THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIE'IY.
Publication No. 49.
Tiburcio de Axpe y Zuniga to Antonio Oliiz y Otalroa.
26th April, 1686.
Source:-Additional Mss. 36331. British Museum. Published by
courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum. Translated
from the Spanish.
With reference to the first point of the advantage which
may ensue from recently converted Indians not binding
themselves to servitude, 1 consider it very much to the service
of God and the King that the Indians should remain subject
to the MIissionaries for the space of ten years and should
afterwards be under the Royal Crown and that in recognition
of vassalage a small tax be placed upon th(m not exceeding
ten reals yearly;
When they are more advanced they will be able to
contribute a larger amount for at first the V ill not be able to
do so until they become capable of cultivating the land. In
order that the Indians may not give themselves up to idleness
and likewise that they may have sufficient to clothe themselves
and may be able to go to Church more decently, for at present
they go naked and also in order that the Spaniards may have
some assistance in creating their buildings, it will be
advantageous that the said Fathers should distribute some
Indians for monthly service at a wage of 16 reals per month
and their food and then they will have .what they need,
and when they have to pay tribute will be enabled to meet
it by devoting one month to labour.
The injury which results to the Indians and to HisMajesty
through the bondage system is firstly that their libertyis taken
from them and they are oppressed with personal labours for
which they receive nothing ; secondly that tlhe. remain
untaught, the result of which is that although among christiai s
they are still as barbarous as they could be in their solitude
and are worn out with continual labour so that with this
experience the Indians of those regions withdraw and defend
themselves in order that they may not be compelled to settle
and they regard the proposal to convert them as a snare for
they say it is only for the purpose of making them work,
Thus His Majesty is continually defrauded without any
advantage in his primary rights of extension of territories and
W\itl respect to hils \cry ploloposal when His Majcsty \va:.
giving his i, tlleillioil 10 thlie co inversion of the Indians, lie
charged andl ord'lered Ic 1)v I lis Ro\al (:cdula dated in this
Court on thlie 29tlMa, 1(682 noti to permit personal service
and to attend with care and diligence to te conversion and
settlement of the Indians which 1 did.
This is my opinion upon this point "