<%BANNER%>

The Hieronymites in Hispaniola, 1493-1519

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042173/00001

Material Information

Title: The Hieronymites in Hispaniola, 1493-1519
Physical Description: 1 online resource (100 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Macdonald, Lauren
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: atlantic, caribbean, colonial, ethnohistory, hieronymites, hispaniola, indians, indies, jeronymites, lascasas, pane, sixteenth, spanish, taino
History -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: History thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The course of events in the early Spanish Caribbean was both described and partly directed by four friars from the Order of Saint Jerome, a Catholic regular order that arose in late medieval Spain. Ramo acuten Pane acute arrived on the island of Hispaniola in 1493 and spent more than three years living within several indigenous communities on Hispaniola. As the first 'missionary ethnographer' in colonial Spanish America, Pane acute's account of the Indians of Hispaniola suggests complex interactions between religion, power, and discourse. More than twenty years later, three Hieronymite friars were named as royal governors of Spanish Hispaniola, which they described as both beautiful and nearly empty. Bearing royal instructions to oversee 'the reformation and good regulation of the islands,' the three men came at a critical point in the history of the Spanish Caribbean. They arrived at the end of the first phase of the colonial enterprise in Spanish America, and thus they oversaw a transitional historical moment for the Caribbean that involved the decline of the indigenous Taino, the promotion of sugar cultivation and African slavery in a Caribbean context, and the evolving relationship between religious and secular power in the early modern Atlantic World.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Lauren Macdonald.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Altman, Ida Louise.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0042173:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042173/00001

Material Information

Title: The Hieronymites in Hispaniola, 1493-1519
Physical Description: 1 online resource (100 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Macdonald, Lauren
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: atlantic, caribbean, colonial, ethnohistory, hieronymites, hispaniola, indians, indies, jeronymites, lascasas, pane, sixteenth, spanish, taino
History -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: History thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The course of events in the early Spanish Caribbean was both described and partly directed by four friars from the Order of Saint Jerome, a Catholic regular order that arose in late medieval Spain. Ramo acuten Pane acute arrived on the island of Hispaniola in 1493 and spent more than three years living within several indigenous communities on Hispaniola. As the first 'missionary ethnographer' in colonial Spanish America, Pane acute's account of the Indians of Hispaniola suggests complex interactions between religion, power, and discourse. More than twenty years later, three Hieronymite friars were named as royal governors of Spanish Hispaniola, which they described as both beautiful and nearly empty. Bearing royal instructions to oversee 'the reformation and good regulation of the islands,' the three men came at a critical point in the history of the Spanish Caribbean. They arrived at the end of the first phase of the colonial enterprise in Spanish America, and thus they oversaw a transitional historical moment for the Caribbean that involved the decline of the indigenous Taino, the promotion of sugar cultivation and African slavery in a Caribbean context, and the evolving relationship between religious and secular power in the early modern Atlantic World.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Lauren Macdonald.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Altman, Ida Louise.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0042173:00001


This item has the following downloads:


Full Text





THE HIERONYMITES IN HISPANIOLA, 1493-1519


By

LAUREN ELAINE MACDONALD





















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010

































2010 Lauren Elaine MacDonald









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank the members of my committee-Ida Altman, David Geggus,

and Jon Sensbach-for their many thoughtful criticisms and suggestions. They have

displayed an exemplary degree of patience and good humor during the course of this

project, and I deeply appreciate their many efforts on my behalf. I would also like to

thank Juliana Barr, Bruce Chappell, Kathleen Deagan, and Jeffrey Needell for their

guidance, sartorial recommendations, and numerous kindnesses. Most of all, I would

like to acknowledge the help and fellowship offered by the members of the 2009-2010

Latin American Reading Group-Roberto Chauca Tapia, Patrick Cosby, Angela Diaz,

Andrea Ferreira, William Fischer, Sarah Kernan, Diana Reigelsperger, Robert Taber,

Christopher Woolley, and Erin Zavitz-and our honored auxiliary members, Joseph

Beatty and Timothy Fritz.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ............. ................. .............................. 3


A B S T R A C T ............. ......... .. ............. .. .................................................... 5

CHAPTER

1 RELIGION AND POWER IN THE EARLY MODERN IBERIAN ATLANTIC ............6

Religion and Power in Late M edieval Europe.................................. .. .................... 7
T he Pre-C olum bian C aribbean ................................................................................. 12
Spanish Hispaniola ................. ... .... .................. 14
Caribbean Demographic Collapse ..... .......................... ...................... 17
Location of the Caribbean in Colonial Spanish America.................................... 18

2 RAMON PANE AND SPANISH HISPANIOLA: 1493-1498...................................21

The Life of Ram6n Pane..... .............................................. .................... 22
Translations and Transmutations.. .............................................. 24
A uthorship and A authority .......... .... ............................. ............. ..... 28
Stories Spoken and W written .......... ............................ ........ ..... ... ........ 32
G uarionex and G uaticaba .......... ...... ....................... ......... ... .... .. ..... .... 41

3 LAS CASAS AND THE HIERONYMITES: 1499-1516............................................50

The Changing Face of Hispaniola, 1498-1511 ...................................... ................ 51
Franciscans and Dom inicans ......... ... .. .. ......... ................... 55
Burgos and Las Casas, 1511-1516 ......... .... ........ ................. 58
A n Invitation to the H ieronym ites .............................. ........................ ................ 62

4 THE HIERONYMITE GOVERNORS OF HISPANIOLA: 1516-1519 .......................69

T he Interrogatorio ......................... ... ........... .... ............................... 70
The Taino, as Painted by the Encomenderos .................................... ............ ..74
Religion and Regulation ......... .. .................... ........ .... .... ................. 79
Sugar, Slavery, and Smallpox .............. .. ............ ... ..................... 83

5 CONCLUSIONS................................ ......... 89


LIST OF REFERENCES ........ .. .... .......................... .... ...... ................ 93


BIO G RA PH ICA L SKETC H ..................................................... .............................. 100










Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

THE HIERONYMITES IN HISPANIOLA, 1493-1519

By

Lauren Elaine MacDonald

August 2010

Chair: Ida Altman
Major: History

The course of events in the early Spanish Caribbean was both described and

partly directed by four friars from the Order of Saint Jerome, a Catholic regular order

that arose in late medieval Spain. Ram6n Pane arrived on the island of Hispaniola in

1493 and spent more than three years living within several indigenous communities on

Hispaniola. As the first "missionary ethnographer" in colonial Spanish America, Pane's

account of the Indians of Hispaniola suggests complex interactions between religion,

power, and discourse. More than twenty years later, three Hieronymite friars were

named as royal governors of Spanish Hispaniola, which they described as both

beautiful and nearly empty. Bearing royal instructions to oversee "the reformation and

good regulation of the islands," the three men came at a critical point in the history of

the Spanish Caribbean. They arrived at the end of the first phase of the colonial

enterprise in Spanish America, and thus they oversaw a transitional historical moment

for the Caribbean that involved the decline of the indigenous Taino, the promotion of

sugar cultivation and African slavery in a Caribbean context, and the evolving

relationship between religious and secular power in the early modern Atlantic World.









CHAPTER 1
RELIGION AND POWER IN THE EARLY MODERN IBERIAN ATLANTIC

Arriving in 1516, the new governors of Spanish Hispaniola found an island that

they described as both beautiful and nearly empty. The land was "good and fruitful,"

they wrote to Spain in January 1517, but "there are very few Spanish vecinos at

present, and of the Indians, there are very few." Short of divine intervention or royal

remedies, the friars wrote, the island would become "so depopulated" that it would be

no longer inhabited at all.1 Happily for Hispaniola-the governors implied-both divine

and royal objectives had arrived in the corporal forms of the governors themselves:

three Hieronymite monks sent to Hispaniola to investigate the Spanish treatment of the

indigenous population and to halt the precipitous decline of the island's economy and

population. Bearing royal instructions to oversee "the reformation and good regulation of

the islands," the three men came at a critical point in the history of the Spanish

Caribbean.2 They arrived at the end of the first phase of the colonial enterprise in

Spanish America, and thus they oversaw a transitional historical moment for the

Caribbean that involved the decline of the indigenous Taino, the promotion of sugar

cultivation and African slavery in a Caribbean context, and the evolving relationship

between religious and secular power in the early modern Atlantic World.

If the three governors marked one epochal moment for the Caribbean, then

another man-also a Hieronymite, although unknown to the three governors- witnessed

another one. Ram6n Pane arrived in 1493 and spent more than three years living within

several indigenous communities on Hispaniola. Pane learned the local language and


1 "muy buena y fructifera...ay al present muy pocos vecinos espanoles y de los indios ay muy
pocos...tan desplobada." Archivo General de Indias Patronato 174 ramo 4.









the local folklore as he struggled to proselytize his neighbors. As the first "missionary

ethnographer" in colonial Spanish America,3 Pane's disjointed account of the Indians of

Hispaniola suggests complex interactions between religion, power, and discourse.

Religion and Power in Late Medieval Europe

The narrative of Western Christendom in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is

typically one of decline. Taking their cue from Johan Huizinga, many historians have

sought the explanatory mechanisms of the Protestant Reformation in a late medieval

Church that was weakened from within by scandals and corruption and threatened from

without by humanism and heterodoxy.4 Christianity, which had once cut across national

boundaries and inspired international crusades, was fading as a unifying identity, and

regional identities were on the rise.5 In contrast, some historians have argued that the

ecclesiastical developments of the late medieval era were driven not by spiritual inertia

but by an increasing religious authority accorded to "local forces," producing what John

Van Engen has called a "carnival of religious options... overlapping, local, personally

appropriated."6 Political contests between Rome and European rulers led to a

decentralization of religious institutional authority, the development of "territorial"





2 Archivo General de Indias Patronato 172 ramo 7.
3 Rolena Adorno, The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 2007), 200.
4 Johan Huizinga, The Autumn of the Middle Ages (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).
5 Margaret Aston, The Fifteenth Century: The Prospect of Europe (London: Harcourt, Brace, and World,
Inc., 1968), 9; J. R. Hale, Renaissance Europe, 1480-1520, 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers
Ltd., 2000), 71.
6 John Van Engen, "Multiple Options: The World of the Fifteenth-Century Church," Church History 77, no.
2 (June 2008): 263, 284.









churches, and a new convergence of religious consciousness and regional identification

throughout Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.7

Among the secular princes negotiating with the Pope for the political and fiscal

benefits of ecclesiastical control, the most singularly effective were Isabel and

Ferdinand, who yoked together the Iberian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon through

their 1469 marriage.8 During their reign, Isabel and Ferdinand gained increasing control

of ecclesiastical appointments and institutions. They resurrected the medieval

Inquisition as a political organ under their direct control in 1478. The Spanish Crown

gained the right to name candidates to bishoprics in Granada in 1486. Pope Alexander

Vl's 1493 bull, Inter caetera, formally designated Isabel and Ferdinand as the "Catholic

Kings" and granted them complete control over evangelization efforts in the Americas.

In 1508, after years of lobbying from Ferdinand, Pope Julius II granted the Spanish

Crown the right of all ecclesiastical appointments in the Americas.

As Isabel and Ferdinand incorporated or invented ecclesiastical institutions within

their sphere of control, they supervised dramatic changes to the popular religious

landscape of the Iberian peninsula. Since 711 and the invasion by Muslim Moors into

the peninsula, medieval Spain had cycled through various permutations of religious

conflict and coexistence; a centuries-long Reconquista existed alongside the hybridizing

consequences of tolerance and conviviencia.9 In 1482, Isabel and Ferdinand revived



7 Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform, 1250-1550: An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval
and Reformation Europe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), 204-205; Francis Oakley, The
Westem Church in the Later Middle Ages (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), 73.
8 Hale, Renaissance Europe, 165-168; Oakley, The Western Church, 247-248; Ozment, The Age of
Reform, 184; J. H. Elliott, Imperial Spain 1469-1716 (London: Penguin Books, 1990), 99-110.
9 Stuart B. Schwartz, All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 43-44; Thomas F. Glick and Oriol Pi-Sunyer, "Acculturation as









the nearly moribund Reconquista, and their military defeat of Muslim Granada in 1492

was almost immediately followed by a royal edict expelling all practicing Jews from

Spain.10 The Spanish Inquisition was initially intended to identify insincere converts to

Christianity among the former Jews (conversos) and Muslims (moriscos) of the country.

Inquisitorial functions were undertaken slowly in the Americas after 1517, and a formal

tribunal was created in 1569 under Philip II.11 As their religious conquests and

legislation were often undertaken to address immediate political dilemmas, it is unclear

if the Catholic Kings perceived or intended the long-term consequences of their acts:

the virulent persecution of religious minorities, secret denunciations and autos de f6 as

tools of social control, the social stability conveniently conferred by religious

homogeneity.12 Isabel and Ferdinand, like many of their countrymen, were profoundly

devout Christians, and they did not make a distinction between political and religious

spheres.

As Isabel and Ferdinand pulled ecclesiastical institutions under their wing, the

practice of Christianity among the common laity and secular clergy was often

invigorated by local tradition and beliefs. Sara T. Nalle has argued that the "uncontrolled

religious fervor" among the Spanish people in the beginning of the sixteenth century

was often shaped by local popular understandings in the absence of well-educated

priests, and William Christian has argued that local Christian religiosity in sixteenth-



an Explanatory Concept in Spanish History," Comparative Studies in Society and History 11, no. 2 (April
1969): 136-154.
10 Elliott, Imperial Spain, 46-52, 109.

11 Schwartz, All Can Be Saved, 126.
12 Peggy K. Liss, Isabel the Queen: Life and Times (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 177.









century Spain was expressed in widely varying forms.13 As popular Christianity

maintained a vigorous life in the late medieval and early modern era, so too did the

monastic regular orders. Distinguished from the secular clergy by their insular

community structure, their rules of daily life, and their distance from worldly society, the

various regular orders were undergoing one of their cyclical periods of reform in the late

medieval era.14 The Order of Saint Jerome developed in the fourteenth century during a

period in which new religious orders were increasingly tied to a local regional identity, as

opposed to the continental scope of earlier orders, such as the Franciscans and the

Dominicans.15

The Order of Saint Jerome originated among a group of Italian and Spanish

hermits who had lived as disciples of an Italian hermit named Thomas Succio, who

wrote prophetic verse and had a vision of a new monastic order being founded in

Spain.16 At some point before 1350, some of his disciples departed Italy and settled

near Toledo, where they came into contact with influential figures among the Spanish

clergy. In 1374, Pope Gregory XI formally permitted the foundation of the first

Hieronymite monastery, La Plana de Javea in Valencia, where the former hermits were

to live as monks under the rule of St. Augustine. Thirty-two monasteries were built

between 1373 and 1419, and in 1386 the Hieronymites received the charge of the



13Sara T. Nalle, God in La Mancha: Religious Reform and the People of Cuenca, 1500-1650 (Baltimore:
The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 30; William A. Christian, Jr., Local Religion in Sixteenth-
Century Spain (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), 20.
14 Oakley, The Western Church, 86-87.

15Oakley, The Western Church, 232-233.
16 J. R. L. Highfield, "The Jeronimites in Spain, their Patrons and Success, 1373-1516," Journal of
Ecclesiastical History 34, no. 4 (1983): 516.









Guadalupe shrine in northern Extremadura, which would become the most popular

shrine in early modern Spain.17

From its founding, the Order of Saint Jerome enjoyed continuous patronage from

the royal houses of Castile, Aragon, and Portugal. Isabel maintained this tradition of

royal favor, which was reinforced by her frequent pilgrimages to Guadelupe and by

Hernando de Talavera, the Hieronymite friar who served as her confessor from 1474 to

1492.18 According to historian Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada, the order "combined the

practice of their hermetic ideals with opulent cult and choral forms."19 The paradox of

the Hieronymites lies in reconciling their vague rhetoric of humility and eremitism with

the concrete details of their order, which did not embrace apostolic poverty and which

was notable for its prosperity. Historian Gretchen Starr-LeBeau offers perhaps the

sharpest and most concise assessment of the order: "The Order of Saint Jerome in

Spain emphasized humility, isolation from urban centers and public life, contemplation

without intellectualism or extensive study, and economic self-sufficiency."20 However,

the Hieronymites' early ideal of isolation was belied by the order's increasing tendency

during the course of the fifteenth century to establish new monastic houses close to






17 Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada, "Spain, circa 1492: Social Values and Structures," in Implicit
Understandings: Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters Between Europeans and Other
Poeples in the Early Modern Era, ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994),
130; William A. Christian, Jr., Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1981), 88.
18 Highfield, "The Jeronimites in Spain," 523-526.
19 Ladero Quesada, "Spain, circa 1492,"130.

20 Gretchen D. Starr-LeBeau, In the Shadow of the Virgin: Inquisitors, Friars, and Conversos in
Guadelupe, Spain (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2003), 19.









urban centers, which facilitated exchanges between the friars and their powerful patrons

in the secular world.21

The Pre-Columbian Caribbean

As Spain united under the Christian banner of Isabel and Ferdinand, a Genoese

captain steeped in Mediterranean traditions, Portuguese practices, and Spanish funding

stumbled across America.22 When Christopher Columbus and his men arrived in 1492,

they were discovered by the Caribbean Indians, who arrived at their encounter with the

European Other with a complicated history of their own. Their ancestors originated in

the South American mainland, spread across the Caribbean in successive waves, and

settled the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas at least a thousand years before the

arrival of Columbus.23 In Hispaniola, the Indians built wooden houses and allied with

neighboring villages to form chiefdoms governed by hereditary caciques. They

cultivated bitter yuca roots in fields of knee-high earth-mounds, which were called

conucos. Yuca (also called cassava or manioc in South America) was poisonous as a

raw root, but it could be safely processed in simple, if time-consuming, systems of

soaking and baking that produced cassava bread, one of the staples of the Caribbean

diet.24 The Indians of Hispaniola used gold for decorating themselves and impressed


21 Highfield, "The Jeronimites in Spain," 528.
22 Elliott, Imperial Spain, 61-62; Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Before Columbus: Exploration and
Colonization from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229-1492 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press); Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus (Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, 1942).
23 Lee A. Newsom and Elizabeth S. Wing, On Land And Sea: Native American Uses of Biological
Resources in the West Indies (Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2004), 29-30, 117-119;
Irving Rouse, The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1992), 71; William F. Keegan, The People Who Discovered Columbus (Gainesville:
University Press of Florida, 1992).
24 Sauer, The Early Spanish Main, 54.









the Spanish through their ability at woodworking. Their religious system included an

afterlife, multiple deities regulating the natural world, priest-shamans known as

behiques, and crafted objects of veneration known as zemi. Their religious and social

ceremonies often featured the consumption of a hallucinogenic snuff known as cohoba

and the performance of epic song-dances called areytos. They played a ceremonial

ball-game on plazas called bateys.

It is not clear how the people who inhabited fifteenth-century Hispaniola

perceived themselves, though the early Spanish sources imply that at least some of the

communities of central Hispaniola perceived ethnic distinctions between themselves

and the coastal communities.25 Some of the early Spanish sources identified the

inhabitants of the Greater Antilles as "Taino," an Indian word from northern Hispaniola

that apparently referred to an elite social class, in contrast to the servile naboria caste.

Some scholars prefer "Island Arawak" as an ethnic designation, which directly links the

indigenous people of the Caribbean to their presumed Arawak cousins in northern

South America. Both terms implicitly distinguish the inhabitants of the Greater Antilles

from the other inhabitants of the Caribbean: the Caribs of the Lesser Antilles, who

systematically abducted women from the Greater Antilles communities and practiced

cannibalism, according to the Spanish.26 However, the Spanish tendency to categorize

the Caribbean's inhabitants in the terms of immediate utility-the malleable Taino were to

be easily colonized, while the savage Carib were to be enslaved for their own good-

means that the traditionally binary categories of pre-Columbian Caribbean ethnicities



25 Peter Hulme, Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean, 1492-1797 (London: Methuen
and Co. Ltd., 1986), 58.









may have reflected Spanish colonial needs more than the observed cultural or ethnic

divisions among the Caribbean peoples. Furthermore, both "Taino" and "Island Arawak"

presume a cultural uniformity throughout the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas. The

historical understanding of the fifteenth-century Taino culture is based largely on the

institutions of Hispaniola, due to the extensive documentation of the early Spanish

Hispaniola in comparison to the rest of the Caribbean, but even Hispaniola did not

possess a homogeneous culture. In particular, the early Spanish sources suggest that

Hispaniola possessed at least three distinct linguistic regions, although it is unclear if

these regions possessed different languages or different dialects of the same language.

Most of the island population shared a common language, but the inhabitants of Lower

Macorix and Upper Macorix in the northeast corner of Hispaniola each possessed a

distinct regional language.27 It is unclear whether these distinct linguistic groups also

possessed a distinct cultural or regional identity.

This paper is primarily concerned with the island of Hispaniola and so the label

"Taino" will be used for the inhabitants of central Hispaniola, who formed the basis for

early Spanish understandings of what constituted "Taino" culture. The Macorix-speaking

people of northwestern Hispaniola will be treated as a distinct group.

Spanish Hispaniola

In a 1493 letter to Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand, Columbus rhapsodized that

the Taino were "the best people under the sun," that they had no weapons, and that

they happily gave their abundant gold in exchange for whatever the sailors offered,


26 Carl O. Sauer, The Early Spanish Main (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 31; Rouse, The
Tainos, 5; Hulme, Colonial Encounters, 45-87.
27 Wilson, Hispaniola, 103-104.









which included "a piece of glass or broken crockery or...the ends of leather latchets."28

This rosy picture was complicated when Columbus returned to Hispaniola in 1493 and

discovered that the thirty-nine Europeans he had left behind at the settlement of La

Navidad had been massacred by the Taino. Two corpses found by the Spanish had

been bound with vines, and their eyes had been removed.29 According to Columbus'

Taino allies, the repeated abuses and rapes perpetrated by the Europeans had created

a coalition of Taino from the island interior that came to massacre the Spaniards.30

Undaunted, Columbus founded another town, La Isabela, and further Spanish

settlements followed near sources of gold, while increasing numbers of Tainos were

subjugated to support the Spanish colony. Columbus demanded tributes of gold from

Taino caciques, but the Spanish settlers objected to Columbus' authority and their

exclusion from the profits of Hispaniola. Columbus' eventual concession involved

parcelling out the rights to the labor of individual Taino communities in a series of

repartimientos.31 The Spanish sought not only to utilize Taino bodies but also to lay

claim to their souls by teaching them the Christian religion and eradicating their non-

Christian traditional practices.

In 1495, and again in 1497, large coalitions of Taino chiefdoms revolted

unsuccessfully against the Spanish, but concerted Taino action was increasingly difficult

to achieve after 1502 and the arrival of Governor Nicolas de Ovando, who began



28 Margarita Zamora, "Christopher Columbus's 'Letter to the Sovereigns': Announcing the Discovery,"
New World Encounters, ed. Stephen Greenblatt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 5.
29 Troy S. Floyd, The Columbus Dynasty in the Caribbean, 1492-1526 (Albuquerque: University of New
Mexico Press, 1973), 21.
30 Wilson, Hispaniola, 75.









systematically executing rebellious Taino leaders.32 Many Tainos managed to flee to

other islands or to the interior of Hispaniola, where at least one Taino cacique

maintained an independent enclave in the 1520s.33 Other Tainos remained within the

institutional control of the Spanish, under whose auspices the Taino worked and died.

The first twenty years of Spanish colonization on Hispaniola would be marked by

internal factionalism among the European settlers, various forms of resistance from the

Taino Indians to Spanish control, and steady attempts by the Spanish rulers to make

their American possessions into a profitable enterprise. Alongside the violence of the

young Spanish colony emerged a catastrophic demographic collapse of the indigenous

population, which threatened both the colony's economy and its ostensible mission of

Christianization. Historians disagree over the precise size of Hispaniola's pre-Contact

population, with estimates ranging from 60,000 to 14 million, but by 1517, the population

was estimated in the low tens of thousands of Taino people.34 Spanish encomenderos

complained repeatedly about the lack of Indian labor in letters home to Spain, and the

labor shortage motivated the slaving expeditions of Juan Ponce de Leon and others

Spaniards throughout the Caribbean.35




31 James Lockhart and Stuart B. Schwartz, Early Latin America: A History of Colonial Spanish America
and Brazil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 69.
32 Rouse, 154; Sauer, The Early Spanish Main, 149.

33 Ida Altman, "The Revolt of Enriquillo and the Historiography of Early Spanish America," The Americas
63, no. 4 (2007): 587-614.
34 Sherburne F. Cook and Woodrow Borah, Essays in Population History: Mexico and the Caribbean, vol.
1 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971), 408; David Henige, "On the Contact Population of
Hispaniola: History as Higher Mathematics," The Hispanic American Historical Review 58, no. 2 (1978):
217-237.
35 Keegan, The People Who Discovered Columbus, 223.









Caribbean Demographic Collapse

Accounting for that rapidly dwindling number of Taino has occasioned energetic

disputes among sixteenth-century commentators and subsequent historians. Bartolome

de las Casas made the argument for Spanish brutality and blood-thirst, which was an

explanation eagerly adopted by Spain's imperial enemies in the sixteenth and

seventeenth centuries.36 Carl O. Sauer argued instead that the disruption of indigenous

agriculture and foodways accelerated Taino decline, while Noble David Cook has

suggested that Old World diseases, such as influenza and, eventually, smallpox, had a

devastating effect on Hispaniola's population.37 Massimo Livi-Bacci has suggested that-

in addition to a confluence of violence, agricultural disruption, and sickness-the Taino

birth rate was adversely affected by the dislocation of the community, a decline further

exacerbated by Spanish men taking Taino women into their households.38 Kathleen

Deagan's work in the archaeological excavations of the early Spanish settlements,

however, suggests that Taino behaviors and culture were practiced within the homes of

Spanish settlers, which suggests that the Taino continued to survive in ways that may

have seemed insignificant or invisible to the Spanish observers. 39 However the

diminishment of the Taino people was accomplished-whether by violent, biological, or

cultural means-it greatly alarmed their Spanish masters on Hispaniola.


36 Benjamin Keen, "The Black Legend Revisited: Assumptions and Realities," The Hispanic American
Historical Review 49, no. 4 (Nov., 1969): 715-718; Charles Gibson, The Black Legend: Anti-Spanish
Attitudes in the Old World and the New (New York: Knopf, 1971).
37 Sauer, The Early Spanish Main, 203, 293; Noble David Cook, Born to Die: Disease and New World
Conquest, 1492-1650 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 15-59.
38 Massimo Livi-Bacci, "Return to Hispaniola: Reassessing a Demographic Catastrophe," Hispanic
American Historical Review 83, no. 1 (2003): 45-46.
39 Kathleen Deagan, "Reconsidering Taino Social Dynamics after Spanish Conquest: Gender and Class
in Culture Contact Studies" American Antiquity 69, no. 4 (2004).









The demographic decline of the indigenous population occurred during a period

of political upheaval in both Spain and the Spanish Caribbean. In Spain, the death of

first Isabel and then Ferdinand led to the regency of the Franciscan cardinal Francisco

Jimenez de Cisneros for the incapable Juana and the immature Charles. To end the

controversial government of Don Diego Columbus in the Caribbean, and to investigate

the allegations of Indian abuse levelled against the Spanish settlers, Cisneros appointed

three friars from the Order of Saint Jerome in 1516 to investigate the situation in the

Caribbean. In 1519, they were recalled by Charles, who now had achieved his majority

and had his own distinct imperial vision of his colonial possessions. That same year,

Hernando Cortes discovered Mexico.

Location of the Caribbean in Colonial Spanish America

The early Spanish Caribbean suffers the role of a minor appendage in the

traditional histories of colonial America. In a typical textbook, Christopher Columbus'

discovery of America is immediately followed by Cortes; the intervening thirty years are

elided. The historiography of the larger Caribbean subjects the Spanish Caribbean to a

different but no less problematic fate. In comparison to later Caribbean history, the

sixteenth-century Spanish Caribbean is an anomaly within the region's historical themes

of sugar plantations and African slavery. Little historical attention is paid to the early

Spanish Caribbean's role in shaping the subsequent conquests of Mexico and Peru or

the experiences it bears in common with later Caribbean history.

The historiography of religion in colonial Spanish America throws this neglect of

the Caribbean into sharp relief. Many histories of colonial religion have taken their cue

from Robert Ricard's The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico, and so the 1524 arrival of the

Franciscans to mainland America is taken as the beginning of missionary Christianity in









the New World.40 This approach, however, ignores the crucial missionary precedents

established in the Caribbean in the sixteenth century and in the Canaries in the fifteenth

century. Other histories turn to Las Casas to represent the totality of Christianity and

evangelization in the Americas in the first half of the sixteenth century. Las Casas,

however, should not be removed from his larger religious and political context. The

hagiographies of Las Casas treat him as a sui generis humanist, while the

denunciations seek to tear him down as a hypocritical opportunist-but little attention is

paid to the communities of Franciscans, Dominicans, and other friars who were

instrumental in shaping the religious environment in which Las Casas came to maturity.

Religion and power were connected in complex ways in the colonial Spanish Caribbean,

but those complexities tend to be ignored in a historiographical rush to reach Mexico or

Valladolid, where Las Casas and Juan Gines de Sepulveda engaged in the famous

debate over the nature of the American Indians in 1550 and 1551.

The tenure of the Hieronymite governors in the Caribbean is often perceived as

an interlude more notable for its novelty than anything else, but together with the

experiences of Ram6n Pane and other religious figures of the early Spanish Caribbean,

the documentary sources from the period offer an important opportunity to analyze the

myriad ways in which religious rhetoric and practices influenced the process of

European colonization in the Americas. The roles assigned to the Hieronymites in

Hispaniola-translators, investigators, mediators-were not random or inexplicable acts;

they were based on the historical legacy of the order and the entangled Spanish


40 Robert Ricard, The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico: An Essay on the Apostolate and the Evangelizing
Methods of the Mendicant Orders in New Spain: 1523-1572, trans. Lesley Byrd Simpson (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1966).









understandings of Christianity and the Conquest. The Hieronymite experiences on

Hispaniola represent a neglected source of information about the missionization of

colonial Spanish America, the economic and social development of the Caribbean, and

the relationship between religion and power in the Spanish Atlantic.









CHAPTER 2
RAMON PANE AND SPANISH HISPANIOLA: 1493-1498

In November 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Hispaniola with a young

Hieronymite friar from Catalonia. Ram6n Pane spent the next four years trying to

convert the island's indigenous people to Christianity, and by 1498 he had composed a

report to Christopher Columbus on "the beliefs and idolatries" of his hosts.1 In addition

to its summaries of myths and folklore, the account describes Amerindian society on

Hispaniola in the years immediately following European contact and thus represents

one of the earliest texts of American ethnohistory. In some ways, Pane presages the

paradoxical role played by the sixteenth-century friar-scholars, such as Bernardino de

SahagOn, Diego Duran, and Diego de Landa, who carefully preserved a record of the

indigenous American beliefs that they planned to eradicate.2 Yet Pane was no scholar,

and his tortuous text has not generated the fervor of scholarly analysis that has focused

on sixteenth-century ethnohistorical sources for Mesoamerica or the North American

borderlands. Past scholarship on Pane has typically used his account to analyze the

Taino Indians' religious understandings within a static pan-Caribbean cosmology. Little

attention, however, has been paid to the relationship between Pane's accounts and the

Spanish-Taino interactions that formed the backdrop to its composition.

