of this
manpower. Forty years before Columbus' first voyage, the Portu-
guese provided the rationalisation of what became, in the four subse-
quent centuries, the Negro slave trade.
Gomes Eannes de Azurara, The Chronicle of the Discovery and
Conquest of Guinea, Lisbon, 1453
"Wherein the author reasoneth somewhat concerning
the pity inspired by the captives, and of how the division
was inade.
"0, Thou heavenly Father who with Thy powerful hand,
without alteration of Thy divine essence, governest all the infinite
company of Thy Holy City, and controllest all the revolutibns of
higher worlds, divided into nine spheres, making the duration of ages
long or short according as it pleaseth Thee I pray Thee that my

tears may not wrong my conscience, for it is not their religion but
their humanity that maketh mine to weep in pity for their suffer-
ings And if the biute aniimals, with their bestial feelings, by a
natural ilistinct understand the sufferings of their own kind, what
wouldst Thou have my human nature to do on seeing before my
eyes that miserable company, and remembering that they too are of
the generation of the sons of Adam?
"On the next day, which was the 8th of the month of August,
very early in the morning, by reason of the heat, the seamen began
to make ready their boats, and to take out captives, and carry
them on shore, as they were commanded. And these, placed alto-
gether in that field, were a marvellous sight, for amongst them
were some white enough, fair to look upon, and well proportioned;
others were less white" like mulattoes; others again were as black
as Ethiops, and so ugly, both in features and in body, as almost to
appear (to those who saw them) the images of a lower hemisphere.
But what heart could be so hard as not to be pierced with piteous
feeling to see that covipany? For some kept their heads low and
their faces bathed in tears, looking one upon another; others stood
.;ropaning very dolorously, looking up to the height of heaven, fixing
thlir e:.cs upon it, crying out loudly, as if asking help of the Father
of Nature; others struck' their faces with the palms of their hands,
throwing themselves at full length upon the ground; others made
their lamentations in the manner of a dirge, after the custom of
their country. And though we could not understand the words of
their language, the sound of it right well accorded with the mea-
sure of their sadness. But to increase their sufferings still more, there
now arrived those who had charge of the division of the captives,
and who began to separate one from another, in order to make an
equal oiartition of the fifths anrd then was it needful to part fathers
from sons, husbands from wives, brothers from brothers. No re-
spect was shewn either to friends or relations, but each fell where
his lot fook him.
"0 powerful Fortune, that with thy wheels doest and undoest,
compassing the matters- of this world as pleaseth thee, do thou at
least put before the eyes; of that miserable race some understanding
of matters to come, that they may receive some consolation in the
midst of their great sorrow. And you who are so busy in making
that division of the captives, look with pity upon so much misery;
and see how they cling one to the other, so that you can hardly
separate them.
"And who' could finish that partition without very great toil?
for a9 often as they hli placed them in one part the' sons, seeing
their fathers in another, rose With great energy and rushed over to
themn; the mothers, elasped their other children in their arms, and
threw themselves flat on the ground with them, receiving blows
with- Ittl- pity from their own flesh, if only they might not be tort
from them.
"And so troublously they finished the partition, for besides the
toil they had with, the captives, the field was quite full of people,

,)oth from the town and from the surrounding villages and dis-
tricts, who for that day gave rest to their hands (in which lay their
power to get their living) for the sole purpose of beholding this
novelty. And with what they saw, while some were weeping and
others separating the captives, they caused such a tumult as greatly
to confuse those who directed the partition.
"The Infant was there, mounted upon a powerful steed, and ac.
companies by his retinue, making distribution of his favours, as a
man who sought to gain but small treasure from his share; for of
the forty-six souls that fell to him as his fifth, he made a very
speedy partition of these (among others), for his chief riches lay in
(the accomplishment of) his purpose; for he reflected with great
pleasure upon the salvation of those souls that before were lost.
"And certainly his expectation was not in vain; for.... as soon
as they understood our language they turned Christians with very
little ado; and I who put together this history into this volume, saw
in the town of Lagos boys and girls (the children and grandchildren
of those first captives, born in this land) as good and true Christians
as if they had directly descended, from the beginning of the dispen-
sation of Christ, from those who were first baptised."
(6) Europe, equipped intellectually, economically and with
manpower for overseas expansion, had also the scientific certainty
that the New World existed, awaiting only its discoverer. Columbus
was certain of this nearly twenty years before his first voyage.
Pablo Toscanelli to Christopher Columbus, June 25, 1474
"I received your letter with everything you sent me, for which
I am very much obliged. I praise your intention to travel West;
and I am sure that you have seen from my letter that the voyage
you wish to undertake is not as difficult as people think; on the
contrary, the ship's course is certain, due to the conditions which
I have pointed out. You would be entirely convinced if you had,
as I have, talked to many persons who have been in these countries.
You may be sure you will find powerful kingdoms, a great many
populated and rich cities, and provinces with an abundance of pre-
cious stones. And it will be cause of great pleasure for the King
and the Princes who rule these far away lands, to open the way for
them to communicate with the Christians, in order to have them-
selves instructed in the Catholic Religion and in ali the sciences
which we possess. For this reason, and for many others which I
could mention, I am not surprised to see that you have as great a
heart as the whole Portuguese Nation, where there have always
been outstanding men in all enterprises."
(7) Europe had, not only the scientific certainty, but also the
scientific equipment to undertake, exploit and consolidate its dis-
coveries. The great scientific achievements of the fifteenth century
ensured this.
Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620
"It is well to observe the force and virtue and consequence of
discoveries, and these are to be seen nowhere more conspicuously
than in those three which were unknown to the ancients....namely,


printing, gunpowder, and the magnet. For these three have changed
the whole face and state of things throughout the world, the first
in literature, the second in warfare, and the third in navigation.
Whence have followed innumerable changes, in so much that no
empire, no sect, no star seems to have exerted greater power and
influence in human affairs than these mechanical discoveries."
(8) The question remained, who was to win the prize? Eng-
land was well in line, but lost her opportunity.
Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques
and Discoveries of the English Nation, London, 1599
"The offer of the discovery of the West Indies by Christopher
Columbus to King Henry the seventh in the year 1488 the 13 of
February: with the King's acceptation of the offer, & the cause
whereupon he was deprived of the same: recorded in the thirteenth
chapter of the history of Don Fernand Columbus of the life and
deeds of his father Christopher Columbus.
"Christopher Columbus fearing lest if the King of Castile in
like manner (as the King of Portugal had done) should not condes-
cend unto his enterprise, he should be enforced to offer the same
again to some other prince, & so much time should be spent
therein, sent into England a certain brother of his which he had
with him, whose name was Bartholomew Columbus, who, albeit he
had not the Latin tongue, yet nevertheless was a man of experience
and skilful in sea causes, and could very well make sea cards &
globes, and other instruments belonging to that profession, as he
was instructed by his brother. Wherefore after that Bartholomew
Columbus was departed for England, his luck was to fall into the
hands of pirates, which spoiled him with the rest of them which
were in the ship which he went in. Upon which occasion, and by
reason of his poverty and sickness which cruelly assaulted him is a
country so far distant from his friends, he deferred his ambassage
for a long while, until such time as he had gotten somewhat hand-
some about him with making of sea cards. At length he began to
deal with King Henry the seventh the father of Henry the eighth,
which reigneth at this present: unto whom he presented a map of
the world.... after he had seen the map, and that which my father
Christopher Columbus offered unto him, he accepted the offer with
joyful countenance, and sent to call him unto England. But be-
cause God had reserved the said offer for Castile, Columbus was
gone in the mean space, and also returned with the performance of
his enterprise...."
(9) England's loss was Spain's gain. Spain in 1492 was exactly
ready for the overseas adventure-a centralised monarchy, a
national state, a militant Church, all basking in the sunshine of
a successful war against the intruder and the infidel, the Moors.
King Abu AbdallahWto King Ferdinand of Spain, 1492
"We are now thy subjects, 0 powerful and exalted King. The
city and kingdom we resign to thee, for such is the will of Allah.
We trust that thou wilt use thy triumph with clemency and gen-



The Discovery of the West Indies

(Articles of Agreement between the Sovereigns of Spain and
Christopher Columbus, April 17, 1492)*
The things prayed for, and which Your Highnesses
give and grant to Don Cristobal Colon as some recompense for
what he is to discover in the Oceans, and for the voyage
which now, with the help of God, he has engaged to make
therein in the service of Your Highnesses, are the following :
Firstly, that Your Highnesses, as actual Lords of the said
Oceans, appoint from this date the said Don Cristobal Colon
to be your Admiral in all those islands and mainlands which
by his activity and industry shall be discovered or acquired
in the said oceans, during his lifetime, and likewise, after
his death, his heirs and successors one after another in per-
petuity, with all the preeminences and prerogatives apper-
taining to the said office....
Likewise, that Your Highnesses appoint the said Don
Cristobal Colon to be your Viceroy and Governor General in
all the said islands and mainlands.... which, as aforesaid,
he may discover and acquire in the said seas; and that for
the government of each and any of them he may make
choice of three persons for each office, and that Your High-
nesses may select and choose the one who shall be most
serviceable to you; and thus the lands which our Lord shall
permit him to discover and acquire for the service of Your
Highnesses, will be the better governed.
Item, that of all and every kind of merchandise, whether
pearls, precious stones, gold, silver, spices, and other objects
of merchandise whatsoever, of whatever kind, name and sort,
which may be bought, bartered, discovered, acquired and
obtained within the limits, of the said Admiralty, Your
Highnesses grant from now henceforth to the said Don
Cristobal, and will that he may have and take for himself,
the tenth part of the whole, after deducting all the expenses
which may be incurred therein, so that of what shall remain
clear and free he may have and take the tenth part for him-
self, and may do therewith as he pleases, the other nine
parts being reserved for Your Highnesses.,, ..
citedd to E. G. Bourne (ed.), The Northmen, Columbue and CWot, 98.5-i,`
New York, 1906 pp. 7740.


Item, that in all the vessels which may be equipped for
the said traffic and business, each time and whenever and
as often as they may be equipped, the said Don Cristobal
Colon may, if he chooses, contribute and pay the eighth part
of all that may be spent in the .equipment, and that likewise
he may have and take the eighth part of the profits that may
result from such equipment....

(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to the
Royal Officials, April 30, 1492)*
Be it known that we have sent Christopher Columbus
across the Ocean, to undertake useful enterprises in our
service; and in order to obtain the crew he needs in the,
three vessels for the voyage, it is necessary to promise
safety to those persons, for otherwise they would not want.
to go with him on the said voyage.... And we hereby.
promise safety to each and every person who will go on the;
said vessels with the said Christopher Columbus .... so that no:
harm or evil, and no injury will befall their persons or their.
property, nor any of their possessions because of any crime
they might have done or committed up to the date of this
letter, during the time of their voyage and the time spent
there including their return voyage home and for two
months afterwards. We, therefore, command each and every
one of you in your place, and jurisdictions, not to take
account of any criminal cause, regarding the persons who
may- go with the said Christopher Columbus on the said
three vessels, during the aforesaid time.

("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Cblumbus",
1492-1493) **
I left the city of Granada on the 12th day of May, in the
same year of 1492, being Saturday, and came to the town
of Palos, which is a seaport, where I equipped three vessels
well suited for such service; and departed from that port,
well supplied with provisions and with many sailors, on the
3rd of August of the same year, being Friday, half an hour
before sunrise, taking the route to the islands of Canaria....
*Cited in Maridn Fernandez de Navarrete, Coleccion de los Viagesy Des-
cubrimientos que hicieron por Mar los Espanoles desde Fines del Siglo XV,
(Madrid, 1825.1837), 1945 Edition, Editorial Guarania, Buenos Aires, Tomo II,
Num. IX, pp. 25-26.
**Cited In .Bourne op. cit., pp. 90-91, 108-110, 118, 173, 215, 218 226-227, 238-239,
241, 244, 257-258.


Wednesday, 10th of October
....Here the people could endure no longer. They
complained of the length of the voyage. But the Admiral
cheered them up in the best way he could, giving them
hopes of the advantages they might gain from it. He added
that, however much they might complain, he had to go to
the Indies, and that he would not go until he found them,
with the help of our Lord.
Thursday, 11th of October
...The land was first seen by a sailor named Rodrigo
de Triana.... the Admiral asked and admonished the men
to keep a good look-out on the forecastle, and to watch well
for land; and to him who should first cry out that he saw
land, he would give a silk doublet, besides the other rewards
promised by the Sovereigns, which were 10,000 maravedis
to him who should first see it. At two hours after midnight
the land was sighted at a distance of two leagues. They
shortened sail, ard lay by under the mainsail without the
Friday, 12th of October
The-vessels were hove to, waiting for daylight; and on
Friday they arrived at a small island of the Lucayos, called,
in the language of the Indians, Guanahani*... The
Admiral went on shore in the armed boat.... The Admiral
took the royal standard, and the captains went with two
banners of. the green cross, which the Admiral took in all
the ships as a sign, with an F and a Y** and a crown over
each letter .... The Admiral.... said that they should bear
faithful testimony that he, in presence of all, had taken, as
he now took, possession of the said island for the King and
for the Queen, his Lords....
Tuesday, 16th of October
I sailed from the island of Santa Maria de la Concepcion
at about, noon, to go t, Fernandina Island,*** which
appeared very large to the westward....
Sunday, 9th of December
.... At the upper end there are the mouths of two
rivers, with the most beautiful champaign country, almost
like the lands of Spain: these even have the advantage; for
which reasons the Admiral gave the name of the said island
Isla Espanola.
* Generally identified as Watling Island.
**For Ferdinand and Isabella, the King-and Queen of Spain.
*** Cuba. ... .

Sunday, 6th of January
.. The Admiral also heard of an island further east,
in which there were only women, having been told this by
many people. He was also informed that Yamaye* and
the island of Espanola were ten days' journey in a canoe
from the mainland, which would be about 70 or 80 leagues,
and that there the people wore clothes.
Wednesday, 9th of January
....On the previous day, when the Admiral went to the
Rio del Oro, he saw three mermaids,** which rose well out
of the sea; but they are not so beautiful as they are painted,
though to some extent they have the form of a human face..
Tuesday, 15th of January
....The intercourse at Carib*** would, however, be
difficult, because the natives are said to eat human flesh....
the Admiral determined to go there, as it was on the route,
and thence to Matinino,**** which was said to be entirely
peopled by women, without men. He would thus see both
islands, and might take some of the natives....
Thursday, 14th of February
This night the wind increased, and the waves were
terrible.... At sunrise the wind blew still harder, and the
cross sea was terrific ... the Admiral and all the crew made
a vow that, on arriving at the first land, they would all go in
procession, in their shirts, to say their prayers in a church
dedicated to Our Lady.
Besides these general vows made in common, each
sailor made a special vow; for no one expected to escape, hold-
ing themselves for lost, owing to. the fearful weather from
which they were suffering.... that the Sovereigns might
still have information, even if he perished in the storm, he
took a parchment and wrote on it as good an account as he
could of all he had discovered, entreating anyone who
might pick it up to deliver it to the Sovereigns. He rolled
this parchment up in waxed cloth, ordered a large wooden
barrel to be brought, and put it inside, so that no one else
knew what it was. They thought that it was some act of
devotion, and so he ordered the barrel to be thrown into
the sea....
Monday, 18th of February
....He pretended to have gone over more ground; to
mislead the pilots and mariners who pricked off the charts,
in order that he might remain master of that route to' the
Indies, as, in fact, he did. For none of the others kept an
accurate reckoning, so that no one but himself could be
sure of the route to the Indies.
'Jamaica. "'ManaKs, or sea-cows.
***Puerto Rico. *** Martinique.


