THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 118.
Leller from the Cabildo of Trinidad to the Governor of Margarita.
Source :-Additional Mss. 36324. British Museum.
Published by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
Translated from the Spanish.
SAN JOSEF DE ORUNA,
I 7th November, 1637.
TO THE GOVERNOR,
DON JUAN DE EULATE.
With more pleasure than is now felt in this town, we
thought to write and make the same request as now, but
time has not permitted. Now we are compelled to do it
and to inform you of our troubles as one who can so well
assist us merely by giving us the hand of encouragement
bor it is certain that you will then be doing a great service
to His Majesty and to us and you will save our lives which
we are in such danger of losing.
The fact is that on Wednesday morning, the i4th October,
the Dutch allied with Corsairs of the Carib and other tribes
attacked this town and although we had sentinels, the attack
was so sudden and so vigorous and they spread over the town
so quickly that the women hardly had time to leave their
houses and escape into the forest. The guard and the other
inhabitants, who could render assistance, did what they
could but the enemy had made such careful plans and brought
such good guides that they succeeded in their attempt and
burned the town and the Church so that nothing escaped.
Now our condition is such that we have no hope but in
God and yourself and we hope for help from you as one
who knows well how to give it and always does give it. We
deserve your kindness no less now for we are in such need
and we beg Your Excellency to help us in the name of His
It is by a miracle that the Holy Sacrament escaped owing
to the spirit and courage shown by the Cura who came up
during the tumult and going through the fighting, entered
the Church and rescued it from the fire.
You can now realise that this country is in great danger
of being abandoned and what the danger will be to the whole
coast if we are cut down and the enemy settle on this Island.
We have certain news that they mean to do so from the
guide whom we captured when they left the town. He is a
Spanish speaking Indian in the service of Captain Cristobal
de Vera whom the enemy took from Guayana when they
seized the place and who now came with them to fight.
We beg of you to send us help in arms and ammunition
for we have none left and also some men until they send
some from San Domingo. We assure you that any
help you send will not be sent on to Guayana but kept
here and will be sent back at their pleasure when they wish
and at their convenience. We assure you that if the enemy
do not come in greater force to settle here as we are informed,
at least those who have done us this injury intend shortly,
according to what they say, to seize the Governor either
here or in Guayana in revenge for the affair of Tobago.
The Lieutenant Miguel de Morillas, Provost in Ordinary
of this town goes with authority from this Cabildo to beg
you to give us help which he is to send ; failing this he is
to go on to San Iomingo. His character is such that we
have no doubt you will show him the honour and courtesy
which we expect from a hand so generous and from one
who knows so well how to act for the service of His Majesty
whose life may Our Lord preserve.
ANDRES A.RCIA PARDO. I\IIGUEL DE GORILLASS.
AGUSTIN SANTIAGO JACINTO DE MENDOCA.
GASPAR SANCHEZ. FRANCISCO Ruis MONJvE.
AGUSTIN DtE CANOS. XI GIEL DEr MORENO.
The Town of San Josef de Oruna,
Island of Trinidad,
17th November, 1637.
By order of the Cabildo,
JUAN DE PENALUER.