Political power, cultural traditions, and religion became the focal points of conflict

and compromise between Americans and Europeans in the early years of Spanish

settlement, and those struggles shaped the religious demonstrations that the Taino


1 Ram6n Pane, An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians, ed. Jose Juan Arrom, trans. Susan C.
Griswold (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999), 3.
2 For scholarship on missionary-ethnographers, see Louise M. Burkhart, The Slippery Earth: Nahua-
Christian Moral Dialogue in Sixteenth-century Mexico (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1989).
See also work by James Lockhart and J. Jorge Klor de Alva.









performed for Pane and the selected aspects that Pane recorded from those

performances. As a result, Pane's account offers a unique opportunity to analyze a

nascent Spanish-Taino society during a period of tremendous trauma and possibility,

before relationships, perceptions, and representations had hardened into the familiar

tragedies of the sixteenth century.

The Life of Ram6n Pane

Aside from his self-professed identity as "a humble friar of the Order of Saint

Jerome, Ram6n Pane's background is unclear. According to Bartolome de las Casas,

his origins lay in Catalonia, the easternmost region of Spain, and translator Jose Juan

Arrom speculated that Pane may have been a part of the Hieronymite Convent of San

Jer6nimo de la Murtra, which is located near Barcelona.3 Queen Isabel and King

Ferdinand used the buildings of San Jer6nimo to receive Christopher Columbus on his

return from the first voyage to America, and Pane may have encountered Columbus at

the time.4 When Pane left on Columbus' second voyage in September 1493, he was

accompanied by several friars from other orders, including the Benedictine monk

Bernando Boyl, who had been chosen by the Spanish monarchs to lead the evangelical

efforts in Hispaniola, and the Franciscan lay friars Juan de la Duele (also known as

Juan de Borgoia) and Juan Tisin.5 Within a year, Boyl had quarreled with the

Columbus family and returned to Spain to make his complaints to Isabel and Ferdinand.



3 Jose Juan Arrom, "Introduction to the English Edition," in An Account, xiii.
4 Ibid., xiii-xiv.
5 Floyd, The Columbus Dynasty, 16-17; Francis Borgia Steck, "Christopher Columbus and the
Franciscans," The Americas 3, 3 (Jan. 1947), 332-333; B. T. F. Poole, "Case Reopened: An Enquiry into
the 'Defection' of Fray Bernal Boyl and Mosen Pedro Margarit," Journal of Latin American Studies 6, 2
(Nov. 1974), 193-210.









Many of the friars on Hispaniola may have accompanied Boyl back to Spain in 1494, but

Pane remained. By early 1495, Pane was living at the Spanish fort of Magdalena and

proselytizing to the Macorix-speaking people who lived near the fort.6 His first Christian

convert was Guaticaba, the Macorix-speaking man who would become his companion

and collaborator in religious instruction to the Taino.7 Pane later wrote that Guaticaba,

who was later baptized as Juan Mateo, was "the best of the Indians," and Pane

"considered him a good son and brother."8

In February 1495, Magdalena was attacked by an alliance of Taino Indians led by

the cacique Caonab6, and the subsequent Taino revolt in Hispaniola's central region,

the Vega Real, was crushed by Columbus' forces in March and April.9 When Columbus

arrived at Magdalena, he asked Pane to move to the Vega Real and the provinces of

the influential cacique Guarionex. Given the uncertain balance of power in the region,

Columbus may have wanted Pane to keep an eye on Guarionex, but the primary reason

for his relocation, according to Pane, was based on the issue of language. The

indigenous people who lived around Magdalena spoke Macorix, an island language that

"was not understood throughout the country," Pane reported. In contrast, the language

of Guarionex "was understood throughout the land," although Pane did not understand

it himself. Pane asked Columbus for permission to bring along someone who could



6 Pane, An Account, 32; Kathleen Deagan and Jose Maria Cruxent, Columbus's Outpost among the
Tainos: Spain and America at La Isabela, 1493-1498 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), 60-62.
7 Pane, An Account, 32; Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, "Juan Mateo Guaticabanu, September 21, 1496:
Evangelization and Martyrdom in the Time of Columbus," The Catholic Historical Review82, 4 (1996),
614-636.
8 Pane, An Account, 34.

9 Deagan and Cruxent, Columbus's Outpost, 61.









translate between the two Hispaniola languages for Pane, and Columbus granted

permission for Guaticaba to accompany Pane.

For the next two years, Pane and Guaticaba labored to introduce Christianity to

Guarionex's people, and during that time they were assisted by others, including

Guaticaba's mother and brothers and the Franciscan friar Juan de la Duele.10 In

September 1496, Guaticaba was baptized as Juan Mateo.11 While the initial conversion

efforts seemed propitious, the political and social tensions between Guarionex and the

Spanish authorities led to a souring relationship between Guarionex and his

missionaries. "[S]eeing that Guarionex was retreating and abandoning what we had

taught him, we decided to leave and go where we might gather better fruit," Pane

wrote. 12

In early 1497, Pane, Guaticaba/Juan, and Duele left Guarionex and moved to the

lands of another cacique. Subsequently, Guarionex's rumored plans of insurrection led

to Guarionex's preemptive arrest by Bartolome Columbus, who had been left in charge

of Hispaniola during his brother's absence in Spain. At the same time, Francisco Roldan

and a group of disaffected Spaniards violently revolted against the Columbus family's

authority in the Caribbean. During the chaotic events of 1497, Guaticaba/Juan was

killed, and Pane blamed his murder on Guarionex's machinations.

Translations and Transmutations

The murder of his religious collaborator in late 1496 or 1497 marks the end of

Pane's account. Christopher Columbus returned to Hispaniola in August 1498, and


10 Pane, An Account, 35.

11 Pane, An Account, 38.
12 Pane, An Account, 35.









when he arrived in Spain in 1500, he brought Pane's manuscript with him.13 Pane

disappears thereafter from recorded history, but his account survived in summarized

and translated formats. By 1504, Pietro Martire D'Anghiera (Peter Martyr) had seen the

account and incorporated it into his reports on the Americas. Bartolome de las Casas

used Pane's account in his Apolog6tica historic de las Indias, which was finished in

1560. Fernando Columbus included Pane's account in his biography of his father, and

Alfonso de Ulloa made an incomplete translation of Fernando's account into Italian,

which was published in 1571.14 Both Pane's original manuscript and Fernando's copy

have since disappeared. "As a result," translator Jose Juan Arrom writes, "all we know

of the Account at present is Anghiera's summary in Latin, Las Casas's extract in

Spanish, and Ulloa's Italian translation."15

Ulloa's version of Pane's account has received various Spanish translations,

which have been subsequently translated to English. This degree of textual mediation in

a text about mediation has a quality of irony; in her literary analysis of the processes of

translation at work upon Pane's account, Constance G. Janiga-Perkins argues that

Pane and his successors are "cannibals" who compulsively consume each previous

iteration of the text in order to produce a new self-reflective "autoethnography," which is

then devoured by another translator in turn.16


13 Arrom, "Introduction," xxiv.
14 Fernando Col6n, The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by his son Ferdinand, trans. Benjamin
Keen (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1959), 153-169.
15 Arrom, "Introduction," xxv.
16 "The Relaci6n is the product of the process by which reading creates meaning, which is then revealed,
and can ONLY be revealed, by creating or writing a new text to be set in juxtaposition to the very object or
experience each reader was investigating. That new text, while it may subsume the previous one as
subaltern, also maps out the autoethnography of the reader, new writer of the interpretation that becomes
the next text." Constance G. Janiga-Perkins, Reading, Writing, and Translation in the Relaci6n acerca de









As a result of this punctilious preservation of a bastardized text, Pane occupies a

paradoxical spot of inconsequential primacy in the histories of the early Spanish

Caribbean. Scholars have been quick to award Pane the prize of being first. In 1906,

Edward Gaylord Bourne wrote that Pane's report was "the first treatise ever written in

the field of American antiquities," and literary critic Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria has

argued that it foreshadowed "the future of anthropology and the Latin American

narrative."17 Pane's position as an inaugural figure comes at the price: he often appears

as merely the precursor to a later and more important history.

There are exceptions to this historiographical trend of neglect. The most careful

work on Pane's text has focused primarily on the reconstruction of Taino religious

systems. Mercedes L6pez-Baralt and Antonio M. Stevens-Arroyo have both analyzed

Pane's descriptions of Taino beliefs in the context of structural anthropology and the

work of Claude Levi-Strauss. L6pez-Baralt offers a subtle and careful interpretation of

Pane's text, and she finds numerous connections between Taino mythology and the

culture of the Arawak Indians of South America. However, her explicit purpose is to

place the Taino cosmology (and, implicitly, the entire cultural heritage of the Spanish

Caribbean) within a pan-American mentality "as Amazonian as [it is] Andean," and her

universalizing framework obscures the account's local context of northern Hispaniola. 18

Stevens-Arroyo has closely examined Guaticaba/Juan Mateo's role in the account, but




las Antigaedades de los Indios (c. 1498) by Fray Ram6n Pane: A Study of a Pioneering Work in
Ethnography (Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007), 8.
17 Edward Gaylord Bourne, Columbus, Ram6n Pane, and the Beginnings of American Anthropology
(Worcester: Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 1906); Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, Myth
and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative, 2nd ed. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998), 147.









his primary focus has been fitting Taino myth within a universal framework of world

mythology and Jungian archetypes.19

Archaeologists and anthropologists have used Pane's account in conjunction with

the material record in order to reconstruct Caribbean political and social structures in

the pre-contact period, but less attention has been paid to the text within an early

colonial context. Samuel Wilson uses Pane's account in his ethnohistorical analysis of

indigenous political formation on Hispaniola, but Pane's work plays a subordinate role to

the writings of Las Casas and Martyr.20 William Keegan employs Pane's account in his

imaginative reconstruction of Taino social practices, but his primary focus is the "layers

of narrative" surrounding the Taino cacique Caonab6, who is barely referenced in

Pane's account.21 Upon Pane's mentality and motivations, relatively little work has been

done, and literary scholars have been slow to utilize Pane's text. As part of his analysis

of symbolic representations in colonial Mexico, Serge Gruzinski approvingly compares

Pane's "ethnographic sensitivity" to the rigid expectations imposed by subsequent

chroniclers of the Americas.22 Constance G. Janiga-Perkins has analyzed Pane's

account according to post-structural protocols, but her analysis is focused on the

responses of Pane's twentieth-century readers, rather than his sixteenth-century



18"En cualquiera de los casos, el hecho vincula a la mitologia taina con la mitologia sudamericana, tanto
amaz6nica como andina." Mercedes L6pez-Baralt, El Mito Taino: Levi-Strauss en Las Antillas, 2nd
edition (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: Ediciones Huracan, 1985), 45.
19 Antonio M. Stevens-Arroyo, Cave of the Jagua: The Mythological World of the Tainos (Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press, 1988).
20 Samuel M. Wilson, Hispaniola: Caribbean Chiefdoms in the Age of Columbus (Tuscaloosa: The
University of Alabama Press, 1990).
21 William F. Keegan, Taino Indian Myth and Practice: The Arrival of the Stranger King (Gainesville:
University Press of Florida, 2007), 18.









context.23 Most of Pane's interrogators have tended to depict Pane as an exceptional

and quasi-admirable anomaly in the context of the early Spanish conquest, but Meghan

Mclnnis-Dominguez has argued instead that Pane upholds the colonial imbalance of

power in his text and "adopts a panoptic posture" in his surveillance of the indigenous

Taino.24

Authorship and Authority

It may be impossible to identify Pane as the unquestioned author of any specific

word in the account, but the broad consistencies and congruities between the three

surviving versions suggest that a certain fidelity may exist between the 1498 original

and its subsequent facsimiles. For the sake of convenience, this paper will treat "Ram6n

Pane" as the single author of this account, even though the versions of Ram6n Pane's

account that have survived into the current age have been copied and paraphrased and

translated by many intermediary hands. The many handlers of Pane's account have

preserved it from accidental oblivion, but their smudged fingerprints also obscure Pane.

However, these problems of authenticity and authority are not unique to Pane. David

Henige notes that many of the sources from early Spanish American expansion, such

as the Christopher Columbus diaries, suffer from "the corrosive effects of transmitting

written texts" in forms prone to paraphrase, elision, and amendation.25


22 Serge Gruzinski, Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to Blade Runner (1492-2019), trans. Heather
MacLean (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001), 11.
23 Janiga-Perkins, Reading, Writing, and Translation.
24 "Como Pane adopta ahora una postura pan6ptica, puede juzgar los actos de sus sujetos, tomandoles
asi visiblee' a los lectores castellanos." Meghan Mclnnis-Dominguez, "La violencia del/al g6nero en la
Relaci6n acerca de las antiguedades de los indios de Fray Ram6n Pane," Esp6culo: Revista de Estudios
Literarios 40 (2008). Available from http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/numero40/relacion.html.
25 David Henige, In Search of Columbus: The Sources for the First Voyage (Tucson: The University of
Arizona Press, 1991), 4









The problems with Pane's account are not limited to the possibility of corrupted

meanings during centuries of translation. Like all outsiders and anthropologists, Pane

had an imperfect understanding of the societies of Hispaniola's Indians. Most

significantly, Pane's identity as an Hieronymite friar undoubtedly influenced his

relationship with the Taino people and his method of recounting their stories, but this

factor is often ignored in the secondary literature. Instead, Pane is depicted as an

independent agent, unburdened by any significant ideological preconceptions or

processes. According to Gruzinski, Pane describes Taino beliefs "without ever letting

his observations warp under the weight of stereotype or prejudice," but this

anachronistic reading of Pane ignores his clear derision for several aspects of the

traditional religious practices of the Taino.26 Stevens-Arroyo links Pane's "objectivity"

with his order's "lack of scholarly pretensions" and historic neutrality in Spanish political

disputes, but Pane's religious role would have necessarily colored his "objectivity."27

At least two of Pane's contemporaries were skeptical of the account's veracity.

Christopher Columbus, who had commissioned the account from Pane, later said that "it

contains so many fictions that the only sure thing to be learned from it is that the Indians

have a certain natural reverence for the after-life and believe in the immortality of the

soul," according to his son.28 Las Casas described Pane as "a simple-minded man" with

"small abilities" who spoke an unimportant Taino language imperfectly and wrote an

account that "was sometimes confused and of little substance."29


26 Gruzinski, Images at War, 11.
27 Stevens-Arroyo, Cave of the Jagua, 77.
28 Col6n, The Life of the Admiral, 153.
29 Deagan and Cruxent, Columbus's Outpost, 39.









Las Casas wrote that the Catalan Pane did not speak Castilian well, which may

have impeded his ability to write in that language.30 Further language difficulties awaited

in the Caribbean, as Hispaniola apparently possessed at least three different

languages, although the degree of difference between these languages is unclear. 31 In

Hispaniola, Pane apparently did learn to communicate using at least one of the

languages spoken on Hispaniola, but it was a language that Columbus deemed of little

use on the rest of the island. Pane was sent to Guarionex to learn the lingua franca of

Hispaniola, and he spent two years living among Guarionex's people, but it is

impossible to assess Pane's ability at communicating in this language from his

account.32 Pane specifically petitioned Columbus to be allowed to bring along the multi-

lingual Guaticaba when he left for Guarionex's lands, but Guaticaba's presence as a

translator may have further retarded Pane's language acquisition. There is no explicit

reference in the account to Guaticaba mediating between Pane and the Taino Indians

of the Vega Real, but Pane's enthusiastic and emotional depiction of Guaticaba

suggests that the Hieronymite friar worked closely and often with the Christian Indian,

while his interactions with the Vega Real Taino may have been much more remote.

There is no simple way to gauge Pane's understanding of the island's languages

and societies, but his possible difficulties of comprehension are underscored by his

demonstrated difficulties of composition. His account is a tortuous scramble of subjects




30 Arrom, "Introduction," xxviii.
31 Wilson, Hispaniola, 104; Keegan, Taino Indian Myth, 25-26; D. G. Brinton, "The Arawack Language of
Guiana in Its Linguistic and Ethnological Relations," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society
14, 3 (1871), 427-444; Julian Granberry, "Was Ciguayo a West Indian Hokan Language?" International
Joumal of American Linguistics," 57, 4 (Oct., 1991), 514-519.









and chronology, and Pane frequently interrupts his own narrative to apologize for his

deficiencies as a narrator. Due to the lack of writing among the Taino, Pane wrote, "they

do not know how to tell such fables well, nor can I write them well. Therefore, I believe

that I put first what ought to be last and the last first."33 Mclnnis-Dominguez has argued

that this line exemplifies Pane's contempt for Taino oral culture, which leads him to

suppress American orality through the colonizing power of the Roman alphabet, but this

conclusion ignores Pane's apparent discomfort and insecurity about the act of writing

throughout his account.34 After describing a strange Taino myth, Pane wrote, "I did not

find out anymore about this, and what I have written down is of little help."35 The oddest

moment of Pane's self-consciousness about his difficulties came when he confessed his

lack of supplies:

Because I wrote [a Taino myth] down in haste and did not have sufficient
paper, I was not able to write down in that place what I had copied down
elsewhere by mistake; but in any case, I have not been in error because
they believe everything just as I have written it down. Let us return now to
what I ought to have written first.36

Paradoxically, it is Pane's fumbling helplessness that has been his account's

greatest asset in establishing authenticity and authority in the eyes of scholars. Unlike

other early chroniclers of the Spanish Caribbean-that sly courtier Oviedo, that single-

minded Las Casas-Pane seems incapable of arranging his narrative to further a


32 The linguistic boundaries between the Macorix-speaking peoples of Magdalena and the Taino of the
Vega Real raise the possibility that cultural and religious differences also existed between the two
communities, but these differences went unrecorded by Pane.
33 Pane, An Account, 11.
34 Mclnnis-Dominguez, "La violencia del/al g6nero."
35 Pane, An Account, 16.
36 Pane, An Account, 12.









personal agenda or employing skillful rhetoric to manipulate his readers, and so his lack

of sophistication signals the raw and unrefined honesty of his ethnographic

observations. Yet ethnography is invariably contaminated by its author. Pane's

perceptions were shaped by his religious purpose as a Christian friar, and his

representations in the text were shaped by his desire to please Christopher Columbus

and the Spanish authorities. At the same time, the presence of Pane and other

Europeans shaped the histories the Taino chose to perform and tell while Pane lived

among them.

Stories Spoken and Written

Pane may not have started his account with any plan beyond Columbus'

nebulous directions concerning "beliefs and idolatries," but certain themes and elements

appear frequently in Pane's descriptions of Taino myth and folkore. In Pane's re-telling,

the thematic motifs of these stories include the impermanence of death and the

absence of women. Part of the particular emphasis on these elements may be due to

Pane's personal fixations, but the shape of his re-telling of these stories also suggests

the shape of the stories as they were originally told to him by the Taino themselves.

Pane is at pains throughout his account to assign the responsibility for these

Taino myths to the Taino orators who originally presented them, and his efforts should

not be disregarded in the scholarly attempt to locate Pane's single "voice" in the text.

Rather, there are multiple voices, and at least two authors: Pane in the foreground,

assisted and animated by Ulloa and Ulloa's translators, and the shadowed, indistinct

Taino storytellers-including Juan and Guarionex-in the background. L6pez-Baralt has

described Pane's account as a work of "dual authorship" in which Pane is accompanied

by "a secondary, collective author: the Taino people, who generate the myths that the









indigenous informers recite or sing to them."37 The incidents of repetition and emphasis

in the account suggest points of intersection between Pane's personal reaction to Taino

histories-the stories and events that stuck in his memory and which he judged worthy of

including in his account-and the emphasis used by the Taino themselves as they told or

performed specific stories in specific circumstances.

The dead walked in Taino folklore.38 They emerged at night in the guise of family

members or dangerous warriors or seductive women. In the case of the latter, "when a

man thinks he has her in his arms, he has nothing because the woman disappears in an

instant," Pane wrote.39 The dead would not appear among crowds, but solitary travelers

were vulnerable to their approach. The dead resembled the living in all respects, save

two: they did not appear in daylight, and they did not have a navel, which could be

detected by touching the apparition's belly. The dead were both cherished and feared.

They returned to "celebrate and accompany the living," but at the same time, the Taino

Indians were "fearful" to encounter them alone on some moonlit road.40

The dead spoke. Corpses could answer questions, although they might not

answer them truthfully.41 The shamanic behiques were believed to hold regular

conversation with the dead. Unsurprisingly, Pane was skeptical and contemptuous of



37 "hay un autor secundario, colectivo: el pueblo taino, que produce los mitos que los informants
indigenas recitan o cantan a aquel." L6pez-Baralt, El Mito Taino, 133. Meghan Mclnnis-Dominguez has
contested this interpretation of peaceful cultural collaboration and instead argued that the Pane's account
represents "la lucha por el control narrative entire Pane y los tainos." Mc-lnnis-Dominguez, "La violencia
del/al g6nero."
38 Pane, An Account, 5, 18-19.

39 Pane, An Account, 19.
40 Pane, An Account, 19.
41 Pane, An Account, 24.









this relationship. As a missionary, Pane likely encountered significant opposition from

the behiques, who were responsible for maintaining Taino traditions of religion and

culture. As a Christian, Pane was predisposed to oppose any relationships with the

divine that occurred outside Christian orthodoxy, and he wrote that the behiques

"practice many deceptions" and preyed upon the gullibility of their fellow Taino.42 If a

behique failed in his obligations, however, the other Taino could mete out certain

retributions. Pane offered a graphic and detailed account of what might happen to a

behique who failed to cure a Taino Indian through the behique's own negligence.

One day the relatives of the dead man gather and wait for the aforesaid
behique, and they beat him so soundly that they break his legs and arms
and head, clubbing him all to pieces, and they leave him thus, believing that
they have killed him.... He is in this state for two or three days, and while he
is thus, the bones of his legs and arms join once again and mend, they say,
and he stands up and walks a little and goes back to his house.... And
when they see him alive, the relatives of the dead man are very annoyed...
and if they can catch him again, they take out his eyes and smash his
testicles because they say that none of these physicians can die, however
much they may beat him, if they do not remove his testicles.43

It is noteworthy that Pane described this story with such specific detail. Pane's

presumed antagonism with the behiques may have encouraged his Taino interlocutors

to embellish gruesomely the story as they reported it, and the space and care that Pane

devotes to re-telling the story in all its violent particulars suggests that he paid happy

attention to the possibility of behique destruction.

Pane was explicitly skeptical of the behiques and their practices, but he was

much more reserved about Taino stories of the mobile and voluble dead. There are

suggestions of doubt in the validity of the Taino beliefs-"[t]heir ancestors have made


42 Pane, An Account, 19.

43 Pane, An Account, 24-25.









them believe all this"-but there is no reason to think that Pane doubted the quotidian

presence of the supernatural itself on Hispaniola.44 Christianity had a tradition of

resurrections and ghosts, and early modern Spain was a land of divine visitations and

messages.45

By and large, Pane did not explicitly identify parallels between Taino beliefs and

Christian orthodoxy, with one significant exception: the zemis of stone and wood, who

acted as intermediaries between the Taino and the divine and which Pane perceived as

clearly demonic. "Those simple, ignorant people believe that those idols-or, more

properly speaking, demons-make such things happen because they have no

knowledge of our holy faith," Pane wrote.46 (This line-which comes two-thirds of the

way through the account-is also the first explicit reference to Christianity in the text.)

Gruzinski has argued that Pane's single comparison of the zemis to idols represents a

careless slip of the pen that Pane immediately qualifies. Gruzinski argues that Pane's

"ethnographic sensitivity" leads him to take pains to depict the zemi as "a chaos of

shape" that is "hesitating between many states."47 The demonization and

corporealization of the zemi, according to Gruzinski, occurs gradually in the writings of

Peter Martyr, who was fixated on the themes of representation and simulacrum, and it

was Martyr, not Pane, who influenced subsequent accounts.48 This, however, is an

unwontedly generous interpretation of Pane's purposes. While the zemi do seem to


44 Pane, An Account, 5.
45 Christian, Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain, 22-25.
46 Pane, An Account, 21.

47 Gruzinski, Images at War, 10-11.
48 Gruzinski, Images at War, 14-19.









unite a variety of meanings for the Taino, Pane himself demonstrates a dogged

insistence on seeing them as physical and unwholesome objects specifically shaped by

human hands to represent metaphysical concepts and unnatural animation. Pane

reported that, for the Taino, the zemi were capable of digesting food, escaping captivity,

and engaging in sexual intercourse; the zemi had names and origins and gender in

Taino tradition.49 "And so may God help them if the zemi eats any of those things

because the zemi is a dead thing, shaped from stone or made of wood," Pane wrote. 50

Like the walking dead of the Taino, the zemi seem to embody simultaneous expressions

of life and unlife in ways that the Taino found perfectly comprehensible and that Pane

found persistently irreconcilable.

The impermanence of death is not the only recurring feature in the survey of

Taino myths and histories that Pane elected to include in his account. Women are

absent from these stories in explicit ways.51 They appear in animal forms; they are

exiled to inaccessible islands; they are the subject of fruitless searches and quests. 52 In

these stories, households of Taino bachelors are reduced to such desperation that they

are forced to generate their own women. In one story, when a man's brothers take a

stone axe to his swelling back, they find a living female turtle, which they then adopt into




49 Pane, An Account, 27-30.
50 Pane, An Account, 23.

51 Other scholars have argued that Pane's Amazon myth suggests the prominence and importance of
women in Taino myth and society, but the isolation and segregation of these women, and the implication
that they are "lost" to Hispaniola after their exile, would seem to suggest the opposite. Their absence on
Hispaniola and the subsequent events engendered by that absence seems a more vital factor than their
presumed presence on an unreachable island. For analyses on the presence of women, see L6pez
Baralt, El Mito Taino, 152, and Stevens-Arroyo, Cave of the Jagua, 155-174.
52 Pane, An Account, 8-9, 12, 16.









their bachelor household.53 Another story about bachelor Tainos described the sudden

appearance of sexless and slick creatures who were finally caught by syphilitic Taino

men with rough-skinned hands.54 The men found a woodpecker and tied it to the bodies

of the sexless creatures. "[T]he bird began his customary work, picking and burrowing

holes in the place where the sex of women is generally located. And in this way the

Indians say that they had women."55

The absence of women is not the only possible interpretation of the gender

dynamics of Taino mythology. Two female figures, a healer and a queen, appear in

Pane's account wielding some degree of authority, and a few of the zemis are identified

as female. Contemporary accounts from other Spaniards on the island suggest that

political power among the Taino descended matrilineally.56 Yet the absence of women

seems to be the narrative structure that Pane himself employed. Part of this emphasis

on absence may be due to Pane's own relationship with Taino women. As a

Hieronymite friar, Pane's religious responsibilities included celibacy, and he may have

had limited contact with Taino women. The only woman to emerge as an individual in

Pane's account is the mother of the cacique Guarionex, and Pane does not interact

directly with her. Instead, her words and actions are reported to Pane by another man.57

Pane's implied distance from Taino women shaped the kinds of stories that he heard,

just as his experiences were shaped by the position he occupied in Taino society.


53 Jos6 Juan Arrom in Pane, An Account, 16, fn 73.
54 Pane, An Account, 12.
55 Pane, An Account, 12.
56 Keegan, Taino Indian Myth, 97,120, 190.

57 Pane, An Account, 37.









Lopez-Baralt suggests that, as a stranger to the community, Pane's access to Taino

folklore came primarily through public performances, such as ceremonial areytos.58

The Taino religious myths represented in Pane's account are often treated by

scholars as timeless and universal beliefs among the Caribbean Arawak. Yet this

presumes a rather static and flat vision of Taino religion as lived and performed by

Pane's neighbors from 1495 to 1498. Pane's account of Taino belief systems is

incomplete, because Pane was necessarily selective in his memory and his

composition, and the Taino were presumably no less selective in their performances

and explanations. Religion, as a constellation of shared understandings, offers a range

of possible interpretations of the world, but the entirety of that spectrum is rarely

applicable in any single situation. Instead, at any point in their history, the Taino Indians

of Hispaniola were telling and re-telling the stories that held the most meaning and

resonance for that particular point in time. Assessing the totality of factors influencing

Taino life during the 1490s is beyond the scope of the documentary or material record,

but it seems probable that the presence and actions of the Spanish settlers played a

disproportionately large role in community concerns during this time. Accordingly, it is

possible that the Taino religious and mythic narratives that would receive the most

repetition and emphasis during these years would be the stories that held particular

significance for the particular social conditions of a nascent Spanish-Taino society. This

is not to suggest that social conditions could be immediately and directly translated to

folklore traditions. Rather, people will choose to express the cultural narratives and

religious explanations that seem most relevant to their immediate circumstances.


58 L6pez Baralt, El Mito Taino, 40.









For example, the absence of women in these stories echoes the known

disruptions of Taino households caused by the early years of Spanish settlement, when

political violence rearranged community boundaries, tributary demands affected

traditional labor patterns, and Taino and European men competed with one another for

sexual access or marriage alliances to Taino women. Similarly, stories about death and

infirmity may have had a special significance in the period of rising Taino mortality from

factors both evident and invisible.

Disease is largely absent from the stories that Pane reported. Smallpox famously

arrived in the Caribbean in 1518, but the appearance of other illnesses of the Old World,

such as influenza and measles, have less certain dates of entry. Noble David Cook has

argued that influenza began laying waste to Hispaniola's indigenous population with the

arrival of Columbus' second voyage in 1494, and that the Spanish accounts of the era

are rife with oblique references to illness and mortality, but there is no echo of that

concern to be detected in Pane's account.59 Instead, New World diseases are

mentioned. There are several references to a skin disease called caracaracol, which

may have been either a form of parasitic mange or bacterial syphilis, and there is one

explicit reference to syphilis sores.60 There are no explicit references to other diseases,

and Pane does not mention any signs of illness or physical weakness in his descriptions

of Taino society, although Pane may have simply been oblivious to outbreaks of

influenza or measles around him. Pane's account cannot be taken as conclusive


59 Cook, Born to Die, 28-45
60 Pane, An Account, 10, 12, 15.









evidence as to the absence of disease around him, but it suggests that disease had not

yet emerged as a major factor of life within the Vega Real before 1498.

However, the presence of European disease in the Vega Real may be implied in

Pane's description of behiques. In Pane's telling, the primary role of the shamanic

behiques was a medicinal one: they treated the ill and infirm among the Taino, and

interceded on behalf of their patients with the supernatural plagues that manifested

themselves physically upon the bodies of the ill. The Taino ill were taken to the

behiques, who would treat them in a variety of ways, including a dose of the emetic

cohoba, a special diet shared by both patient and behique, and an intercession with the

particular zemi who had caused the illness. A behique's efficacy as a healer depended

upon the purity of his own conduct, and so an ineffectual healer was presumed guilty of

personal corruption. As was described earlier, a Taino family might take violent revenge

upon a behique if they suspected him of deviating from the special diet. Pane spends a

great deal of space describing the behiques and their treatment of sick people. While

this focus is clearly related to Pane's Christian expectations and the spiritual trespasses

committed by the behiques, it may also reflect a point of tension among the Taino

themselves. If Old World diseases had begun to spread through the Vega Real between

1492 and 1498, the Taino might have been grappling with a gradually rising mortality

rate and the decline of the behique's perceived power. Pane's description of a murdered

behique is delivered with the specific and particular details of a real and recent event.