Friday, 15th of March
....At noon, with the tide rising, they crossed the bar
of Saltes, and reached the port which they had left on the
3rd of August of the year before.... "I know respecting
this voyage", says the Admiral, "that he has miraculously
shown his will, as may be seen from this journal, setting forth
the numerous miracles that have been displayed in the
voyage, and in me who was so long at the court of Your
Highnesses, working in opposition to and against the opinions
of so many chief persons of your household, who were all
against me, looking upon this enterprise as folly. But I
hope, in our Lord, that it will be a great benefit to Christi-
anity, for so it has ever appeared". These are the final words
of the Admiral Don Cristoval Colon respecting his first voy-
age to the Indies and their discovery.

("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
Tuesday, 16th of October
... I saw many trees very unlike those of our country.
Many of them have their branches growing in different ways
and all from one trunk, and. one twig is one form, and
another in a different shape, and so unlike that it is the
greatest wonder in the world to see the great diversity; thus
one branch has leaves like those of a cane, and others like
those of a mastick tree....
Friday, 19th of October
....I can never tire my eyes in looking at such lovely
vegetation, so different from ours. I believe that there are
many herbs and many trees that are worth much in Europe
for dyes and for medicines; but I do not know them, and
this causes me great sorrow. ... I found the smell of the
trees and flowers so delicious that it seemed the pleasantest
thing in'the world....
Wednesday, 14th of November
... he saw so many islands that he could not count
them all, with very high land covered with trees of many
kinds, and an infinite number of palms. He was much as-
tonished to see so many lofty islands; and assured the
Sovereigns that the mountains and isles he had seen since
yesterday seemed to him to be second to none in the
world; so high and clear of clouds and snow, with the sea
at their bases so deep....
*Cited in Bourne, op. cit., pp. 119, 123, 147-148, 181-182, 189-190, 193.


Sunday, 16th of December
.... This land is cool, and the best that words can des-
cribe. It is very high, yet the top of the highest mountain
could be ploughed with bullocks; and all is diversified with
plains and valleys. In all Castile there is no land that can
be compared with this for beauty and fertility.... Your
Highnesses may believe that these lands are so good and
fertile, especially those of the island of Espanola, that there
is no one who would know how to describe them, and no one
who could believe if he had not seen them....
Friday, 21st of December
....I have traversed the sea for 23 years, without leaving
it for any time worth counting, and I saw all the east and the
west, going on the route of the north, which is England, and
I have been to Guinea, but in all those parts there will not
be found the perfection of harbours.... this one is better
than all others, and will hold all the ships of the world,
secured with the oldest cables.... This port is very good
for all the winds that can blow, being enclosed and deep....
Any ship may lie within it without fear that other ships will
enter at night to attack her, because although the entrance
is over two leagues wide, it is protected by reefs of rocks
which are barely awash.... It is the best harbour in the
world, and the Admiral gave it the name of Puerto de la
Mar de Santo Tomas, because 'to-day it was that Saint's day.
The Admiral called it a sea, owing to its size.

("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
Saturday, 13th of October
.... But, in order not to lose time, I intend to go and
see if I can find the island of Cipango**....
Tuesday, 16th of October
... This island *** is very large, and I have determined
to sail round it, because, so far as I can understand, there
is a mine in or near it.... and to navigate until I find
Samaot, which is the island or city where there is gold, as
all the natives say who are on board....
Sunday, 21st of October
....I shall then shape a course for another much larger
island, which I believe to be Cipango, judging from the signs
made by the Indians I bring with me. They call it Cuba....
*Cited in Bourne, op. cit.,pp. 113, 118-119, 126-128, 131, 148, 197-198.
** Japan. '** Cuba.

I am still resolved to go to the mainland and the city of
Guisay, and to deliver the letters of your Highnesses to the
Gran Can, requesting a reply and returning with it.....
Tuesday, 23rd of October
I desired to set out to-day for the island of Cuba, which
I think must be Cipango, according to the signs these people
make, indicative of its size and riches, and I did not delay
any more here...
Wednesday, 24th of -October
.1 cannot understand their language, but I believe
that it is of the island of Cipango that they recount these
wonders. On the spheres I saw, and on the delineation of
the map of the world, Cipango is in this region....
Sunday, 28th of October
....He understood that large ships of the Gran Can
came here, and that from here to the mainland was a
voyage of ten days....
Monday, 12th of November
....There are also precious stones, pearls, and an in-
finity of spices.... Here also there is a great quantity of
cotton, and I believe it would have a good sale here without
sending it to Spain, but to the great cities of the Gran Can,
which will be discovered without doubt, and many others
ruled over by other lords, who will be pleased to serve your
Highnesses, and whither will be brought other commodities
of Spain and of the Eastern lands....
Wednesday, 14th of November
....He believes that these islands are those innumerable
ones that are depicted on the maps of the world in the Far
East. He believed that they yielded very great riches in
precious stones and spices....
Monday, 24th of December
.... Among other places they mentioned where gold was
found, they named Cipango, which they called Civao. Here
they said that there was a great quantity of gold, and the
cacique carried banners of beaten gold....

("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
S Wednesday, 26th of December
..I protested to your Highnesses that all the profits
of this my enterprise should be spent in the conquest of
Jerusalem, ahd your Highnesses laughed iand said that it
pleased 'them, .and that, without this, they entertained that
*Cited In Bburne, ep. cit., p. 205.


(Christopher Columbus to Pope Alexander VI, February
This undertaking** is made with a view to expend
what is derived from it in guarding the Holy Sepulchre for
Holy Church. After I was there and had seen the land I
wrote the king and queen my lords that in seven years I
would pay for fifty thousand foot and five thousand horse
for the conquest of it, and in five more years fifty thousand
more foot and five thousand horse, making ten thousand
horse and one hundred thousand foot-Satan has disturbed
all this.

(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to Chris-
topher Columbus, August 16, 1494)***
Don Christopher Columbus, our High Admiral of the
Islands of the Indies: We have seen your letters and memo-
rials....; and have felt great pleasure in being made
acquainted with all that you have written to us in them; and
we return many thanks to the Lord for all, hoping that, with
his assistance, your undertaking will be the cause of our holy
Catholic faith being still more widely spread; and one of the
principal things which pleased us so much in this affair is,
its having been invented, commenced, and obtained through
your means, labour, and industry. It appears to us, that of
all that you told us from the beginning would happen almost
the whole has been verified; as if you had seen it before
mentioning it to us; and we trust in God, that what yet
remains to be known will be verified in like manner; for all
which things we are bound in duty to confer favours upon
you, such as you shall be perfectly satisfied with. And having
reflected upon all that you have written to us, although you
express yourself minutely upon everything, which upon
reading gives us great pleasure and joy, nevertheless, we
should feel greater satisfaction by your writing to inform
us how many islands have been discovered up to the present
time, and what is the name you have given to each of them;
for although you name some of them in your letters, they
are not all named; and also the name given to the others by
the Indians; and the distance .between them; and whatever
you have found in each of them; and what is said to be pro-
duced in them; and what has been sown since you were there;
"*ited in Navarrete, op. cit., Tomo II, Nup. CXLV, p. 328.
Wsl fourth and final voyage.
*"Cited In Navarrete, op. cit., Tomo H, Nwu LXI, pp. 1 :M4, .:


and what has been obtained, the time being already elapsed in
which whatever has been sown should be reaped. And, more
especially, we wish to know all the seasons of the year, such
as they take place there in each month separately; it appear-
ing to-us, from what you say, that there is a great difference
in the seasons from what we have here: some wish to know
if there are two winters and two summers in the same year.
Inform us of every thing for our service; and send us the
greatest number possible of falcons, and of all the other
birds that are produced there, and that can be had; because
we are desirous of seeing them all....

(Royal Commissipn of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and
Queen of Spain, to Francisco de Bobadilla, March 21, 1499)*
Be it known that Christopher Columbus, our Admiral of
the Ocean, of the islands and terra-firma of the Indies, has
informed us that while he was away from the said islands
in our Court, some persons and a mayor with them rose
against the said Admiral and the authorities whom he has
appointed there in our name. When those persons and the
said mayor were told not to continue with the said revolt
and scandal, they refused to desist, but, on the contrary,
kept and keep up the said rebellion, and are stealing and
causing other evil, damages and violence against the service
of God our Lord and ours, in the said Island. Wherefore,
because it was and is a bad example which deserves to be
punished, and it is up to Us, as King and Queen and Lords,
to provide for it and remedy it we command this Decree to
be given to you...:. through it we order you to go now to
the said islands and terra-firma of the Indies and inquire
into the situation and, as best- and as diligently as you can,
ascertain and learn the truth of all that has been said, who
and what persons rose in rebellion against the said Admiral
and our authorities, and for what cause and reason, and
what robbery and evil and damages they have done, and
everything, else which in relation to; this needs to- be known
to be better informed:. and when the information has been
obtained and the truth known, whomever you may find guilty,
have them arrested and confiscate their possessions; and....
proceed against them and against those absent with the
greatest civil and criminal penalties which you may deem
*Cited in Navarrete, op. cit., Tomo I, Num. CXXVU, pp. 275-276.

("Narrative of the Voyage which the Admiral, Don Christo-
pher Columbus, made the third time that he came to the
Indies, when he discovered Tierra Firme, as he sent it to the
Sovereigns from the island of Espanola," October 18, 1498)*
I have been very much aggrieved in that there has been
sent to inquire into my conduct a man who knew that, if the
report which he sent back were very damaging, he would
remain in charge of the government. Would that it had
pleased Our Lord that Their Highnesses had sent him or
another two years ago, for I know that then I should have
been. free from scandalous abuse and infamy, and I should
not have been deprived of my honour or have lost it. God
is just, and He will cause it to be known by whom and how
it was done.
At home they judge me as a governor sent to Sicily or
to a city or two under settled government, and where the
laws can be fully maintained, without fear of all being lost;
and at this I am greatly aggrieved. I ought to be judged as
a captain who went from Spain to the Indies to conquer a
people, warlike and numerous, and with customs and beliefs
very different from ours, a people, living in highlands and
mountains, having no settled dwellings, and apart from us;
and .where, by the will of God, I have brought under the
dominion of the king and queen, our sovereigns, another
world, whereby Spain, which was called poor, is now most
rich. I ought to be judged as a captain, who, for so long a
time, down to this day, has borne arms, never laying them
down for an hour, and by knights of the sword and by men
of action, and not by men of letters, unless they had been
as the Greeks or Romans, or as others of the present day of
whom there are so many and so noble in Spain, for in any
other way I am greatly aggrieved, because in the Indies there
is neither a town nor any settled dwelling.

(Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand, King of Spain, Jamaica,
Diego Mendez, .and the papers I send .by him, will shew
Your Highness what rich mines of gold I have discovered at
Veragua, and how I intended to have left my brother at.River
Belen, if the judgements of heaven and the greatest misfor-
tunes in the world had!:not prevented it. However, it is
* Cited in C. Jane (ed.), Select Documents Illustrating the Four VoyOges of
Columbus, Works of the Hakluyt Society, Second Series, No. LXV, London,
1930, Vol. I, pp. 66, 68.
** Cited in Interesting Tracts relating to the Island of Jamaica, St. Jage de la
Vega, Jamaica,'18o00, pp. &3-5.

sufficient Your Highness and successors will have the glory
and advantage of all, and that the full discovery and settle-
ment are reserved for happier persons than the unfortunate
Columbus. If God be so merciful to me as to conduct Mendez
to Spain, I doubt not, but he will make Your Highness and
my great mistress understand that this will not only be a
Castile and Leon, but a discovery of a world of subjects,
lands, and wealth, greater than man's unbounded fancy could
ever comprehend, or avarice itselt covet. But neither he, this
paper, nor the tongue of mortal man, can express the an-
guish and afflictions of my mind and body, nor the misery
of my son, brother, and friends; for here already we have
been above,ten months lodged upon the open decks of our
ships, that are run ashore and lashed together; those of my
men that were well have mutinied under the Porras of
Sevilla; my friends that were faithful are mostly sick and
dying; we have consumed the Indians' provisions, so they
do abandon us; all therefore are likely to perish by hunger, and
these miseries are accompanied with so many aggravating
circumstances that render me the most wretched object of
misfortune this world shall ever see, as if the displeasure
of heaven seconded the envy of Spain, and would punish as
criminal those undertakings and discoveries, that former ages
would have acknowledged as great and meritorious. Good
heaven! and you holy saints that dwell in it, let the king
Don Fernando, and my illustrious mistress Donna Isabella,
know that I am the most miserable man living, and that my
zeal for their service and interest hath brought me to it;
for it is impossible to live and have afflictions equal to mine.
I see, and with horror apprehend, (and for my sake,) those
unfortunate and deserving people's destruction. Alas! piety
and justice have retired to their habitations above, and it is
a crime to have done or performed too much, as my misery
makes my life a burthen to myself, so I fear the empty
titles of perpetual viceroy an41 admiral render me obnoxious
to the Spanish nation. It is visible enough how all methods
are made use of to cut the thread which is breaking, for I
am in my old age, and loaded with unsupportable pains of
the gout, and am now languishing and expiring with that
and other infirmities among savages, where I have neither
medicines nor provisions for the body, priests nor sacraments
for the soul. My men mutinying, my brother, my son, and
those that are faithful, sick, starving, and dying. The Indians
have abandoned us; and the governor of St. Domingo,
Obando, has sent rather to see if I am dead, than to succour
us, or carry me alive hence, for his boat neither delivered a
letter nor. spoke, or would receive any from us, so I conclude
Your Highness' officers intend here my voyage and life shall


end. 0 blessed mother of God, that compassionateth the
miserable and oppressed, why did not cruel Bobadilla kill
me, when he robbed me, and my brother of our dear pur-
chased gold, and sent us for Spain in chains, without hearing,
trial, crime, or shadow of one! These chains are all the
treasures I have, and shall be buried with me, if I chance to
have a coffin or a grave; for I would have the remembrance
of so unjust and tragic an act die with me, and, for the glory
of the Spanish name, be eternally forgot. Had it been so
(O blessed virgin!) Obando had not then forced us to be
dying ten or twelve months, and to perish per malice as
great as our misfortunes. 0 let it not bring a further infamy
on the Castilian name, nor let ages to come know, there
were wretches so vile in.this, that thought to recommend
themselves to Don Fernando, by destroying the unfortunate
and miserable Christopher Columbus, not for his crimes, but
for his services in discovering and giving Spain a new world.
It was you, 0 heaven! that inspired and conducted me to it,
do you therefore weep for me, and shew pity; let the earth,
and every soul in it that loves justice or mercy, weep for me.
And you, 0 glorified saints of God, that know my innocency
and see my sufferings, have mercy. If this present age is
too envious or obdurate to weep for me, surely those that
are to be born will do it, when they are told Christopher
Columbus, with his own fortune, at the hazard of his own
and brother's lives, with little or no expense to the crown
of Spain, in twelve years, and four voyages, rendered greater
services than ever mortal man did to prince or kingdom,
yet was made to perish (without being charged with the least
crime) poor and miserable, all but his chains being taken
from him, so that he who gave Spain another world, had
neither in it a cottage for himself nor wretched family. But
should heaven still persecute me, and seem displeased with
what I have done, as if the discovery of this world may be
fatal to the old, and as a punishment bring my life in this
miserable place to its fatal period; yet do you, O good angels!
(you that succour the oppressed and innocent,) bring this
paper to my great mistress. She knows how much I have
done, andwill believe what I suffer for her glory and service,
and will be so just and pious as not to let the sons and
brothers of him, that has brought to Spain such immense
riches, apd added to it vast and unknown kingdoms and
empires, want ,bread or subsist on alms. She (if she lives)
will consider cruelty apd ingratitude will provoke heaven,
and the wealth I have discovered will stir up all mankind
to, revenge and rapine, so that the nation may chance to
suffer hereafter, .for what envious, malicious, and ungrate-
ful people do now.

