THE TI NIDAD) HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 150.
Pedro de Beltranilla to the Pres.iidn l of the Counlcil of the 1I dies.
Source :--British Mtuseliu. Additional Mss. 36320.
Published by the courtesy of the Trualees oj tlhe British 11Mseum.
Translated fJom the Spanish.
81/h Januarv, 1613.
The Licenciado Pedro dc Bcltranilla, a vecino of the Town
of San Joscph de Oruna in the Island of Trinidad, as
Procurator General of the said Town, reports that some
18 years ago at the order of Your Highness, he went to the
conquest and settlement of this Island and to reduce the
Indians to our Holy Catholic Faith.
During all this time he has never seen at this Island a
single Spanish ship with which to trade. On the contrary
there have been many enemy ships, the trade with which
has led to many troubles and much difficulty as is well known
to Your Highness.
The only remedy for this is to make the Spaniards afraid
to trade with the enemy and ofi dealing with them in the
produce of these lands. Any who would thus trade should
not be allowed into this Island which has cost our people
so much blood and which is so much wanted by the enemies
of our faith in view of the great advantages which would
result and of the raids which they could effect along the Main
as also from reducing the Indians to their wicked beliefs.
I humbly beg Your Highness to arrange that a royal
order be sent to the President and Officers of the Casa de la
Contratacion to send to this Island each year, two ships of
small size about two hundred tons, to bring to this Island,
food and other necessary things and to take back in return,
the produce of the Island.
Further tlha these vessels may be sent without carrying
a certificated master pilot. Also that of the two vessels, one
may be convoyed by the fleet to New Spain and the other
by the fleet to Tierra Firme just as is done with vessels going
to the Islands of Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Margarita
and Venezuela and others to the windward.
This would be of great advantage to the Island of Trinidad
and its people.
PEDRO DE BELTRANILLA.