Just as the presence of the Spanish altered the positions political power across

Hispaniola, the presence of Old World disease may have contributed to destabilized

religious understandings among the Taino of the island.









Guarionex and Guaticaba

The Taino Indians and their "voices" can be heard distantly in this account,

represented both in the stories that they told Pane and the observations that Pane

made himself. Areas of conflict and accommodation between Spanish and Taino factions

are indirectly revealed by Pane's references to violence, political negotiation, and

religion. Pane's own interactions with the Taino were shaped by his role as a proto-

missionary, and religion proved to be a complicated issue throughout his account.

Finally, the voices and motivations of individual Taino emerge indirectly from Pane's

account. The evangelical efforts of the Christian Juan Mateo and the political

frustrations of the cacique Guarionex both suggest complications and motivations that

extend far beyond Pane's narrative.

It is clear from Pane's account that the Christianity of the Spanish settlers was

adopted or adapted by some Indians on Hispaniola. When Pane lived at Magdalena, the

Macorix-speaking household of the lord Guanaoboconel converted to Christianity.61 One

of these household members included Guaticaba, who would become Pane's

indispensable companion and assistant in his further evangelical efforts. When Pane

and Guaticaba moved to Guarionex's province in the Vega Real, Guarionex exhibited

an enthusiasm for demonstrations of Christianity.

In the beginning he showed us goodwill and gave us hope that he would do
whatever we wished and that he wanted to be a Christian... so he learned
the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria, and the Creed, and likewise many
members of his household learned them; and every morning he would say
his prayers and made those of his household say them twice.62


61 Pane, An Account, 32.
62 Pane, An Account, 34-35.









There is a surprising degree of zeal in Guarionex's actions here, especially in the

two sets of prayers he commanded from his household. It should be remembered,

however, that he had just witnessed the recent settlement of a Spanish military force at

Concepci6n, which was either within or near his territory, and he had received the gift of

an inarticulate Hieronymite friar from Columbus, who may have intended Pane to keep

an eye on Guarionex. There is no evidence that Guarionex himself was involved in

Caonab6's revolt in 1494 and 1495, but at least one of his subordinate caciques,

Guatiguara, was allied with Caonab6.63 After Caonab6's deportation, Guarionex was

considered to be the most powerful cacique on Hispaniola, and he appears to have

enjoyed the most success in negotiating with the Spanish about the new tributary

system. However, the Spanish themselves were fighting one another for control of

Hispaniola, which threatened to alter previous alliances and understandings. Given the

uncertain political atmosphere of Hispaniola, Guarionex may have chosen dramatic

expressions of Christianity as a means of ensuring the legitimacy of his political power

in relationship to the Spanish.

Of course, Guarionex might have also felt genuinely called to adopt the religion

of his resident Hieronymite. It is clear that Pane himself viewed Guarionex's early

religious enthusiasm as genuine. The reference to the double prayers, rather than a

subtle insinuation of sham zeal, seems instead intended by Pane to emphasize the

contrast with Guarionex's subsequent loss of faith, which was brought about by the

persuasions of other caciques:

But afterwards he grew angry, and he abandoned his good intention; other
leaders of that land were to blame, for they reproached him because he

63 Deagan and Cruxent, 59-60; Wilson, 84, 90.









wanted to obey the law of the Christians, because the Christians were
wicked and had taken possession of their lands by force.64

The period between 1495 and 1497 were turbulent ones for Spanish-Taino

interactions in the Vega Real. The tributary system imposed by Chistopher Columbus in

1495 demanded a hawksbell of gold (which contained about three ounces) every three

months from every adult Taino vecino in the mining regions of the Vega Real.65 The

tributary system disrupted agricultural systems among the Taino, and the shortage of

food was further exacerbated by the presence of Spanish conquistadors and debilitating

Old World disease in the Taino villages.66 As a possible result of these conditions,

Hispaniola suffered a widespread famine in 1495 and 1496. The shortage of food

further exacerbated tensions between Indians and Spaniards, who accused the Indians

of deliberately destroying their own crops in order to starve the Spanish into leaving

Hispaniola.67

Given the starvation and disruption of these years, Guarionex is notable for

enjoying a degree of prosperity. According to Peter Martyr, Guarionex's province was

less affected by the famine than other areas of Hispaniola, and so he provided food to

the Spanish.68 Some of Guarionex's reported stability may have been due to the

agricultural benefits of his position within the eastern Vega Real, which experienced




64 Pane, An Account, 35.
65 Indians living outside mining areas were expected to give twenty-five pounds of cotton in tribute instead
of gold. Wilson, Hispaniola, 93.
66 Wilson, Hispaniola, 93-94.
67 Wilson, Hispaniola, 95.
68 Wilson, Hispaniola, 95.









more annual rain than the western Vega Real.69 Bartolome de las Casas described the

region as "very fertile" and having "abundant food and cassava bread."70 Guarionex's

stability might have also been due to his political ascendancy; Samuel Wilson has

described him as "perhaps extraordinary in his ability to manage two competing groups

of Spaniards as well as the other indigenous political leaders in the valley."71 While the

Spanish viewed Guarionex as the foremost political leader of the region, Guarionex's

political authority actually depended upon his alliances with other Taino caciques, and

any consensus reached by these caciques necessarily shaped his decisions.

There is also the faintest whiff of a familiar missionary complaint in Pane's

description of Guarionex's lapse from Christianity. Throughout the colonial Americas, it

was not unusual for the first wave of Christian missionaries to proclaim the ease and

speed of their conversion of the indigenous locals; it was only later, after traditional or

syncretic practices persisted alongside Christianity, that missionaries began to suspect

insincerity among Indian converts. European missionaries frequently viewed religion as

a binary proposition, in which one was either a Christian or not, but their American

parishioners were capable of reconciling Christian concepts with prior American

understandings. Just as Pane understood Taino religion within the framework of his

Christian European background, so too did the Taino understand Pane's religious

instruction within their prior cultural conceptions.



69 Wilson, Hispaniola, 81.
70 "donde hay una muy f6rtil y graciosa vega...abundantisima de comida y pan cagabi." Bartolome de Las
Casas, Historia de las Indias. vol. 2, edici6n de Agustin Millares Carlo y studio preliminary de Lewis
Hanke (Mexico, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1951), 69.
71 Wilson, Hispaniola, 108.









After Pane and Guaticabanu/Juan left Guarionex, they left behind a chapel with

religious icons. A group of men "by order of Guarionex" broke into the chapel, stole the

images, buried them in a cultivated field, and urinated on them.72 Pane interpreted these

actions as a calculated blasphemy, but it seems likely that the Taino were enacting a

traditional agricultural ceremony for the fertility of crops.73 They were, in short,

incorporating elements of Christianity into pre-existing Taino religious expressions.

Pane was furious, and he reported with satisfaction that the perpetrators were executed

by being burned as heretics by Bartolome Columbus.74

If Guarionex's approach to Christianity seemed unsatisfactory, Pane had the

consolation of Guaticabanu/Juan, who seemed to better fit the expected model of

Christianization. Guaticabanu was a member of the Macorix-speaking people around

Magdalena, and he and his family may have been dependent naborias of the cacique

Guanaoboconel.75 Guaticabanu was the first among the household to convert, and the

rest of his family followed him into Christianity. Similarly, when Guaticabanu left for the

Vega Real with Pane, he was followed by his mother and brothers. Guaticabanu was

baptized in September 1496 as Juan Mateo, and one of his brothers was baptized as

Ant6n at the same time.76 Stevens-Arroyo suggests that the baptism was likely part of a






72 Pane, An Account, 36.
73 Arrom in An Account, 36 fn 155.
74 Pane, An Account, 36.
75 Stevens-Arroyo, "Juan Mateo Guaticabanu," 633-635.
76 Pane, An Account, 37.









mass baptism that was staged for Guarionex's benefit.77 When Juan Mateo, Pane, and

Duele left Guarionex for the lands of the cacique Mabiatue, they left behind Juan's

family to safeguard the chapel and fields that Pane "had ordered tilled."78 The

responsibility given to Juan's family was common in early modern Spain, where poor

rural shrines were often maintained by one or two lay people who lived at the shrine and

supported themselves by cultivating a garden in the land around the shrine.79 When

Guarionex's men broke into the chapel, they did so against the will of Juan's family, who

reported the episode to the Taino and Spanish authorities. Pane presented the conflict

between Juan's family and Guarionex as a conflict between Christian believers and

blaspheming heathens. Stevens-Arroyo has argued that tensions between Guarionex

and Juan's family may have instead arisen from their status as servile naborias who

refused to serve Guarionex and thus went against traditional systems of power in the

Vega Real.80

Whatever the source of this conflict, Pane reported that it had deadly

consequences. Guarionex conspired to attack the Spanish, but his plans for revolt were

prematurely ended when Bartolome Columbus arrested him. However, Pane wrote, "in

spite of all this, they persisted in their perverse intention, and carrying it out, they killed

four men and Juan Mateo... and his brother Ant6n."81 Pane was not witness to this


77 Stevens-Arroyo has also argued that Pane's unordained status meant that Duele conducted the
baptisms, but it is not clear if Duele was ordained himself. Stevens-Arroyo, "Juan Mateo Guaticabanu,"
626.
78 Pane, An Account, 35.

79 Christian, Local Religion, 107.
80 Stevens-Arroyo, "Juan Mateo Guaticabanu," 634-635.
81 Pane, An Account, 36-37.









murder, which may have happened when Juan traveled back to his family in the Vega

Real. "I am certain he died a martyr," Pane wrote. "For I have learned from some who

were present at his death that he had said 'Dios naboria daca, Dios naboria daca,"

which means 'I am a servant of God."'82

Pane blamed the murder on Guarionex's partisans, who killed the Christian

Indians based on religious motivations, and most scholars have accepted his verdict.

Yet it is not clear that Pane had an accurate understanding of the political situation of

the Vega Real in 1497. Guarionex was released the day after his capture in 1497 when

other Taino petitioned for his release, but he was released under the understanding that

he would not revolt against the Spanish again. While Guarionex's "pacification" does not

preclude the possibility of individual acts of violence by Guarionex or his partisans, it

does render Guarionex's culpability in Juan's murder somewhat less certain. The

Spanish chronicles reported no further difficulties between Guarionex and the Spanish

until the summer of 1498, when he fled to the northern mountains and took refuge with

a Macorix-speaking community of Indians.83 Violence committed against the Christian

Indians on Guarionex's instigation would have been possible but somewhat out of

character, as Guarionex appears to have been occupied with appeasing both Spaniards

and other Taino caciques in the period immediately following his abortive revolt, and his

ultimate response of flight suggests that he had permanently abandoned his plans to

overthrow the Spanish. While Guarionex may have been the culprit, his motivations are

somewhat thin.


82 Pane, An Account, 32-33.
83 Wilson, Hispaniola, 102-108.









However, there is an important element to the balance of power in the Vega Real

in 1497 that goes unmentioned by Pane. Francisco Roldan and his men were already in

rebellion and in the Vega Real when Guarionex was captured by Columbus, and their

continued presence added to the instability and violence of the region. Pane's converts

and their loyalty to Spanish authority may have been seen as a threat by Roldan's men

in their attempt to control the region, and the fact that Pane's patron was Christopher

Columbus would not have eased tensions. Roldan, rather than Guarionex, seems the

much more likely source of violence against Columbus-aligned Christians. However,

Pane never mentions Roldan or his rebellion in his account, which seems like a curious

omission. Either Pane deliberately omitted references to Roldan-which seems unlikely,

given that his intended audience of Christopher Columbus was desperate for

muckraking details about his nemesis in order to justify his actions against Roldan or

Pane was legitimately ignorant of Roldan's presence in the Vega Real. After all, Pane

had left the region by that point, and it is not clear from his account if he had returned to

La Isabela before he finished writing his account. He may have had limited contact with

other Spanish settlers or other sources of information, and he had an incomplete

understanding of the larger circumstances of Hispaniola. All Pane knew was that his

companion and co-religionist had been killed, and he naturally blamed the man who had

earlier proved himself perfidious by turning away from Christianity.

Pane concluded his account with an outline of the proper methods of religious

instruction among the Indians of Hispaniola. There was the possibility, Pane wrote, of

converting Indians through simple religious instruction, for he had seen Juan Mateo

become a Christian easily. For others, however, "there is need for force and









ingenuity... there is need for force and punishment," Pane wrote darkly after his

difficulties with Guarionex.84 These thoughts-which may have been an interpolation of

Christopher Columbus, or his son, or his son's Italian translator, but which are not

implausible coming from a disillusioned friar-are expressed with a degree of force and

conviction that is unusual for Pane's account; he issues them from a position of rare

authority. "And I can say it truly, for I have worn myself out in order to learn all this," he

wrote.85


84 Pane, An Account, 38.
85 Pane, An Account, 37.









CHAPTER 3
LAS CASAS AND THE HIERONYMITES: 1499-1516

In December 1511, Dominican friar Antonio de Montesinos delivered an

incendiary sermon in Hispaniola castigating the Spanish colonists for their cruel and

inhumane treatment of the American Indians. After nearly twenty years of Spanish

colonization on Hispaniola, Montesinos helped inaugurate a new wave of Spanish

efforts to repair-or, at the very least, better regulate-the Spanish-Indian relationship via

such devices as religious reform and the 1512 Laws of Burgos.1 Montesinos' sermon

was followed by the slow conversion of the man who would become the Defender of the

Indies, an erstwhile encomendero named Bartolome de Las Casas. Partly as a result of

the religious rhetoric of Montesinos and Las Casas, and partly as a result of Spain's

concern over the Caribbean's uncertain economic future, a trio of Hieronymite friars was

sent to investigate conditions on Hispaniola in 1516.

The historical portrayal of the Hieronymite governors has been shaped by Las

Casas, who penned the most accessible account of the Hieronymite rule and who also

numbered the friars among his political enemies. Thus, the Hieronymites' historical

depiction is often colored by each historian's individual affection or animus for Las

Casas. For example, Lesley Byrd Simpson, despite facetiously characterizing their reign

as a "theocracy," offers a generous and sympathetic interpretation of the Hieronymite

government, but this sympathy appears to owe more to Simpson's contempt for Las

Casas than to any independent interpretation of the Hieronymites' version of events.2


1 Daniel Castro, Another Face of Empire: Bartolom6 de Las Casas, Indigenous Rights, and Ecclesiastical
Imperialism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), 56-59.
2 Lesley Byrd Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain: The Beginning of Spanish Mexico (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1966), 39-55.









Analysis of the Hieronymites all too often starts and stops with Las Casas, who himself

often suffers from a historiographical tradition that views him as an isolated crusader,

distinct from the larger political, social, and religious currents of Spain and Spanish

America. This chapter, therefore, investigates the larger religious and political contexts

that gave rise to both Las Casas and the Hieronymite governors.

The Changing Face of Hispaniola, 1498-1511

Spanish Hispaniola changed dramatically in the years after Ram6n Pane's

account. The political landscape of Hispaniola shifted in 1499, when Christopher

Columbus made peace with the rebellious Francisco Roldan by giving Spanish settlers

a greater piece of the colonial pie through the repartimientos of what came to be known

as the encomienda system.3 Columbus' earlier tributary system required massive

disruptions of Taino agricultural and social systems, but its centralized structure, in

which all Taino caciques were under the direct administrative control of the Columbus

family, may have afforded Taino caciques a small degree of political autonomy so long

as they could make tribute. Columbus had originally envisioned the Spanish settlers as

salaried middle-men in this hierarchy, but Roldan's success meant that many Spanish

settlers could take responsibility for the profitable labor of individual Indian communities

themselves.4 This ad-hoc repartimiento system was based on the encomienda of

medieval Spain, and it was reluctantly formalized in 1503 in the Caribbean.5 The

implementation of the repartimientos further encouraged individual Spaniards to

intervene in the political and social structure of indigenous Caribbean communities to


3 Sauer, Early Spanish Main,101.
4 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 95-96, 101.
5 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 150.









maximize their profits from that community's labor. The Catholic Monarchs resisted

repartimientos in the Americas, and their subsequent representatives would frequently

bear royal instructions to reform or eliminate repartimientos if possible. Once in the

Caribbean, their representatives rarely found it possible.

As a result of royal displeasure, Columbus was removed from his position of

authority and replaced by the Crown's chosen representatives. Francisco de Bobadilla

arrived in Hispaniola in August 1500 to become governor of the Spanish colonies in the

Caribbean, and his removal of the Columbus family altered the landscape of alliances

and understandings in Hispaniola.6 As governor, Bobadilla stimulated gold production

by temporarily suspending royal taxes on precious metals, and the development and

expansion of gold mines in Hispaniola may have increased the distance traveled by

Taino miners from their homes and families. In 1502, Bobadilla was succeeded by Frey

Nicolas de Ovando, whose brutal suppression of Taino rebellion effectively ended the

possibilities of united Taino resistance against the Spanish. Ovando is perhaps most

notorious for his actions at a 1503 feast hosted by the powerful Taino ruler Anacaona,

where he violated the traditions of hospitality when he interrupted the entertainment to

signal his men to begin massacring the assembled Taino leaders.7 In respect to her

high station, Anacaona herself was spared for a later execution by hanging. This event

has often been interpreted as the textbook example of unprovoked Spanish barbarity

during the Conquest, although Troy S. Floyd has argued that the fragmentary

documentary evidence of the event suggests instead that Ovando was reacting against



6 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 105-106.
7 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 149.









a credible threat of a rebellious Spanish-Taino alliance in the region, due to the close

historical ties between the Indians of the region and Roldan's supporters.8 Whatever its

motivations, Ovando's peremptory destruction of Anacaona, who had controlled a

significant Taino state, was followed by the Spanish forces' swift military destruction of

other Taino caciques throughout Hispaniola and neighboring Caribbean islands.9 After

either eliminating or decisively weakening the Indian caciques in the region, Ovando

formalized the encomienda system on Hispaniola in order to cement local Spanish

control throughout the island. Ovando demonstrated himself willing to revoke and

reassign encomiendas when encomenderos violated regulations or fell from political

favor. The risk of losing the encomienda may have lessened the abuses committed by

the average encomendero, although Frank Moya Pons has argued that the temporary

nature of the encomienda grant may have also led to greater overwork and exhaustion

among the Taino laborers.10

The political upheaval in Hispaniola during the second decade of Spanish rule

was partly due to Spanish and European turmoil. Queen Isabel died in November 1504,

and Castile passed to her daughter Juana and her husband, Philip of Burgundy. When

Philip died in 1506, Juana ceded administrative control of Castile to her father,

Ferdinand of Aragon, and retired to Tordesillas.11 Juggling hostile Castilian aristocrats in

Spain and military campaigns in Europe and the Mediterranean, Ferdinand sought to



8 Floyd, The Columbus Dynasty, 62.

9 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 149.
10 Lynne Guitar, Cultural Genesis: Relationships Among Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural
Hispaniola, First Half of the Sixteenth Century (PhD diss., Vanderbilt University,1998), 105; Frank Moya
Pons, Despu6s de Col6n: Trabajo, Sociedad y Politica en la Economia del Oro (Madrid: Alianza, 1986),
40.









maximize the state revenue gained from the Caribbean by encouraging gold mining.12

The Spanish settlers in the Caribbean complained about the diminishing number of

laborers for the gold mines, and so Ferdinand encouraged Spanish slavers to abduct

Indians from the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles, and the Pearl Coast in order to labor in

Hispaniola's gold mines.13 Don Diego Columbus became governor of the Indies in 1509

and spent his tenure attempting unsuccessfully to secure the powers and territories that

had been promised to his family.

Two decades of labor under the Spanish radically altered the lives and social

structures of the indigenous Taino and their relationships with the Spanish settlers. The

Taino were forced to mine gold in distant fields, to cultivate food to feed the Spanish,

and to serve in the households of the colonists. The destruction wrought by disease,

war, starvation, and the separation of families increased Indian mortality, decreased the

Indian birthrate, and drove many Taino to flee to inaccessible areas of Hispaniola or to

other islands entirely. To compensate for the dwindling labor source, the Spanish

settlers began making slave raids on other indigenous communities of the Caribbean,

Florida, and South America.14 They also began agitating for an expanded importation of

African slaves to the Caribbean. The demographic composition of the island further






11 Liss, Isabel the Queen, 355; Elliott, Imperial Spain, 130.
12 Elliott, Imperial Spain, 135-142; Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain, 16; Moya Pons, Despu6s de
Col6n, 44.
13 Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain, 16-28.
14 Michael H. Perri, The Spanish Conquest of the Pearl Coast and the Search for the Province of the Meta
(PhD diss., Emory University, 2004), 17.









altered as the labor force began to include black slaves and Indian laborers from

outside Hispaniola.15

Franciscans and Dominicans

As the Spanish colony in the Americas entered its second decade of existence,

the regular clergy finally began to arrive in significant numbers. In 1500, Bobadilla

arrived with a handful of Franciscan friars, including Juan de la Duele and Juan Tisin.

Tisin and Duele first arrived in 1494 with Ram6n Pane, and Duele had worked

alongside Pane in the Vega Real in 1496, but both Tisin and Duele returned to Spain in

1499 to petition for more friars to be sent to the Caribbean.16 On their second voyage in

1500, Tisin and Duele were accompanied by at least three other Franciscan friars, and

they began a process of mass Indian baptisms on Hispaniola.17 In 1502, Ovando arrived

with twenty-five hundred settlers from Spain, including twelve Franciscan priests and

four lay brothers led by Alonso de Espinal.18 They began constructing buildings for their

order in Santo Domingo in 1503, followed by convents in Concepci6n de la Vega and

Vera Paz de Jaragua by 1510.19 The Dominicans would later accuse the Franciscans of

devoting their efforts to Spanish settlers rather than the Taino, but there is evidence that

the Franciscans did offer at least some religious instruction to children of the Taino elite.



15 Guitar, Cultural Genesis, 407-410.
16 Antonine S. Tibesar, "The Franciscan Province of the Holy Cross of Espanola, 1505-1559," The
Americas 13, no. 4 (Apr., 1957): 379.
17 Among the accompanying friars were Juan de Robles, Francisco Ruiz, and Juan de Trastierra. Ruiz
would later serve as a prominent advisor to Cardinal Cisneros. Carlos Nouel, Historia Eclesidtica de la
Arquidi6cesis de Santo Domingo, Primada de America I (Santo Domingo: Editora de Santo Domingo,
1979), 21; Tibesar, "The Franciscan Province," 379.
18 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 147; Tibesar, "The Franciscan Province," 381.
19 Tibesar, 381.









The cacique Enriquillo, who led an autonomous Taino community on Hispaniola from

1519 to 1534, received religious instruction from the Franciscans at Vera Paz.20

Dominican friars arrived in the Caribbean in September 1510. The initial group of

Dominican friars included Antonio de Montesinos, Bernardo de Santo Domingo, and

Pedro de C6rdoba, the group's leader who was twenty-eight-years old at the time.21

C6rdoba was a figure of major influence on the young Bartolome de Las Casas, and

Las Casas's later writings portray his spiritual mentor in a hagiographic light. According

to Las Casas, the natural austerity of the group was matched by the straitened

circumstances of daily life that they found when they arrived at Hispaniola. Living in a

cramped, thatched hut, the friars ate a diet that included little meat and much cassava

bread.22 They slept on beds of dry straw; their clothing was rough or made from "badly

carded wool."23 Las Casas contrasted this religious rigor with the general spiritual torpor

that the Dominicans found upon their arrival on Hispaniola, where meat was widely

eaten on Fridays and corruption apparently flourished.24 Las Casas portrayed the first

Dominicans embracing the hardships of Hispaniola as if they were happily donning a

hairshirt, and it is likely no coincidence that Pedro de C6rdoba was known from his

youth by the pain he suffered from his austerity and penitential habits.25 His legacy


20 Altman, "The Revolt of Enriquillo," 589; Tibesar, 381 fn 26.
21 Sterling A. Stoudemire, "Preface," in Christian Doctrine: For the Instruction and Information of the
Indians (Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1970), 20.
22 Las Casas, Historia de las Indias 2, 383.
23 "el vestido suyo era dejerga asp6rrima y una tunica de lana mal cardada." Ibid., 383.

24 Ibid., 383.
25 "Si por las penitencias grandes que hacia no cobrara grande y continue dolor de cabeza...y lo que se
modern en el studio, acrecento6lo en el rigor de las austeridad y penitencia todo el tiempo de su vida."
Ibid., 382.









extended beyond Las Casas and the Caribbean. Before his death in 1521, C6rdoba

wrote a simple catechism for the Christian instruction of American Indians; his Doctrina

Cristiana would later be adopted by Bishop Juan de Zumarraga and the early figures of

Christian evangelization in sixteenth-century Mexico, where it became one of the first

books printed in the Americas.26

By January 1511, a second group of five Dominican friars from Spain had joined

their brothers on Hispaniola, and another seven arrived in May 1511.27 Altogether,

during the first two decades of Spanish Hispaniola, at least seventy-eight regular friars

emigrated to the Caribbean and began spreading through the islands.28 Juan de la

Duele, Pane's companion, participated in the conquest and settlement of Jamaica,

where he died between 1508 and 1511.29 His companion Juan de Tisin went to Cuba in

1512 as part of Diego Velasquez y Cuellar's military campaign and worked to negotiate

with the Indians during the bloody conquest of the island.30 During the Cuban conquest,

an unidentified Franciscan friar-who may or may not have been Tisin-played a

supporting role in the story of the Taino cacique Hatuey, one of the prototypical figures

of American Indian resistance to colonization and Christian conversion.

Hatuey had been a cacique in Hispaniola, but after Ovando's suppression of

Taino power on Hispaniola in 1503, Hatuey and his people fled to Cuba, where they


26 Stoudemire, "Preface," 42-43.
27 Miguel A. Medina, "Introducci6n General," in Doctrina Cristiana Para Instrucci6n de los Indios
(Salamanca: Editorial San Esteban, 1987), 22.
28 Franklin W. Knight, The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism, 2nd ed. (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1990), 35.
29 Tibesar, 384.
30 Tibesar, 384.









attempted to organize resistance to the Spanish among the Cuban Taino.31 In 1512,

Hatuey was defeated and captured by Velasquez's forces, who prepared to burn him

alive. When Hatuey was bound to the stake, a Franciscan friar gave him a rapid

introduction to Christianity and said that Hatuey would go to heaven if he would only

embrace the friar's faith. 32 The cacique asked if Christian Spaniards went to heaven

and was told that, yes, the virtuous ones did. Hatuey did not respond to this good news

with the enthusiasm that the Franciscan friar may have expected.

And the cacique then said without thinking on it any more, that he did not
desire to go to the sky, but rather down to hell, so that he would not be
where [the Spanish] were and would not see such cruel people.33

In Las Casas' polemical telling, Hatuey's decision exemplified the wider failures of the

ongoing conquest, in which Spanish brutality and greed impeded evangelical efforts to

win hearts and minds. According to Las Casas, in his attempt to rally the Cuban Taino,

Hatuey had called them together to show them the god that the Spanish worshipped: a

basket of gold and gems. 34

Burgos and Las Casas, 1511-1516

On December 21, 1511, the Sunday before Christmas, the Dominican friar

Antonio de Montesinos delivered a sermon on the "voice crying in the wilderness" in a






31 Irene A. Wright, The Early History of Cuba, 1492-1586 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916), 25-
26.
32 Bartolom6 de las Casas, An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies, ed. Franklin
W. Knight, trans. Andrew Hurley (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2003), 18-20.
33 Ibid., 19.
34 Ibid., 19.









Hispaniola church of wide-eyed Spanish settlers.35 Montesinos castigated the Spanish

for their treatment of American Indians.

This voice says that you are in mortal sin, that you live and die in it, for the
cruelty and tyranny you use in dealing with these innocent people. Tell me,
by what right or justice do you keep these Indians in such a cruel and
horrible servitude?36

The Spanish colonists protested this sermon strongly and demanded an apology from

the Dominican leader, Pedro de C6rdoba. C6rdoba flatly responded that no apology

would be forthcoming. The following Sunday, Montesinos performed a second sermon

that was similar in shape and even stronger in tone. The settlers complained loudly to

Spanish officials, and both King Ferdinand and the Dominican order in Spain criticized

the efforts of the Hispaniola Dominicans as misguided and harmful.

In 1512, C6rdoba sent Montesinos to Spain to lobby for better treatment for the

Indians; he was preceded by the Franciscan Alonso de Espinal, who was tapped by the

Spanish colonists to defend the status quo of the encomienda system. C6rdoba

followed Montesinos at the end of the year. Partly as a result of the pressure exerted by

the Hispaniola Dominicans, Ferdinand convened a royal commission at Burgos to

devise a set of laws to codify better relations between the Spanish and Indians. The

Laws of Burgos, first promulgated in December 1512 and subsequently expanded in

July 1513, contained a lengthy list of regulations for both Indians and Spanish settlers,

but the regulations were designed to support and sustain the encomienda system on

Hispaniola.




35 Lewis Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice, 17-18.
36 Ibid., 17.









Perhaps the most tangible consequence of the Burgos conferences was the

1514 argument developed by Juan Lopez Palacios Rubios in the defense of natural

slavery. In Palacios Rubios's treatise, the American Indian lived in innocent barbarism

before the moment of European contact, but the touch of European civilization reduced

him to the state of an Aristotelian "natural slave" who was required to surrender

authority and autonomy to his biological and intellectual superiors.37 As rhetoric,

Palacios Rubios' words became a recurring element of Spanish imperial thought in the

sixteenth century; as text, it became part of a ritual ceremony of conquest that

combined imperial and Christian imperatives.38 In theory, Spanish conquistadors were

to read the text of the Requerimiento to each newly encountered group of Indians, who

thereafter would be able to make an informed choice between either Spanish rule and

Christian instruction or rebellion. (Rebellion allowed the Spaniards to enslave them in

good conscience.) In practice, the Requerimiento was an empty gesture; according to

historian Lewis Hanke, the conquistadors typically neglected to translate the text into an

Indian language comprehensible to their listeners, performed the Requerimiento for the

benefit of empty forests or open seas, or "muttered its theological phrases into their

beards on the edge of sleeping Indian settlements"39 The Requerimiento accompanied

Pedrarias Davila on his 1514 expedition to Tierra Firme, and it became a formally



37 Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative
Ethnology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 50-56.
38 Patricia Seed, "Taking Possession and Reading Texts: Establishing the Authority of Overseas
Empires," The William and Mary Quarterly, 49:2 (Apr., 1992), 183-209; Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest
of America: The Question of the Other, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Harper and Row, 1984), 147-
148; Lewis Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America (Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania Press, 1949), 31-36.
39 Hanke, The Spanish Struggle, 34.









required feature of all Spanish conquests in 1526.40 As such, it became a recurring

enactment of the Christian rationale for conquest performed not for the Indians but for

the Spanish themselves.