(Extract from the Last Will and Testament of Christopher
Columbus, May 19, 1506)*
I say to D. Diego, my son, and I command him so long
as he has an income as first-born son and also his inheritance,
to maintain in a Chapel, which is to be built, three Chaplains
who will say three Masses a day: one in honour of the Holy
Tritity, another for the Conception of Our Lady, and the
third for all the faithful departed, for my soul and for those
of r4'y father, my mother and my wife.... And that, if his
income suffices, he make it an honourable Chapel, and in-
crease the prayers and devotions in honour of the Holy
Trinity, and that if this can be done in Hispaniola which God
gave me miraculously, I would rejoice if it were done where
I invoked the Trinity, that is, in the meadow known as La
Concepcion de la Vega.
(Martin Waldseemuller, Cosmographae Introductio, St. Die,
In the sixth climate towards the south pole are situated
both the farthest part of Africa recently discovered, and
Zanzibar, the islands of lesser Java and Ceylon, and the
fourth part of the globe which since Americus*** discovered
it may be called Amerige i.e., Americ's land or America.
(Gonzalo Fernandes de Oviedo y Valdes, Historia General y
Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra-Firme del Mar Oceano
(1535-1557), Madrid, 1851-1855)***
Besides his services to the sovereigns of Castile, all
Spaniards owe him much, for although many of them suffered
and died in the conquest of these Indies, many others became
rich and otherwise advantaged. Yet what is greater is that
in lands so remote from Europe, and where the devil was
served and worshipped, he 'has been driven out by the
Christians, and our holy. Catholic faith and the church of
God established and carried on in this far country, where
there are such great kingdoms and dominions, by the means
and efforts of Cristoval Colon. And more than this, such
great treasures of gold, silver, and pearls, and many other
riches and merchandise, have been brought and will be
brought hence to Spain that no virtuous Spaniard will forget
the benefits bestowed upon his country with God's help by
this first admiral of the Indies.
*Cited in Navarrete, op., cit., Tomo u, Num. CLVI, pp. S64.365.
** Cited in E. G. Bourne, Spa in America, New York, 1904, pp. 98-99.
** Amerigo Vespucci.
*** Op, cit., Primera Parte, Libro Tercero, Cap. IX, 1944 Edition, Editorial
Guarania, Asuncion del Paraguay, Tomo I, p. 158.


The Economic Organisation of the
Spanish Caribbean

("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
1492-1493) *
Saturday, 13th of October
....I was attentive, and took trouble to ascertain if
there was gold. I saw that some of them had a small piece
fastened in a hole they have in the nose, and by signs I
was able to make out that to the south, or going from the
island to the south, there was a king who had great cups
full, and who possessed a great quantity....
Monday, 15th of October
At 10 we departed with the wind S.W., and made for the
south, to reach that other island, which is very large, and
respecting which all the men that I bring from San Salvador
make signs that there is much gold, and that they wear it
as bracelets on the arms, on the legs, in the ears and nose,
and around the neck.... I do not wish to stop, in discover-
ing and visiting many islands, to find gold. These people
make signs that it is worn on the arms and legs; and it must
be gold, for they point to some pieces that I have. I cannot
err, with the help of our Lord, in finding out where this gold
has its origin....
Friday, 19th of October
... My desire is to see and discover as much as I can
before returning to your Highnesses, our Lord willing, in
April. It is true that in the event of finding places where
there is gold or spices in quantity I should stop until I had
collected as much as 'I could. I, therefore, proceed in the
hope of coming across such places...
Sunday, 21st of October
....Beyond this island (Cuba) there is another called
Bosio**, which they also say is very large, and others we
shall see as we pass. According as I obtain tidings of gold
or spices I shall settle what should be done....
Cited in Bourne, The Northmnen, Columbus and Cabot, pp. 112, 116-117,
124, 126-127, 130, 144, 154-155, 184, 186-187, 193, 196, 205, 210, 215, 226
**Hispaniola Columbus confused the word with bohio, the Indian hut.


Tuesday, 23rd of October
...I see that there is no gold mine here .... It is
better to go where there is great entertainment, so I say
that it is not reasonable to wait, but rather to continue the
voyage and inspect much land, until some very profitable
country is reached, my belief being that it will be rich in
Sunday, 28th of October
....I went thence in seach of the island of Cuba on a
S.S.W. course, making for the nearest point of it.... The
Indians say that in this island there are gold mines and
pearls, and the Admiral saw a likely place for them and
mussel-shells, which are signs of them....
Monday, 12th of November
....Without doubt, there is in these lands a vast quanti-
ty of gold, and the Indians I have on board do not speak
without reason when they say that in these islands there
are places where they dig out gold, and wear it on their
necks, ears, arms, legs, the rings being very large....
Sunday, 25th of November
.... He.... saw some stones shining in its bed like
gold. He remembered that in the river Tagus, near its
junction with the sea, there was gold; so it seemed to him
that this should contain gold, and he ordered some of, these
stones to be collected to be brought to the Sovereigns....
Monday, 17th of December
.... They said to the Admiral that there was more gold
in Tortuga than in Espanola, because it is nearer to Baneque.
The Admiral did not think that there were gold mines either
in Espanola or Tortuga, but that the gold was brought from
Baneque in small quantities, there being nothing to give in
return. That land is so rich that there is no necessity to
work much to sustain life.... He believed that they were
very near the source, and that our Lord would point out
where the gold has its origin....
Tuesday, 18th of December
.... .This day little gold was got by barter, but the
Admiral heard from an old man that there were many neigh-
bouring islands, at a distance of one hundred leagues or
more, as he understood, in which much gold is found; and
there is even one island that is all gold. In the others there
was so much that it was said they gather it with sieves, and
they fuse it and make bars, and work it a thousand ways.
They explained the work by signs....


Saturday, 22nd of December
At dawn the Admiral made sail to shape a course in
search of the islands which the Indians had told him con-
tained much gold, some of them having more gold than
Sunday, 23rd of December
.... May our Lord favour me by his clemency, that I
may find this gold, I mean the mine of gold, which I hold
to be here, many saying that they know it....
Wednesday, 26th of December
....He trusted in God that, when he returned from
Spain, according to his intention, he would find a tun of gold
collected by barter by those he was to leave behind, and
that they would have found the mine, and spices in such
quantities that the Sovereigns would, in three years, be able
to undertake and fit out an expedition to go and conquer
the Holy Sepulchre....
Wednesday, 2nd of January
He left on that island of Espanola..... 39 men with
the fortress.... all the merchandise which had been provided
for bartering, which was much, that they might trade for
gold. He also left the ship's boat, that they, most of them
being sailors, might go, when the time seemed convenient,
to discover the gold mine, in order that the Admiral, on
his return, might find much gold. They were also to find
a good site for a town, for this was not altogether a desirable
port; especially as the gold the natives brought came from
the east....
Sunday, 6th of January
....The Admiral then says: "Thus I am convinced that
our Lord miraculously caused that vessel to remain here,
this being the best place in the whole island to form a settle-
ment, and the nearest to the gold mines". He also says that
he knew of another great island, to the south of the island
of Juana,* in which there is more gold than in this island,
so that they collect it in bits the size of beans, while in
Espanola they find the pieces the size of grains of wheat.
They call that island Yamaye.**
Tuesday, 15th of January
....To-day he had heard that all the gold was in the
district of, the town of Navidad, belonging to Their High-

* Cuba.

* Jamaica.

(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559).
Madrid, 1875)*
A lord and cacique of the province of Guahaba, named
Hatuey, escaped (to Cuba) with as many followers as he
could take with him.... Knowing the customs of the
Spaniards.... he always had his spies who brought him
news of conditions in Hispaniola because he was afraid that
some day the Spaniards would come to Cuba. And finally, it
seems that he learned of the decision of the Spaniards to
move to it. Knowing this, one day he gathered all his people
.... and he began to talk to them and to remind them of
the persecutions which the Spaniards had inflicted on the
people of Hispaniola. He said to them.... "Do you know
why they persecute us and for what purpose they do it ?"
They replied : "They do it because they are cruel and bad."
The lord replied : "I will tell you why they do it, and it is
this because they have a lord whom they love very much,
and I will show him to you." He had a small basket made of
palm, full or partly full of gold, and he said: "Here is their
lord, whom they serve and adore.... to have this lord they
make us suffer, for him they persecute us, for him they
have killed our parents, brothers, all our people and our
neighbours and deprived us of all our possessions; for him
they seek and illtreat us; and because, as you have already
heard, they want to come here and seek only this lord and in
order to find him and extract him they will persecute us and
annoy us, as they have done before in our own land, there-
fore,. let us dance and entertain him, so that when they
come, he shall order them not to do ivs any harm." They
agreed that it was a good idea to entertain him and dance
for him; then they began to dance and sing until they were
tired, for this was their custom.... Then Hatuey addressed
them again saying: "Look, notwithstanding what I have
said, let us not hide this lord from the Christians in any
place, for, even if we should hide it in our intestines, they
would get it out of us; therefore, let us throw it in this river,
under the water, and they will not know where it is." Where-
upon they threw it in the river. The story was later related
by the Indians and published among us.

("Narrative of the Voyage which the Admiral, Don Christo-
pher Columbus, made, the third time that he came to the
Indies, when he discovered Tierra Firme, as he sent it to the
Sovereigns from the island of Espanola," October 18,
Op. cit., Libro Tercero, Cap. XXI, edition of Fondo de Cultura Economlca,
AlSeao, ,1951, Tomo II, pp. 50,7.508: :.. .... !
* Cited In Jane, op. ctt., Vol. I, p. 68. - ,- -


To the gold and pearls the gate is already opened, and
they may surely expect a quantity of all precious stones and
spices and a thousand other things....
The news of the gold which I said that I would give is
that, on the day of the Nativity, being greatly afflicted owing
to my struggles with evil Christians and with the Indians,
and being on the verge of leaving all and escaping with
my life, if possible, Our Lord miraculously consoled me and
said : "Take courage, be not dismayed nor fear; I will pro-
vide for all; the seven years, the term of the gold, are not
passed, and in this and in the rest I will give thee redress."
On that day I learned that there were eighty leagues of land
and in every part of them mines; it now appears that they
are all one. Some have collected a hundred and twenty cas-
tellanos in a day, others ninety, and it has risen to two hun-
dred and fifty. To collect from fifty to seventy, and many
others from fifteen to fifty, is held to be a good day's work,
and many continue to collect it; the average is from six to
twelve, and any who falls below this is not content. The
opinion of all is that, were all Castile to go there, however in-
expert a man might be, he would not get less than a
castellano or two a day, and so it is up to the present time.
It is true that he who has an Indian collects this amount, but
the matter depends on the Christian.


(The City of Puerto Rico, San Juan, to the Empress of Spain,
April, 18, 1533)*
.... All the settlers and residents of this island are heavily
in debt due to the large number of Negroes they bought on
credit in the hope of mining much gold. Since they have not
found any gold, many are in prison, others have taken to the
woods, and others have been ruined by being forced to sell
everything they own. Much of the blame falls on the storms
of the past years, for these destroyed the farms and they
had to buy their supplies at very high prices. Therefore, their
debts increased. We beseech you to take away the tempta-
tion to fall more heavily in debt to the merchants by forbid-
ding the latter to import any Negroes for a year and a half,
and allowing the settlers to bring them over free of duty for
ten years. Also there should be a moratorium on debts for
five years, as long as they give sufficient security..
* Cited in Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Biblioteca Historica de Puerto Rico.
San Juan, 1945 edition, pp. 309-310. .


("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus,"
Tuesday, 16th of October
... I have no doubt that they sow and gather corn all
the year round, as well as other things ... Here the fish are
so unlike ours that. it is wonderful .... I saw neither sheep,
nor goats, nor any other quadruped....
Tuesday, 6th of November
.... The two Christians met with many people on the
road going home, men and women with a half-burnt reed in
their hands, being the herbs they are accustomed to smoke..
They saw no quadrupeds except the dogs that do not bark.
The land is very fertile, and is cultivated with yams and
several kinds of bean different from ours, as well as corn.
There were great quantities of cotton gathered, spun, and
worked up. In a single house they saw more than 500
arrobas,** and as much as 4000 quintals** could be yielded
every year. The Admiral said that it did not appear to be
cultivated, and that it bore all the year round. It is very
fine, and has a large boll. All that was possessed by these
people they gave at a very low price, and a great bundle of
cotton was exchanged for the point of a needle or other
Sunday, 16th of December
... All this island,*** as well as the island of Tortuga,
is cultivated like the plain of Cordova. They raise on these
lands crops of yams, which are small branches, at the foot
of which grow roots like carrots, which serve as bread. They
powder and knead them, and make them into bread; then
they plant the same branch in another part, which again
sends out four or five of the same roots, which are very
nutritious, with the taste of chestnuts. Here they have the
largest the Admiral had seen in any part of the world, for
he says that they have the same plant in Guinea. At this
place they werq as thick as a man's leg. All the people were
stout and lusty, not thin, like the natives that had been seen
before, and of a very pleasant manner, without religious be-
lief. The trees were so luxuriant that the leaves left off being
green, and were dark coloured with verdure. It was a won-
* Cited in Bourne, The Northmen, Columbus, and Cabot, pp. 119-120, 141-
142, 181--12.
** The arroba was 25 pounds, and the quintal one hundredweight.


derful thing to see those valleys, and rivers of sweet water,
and the cultivated fields, and land fit for cattle, though they
have none, for orchards, and for anything in the world that
a man could seek for.


(Gonzalo Fernandes de Oviedo y Valdes, Historia General y
Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra-FirmIe del Mar Oceano
(1535-1557), Madrid 1851-1855)*

Among the vices practised by the Indians of this
island** there was one that was very bad, which was the use
of certain dried leaves that they call tabaco to make them
lose their senses. They do this with the smoke of a certain
plant that, as far as I have been able to gather, is of the
nature of henbane, but not in appearance or form, to judge
by its looks, because this plant is a stalk or shoot four or,
five spans or a little less in height and with broad and thick
and soft and furry leaves, and of a green resembling the
colour of the leaves of ox-tongue or bugloss (as it is called
by herbalists and doctors). This plant I am speaking of in
some sort or fashion resembles henbane, and they take it in
this way: the caciques and leading men have certain little
hollow sticks about a handbreadth in length or less and the
thickness of the little finger of the hand, and these tubes
have two round pipes that come together,.... and all in one
piece. And they put the two pipes into the openings of their
nostrils and the other into the smoke of the plant that is
burning or smouldering; and these tubes are very smooth
and well made, and they burn the leaves of that plant
wrapped up and enveloped in the same way the pages of the
court take their smokes: and they take in the breath and
smoke once or twice or more times, as many as they can
stand, until they lose their senses for a long time and lay
stretched out on the ground or in a deep and very heavy
sleep. The Indians who do not have these tubes take this
smoke through hollow stems or reeds, and that instrument
through which they take the smoke, or the aforesaid reeds,
are called by the Indian tabaco, and not the plant or the
sleep that overtakes them (as some have thought). This
plant is very highly prized by the Indians, and they grow it
in their gardens and farms for the aforesaid use; they be-
liee that the use of this plant and its smoke is not only a
Op! ct', Primera Parte,' Ilbro Quinto, Cap. II, Tomo H, pp. 237-239.
Translation from F. Ortiz, Cuban Counterpoint, Tobacco and Siigar, New
York, 1947 'TTranslation by' Harriet de Ones), pp. 120-122.
** Hispaniola. :. .


healthy thing for them, but a very holy thing. And when
the cacique or leading man dropped to the ground, his wives
(of whom he had many) would pick him up and put him in
his bed or hammock, if he had so ordered before he lost his
senses; but if he had not so said or ordered, he did not want
them to do anything but leave him there on the ground until
that drunkenness or sleep passed from him. I cannot under-
stand what pleasure they get from this act, unless it is the
desire to drink, which they do before they take the smoke or
tobacco, and some drink so much of a kind of wine they make
that they fall down drunk before they start smoking; but
when they have had all the drink they want, they begin on
this perfume. And many smoke the tobacco without drink-
ing too much, and do as has been described until they fall
to the ground on their back or side, but without swooning,
rather like a man who has fallen asleep. I know that certain
Spaniards now use it, especially some of those who have
contracted buboes, because they say that while under its
effects they do not feel the pain of their disease, and it would
seem that the one who does this is like one dead in life,
which I think is worse than the suffering they spare them-
selves, because it is not as though they were cured by it.
Now many of the Negroes that are in this city and in all
the island have acquired the same habit, and they raise this
plant on the farms and properties of their masters for the
purpose described and take the same smokes or tobaccos
because they say that when they stop work and smoke
tobacco it takes away their weariness.

