THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 104.
Don Martin de Saavedra y Guzman to the King.
i9th/ Jul, 1641. Santa Fe.
Source : Additional MSS. 36326. British Museum. Published
by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Aliseulm.
Translated from the Spanish.
SIRE- In a letter from Your Majesty received upon this
occasion you instruct me to chastise the excesses of those who
were sent to the assistance of Guayana and whom you under-
stand to have been rather an hindrance than an advantage.
The Governor of that Province has made these allegations
to conceal his own illconduct, documents concerning which
I have forwarded to you.
The detachment arrived in Santo Thome as it left here
without the loss of a soldier or of any of the provisions, clothes,
rich ornaments, silver articles, &c., the Governor took all this
or nearly all and left the men, separating them into divisions
and using them in taking indians Nwhom he sent to be sold
in Margarita saying that lie would soon return to tlie soldiers
and bring them boats in .,lhich to embark.
The Governor went to the Island of Trinidad to sell
everything that was sent from here, to the English and French.
Many of the soldiers, both those sent from here and those
from Caracas, seeing themselves without a commander and
with no one to provide them with sustenance or to uphold
discipline, deserted with their arms. When the Governor
returned four months later, he sold to the few soldiers remaining
wine, brandy and foreign merchandise, thus becoming
possessed of the little which remained to them. He then
dismissed them and sent them back, greatly discontented
Thus, Sire when the enemy returned they found him so
ill prepared that they sacked and burnt the place, committing
greater cruelties than at first and the Indians were the most
valiant of all as they killed a great number of enemies and
brought me their swords of which Your Majesty has been
informed and a report sent to you drawn up by myself and
To cover up these grave excesses notorious as far as Peru,
this Governor says that these soldiers were bad and undisciplined
as if any others were to be found here.
There can be no doubt that what he wanted was money
as he told me afterwards that lie did not want any men
because he could raise them there but that what he required
was o,ooo000-12,000 pesos which I should send him, as is
proved by the letters in my possession in which his design
is seen. He could judge but little whether the men were
good or bad as he left them at the place of arrival (many
of them he never saw) and went to the Island of Trinidad.
I found no fault with those who returned here as all
brought licences and those who were wounded, fully justified,
went to other provinces.
Now that Your Majesty has reports of all that was sent
and in such quantities, it is only just that Your Majesty should
demand the same from this Governor as all fell into his power
there being no Royal Officials there but only his own officers.
This Audiencia with my approval has stopped the payment
of the salary to this Governor from Cartagena and sent orders
to Santo Domingo to the same effect pending instructions
from Your Majesty.