In November 1514, two Dominican friars from Hispaniola were sent to the Pearl

Coast of modern-day Venezuela to establish a mission among the Indians there.41

(Antonio de Montesinos had originally been part of the delegation but was forced to

return to Hispaniola after he became ill during the voyage.) Unfortunately, a Spanish

expedition was slaving in the region, and their forcible abduction of seventeen members

of the local cacique's family provoked the Indians to murder the unsuspecting

Dominicans in retribution. Undeterred, a second group of Dominicans arrived at the

Pearl Coast in 1515, and they punctuated their Christian instruction to the Indians with

angry letters to Spanish authorities about the Spanish slaving being committed under

flimsy pretenses in the region.

Meanwhile, a young secular priest and encomendero on Cuba was undergoing a

slow process of conversion. Bartolome de las Casas had come to the Caribbean in

1502 with the expedition of Ovando; he had been twenty-seven years old at the time of

Montesinos' famous sermon.42 While Las Casas was initially unmoved by the

Dominican efforts at reform, he underwent a slow process of conversion that culminated

in his 1514 decision to give up his encomienda and its claim on Taino labor.

Simultaneously, he began delivering sermons in Cuba against the current encomienda


40 The Requerimiento made its first mandated appearance in the1527-1536 expedition of Panfilo de
Narvaez in North America. Adorno, The Polemics of Possession, 264-266, 372 fn 31.
41 Perri, The Spanish Conquest of the Pearl Coast, 35-38.
42 Henry Raup Wagner and Helen Rand Parish, The Life and Writings of Bartolome de las Casas
(Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1967), 7-13.









system. While Las Casas would not formally enter the Dominican order until 1522, his

new purpose in life gave him common cause with the Caribbean Dominicans. The

support of the order enabled Las Casas and Montesinos together to go to Spain in 1515

and advocate for the reform of the Spanish Caribbean.43 Unfortunately for his plans, Las

Casas achieved one meeting with King Ferdinand before the death of the monarch in

1516.

Political control of Castile and Aragon passed to Cardinal Francisco Jimenez de

Cisneros, a member of the Franciscan order who governed as regent for Ferdinand's

daughter, the unstable Juana I, and her son, the teenaged Charles. Cisneros was a

noted figure of religious reform within the Franciscan order, and he was receptive to the

Dominican-backed effort to reform the governance of the Indies. However, he was

apparently reluctant to entrust the project to the contentious factions already involved in

the debate, which included both the Dominicans and the Franciscans. Instead, Cisneros

sought a more neutral set of actors to investigate conditions on Hispaniola and, if

warranted, institute reforms. Thus, his wandering eye alighted upon the Order of Saint

Jerome.

An Invitation to the Hieronymites

Founded in Spain in 1373, the Order of Saint Jerome was unusually young in

comparison to the established and multinational Franciscans and Dominicans.44

Furthermore, the Hieronymites did not belong to a mendicant order; they did not take

vows of poverty or renounce property. While never as influential as either the


43 Wagner and Parish, Life and Writings, 13.
44 Timothy John Schmitz, "Particular Devotions": Tridentine Reform and State Power in the Hieronymite
Order, 1563-1598" (PhD diss., Indiana University, 2000), 7, 58.









Franciscans or the Dominicans, the Hieronymites were not obscure in the sixteenth

century; the Hieronymite monastery in Madrid was a popular and prestigious location to

request for one's burial in one's will.45 They had a close relationship with secular power

and Iberian heads of state throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: Hernando

de Talavera, confessor for Queen Isabel and first archbishop of Granada, was a

Hieronymite; Emperor Charles V resided within a Hieronymite monastery at Yuste after

he abdicated from the throne in 1555; and King Philip II built the immense San Lorenzo

de El Escorial for the Hieronymite order in 1563.46 Whether this cozy relationship

between the Hieronymite order and the living embodiments of state power in the Iberian

world played any role in Cisneros' decision is unclear, but a great deal of the order's

appeal to Cisneros in this situation seems to have arisen from its perceived lack of any

ideological or political agenda and its apparent absence from Spanish Hispaniola's

contentious history.

In July 1516 Cisneros wrote to the Hieronymite General, Pedro de Mora, and

invited him to commit his order to Spain's colonial project. "Our Highnesses have been

informed that, thus far, the things of the Indies have not been in such good order as

they should be," wrote Cisneros, who began his letter by invoking the two people in

whose stead he ruled.47 The ardent Spanish desire to instruct and convert the Taino to

the Catholic Faith was now threatened by the dramatic demographic decline of the



45 Carlos M. N. Eire, From Madrid to Purgatory: The Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth-Century Spain
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 104.
46 Ibid., 63, 67.
47 "Que Sus Altezas han sido informados que en las cosas de las Indias no ha havido hasta agora tan
buena orden como fuera razon." In Santo Domingo en los Manuscritos de Juan Bautista Mufioz, edited
by Roberto Marte (Santo Domingo: Ediciones Fundaci6n Garcia Ar6valo, Inc., 1981), 181.









indigenous population, Cisneros wrote, and the Spanish queen and her son were

painfully distressed by the reports of encomendero abuses and greed. They had

resolved to send representatives to investigate the situation. Furthermore, they had

decided no religious order had people so capable and so suitable for this task-"in

matters spiritual as in matters temporal"-as did the Order of Saint Jerome.48 Cisneros

concluded the letter by requesting the presence of whichever Hieronymites that Mora

would recommend for this task.

In his August 1516 reply, Mora politely declined this honor.49 The Hieronymites

had never undertaken the kind of mission that Cisneros described, and the Herculean

magnitude of the task was quite beyond their humble abilities, he wrote. Naturally, they

were obedient to every desire of the state, and they would comply with the project if

Cisneros really and truly desired it, but Mora begged Cisneros to reconsider and choose

someone else.

Cisneros peremptorily brushed aside Mora's hesitations in his 1516 reply. "Your

modest excuses... are the excuses of any sane person that prudently looks at the full

weight of these things."50 Nevertheless, Cisneros had made his choice, and his choice

was the Hieronymites. Cisneros went on to describe a vision of the colonial project in

the Spanish Caribbean that is startling for how completely it encapsulates the entire

religious rationale for the conquest of the Americas and its apparently inescapable

conflict with the parallel economic motivations. In the time of Queen Isabel and King


48 "asi en lo spiritual como en lo temporal." Ibid., 182.

49 As summarized in Ibid., 182-183.
50 "vuestras discretas escusas...son de personas cuerdas que miran con much prudencia el peso de las
cosas." Ibid., 183.









Ferdinand, he wrote, there had existed uncertainty about how to incorporate the Indians

into the Spanish possessions, but Christianity offered a solution to the peaceful-but-

pagan existence of the Indians.

As they were a people without faith and without doctrine and without
industry and the good arts that normally train the human reason, it was
expedient and provident that they served while they were taught of faith and
good arts, in such a way that their service was more that of sons than of
slaves.51

Spanish settlers had been envisioned as a central part of this system of spiritual

tutelage and material compensation, but now reports suggested that many had been

overcome by gold and greed. According to these reports, encomenderos had forgotten

the intention of religious instruction and "placed such a grave type of service upon the

Indians, such oppressions of intolerable work" that the land was being "depopulated"

and the souls of unsaved dead Indians were being lost to perdition.52 For this reason,

Cisneros demanded two or three Hieronymite friars to investigate "the business with

their own eyes" and report back to him.53

Receiving this letter, Mora dutifully sought such sane and prudent Hieronymites

to send to the Indies, although his search was complicated by a certain lack of

enthusiasm for this mission by the members of his order.54 Historians often portray the

Hieronymite friars, who belong to an historically obscure order, as belonging to a basic

monkish template of asceticism and scholasticism, which is then used as an explanation


51 "Pero por ser como era gente sin fe ni sin doctrine, sin las industries i buenas artes en que se suele
egercitar la razon humana; que les era expediente i provechoso servir mientras que esto de la fe e
buenas artes se les ensenaba, en tal que el servicio fuese mas de fijos que de esclavos." Ibid.
52 "han puesto tan grave tipo de servidumbre en los dichos Indios, que opresos de intolerables trabajos."
Ibid.
53 "el negocio por sus propios ojos." Ibid.

54 Ibid., 185.









for their timidity about obeying Cisneros and thereby entering the concerns of the

secular world. However, given the historic Hieronymite associations with aristocratic

patronage and royal favor, and their famously magnificent monasteries, this assumption

of modesty and shyness on the part of the Hieronymites may miss the mark. It is equally

possible that they dreaded leaving their comfortable homes and moving to the rough

frontier of civilization in the Caribbean. Whatever reason for their reluctance, Mora at

last selected three Hieronymite representatives-Luis de Figueroa, Alonso de Santo

Domingo, and Bernardino de Manzanedo-and sent them to attend upon Cisneros and

the impatiently waiting Las Casas. In Madrid, the Hieronymites received a detailed set

of instructions from Cisneros, including the necessity of resettling Taino Indians into

concentrated villages that would facilitate Spanish access to their labor. The

Hieronymites also received an additional member of their mission: Licenciado Alonso

Zuazo, juez visitador extraordinario, designated to serve as an advocate for the Taino

Indians in addition to his work collecting residencia accounts from the officials of the

Spanish Caribbean.55 Historians have endlessly argued about who was in charge of

whom in the relationship between the Hieronymites and Zuazo, but Manuel Serrano y

Sanz has argued that both the language of their royal instructions and the actions the

four subsequently undertook in the Caribbean clearly place Zuazo as subordinate to the

H ieronymites.56

Las Casas had devised extensive plans, and he apparently held great hopes for

influencing the project of investigating and reforming Hispaniola. He claimed a large role


55 Castro, Another Face of Empire, 77.
56 Manuel Serrano y Sanz, Origenes de la Dominaci6n Espaiola en America (Madrid: Casa Editorial
Bailly-Bailliere: 1918), 361.









in the selection of both the Hieronymite order and the individual friars picked by Mora,

although both the sixteenth-century correspondence and a seventeenth-century history

of the Hieronymite order are studiously silent about his participation in events. 57 If Las

Casas initially had high hopes for the Hieronymites, he was disappointed from nearly

the beginning. In his account, written many years after the Hieronymite mission to

Hispaniola, Las Casas complained that the three friars had fallen into the clutches of his

enemies immediately after their arrival in Madrid. These foes-the Spanish settlers who

vigorously opposed Las Casas' efforts to end the encomienda-"spoke of nothing but ill

of the Cleric [Las Casas] and of the miserable Indians, vilifying them as beasts and

saying that they were dogs" with such unending repetition that they succeeded in

prejudicing the friars against the project before they had even set sail.58 Some

subsequent historians have taken a more jaundiced view of Las Casas' accusations,

and Lesley Byrd Simpson has argued that Las Casas' autocratic and bullying nature

may have played a larger role than the devious blandishments of encomenderos in the

estrangement between Hieronymites and Las Casas.59

However the division developed, it appears to have been in full swing by the time

the little group sailed, because the Hieronymites sailed separately from Las Casas to

the New World. In December 1516 the Hieronymites arrived on Hispaniola with specific

instructions from Cisneros concerning the resettlement of the Taino population and

other reforms of the island. However, the three friars seemingly regarded these


57 Jos6 de Siguenza, Historia de la orden de San Jer6nimo II (Madrid: Bailly/Bailliere e Hijos, 1909), 101-
110.
58 "de dia y de noche...no hablaban sino en decir mal del cl6rigo y de los miserables indios, infamrndolos
de bestias y que eran unos perros." Las Casas, Historia de las Indias 3, 119.
59 Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain, 40-41.









instructions with a great latitude, because they did not immediately embark upon the

sweeping reforms envisioned by Las Casas. In 1517, Las Casas indignantly returned to

Spain to register his complaints, and the Hieronymites were left to their own pragmatic

devices.

In the actions that the Hieronymites eventually undertook, they balanced their

imperial and religious directives with the immediate desires of the Hispaniola

encomenderos. Las Casas may have perceived the Hieronymites as ineffectual, but

they served as important-and, indeed, in some ways prophetic-figures in three of the

policies that they pursued: sugar cultivation, African slavery, and Indian relocation.









CHAPTER 4
THE HIERONYMITE GOVERNORS OF HISPANIOLA: 1516-1519

After the Hieronymites left Spain, they travelled first to the Canary Islands, then

to Puerto Rico, and finally to Hispaniola, where they arrived on 20 December 1516.1

They immediately presented themselves to the Franciscan monastery, where they

stayed for two or three days. They would have stayed longer if they had not been

reluctant to cause further "disturbance and uneasiness" to their hosts, they reported.2

Uneasiness, however, preceded the three friars in Santo Domingo. They discovered

that letters from Spain about their appointment had arrived before they did, and there

were widespread rumors when they disembarked that the Hieronymites had been sent

to "give liberty to the Indians" and end the encomienda entirely.3

The letters from Spain were not far from the truth-the Hieronymites had been

sent with a long list of instructions that gave them the power to dissolve the encomienda

system if they saw fit. Their purpose, however, was primarily investigative, and their

1516 instructions offered them flexibility in navigating the local politics of Spanish

Hispaniola. While their primary purpose, according to their instructions from Cisneros,

was to ensure the continuation of the Caribbean colonies and the religious instruction of

the indigenous people, they were instructed to approach these tasks using the guidance

and input of the principal vecinos of Hispaniola.4 The Hieronymites followed this

instruction to the letter, while their other instructions from Cisneros were approached


1Marte, 217.
2 "estuvieramos much mas si no temieramos la turbacion i desasosiego que con mas estada pudieran
recivir aquellos devotos Padres." Marte, 217.
3 Marte, 218.
4 Marte, 190.









with less rigor. They were instructed to cooperate with both Franciscans and

Dominicans in their plans for religious reform, but that cooperation proved impossible to

achieve in practice.5 Likewise, they were instructed to talk to the Indian caciques as well

as Spanish encomenderos, but there is little recorded evidence of any contact between

the Hieronymites and the Indians of Hispaniola.6 Other parts of their instructions -

including investigations into Indian settlements, marriage regulations, and religious

instruction-were carried out with greater fidelity by the Hieronymites, but their primary

concern was working well with the representatives of local political power in Spanish

Hispaniola.

The Interrogatorio

As the Hieronymite friars understood their purpose, they had been sent to the

Caribbean to investigate the "conservation and good treatment" of the Indians and to

"give order so that this land shall be settled."7 Given the time they had spent waiting in

Sevilla to depart, trapped between the opposing importunities of Las Casas and the

Spanish settlers, the Hieronymite friars had enjoyed many descriptions of Hispaniola

before they ever set foot on the island. Yet one of their first actions in the Caribbean

was to solicit further portraits of Spanish-Taino society. The problem of the Indies was a

grave and weighty matter, the Hieronymites said, and they intended to rely on the

advice and counsel of the people with the most experience of Hispaniola: the expert



5 Marte, 190.
6 "Leelgados a la Espanola Ilamareis algunos de los principles pobladores, les direis la causa de vuestra
ida. Yesto mismo direis a los Caciques de la dicha isla." Marte, 190.
7 "la conservation e buen tratamiento de los yndios...a dar orden como esta tierra se poblase." In Los
Dominicos y las Encomiendas de Indios de la Isla Espaiola, edited by Emilio Rodriguez Demorizi (Santo
Domingo: Editora del Caribe, 1971), 274.









encomenderos.8 To that end, they prepared a set of seven questions for the vecinos of

Hispaniola that mingled concerns both spiritual and political. Did the Indians have the

capacity to govern themselves? How should the Indians receive religious instruction?

How should Indian labor be organized?

In April 1517, interviews were conducted with fourteen residents of Hispaniola.

Their testimonies were recorded by the notary Pedro de Ledesma. The collection of

these testimonies in the 1517 Interrogatorio contains a wealth of information about the

economic, religious, and social aspects of Taino-Spanish society and the influences at

work upon the Hieronymites. The men interviewed were powerful members of Spanish

society on Hispaniola, and it was these same men, employing a rhetoric that combined

political purpose and religious sentiment, who sought to mediate how the Hieronymites

perceived Hispaniola.

The fourteen interviewees of the Interragatorio all occupied positions of power or

prestige within Spanish Caribbean society, but they varied in the amount of time that

each had spent in the Caribbean. A fourth of these interviewed had arrived in the 1490s,

another fourth had come with Ovando in 1502, and the other half had arrived between

1506 and 1512. The testimonies in the Interrogatorio represent experiences from the

entire period of Spanish colonization in the Caribbean, but the largest segment of those

testimonies came from men who had arrived in the previous ten years.

Four of the vecinos had arrived in the first decade of Spanish Hispaniola. Anton

de Villasante, Andres de Montamarta, and Diego de Alvarado had arrived on Columbus'

second voyage in 1493. All three men said that they had not left the Caribbean since


8 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 274.









their 1493 arrival; if true, all three had witnessed the complete arc of Spanish

Hispaniola's development, and their perspectives were shaped by that complicated

history. Alvarado, for example, could remember the very earliest schemes of Taino

subjugation, starting with Christopher Columbus' command that each Indian "vassal"

was required to bring him enough gold to fill a hawksbell every month.9 It was not long,

in Alvarado's telling, before the Indians stopped bringing gold in favor of dancing areytos

and smoking cohobas and "pondering how they would kill all of the Spanish."10

The fourth vecino to arrive in the 1490s was Pedro Romero, whose arrival in

1499 or 1500 would have coincided with the beginning of Francisco de Bobadilla's

tenure as governor.11 Romero stands as a significant representative of Spanish-Taino

culture. He was one of the many Spanish encomenderos to marry a Taino woman, and

he said that he had come to his knowledge of Taino affairs by "asking my wife as well

as the other caciques and cacicas of the island."12 He testified that he had numerous

connections with both the Taino communities and the Spanish settlements on

Hispaniola.13 When Enriquillo revolted against Spanish authority and formed his own

autonomous community in the 1520s, it was Romero who acted as one of the mediators

between Enriquillo and the Spanish authorities.14



9 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 295.
10 "fazer sus areytos e cohobas e pensar como matarian a todos los espanoles." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los
Dominicos, 295.
11 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 333-338.
12 "asi preguntandolo a mi muger como a otros caciques e cagicas desta ysla." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los
Dominicos, 334.
13 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 333.
14 Altman, "The Revolt of Enriquillo," 609.









Three vecinos testified in the Interrogatorio that they had arrived in 1502 with

Ovando. Juan Mosquera was a significant figure in early Spanish Hispaniola: a member

of the island elite who would become heavily involved in the inter-Caribbean slave

trade.15 He was married to Ofrasina de Pasamonte and therefore linked to the powerful

Pasamonte family, and their daughter Maria would marry Don Diego Col6n's son, Don

Luis, in 1546.16 Gonzalo de Ocampo and Christ6bal Serrano, who both subsequently

would lead various military campaigns and slaving raids in the South American

mainland, arrived together with Ovando in 1502.17

The third and largest wave of interviewees had arrived between 1506 and 1512.

Lucas Vazquez de Ayll6n, the most powerful judge in the Audiencia de Santo Domingo,

arrived in 1503 or 1504.18 Miguel de Pasamonte, royal treasurer, arrived in 1508.19

Jer6nimo de Aguero, tutor to Don Diego Colon and, subsequently, to his children,

arrived in 1509.20 Marcos de Aguilar arrived in 1509; in addition to his time on

Hispaniola, he had spent time on Cuba and Puerto Rico as well as Hispaniola.21 Juan

de Ampies, royal factor in 1517, had arrived in 1511.22



15 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 278-282; Enrique Otte, Las Perlas del Caribe: Nueva Cadiz de
Cubagua (Caracas: Fundaci6n John Boulton), 160, 209, 251.
16 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 81 fn 16;

17 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 282-288, 296-301; Manuel Gim6nez Fernandez, Bartolome de
Las Casas: Delegado de Cisneros Para La Reformaci6n de las Indias (1516-1517), vol. 1 (Sevilla:
Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos de Sevilla, 1953), 316 fn 872; Otte, 102, 189.
18 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 85 fn 27, 308-311; Otte, 139, 143, 192.

19 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 75 fn 5, 306-308.

20 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 288-293.

21 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 339-350.
22 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 302-306; Gim6nez Fernandez, 312 fn 865.









Among the fourteen interviewed men were two regular friars. Franciscan friar

Pedro Mexia arrived in 1506.23 He had experienced extensive contact and conversation

with the Taino, he said, and they only desired "to be free and idle and move around at

their pleasure."24 He opposed the continuation of the encomienda and argued instead

that the wheels of the economy should be driven by a tribute that the Taino would pay

through laboring at their own discretion.25 Bernardo de Santo Domingo was one of the

first three Dominican friars to arrive in 1510, and his testimony in the Interrogatorio

represented the antagonism against the encomienda already expressed by Montesinos

and Cordoba.

The Taino, as Painted by the Encomenderos

The interviewed encomenderos had a vested interest in retaining their

repartimientos, and accordingly they took pains to represent the Taino Indians as

undisciplined and in desperate need of oversight. In an ideal Caribbean, the Indians

would work and live in the familiar manner of Castilian peasants, but it was clear to the

vecinos that, given the choice, the Taino would spend all their time dancing areytos and

playing on the batey field, where the Taino participated in a ceremonial ball-game.26

They were "lazy idlers and enemies of work," Juan de Ampies testified.27

They could also be violent. Even the recently arrived colonists displayed a keen

awareness of the bloody dimensions of Spanish-Taino society. Montamarta testified that


23 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 328-330.
24 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 329.
25 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 330.
26 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 332, 340, 290.
27 "muy perezosos holgazanes y enemigos de trabajar." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 302.









the Indians should not be released from the encomienda system because "they are not

people of reason and they are inclined more to the bad than to the good and, knowing

such liberty, they would kill the Spanish who had overseen them."28 Aguilar said that the

Taino of Puerto Rico still celebrated in 1517 a victory that that they had won over

Spanish forces in 1511.29

The Taino in the mountains of Hispaniola, living beyond the easy reach of the

Spanish, were portrayed as alien to Spanish sensibilities. Pedro Romero reported that,

unlike people of civilized knowledge, the Taino had such disregard for the possessions

of their ancestors that "by the smallest whim in the world, the Indians might destroy and

burn their homes and go to the mountains to build others."30 Juan de Ampies stressed

that the Taino of the mountains were sustained by poisonous spiders and snakes, while

Juan Mosquera described the Taino as having such vices as eating spiders and

alligators and "other filthy things"-although this diet suggests hunger more than it does

perversity.31 Gonzalo de Campo was even more explicit about the savagery of the

mountains:

And the caciques and Indians having such a necessity of work, because
they walked around naked and by working, they were given clothing with
which to cover their flesh [but] very few of them were seen that came to
serve before they fled intercourse with the Spanish and went through the



28 "e por que no son gentes de rrason e son ynclinados mas al mal que al bien e sabiendo la tal libertad
matarian a los espafioles que toveisen dellos cargo." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 332.
29 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 346.
30 "hablando en general de todos digo que comunmente aborresgen lo que las personas de
conosgimiento suelen amar que son las casas e posesyones que sus antepasados les dexaron que por
el menor antojo del mundo las destruyen e queman e se van al monte a hedifican otras." Rod riguez
Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 334.
31 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 302, 279.









mountains eating wild roots and showing Ovando their brutality and the ruin
of the Christians.32

Not all of the Indians lived at a distance from Spanish settlements. While some

vecinos emphasized the fundamentally alien and uncivilized nature of the Indians,

others suggested a more complicated image of an entwined Spanish-Taino society.

Complexities emerged in the cases of Taino Indians who lived among the Spanish or

the caciques who held encomiendas themselves.33 The testimonies suggest the ways in

which the Taino had adopted Castillian trade goods. They would happily trade their only

shirt or hammock for a pair of scissors, Aguero noted, which he interpreted as yet

further evidence of their inability to understand the true worth of objects.34 Several

vecinos made reference to alcohol consumption among the Taino, and Juan de Ampies

described them as habitual drunkards.35 Diego de Alvarado said that the Indians had

been known as enthusiasts for batey and areytos and cohobas and "drinking yerbas so

that they could expel from their bodies everything that they had eaten," but now they

were also known for their enthusiasm for wine, which they said was better than cohoba

or games on the batey-field.36


32 "teniendo los dichos caciques e yndios asaz nesgesydad de trabajar por que andavan denudos y les
dieran por su trabajo rropa con que cobrir sus carnes muy pocos dellos se vio que viniesen a seruir antes
huyan de la conversation de los espaioles y se adavan por los montes comiendo rrayzes salvajes y
veyendo el dicho Comendador mayor su bestialidad y la perdigion de los christianos." Rodriguez
Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 283-284.
33 "porque son ladrones por la mayor parte espegialmente aquellos que mas sean criado entire los
espanoles." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 302. For Indian encomenderos, see Rodriguez
Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 283, 306, 341.

34 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 288.

35 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 302.
36 "ser aficionados hera aljuego de batel e areytos e cohobas e tomar yervas para hechar del cuerpo
todo lo que an comido e genado, e lo que agora al present delllos conosgo es ser aficionados al vino
porque dizen ques mejor cohoba que la suya e al dicho juego de batel." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los
Dominicos, 292.









It was the space between the mountains and the Spanish settlements-the long

and deadly road that linked Taino communities to Spanish mines and haciendas-that

most concerned the vecinos.37 The encomenderos testified that, within Spanish spheres

of control and influence, the Taino lived good and prosperous lives, but that prosperity

slipped away as soon as the Taino left, once their annual labor commitments were

completed. According to Gonzalo de Ocampo,

It is very evident that when the Indians go to serve, they go fat and well
treated, and when they return, they come very thin, as though they cannot
support themselves while they have the distractions of women and games
of pelota and the other frivolities with which they occupy themselves on
their own lands that are more exhausting to them than work.38

Issues of food and hunger were frequently invoked by the vecinos, who blamed

the demographic collapse of the indigenous population on the starvation and willful

destruction brought about by the Taino inability to live and eat in a civilized manner. The

Taino ate filthy things; the Taino gorged on food; the Taino practiced ritual vomiting in

cohoba rituals. In particular, yuca cultivation and cassava production were singled out

as examples of deadly Taino practices. Aguilar described people who "value life so little

that they drink yuca water and other herbs" that continued to kill them, while

Montamarta testified that the Taino deliberately damaged themselves because they

"would drink yuca water and die" rather than relocate their communities.39 Yuca could

be deadly; improperly prepared, it was a poison. The mortality created by encomienda





37 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 343.
38 "muy manifesto que quando los yndios van de servir van gordos y bien tratados y quando buelven
vienen muy flacos asy por los mantenimientos que no tienen como por sus descongiertos de mugeres y
juegos de pelota y otras liviandades en que se ocupan en sus tierras que los fatigan mas quel trabajo."
Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 286.









labor and Old World diseases was likely exacerbated by the exhausted Indians' lack of

time and energy to cultivate and prepare the staple of their diet properly. Pedro Romero

said that the Indians had been driven to eat from new and "unseasoned" conucos, and

that "great illnesses" developed from their diet of "much filthiness."40

The solution to this childish improvidence depended, the vecinos testified, on

proper regulation and close oversight by both encomenderos and religious officials.

When asked about the ideal encomendero, the settlers of Hispaniola concurred on the

need to give encomiendas exclusively to those people who resided in the Caribbean.

Just as the Taino could not be incorporated into the economic and spiritual provenance

of the Spanish when they lived at a distance, the encomenderos should be required to

oversee their labor force personally and closely. Given the large numbers of absentee

encomenderos who lived in Spain, and given the fact that the interviewed vecinos all

claimed a long and uninterrupted tenure in the Caribbean, it is not surprising that

requiring encomenderos to reside permanently in the Caribbean was a common

sentiment expressed. Miguel de Pasamonte suggested that married Spaniards receive

preference for encomiendas over the unmarried Spaniards who remained so

uncommitted to Hispaniola and so full of longing to return to Spain that they would not

even consent to the permanence of building a "stone house."41



39 "gente que estima en poco la vida tomarian agua de yuca e otras yervas e cosas con que por muy
livianas cosas se suelen matar." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 342; "porque tomarian agua de
yuca e se matarian." Ibid., 331.
40 "asymismo comen tras aquello los conucos nuevos questan syn sazon e tras de aquello muchas
suziedades de que progeden grandes enfermedades." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 333.
41 "a los solteros con tanto que tengan casas de piedra porque los que no las edifican y tienen con que
tan poca voluntad tienen de permaneger en la tierra como los solteros que mas desean yrse a Castilla."
Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 308.









The vecinos occasionally mentioned concerns about the "depopulation" of

Hispaniola, but it is clear that those fears encompassed both Taino and Spanish.

Christ6bal Serrano said that, if the Taino Indians were given their freedom, the

disappearance of the Spanish from the island was certain, because the Taino would not

serve the Spanish, and thus the entirety of the Spanish Caribbean would be lost.42 In

order to sustain Spanish residence in the Caribbean, several vecinos mentioned

alternate sources of labor. Because the Indians "were not able to be instructed in our

sainted faith any more than they were able to multiply within the mines, it would be good

if His Highness could open the license for bringing blacks to this island," said Pedro

Romero, who also alluded to the internal slave trade of Lucayan Indians from the

Bahamas.43 Africans appeared several times in the Interrogatorio, both as a source of

labor and as an additional source of discontent when they collaborated with the

rebellious Taino.44

Religion and Regulation

The vecinos offered differing opinions on how to reform and regulate the

treatment of the Indians. Jer6nimo de AgCero, for example, offered a long and

elaborately detailed plan for reform that, among other things, called for every Indian to

possess two shirts, so that "when they got wet, they would have a change of clothing."45

Yet all of the interviewed participants duly agreed that converting the Indians to


42 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 297.
43 "e porqe como dicho tengo los yndios andan en las minas no pueden ser dotrinados a nuestra santa
fee ni menos puden multiplicar andando en las minas seria bien que su alteza abriese la ligencia para
traernegros a esta ysla." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 338.
44 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 292, 304, 308.
45 "por que quando vienen mojados tegan rropa que mudar." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 292.









Christianity was the most important step in the reformation of the Indies. The traditional

Taino were set up in opposition to the Christians. If released from the encomienda, the

Taino "would return to their rites and ceremonies and empty superstitions... and go

about naked and live bestially as they are the enemies of intercourse with the

Christians," Aguilar testified.46

For the encomenderos, Christian belief required the outward expressions of the

faith, such as saying the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria, but the Taino did not maintain

these simple demonstrations when they were within their own communities, according

to Montamarta.47 However, these expectations would have been difficult for even

Spaniards of the period to fulfill; Sara T. Nalle has found that many lay Christians in

sixteenth-century Spain could not recite from memory the established prayers of the

Church.48 Nevertheless, the vecinos affirmed the importance of converting the Indians in

order to save their immortal souls. Given the cultural background of the vecinos and the

nature of the three men conducting the Interrogatorio, it is not surprising that they would

be so explicit about the need for more clerics to administer the sacraments to the

Indians. However, the emphasis placed on ensuring that the Taino enjoyed a good

death may also be linked to the social conditions surrounding the vecinos in 1517.

There is little overt discussion of high mortality rates among the Taino, but many of the

vecinos suggest a consciousness of death and disease among the Taino that may have

been driven by European diseases.

46 "se tomarian a sus rritos e girimonias e vanas superestigiones...e andarse desnudos e beuir
bestialmente como son enemigos de la conversation de los christianos." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los
Dominicos, 340.
47 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 331.
48 Sara T. Nalle, God in La Mancha, 105.