(Memorandum of Christopher Columbus, sent to the Spanish
Sovereigns, by Antonio de Torres, January 30, 1495)*
You shall say to Their Highnesses, as has been said, that
the cause of the illness, so general among all, is the change
of water and air, for we see that it spreads to all one after
another, and few are in danger. It follows that, under God,
the preservation of health depends upon this people being
provided with the food to which they are accustomed in
Spain, for none of them, or others who may newly arrive,
can serve Their Highnesses unless they are in health. And
this provision should continue until here a supply can be
secured from that which is here sown and planted, I mean
from wheat and barley and grapes, towards which little has
been done this year, since it was not possible earlier to
select a site for a settlement. And directly after it was
selected, those few labourers who were here fell ill, and even
*Cited In Jane, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 82, 84.


if they had been well, they had so few beasts and those so
lean and weak, that it is little that they would have been
able to do. Nevertheless, they have sown something, mainly
in order to test the soil, which appears to be very wonderful,
so that from this some relief in our necessities may be
expected. We are very sure, as what has been done shows,
that in this country wheat as well as vines will grow very
well. But it is necessary to wait for the fruit, and if it be
such as the rapid growing of the wheat, and of some few
vines which have been planted, suggests, it is certain that
here there will be no need of Andalusia or of Sicily, and the
same applies to sugar canes, judging from the way in which
some few that have been planted have taken root. For it is
certain that the beauty of the land of these islands, as well
of the mountains and sierras and rivers, as of the plains,
where there are broad rivers, is such to behold that no other
land on which the sun shines can be better to see or more

(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid, 1875)*
Seeing that they were running out of Indians, the
Spaniards began to abandon the mines, for they had nobody
to send there to die, and to look for new sources of profit.
One of these ways was to grow cassia trees, which thrived
so well that it seemed the land was made for them by
Divine Providence and nature's law.... They pinned all their
hopes on cassia.... but just when they were beginning to
enjoy the fruit of their labour.... God sent upon this island
and especially upon the island of San Juan a scourge which,
it was feared, if it grew worse, would depopulate the islands.
This was an invasion of ants.... which could not be stopped
by any human means. Those in Hispaniola did more damage
than those in San Juan in destroying the trees, while those
of San Juan were more rabid, their sting was more painful
than that of wasps, and at night the only protection from
them was to place the bed over four pans full of water. In
Hispaniola they ate the trees by the roots, and left them black
and withered, as if they had been struck by lightning.' They
wrought havoc on the orange and pomegranate trees of
which there were large fields in this island, and burned them
all, so that it was pitiful to see them. In this way many
orchards in this city of Santo Domingo were destroyed....
They relentlessly attacked the cassia trees and ... soon
destroyed and burned them. I think they destroyed ever a
*Op. Cit., Libro Tercero, Cap. CXXVIII, Tome III, pp. 271, 273.


hundred million of them. It was a pity to see so many rich
farms annihilated by a pest for which no remedy could be
Some people dug around the trees, as deep as they
could, and killed the ants by drowning them in water. At
other times they burned them. They found, two or two and
a half feet deep in the soil, their nests and eggs, as white
as the snow. Every day they burned about one or two pecks,
only to find on the following day a larger number alive. The
Franciscan priests of La Vega put a stone of corrosive sub-
limate, weighing about three or four pounds, on a flat roof;
all the ants in the house rushed to it, and once they had
eaten of it they dropped dead. It seemed as if they had sent a
message to all the ants a league and a half away, inviting
them to the banquet. I think every single ant came, the roads
to the monastery were full of them; finally they climbed up
to the roof and after eating of the stone they dropped
dead. The roof was as black with ants as if it had been
sprayed with coal dust. This lasted as long as the stone
lasted, which was as large as two fists or a ball. I saw how
large it was when it was first put on the roof, and a few days
later it was about the size of an egg. When the priests saw
that the stone was of no use at all.... they decided to take
it away. Two things amazed them, not without reason: the
first was the natural instinct and the strength even of non-
sensitive creatures, such as these ants, that they could sense
from such a distance, so to speak, or that the same instinct
would guide and direct them to the stone; the second, that
so small an insect could have such strength as to bite and
finally demolish a stone which, before being ground, is as
hard as, if not harder than, alum, and almost as hard as a
cobble stone.
The Spaniards ... in the city of Santo Domingo decided
to seek help from the highest tribunal. They made great
processions beseeching Our Lord to free them in His Mercy
from so malignant a scourge of their property.... They
decided to choose a Saint to intercede for them .... So, one
day after the procession, the bishop, the clergy and all the
citizens drew lots from the Saints in the Litany.... The
luck fell upon Saint Saturnine and, receiving him joyfully as
their patron, they celebrated the feast with great solemnity
and have done so, each year since... The scourge diminished
daily, and if it did not disappear completely, it was because
of their sins. Now I believe it is all gone, for they have
begun to restore some cassia trees, orange trees and pome-
granates. I do not mean that they restored those the ants
burned down, but that they planted new ones. The cause of
this scourge of ants was said by some to be the introduction
and planting of plantains.

(Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes, Historia General y
Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra-Firme del Mar Oceano
(1535-1557), Madrid, 1851-1855)*
Now sugar is one of the richest crops to be found in
any province or kingdom of the world, and on this island
there is so much and it is so good although it was so recently
introduced and has been followed for such a short time; and
even though the fertility of the land and the abundant supply
of water and the great forests that provide wood for the
great and steady fires that must be kept up are all so suit-
able for such crops, all the more credit is due the person
who first undertook it and showed how the work should be
Everyone was blind until Bachelor Gonzalo de Velosa,
at his own cost and investing everything he had, and with
great personal effort, brought workmen expert in sugar to
this island, and built a horse-powered mill and first made
sugar in this island; he alone deserves thanks as the prin-
cipal inventor of this rich industry. Not because he was the
first to plant sugar cane in the Indies, because some time
before his coming many had planted it, and had made
syrup from it; but, as I have said, he was the first to make
sugar on this island, and following his example, afterwards
there were many others who did the same., As he had a
large plantation of sugar cane, he built a horse-powered
mill on the banks of the Nigua River, and brought out work-
men from the Canary Islands, and ground the cane and
made sugar before anyone else.
But investigating the matter further, I have learned
that certain reputable old men, who at present live in this
city, say differently, and they maintain that the person who
first planted sugar cane on this island was one Pedro de
Atienza of the city of Concepcion de la Vega, and that the
Mayor of Vega, Miguel Ballester, a native of Catalonia, Was
the first to make sugar. And they say that he did this more
than two years, before Bachelor Velosa; but at the same
time they say that the Mayor did very little, and that the
source of both the one and the other was the cane of Pedro
de Atienza. So, whichever version one wishes to accept, it
would seem that the original basis or origin of sugar in
this island of the Indies was the cane of Pedro de Atienza,
and from these beginnings it grew and multiplied until it
became the industry it is today, and each day it increases
*Op. cit., Primera Parte, Libro Cuarto, Tomo I, pp. 218-226. Translation
from Ortiz, op. cit., pp. 254-261.


and grows, for although in the last fifteen years certain
ingenios have failed or deteriorated for reasons I shall set
forth in their proper place, others have been perfected. Let
us return to Bachelor Velosa and his mill.
As he came to understand the business better, the
Comptroller, Christobal de Tapia, and his brother, the
Warden of this fortress, Francisco de Tapia, went into
partnership with him, and the three of them together estab-
lished an ingenio in Yaguate, a league and a half from the
banks of the Nizao River, and some time ago they had a
disagreement and the Bachelor sold out his part to the Tapias.
Later the Comptroller sold his to Johan de Villoria, who
afterwards sold it to the Mayor, Francisco de Tapia, who
thus became the sole owner of the first ingenio that existed
on this island. As in those early days people did not under-
stand as well as they should have. the need of great areas of
land and accessible water and wood and other supplementary
things for such an industry (of which there was not so much
as was necessary there), the Mayor, Francisco de Tapia,
abandoned that ingenio and moved the copper or boilers and
equipment and everything he could to another, better loca-
tion right on the banks of the Nigua, five leagues from the
city, where, until he died, the Mayor had a very good ingenio,
one of the most important in this island.
In order not to repeat, over and over again what I shall
say now, the reader should bear in mind that what is said
of this ingenio applies to all others of the same sort, that
each of the important and well equipped ingenios, in addi-
tion to the great expense and value of the building or factory
in which the sugar is made, and another large building in
which it, is refined and stored, often requires an investment
of ten or twelve thousand gold ducats before it is complete
and ready for operation. And if I should say fifteen thou-
sand ducats, I should not be exaggerating, for they require
at least eighty or one hundred Negroes working all the time,
and- even one hundred and twenty or more to be well sup-
plied; and close by a good herd or two of a thousand, or
two or three thousand head of cattle to feed the workers;
aside from the expense of trained workers and foremen for
making the sugar, and carts to haul the cane to the mill and
to .bring :in wood, and people to make bread and cultivate
and irrigate the canefields, and other things that must be
done and continual expenditure of money. But it is a fact
that the owner of an unencumbered and well-equipped
ingenio has a fine and rich property, and one that brings
in great profit and return to its owner.
So this was the first ingenio established in this island,
and it should be observed that until sugar was produced
o 'it the ships sailed back-to Spain empty, and now they

return loaded with sugar, carrying a bigger cargo than they
brought out, and a more profitable one....
Another ingenio, and one of the best and most important
on the whole island, was established by Licentiate Zuazo,
who was one of the judges of the Royal Tribunal established
in this city by Their Majesties. It is along the banks of the
River Oca, sixteen leagues from this city of Santo Domingo,
and is one of the fine properties of these parts, and it was
left after the days of the Licentiate to his wife, Dona Phelipa,
and his two daughters, called Dona Leoner and Dona
Emerenciana Zuazo, along with much other wealth and pro-
perty. And it is the opinion of some who are versed in this
industry that this ingenio alone, with its Negroes and cattle
and equipment and land and appurtenances, is now worth
over fifty thousand gold ducats, because it is very well
fitted up. And I heard Licentiate Zuazo say that every year
he had an income of six thousand gold ducats from this
ingenio, or more, and that he thought it would bring in much
more in the future....
The precentor, Don Alonso de Peralta, of this holy
church of Santo Domingo, set up a horse-powered mill in the
town of Azua itself, and after his days it was left to his
heirs. These mills are not so strong as those powered by
water, and are more expensive because instead of the water
turning the wheels to grind the sugar, it must be done with
power of the many horses required for this work; and this
estate went to the heirs of the precentor and to Pedro de
Heredia, who is now the Governor of the province of
Cartegena on the mainland....
In the town of San Juan de la Maguana, forty leagues
from this city of Santo Domingo, there is another important
ingenio which belongs to the heirs of a resident of the town,
whose name was Johan de Leon, and the German company
of the Welsers, which bought, half of this ingenio....
Eleven leagues from this city, along the banks of the
river called Cazuy, the late Johan Villorio, the elder, and his
brother-in-law, Hieronimo de Aguero, set up a very good
ingenio. This property was left to the heirs of the two, arid
also to the heirs of Agostin de Binaido, the Genoese, who
has a share in this ingenio ..
Now summing up the account of these mills and rich
sugar plantations, there are on this island twenty important
ingenious completely installed and four horse-powered mills.
And there is the opportunity to set up many others on this
island, and there is no island or kingdom among Christians
or pagans where there is anything like this industry of sugar.
The ships that come out from Spain return loaded with
sugar of fine quality, and the skimmings and.syrup that are
wasted on this island or given away would make another
great province rich. And the most amazing thing about these


great -plantations is that during the time that many of us
have lived out here, and of those that have spent over thirty-
eight years here, all these have been built up in a short time
by our hands and our work for there was not a one to be
found when we came out here.

(Bartolome de las Casas, Historia de las Indias (1559),
Madrid 1875)*
When the Jeronimite friars who were there saw the
success with which the Bachelor was carrying on this indus-
try, and that it, would be very profitable, in order
to encourage others to undertake it, they arranged with the
judges of the Tribunal and the officers of the crown to lend
500 gold pesos from the funds of the royal treasury to
anyone who should set up a mill, large or small, to make
sugar, and afterwards, 1 believe, they made them other
loans, in view of the fact that such mills were expensive....
In this way and on this basis a number of settlers agreed
to set up mills to grind the cane with horse-power, and
others, who had more funds, began to build powerful water-
run mills, which grind more cane and extract more sugar
than three horse-powered mills, and so every day more were
built, and today there are over thirty-four ingenios on this
island alone, and some on Sant Juan, and in other parts of
these Indies, and, notwithstanding, the price of sugar does
not go down. And it should be pointed out that in olden times
there was sugar only in Valencia, and then later in the
Canary Islands, where there may have been seven or eight
mills, and I doubt that that many, and withal the price of an
arroba of sugar was not over a ducat, or a little more, and
now with all the mills that have been built in these Indies,
the arroba is worth two ducats, and it is going up all the

(Decree of Charles V, Emperor.of the Hapsburg Empire,
December 1518)**
I order' you to use all diligence to see that the residents
of the aforesaid .island set up ingenious of sugar, and that
you assist and favour in every way you can all those who
wish to do so, both in lending them funds from our treasury
*i0. cit., Libro Tereero, Cap. CXXIX, Tomo, III, p. 274. Translation from
Ortz, op. cit., pp. 261--6.
** CGted in Ortiz, op. cit., p. 271.


to help them establish these ingenios, as well as giving them
privilege and use of the lands, and that you do the same
with all other residents and settlers, who are willing to work
and wish to remain there and build, settle and plant and do
such other things as are required for the good and ennoble-
ment and settlement of these lands.
Likewise, because it is my will that in all that can con-
veniently be done they be relieved and unmolested, and
being informed that many of them owe debts to one another,
and if these were demanded and collected from them much
harm would result and the loss of their property, therefore
I charge you that if the persons who owe debts on the
aforesaid island cannot conveniently pay them, you arrange
with their creditors that, being assured that they will pay
them with a certain length of time, they wait for them, and
in this you will do me a service.

(Decree of Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg
Empire, 1519)*
Licentiate Antonio Soriano in the name of this island
has reported to me that because the construction of such
mills is very expensive, and the materials and machinery
required for them brought out from this Kingdom to realms
near the aforesaid island cost too much for the people to be
able to buy them, and this will prevent this activity from
developing further, he implores us to order that the
machinery, materials, and other things taken out from this
Kingdom for the construction and work of these mills shall
not pay tax or other duties, or whatever my pleasure should
be. And I, for the reasons set forth, found this good.

(Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire, to Lopez de
Sosa, Governor of Castilla de Oro, August 16,. 1519)**
....Our representatives on the island of Hispaniola have
written me that on that island there is great need of masters
and workmen to set up sugar mills and'to manufacture sugar
because every day many ingenios are being established there,
and the place is very well fitted and suitable for this, and
I have been informed that in the Canary Islands there are
*Cited in Ortiz, op. cit., pp 257-276.
** Cited in Ortiz, op. cit., p. 257.


many masters and workmen who would go out to the island
if it were not that certain people put obstacles in their way,
and because you, while you are preparing to undertake your
trip to serve us in that capacity, can do much to attract
the aforesaid masters and workmen, and on the way, since
you will be stopping at the aforesaid island, you can take
them with you there, I am sending you with this the enclosed
letters so the governors of those islands may not put any
obstacle in the way of their departure, but rather help and
favour them in it, and for this reason I order you to present
these letters to them, and do everything .you can to induce
as many masters and workmen to go out to the island as
is possible.


