THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 54.
The Council of the Indies to the King.
16th March, 1733.
Source:-Additional Mss. 36333. British Museum. Published
by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum. Translated
from the Spanish.
By letter of 6th April, 1732, Bartholome de Aldunate,
Governor of Trinidad reports that the Cura of the Indians
Don Pedro Joseph de Acuna, had to retire from this work
in which he was acting, as the duties of his own parish
It is very important that these pueblos of Indians as
well as the four Naparima pueblos should be maintained.
The Bishop of Porto Rico is unable to find and send anyone
able to carry out these duties as none know the Indian language.
The Governor asked for the early dispatch of 12 Capuchins
of Cataluna, 6 for Guayana and 6 for Trinidad, incorporating
with them the two Capuchins who charitably have lived
a long time because of the lack of clerigos in the two Naparima
missions of Santa Ana and Le Concepcion.
The Governor had visited the pueblo of San Agustin
de Arauca where the Indians asked for a Capuchin Father.
Many of the Indians were leaving for the Forests.
The Bishop of Porto Rico by his letter of 13th April, 1732,
acknowledges the order of His Majesty, that these missions
in Trinidad shall be doctrinal under secular clergy. He
reports that there are no secular clergy in Margarita, Cumana
or elsewhere with knowledge of the Indian language and
the orders of His Majesty cannot be carried out.
The Bishop points out that all the mission work in
Cumana is carried on by Capuchins and Observantins.
He considers that unless the missions in Trinidad are handed
over to the Capuchins, they will fail and the Indians will
return to their ignorance.
Tie Bishop reports that there are in Trinidad, two
Spanish pueblos, San Joseph de Oruna and Puerto de Espana;
each has a sacerdote secular for Cura Colado. The other
pueblos are of Indians; two Capuchins look after four
in the Naparimas and the others have acting clerigos who
do not know the language and nothing is done.
The Bishop recommends sending 12 Capuchins to
There is one Spanish pueblo in Guayana, the others
are Indian, four in all.
The Council recommends sending 12 Capuchins.