The interviewed vecinos chalked up the past failure of religious instruction to

various factors. Gonzalo de Ocampo said that some Taino elders would mock other

Indians if they spoke about Christian beliefs among themselves, which further inhibited

conversion efforts.49 Gonzalo de Ocampo noted that current religious instruction only

penetrated so far as the laboring Taino, who were adults, and thus missed the

opportunity to convert malleable children, who instead were reared in the "vices and bad

customs" of their mothers.50 Similarly, Miguel de Pasamonte said that, because the

Taino did not begin to serve (and, implicitly, mingle with) the Spanish until they were at

least twelve or thirteen years old, they absorbed the customs of their parents and never

were able to embrace Christianity.51

The Dominican friar Bernardo de Santo Domingo offered the most extensive

suggestions for the proper regulation and religious instruction of the Indians. His

recommendations, he said, were intended to be the "least inconvenient" way to balance

Spanish "conscience" about the salvation of "these miserable people" while also

ensuring the least damage to the haciendas or the royal revenues from the Caribbean. 52

He offered numerous suggestions for the regulation of agricultural systems, labor

requirements, Taino administration, and domestic spaces.

The regulation-and protection-of women occupied a significant portion of his

suggestions. The labor of women, according to Santo Domingo, should include "making



49 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 284.
50 "sus vigios y malas costumbres espegialmente en cosas de mugeres."

51 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 307.
52 "menos ynconveniente...la salvation de las congiengias de los espaioles...desta miserable gente."
Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos,"









bread, cooking food, washing clothing, making shirts, rearing chickens, and other such

things."53 Cotton was to be planted around the villages so that women could make

hammocks; and the women are instructed to take up sewing so that the Indians would

have clothing.54 In addition to these restrictions, Santo Domingo issued a broadly

inclusive prohibition against rape: "The penalty of the law warns whichever Indian man

or Spanish man or black man or man of any other nation that would force [themselves

upon] some Indian or other women of whatever nation or by force would deflower her."55

In some ways, the preoccupation with women operating within a particular

sphere is unexpected-it was certainly not directly echoed by the other encomenderos,

who appear largely unconcerned with Taino women in their testimonies. They discuss

the need to bring women closer in terms of properly Christianizing the Taino race: they

could not civilize the people if they could not reach the women and children. Other

motives for bringing women closer to Spanish society go undiscussed, although many

Taino and mestizo women already operated within Spanish societies as cooks, nannies,

mistresses, wives, and daughters. In some ways, therefore, the Dominican friar must

have been responding to situations undiscussed in the testimonies that were

nonetheless visible to members of Spanish-Taino society.

In other ways, however, the friar and the encomenderos are concerned about the

same thing: the preservation of the labor source for the Spanish Caribbean. Ensuring


53 "ni en deservarlos ni cogellos ni entidean las mugeres salvo en hazer pan guisar de comer lavar sus
pa[n]os hazer camisas crier gallinas e en tales cossas." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 350.
54 Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 350, 352.
55 "qualquier yndio o espaiol o negro o de otra nation que forgare alguna yndia o otra mugger de
qualquier nation o por fuerga desflorare la pena de la ley avisallos." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos,
352.









Taino reproduction was an essential step for ensuring Taino production, but while the

encomenderos perceived this problem as one external to Spanish society-something

that needed to be fixed out there, in the mountainous wildernesses beyond the bounds

of civilization-Santo Domingo perceived it as a problem that sprang from the entangled

and entwined nature of Spanish-Taino-African society.

Unsurprisingly, Santo Domingo devoted extensive space to the forms of religious

instruction to be practiced among the Taino of Hispaniola. Religious instruction was to

"teach the articles of the faith, the commandments and the sacraments, and the other

things that they agree to know and they will be given writings for that language in their

language so that they are able to read, in their language if it is known."56

Sugar, Slavery, and Smallpox

By and large, the established encomenderos of the island felt the encomienda

system was excellent, and they vocally doubted the ability of the Indians to live properly

without Spanish supervision. The Interrogatorio conducted by the Hieronymites appears

to have been influential in shaping how the friars perceived the situation on the island,

and their letters back to Spain express the general tenor of these interviews. Similarly,

they were encouraged by the encomenderos to pursue new forms of economic

development for Hispaniola as the profits of the gold mines dried up. Thus, the

Hieronymites entwined purposes the religious reform of the Indians, the preservation

of the Caribbean's labor force, the prosperity of the Spanish settlers led to the advent

of sugar plantations, African slavery, and the inadvertent decimation of the Taino


56 "para quel cura enseile los articulos de la fee mandamientos e sacramentos e las otras cossas que a
ellos conviene saber e dargelas escrptas a esta lengua en su lengua para que gelas pueda leer, que esta
lengua sy supiere." Rodriguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos, 351.









through smallpox. In these efforts, the Hieronymite governors were in accord with

Zuazo, whose florid letters to Spain echoed the concerns of the Hieronymites.

Sugar cane arrived in the Caribbean with Christopher Columbus's second

voyage, which brought a hybrid variety of Saccharum barber and Sacharum officinarum

that was cultivated in India, the Middle East, and the Eastern Atlantic.57 The sweet plant

proved popular with the indigenous people of the Americas, and it penetrated through

some areas of the Caribbean and the mainland Americas far ahead of European

settlement.58 Sugar plantations would come to dominate the economy of the Caribbean

during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, and the crop would have

a wide-ranging effect on the course of industrialization, globalization, and modernity

throughout the Atlantic World, but sugar failed to achieve that dominance in the

sixteenth-century Spanish Caribbean.59 Nonetheless, the sugar cultivation in the early

Spanish Caribbean was an important chapter in both the development of sugar

plantations and the economic development of the Spanish Caribbean, and the

Hieronymites played an important role in that story. In the wake of diminishing returns

from exhausted placer gold deposits, the Hieronymites recommended the pursuit of

more agricultural industries, including increased sugar production. In a letter from June

1517, the three friars spoke of the rich earth of Hispaniola and suggested a broad array

of possible crops, "such as wheat, wine, sugar cane, cotton, and caiafistula, and other





57 J. H. Galloway, The Sugar Cane Industry: An Historical Geography from its Origins to 1914
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 11.
58 Ibid., 62.

59 Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Viking, 1985).









groves of these parts."60 In 1518, the Hieronymites dutifully reported that they had

planted ca~afistula and were optimistic about wheat and wine, but most of their

enthusiasm was reserved for sugar.

Concerted sugar production had been occurring in Hispaniola since at least

1501, but an effective mill arrived on the island only in 1515.61 In consultation with the

encomenderos, the Hieronymites supported and promoted sugar cultivation on

Hispaniola, even going so far as to issue loans to prospective planters.62 "And we in the

name of Your Majesty helped with some little money," they wrote to Charles V in 1518,

"because as we said, these are needy people."63 This effort by the Hieronymites was

subsequently followed by increased state support: funds from the Royal Treasury were

available to settlers seeking to build ingenios by 1518, and by the 1520s, colonists were

permitted to smelt their own copper for their sugar kettles, rather than importing that

copper from Spain and paying its attendant import tax to the Spanish treasury.64 The

efforts of the Hieronymites therefore marked the beginning of a shift in the policies of

local and imperial administrators and their conception of the Caribbean economy.

Despite the promising possibilities of sugar cultivation in 1517, the burgeoning

industry faced an immediate obstacle: it required a great deal of labor, and Hispaniola


60 "asi como trigo, videos, canaverales dulzes, algodonales, i canafistolas, i otras arboledas de las desas
parties In Marte, 229.
61 Genaro Rodriguez Morel, "The Sugar Economy of Espanola in the Sixteenth Century," in Tropical
Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1680, ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Chapel Hill:
The University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 87; Galloway, The Sugar Cane Industry, 65-66.
62 Mervyn Ratekin, "The Early Sugar Industry in Espanola," The Hispanic American Historical Review,
34:1 (Feb., 1954), 10.
63 "i nosotros en nombre de Vuestra Magestad ayudamos con algun poco de dinero, porque como
havemos dicho es gente nezesitada." In Marte, 249.
64 Morel, "The Sugar Economy of Espanola," 89.









was currently enmeshed in an intensifying labor shortage. With growing numbers of

Taino either dead or disappearing to spaces beyond Spanish reach, a new source of

labor would need to be found in order to keep the colonists living in the style to which

they had become accustomed. In weighing this situation, both the Hieronymites and

Zuazo recommended African slaves as the solution to Hispaniola's labor problems.65

Slavery had been a fundamental aspect of the early Greek polities and the

Roman Empire, and the institution survived in the Mediterranean world to become one

of the cultural legacies passed down to unified Christian Spain in 1492.66 An internal

slave-trade also occupied an established place in African history, but it was not until

Portuguese traders established trans-Atlantic trade routes with sub-Saharan African in

the fifteenth century that the Atlantic slave trade truly developed.67 A small number of

enslaved Iberian Moors and Africans traded through the slave port of Sevilla already

lived and labored on Hispaniola alongside illegally imported African slaves, but the

Hieronymites wanted to expand the legal slave trade and they specifically wanted

African-born slaves.68 Encompassed within the intellectual sphere of the "Old World,"

the continent of Africa had already experienced an opportunity of long duration for

Christian instruction, unlike the Americas, and thus religion could be used to defend the

enslavement of the African people as willful infidels and heathens. The request for

negros bozales, who were perceived as the easiest type of slave to train, was a



65 Carlos Esteban Deive, La Espaiola yla Esclavitud del Indio (Santo Domingo: Ediciones Fundaci6n
Garcia Ar6valo, 1995), 233-234.
66 Herbert Klein, "The Atlantic Slave Trade to 1650," in Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the
Atlantic World, 1450-1680, ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press,
2004), 201.
67 Ibid., 204.









common feature in their reports to Spain. One of the Hieronymite friars, Bernardino de

Manzanedo, returned to Spain in 1518 to issue a report in which he recommended

African slaves as a repeated request from the Hispaniola encomenderos: "Everyone on

Hispaniola asks permission to bring Blacks, as there are not enough in the Indies."69

The Hieronymites were not the first to suggest the expansion of the African slave

trade in the Caribbean. Las Casas had also suggested enslaved African labor as an

alternative to Indian labor, and this single suggestion has tarnished his humanitarian

legacy ever since.70 If the import of African slaves to the Caribbean was not a novel idea

when the Hieronymites suggested it, neither was it an idea that had previously enjoyed

much support from the Spanish authorities. However, in 1519, Charles V issued a

permit to import 4,000 African slaves to the Caribbean tax-free. Expanding throughout

the course of the region's subsequent colonial history, the African slave trade would

prove to be the major demographic and cultural influence on the modern Caribbean,

and the Hieronymites played their supporting role in that larger event.

In addition to acting as boosters for sugar cultivation and the African slave trade,

the Hieronymites also played a role in the continuing decimation of the indigenous Taino

population of Hispaniola. Finally following their original instructions from Cisneros, the

Hieronymites had rearranged the scattered Hispaniola Indians into thirty new

settlements. Far from easing the problems of a declining indigenous population, this

action exacerbated the demographic collapse when smallpox broke out on the island for


68 Guitar, Cultural Genesis, 279-282.
69 "Los de la Espanola todos piden licencia para Ilevar Negros, pues no bastan los Indios." In Marte, 247.

70 Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492-1969 (New York: Vintage
Books, 1984), 43.









the first time at the end of 1518 and decimated an estimated third of the Indian

population in the first month.71

Back in Spain, Cardinal Cisneros had died in November 1517, and the reins of

Spanish government had been taken up by a new king, Charles, and his new set of

advisors. Charles signed the documents relieving the Hieronymites of power in August

1518, but neither these instructions nor their successor, Rodrigo de Figueroa, arrived in

Hispaniola until August 1519.72 The next year, the Hieronymites returned to Spain, their

religious duties, and historical obscurity. However, their participation in the developing

society of Spanish America came at an important transitional moment for the region,

and the Hieronymites are an important component to understanding the influences and

problems that would subsequently define the Caribbean. Sugar, slavery, and smallpox

remade the region, and the Hieronymites presided over the initial period of Caribbean

transformations.


71 Cook, Bor to Die, 60-63.
72 Simpson, 53.









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS

The Hieronymite governors exercised an influence in the encouragement of sugar

plantations, the expansion of the African slave trade, the extent of the smallpox

epidemic. These things may have happened without the Hieronymites: smallpox would

have arrived anyway, delivering its inevitable blow to the social fractures already

produced within Taino society by physical separation, sexual segregation, overwork,

and malnutrition, while sugar and slavery were predictable (although not inevitable)

solutions to the economic crisis of the 1510s. The Hieronymite governors were merely

convenient conduits: receptive to persuasion by the settlers and capable of passing

those demands onward to higher levels of Spanish authority. If not the Hieronymites,

another governor might have done just as easily.

Yet it was the political and moral conductivity of the Hieronymites that made them

unusual in the early Spanish Caribbean. Until the Hieronymites were invested with

power, the Spanish Caribbean had oscillated between the feudal aspirations of the

Columbus family, the brief tenure of Francisco de Bobadilla, and the deliberate military

conquests of Frey Nicolas de Ovando. Christopher and Don Diego Columbus had little

prior political experience, but during their governments, they established an entrenched

Caribbean network of support through patronage and marriage, and both Bobadilla and

Ovando had experience with power and leadership as military commanders governing

frontier lands on the Iberian peninsula.1




1 Frank Moya Pons, "The Politics of Forced Indian Labour in La Espanola, 1493-1520," Antiquity 66
(1992), 132.









The Hieronymite governors lacked both political experience and a ready network

of Caribbean support. Their own religious order had virtually no presence on the island.

The Dominicans were obdurately opposed to them after the experiences of Las Casas,

and the Franciscans, while not hostile, do not appear to have lent them much visible

support after their first few days on Hispaniola. The Hieronymite governors arrived as

neutral observers, chosen for their lack of a stake in the fate of the Spanish Caribbean -

and this absence of a stake weakened their political position. For the sake of their

original appointment by Cisneros, they were obligated to investigate and alleviate the

conditions under which the Taino lived, but their lack of ready-made allies in Spanish

Hispaniola meant that they needed to placate the island's most powerful bloc, the long-

established encomenderos, who had the most to lose in the reform of Indian labor laws.

These obligations were further complicated by the overriding imperative to justify their

political appointment by materially improving conditions on the island, which is why they

desperately investigated various industries and labor alternatives. None of their plans

quite worked out, and when Charles V came suddenly to power in Spain, the

Hieronymites' lack of political clout and connections meant that they were easily

summoned home, lacking a place in Charles' new plans for the region.

The Hieronymites had a tradition of steadfast and safe neutrality in their positions

of service to royal or political authority. After all, they had been profoundly successful in

their stewardship of multiple Spanish shrines, and multiple Hieronymite friars served as

personal and political auxiliaries of the Spanish monarchs in the fifteenth and sixteenth

centuries. They were named as the governors of Hispaniola in recognition of this

tradition of imperturbable steadfastness. That Hispaniola might fail to yield the rewards









of those earlier acts of service-the rich rents of Guadalupe or the bishopric of Granada-

may have been foreseen by the Hieronymites at the time. Hence their hesitancy to

accept the charge, but their reputation prevented them from a successful evasion.

Ram6n Pane was chosen by Columbus for similar qualities of reliability. He was

not chosen for his untainted ability of ethnographic description but because Columbus

initially perceived him to be a safe bet, someone who he could toss into the wilderness

to investigate a muddled situation and someone who could be counted upon to report

back with reasonable accuracy. Columbus eventually disowned Pane and denied the

accuracy of his report, but the implications of his original decision remain unchanged.

Pane, as one of the lone religious figures on the island at that time, was chosen to go

among the Taino of the Vega Real because he seemed to embody the two roles that

Columbus most sought: a mediator, to learn Taino culture and transmit Christian

religion, and a reporter, to describe and communicate. That these roles were apparently

beyond Pane (in Columbus' estimation) suggest that he was chosen for the job not for

any innate qualities that he demonstrated to Columbus, but for the qualities that he was

supposed to have as a Hieronymite, as a member of a regular order, and as a religious

figure. A similar expectation of reliability and neutrality appears to have overlaid

Cisneros' appointment of the Hieronymite governors in 1516.

In many ways, the Hieronymites of early Spanish Hispaniola fulfilled these

expectations and discharged their responsibilities by going where they were told to go

and attempting to find a safe middle ground between competing forces. The weakness

of their position in Hispaniola forced them to make alliances where they could, and the

qualities assigned to their religious identity allowed them to seek particular kinds of









negotiation and accommodation within the framework of their Christian religious

understanding. In turn, their religious identities shaped the ways in which they interacted

with others. Hispaniola's vecinos sought to use religious rhetoric to persuade and

convince the Hieronymite governors; Las Casas objected to the Hieronymites

specifically due to their failed potential as corrupted clerics; Pane's relationship with the

Taino of the Vega Real was defined by his evangelical role. In these ways, the events

that occurred within the Hieronymite sphere of early Spanish Hispaniola were

specifically contingent on the peculiar role played by these four Hieronymite friars and

the position they occupied at a formative moment in the relationship between

evangelical Christianity and the expansion of empire in the early Iberian Atlantic .The

diverse experiences of Hieronymites in Hispaniola suggest the variety of ways in which

European and American religious understandings were enacted, contested, and

reshaped during the course of colonialism.









LIST OF REFERENCES


Adorno, Rolena. The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative. New
Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.

Altman, Ida. "The Revolt of Enriquillo and the Historiography of Early Spanish America."
The Americas 63 (2007): 587-614

Arrom, Jose Juan. "Introduction to the English Edition." In An Account of the Antiquities
of the Indians. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.

Aston, Margaret. The Fifteenth Century: The Prospect of Europe. London: Harcourt,
Brace, and World, Inc., 1968.

Burkhart, Louise M. The Slippery Earth: Nahua-Christian Moral Dialogue in Sixteenth-
century Mexico. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1989.

Brinton, D. G. "The Arawack Language of Guiana in Its Linguistic and Ethnological
Relations." Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 14 (1871): 427-
444.

Castro, Daniel. Another Face of Empire: Bartolome de Las Casas, Indigenous Rights,
and Ecclesiastical Imperialism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.

Christian, Jr., William A. Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981.

Christian, Jr., William A. Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain. Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1981.

Col6n, Fernando. The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by his son Ferdinand.
Translated by Benjamin Keen. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1959.

Cook, Noble David. Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492-1650.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Cook, Sherburne F. and Woodrow Borah. Essays in Population History: Mexico and the
Caribbean. Volume I. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971.

Deagan, Kathleen. "Reconsidering Taino Social Dynamics after Spanish Conquest:
Gender and Class in Culture Contact Studies." American Antiquity 69 (2004).

Deagan, Kathleen and Jose Maria Cruxent. Columbus's Outpost among the Tainos:
Spain and America at La Isabela, 1493-1498. New Haven: Yale University Press,
2002.

Deive, Carlos Esteban. La Espanfola y la Esclavitud del Indio. Santo Domingo:
Ediciones Fundaci6n Garcia Arevalo, 1995.









Eire, Carlos M. N., From Madrid to Purgatory: The Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth-
Century Spain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Elliott, J. H. Imperial Spain 1469-1716. London: Penguin Books, 1990.

Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe. Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonization from the
Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229-1492. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1987.

Floyd, Troy S. The Columbus Dynasty in the Caribbean, 1492-1526. Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press, 1973.

Galloway, J. H. The Sugar Cane Industry: An Historical Geography from its Origins to
1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Gaylord Bourne, Edward. Columbus, Ram6n Pan6, and the Beginnings of American
Anthropology. Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society: Worcester,
1906.

Gibson, Charles. The Black Legend: Anti-Spanish Attitudes in the Old World and the
New. New York: Knopf, 1971.

Gimenez Fernandez, Manuel. Bartolom6 de Las Casas: Delegado de Cisneros Para La
Reformaci6n de las Indias (1516-1517). Volume 1. Sevilla: Escuela de Estudios
Hispano-Americanos de Sevilla, 1953.

Glick, Thomas F. and Oriol Pi-Sunyer. "Acculturation as an Explanatory Concept in
Spanish History." Comparative Studies in Society and History 11 (April 1969):
136-154.

Gonzalez Echevarria, Roberto. Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American
Narrative. Second edition. Durham: Duke University Press, 1998.

Granberry, Julian. "Was Ciguayo a West Indian Hokan Language?" International
Journal of American Linguistics 57 (October 1991): 514-519.

Gruzinski, Serge. Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to Blade Runner (1492-2019).
Translated by Heather MacLean. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001.

Guitar, Lynne A. Cultural Genesis: Relationships Among Indians, Africans and
Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola, First Half of the Sixteenth Century. PhD diss.,
Vanderbilt University, 1998.

Hale, J. R. Renaissance Europe, 1480-1520. Second edition. Oxford: Blackwell
Publishers Ltd., 2000.









Hanke, Lewis The First Social Experiments in America: A Study in the Development of
Spanish Indian Policy in the Sixteenth Century. Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith,
1964.

Hanke, Lewis. The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949.

Henige, David. In Search of Columbus: The Sources for the First Voyage. Tucson: The
University of Arizona Press, 1991.

Henige, David. "On the Contact Population of Hispaniola: History as Higher
Mathematics." The Hispanic American Historical Review 58 (1978): 217-237.

Highfield, J. R. L. "The Jeronimites in Spain, their Patrons and Success, 1373-1516."
Journal of Ecclesiastical History 34 (1983): 513-533.

Huizinga, Johan. The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1996.

Hulme, Peter. Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean, 1492-1797.
London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1986.

Janiga-Perkins, Constance G. Reading, Writing, and Translation in the Relaci6n acerca
de las Antiguedades de los Indios (c. 1498) by Fray Ram6n Pan6: A Study of a
Pioneering Work in Ethnography. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007.

Keen, Benjamin. "The Black Legend Revisited: Assumptions and Realities." The
Hispanic American Historical Review 49 (November 1969): 703-719.

Keegan, William F. The People Who Discovered Columbus. Gainesville: University
Press of Florida, 1992.

Keegan, William F. Taino Indian Myth and Practice: The Arrival of the Stranger King.
Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007.

Klein, Herbert. "The Atlantic Slave Trade to 1650." In Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the
Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1680. Edited by Stuart B. Schwartz. Chapel
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

Knight, Franklin W. The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism. Second
edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Ladero Quesada, Miguel Angel. "Spain, circa 1492: Social Values and Structures," in
Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters
Between Europeans and Other Poeples in the Early Modern Era. Edited by
Stuart B. Schwartz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.









Las Casas, Bartolome de. An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the
Indies. Edited by Franklin W. Knight. Translated by Andrew Hurley. Indianapolis:
Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2003.

Las Casas, Bartolome de. Historia de las Indias. 3 volumes. Edici6n de Agustin Millares
Carlo y studio preliminary de Lewis Hanke. Mexico, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura
Economic, 1951.

Liss, Peggy K. Isabel the Queen: Life and Times. New York: Oxford University Press,
1992.

Livi-Bacci, Massimo. "Return to Hispaniola: Reassessing a Demographic Catastrophe."
The Hispanic American Historical Review 83 (February 2003): 3-51.

Lockhart, James and Stuart B. Schwartz. Early Latin America: A History of Colonial
Spanish America and Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

L6pez-Baralt, Mercedes. El Mito Taino: Levi-Strauss en Las Antillas. Second edition.
Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: Ediciones Huracan, 1985.

Marte, Roberto, ed. Santo Domingo en los Manuscritos de Juan Bautista Munfoz. Santo
Domingo: Ediciones Fundaci6n Garcia Arevalo, Inc., 1981.

Mclnnis-Dominguez, Meghan. "La violencia del/al genero en la Relaci6n acerca de las
antigCedades de los indios de Fray Ram6n Pane." Esp6culo: Revista de
Estudios Literarios 40 (2008). Available from
http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/numero40/relacion.html.

Medina, Miguel A. Doctrina Cristiana Para Instrucci6n de los Indios. Salamanca:
Editorial San Esteban, 1987.

Mintz, Sidney. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York:
Viking, 1985.

Morison, Samuel Eliot. Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus.
Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1942.

Moya Pons, Frank. Despu6s de Col6n: Trabajo, Sociedad y Politica en la Economia del
Oro. Madrid: Alianza, 1986.

Moya Pons, Frank. "The Politics of Forced Indian Labour in La Espanola, 1493-1520."
Antiquity 66 (1992): 130-139.

Nalle, Sara T. God in La Mancha: Religious Reform and the People of Cuenca, 1500-
1650. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.









Newsom, Lee A. and Elizabeth S. Wing. On Land And Sea: Native American Uses of
Biological Resources in the West Indies. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama
Press, 2004.

Nouel, Carlos. Historia Eclesi6tica de la Arquidi6cesis de Santo Domingo, Primada de
Am6rica. Volume 1. Santo Domingo: Editora de Santo Domingo, 1979.

Oakley, Francis. The Western Church in the Later Middle Ages. Ithaca: Cornell
University Press, 1979.

Otte, Enrique. Las Perlas del Caribe: Nueva Cadiz de Cubagua. Caracas: Fundaci6n
John Boulton.

Ozment, Steven. The Age of Reform, 1250-1550: An Intellectual and Religious History
of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe. New Haven: Yale University Press,
1980.

Pagden, Anthony. The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of
Comparative Ethnology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

Pane, Ram6n. An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians. Edited by Jose Juan Arrom.
Translated by Susan C. Griswold. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999.

Perri, Michael H. The Spanish Conquest of the Pearl Coast and the Search for the
Province of the Meta. PhD diss., Emory University, 2004.

Poole, B. T. F. "Case Reopened: An Enquiry into the 'Defection' of Fray Bernal Boyl and
Mosen Pedro Margarit." Journal of Latin American Studies 6 (Nov. 1974): 193-
210.

Ratekin, Mervyn. "The Early Sugar Industry in Espanola." The Hispanic American
Historical Review 34 (February 1954): 1-19.

Ricard, Robert. The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico: An Essay on the Apostolate and the
Evangelizing Methods of the Mendicant Orders in New Spain: 1523-1572.
Translated by Lesley Byrd Simpson. Berkeley: University of California Press,
1966.

Rodriguez Demorizi, Emilio, ed. Los Dominicos y las Encomiendas de Indios de la Isla
Espanfola. Santo Domingo: Editora del Caribe, 1971.

Rodriguez Morel, Genaro. "The Sugar Economy of Espanola in the Sixteenth Century."
In Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1680.
Edited by Stuart B. Schwartz. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina
Press, 2004.

Rouse, Irving. The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.









Sauer, Carl O. The Early Spanish Main. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966.

Schmitz, Timothy John. "Particular Devotions": Tridentine Reform and State Power in
the Hieronymite Order, 1563-1598." PhD diss., Indiana University, 2000.

Schwartz, Stuart B. All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian
Atlantic World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.

Seed, Patricia. "Taking Possesion and Reading Texts: Establishing the Authority of
Overseas Empires." The William and Mary Quarterly 49 (April 1992): 183-209.

Serrano y Sanz, Manuel. Origenes de la Dominaci6n Espanfola en Am6rica. Madrid:
Casa Editorial Bailly-Bailliere: 1918.

SigCenza, Jose de. Historia de la orden de San Jer6nimo. 2 volumes. Madrid:
Bailly/Bailliere e Hijos, 1909.

Simpson, Lesley Byrd. The Encomienda in New Spain: The Beginning of Spanish
Mexico. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966.

Starr-LeBeau, Gretchen D. In the Shadow of the Virgin: Inquisitors, Friars, and
Conversos in Guadelupe, Spain. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2003.

Steck, Francis Borgia. "Christopher Columbus and the Franciscans." The Americas 3,
(January 1947): 319-341.

Stevens-Arroyo, Antonio M. Cave of the Jagua: The Mythological World of the Tainos.
Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988.

Stevens-Arroyo, Anthony M. "Juan Mateo Guaticabanu, September 21, 1496:
Evangelization and Martyrdom in the Time of Columbus." The Catholic Historical
Review 82 (1996): 614-636.

Stoudemire, Sterling A. "Preface." In Christian Doctrine: For the Instruction and
Information of the Indians. Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1970.

Tibesar, Antonine S. "The Franciscan Province of the Holy Cross of Espahola, 1505-
1559" The Americas 13 (April 1957): 377-389.

Todorov, Tzvetan. The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other. Translated by
Richard Howard. New York: Harper and Row, 1984.

Van Engen, John. "Multiple Options: The World of the Fifteenth-Century Church."
Church History 77 (June 2008): 257-284.

Wagner, Henry Raup and Helen Rand Parish. The Life and Writings of Bartolome de las
Casas. Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1967.









Williams, Eric. From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492-1969. New
York: Vintage Books, 1984.

Wilson, Samuel M. Hispaniola: Caribbean Chiefdoms in the Age of Columbus.
Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1990.

Wright, Irene A. The Early History of Cuba, 1492-1586. New York: The Macmillan
Company, 1916.

Zamora, Margarita. "Christopher Columbus's 'Letter to the Sovereigns': Announcing the
Discovery." In New World Encounters, edited by Stephen Greenblatt. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1993.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Lauren Elaine MacDonald received a Bachelor of Sciences in journalism (with a

concentration in photojournalism) and a Bachelor of Arts in history (with a sidelight in

modern poetry) from the University of Florida in 2007. In 2009, she served as a

departmental representative in the University of Florida Graduate Student Council, and

in 2010, she was awarded the Roger Haigh Latin American History Award from the

University of Florida Department of History. She received a Master of Arts in history

from the University of Florida in 2010. She will begin a doctoral program in history at the

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 2010.


100





PAGE 1

1 THE HIERONYMITES IN HISPANIOLA, 1493 1519 By LAUREN ELAINE MACDONALD A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNI VERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

PAGE 2

2 2010 Lauren Elaine MacDonald

PAGE 3

3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to th ank the members of my committee Ida Altman, David Geggus, and Jon Sensbach for the ir many thoughtful critici sms and suggestions. They have displayed an exemp lary degree of patience and good humor during the course of this project, and I deeply appreciate their many efforts on my behalf. I would also like to thank Juliana Barr, Bruce Chappell, Kathleen Deagan, and Jeffrey Needell for their guidance, sartorial r ecommendations and numerous kindnesses. Most of all, I would like to acknowledge the help and fellowship offered by the members of the 2009 2010 Latin American Reading Group Roberto Chauca Tapia, Patrick Cosby, Angela Diaz, Andrea Ferreira, William Fische r, Sarah Kernan, Diana Reigelsperger, Robert Taber, Christopher Woolley, and Erin Zavitz and our honored auxiliary members, Joseph Beatty and Timothy Fritz.