(Decree of Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire,
January 15, 1529)*
We order that there can be no attachment of sugar
mills in any part of the Indies, or of slaves or other things
necessary for their sustenance and milling, unless it be for
sums due to Us, and We allow payment to be made in sugar
and products of the mills, nor is the renunciation valid if
they make it. And it is also our will that the notaries draw-
ing up contracts and deeds insert no renunciatory clause,
under penalty of being suspended from office, and that the
officers of the law shall not carry it out.


(Decree of Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire,
November 8. 1538)**
There may be attachment of any mill ,smelting metals
or manufacturing sugar if the debt amounts to the full value
of the mill.-Our purpose in ordering that there may be
no attachment against mills smelting metals and manufactur-
ing' sugar, with their slaves, instruments, and machinery,
was that they might not cease to prosper for the common
good of these kingdoms and of the Indies, because if this
were done, the results would be very injurious, and neither
the plaintiff nor the defendant would benefit thereby. And
* Cited in ortiz. op. cit., p. 277.
** Cited in Ortio6p. iit., pp. 27--79. -


because it is necessary to take the claims of creditors-into
account, we declare and order that if the debt is so large
that it amounts to the full value of the mill, with slaves,
equipment, and all its fittings, and the debtor has not other:
property to satisfy the creditor's claims, the whole mill, with
slaves and equipment, may be attached in payment of the
debt, and the person attaching the property must give guar-
antees that he will maintain it in working order, as the
debtor had it.

(Report of Capt. Juan Melgarejo, Governor of Puerto Rico,
to Philip II, King of Spain, January 1, 1582)*
There are eleven water mills in the island and one horse-
drawn mill, but they make little sugar because they have
only a few Negro slaves, and those are old and tired. Every
year some die, and once they are all dead this profit,-which
is the island's chief support today, and which explains why
it is not totally abandoned, will come to an end. The annual
output of the eleven water mills averages 15,000 arrobas**
of sugar, but it could be increased to 50,000 and even more
if each mill had a hundred slaves. These mills are really
settlements, like villages in Spain, because of the beautiful
buildings they contain, each slave and overseer having his
private house, apart from the "big house", so that the whole
looks like a Spanish farmhouse....

(Report of Don Sancho Ochoa de Castro, Governor: of
Puerto Rico, 1602)***
The water mills have been totally abandoned. Their
owners have turned their attention to the cultivation of
ginger and deserted that of sugar. The eight water mills of
the island have reached such a pass that last year the pro-
duction did not even amount to 3,000 arrobas, though the
island can produce upwards of 10,000 arrobas.
I On my assumption of the government of the island I
found a letter instructing me to give orders for increasing
the production of the mills, and the Municipal Council of
* Cited in Cayeteno Coll y Toste, Boletin -Historico de Puerto Rico, Vol. I,
pp. 75-91.
** Approximately 90 arrobas are equivalent to one long ton.
*** Cited in Deparknent of History, University of Puerto Rico, Antologia de
Lecturas sobre la Historia de Puerto Rico, Tomo I, p. 47, from: S. Brau,
Dos Factores de Colonizaeion de Puerto Rico, San Juan,. 1'0, pp. ll-r .

this city had received a letter to the same effect.... I issued
an ordinance forbidding owners of mills, either themselves
or by their agents, to plant ginger or to turn their attention
to anything but the manufacture of sugar....
Last year's ginger crop-which has not yet been com-
pletely exported because of a lack of ships amounted to
15,000 arrobas. This could only have been possible by aban-
doning the manufacture of sugar, as a result of which the
island's trade must be lost, because owing to the overproduc-
tion of ginger the price has fallen each year and there are
hardly any buyers....

(Thomas Gage, The English-American, A New Survey of the
West Indies, London, 1648)*
Within a mile and a half of this town there is a rich
ingenio or farm of sugar belonging to one Sebastian de
Savaletta, a Biscayan born, who came at first very poor into
that country, and served one of his countrymen; but with
his good industry and pains he began to get a mule or two
to traffic with about the country, till at last he increased
his stock to a whole requa of mules, and from thence grew
so rich that he bought much land about Petapa, which he
found to be very fit for sugar, and from thence was encour-
aged to build a princely house, whither the best of Guatemala
do resort for their recreation. This man maketh a great deal
of sugar for the country, and sends every year much to
Spain; he keepeth at least threescore slaves of his own for
the work of his farm, is very generous in housekeeping, and
is thought to be worth above five hundred thousand ducats.
Within half a mile from him there is another farm of sugar,
which is called but a trapiche belonging unto the Augustine
friars of Guatemala, which keeps some twenty slaves, and
is called a trapiche for that it 'grinds not the sugar cane
with that device of the ingenio, but grinds a less quantity,
and so makes not so much sugar as doth an ingenio. From
hence three miles is the town of Amatitlan, near unto which
standeth a greater ingenio of sugar than is that of Savaletta,
and is called the ingenio of one Anis, because he first.founded
it, but now it belongeth unto one Pedro Crespo the post-
master of Guatemala; this ingenio leemeth to be a little
town by itself for the many cottages and thatched houses
of blackamoor slaves which belong unto it, who may be
above a hundred,. men, women and children. The chief
dwelling house is strong and capacious, and able to entertain
a .hundred lodgers. These three farms of sugar standing so
near unto Guatemala enrich the city much, and occasion
great trading from it to Spain.
* Op. cit., 1946 edition, London (A. P. Newton, ed.), pp. 217--18.


The White Population Problem

(Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella, King and
Queen of Spain, 1493)*
In the first place, in regard to the Spanish Island: that
there should go there settlers up to the number of two thou-
sand who may want to go so as to render the possession of
the country safer and cause it to be more profitable and
helpful in the intercourse and traffic with the neighboring
Likewise, that in the said island three or four towns
be founded at convenient places, and the settlers be properly.
distributed among said places and towns....
Likewise, that in each place and settlement there be a
mayor or mayors and a clerk according to the custom of
Likewise, that a church be built, and that priests or
friars be sent there for the administration of the sacraments,
and for divine worship and the conversion of the Indians.


(Decree of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain,
April, 10, 1495)**
Any persons who wish to live and dwell in the said
Hispaniola without pay, may go and will go freely, and there
they will be free, and will pay no duty, and will have for
themselves and for their heirs, or for those deriving any
right from them, the houses they may build, the lands they
may cultivate, and the farms they may plant, for there in
the said island they will be assigned lands and places for that
purpose by the persons we have put in charge; and those
persons who will thus live and dwell in the said Hispaniola
without pay, as has been said, will be maintained for a year.
We also wish, and this is our will and pleasure, that those
who go to the said Hispaniola with permission granted by'
those whom we have deputed for this purpose, may keep for"
themselves a third of the gold which they may find and get
*Cited in Bourne, The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, p. 274.
"Cited In 7NavarrBtec-op.. eift.; Toa~ %; Num. -bXx*VI, '.p 197 ,. .


in the said island, as long as it is not for exchange, and the
remaining two-thirds will be for Us....; and besides, those
who go with permission may keep all the merchandise and
anything else they may find in the said island, giving a tenth
part of it to Us....except for the gold of which they will
give us two-thirds....

(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain to
Christopher Columbus, April 23 and June 15, 1497)*
....there may go.... with you the number of three
hundred and thirty persons, whom you will select according
to their rank and occupation....but if you feel that some
of them should be moved by promoting or changing them
from one occupation to another, or from the rank of some
persons to others, you, or whoever has your power, may do
it and will do it according to the manner and form, and at
the time which you deem fit to our service, and to the good-
ness and usefulness of the said government and business
of the said Indies....
Item : that when you are in the said Indies, God willing,
you establish....in Hispaniola another village or fortress
beyond the one on the other side of the island next to the
gold mine....
Item : that near the said village, or near the one which
is already there, or in some other place which you deem
suitable, there be started and established some farming and
breeding so that the persons ... in the said island may main-
tain themselves better and cheaper; and in order that this
may be better done, the farmers who will now go to the
said Indies should be given and will be given from the bread
which will be sent there, up to fifty dozen bushels of wheat
for sowing, and up to twenty 'pairs of cows or mares or
other beasts for farming, and the farmers who thus receive
the said bread will raise it and sow it, and will be obliged
to gather the harvest, and will pay one-tenth of what they
may collect, and the rest they can sell to Christians at the
best price possible, as long as the prices are not too high
for those who buy them, because, if that is the case, you,
our said Admiral, or whoever should have your power, will
moderate and regulate it.
Item : that the said number of three hundred and
thirty persons who may go to the said Indies shall be paid
and will be paid their salaries at the rates at which up to
now they have been paid, and instead of their usual main-
tenance, they shall be given and will be given from the bread
which we send there, to each person a fanega of wheat per
*Cited In Navarrete, op cit., ToMe IT- Num. CL pp. p. 239-2@.


month and twelve maravedis per day so that they may buy-
other necessary supplies....
Item : that if you, the said Admiral, should see and
believe that it is-fitting for our service that their number
should be augmented over the said three hundred and thirty
persons, you may increase it until you reach the number of.
five hundred persons in all.... the said three hundred and
thirty persons must be selected by you, our said Admiral...
and must be distributed as follows: forty squires, a hundred
foot soldiers, thirty sailors, thirty cabin boys, twenty gold
washers, fifty farmers and gardeners, twenty officials of all
occupations, and thirty women;.... but if it seems to you
....of benefit and convenience to our business to change
the said number of persons, reducing the number of officials
and putting others in their place, you may do it, as long
as the number of persons who will be in the Indies does not
exceed three hundred and thirty persons, and not more.
Item : that for the maintenance of the said Admiral,
and of your brothers, and other officials who are important'
persons going with you to the said Indies, and for the said
three hundred and thirty persons, and in order to farm and
sow and to control the beasts which you shall take there,
six thousand six hundred .bushels of wheat, and six hundred
bushels of barley should and will be taken; which should
and will be provided for from the thirds of the bread belong-
ing to us from the Archbishopric of Seville and the Bishopric
of Cadiz from.last year....
Item: that there will be sent to the said Indies the
tools and apparatus which the said Admiral may consider
necessary for farming in the said Indies; and likewise, hoes,
spades, pickaxes, stone hammers, and levers which would be
convenient for the said Indies.
Likewise, that with the cows and mares which are in
the said Indies there will be made the number of twenty
yokes of cows or mares or donkeys with which they can do
farming in the said Indies, as it may seem convenient to the
said Admiral.
And likewise, it seems convenient to buy an old vessel
in which to carry the supplies and the aforesaid things which;
may.fit in it, because use could be made of its planks, wood
and nails for the town which is being built now in the other
part of Hispaniola, near the mines; but if it does not,
seem right to you, the said Admiral, to take the said vessel
it shall not be taken.
Besides, there should be taken to the said Indies six.
hundred bushels-of wheat and up to one thousand quintals
of. biscuit, pending provision for the construction of mills
and- bakeries, for which purpose there must be taken from.
here some stones and: other mill apparatus.


Item: that there should be taken to the said Indies two
tents which will cost up to twenty thousand maravedis.
Item: with respect to the other supplies and provisions
which it will be necessary to take to the said Indies for the
maintenance and clothing of those who will be there, we
believe the following form should be adopted:
That they look for some sincere and reliable persons,
who will be charged by you, the said Admiral, to load and
carry to the said Indies the said supplies, and other things
of great necessity there, for which they shall be given and
will be given from the maravedis we have kept for this
whatever you think reasonable, and they will let us know
when they receive the maravedis, which they will use for
the said supplies, which will be loaded and taken to the
coast of the said Indies, and going at our risk and at the
sea's mercy. Upon arrival there, God willing, they should
sell and will sell the said supplies: the wine at fifteen mara-
vedis the azumbre,* and a pound of salt pork and salt meat
at eight maravedis; and the other supplies and vegetables
at the price that you and the other Lieutenants may fix for
them, so that they may have some profit and will not lose in
it, and no harm will be done to the people. From the
maravedis which such person or persons may get from the
said supplies that they sell, they should give and pay, and
will give and pay there to our Treasurer.... in the said
Indies, the said maravedis which you had given to them, in
order to buy the said supplies, so that with them you will
pay the salary of the people....
Item: we should try to send to the said Indies some
religious men and clergymen, good persons, so that they
will administer the Holy Sacraments to those who will be
there, and will try to convert to our Holy Catholic Faith the
said native Indians of the said Indies, and will take for
them the apparatus and things' which are required for the
service of the worship of God and for the administration of
the sacraments.
Likewise, there should go a physician, an apothecary,
a herbist, and some instruments and music should be taken
for the entertainment of the people.

(Proclamation of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of
Spain, June 22, 1497)**
....we have commanded the loading of certain ships
and vessels in which there will go certain people who have
bUen paid-for a certain time, and a supply of provisions and
*About 2 1bres.
**Cited in Navarrete, op, cit., Tomeo H, Num. CXX, p. 249.


supplies for them, and because they are not enough for the
development of a town as befits the service of God and ours,
if other people do not go to reside and live and serve in
them at their own cost, we, wishing to provide for this, for
the conversion and settlement as well as for clemency and
pity towards our subjects and nationals, issue this our
decree.... that each and every male person, and our many
subjects and nationals who may have committed up to the
day of publication of this decree any murders or any other
crimes of whatever nature and quality they might be, except
heresy and lese majeste or....treason, or perfidy,
or sure death, whether caused by fire or arrow, or
counterfeiting or sodomy, or stealing of copper, gold or sil-
ver, or other things vetoed by Us in our Kingdoms, shall, go
and serve in person in Hispaniola, at their own cost, as com-
manded by the Admiral in our name. Those who deserve the
death penalty will serve for two years, and those who de-
serve a minor penalty than death, even though it might be
the loss of a member, for a year and will be pardoned for
whatever crimes and transgressions of whatever sort and
quality and gravity they might be, which they may have
done or committed up to the day of the publication of this
our Decree, except for the cases aforesaid....

(Christopher Columbus to the Nurse of the Prince Don
John, 1500)*
... in the whole of Espanola there are very few save
vagabonds, and not one with wife and children.... a dis-
solute people, who fear neither God, nor their King and
Queen, being full of vices and wickedness....
....It is useless to publish such immunities in the
Indies; to the settlers who have taken up residence it is a
pure gain, for the best lands were given to them, and at a low
valuation they will be worth two hundred thousand at the
end of the four years when the period of residence is
ended, without their digging a spadeful in them. I would
Jnot speak thus if the settlers were married, but there are
not six among them all who are not on the lookout to gather
what they can and depart speedily. It would be a good
thing if people should go from Castile, and also if it were
known who and what they are, and if the country could be.
settled with honest people....Now that so much gold is
found, a dispute arises as to which brings more profit,
*Cited in Bourne. The Northmen. Colmnbus ad .Cabot. pp. 373-374. 377.378.


whether to go about robbing, or to go to the mines. A hun
dred castellanos* are as easily obtained for a woman as for
a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers
who go looking about for girls; those form nine to ten are
now in demand, and for all ages a good price must be paid.

(Ferdinand I, King of Spain, to Nicolas de Ovando, Governor
of Hispaniola, October 21, 1507)**
I should like to know why you request that no more
people, even workmen, be allowed to go there until you ask
for them. It is believed here that the more people there are
to work, the greater will be the profit.


(Alonso Zuazo, Judge of Hispaniola, to Cardinal Ximenes,
Regent of Spain, January 22, 1518)***
It is necessary to allow people from all parts of the
world to come to this land to populate it freely, and to
grant general permission for this purpose, excluding only
Moors, Jews and reconciled persons, their children and
grandchildren, as prescribed in the ordinance, since such
persons are always evilly disposed, seditious and revolution-
ary in towns and communities.

(The Jeronimite Commission to Cardinal Ximenes, Regent of
Spain, February 1518)****

The admission of many labourers and workmen will en-
sure the foundation of a population: wheat, vines, cotton
plants, etc., will in time give better return than gold. It
must be proclaimed publicly over there that all natives of
'One-sixth of an ounce, or in value about $3.
**Cited in L. B. Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain, University of Call.
fornia Press, 1950, p. 18.
***Cited in J. A. Saco, Historia de la Esclavitud de la Raza Africana en el
Nuevo Mundo V en especial en los Paises Americo Hispanos (Paris, 1875,
Vols. I anid-II; Barcelona, 1877-1879, Vols. II and IV), 1938 edition, Coleccion de
Libros Cubanos, Havana, Tomo 1, p. 136.
****Cited in Saco, op, cit., Tomo I, p. 187.


Spain, Portugal and the Canaries are free to go and remain,
and that they may carry merchandise and supplies from all
ports of Castile without going to Seville. Let his Highness
order the surplus population of these realms, etc., to go and
colonise these territories.

(Decree of Charles V, Emperor of the Hapsburg Empire,
January 15, 1529)*
The King Reverend Doctor Sebastian Ramirez, Bis-
hop of Santo Domingo and La Concepcion de la-Vega, and
our President of the Court of Hispaniola. Friar Tomas de
Verlanga, Vicar Provincial of the Dominicans in those
parts, on behalf of the Judges, officials and colonists of His-
paniola whom he represented, moved by zeal for the wel-
fare of the island, petitioned us for many things, among
them this favour, viz., that there should be a great increase
in the population, revenue, etc. This request having been
heard by my royal Person on several occasions, as well as by
my Council, I have consented to grant the following con-
tract and agreement to the colonists and settlers of the said
1. Anyone who undertakes and gives sufficient guaran-
tee for the commencement of a new settlement in the said
island, with persons who do not belong to that island or to
any other part of the Indies, the said settlement to consist
of at least fifty married couples, twenty-five free and twenty-
five Negroes, a church and a solid stone presbytery, a
priest provided at his expense and who agrees to supply
freight and ship stores for all, to build houses for them, to
give everyone two cows or oxen, fifty sheep, one mare, ten
pigs, two colts, and six hens; to establish a settlement within
a year of receiving the land, and to complete it in two more
years, building twenty-five stone houses within five years and
completing all fifty within ten years, shall be given a site and
boundaries for his land by the President of the Court-- the
site varying in size up to two square leagues, and .up to
three square leagues if it be more than ten leagues distant
from the city of Santo Domingo without prejudice to the
towns and villages previously founded.
2. He shall not be given a site on the harbour nor in
any other place where, in the opinion of the President, it
may later be to the disadvantage of the Crown.
3. We reserve the forests and trees of Brazil wood, the
balsam and drugs which exist in the said limits, because of
our contract with other persons in this connection.
*Cited in Saco, oP. cit., Tomo I, pp. 236-239.


4. With the above exceptions, and barring.such other
precaution as may be necessary to preserve the rights. of
the Crown, we grant to those who establish settlements as
provided above the ownership of the said settlements, with
right of succession, civil and criminal jurisdiction, without
prejudice to the rights of our sovereignty and those of the
Admiral of the Indies.
5. They may establish an inalienable, imperishable and
non-transferable right of succession thereto, which may only
be rendered null and void by reason of some crime, treason
or unnatural sin.
6. We grant them the mines and pearl fisheries in their
districts on condition that they pay us a fifth of the returns
or the same proportion as the other inhabitants of the island.
7. We grant to the said founders and their successors
in the said right of succession the twentieth part of all our
profits in the said district.
8. Whatever belongings the first settlers bring into the
island for their own use shall be free of all duty on the
first occasion.
9. We grant the founder the right to nominate the
notary public in his village and the patronage of the benefit
or benefits of this office. In each village we also grant the
tithes which belong to.us in all the Indies by apostolic gift,
to assist manufacturing and the clergy.
10. In the deed of ownership, or separately, as they may
prefer, we shall create .the said founders noblemen and
knights, shall give them arms and escutcheon according to
their wishes so that they and their descendants and success-
ors may thereafter always be lords, knights and nobles, may
use arms, impeach and challenge, accept challenges to com-
bat and duel throughout the Indies.
We entrust the administration of everything, the con-
tract with the settlers, the taking of pledges, etc., the
issuance of an order signed with his name, to the President
of the Court of Hispaniola.

(Ramirez Fuenleal, Bishop of Santo Domingo, to Empress
of Spain, April 30, 1532)*
Alvarado is preparing a fleet to go on a voyage of dis-
covery as far as Peru. Very great harm to all that has been
discovered results from these expeditions and .discoveries,
for the people who come to these parts are adventurers in
search only of what may be stolen, and as soon as they
hear of a new discovery, they scrap their proposal to settle
*Cited in Saco, op. cit., Toim6 I,':pp. 250-251.


down and make their homes and go off again in the belief
that the land to be discovered is another New Spain. They
die because of the newness of the land.


(Francisco Manuel de Lando to Charles V, Emperor of the
Hapsburg Empire, Puerto Rico, July 2, 1534)*
My visit to San German quieted the people who were
all excited about going off to Peru. They are burdened with
debt, especially for slaves whom they bought on credit.
They have mined little gold, and their payments have fallen
due; their property has been attached, and they have been
forced to sell their goods at three-tenths of the purchase
price. Many have taken to the hills.
Crazy over the news from Peru, many have departed
secretly from the numerous little harbours remote from
the main centres of population. Those who remain, even
those with deepest roots in the island, have but a single
thought, "May God take me to Peru". Night and day I keep
watch so that on one should decamp, but I am not certain
that I can restrain the people.
Two months ago I learned that some individuals had
carried off a boat two leagues from this city in order to
leave the island. I sent three boats and twenty horsemen and
there was no end of difficulty in apprehending them because
of the resistance they put up. They desisted only when
three had been killed by arrows, others wounded, and I
appeared on the scene. Some were whipped, the legs of
others were cut off; and I had to overlook some seditious
language from others who had joined them and planned
to await them on Mona Island, two leagues away. If Your
Majesty does not promptly find some remedy, I fear that the
island, even though it may not be totally abandoned, will
remain no more than a wayside inn. It is the entrance and
key to the Indies; it is the first island which the French and
English pirates run into. The Caribs carry off our settlers
and theih friends without let or hindrance. If a ship should
come at night, with only fifty men, it would burn and kill
the entire population. I beseech you to grant favours and
privileges to this noble island whose population is now so
depleted that one sees hardly any Spaniards but only
Negroes.... I know that some people here have requested
permission to take their Negro slaves to Peru. Your Majesty
should not give permission to go either to them or to the
*Cited In Antologia de Lecturas sobre la Hlstoria de Puerto Rico, Tomo i,
a. 29. from Tapia y Itivra. on. clt.1 pp. S0.304.


(Judge Esteve of Hispaniola to Charles V, Emperor of the
Hapsburg Empire, 1550)*
Settlers such as those the Attorney General.... brought
over in the capacity of labourers, are of no use. They were
barbers; tailors, and useless persons who soon sold the
twelve cows and the bull which Your Majesty gave them for
their sustenance.... They did not know how to work, and
only peopled the hospitals and the cemeteries. There are
enough settlers of this kind to spare Your Majesty the neces-
sity of supplying ship stores for more of them.


(Lopez de Velasco, Geografia y Descripcion universal de las
Indias, Madrid, 1571-1574)**

There would be many more Spaniards in those provinces
than there now are if permission to go were given to ail who
want to go there; but ordinarily it has been the general
policy to send out from these kingdoms men who hate work
and who are of rebellious dispositions and spirits and who
are more anxious to get rich quickly than to settle perma-
nently in the country. Not satisfied with being sure of food
and clothing, which would never be lacking to anyone in
these parts who are moderately diligent in procuring them,
whether they be officers or farm hands, or not even that,
forgetting their proper place, they raise themselves to a
higher level and go about the country, idle vagabonds,
making pretensions to offices 'and allotments of Indians.

(J. Veitia de Linaje, Norte de la Contratacion de las Indias
Occidentales, Seville, 1672. English Translation by John
Stevens, The Spanish Rule of Trade to the Indies, London,
2. King Ferdinand, in the year 1511, gave an order for
all persons whatsoever,, that were subjects of Spain, to be
*Cited in Saco, op, cit., Tomo II, pp. 28-29.
*Op. cit., p. 36.
"*Op. cit., pp. 107-115.


allowed to go over to the Indies without any distinction, or
examination, only entering their names, that the numbers
might be known. Afterwards in the years 1518, 1522, 1530,
and 1539, several orders passed, which were established as
Laws, and direct, that no person reconciled, or newly con-
verted to our Holy Catholic Faith, from Judaism or
Mahometanism, nor the children of such, nor the children
or grandsons of any that had worn the St. Andrew's Cross of
the Inquisition, or been burnt or condemned as heretics, or
for any heretical crime, either by male or female line,
might go over to the Indies, upon pain of forfeiting all their
goods, of an hundred lashes, perpetual banishment from the
Indies, and their bodies to be at the King's disposal. In the
year 1501, Nicholas de Obando being appointed Governor of
the Firm Land, was commanded not to permit any Moors,
Jews, heretics, or new converts, to live in that country,
except slaves born under Christian masters who are natives
of Spain. Herrera tells us, that Their Catholic Majesties in
1496, granted a pardon to all criminals that would go over
to the Island Hispaniola, and the third part of all the gold
they got out of the mines, to all persons that would settle
3. King Philip II whilst he governed Spain for the
Emperor his father in the year 1552, to prevent false infor-
mations, ordered, that for the future, the Judges or Com-
missioners of the India-House, should not suffer any person
whatsoever, tho' of such as were allowed, or tho' he had the
King's Letter of License, to go over to the Indies, unless
they brought certificates from the places where they were
born, to make appear whether they were married, or single,
describing their persons, setting down their age, and
declaring that they are neither Jews nor Moors, nor children
of such, persons newly reconciled, nor sons or grandsons
of any that have been punished, condemned, or burnt, as
heretics, or for heretical crimes, such certificate to be
signed by the magistrates of the city, town or place where
such persons are born. In 1559, orders were sent to the
Prelates in the Indies, to inquire whether there were any
Jews, Moors, or heretics in those parts, and to punish them
severely. And in 1566, all the sons and grandsons of here-
tics, and new converts, were excluded all places of trust,
upon pain of forfeiture of goods, and their bodies to be at
the King's disposal.
4. Besides these circumstances mentioned to capacitate
persons to go over to the Indies, they are to have His Majes-
ty's leave, or else the President's and Commissioners'; with-
out which, no man, whether native or alien, may pass
thither. The first penalty imposed for breach of this Law,
was 100,000 maravedis, that is about 52 1. -sterling fine, ten


years banishment for gentlemen, and 100 lashes for mean
persons. In the Indies, the Magistrates are directed to
apprehend any persons they find are gone over without
leave, to imprison them till they can send them back into
Spain, upon pain of losing their employment, and forfeiting
50,000 maravedis; that is, 26 1. sterling....
5. Having declared that no persons may go over to the
Indies without leave, and whereas the King may grant it to
whom he pleases, it remains to show to whom the President
and Commissioners may grant leave. They are not only
to grant leave to Mestizos, that is Mongrels between Spani-
ards and Indians, who are brought into Spain, but to oblige
them to return, and to furnish them with necessaries, if
they have not of their own. They may grant passes to mer-
chants to go over, or return if they came from thence, includ-
ing married merchants, provided they have leave from their
wives, and give 1,000 ducats security to return within three
years. To factors, but to- them only for three years, tho'
they be bachelors, and they are to give security for their
return; and this exception to factors makes out, that other
bachelors who go over with leave, may stay and inhabit
there. To any inhabitants of the Indies, whom they know to
be married there, whom they may oblige to go back to their
wives. But if they that come from the Indies be not married,
excepting merchants, tho' they be born there, they may not
return without leave from the King himself. As concerning
factors, it is to be observed, that the President and Com-
missioners may not only oblige them to return to be accoun-
table to their merchants, but to pay besides the principal,
such interest as two merchants shall adjudge, for the time
they have delayed returns; and those factors that reside in
Spain, and manage for merchants in the Indies, are to be com-
pelled to send the owners their returns without any delay.
6. ... it is the constant practice to give passes, as
merchants, to all persons that produce certificates of their
having shipped goods to the value of above 300,000 marave-
dies, that is, between 70 and 80 pounds sterling, as rated,
for to pay the King's duties; and strict orders have been
given that no passes should be granted to such as pretended
themselves to be merchants on account of shipping off some
small parcels, alleging they go to keep shops, or set up a
trade in those parts.


7. Married women, whose husbands are in the Indies,
are permitted to go over to them, and to take along with
them a kinsman within the fourth degree of consanguinity,
but if the husbands themselves -come for their wives, they
may not return without the King's leave. In all cases what-
soever, the women are to make the same proofs as the men,
as to their qualifications. They that carry over, or send for
their wives, are to make sufficient proof that they are such.
Married merchants that leave their wives behind, are not
compelled to bring certificates as to their qualifications,
because they give security to return within three years.
All single women are positively forbid going over to the
8. No person, tho' commissioned by the King for any
employment in those parts, being a married man, can go
over without his wife; and tho' the President and Com-
missioners can give leave to merchants, who- have their
wives' consent, yet they cannot to Governors, or any other
Officers, without His Majesty's express dispensation in this
case; and the same as to exempting them and their wives
from bringing the usual certificates of qualifications, which
they must give as well as the meanest person, if they are
not exempted by the King. Nor may they go aboard upon
the King's Commission, without having his Licence; tho'
sometimes, there being no legal obstacle, they have been
cleared upon giving security that their pass would come
after them from Court. And it is ordered, that the Admirals,
and other officers, receive no man, that is commissioned for
an employment in the Indies, without a pass from the India-
House, tho' he has one from the King....
10. None are to be admitted to go over as servants
whose charge is not defrayed by him that names them.
Passes; or licences, not made use of when granted, are of
no use afterwards; nor any from the King, if they are not
presented within: two years. Admirals, and other Sea-
Commanders, are charged, under the penalty of 1,000 ducats,
not to convey over any passengers, as sailors or soldiers;
but this does not contradict the order to them, that in case
of want of soldiers, they list such passengers as come or go
with leave, yet that they give them no pay, but only allow-
ance of provision, to commence eight days before they go
10.* All passengers are to carry their own provisions,
and no Officers to give them their Table. The Admiral is to
see aiU their passes, 'and to distribute them, to take dare


that no masters of ships undertake to furnish their diet; to
make them swear they will not stay behind in any port
where the fleet shall happen to: put in, nor carry any goods
ashore before they are searched. All Officers, and beneficed
persons, and such as bring over gold or silver that is entered,
are to be preferred before others to go aboard the galleons,
yet so that they do not encumber themselves with people
unfit for service. He that goes over with a licence to reside
in any particular town in the Indies, is to make his abode
there.... and handicrafts that go over on pretence of
following their callings, are to be obliged to perform it....
12. The inhabitants of the Indies may not come to
Spain without leave from the Viceroys, Presidents, or
Governors of the places of their habitation, in which they
are to express the causes of their coming, and whether it is
to stay here or return; and if they be agents for any corpora-
tion it must be expressed, that they show their commission
before the Council within two months after their arrival.
The Governors of seaports are forbid granting licences to
any persons that are not under their Government, without
they bring them from those they belong to; nor is any pass
to be given to any that does not make out he is not indebted
to the chests belonging to persons departed, or to the King.
12.* Those that pass over to the Indies with leave, are
to go aboard the ships that are bound for those ports their
licenses mention; and none ought to go aboard the ships
from the Canary Islands, without leave from the Council.
The inhabitants of those Islands may not settle in the Indies
without leave expressly had. There is a particular Officer
in the Office of Comptroller of the India-House, who enters
all licenses, given to passengers, in books for that purpose.
There are no laws but what covetousness breaks through, and
therefore some persons have taken out licenses to sell to
others, which has been strictly forbid, and both the buyers
and sellers ordered to be severely punished, as also those
who forge licences. If any married man be found to have
gone over under a bachelor's pass, he is to be sent back, and
no credit to be given to married men that shall show certi-
ficates of their wives being dead, unless they have been
passed by the Council.
13. ....the Law says, that from the time the ships sail
from the Indies, till they are searched in Seville, no man is
to go ashore (but in case it be absolutely necessary, then
one is to go in the presence of all the rest) under pain of
forfeiture of goods to the Master of the ship: and the
persons going ashore, their bodies to be at the King's dis-
posal, and the informer to have the third part of the goods.