PAGE 4

4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 3 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 5 CHAPTER 1 RELIGION AND POWER IN THE EARLY MODERN IBERIAN ATLANTIC .............. 6 Religi on and Power in Late Medieval Europe ................................ .............................. 7 The Pre Columbian Caribbean ................................ ................................ .................. 12 Spanish Hispaniola ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 14 Caribbean Demographic Collapse ................................ ................................ ............. 17 Location of the Caribbean in Colonial Spanish America ................................ ........... 18 2 RAM "N P AN AND SPANISH HISPANIOLA: 1493 1498 ................................ ....... 21 The Life of Ramn Pan ................................ ................................ ............................. 22 Translations and Transmutations ................................ ................................ ............... 24 Authorship and Authority ................................ ................................ ............................ 28 Stories Spoken and Written ................................ ................................ ........................ 32 Guarionex and Guatcaba ................................ ................................ .......................... 41 3 LAS CASAS AND THE HIERONYMITES: 1499 1516 ................................ .............. 50 The Changing Face of Hispaniola, 1498 1511 ................................ .......................... 51 Franciscans and Dominicans ................................ ................................ ..................... 55 Burgos and Las Casas, 1511 1516 ................................ ................................ ........... 58 An Invitation to the Hieronymites ................................ ................................ ............... 62 4 THE HIERONYMITE GOVERNORS OF HISPANIOLA: 1516 1519 ........................ 69 The Interrogatorio ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 70 The Taino, as Painted by the Encomenderos ................................ ........................... 74 Religion and Regulation ................................ ................................ ............................. 79 Sugar, Slavery, and Smallpox ................................ ................................ .................... 83 5 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 89 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 93 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .............................. 100

PAGE 5

5 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts THE HIERONYMITES IN HISPANIOLA, 1493 1519 By Lauren Elaine Ma cDonald August 2010 Chair: Ida Altman Major: History The course of events in the early Spanish Caribbean was both described and partly directed by four friars from the Order of Saint Jerome, a Catholic regular order that arose in late medieval Spain. Ra mn Pan arrived on the island of Hispaniola in 1493 and spent more than three years living within several indigenous communities on Hispaniola As the first "missionary ethnographer" in colonial Spa nish America, Pan's account of the Indians of Hispaniola suggests complex interactions between religio n, power, and discourse. More than twenty years later three Hieronymite friars were named as royal governors of Spanish Hispaniola, which they described as both beautiful and nearly empty. Bearing royal instru ctions to oversee "the reformation and good regulation of the islands," the three men came at a critical point in the history of the Spanish Caribbean. They arrived at the end of the first phase of the colonial enterprise in Spanish America, and thus they oversaw a transitional historical moment for the Caribbean that involved the decline of the indigenous Taino, the promotion of sugar cultivation and African slavery in a Caribbean context, and the evolving relationship between religious and secular power i n the early modern Atlantic World.

PAGE 6

6 CHAPTER 1 RELIGION AND POWER I N THE EARLY MODERN I BERIAN ATLANTIC Arriving in 1516, the new governors of Spanish Hispaniola found an island that they described as both beautiful and nearly empty. vecinos at would be no longer inhabited at all. 1 Happily for Hispaniola the governors implied both divine and royal objectives had arrived in the corporal forms of the governors themselves: three Hieronymite monks sent to Hispaniola to investigate the Spanish treatme nt of the population. Bearing royal instructions to oversee "the reformation and good regulation of the islands," the three men came at a critical point in the history of the Spanish Caribbean. 2 They arrived at the end of the first phase of the colonial enterprise in Spanish America, and thus they oversaw a transitional historical moment for the Caribbean that involved the decline of the indigenous Taino, the promotion of sugar cultivation and African slavery in a Caribbean context, and the evolving relationship between religious and secular power in the early modern Atlantic World. If the three governors marked one epochal moment for th e Caribbean, then another man also a Hieronymite, although unknown to the three governors witnessed another one. Ram n Pan arrived in 1493 and spent more than three years living within several indigenous communities on Hispaniola. Pan learned the local language and 1 po Archivo General de Indias Patronato 174 ramo 4.

PAGE 7

7 the local folklore as h e struggled to proselytize his neighbors. As the first "missionary ethnographer" in colonial Spanish America, 3 Pan 's disjointed account of the Indians of Hispaniola suggests complex interactions between religion, power, and discourse. Religion and Power i n Late Medieval Europe The narrative of Western Christendom in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is typically one of decline. Taking their cue from Johan Huizinga, many historians have sought the explanatory mechanisms of the Protestant Reform ation i n a late medieval Church that was weakened from within by scandals and corruption and threatened from without by humanism and heterodoxy. 4 Christianity, which had once cut across national boundaries and inspired international crusades, was fading as a unif ying identity, and regional identities were on the rise. 5 In contrast, s ome historians have argued that the ecclesiastical developments of the late medieval era were driven not by spiritual inertia but by an increasing religious authority accorded to "loca l forces," producing what John appropriated." 6 Political contests between Rome and European rulers led to a decentralization of religious institutional authority, the deve lopment of "territorial" 2 Archivo General de Indias Patronato 172 ramo 7. 3 Rolena Adorno, The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 200. 4 Johan Huizing a, The Autumn of the Middle Ages (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). 5 Margaret Aston, The Fifteenth Century: The Prospect of Europe (London: Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1968), 9; J. R. Hale, Renaissance Europe, 1480 1520 2nd edition (Oxfo rd: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 2000), 71. 6 John Van Engen, "Multiple Options: The World of the Fifteenth Century Church," Church History 77, no. 2 (June 2008): 263, 284.

PAGE 8

8 churches, and a new convergence of religious consciousness and regional identification throughout Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 7 Among the secular princes negotiating with the Pope for the political and fiscal benefits of ecclesiastical control, the most singularly effective were Isabel and Ferdinand, who yoked together the Iberian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon through their 1469 marriage. 8 During their reign, Isabel and Ferdinand gained increasing control of ecclesiastical appointments and institutions. They resurrected the medieval Inquisition as a political organ under their direct control in 1478. The Spanish Crown gained the right to name candidates to bishoprics in Granada in 1486. Pope Alexander VI's 149 3 bull, Inter caetera formally designated Isabel and Ferdinand as the "Catholic Kings" and granted them complete control over evangelization efforts in the Americas. In 1508, after years of lobbying from Ferdinand, Pope Julius II granted the Spanish Crown the right of all ecclesiastical appointments in the Americas. As Isabel and Ferdinand incorporated or invented ecclesiastical institutions within their sphere of control, they supervised dramatic changes to the popular religious landscape of the Iberian peninsula. Since 711 and the invasion by Muslim Moors into the peninsula, medieval Spain had cycled through various permutations of religious conflict and coexistence; a centuries long Reconquista existed alongside the hybridizing consequences of tolerance and conviviencia 9 In 1482, Isabel and Ferdinand revived 7 Steven Ozment, The Age of Reform, 1250 1550: An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), 204 205; Francis Oakley, The Western Church in the Later Middle Ages (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), 73. 8 Hale, Renaissance Europe 165 168; Oakley, The Western C hurch 247 248; Ozment, The Age of Reform 184; J. H. Elliott, Imperial Spain 1469 1716 (London: Penguin Books, 1990), 99 110. 9 Stuart B. Schwartz All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World (New Haven: Yale Universi ty Press, 2008), 43 44; Thomas F. Glick and Oriol Pi Sunyer, "Acculturation as

PAGE 9

9 the nearly moribund Reconquista and their military defeat of Muslim Granada in 1492 was almost immediately followed by a royal edict expelling all practicing Jews from Spain. 10 The Spanish Inquisiti on was initially intended to identify insincere converts to Christianity among the former Jews ( conversos ) and Muslims ( moriscos ) of the country. Inquisitorial functions were undertaken slowly in the Americas after 1517, and a formal tribunal was created i n 1569 under Philip II. 11 As their religious conquests and legislation were often undertaken to address immediate political dilemmas, it is unclear if the Catholic Kings perceived or intended the long term consequences of their acts: the virulent persecutio n of religious minorities, secret denunciations and autos de f as tools of social control, the social stability conveniently conferred by religious homogeneity. 12 Isabel and Ferdinand, like many of their countrymen, were profoundly devout Christians, and t hey did not make a distinction between political and religious spheres. As I sabel and Ferdinand pulled ecclesiastical institutions under their wing, the practice of Christianity among the common laity and secular clergy was often invigorated by local tradi tion and beliefs. Sara T. Nalle has argued that the "uncontrolled religious fervor" among the Spanish people in the beginning of the sixteenth century was often shaped by local popular understandings in the absence of well educated priests, and William Chr istian has argued that local Christian religiosity in sixteenth an Explanatory Concept in Spanish History," Comparative Studies in Society and History 11, no. 2 (April 1969): 136 154. 10 Elliott, Imperial Spain 46 52, 109. 11 Schwartz, All Ca n Be Saved 126. 12 Peggy K. Liss, Isabel the Queen: Life and Times (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 177.

PAGE 10

10 century Spain was expressed in widely varying forms. 13 As popular Christianity maintained a vigorous life in the late medieval and early modern era, so too did the monastic regular orders. Dist inguished from the secular clergy by their insular community structure, their rules of daily life, and their distance from worldly society, the various regular orders were undergoing one of their cyclical periods of reform in the late medieval era. 14 The Or der of Saint Jerome developed in the fourteenth century during a period in which new religious orders were increasingly tied to a local regional identity, as opposed to the continental scope of earlier orders, such as the Franciscans and the Dominicans. 15 The Order of Saint Jerome originated among a group of Italian and Spanish hermits who had lived as disciples of an Italian hermit named Thomas Succio, who wrote prophetic verse and had a vision of a new monastic order being founded in Spain. 16 At some point before 1350, some of his disciples departed Italy and settled near Toledo, where they came into contact with influential figures among the Spanish clergy. In 1374, Pope Gregory XI formally permitted the foundation of the first Hieronymite monastery, La Pl ana de Javea in Valencia, where the former hermits were to live as monks under the rule of St. Augustine. Thirty two monasteries were built between 1373 and 1419, and in 1386 the Hieronymites received the charge of the 13 Sara T. Nalle, God in La Mancha: Religious Reform and the People of Cuenca 1500 1650 (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), 30; William A. Christian, Jr., Local Religion in Sixteenth Century Spain (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), 20. 14 Oakley, The Western Church 86 87. 15 Oakley, The Western Church 232 233. 16 Patrons and Success, 1373 Journal of Ecclesiastical History 34, no. 4 (1983): 516.

PAGE 11

11 Guadalupe shrine in northern Extremad ura, which would become the most popular shrine in early modern Spain. 17 From its founding, the Order of Saint Jerome enjoyed continuous patronage from the royal houses of Castile Aragon and Portugal Isabel maintained this tradition of royal favor, whic h was reinforced by her frequent pilgrimages to Guadelupe and by Hernando de Talavera, the Hieronymite friar who served as her confessor from 1474 to 1492. 18 According to historian Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada, the order "combined the practice of their herme tic ideals with opulent cult and choral forms 19 The paradox of the Hieronymites lies in reconciling their vague rhetoric of humility and eremitism with the concrete details of their order, which did not embrace apostolic poverty and which was notable for its prosperity. Historian Gretchen Starr LeBeau offers perhaps the sharpest and most concise assessment of the order: "The Order of Saint Jerome in Spain emphasized humility, isolation from urban centers and public life, contemplation without intellectuali sm or extensive study, and economic self sufficiency." 20 However, during the course of the fifteenth century to establish new monastic houses close to 17 Miguel Angel Ladero Quesada, "Spain, circa 1492: Social Values and Structures," in Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters B etween Europeans and Other Poeples in the Early Modern Era ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 130; William A. Christian, Jr., Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 198 1), 88. 18 526. 19 20 Gretchen D. Starr LeBeau In the Shadow of the Virgin: Inquisitors, Friars, and Conversos in Guadelupe, Spain (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 200 3), 19.

PAGE 12

12 urban centers, wh ich facilitated exchanges between the friars and their powerful patrons in the secular world. 21 The Pre Columbian Caribbean As Spain united under the Christian banner of Isabel and Ferdinand, a Genoese captain steeped in Mediterranean traditions, Portuguese practices, and Spanish funding stumbled across America. 22 When Christopher Columbus and his men arrived in 1492, they were discovered by the Caribbean Indians, who arrived at their encounter with the European Other with a complicated history of their own. Their ancestors originated in the South American mainland, spread across the Caribbean in successive waves, and settled the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas at least a thousand years before the arrival of Columbus. 23 In Hispaniola, the Indians built wooden houses and allied with neighboring villages to form chiefdoms governed by hereditary caciques. They cultivated bitter yuca roots in fields of knee high earth mounds, which were called conucos Yuca (also called cassava or manioc in South America) was poiso nous as a raw root, but it could be safely processed in simple, if time consuming, syst ems of soaking and baking that produced cassava bread, one of the staples of the Caribbean diet. 24 The Indians of Hispaniola used gold for decorating themselves and impre ssed 21 22 Elliott Imperial Spain 61 62; Felipe Fern ndez Armesto Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonization from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229 1492 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Pre ss); Samuel Eliot Morison, Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1942). 23 Lee A. Newsom and Elizabeth S. Wing, On Land And Sea: Native American Uses of Biological Resources in the West Indies (Tuscaloo sa: The University of Alabama Press, 2004), 29 30, 117 119; Irving Rouse, The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 71; William F. Keegan, The People Who Discovered Columbus (Gainesville: Univ ersity Press of Florida, 1992). 24 Sauer, The Early Spanish Main 54.

PAGE 13

13 the Spanish through their ability at woodworking. Their religious system included an afterlife, multiple deities regulating the natural world, priest shamans known as behiques and crafted objects of veneration known as zemi Their religious and socia l cermonies often featured the consumption of a hallucinogenic snuff known as cohoba and the performance of epic song dances called areytos They played a ceremonial ball game on plazas called bateys It is not clear how the people who inhabited fifteenth century Hispaniola perceived themselves, though the early Spanish sources imply that at least some of the communities of central Hispaniola perceived ethnic distinctions between themselves and the coastal communities. 25 Some of the early Spanish sources ide ntified the inhabitants of the Greater Antilles as "Taino," an Indian word from northern Hispaniola that apparently referred to an elite social class, in contrast to the servile naboria caste. Some scholars prefer "Island Arawak" as an ethnic designation, which directly links the indigenous people of the Caribbean to their presumed Arawak cousins in northern South America. Both terms implicitly distinguish the inhabitants of the Greater Antilles from the other inhabitants of the Caribbean: the Caribs of the Lesser Antilles, who systematically abducted women from the Greater Antilles communities and practiced cannibalism, according to the Spanish. 26 However, the Spanish tendency to categorize the Caribbean's inhabitants in the terms of immediate utility the ma lleable Taino were to be easily colonized, while the savage Carib were to be enslaved for their own good means that the traditionally binary categories of pre Columbian Caribbean ethnicities 25 Peter Hulme, Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean, 1492 1797 (London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1986), 58.

PAGE 14

14 may have reflected Spanish colonial needs more than the observed cultural or ethnic divisions among the Caribbean peoples. Furthermore, both "Taino" and "Island Arawak" presume a cultural uniformity throughout the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas. The historical understanding of the fifteenth century Taino culture is b ased largely on the institutions of Hispaniola, due to the extensive documentation of the early Spanish Hispaniola in comparison to the rest of the Caribbean, but even Hispaniola did not possess a homogeneous culture. In particular, the early Spanish sourc es suggest that Hispaniola possessed at least three distinct linguistic regions, alth ough it is unclear if these regions possessed different languages or different dialects of the same la nguage. Most of the island population shared a common language, but t he inhabitants of Lower Macorix and Upper Macorix in the northeast corner of Hispaniola each possessed a distinct regional language. 27 It is unclear whether these distinct linguistic groups also possessed a distinct cultural or regional identity. This pape r is primarily concerned with the island of Hispaniola and so the label "Taino" will be used for the inhabitants of central Hispaniola, who formed the basis for early Spanish understandings of what constituted "Taino" culture. The Macorix speaking people o f northwestern Hispaniola will be treated as a distinct group. Spanish Hispaniola In a 1493 letter to Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand, Columbus rhapsodized that the Taino were "the best people under the sun," that they had no weapons, and that they happily gave their abundant gold in exchange for whatever the sailors offered, 26 Carl O. Sauer, The Early Spanish Main (Berkeley: University of C alifornia Press, 1966), 31; Rouse, The Tainos 5; Hulme, Colonial Encounters 45 87. 27 Wilson, Hispaniola 103 104.

PAGE 15

15 28 This rosy picture was complicated when Columbus returned to Hispaniola in 1493 and discovered th at the thirty nine Europeans he had left behind at the settlement of La Navidad had been massacred by the Taino. Two corpses found by the Spanish had been bound with vines, and their eyes had been removed. 29 According to Columbus' Taino allies, the repeated abuses and rapes perpetrated by the Europeans had created a coalition of Taino from the island interior that came to massacre the Spaniards. 30 Undaunted, Columbus founded another town, La Isabela, and further Spanish settlements followed near sources of go ld, while increasing numbers of Tainos were subjugated to support the Spanish colony. Columbus demanded tributes of gold from Taino caciques, but the Spanish settlers objected to Columbus' authority and their exclusion from the profits of Hispaniola. Colum bus' eventual concession involved parcelling out the rights to the labor of individual Taino communities in a series of repartimientos 31 The Spanish sought not only to utilize Taino bodies but also to lay claim to their souls by teaching them the Christian religion and eradicating their non Christian traditional practices. In 1495, and again in 1497, large coalitions of Taino chiefdoms revolted unsuccessfully against the Spanish, but concerted Taino action was increasingly difficult to achieve after 1502 a nd the arrival of Governor Nicols de Ovando, who began 28 Margarita Zamora, "Christopher Columbus's 'Letter to the Sovereigns': Announcing the Discovery," New World Encounters, ed. Stephen Greenb latt (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 5. 29 Troy S. Floyd, The Columbus Dynasty in the Caribbean, 1492 1526 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1973), 21. 30 Wilson, Hispaniola 75.

PAGE 16

16 systematically executing rebellious Taino leaders. 32 Many Tainos managed to flee to other islands or to the interior of Hispaniola, where at least one Taino cacique maintained an independent enclave in the 1520s. 33 Other Tainos remained within the institutional control of the Spanish, under whose auspices the Taino worked and died. The first twenty years of Spanish colonization on Hispaniola would be marked by internal factionalism among the European se ttlers, various forms of resistance from the Taino Indians to Spanish control, and steady attempts by the Spanish rulers to make their American possessions into a profitable enterprise. Alongside the violence of the young Spanish colony emerged a catastrop hic demographic collapse of the indigenous Contact population, with estimates ranging from 60,000 to 14 million, but by 1517, the population was estimated in the low tens of thousands of Taino people. 34 Spanish encomenderos complained repeatedly about the lack of Indian labor in letters home to Spain, and the labor shortage motivated the slaving expeditions of Juan Ponce de Leon and others Spaniards throughout the Caribbean. 35 31 James Lockhart and Stuart B. Schwartz Early Latin America: A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 69. 32 Rouse, 154; Sauer, The Early Spanish Main 149. 33 T he Americas 63, no. 4 (2007): 587 614. 34 Sherburne F. Cook and Woodrow Borah, Essays in Population History: Mexico and the Caribbean vol. Hispaniola: Hist The Hispanic American Historical Review 58, no. 2 (1978): 217 237. 35 Keegan, The People Who Discovered Columbus 223.

PAGE 17

17 Caribbean Demographic Collapse Accounting for that rapidly dwindling number of Taino has occasioned energetic disputes among sixteenth century commentators and subsequent h istorians. Bartolom de las Casas made the argument for Spanish brutality and blood thirst, which was an seventeenth centuries. 36 Carl O. Sauer argued instead that the disruption o f indigenous agriculture and foodways accelerated Taino decline, while Noble David Cook has suggested that Old World diseases, such as influenza and, eventually, smallpox, had a 37 Massimo Livi Bacci has suggest ed that in addition to a confluence of violence, agricultural disruption, and sickness the Taino birth rate was adversely affected by the dislocation of the community, a decline further exacerbated by Spanish men taking Taino women into their households. 38 Kathleen however, suggests that Taino behaviors and culture were practiced within the homes of Spanish settlers, which suggests that the Taino continued to survive in ways th at may have seemed insignificant or invisible to the Spanish observers. 39 However the diminishment of the Taino people was accomplished whether by violent, biological, or cultural means it greatly alarmed their Spanish masters on Hispaniola. 36 Benjamin Keen, "The Black Legend Revisited: Assumptions and Realities," The Hispanic American Historical Rev iew 49, no. 4 (Nov., 1969): 715 718; Charles Gibson, The Black Legend: Anti Spanish Attitudes in the Old World and the New (New York: Knopf, 1971). 37 Sauer, The Early Spanish Main 203, 293; Noble David Cook Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1 492 1650 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 15 59. 38 Massimo Livi Hispanic American Historical Review 83, no. 1 (2003) : 45 46. 39 Dynamics after Spanish Conquest: Gender and Class American Antiquity 69, no. 4 (2004).

PAGE 18

18 The demograph ic decline of the indigenous population occurred during a period of political upheaval in both Spain and the Spanish Caribbean. In Spain, the death of first Isabel and then Ferdinand led to the regency of the Franciscan cardinal Francisco Jim nez de Cisner os for the incapable Juana and the immature Charles. To end the controversial government of Don Diego Columbus in the Caribbean, and to investigate the allegations of Indian abuse levelled against the Spanish settlers, Cisneros appointed three friars from the Order of Saint Jerome in 1516 to investigate the situation in the Caribbean. In 1519, they were recalled by Charles, who now had achieved his majority and had his own distinct imperial vision of his colonial possessions. That same year, Hernando Cortes discovered Mexico. Location of the Caribbean in Colonial Spanish America The early Spanish Caribbean suffers the role of a minor appendage in the traditional histo ries of colonial America. In a typical textbook, Christopher Columbus' discovery of Americ a is immediately followed by Cortes; the intervening thirty years are elided. The historiography of the larger Caribbean subjects the Spanish Caribbean to a different but no less problematic fate. In comparison to later Caribbean history, the sixteenth cen tury Spanish Caribbean is an anomaly within the region's historical themes of sugar plantations and African slavery. Little historical attention is paid to the early Spanish Caribbean's role in shaping the subsequent conquests of Mexico and Peru or the exp erien ces it bears in common with later Caribbean history. The historiography of religion in colonial Spanish America throws this neglect of the Caribbean into sharp relief. Many histories of colonial religion have taken their cue from Robert Ricard's The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico and so the 1524 arrival of the Franciscans to mainland America is taken as the beginning of missionary Christianity in

PAGE 19

19 the New World. 40 This approach, however, ignores the crucial missionary precedents established in the Carib bean in the sixteenth century and in the Canaries in the fifteenth century. Other histories turn to Las Casas to represent the totality of Christianity and evangelization in the Americas in the first half of the sixteenth century. Las Casas, however, shoul d not be removed from his larger religious and political context. The hagiographies of Las Casas treat him as a sui generis humanist, while the denunciations seek to tear him down as a hypocritical opportunist but little attention is paid to the communitie s of Franciscans, Dominicans, and other friars who were instrumental in shaping the religious environment in which Las Casas came to maturity. Religion and power were connected in complex ways in the colonial Spanish Caribbean, but those complexities tend to be ignored in a historiographical rush to reach Mexico or Valladolid, where Las Casas and Juan Gin s de Seplveda engaged in the famous debate over the nature of the American Indians in 1550 and 1551. The tenure of the Hieronymite governors in the Cari bbean is often perceived as an interlude more notable for its novelty than anything else, but together with the experiences of Ramn Pan and other religious figures of the early Spanish Caribbean the documentary sources from the period offer an important opportunity to analyze the myriad ways in which religious rhetoric and practices influenced the process of European colonization in the Americas. The roles assigned to the Hieronymites in Hispaniola translators, investigators, mediators were not random or inexplicable acts; they were based on the historical legacy of the order and the entangled Spanish 40 Robert Ricard, The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico: An Essay on the Apostolate and the Evangelizing Methods of the Mendicant Orders in New Spa in: 1523 1572 trans. Lesley Byrd Simpson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966).

PAGE 20

20 understandings of Christianity and the Conquest. The Hieronymite experien ces on Hispaniola represent a neglected source of information about the missionizat ion of colonial Spanish America, the economic and social development of the Caribbean, and the relationship between religion and power in the Spanish Atlantic

PAGE 21

21 CHAPTER 2 RAM "N PAN AND SPANISH HISPANIO LA: 1493 1498 In November 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Hispaniola with a young Hieronymite friar from Catalonia. Ram n Pan spent the next four years trying to convert the island's indigenous people to Christianity, and by 1498 he had composed a report to Christopher Columbus on "the beliefs and id olatries" of his hosts. 1 In addition to its summaries of myths and folklore, the account describes Amerindian society on Hispaniola in the years immediately following European contact and thus represents one of the earliest texts of American ethnohistory. In some ways, Pan presages the paradoxical role played by the sixteenth century friar scholars, such as Bernardino de Sahagn, Diego Durn, and Diego de Landa who carefully preserved a record of the indigenous American beliefs that they planned to eradic ate. 2 Yet Pan was no scholar, and his tortuous text has not generated the fervor of scholarly analysis that has focused on sixteenth century ethnohistorical sources for Mesoamerica or the North American borderlands. Past scholarship on Pan has typically used his account to analyze the Taino Indians' religious understandings within a static pan Caribbean cosmology. Little attention, however, has been paid to the relationship between Pan 's accounts and the Spanish Taino interactions that formed the backdro p to its composition. Political power, cultural traditions, and religion became the focal points of conflict and compromise between Americans and Europeans in the early years of Spanish settlement, and those struggles shaped the religious demonstrations t hat the Taino 1 Ram n Pan An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians ed. Jos Juan Arrom, trans. Susan C. Griswold (Durham: Duke University Press, 1999), 3. 2 For scholarshi p on missionary ethnographers, see Louise M. Burkhart The Slippery Earth: Nahua Christian Moral Dialogue in Sixteenth century Mexico (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1989). See also work by James Lockhart and J. Jorge Klor de Alva.

PAGE 22

22 performed for Pan and the selected aspects that Pan recorded from those performances. As a result, Pan 's account offers a unique opportunity to analyze a nascent Spanish Taino society during a period of tremendous trauma and possibility, b efore relationships, perceptions, and representations had hardened into the familiar tragedies of the sixteenth century. The Life of Ramn Pan Aside from his self professed identity as "a humble friar of the Order of Saint Jerome, Ram n Pan 's backgr ound is unclear. According to Bartolom de las Casas, his origins lay in Catalonia, the easternmost region of Spain, and translator Jos Juan Arrom speculated that Pan may have been a part of the Hieronymite Convent of San Jer nimo de la Murtra, which is located near Barcelona. 3 Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand used the buildings of San Jernimo to receive Christopher Columbus on his return from the first voyage to America, and Pan may have encountered Columbus at the time. 4 When Pan left on Columbus' sec ond voyage in September 1493, he was accompanied by several friars from other orders, including the Benedictine monk Bernando Boyl, who had been chosen by the Spanish monarchs to lead the evangelical efforts in Hispaniola, and the Franciscan lay friars Jua n de la Duele (also known as Juan de Borgoa ) and Juan Tis n. 5 Within a year, Boyl had quarreled with the Columbus family and returned to Spain to make his complaints to Isabel and Ferdinand. 3 Jos Juan A rrom, "Introduction to the English Edition," in An Account xiii. 4 Ibid. xiii xiv. 5 Floyd, The Columbus Dynasty, 16 17; Francis Borgia Steck, "Christopher Columbus and the Franciscans," The Americas 3, 3 (Jan. 1947), 332 333; B. T. F. Poole, "Case Reopen ed: An Enquiry into the 'Defection' of Fray Bernal Boyl and Mosen Pedro Margarit," Journal of Latin American Studies 6, 2 (Nov. 1974), 193 210.

PAGE 23

23 Many of the friars on Hispaniola may have accompanied Boyl back to Spain in 1494, but Pan remained. By early 1495, Pan was living at the Spanish fort of Magdalena and proselytizing to the Macorix speaking people who lived near the fort. 6 His first Christian convert was Guatcaba, the Macorix speaking man who would be come his companion and collaborator in religious instruction to the Taino. 7 Pan later wrote that Guatcaba who was later baptized as Juan Mateo, was "the best of the Indians," and Pan "considered him a good son and brother." 8 In February 1495, Magdalen a was attacked by an alliance of Taino Indians led by the cacique Caonab, and the subsequent Taino revolt in Hispaniola's central region, the Vega Real, was crushed by Columbus' forces in March and April. 9 When Columbus arrived at Magdalena he asked Pan to move to the Vega Real and the provinces of the influential cacique Guarionex. Given the uncertain balance of power in the region, Columbus may have wanted Pan to keep an eye on Guarionex, but t he primary reason for his relocation, according to Pan, w as based on the issue of language. The indigenous people who lived around Magdalena spoke Macorix an island language that "was not understood throughout the country," Pan reported. In contrast, the language of Guarionex "was understood throughout the lan d," although Pan did not understand it himself. Pan asked Columbus for permission to bring along someone who could 6 Pan An Account 32 ; Kathleen Deagan and Jos Mara Cruxent Columbus 's Outpost among the Ta nos: Spain and A merica at La Isabela, 1493 1498 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), 60 62. 7 Pan An Account 32; Anthony M. Stevens Arroyo, "Juan Mateo Guaticabanu, September 21, 1496: Evangelization and Martyrdom in the Time of Columbus," The Catholic Historical Review 82, 4 (1996), 614 636. 8 Pan An Account 34. 9 Deagan and Cruxent, Columbus's Outpost 61.

PAGE 24

24 translate between the two Hispaniola languages for Pan and Columbus granted permission for Guatcaba to accompany Pan For the next two years, Pan and Guatcaba labored to introduce Christianity to Guarionex's people, and during that time they were assisted by others, including Guatcaba's mother and brothers and the Franciscan friar Juan de la Duele 10 In September 1496, Guatcaba was ba ptized as Juan Mateo. 11 While the initial conversion efforts seemed propitious, the political and social tensions between Guarionex and the Spanish authorities led to a souring relationship between Guarionex and his missionaries. "[S]eeing that Guarionex wa s retreating and abandoning what we had taught him, we decided to leave and go where we might gather better fruit," Pan wrote. 12 In early 1497, Pan, Guatcaba/Juan, and Duele left Guarionex and moved to the lands of another cacique. Subsequently, Guario nex's rumored plans of insurrection led to Guarionex's preemptive arrest by Bartolom Columbus, who had been left in charge of Hispaniola during his brother's absence in Spain. At the same time, Francisco Rold n and a group of disaffected Spaniards violent ly revolted against the Columbus family's authority in the Caribbean. During the chaotic events of 1497, Guatcaba/Juan was killed, and Pan blamed his murder on Guarionex's machinations. Translations and Transmutations The murder of his religious collab orator in late 1496 or 1497 marks the end of Pan's account. Christopher Columbus returned to Hispaniola in August 1498, and 10 Pan An Account 35. 11 Pan An Account 38. 12 Pan An Account 35.