14. King Philip the Second, in the year 1560, made an
Ordinance to restrain any persons from going to the Indies
without license, by which all they shall acquire in those
parts is forfeited to the Crown, only one-fifth part for the
informer, and that they be secured and sent prisoners into
Spain at their own expense: and any effects of theirs brought
by them, or sent over, not to be delivered to them or their
order, nor to their heirs if they be dead, but to be confiscate
to the King. And moreover, the Bull of Pope Alexander VI
excommunicates all persons, of what degree or condition
soever, that shall presume to go over to the Indies without
leave from Their Catholic Majesties.


The Problem of Aboriginal Indian

("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus",
Friday, 12th of October
...I gave some of them red caps, and glass beads to
put round their necks, and many other things of little value,
which gave them great pleasure, and made them so much
our friends that it was a marvel to see. They afterwards
came to the ships boats where we were, swimming and
bringing us parrots, cotton threads in skeins, darts, and
many other things; and we exchanged them for other
things that we gave them, such as glass beads and
small bells. In fine, they took all, and gave what they had
with good will. It appeared to me to be a race of people very
Poor in everything. They go as naked as when their mothers
bore them, and so do the women, although I did not see
more than one young girl. All I saw were youths, none more
than thirty years of age. They are very well made, with
very handsome bodies, and very good countenances. Their
hair is short and coarse, almost like the hair of a horse's
tail. They wear the hair brought down to the eyebrows, ex-
cept a few locks behind, which they wear long and never
cut. They paint themselves black, and they are the colour of
the Canarians, neither black nor white. Some paint them-
selves white, others red, and others of what colour they
find. Some paint their faces, others the whole body, some
only round the eyes, others only on the nose. They neither
carry nor know anything of arms, for I showed them
swords, and they took them by the blade and cut themselves
through ignorance. They have no iron, their darts being
wands without iron, some of them having a fish's tooth at
the end, and others being pointed in various ways. They are
all of fair statue and size, with good faces, and well made.
I saw some with marks of wounds on their bodies, and I
made signs to ask what it was, and they gave me to under-
Cited in Bourne, The Northmen, Colubus: and Cabot, pp. 110-112, 138,
14, 192. 14-195, 198, 203-204, 224:


stand that people from other adjacent islands came with the
intention of seizing them, and that they defended them-
selves. I believed, and still believe, that they come here from
the mainland to make them prisoners.... I believe that
they would easily be made Christians, as it appeared to me
that they had no religion. I, our Lord being pleased, will
take hence, at the time of my departure, six natives for
your Highnesses, that they may learn to speak. I saw no
beast of any kind except parrots, on this island....
Saturday, 13th of October
....They came to the ship in small canoes, made out
of the trunk of a tree like a long boat, and all of one piece,
and wonderfully worked, considering the country. They are
large, some of them holding 40 to 45 men, others smaller,
and some only large enough to hold one man. They are pro-
pelled with a paddle like a baker's shovel, and go at a
marvellous rate....
Sunday, 4th of November
....He also understood that, far away, there were men
with one eye, and others with dogs' noses who were canni-
bals, and that when they captured an enemy, they beheaded
him and drank his blood, and cut off his private parts....
Monday, 3rd of December
....The Admiral assures the Sovereigns that ten
thousand of these men would run from ten, so cowardly and
timid are they....

Friday, 21st of December
....The Admiral gave them glass beads, brass trinkets,
and bells: not because they asked for anything in return, but
because it seemed right, and above all, because he now
looked upon them as future Christians, and subjects of the
Sovereign, as much as the people of Castile. He further says
that they want nothing except to know the language and be
under governance; for all they may be told to do will be
done without contradiction....
Saturday, 22nd of December
....As the Indians are so simple, and the Spaniards so
avaricious and grasping, it dnes not suffice that the Indians
should give them all they want in exchange for a bead or a-
bit of glass, but the Spaniards would take everything' with-
out any return at all. The Admiral always prohibits this, al-
though, with the exception of gold, the things given by the


Indians are of little value. But the Admiral, seeing the sim-
plicity of the Indians, and that they will give a piece of gold
in exchange for six beads, gave the order that. nothing
.should be received from them unless something had been
given in exchange....

Monday, 24th of December

....A better race there cannot be, and both the people
and the lands are in such quantity that I know not how to
write it. I have spoken in the superlative degree of the
country and people of Juana, which they call Cuba, but
there is as much difference between them and this island
and people as between day and night. I believe that no
one who should see them could say less than I have said,
and I repeat that the things and the great villages of this
island of Espanola, which they call Bohio, are wonderful. All
here have a loving manner and gentle speech, unlike the
others, who seem to be menacing when they speak. Both
men and women are of good stature, and not black. It is
true that they all paint, some with black, others with other
.colours, but most with red. I know that they are tanned by
the sun, but this does not affect them much. Their houses
and villages are pretty, each with a chief, who acts as their
judge, and who is obeyed by them. All these lords use few
words, and have excellent manners. Most of their orders are
given by a sign with the hand, which is understood with
surprising quickness...

Wednesday, 26th of December

....The Chief. ., began to talk of those of Caniba,
whom they call Caribes. They come to capture the natives,
and have bow and arrows without iron, of which there is no
memory in any of these lands, nor of steel, nor any other
metal except gold and copper. Of copper the Admiral had
only seen very little. The Admiral said, by signs, that the
Sovereigns of Castile would order the Caribs to be des-
troyed, and that all should be taken with their hands tied
together.... Now I have given orders for a tower and a
fort, both well built, and a large cellar, not because I be-
lieve that, such defences will be necessary. I believe that
with the force I have with me I could subjugate the whole
island, which I believe to be larger than Portugal, and the
population double.... Still, it is advisable to build this
tower, being so far from your Highnesses. The people may
thus know the skill of the subjects of your Highnesses, and
what they can do; and will obey them with love -and fear....


Sunday, 13th of January
....As soon as they came to the boat, the crew landed,
and began to buy the bows and arrows and other arms, in
accordance with an order of the Admiral. Having sold two
bows, they did not want to give more, but began to attack
the Spaniards, and to take hold of them.... the Spaniards
attacked the Indians, and gave one a slash with a knife in
the buttocks, wounding another in the breast with an
arrow.... The Christians would have killed many, if the
pilot, who was in command, had not prevented them....
The Admiral regretted the affair for one reason, and was
pleased for another. They would have fear of the Christians,
and they were no doubt an ill-conditioned people, probably
Caribs, who eat men.... he would have liked to have cap-
tured some of them....

(Dr. Chanca to the Town Council of Seville, 1493)*

... We were enabled to distinguish which of the
women were Caribbees, and which were not, by the Carib-
bees wearing on each leg two bands of woven cotton, the one
fastened round the knee, and the other round the ankle; by
this means they make the calves of their legs large, and the
above-mentioned parts very small, which I imagine that they
regard as a mark of elegance; by this peculiarity we distin-
guished them. The habits of these Caribbees are brutal.
There are three islands: this is called Turuqueira; the other,
which was the first that we saw, is called Ceyre; the third
is called Ayay:** all these are alike as if they were of one
race, who do no injury to each other; but each and all of
them wage war against the other neighboring islands, and
for the purpose of attacking them, make voyages of a hun-
dred and fifty leagues at sea, with their numerous canoes,
which are a small kind of craft with one mast. Their arms
are arrows, in the place of iron weapons, and as they have
no iron, some of them point their arrows with tortoise-shell,
and others make their arrow-heads of fish spines, which are
naturally barbed like coarse saws; these prove dangerous
weapons to a naked people like the Indians, and may cause
death or severe injury, but to men of our nation, are not
very formidable. In their attacks upon the neighboring
islands, these people capture as many of the women as they
*Cited in Bourne, The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, pp. 289-291.
** Generally identified as the three islands of Guadeloupe, Marlo Galante and
St. Croix, though some claim that the first and third are the two islands
which together form Guadeloupe, and identify Ceyre with Dominica.


can, especially those who are young and beautiful, and keep
them for servants and to have as concubines; and so great a
number do they carry off, that in fifty houses no men were
to be seen; and out of the number of the captives, more than
twenty were young girls. These women also say that the
Caribbees use them with such cruelty as would scarcely be
believed; and that they eat the children which they bear to
them, and only bring up those which they have by their
native wives. Such of their male enemies as they can take
alive, they bring to their houses to slaughter them, and
those who are killed they devour at once. They say that man's
flesh is so good, that there is nothing like it in the world;
and this is pretty evident, for of the bones which we found
in their houses, they had gnawed everything that could be
gnawed, so that nothing remained of them, but what from
its great hardness, could not be eaten; in one of the houses
we found the neck of a man, cooking in a pot. When they
take any boys prisoners, they cut off their member and
make use of them as servants until they grow up to man-
hood, and then when they wish, to make a feast, they kill and
eat them; for they say that the flesh of boys and women is
not good to eat. Three of these boys came fleeing to us thus
(Tratado que el obispo de la ciudad de Chiapa, D. Fray Bar-
tolome de las Casas, compuSo por comision del Consejo Real
de las Indias, sobre !a material de los indios que se han hecho
en ellas esclavos, Seville, 1552)*
This word slavery among the Indians does not denote or
signify what it does among ourselves. It means only that one
is a servant, or someone who is responsible or obliged to
help and serve me in some things which I need. So that for
an Indian to be a slave of another Indian meant little less
than being his son. He had his house, his family, his pecu-
lium, his farm, his wife and his children, and he was in
enjoyment of his liberty, like the other free subjects who
were his neighbours, except when the lord needed to build
his house or sow his fields or other similar things.... and
all the rest of the time he had to himself and employed it to
his own advantage like free persons. Besides which, the
treatment which the lords meted out to such servants was
very mild and lenient as if they owed them nothing. And
thus without comparison they had more freedom than those
whom we call in law villeins.
Cited in J. A. Saco, fHistoria de la Esclavitud de los Indios en et Nuevo
Mundo, seguida de la Historia de los Repartimientoo y Encomnendas
(Havana, 1883--1892), 1932 edition, Soleccion de Libros Cubanos, Havana
Tomo I, p. 59.

("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus,
1492-1493") *
Friday, 12th of October
....They should be good servants and intelligent, for
I observe that they quickly took in what was said to
Sunday, 14th of October
....these people are very simple as regards the use of
arms, as your Highnesses will see from the seven that I
caused to be taken, to bring home and learn our language
'and return; unless your Highnesses should order them all to
be brought to Castile, or to be kept as captives on the same
island; for with fifty men they can all be subjugated and
made to do what is required of them....
Monday, 12th of November
.... Yesterday a canoe came alongside the ship, with
six youths in it. Five came on board, and I ordered them to
be detained. They are now here. I afterwards sent to a
house on the western side of the river, and seized seven
women, old and young, and three children. I did this be-
cause the men would behave better in Spain if they had
women of their own land, than without them. For on many
occasions the men of Guinea have been brought to learn the
language in Portugal, and afterwards, when they returned,
and it was expected that they would be useful in their land,
owing to the good company they had enjoyed and the-gifts
they. had received, they never appeared after arriving.
Others may not act thus. But, having women, they have the
wish to. perform what they are required to do; besides, the
women would teach our people their language, which is the
same in all these islands, so that those who make voyages in
their canoes are understood everywhere. On the other
hand, there are a thousand different languages in Guinea,
and one native does not understand another....
Sunday, 16th of December
... your Highnesses may believe that this island (His-
paniola), and all the others, are as much yours as Castile.
Here there is only wanting a settlement and the order to the
people to do what is required. For I, with the force I have
SCited in Bourne, The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, pp. 111, 114, 145-
146, 182.


under me, which is not large, could march over all these'
islands without opposition. I have seen only three sailors
land, without wishing to do harm, and a multitude of
Indians fled before them. They have no arms, and are with-
out warlike instincts; they all go naked, and are so timid
that a thousand would not stand before three of our men.
So that they are good to be ordered about, to work and
sow, and do all that may be necessary, and to build towns,
and they should be taught to go about clothed and to adopt
our customs.


("Journal of the First Voyage of Christopher Columbus,"

Friday, 12th of October
.... Presently many inhabitants of the island assembled
.... I, that we might form great friendship, for I knew
that they were a people who could be more easily freed and
converted to our holy faith by love than by force....
Tuesday, 16th of October
....They do not know any religion, and I believe they
could easily be converted to Christianity, for they are very
Tuesday, 6th of November
I hold, most serene Princes, that if devout religious per-
sons were here, knowing the language, they would all turn
Christians. I trust in our Lord that your Highnesses will re-
solve upon this with much diligence, to bring so many great
nations within the Church, and to convert them; as you have
destroyed those who would not confess the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Ghost....
Monday, 12th of November
....I saw and knew that these people are without any
religion, not idolaters, but very gentle, not knowing what is
evil, nor the sins of murder and theft, being without arms,
and so timid that a hundred would fly before one Spaniard,
although they joke with them. They, however, believe and
know that there is a God in heaven, and say that we have
come from Heaven. At any prayer that we say, they repeat,
Cited in Bourne, The Northmen, Columbus and Cabot, pp. 110, 119, 142-144,
159-160, 198.


and make the sign of the cross. Thus your Highnesses should
resolve to make them Christians, for I believe that, if the
work was begun, in a little time a multitude of nations would
be converted to our faith, with the acquisition of great lord-
ships, peoples, and riches for Spain....

Tuesday, 27th of November

.After they understand the advantages, I shall
labour to make all these people Christians. They will be-
come so readily, because they have no religion nor idolatry,
and your Highnesses will send orders to build a city and
fortress, and to convert the people....

Monday, 24th of December

....Your Highnesses may believe that there is no bet-
ter nor gentler people in the world. Your Highnesses ought
to rejoice that they will soon become Christians, and that
they will be taught the good customs of your kingdom.

(Speech of Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella,
King and Queen of Spain, at Barcelona, 1493) *

God had reserved for the Spanish monarch, not only all
the treasures of the New World, but a still greater treasure
of inestimable value, in the infinite number of souls destined
to be brought over into the bosom of the Christian Church.

(Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella, King and
Queen of Spain, 1494)**
.... these cannibals, a people very savage and suitable
for the purpose, and well made and of very good intelligence.
We believe that they, having abandoned that inhumanity,
will be better than any other slaves.
* Cited in T. Southey, Chronological History of the West Indies, London, 1827,
Vol. I, pp. 21-22.
**Cited In C. Jane, Select Documents illustrating the Four Voyages of
Columbus, Works of the Hakluyt Society, Second Series, No, LXV, 1929,
Vol. I, p. 92.

(Memorandum of Christopher Columbus, sent to the Spanish
Sovereigns, by Antonio de Torres, January 30, 1495)*
You shall say to their Highnesses that, owing to the
fact that there is here no interpreter, by means of whom it
is possible to give to these people understanding of our holy
Faith, as their Highnesses desire and also those of us who
are here, although every possible effort has been made,
there are now sent with these ships some of the cannibals,
men and women and boys and girls. These their Highnesses
san order to be placed in charge of persons so that they
may be able better to learn the language, employing them
in fornis of service, and ordering that gradually greater care
be given to them than to other slaves, so that some may
learn from others. If they do not speak to each other or see
each other until much later, they will learn more quickly
there than here, and they will oe better interpreters, al-
though here there has been no failure to do what could be
done. It is the truth that, as among these people those of
one island have little intercourse with those of another, in
languages there is some difference between them, according
to whether they are nearer to or farther from each other.
And since of all the islands, those of the cannibals are much
the largest and much more fully populated, it is thought
here that to take some of the men and women and to send
them home to Castile would not be anything but well, for
they may one day be led to abandon that inhuman custom
which they have of eating men, and there in Castile, learn-
ing the language, they will much more readily receive bap-
tism and secure the welfare of their souls. Further, among
those peoples who have not these habits, great credit will be
gained by us when'they see that we take and make captive
those men, from whom they are accustomed to suffer in-
jury, and of whom they go in such fear that they are terri-
fied at their very name. Assure their Highnesses that here,
in this land, our arrival and the sight of the fleet, so under
control and beautiful, has given us great authority for the
present and very great security for our affairs in the future.
For all the people of this great island, and of the other
islands, when they see the good treatment which is meted
out to well-doers and the punishment which is inflicted upon
those who do evil, will quickly come to obedience so that it
will be possible to command them as vassals of their High-
nesses. And as already here, wherever a man of them is to
be found they not only do willingly all that they are wished
to- do, but of their own accord set themselves to everything
which they understand may please us, their Highnesses may
'Cited in J4ne, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 88, 90, 92


also be certain that on that side equally, among Christian
princes, the coming of this fleet has given them great reputa-
tion in many respects, both now and hereafter, which their
highnesses will be better able to understand and know than
I have power to say.

Let him be informed of that which has occurred in the
case of the cannibals who came here.

That is very well, and so it should be done, but let him
endeavour, as it may be possible, that they there be conver-
ted to our holy Faith, and so let him endeavour in those
islands where he may be.

Item: You shall say to their highnesses that the welfare
of the souls of the said cannibals, and also of those here, has
induced the idea that the more that may be sent over, the
better it will be and in this their highnesses may be served
in the following way. That, having seen how necessary cattle
and beasts of burden are here, for the support of the people
who have to be here, and indeed for all these islands, their
highnesses might give licence and a permit for a sufficient
number of caravels to come here every year and to carry the
said cattle and other supplies and things for the colonization
of the country and the development of the land, and this
at reasonable prices at the cost of those who transport
them. Payment for these things could be made to them in
slaves, from among these cannibals, a people very savage
and suitable for the purpose, and well made and of very
good intelligence. We believe that they, having abandoned
that inhumanity, will be better than any other slaves, and
their inhumanity they will immediately lose when they are
out of their own land. And of these they will be able to take
many with the oared fustas which it is proposed to build
here. It is, however, to be presupposed that each one of the
caravels which come from their Highness will have on
board a reliable person, who will prevent the said caravels
from stopping at any other place or island except here,
where the landing and unloading of all the merchandise
must be. And further, on those slaves which they carry,
their highnesses could levy a duty there. And on this matter
you shall bring or send an answer, in order that here the
preparations which are necessary may be made with more
confidence, if it seems well to their Highnesses.

As to this, the matter has been postponed for the pres-
ent, until another voyage has been made there, and let He
aamiral write that which occurs to himy concerning this


(Christopher Columbus to Ferdinand and Isabella, King and
Queen of Spain, 1496)*

We can send from here, in the name of the Holy Trinity,
all the slaves and brazil-wood which could be sold. If the
information I have is correct, we can sell 4,000 slaves, who
will be worth, at least, 20 millions, and 4,000 hundred-weight
of brazil-wood, which will be worth just as much. Expenses
here nay be six millions, so that, at first sight, forty millions
would be fine, if it turned out this way. The information
seems authentic, because in Castile, Portugal, Aragon, Italy,
Sicily, and the islands of Portugal and Aragon and the Can-
ary Islands they need many slaves, and I do not think they
get enough from Guinea. Even though they may get enough,
one Indian is worth three Negroes.... I went recently to
the Cape Verde Islands where the people have a large slave
trade, and they are constantly sending ships to barter for
slaves, and ships are always in the harbour. I saw that for
the worse slaves they asked 8,000 maravedis and the Indians,
as I said, are much better slaves, As to the brazil-wood, they
need plenty in Castile, Aragon, Genoa, Venice, France, Flan-
ders and England. So that, from these two commodities it
seems we can get at least forty millions, if there was not a
lack of ships, which I believe, with the help of Our Lord,
will not continue if they make a large profit on this trip....
Although they die now, they will not always die. The
Negroes and Canary Islanders died at first, and the Indians
are even better than the Negroes....


(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to
Christopher Columbus, May 29, 1493)**
Christopher Columbus.... has related.... that the
people he found in the said islands are people well fitted
to be converted to our Holy Catholic Faith, for they have no
law or. sect. This pleases their Highnesses very much,
because in everything the essential point is respect for the
service of God our Lord, and the praise of our Holy Catholic
* Noted in Las Casas, isteria de las ladias, Libro Primero, Cap. CL, Tomo
*te. o 1-
-Cited ina Navarrete, op. cit., Tomo H, Num. XLV, pp. 88-84.


Faith. Therefore their Highnesses, wishing that our Catholic
Faith be augmented and enlarged, command and charge the
said Admiral, Viceroy, and Governor, that through all pos-
sible means and ways, he shall try and work to attract the
inhabitants of the said island and Terra Firma to conversion
to our Holy Catholic Faith; and to help with the conversion,
their Highnesses are sending over there the learned Father
Buil, together with other religious men, who will make sure
that they be well informed of the things of our Holy Faith,
with the aid of the Indians who have come here, for they
will already know and understand much of our language, and
will try to instruct the others in it as well as possible. In
order the better to ensure this, once the armada has arrived
there, the said Admiral is charged to watch that 'those who
go in it, and those who will go hereafter, treat the said In-
dians very well and lovingly, not making them suffer and
encouraging much familiarity and conversation with them,
doing as many good deeds as they can. And likewise, the
said Admiral is graciously to give them some presents from
their Highnesses' merchandise which he has for exchange,
and to honour them much. And in case any person or per-
sons mistreat the said Indians in any way, the said Admiral,
as Viceroy and Governor of their Highnesses, is to punish
him or them severely in virtue of their Highnesses' powers,
with which he is invested for such purpose....

(Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, to Pedro
de Torres, June 20, 1500)*
You already know how under our command you have in
your power, held under sequestration, some of the Indians
who were brought from the Indies and sold in this City and
its archbishopric and in other parts of Andalucia at the
command of our Admiral of the Indies; we now order that
they shall be liberated, and have commanded the Prefect
Father Francisco de Bobadilla to take them.... to the In-
dies, and do with them what we have ordered him.

(Isabella, Queen of Spain, to Nicolas de Ovando, Governor
of Hispaniola, December 20, 1503) .*
Whereas the King my Lord and I by the orders we coni-
manded to be given to Nicolas de Ovando.... at the time
he went as our Governor to the islands and the mainland,
* Cited in Navarrete, oP. cit., Tomo II Num. CXXXIV, pp. 287-288
**Cited In Navarrete, op. cit., Tomo I, Num. CLI, pu. 34--348.


ordered that the Indian residents and inhabitants of Hispani-
ola should be free and not subject to servitude.... and now I
have been informed that due to the excessive liberty which
the said Indians have, they run away and avoid association
and contact with the Christians; so that, even though the
latter are willing to pay them for their daily work, they are
unwilling to work, and they go about like vagabonds, and
still less can they be reached so that they may be taught
and converted to our Holy Catholic Faith, and for this reason
the Christians who live and dwell in the said island do not
find labour for their farms and for their support, or to help
them to mine or collect the gold which there is in the island,
which is detrimental to both Christians and Indians. As we
wish the said Indians to be converted to our Holy Catholic
Faith, and to be taught its doctrines, and because this can be
better done by association and dealings between the Indians
and the Christians who are in the said island, and by mutual
aid so that the said island will be cultivated and populated
and its production increased and its gold collected, so that
these my Kingdoms and the colonists may profit thereby,...
I command you.... to compel and oblige the said Indians to
deal and associate with the Christians of the said island, to
work in their buildings in collecting and mining gold and
other metals, and to grow food and supplies for the
Christian settlers and inhabitants of the said island, each
one of them being given for a day's work the wage and food
which according to the quality of the soil, the person and
his work would seem appropriate to you, commanding each
Cacique to: be responsible for a certain number of the said
Indians, in order that he may require them to go and work
where they are needed, and so that on the feast-days and on
other appropriate ddys they may assemble in the places in-
dicated to hear and be taught the faith;.... and this they
are to do as the free persons they are, and not as slaves; and
you are to see to it 'that the said Indians are well treated,
and those who are Christians better than the others, and you
are not to agree or allow that anyone shall do them evil or
injury or any other offence....
("Notificacion eRequerimiento que se ha de hacer a los
moradores de las Islas e tierra firme del mar oceano que aun
no estan sugetos al Rey Nuestro Senor" 1509)*
On the part of the King, Don Fernando, and of Dona
Juana, his daughter, Queen of Castile and Leon, subduers
of the barbarous nations, we their servants notify and make
* Cited In Arthur Helps, The Spanish Conquest in America and its Relation
to the History of Slavery and to the Government of Colonies, London, 1855,
Vol, I, pp, 379-382, The original Spanish will be found in Saco, Historia
Tomo I, pp .149-153.

known to you, as best we can, that the Lord our God, Living
and Eternal, created the Heaven and the Earth, afid one man
and one woman, of whom you and we, and all the men of
the world, were and are descendants, and all those who
come after us. But, on account of the multitude which has
sprung from this man and woman in the five thousand years
since the world was created, it was necessary that some
men should go one way and some another, and that they
should be divided into many kingdoms and provinces, for in
one alone they could not be sustained.
Of all these nations God our Lord gave charge to one
man, called St. Peter, that he should be Lord.and Superior
of all the men in the world, that all should obey him, and
that he should be head of the whole human race, wherever
men should live, and under whatever law, sect, or belief they
should be; and he gave him the world for his kingdom and
And he commanded him to place his seat in Rome, as
the spot most fitting to rule the world from; but also he per-
mitted him to have his seat in any other part of the world,
and to judge and govern all Christians, Moors, Jews, Gen-
tiles, and all other sects. This man was called Pope, as if to
say, Admirable Great Father and Governor of men. The men
who lived in that time obeyed that St. Peter, and took him
for Lord, King, and Superior of the universe; so also they
have regarded the others who after him have been elected
to the pontificate, and so has it been continued even till now,
and will continue till the end of the world.
One of these Pontiffs, who succeeded that St. Peter as
Lord of the world, in the dignity and seat which I have be-
fore mentioned, made donation of these isles and Terra-
Firma to the aforesaid King and Queen and to their succes-
sors, our lords, with all that there are in these territories, as
is contained in certain writings which passed upon the sub-
ject as aforesaid, which you can see if you wish.
So their Highnesses are kings and lords of these islands
and land of Tierra-Firma by virtue of this donation; and some
islands, and indeed almost all those to whom this has been
notified, have received and served their Highnesses, as lords
and kings, in the way that subjects ought to do, with good
will, without any resistance, immediately, without delay,
when they were informed of the aforesaid facts. And also
they received and obeyed the priests whom their Highnesses
sent to preach to them and to teach them our Holy Faith;
and all these, of their own free will, without any reward or
condition, have become Christians, and are so, and their
Highnesses have joyfully and benignantly received them, and
also have commanded them to be treated as their subjects
and vassals; and you too are held and obliged to do the
same. Wherefore, as best we can, we ask and require you
that you consider what we have said to you, and that you

take the time that shall be necessary to understand and
deliberate upon it, and that you acknowledge the Church as
the Ruler and Superior of the whole world and the high
priest called Pope, and in his name the King and Queen
Dona Juana our lords, in his place, as superiors and lords
and kings of these islands and this Terra-Firma by virtue of
the said donation, and that you consent and give place that
these religious fathers should declare and preach to you the
If you do so, you will do well, and that which you are
obliged to do to their Highnesses, and we in their name shall
receive you in all love and charity, and shall leave you your
wives, and your children, and your lands, free without servi-
tude, that you may do with them and with yourselves freely
that which you like and think best, and they shall not compel
you to turn Christians, unless you yourselves, when informed
of the truth, should wish to be converted to our Holy Catho-
lic Faith, as almost all the inhabitants of the rest of the
islands have done. And, besides this, their Highnesses award
you many privileges and exemptions and will grant you
many benefits.
But, if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in
it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall
powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war
against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall
subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of
their Highnessess; we shall take you and your wives and
your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such
shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may com-
mand; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you
all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who
do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and
contradict him; and we protest that the deaths and losses
which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of
their Highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come
with us. And that we have said this to you and made this
Requisition, we request the notary here present to give us
his testimony in writing, and we ask the rest who are present
that they should be witnesses of this Requisition.
(Gonzalo Fernandes de Oviedo y Valdes, Historia General
y Natural de las Indias, Islas y Tierra -Firme del Mar
Ocean (1535-1557), Madrid, 1851-1855) *
My Loids, it appears to me that these Indians will not
listen to the theology of this Requisition, and that you
have no. one who can make them understand it; would Your
Honour be pleased to keep it until we have some one of
*Cited in Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America,
Unlverlty of Pennsylvaun Prau,. Philadelphia, 1949, pp. 33-34,

these Indians in a cage, in order that he may learn it at his
leisure and my Lord Bishop may explain it to him....
It appears that they had been suddenly pounced upon
and bound before they had learnt or understood anything
about Pope or Church, or any one of the many things said
in the Requisition; and that after they had been put in
chains someone read the Requisition without knowing their
language and without any interpreters, and without either
the reader or the Indians understanding what was read. And
even after it had been explained to them by someone under-
standing their language, they had no chance to reply, being
immediately carried away prisoners, the Spaniards not fail-
ing to use the stick on those who did not go fast enough.
(Contract between Isabella, Queen of Spain, and Cristobal
Guerra, July 12, 1503)*
..to take Indians, men and women, for slaves -
which he is to do as nearly as possible with their consent
without harming them; and in the same manner he may
take monsters and animals of any kind, and all the serpents
and fishes he may desire; and all this to belong to him, as
has been said, the fourth part being reserved for me.
(Proclamation of Isabella, Queen of Spain, October
30, 1503)**
Be it known that the King, my Lord, and I, in order that
all the persons who live and reside in the islands and main-
land of the Ocean sea should become Christians and be con-
verted to our Holy Catholic Faith, have commanded....that
no person or persons.... dare to arrest or capture any....
Indians.... to bring them to these my kingdoms,.or to any
other places, or to do any harm or evil to their persons or
possessions, under certain penalties prescribed in our de-
cree, and.... since certain persons had brought some In-
dians from the islands to Spain, we commanded them to be
taken and liberated, and they were liberated. Once all this
had been done, in order to convince the Indians and en-
courage them to become Christians so that they would live
as rational men, we ordered some of our captains to go to
the islands and mainland.... and sent with them some reli-
gious men to preach and teach them the doctrines of our
Holy Catholic Faith, and to persuade them to become our
vassals; and while in some of the islands they were welcomed
and well received, in the islands of Saint Bernard and "Isla
Fuerte", and in the ports of Carthagena, and in the islands
*Cited in Simpson, op. cit., p. 5.
*Cited In Navarrete, op. cit., Tomo IT,'Appendix, Num. XVII, pp. 478-480.