PAGE 25

25 when he arrived in Spain in 1500, he brought Pan 's manuscript with him. 13 Pan disappears thereafter from recorded history, but his account survived in summarized and translated formats. By 1504, Pietro Martire D'Anghiera (Peter Martyr) had seen the account and incorporated it into his reports on the Americas. Bartolom de las Casas used Pan 's account in his Apolog tica historia de l as Indias which was finished in 1560 Fernando Columbus included Pan 's account in his biography of his father, and Alfonso de Ulloa made an incomplete translation of Fernando's account into Italian, which was published in 1571. 14 Both Pan's original manu script and Fernando's copy have since disappeared. "As a result," translator Jos Juan Arrom writes, "all we know of the Account at present is Anghiera's summary in Latin, Las Casas's extract in Spanish, and Ulloa's Italian translation." 15 Ulloa's version of Pan's account has received various Spanish translations, which have been subsequently translated to English. This degree of textual mediation in a text about mediation has a quality of irony; in her literary analysis of the processes of translation at work upon Pan's account, Constance G. Janiga Perkins argues that Pane and his successors are "cannibals" who compulsively consume each previous iteration of the text in order to produce a new self reflective "autoethnography," which is then devoured by an other translator in turn. 16 13 Arrom, "Introduction ," xxiv. 14 Fernando Col n, The Life of the Admiral Christophe r Columbus by his son Ferdinand trans. Benjamin Keen (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1959), 153 169. 15 Arrom, "Introduction," xxv. 16 "The Relaci n is the product of the process by which reading creates meaning, which is then revealed, and can O NLY be revealed, by creating or writing a new text to be set in juxtaposition to the very object or experience each reader was investigating. That new text, while it may subsume the previous one as subaltern, also maps out the autoethnography of the reader new writer of the interpretation that becomes the next text. Constance G. Janiga Perkins Reading, Writing, and Translation in the Relaci n acerca de

PAGE 26

26 As a result of this punctilious preservation of a bastardized text, Pan occupies a paradoxical spot of inconsequential primacy in the histories of the early Spanish Caribbean. Scholars have been quick to award Pan the prize of being first. In 1906, Edward Gaylord Bourne wrote that Pan 's report was "the first treatise ever written in the field of American antiquities," and literary critic Roberto Gonz lez Echevarra has argue d that it foreshadowed "the future of anthropology an d the Latin American narrative." 17 Pan 's position as an inaugural figure comes at the price: he often appears as merely the precursor to a later and more important history. There are exceptions to this historiographical trend of neglect. The most careful work on Pan 's text has focused primarily on the reconstruction of Taino religious systems. Mercedes Lpez Baralt and Antonio M. Stevens Arroyo have both analyzed Pan 's descriptions of Taino beliefs in the context of structural anthropology and the work o f Claude Lvi Strauss Lpez Baralt offers a subtle and careful interpretation of Pan 's text, and she finds numerous connections between Taino mythology and the culture of the Arawak Indians of South America. However, her explicit purpose is to place the Taino cosmology (and, implicitly, the entire cultural heritage of the Spanish Caribbean) within a pan American mentality "as Amazonian as [it is] Andean," and her universalizing framework obscures the account's local context of northern Hispaniola. 18 Steven s Arroyo has closely examined Guat caba /Juan Mateo's role in the account, but las Antigedades de los Indios (c. 1498) by Fray Ramn Pan : A Study of a Pioneering Work in Ethnograph y (Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007), 8. 17 Edward Gaylord Bourne, Columbus, Ram n Pan, and the Beginnings of American Anthropology ( Worcester: Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, 1906); Roberto Gonzlez Echevarra Myth and Archive : A T heory of Latin American Narrative 2nd ed. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1998), 147.

PAGE 27

27 his primary focus has been fitting Taino myth within a universal framework of world mythology and Jungian archetypes. 19 Archaeologists and anthropologists have used Pan 's accou nt in conjunction with the material record in order to reconstruct Caribbean political and social structures in the pre contact period, but less attention has been paid to the text within an early colonial context. Samuel Wilson uses Pan 's account in his ethnohistorical analysis of indigenous political formation on Hispaniola, but Pan 's work plays a subordinate role to the writings of Las Casas and Martyr. 20 William Keegan employs Pan 's account in his imaginative reconstruction of Taino social practices, but his primary focus is the "layers of narrative" surrounding the Taino cacique Caonab who is barely referenced in Pan 's account. 21 Upon Pan 's mentality and motivations, relatively little work has been done, and literary scholars have been slow to util ize Pan 's text. As part of his analysis of symbolic representations in colonial Mexico, Serge Gruzinski approvingly compares Pan 's "ethnographic sensitivity" to the rigid expectations imposed by subsequent chroniclers of the Americas. 22 Constance G. Janig a Perkins has analyzed Pan 's account according to post structural protocols, but her analysis is focused on the responses of Pan 's twentieth century readers, rather than his sixteenth century 18 En cualquiera de los casos, el hecho vincula a la mitolog a tana con la mitologa sudamericana, tanto amaznica como andina ." Mercedes L pez Baralt, El Mito Tano : Levi Strauss en Las Antillas 2nd edition (R o Piedras, Puerto Rico : Ediciones Hurac n 1985), 45. 19 Antonio M. Stevens Arroyo, Cave of the Jagua: The Mythological World of the Tainos (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988). 20 Samuel M. Wilson, Hispaniola: Caribbean Chiefdoms in the Age of Columbus (Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1990). 21 William F. Keegan Taino Indian Myth and Practice: The Arrival of the Stranger King (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007), 18.

PAGE 28

28 context. 23 Most of Pan 's interrogators have tended to depict P an as an exceptional and quasi admirable anomaly in the context of the early Spanish conquest, but Meghan McInnis Domnguez has argued instead that Pan upholds the colonial imbalance of power in his text and "adopts a panoptic posture" in his surveillanc e of the indigenous Taino. 24 Authorship and Authority It may be impossible to identify Pan as the unquestioned author of any specific word in the account, but the broad consistencies and congruities between the three surviving versions suggest that a certa in fidelity may exist between the 1498 original and its subsequent facsimiles. For the sake of convenience, this paper will treat "Ramn Pan as the single author of this account, even though the versions of Ram n Pan's account that have survived into th e current age have been copied and paraphrased and translated by many intermediary hands. The many handlers of Pan's account have preserved it from accidental oblivion, but their smudged fingerprints also obscure Pan. However, these problems of authentic ity and authority are not unique to Pan. David Henige notes that many of the sources from early Spanish American expansion, such as the Christopher Columbus diaries, suffer from "the corrosive effects of transmitting written texts" in forms prone to parap hrase, elision, and amendation. 25 22 Serge Gruzinski, Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to Blade Runner (1492 2019), trans. Heather MacLean (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001), 11. 23 Janiga Perkins, Reading, Writing, and Translation 24 Como Pan adopta ahora una postura panptica, puede juzga r los actos de sus sujetos, tornndoles as 'visibles' a los lectores castellanos ." Meghan McInnis Dom nguez "La violencia del/al g nero en la Relacin acerca de las antigedades de los indios de Fray Ramn Pan ," Esp culo : Revista de Estudios Literarios 40 (2008). Available from http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/numero40/relacion.html. 25 David Henige, In Search of Columbus: The Sources for the First Voyage (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1991), 4

PAGE 29

29 The problems with Pan's account are not limited to the possibility of corrupted meanings during centuries of translation. Like all outsiders and anthropologists, Pan had an imperfect understanding of the societies of His paniola s Indians. Most significantly, Pan 's identity as an Hieronymite friar undoubtedly influenced his relationship with the Taino people and his method of recounting their stories, but this factor is often ignored in the secondary literature. Instead, Pane is depicted as an independent agent, unburdened by any significant ideological preconceptions or processes. According to Gruzinski, Pan describes Taino beliefs "without ever letting his observations warp under the weight of stereotype or prejudice," but this anachronistic reading of Pan ignores his clear derision for several aspects of the traditional religious practices of the Taino. 26 Stevens Arroyo links Pane's "objectivity" with his order's "lack of scholarly pretensions" and historic neutrality i n Spanish political disputes, but Pan 's religious role would have necessarily colored his "objectivity." 27 At least two of Pan's contemporaries were skeptical of the account's veracity. Christopher Columbus, who had commissioned the account from Pan l ater said that "it contains so many fictions that the only sure thing to be learned from it is that the Indians have a certain natural reverence for the after life and believe in the immortality of the soul," according to his son. 28 Las Casas described Pan as "a simple minded man" with "small abilities" who spoke an unimportant Taino language imperfectly and wrote an account that "was sometimes confused and of little substance." 29 26 Gruzinski, Images at War 11. 27 Stevens Arroyo, C ave of the Jagua 77. 28 Col n, The Life of the Admiral 153. 29 Deagan and Cruxent, Columbus's Outpost 39.

PAGE 30

30 Las Casas wrote that the Catalan Pan did not speak Castilian well, which may have impeded his ability to write in that language. 30 Further language difficulties awaited in the Caribbean, as Hispaniola apparently possessed at least three different languages, although the degree of difference between these languages is unclear. 31 In H ispaniola, Pan apparently did learn to communicate using at least one of the languages spoken on Hispaniola, but it was a language that Columbus deemed of little use on the rest of the island. Pan was sent to Guarionex to learn the lingua franca of Hispa niola, and he spent two years living among Guarionex's people, but it is impossible to assess Pan 's ability at communicating in this language from his account. 32 Pan specifically petitioned Columbus to be allowed to bring along the multi lingual Guatcaba when he left for Guarionex's lands, but Guatcaba's presence as a translator may have further retarded Pan 's language acquisition There is no explicit reference in the account to Guatcaba mediating between Pan and the Taino Indians of the Vega Real, b ut Pan's enthusiastic and emotional depiction of Guatcaba suggests that the Hieronymite friar worked closely and often with the Christian Indian, while his interactions with the Vega Real Taino may have been much more remote. There is no simple way to gauge Pan's understanding of the island's languages and societies, but his possible difficulties of comprehension are underscored by his demonstrated difficulties of composition. His account is a tortuous scramble of subjects 30 Arrom, "Introduction," xxviii. 31 Wilson, Hispaniola 104; Keegan, Taino Indian Myth 25 26; D. G. Brinton, "The Arawack Language of Guiana in Its L inguistic and Ethnological Relations," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 14, 3 (1871), 427 444; Julian Granberry, "Was Ciguayo a West Indian Hokan Language?" International Journal of American Linguistics ," 57, 4 (Oct., 1991), 514 519.

PAGE 31

31 and chronology, and Pan freq uently interrupts his own narrative to apologize for his deficiencies as a narrator. Due to the lack of writing among the Taino, Pan wrote "they do not know how to tell such fables well, nor can I write them well. Therefore, I believe that I put first wh at ought to be last and the last first." 33 McInnis Domnguez has argued that this line exemplifies Pan 's contempt for Taino oral culture, which leads him to suppress American orality through the colonizing power of the Roman alphabet, but this conclusion i gnores Pan's apparent discomfort and insecurity about the act of writing throughout his account. 34 After describing a strange Taino myth, Pan wrote, "I did not find out anymore about this, and what I have written down is of little help." 35 The oddest momen t of Pan's self consciousness about his difficulties came when he confessed his lack of supplies: Because I wrote [a Taino myth] down in haste and did not have sufficient paper, I was not able to write down in that place what I had copied down elsewhere b y mistake; but in any case, I have not been in error because they believe everything just as I have written it down. Let us return now to what I ought to have written first 36 Paradoxically, it is Pan's fumbling helplessness that has been his account's g reatest asset in establishing authenticity and authority in the eyes of scholars. Unlike other early chronic lers of the Spanish Caribbean that sly courtier Ovied o, that single minded Las Casas Pan seems incapable of arranging his narrative to further a 32 Th e linguistic boundaries between the Macorix speaking peoples of Magdalena and the Taino of the Vega Real raise the possibility that cultural and religious differences also existed between the two communities, but these differences went unrecorded by Pan 33 Pan An Account 11. 34 McInnis Domnguez "La violencia del/al g nero ." 35 Pan An Account 16. 36 Pan An Account 12.

PAGE 32

32 pe rsonal agenda or employing skillful rhetoric to manipulate his readers, and so his lack of sophistication signals the raw and unrefined honesty of his ethnographic observations. Yet ethnography is invariably contaminated by its author. Pan's perceptions w ere shaped by his religious purpose as a Christian friar, and his representations in the text were shaped by his desire to please Christopher Columbus and the Spanish authorities. At the same time, the presence of Pan and other Europeans shaped the histor ies the Taino chose to perform and tell while Pan lived among them. Stories Spoken and Written Pan may not have started his account with any plan beyond Columbus' nebulous directions concerning "beliefs and idolatries," but certain themes and elements appear frequently in Pan's descriptions of Taino myth and folkore. In Pan's re telling, the thematic motifs of these stories include the impermanence of death and the absence of women. Part of the particular emphasis on these elements may be due to Pan' s personal fixations, but the shape of his re telling of these stories also suggests the shape of the stories as they were originally told to him by the Taino themselves. Pan is at pains throughout his account to assign the responsibility for these Taino myths to the Taino orators who originally presented them, and his efforts should not be disregarded in the scholarly attempt to locate Pan's single "voice" in the text. Rather, there are multiple voices, and at least two authors: Pan in the foreground, assisted and animated by Ulloa and Ulloa's translators, and the shadowed, indistinct Taino storytellers including Juan and Guarionex in the background. L pez Baralt has described Pan 's account as a work of "dual authorship" in which Pan is accompanied by "a secondary, collective author: the Taino people, who generate the myths that the

PAGE 33

33 indigenous informers recite or sing to them." 37 The incidents of repetition and emphasis in the account suggest points of intersection between Pan's perso nal reaction to Ta ino histories the stories and events that stuck in his memory and which he judged worth y of including in his account and the emphasis used by the Taino themselves as they told or performed specific stories in specific circumstances. The dead walked in Tai no folklore. 38 They emerged at night in the guise of family members or dangerous warriors or seductive women. In the case of the latter, "when a man thinks he has her in his arms, he has nothing because the woman disappears in an instant," Pan wrote. 39 The dead would not appear among crowds, but solitary travelers were vulnerable to their approach. The dead resembled the living in all respects, save two: they did not appear in daylight, and they did not have a navel, which could be detected by touching the a pparition's belly. The dead were both cherished and feared. They returned to "celebrate and accompany the living," but at the same time, the Taino Indians were "fearful" to encounter them alone on some moonlit road. 40 The dead spoke. Corpses could answer questions, although they might not answer them truthfully. 41 The shamanic behiques were believed to hold regular conversation with the dead. Unsurprisingly, Pan was skeptical and contemptuous of 37 hay un autor secundario, colectivo: el pueblo tano que produce los mitos que los informantes in dgenas recitan o cantan a aqul L pez Baralt, El Mito Taino 133. Meghan McInnis Domnguez has contested this interpretation of peaceful cultural collaboration and instead argued that the Pan 's account represents la lucha por el control narrativo entre Pan y los ta n os ." Mc Innis D omnguez "La violencia del/al gnero ." 38 Pan An Account 5, 18 19. 39 Pan An Account 19. 40 Pan An Account 19. 41 Pan An Account 24.

PAGE 34

34 this relationship. As a missionary, Pan likely encountered s ignificant opposition from the behiques, who were responsible for maintaining Taino traditions of religion and culture. As a Christian, Pan was predisposed to oppose any relationships with the divine that occurred outside Christian orthodoxy, and he wrote that the behiques "practice many deceptions" and preyed upon the gullibility of their fellow Taino. 42 If a behique failed in his obligations, however, the other Taino could mete out certain retributions. Pan offered a graphic and detailed account of what might happen to a behique who failed to cure a Taino Indian through the behique's own negligence. One day the relatives of the dead man gather and wait for the aforesaid behique, and they beat him so soundly that they break his legs and arms and head, club bing him all to pieces, and they leave him thus, believing that is thus, the bones of his legs and arms join once again and mend, they say, and he stands up and walks a little a And when they see him alive, the relatives of and if they can catch him again, they take out his eyes and smash his testicles because they say that none of these physicians can die, however much th ey may beat him, if they do not remove his testicles 43 It is noteworthy that Pan described this story with such specific detail. Pan's presumed antagonism with the behiques may have encouraged his Taino interlocutors to embellish gruesomely the story as they reported it, and the space and care that Pan devotes to re telling the story in all its violent particulars suggests that he paid happy attention to the possibility of behique destruction. Pan was explicitly skeptical of the behiques and their pra ctices, but he was much more reserved about Taino stories of the mobile and voluble dead. There are suggestions of doubt in th e validity of the Taino beliefs "[t]heir ancestors have made 42 Pan An Account 19. 43 Pan An Account 24 25.

PAGE 35

35 them believe all this" but there is no reason to think that Pan doub ted the quotidian presence of the supernatural itself on Hispaniola. 44 Christianity had a tradition of resurrections and ghosts, and early modern Spain was a land of divine visitations and messages. 45 By and large, Pan did not explicitly identify parallels between Taino beliefs and Christian orthodoxy, with one significant exception: the zemis of stone and wood, who acted as intermediaries between the Taino and the divine and which Pan perceived as clearly demonic. "Those simple, ignorant people believe th at those idols or, more properly speaking, demons make such things happen because they have no knowledge of our holy faith," Pan wrote. 46 (This line which comes two thirds of the way through the account is also the first explicit reference to Christianity in the text.) Gruzinski has argued that Pan 's single comparison of the zemis to idols represents a careless slip of the pen that Pan immediately qualifies. Gruzinski argues that Pan 's "ethnographic sensitivity" leads him to take pains to depict the zemi as "a chaos of shape" that is "hesitating between many states." 47 The demonization and corporealization of the zemi, according to Gruzinski, occurs gradually in the writings of Peter Martyr, who was fixated on the themes of representation and simulacrum, a nd it was Martyr, not Pan who influenced subsequent accounts. 48 This, however, is an unwontedly generous interpretation of Pan 's purposes. While the zemi do seem to 44 Pan An Account, 5. 45 Christian, Apparitions in Late Mediev al and Renaissance Spain 22 25. 46 Pan An Account, 21. 47 Gruzinski, Images at War 10 11. 48 Gruzinski, Images at War 14 19.

PAGE 36

36 unite a variety of meanings for the Taino, Pan himself demonstrates a dogged insistence on seeing them as physical and unwholesome objects specifically shaped by human hands to represent metaphysical concepts and unnatural animation. Pan reported that, f or the Taino, the zemi were capable of digesting food, escaping captivity, and engaging i n sexual intercourse; the zemi had names and origins and gender in Taino tradition. 49 "And so may God help them if the zemi eats any of those things because the zemi is a dead thing, shaped from stone or made of wood," Pan wrote. 50 Like the walking dead of the Taino, the zemi seem to embody simultaneous expressions of life and unlife in ways that the Taino found perfectly comprehensible and that Pan found persistently irreconcilable. The impermanence of death is not the only recurring feature in the survey of Taino myths and histories that Pan elected to include in his account. Women are absent from these stories in explicit ways. 51 They appear in animal forms; they are exiled to inaccessible islands; they are the subject of fruitless searches and quests. 52 In these stories, households of Taino bachelors are reduced to such desperation that they are forced to generate their own women. In one story, when a man's brothers take a stone axe to his swelling back, they find a living female turtle, which they then a dopt into 49 Pan An Account, 27 30. 50 Pan An Account, 23. 51 Other scholars have argued that Pan 's Amazon myth suggests the prominence and importance of women in Taino myth and society, but the isolation and segregation of these women, and the implication that they are "lost" to Hispaniola after their exile, would seem to suggest the opposite. Their absence on Hispaniola and the subsequen t events engendered by that absence seems a more vital factor than their presumed presence on an unreachable island. For analyses on the presence of women, see L pez Baralt, El Mito Taino 152, and Stevens Arroyo, Cave of the Jagua 155 174. 52 Pan An Acc ount, 8 9, 12, 16.

PAGE 37

37 their bachelor household. 53 Another story about bachelor Tainos described the sudden appearance of sexless and slick creatures who were finally caught by syphilitic Taino men with rough skinned hands. 54 The men found a woodpecker and tied it to the bodies of the sexless creatures. "[T]he bird began his customary work, picking and burrowing holes in the place where the sex of women is generally located. And in this way the Indians say that they had women 55 The absence of women is not the only possi ble interpretation of the gender dynamics of Taino mythology. Two female figures, a healer and a queen, appear in Pan 's account wielding some degree of authority, and a few of the zemis are identified as female. Contemporary accounts from other Spaniards on the island suggest that political power among the Taino descended matrilineally. 56 Yet the absence of women seems to be the narrative structure that Pan himself employed. Part of this emphasis on absence may be due to Pan's own relationship with Taino women. As a Hieronymite friar, Pan's religious responsibilities included celibacy, and he may have had limited contact with Taino women. The only woman to emerge as an individual in Pan's account is the mother of the cacique Guarionex, and Pan does not interact directly with her. Instead, her words and actions are reported to Pan by another man. 57 Pan's implied distance from Taino women shaped the kinds of stories that he heard, just as his experiences were shaped by the position he occupied in Taino so ciety. 53 Jos Juan Arrom in Pan An Account, 16, fn 73. 54 Pan An Account, 12. 55 Pan An Account, 12. 56 Keegan, Taino Indian Myth 97, 120, 190. 57 Pan An Account, 37.

PAGE 38

38 Lopez Baralt suggests that, as a stranger to the community, Pan's access to Taino folklore came primarily through public performances, such as ceremonial areytos 58 The Taino religious myths represented in Pan's account are often treated by schol ars as timeless and universal beliefs among the Caribbean Arawak. Yet this presumes a rather static and flat vision of Taino religion as lived and performed by Pan's neighbors from 1495 to 1498. Pan's account of Taino belief systems is incomplete, becaus e Pan was necessarily selective in his memory and his composition, and the Taino were presumably no less selective in their performances and explanations. Religion, as a constellation of shared understandings, offers a range of possible interpretations of the world, but the entirety of that spectrum is rarely applicable in any single situation. Instead, at any point in their history, the Taino Indians of Hispaniola were telling and re telling the stories that held the most meaning and resonance for that pa rticular point in time. Assessing the totality of factors influencing Taino life during the 1490s is beyond the scope of the documentary or material record, but it seems probable that the presence and actions of the Spanish settlers played a disproportiona tely large role in community concerns during this time. Accordingly, it is possible that the Taino religious and mythic narratives that would receive the most repetition and emphasis during these years would be the stories that held particular significance for the particular social conditions of a nascent Spanish Taino society. This is not to suggest that social conditions could be immediately and directly translated to folklore traditions. Rather, people will choose to express the cultural narratives and r eligious explanations that seem most relevant to their immediate circumstances. 58 L pez Baralt, El Mito Taino 40.

PAGE 39

39 For example, the absence of women in these stories echoes the known disruptions of Taino households caused by the early years of Spanish settlement, when political violence r earranged community boundaries, tributary demands affected traditional labor patterns, and Taino and European men competed with one another for sexual access or marriage alliances to Taino women. Similarly, stories about death and infirmity may have had a special significance in the period of rising Taino mortality from factors both evident and invisible. Disease is largely absent from the stories that Pan reported. Smallpox famously arrived in the Caribbean in 1518, but the appearance of other illnesses of the Old World, such as influenza and measles, have less certain dates of entry. Noble David Cook has argued that influenza began laying waste to Hispaniola's indigenous population with the arrival of Columbus' second voyage in 1494, and that the Spanish accounts of the era are rife with oblique references to illness and mortality, but there is no echo of that concern to be detected in Pan 's account. 59 Instead, New World diseases are mentioned. There are several references to a skin disease called caracar acol which may have been either a form of parasitic mange or bacterial syphilis, and there is one explicit reference to syphilis sores. 60 There are no explicit references to other diseases, and Pan does not mention any signs of illness or physical weaknes s in his descriptions of Taino society, although Pan may have simply been oblivious to outbreaks of influenza or measles around him. Pan 's account cannot be taken as conclusive 59 Cook, Born to Die, 28 45 60 Pan An Account 10, 12, 15.

PAGE 40

40 evidence as to the absence of disease around him, but it suggests that diseas e had not yet emerged as a major factor of life within the Vega Real before 1498. However, the presence of European disease in the Vega Real may be implied in Pan 's description of behiques In Pan 's telling, the primary role of the shamanic behiques wa s a medicinal one: they treated the ill and infirm among the Taino, and interceded on behalf of their patients with the supernatural plagues that manifested themselves physically upon the bodies of the ill. The Taino ill were taken to the behiques, who wou ld treat them in a variety of ways, including a dose of the emetic cohoba a special diet shared by both patient and behique, and an intercession with the particular zemi who had caused the illness. A behique's efficacy as a healer depended upon the purity of his own conduct, and so an ineffectual healer was presumed guilty of personal corruption. As was described earlier, a Taino family might take violent revenge upon a behique if they suspected him of deviating from the special diet. Pan spends a great d eal of space describing the behiques and their treatment of sick people. While this focus is clearly related to Pan 's Christian expectations and the spiritual trespasses committed by the behiques, it may also reflect a point of tension among the Taino the mselves. If Old World diseases had begun to spread through the Vega Real between 1492 and 1498, the Taino might have been grappling with a gradually rising mortality rate and the decline of the behique's perceived power. Pan 's description of a murdered be hique is delivered with the specific and particular details of a real and recent event. Just as the presence of the Spanish altered the positions political power across Hispaniola, the presence of Old World disease may have contributed to destabilized reli gious understandings among the Taino of the island.

PAGE 41

41 Guarionex and Guatcaba The Taino Indians and their "voices" can be heard distantly in this account, represented both in the stories that they told Pan and the observations that Pan made himself. Are as of conflict and accomodation between Spanish and Taino factions are indirectly revealed by Pan 's references to violence, political negotiation, and religion. Pan 's own interactions with the Taino were shaped by his role as a proto missionary, and reli gion proved to be a complicated issue throughout his account. Finally, the voices and motivations of individual Taino emerge indirectly from Pan 's account. The evangelical efforts of the Christian Juan Mateo and the political frustrations of the cacique G uarionex both suggest complications and motivations that extend far beyond Pan 's narrative. It is clear from Pan 's account that the Christianity of the Spanish settlers was adopted or adapted by some Indians on Hispaniola. When Pan lived at Magdalena, the Macorix speaking household of the lord Guan oboconel converted to Christianity. 61 One of these household members included Guat caba, who would become Pan 's indispensable companion and assistant in his further evangelical efforts. When Pan and Guat ca ba moved to Guarionex's province in the Vega Real, Guarionex exhibited an enthusiasm for demonstrations of Christianity. In the beginning he showed us goodwill and gave us hope that he would do whatever we wished and that he wanted to be a Christian so he learned the Pater Noster and the Ave Mar a, and the Creed, and likewise many members of his household learned them; and every morning he would say his prayers and made those of his household say them twice. 62 61 Pan An Account 32. 62 Pan An Account 34 35.

PAGE 42

42 There is a surprising degree of zeal in Guarion ex's actions here, especially in the two sets of prayers he commanded from his household. It should be remembered, however, that he had just witnessed the recent settlement of a Spanish military force at Concepcin, which was either within or near his terr itory, and he had received the gift of an inarticulate Hieronymite friar from Columbus, who may have intended Pan to keep an eye on Guarionex. There is no evidence that Guarionex himself was involved in Caonab 's revolt in 1494 and 1495, but at least one of his subordinate caciques, Guatiguar was allied with Caonab 63 After Caonab 's deportation, Guarionex was considered to be the most powerful cacique on Hispaniola, and he appears to have enjoyed the most success in negotiating with the Spanish about th e new tributary system. However, the Spanish themselves were fighting one another for control of Hispaniola, which threatened to alter previous alliances and understandings. Given the uncertain political atmosphere of Hispaniola, Guarionex may have chosen dramatic expressions of Christianity as a means of ensuring the legitimacy of his political power in relationship to the Spanish. Of course, Guarionex might have also felt genuinely called to adopt the religion of his resident Hieronymite. It is clear tha t Pan himself viewed Guarionex's early religious enthusiasm as genuine. The reference to the double prayers, rather than a subtle insinuation of sham zeal, seems instead intended by Pan to emphasize the contrast with Guarionex's subsequent loss of faith, which was brought about by the persuasions of other caciques: But afterwards he grew angry, and he abandoned his good intention; other leaders of that land were to blame, for they reproached him because he 63 Deagan and Cruxent, 59 60; Wilson, 84, 90.

PAGE 43

43 wanted to obey the law of the Christians, because the Christians were wicked and had taken possession of their lands by force. 64 The period between 1495 and 1497 were turbulent ones for Spanish Taino interactions in the Vega Real. The tributary system imposed by Chistopher Columbus in 1495 demanded a haw ksbell of gold (which contained about three ounces) every three months from every adult Taino vecino in the mining regions of the Vega Real. 65 The tributary system disrupted agricultural systems among the Taino, and the shortage of food was further exacerba ted by the presence of Spanish conquistadors and debilitating Old World disease in the Taino villages. 66 As a possible result of these conditions, Hispaniola suffered a widespread famine in 1495 and 1496. The shortage of food further exacerbated tensions be tween Indians and Spaniards, who accused the Indians of deliberately destroying their own crops in order to starve the Spanish into leaving Hispaniola. 67 Given the starvation and disruption of these years, Guarionex is notable for enjoying a degree of pro sperity. According to Peter Martyr, Guarionex's province was less affected by the famine than other areas of Hispaniola, and so he provided food to the Spanish. 68 Some of Guarionex's reported stability may have been due to the agricultural benefits of his p osition within the eastern Vega Real, which experienced 64 Pan An Account 35. 65 Indians living outside mining areas were expected to give twenty five pounds of cotton in tribute instead of go ld. Wilson, Hispaniola 93. 66 Wilson, Hispaniola 93 94. 67 Wilson, Hispaniola 95. 68 Wilson, Hispaniola 95.

PAGE 44

44 more annual rain than the western Vega Real. 69 Bartolom de las Casas described the region as "very fertile" and having "abundant food and cassava bread." 70 Guarionex's stability might have also been du e to his political ascendancy; Samuel Wilson has described him as "perhaps extraordinary in his ability to manage two competing groups of Spaniards as well as the other indigenous political leaders in the valley." 71 While the Spanish viewed Guarionex as the foremost political leader of the region, Guarionex's political authority actually depended upon his alliances with other Taino caciques, and any consensus reached by these caciques necessarily shaped his decisions. There is also the faintest whiff of a familiar missionary complaint in Pan 's description of Guarionex's lapse from Christianity. Throughout the colonial Americas, it was not unusual for the first wave of Christian missionaries to proclaim the ease and speed of their conversion of the indigeno us locals; it was only later, after traditional or syncretic practices pe rsisted alongside Christianity, that missionaries began to suspect insincerity among Indian converts. European missionaries frequently viewed religion as a binary proposition, in whic h one was either a Christian or not, but their American parishioners were capable of reconciling Christian concepts with prior American understandings. Just as Pan understood Taino religion within the framework of his Christian European background, so too did the Taino understand Pan 's religious instruction within their prior cultural conceptions. 69 Wilson, Hispaniola 81. 70 donde hay una muy f Bartolom de Las Casas Historia de las Indias. vol. 2, edicin de Agustn Millares Carlo y estudio preliminar de Lewis Hanke (Mexico, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1951), 69. 71 Wilson, Hispaniola 108.

PAGE 45

45 After Pan and Guatcabanu /Juan left Guarionex, they left behind a chapel with religious icons. A group of men "by order of Guarionex" broke into the chapel, stole the images, buried them in a cultivated field, and urinated on them. 72 Pan interpreted these actions as a calculated blasphemy, but it seems likely that the Taino were enacting a traditional agricultural ceremony for the fertility of crops. 73 They wer e, in short, incorporating elements of Christianity into pre existing Taino religious expressions. Pan was furious, and he reported with satisfaction that the perpetrators were executed by being burned as heretics by Bartolom Columbus. 74 If Guarionex's approach to Christianity seemed unsatisfactory, Pan had the consolation of Guatcabanu/Juan, who seemed to better fit the expected model of Christianization. Guatcabanu was a member of the Macorix speaking people around Magdalena, and he and his family m ay have been dependent naborias of the cacique Guan oboconel. 75 Guatcabanu was the first among the household to convert, and the rest of his family followed him into Christianity. Similarly, when Guatcabanu left for the Vega Real with Pan, he was followe d by his mother and brothers. Guatcabanu was baptized in September 1496 as Juan Mateo, and one of his brothers was baptized as Antn at the same time. 76 Stevens Arroyo suggests that the baptism was likely part of a 72 Pan An Account 36. 73 Arrom in An Account 36 fn 155. 74 Pan An Account 36. 75 Stevens Arroyo, "Juan Mateo Guaticaban ," 633 635. 76 Pan An Account 37.

PAGE 46

46 mass baptism that was staged for Guarione x's benefit. 77 When Juan Mateo, Pan, and Duele left Guarionex for the lands of the cacique Mabiatu they left behind Juan's family to safeguard the chapel and fields that Pan "had ordered tilled." 78 The responsibility given to Juan's family was common in early modern Spain, where poor rural shrines were often maintained by one or two lay people who lived at the shrine and supported themselves by cultivating a garden in the land around the shrine. 79 When Guarionex's men broke into the chapel, they did so aga inst the will of Juan's family, who reported the episode to the Taino and Spanish authorities. Pan presented the conflict between Juan's family and Guarionex as a conflict between Christian believers and blaspheming heathens. Stevens Arroyo has argued tha t tensions between Guarionex and Juan's family may have instead arisen from their status as servile naborias who refused to serve Guarionex and thus went against traditional systems of power in the Vega Real. 80 Whatever the source of this conflict, Pan r eported that it had deadly consequences. Guarionex conspired to attack the Spanish, but his plans for revolt were prematurely ended when Bartolom Columbus arrested him. However, Pan wrote, "in spite of all this, they persisted in their perverse intention and carrying it out, they killed four men and Juan and his brother Antn ." 81 Pan was not witness to this 77 Stevens Arroyo has also argued that Pan 's unordained status meant that Duele conducted the baptisms, but it is not clear if Duele was ordained himself. Stevens Arroyo, "Juan Ma teo Guaticaban ," 626. 78 Pan An Account 35. 79 Christian, Local Religion 107. 80 Stevens Arroyo, "Juan Mateo Guaticaban ," 634 635. 81 Pan An Account 36 37.

PAGE 47

47 murder, which may have happened when Juan traveled back to his family in the Vega Real. "I am certain he died a martyr," Pan wrote. "For I hav e learned from some who were present at his death that he had said 'Dios naboria daca, Dios naboria daca," which means 'I am a servant of God.'" 82 Pan blamed the murder on Guarionex's partisans, who killed the Christian Indians based on religious motivat ions, and most scholars have accepted his verdict. Yet it is not clear that Pan had an accurate understanding of the political situation of the Vega Real in 1497. Guarionex was released the day after his capture in 1497 when other Taino petitioned for his release, but he was released under the understanding that he would not revolt against the Spanish again. While Guarionex's "pacification" does not preclude the possibility of individual acts of violence by Guarionex or his partisans, it does render Guario nex's culpability in Juan's murder somewhat less certain. The Spanish chronicles reported no further difficulties between Guarionex and the Spanish until the summer of 1498, when he fled to the northern mountains and took refuge with a Macorix speaking com munity of Indians. 83 Violence committed against the Christian Indians on Guarionex's instigation would have been possible but somewhat out of character, as Guarionex appears to have been occupied with appeasing both Spaniards and other Taino caciques in the period immediately following his abortive revolt, and his ultimate response of flight suggests that he had permanently abandoned his plans to overthrow the Spanish. While Guarionex may have been the culprit, his motivations are somewhat thin. 82 Pan An Account 32 33. 83 Wilson Hispaniola 102 108.

PAGE 48

48 However, t here is an important element to the balance of power in the Vega Real in 1497 that goes unmentioned by Pan Francisco Rold n and his men were already in rebellion and in the Vega Real when Guarionex was captured by Columbus, and their continued presence a dded to the instability and violence of the region. Pan 's converts and their loyalty to Spanish authority may have been seen as a threat by Rold n's men in their attempt to control the region, and the fact that Pan 's patron was Christopher Columbus would not have eased tensions. Rold n, rather than Guarionex, seems the much more likely source of violence against Columbus aligned Christians. However, Pan never mentions Rold n or his rebellion in his account, which seems like a curious omission. Either Pan deliberately omitted references to Rold n which seems unlikely, given that his intended audience of Christopher Columbus was desperate for muckraking details about his nemesis in order to justify his actions against Rold n or Pan was legitimately igno rant of Rold n's presence in the Vega Real. After all, Pan had left the region by that point, and it is not clear from his account if he had returned to La Isabela before he finished writing his account. He may have had limited contact with other Spanish settlers or other sources of information, and he had an incomplete understanding of the larger circumstances of Hispaniola. All Pan knew was that his companion and co religionist had been killed, and he naturally blamed the man who had earlier proved hims elf perfidious by turning away from Christianity. Pan concluded his account with an outline of the proper methods of religious instruction among the Indians of Hispaniola. There was the possibility, Pan wrote, of converting Indians through simple relig ious instruction for he had seen Juan Mateo become a Christian easily. For others, however, "there is need for force and

PAGE 49

49 Pan wrote darkly after his difficulties with Guarionex. 84 These thoughts which may have been an interpolation of implausible co ming from a disillusioned friar are expressed with a degree of force and conviction that is unusual for Pan 's account; he issu es them from a position of rare authority. "And I can say it truly, for I have worn myself out in order to learn all this," he wrote. 85 84 Pan An Account 38. 85 Pan, An Ac count 37.

PAGE 50

50 CHAPTER 3 LAS CASAS AND THE HI ERONYMITES: 1499 1516 In December 1511, Dominican friar Antonio de Montesinos delivered a n incendiary sermon in Hispaniola castigating the Spanish colonists for their cruel and inhumane treatment of the American Indians. After nearly twenty years of Spanish colonization on Hispaniola, Montesinos helped inaugurate a new wave of Spanish efforts to repair or, at the very least, better regulate the Spanish Indian relationship via such devices as religious reform and the 1512 Laws of Burgos. 1 Montesinos' sermon was followed by the slow conversion of the man who would become the Defender of the Indie s, an erstwhile encomendero named Bartolom de Las Casas. Partly as a result of the religious rhetoric of Montesinos and Las Casas, and partly as a result of Spain's concern over the Caribbean's uncertain economic future, a trio of Hieronymite friars was s ent to investigate conditions on Hispaniola in 1516. The historical portrayal of the Hieronymite governors has been shaped by Las Casas, who penned the most accessible account of the Hieronymite rule and who also numbered the friars among his political en emies. Thus, the Hieronymites' historical depiction is often colored by each historian's individual affection or animus for Las Casas. For example, Lesley Byrd Simpson, despite facetiously characterizing their reign as a "theocracy," offers a generous and sympathetic interpretation of the Hieronymite government, but this sympathy appears to owe more to Simpson's contempt for Las 2 1 Daniel Castro Another Face of Empire: Bartolom de Las Casas, Indigenous Rights, and Ecclesiastical Imperialism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), 56 59. 2 Lesley Byrd Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain: The Beginning of Spanish Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 39 55.

PAGE 51

51 Analysis of the Hieronymites all too often s tarts and stops with Las Casas, who himself often suffers from a historiographical tradition that views him as an isolated crusader, distinct from the larger political, social, and religious currents of Spain and Spanish America. This chapter, therefore, i nvestigates the larger religious and political contexts that gave rise to both Las Casas and the Hieronymite governors. The Changing Face of Hispaniola, 1498 1511 Spanish Hispaniola changed dramatically in the years after Ram n Pan 's account. The politi cal landscape of Hispaniola shifted in 1499, when Christopher Columbus made peace with the rebellious Francisco Rold n by giving Spanish settlers a greater piece of the colonial pie through the repartimientos of what came to be known as the encomienda syst em. 3 disruptions of Taino agricultural and social systems, but its centralized structure, in which all Taino caciques were under the direct administrative control of the Columbus family, may have afforded Taino caciques a small degree of political autonomy so long as they could make tribute. Columbus had originally envisioned the Spanish settlers as salaried middle men in this hierarchy, but Rold settlers could take resp onsibility for the profitable labor of individual Indian communities themselves. 4 This ad hoc repartimiento system was based on the encomienda of medieval Spain, and it was reluctantly formalized in 1503 in the Caribbean. 5 The implementation of the reparti mientos further encouraged individual Spaniards to intervene in the political and social structure of indigenous Caribbean communities to 3 Sauer, Early Spanish Main ,101. 4 Sauer, Early Spanish Main 95 96, 101. 5 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 150.

PAGE 52

52 The Catholic Monarchs resisted repartimientos in the Americas, and their subsequent representatives would frequently bear royal instructions to reform or eliminate repartimientos if possible. Once in the Caribbean, their representatives rarely found it possible. As a result of royal displeasure, Columbus was removed from his position of authority and replaced by the Crown's chosen representatives. Francisco de Bobadilla arrived in Hispaniola in August 1500 to become governor of the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean, and his removal of the Columbus family altered the lands cape of alliances and understandings in Hispaniola. 6 As governor, Bobadilla stimulated gold production by temporarily suspending royal taxes on precious metals, and the development and expansion of gold mines in Hispaniola may have increased the distance t raveled by Taino miners from their homes and families. In 1502, Bobadilla was succeeded by Frey Nicol s de Ovando, whose brutal suppression of Taino rebellion effectively ended the possibilities of united Taino resistance against the Spanish. Ovando is per haps most notorious for his actions at a 1503 feast hosted by the powerful Taino ruler Anacaona, where he violated the traditions of hospitality when he interrupted the entertainment to signal his men to begin massacring the assembled Taino leaders. 7 In re spect to her high station, Anacaona herself was spared for a later execution by hanging. This event has often been interpreted as the textbook example of unprovoked Spanish barbarity during the Conquest, although Troy S. Floyd has argued that the fragmenta ry documentary evidence of the event suggests instead that Ovando was reacting against 6 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 105 106. 7 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 149.

PAGE 53

53 a credible threat of a rebellious Spanish Taino alliance in the region, due to the close historical ties between the Indians of the region and Rold 8 What ever its other Taino caciques throughout Hispaniola and neighboring Caribbean islands. 9 After either eliminating or decisively weakening the Indian caciques in the region, Ovando formalized the encomienda system on Hispaniola in order to cement local Spanish control throughout the island. Ovando demonstrated himself willing to revoke and re assign encomiendas when encomenderos violated regulations or fell from political favor. The risk of losing the encomienda may have lessened the abuses committed by the average encomendero, although Frank Moya Pons has argued that the temporary nature of th e encomienda grant may have also led to greater overwork and exhaustion among the Taino laborers. 10 The political upheaval in Hispaniola during the second decade of Spanish rule was partly due to Spanish and European turmoil. Queen Isabel died in November 1 504, and Castile passed to her daughter Juana and her husband, Philip of Burgundy. When Philip died in 1506, Juana ceded administrative control of Castile to her father, Ferdinand of Aragon, and retired to Tordesillas. 11 Juggling hostile Castilian aristocra ts in Spain and military campaigns in Europe and the Mediterranean, Ferdinand sought to 8 Floyd, The Columb us Dynasty, 62. 9 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 149. 10 Lynne Guitar, Cultural Genesis: Relationships Among Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola, First Half of the Sixteenth Century (PhD diss., Vanderbilt University,1998), 105; Frank Moya Pons, Des pus de Coln : Trabajo, Sociedad y Pol tica en la Economa del Oro (Madrid: Alianza, 1986), 40.

PAGE 54

54 maximize the state revenue gained from the Caribbean by encouraging gold mining. 12 The Spanish settlers in the Caribbean complained about the diminishing number of labor ers for the gold mines, and so Ferdinand encouraged Spanish slavers to abduct Indians from the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles, and the Pearl Coast in order to labor in Hispaniola's gold mines. 13 Don Diego Columbus became governor of the Indies in 1509 and spe nt his tenure attempting unsuccessfully to secure the powers and territories that had been promised to his family. Two decades of labor under the Spanish radically altered the lives and social structures of the indigenous Taino and their relationships wi th the Spanish settlers. The Taino were forced to mine gold in distant fields, to cultivate food to feed the Spanish, and to serve in the households of the colonists. The destruction wrought by disease, war, starvation, and the separation of families incre ased Indian mortality, decreased the Indian birthrate, and drove many Taino to flee to inaccessible areas of Hispaniola or to other islands entirely. To compensate for the dwindling labor source, the Spanish settlers began making slave raids on other indig enous communities of the Caribbean, Florida, and South America. 14 They also began agitating for an expanded importation of African slaves to the Caribbean. The demographic composition of the island further 11 Liss, Isabel the Queen, 355; Elliott, Imperial Spain, 130. 12 Elliott, Imperial Spain 135 142; Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain, 16; Moya Pons, Des pus de Coln 44. 13 Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain 16 28. 14 Michael H. Perri, The Spanish Conquest of the Pearl Coast and the Search for the Province of the Meta (PhD diss., Emory University, 2004), 17.

PAGE 55

55 altered as the labor force began to include black s laves and Indian laborers from outside Hispaniola. 15 Franciscans and Dominicans As the Spanish colony in the Americas entered its second decade of existence, the regular clergy finally began to arrive in significant numbers. In 1500, Bobadilla arrived with a handful of Franciscan friars, including Juan de la Duele and Juan Tisin. Tisin and Duele first arrived in 1494 with Ram n Pan, and Duele had worked alongside Pan in the Vega Real in 1496, but both Tisin and Duele returned to Spain in 1499 to petition f or more friars to be sent to the Caribbean. 16 On their second voyage in 1500, Tisin and Duele were accompanied by at least three other Franciscan friars, and they began a process of mass Indian baptisms on Hispaniola. 17 In 1502, Ovando arrived with twenty fi ve hundred settlers from Spain, including twelve Franciscan priests and four lay brothers led by Alonso de Espinal. 18 They began constructing buildings for their order in Santo Domingo in 1503, followed by convents in Concepci n de la Vega and Vera Paz de J aragu by 1510. 19 The Dominicans would later accuse the Franciscans of devoting their efforts to Spanish settlers rather than the Taino, but there is evidence that the Franciscans did offer at least some religious instruction to children of the Taino elite. 15 Guitar, Cultural Genesis 407 410. 16 Antonine S Tibesar, "The Franciscan Province of the Holy Cross of Espa ola, 1505 1559," The Americas 13, no. 4 (Apr., 1957): 379. 17 Among the accompanying friars were Juan de Robles, Francisco Ruiz, and Juan de Trastierra. Ruiz would later serve as a prominent advi sor to Cardinal Cisneros. Carlos Nouel, Historia Eclesitica de la Arquidicesis de Santo Domingo, Primada de Amrica I (Santo Domingo : Editora de Santo Domingo, 1979), 21; Tibesar, "The Franciscan Province," 379. 18 Sauer, Early Spanish Main, 147; Tibesar, "The Franciscan Province," 381. 19 Tibesar, 381.

PAGE 56

56 The cacique Enriquillo, who led an autonomous Taino community on Hispaniola from 1519 to 1534, received religious instruction from the Franciscans at Vera Paz. 20 Dominican friars arrived in the Caribbean in September 1510. The initial group of Dominican f riars included Antonio de Montesinos, Bernardo de Santo Domingo, and Pedro de Crdoba, the group's leader who was twenty eight years old at the time. 21 Crdoba was a figure of major influence on the young Bartolom de Las Casas, and Las Casas 's later writin gs portray his spiritual mentor in a hagiographic light. According to Las Casas, the natural austerity of the group was matched by the straitened circumstances of daily life that they found when they arrived at Hispaniola. Living in a cramped, thatched hut the friars ate a diet that included little meat and much cassava bread. 22 They slept on beds of dry straw; their clothing was rough or made from "badly carded wool." 23 Las Casas contrasted this religious rigor with the general spiritual torpor that the Dom inicans found upon their arrival on Hispaniola, where meat was widely eaten on Fridays and corruption apparently flourished. 24 Las Casas portrayed the first Dominicans embracing the hardships of Hispaniola as if they were happily donning a hairshirt, and it is likely no coincidence that Pedro de Crdoba was known from his youth by the pain he suffered from his austerity and penitential habits. 25 His legacy 20 21 Sterling A. Stoudemire, "Preface," in Christian Doctrine: For the Instruction and Information of the Indians (Coral Gables: University of Mia mi Press, 1970), 20. 22 Las Casas, Historia de las Indias 2, 383. 23 el vestido suyo era de jerga asprrima y una tnica de lana mal cardada ." Ibid., 383. 24 Ibid., 383. 25 si por las penitencias grandes que hac a no cobrara grande y continuo dolor de cabez moder en el estudio, acrecentolo en el rigor de las austeridad y penitencia todo el tiempo de su vida Ibid., 382.

PAGE 57

57 extended beyond Las Casas and the Caribbean. Before his death in 1521, Crdoba wrote a simple catechism for the Christian instruction of American Indians; his Doctrina Cristiana would later be adopted by Bishop Juan de Zum rraga and the early figures of Christian evangelization in sixteenth century Mexico, where it became one of the first books printed in th e Americas. 26 By January 1511, a second group of five Dominican friars from Spain had joined their brothers on Hispaniola, and another seven arrived in May 1511. 27 Altogether, during the first two decades of Spanish Hispaniola, at least seventy eight regula r friars emigrated to the Caribbean and began spreading through the islands. 28 Juan de la Duele, Pan 's companion, participated in the conquest and settlement of Jamaica, where he died between 1508 and 1511. 29 His companion Juan de Tisin went to Cuba in 1512 as part of Diego Vel squez y Cuellar's military campaign and worked to negotiate with the Indians during the bloody conquest of the island. 30 During the Cuban conquest, an unidentified Franciscan friar who may or may not have been Tisin played a supporting role in the story of the Taino cacique Hatuey, one of the prototypical figures of American Indian resistance to colonization and Christian conversion. Hatuey had been a cacique in Hispaniola, but after Ovando's suppression of Taino power on Hispaniola in 1503, Hatuey and his people fled to Cuba, where they 26 Stoudemire, "Preface," 42 43. 27 Miguel A. Medina, Introduccin General ," in Doctrina Cristiana Para Instrucci n de los In dios (Salamanca: Editorial San Esteban, 1987), 22. 28 Franklin W. Knight, The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 35. 29 Tibesar, 384. 30 Tibesar, 384.

PAGE 58

58 attempted to organize resistance to the Spanish among the Cuban Taino. 31 In 1512, Hatuey was defeated and captured by Vel squez's forces, who prepared to burn him alive. When Hatuey was bound to the stak e, a Franciscan friar gave him a rapid introduction to Christianity and said that Hatuey would go to heaven if he would only embrace the friar's faith. 32 The cacique asked if Christian Spaniards went to heaven and was told that, yes, the virtuous ones did. Hatuey did not respond to this good news with the enthusiasm that the Franciscan friar may have expected. And the cacique then said without thinking on it any more, that he did not desire to go to the sky, but rather down to hell, so that he would not be where [the Spanish] were and would not see such cruel people. 33 In Las Casas' polemical telling, Hatuey's decision exemplified the wider failures of the ongoing conquest, in which Spanish brutality and greed impeded evangelical efforts to win hearts and mi nds. According to Las Casas, in his attempt to rally the Cuban Taino, Hatuey had called them together to show them the god that the Spanish worshipped: a basket of gold and gems. 34 Burgos and Las Casas, 1511 1516 On December 21, 1511, the Sunday before Ch ristmas, the Dominican friar Antonio de Montesinos delivered a sermon on the "voice crying in the wilderness" in a 31 Irene A. Wright, The Early History of Cuba, 1492 1586 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916), 25 26. 32 Bartolom de las Casas, An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies ed. Franklin W. Knight, trans. Andrew Hurley (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2003), 18 20. 33 Ibid., 19. 34 Ibid., 19.

PAGE 59

59 Hispaniola church of wide eyed Spanish settlers. 35 Montesinos castigated the Spanish for their treatment of American Indians. This voice says that you are in mortal sin, that you live and die in it, for the cruelty and tyranny you use in dealing with these innocent people. Tell me, by what right or justice do you keep these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? 36 The Spanish colonists protested this sermon strongly and demanded an apology from the Dominican leader, Pedro de Crdoba C r doba flatly responded that no apology would be forthcoming. The following Sunday, Montesinos performed a second sermon that was similar in shape and even stronger in tone. The settlers complained loudly to Spanish officials, and both King Ferdinand and the Dominican order in Spain criticized the efforts of the Hispaniola Dominicans as misguided and harmful. In 1512, C rdoba sent Montesinos to Spain to lobb y for better treatment for the Indians; he was preceded by the Franciscan Alonso de Espinal, who was tapped by the Spanish colonists to defend the status quo of the encomienda system. C rdoba followed Montesinos at the end of the year. Partly as a result o f the pressure exerted by the Hispaniola Dominicans, Ferdinand convened a royal commission at Burgos to devise a set of laws to codify better relations between the Spanish and Indians. The Laws of Burgos, first promulgated in December 1512 and subsequently expanded in July 1513, contained a lengthy list of regulations for both Indians and Spanish settlers, but the regulations were designed to support and sustain the encomienda system on Hispaniola. 35 Lewis Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice 17 18. 36 Ibid., 17.

PAGE 60

60 Perhaps the most tangible consequence of the Burgos confer ences was the 1514 argument developed by Juan Lpez Palacios Rubios in the defense of natural slavery. In Palacios Rubios's treatise, the American Indian lived in innocent barbarism before the moment of European contact, but the touch of European civilizat ion reduced him to the state of an Aristotelian "natural slave" who was required to surrender authority and autonomy to his biological and intellectual superiors. 37 As rhetoric, Palacios Rubios' words became a recurring element of Spanish imperial thought i n the sixteenth century; as text, it became part of a ritual ceremony of conquest that combined imperial and Christian imperatives. 38 In theory, Spanish conquistadors were to read the text of the Requerimiento to each newly encountered group of Indians, who thereafter would be able to make an informed choice between either Spanish rule and Christian instruction or rebellion. (Rebellion allowed the Spaniards to enslave them in good conscience.) In practice, the Requerimiento was an empty gesture; according to historian Lewis Hanke, the conquistadors typically neglected to translate the text into an Indian language comprehensible to their listeners, performed the Requerimiento for the benefit of empty forests or open seas, or "muttered its theological phrases i nto their beards on the edge of sleeping Indian settlements" 39 The Requerimiento accompanied Pedrarias Dvila on his 1514 expedition to Tierra Firme, and it became a formally 37 Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 50 56. 38 Patricia Seed, "Taking Possession and Reading Texts: Establishing the Authority of Overseas Empires," The William and Mary Quarterly 49:2 (Apr., 1992), 183 209; Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other trans. Richard How ard (New York: Harper and Row, 1984), 147 148; Lewis Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949), 31 36. 39 Hanke, The Spanish Struggle 34.

PAGE 61

61 required feature of all Spanish conquests in 1526. 40 As such, it became a recurring enactment of the Christian rationale for conquest performed not for the Indians but for the Spanish themselves. In November 1514, two Dominican friars from Hispaniola were sent to the Pearl Coast of modern day Venezuela to establish a mission among the I ndians there. 41 (Antonio de Montesinos had originally been part of the delegation but was forced to return to Hispaniola after he became ill during the voyage.) Unfortunately, a Spanish expedition was slaving in the region, and their forcible abduction of s eventeen members of the local cacique's family provoked the Indians to murder the unsuspecting Dominicans in retribution. Undeterred, a second group of Dominicans arrived at the Pearl Coast in 1515, and they punctuated their Christian instruction to the In dians with angry letters to Spanish authorities about the Spanish slaving being committed under flimsy pretenses in the region. Meanwhile, a young secular priest and encomendero on Cuba was undergoing a slow process of conversion. Bartolom de las Casas h ad come to the Caribbean in 1502 with the expedition of Ovando; he had been twenty seven years old at the time of Montesinos' famous sermon. 42 While Las Casas was initially unmoved by the Dominican efforts at reform, he underwent a slow process of conversio n that culminated in his 1514 decision to give up his encomienda and its claim on Taino labor. Simultaneously, he began delivering sermons in Cuba against the current encomienda 40 The Requerimiento made its first man dated appearance in the1527 1536 expedition of P nfilo de Narvez in North America. Adorno, The Polemics of Possession 264 266, 372 fn 31. 41 Perri, The Spanish Conquest of the Pearl Coast 35 38. 42 Henry Raup Wagner and Helen Rand Parish, The Life and Wri tings of Bartolome de las Casas (Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1967), 7 13.

PAGE 62

62 system. While Las Casas would not formally enter the Dominican order until 152 2, his new purpose in life gave him common cause with the Caribbean Dominicans. The support of the order enabled Las Casas and Montesinos together to go to Spain in 1515 and advocate for the reform of the Spanish Caribbean. 43 Unfortunately for his plans, La s Casas achieved one meeting with King Ferdinand before the death of the monarch in 1516. Political control of Castile and Aragon passed to Cardinal Francisco Jimnez de Cisneros, a member of the Franciscan order who governed as regent for Ferdinand's dau ghter, the unstable Juana I, and her son, the teenaged Charles. Cisneros was a noted figure of religious reform within the Franciscan order, and he was receptive to the Dominican backed effort to reform the governance of the Indies. However, he was apparen tly reluctant to entrust the project to the contentious factions already involved in the debate, which included both the Dominicans and the Franciscans. Instead, Cisneros sought a more neutral set of actors to investigate conditions on Hispaniola and, if w arranted, institute reforms. Thus, his wandering eye alighted upon the Order of Saint Jerome. An Invitation to the Hieronymites Founded in Spain in 1373, the Order of Saint Jerome was unusually young in comparison to the established and multinational Fra nciscans and Dominicans. 44 Furthermore, the Hieronymites did not belong to a mendicant order; they did not take vows of poverty or renounce property. While never as influential as either the 43 Wagner and Parish, Life and Writings 13. 44 Timothy John Schmitz, "Particular Devotions": Tridentine Reform and State Power in the Hieronymite Order, 1563 1598 (PhD diss., Indiana University, 2000), 7, 58.

PAGE 63

63 Franciscans or the Dominicans, the Hieronymites were not obscure i n the sixteenth century; the Hieronymite monastery in Madrid was a popular and prestigious location to request for one's burial in one's will. 45 They had a close relationship with secular power and Iberian heads of state throughout the fifteenth and sixteen th centuries: Hernando de Talavera, confessor for Queen Isabel and first archbishop of Granada, was a Hieronymite; Emperor Charles V resided within a Hieronymite monastery at Yuste after he abdicated from the throne in 1555; and King Philip II built the im mense San Lorenzo de El Escorial for the Hieronymite order in 1563. 46 Whether this cozy relationship between the Hieronymite order and the living embodiments of state power in the Iberian world played any role in Cisneros' decision is unclear, but a great d eal of the order's appeal to Cisneros in this situation seems to have arisen from its perceived lack of any ideological or political agenda and its apparent absence from Spanish Hispaniola's contentious history. In July 1516 Cisneros wrote to the Hierony mite General, Pedro de Mora, and invited him to commit his order to Spain's colonial project. "Our Highnesses have been informed that, thus far, the things of the Indies have not been in such good order as they should be," wrote Cisneros, who began his let ter by invoking the two people in whose stead he ruled. 47 The ardent Spanish desire to instruct and convert the Taino to the Catholic Faith was now threatened by the dramatic demographic decline of the 45 Carlos M. N. Eire, From Madrid to Purgatory: The Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth Century Spain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 104. 46 Ibid., 63, 67. 47 Que Sus Altezas han sido informados que en las cosas de las Indias no ha havido hasta agora tan buena orden como fuera razon In Santo Domingo en los Manuscritos de Juan Bautista Muoz edited by Roberto Marte (Santo Domingo: Ediciones Fundacin Garca Arvalo, Inc., 1981), 181.

PAGE 64

64 indigenous population, Cisneros wrote, and the Spanish queen and her son were painfully distressed by the reports of encomendero abuses and greed. They had resolved to send representatives to investigate the situation. Furthermore, they had decided no religious order had people so capabl e and so suitable for t his task "in matters spiritual as in matters temporal" as did the Order of Saint Jerome. 48 Cisneros concluded the letter by requesting the presence of whichever Hieronymites that Mora would recommend for this task. In his August 1516 reply, Mora politely d eclined this honor. 49 The Hieronymites had never undertaken the kind of mission that Cisneros described, and the Herculean magnitude of the task was quite beyond their humble abilities, he wrote. Naturally, they were obedient to every desire of the state, a nd they would comply with the project if Cisneros really and truly desired it, but Mora begged Cisneros to reconsider and choose someone else. Cisneros peremptorily brushed aside Mora's hesitations in his 1516 reply. "Your of any sane person that prudently looks at the full weight of these things." 50 Nevertheless, Cisneros had made his choice, and his choice was the Hieronymites. Cisneros went on to describe a vision of the colonial project in the Spanish Caribbean that is st artling for how completely it encapsulates the entire religious rationale for the conquest of the Americas and its apparently inescapable conflict with the parallel economic motivations. In the time of Queen Isabel and King 48 asi en lo spiritual como en lo temporal Ibid., 182. 49 As summarized in Ibid., 182 183. 50 cosas ." Ibid., 183.

PAGE 65

65 Ferdinand, he wrote, there had e xisted uncertainty about how to incorporate the Indians into the Spanish possessions, but Christianity offered a solution to the peaceful but pagan existence of the Indians. As they were a people without faith and without doctrine and without industry and the good arts that normally train the human reason, it was expedient and provident that they served while they were taught of faith and good arts, in such a way that their service was more that of sons than of slaves. 51 Spanish settlers had been envisioned as a central part of this system of spiritual tutelage and material compensation, but now reports suggested that many had been overcome by gold and greed. According to these reports, encomenderos had forgotten the intention of religious instruction and "p laced such a grave type of service upon the Indians, such oppressions of intolerable work" that the land was being "depopulated" and the souls of unsaved dead Indians were being lost to perdition. 52 For this reason, Cisneros demanded two or three Hieronymi te friars to investigate "the business with their own eyes" and report back to him. 53 Receiving this letter, Mora dutifully sought such sane and prudent Hieronymites to send to the Indies, although his search was complicated by a certain lack of enthusiasm for this mission by the members of his order. 54 Historians often portray the Hieronymite friars, who belong to an historically obscure order, as belonging to a basic monkish template of asceticism and scholasticism, which is then used as an explanation 51 Pero por ser como era gente sin fe ni sin doctrina, sin las industrias i buenas artes en que se suele egercitar la razon humana; que les era expediente i provechoso servir mientras que esto de la fe e buenas artes se les ensenaba, en tal que el servicio fuese mas de fijos que de esclavos ." Ibid. 52 han pues to tan grave tipo de servidumbre en los dichos Indios, que opresos de intolerables trabajos Ibid. 53 el negocio por sus propios ojos Ibid. 54 Ibid., 185.

PAGE 66

66 for their timidity about obeying Cisneros and thereby entering the concerns of the secular world. However, given the historic Hieronymite associations with aristocratic patronage and royal favor, and their famously magnificent monasteries, this assumption of modesty and shyness on the part of the Hieronymites may miss the mark. It is equally possible that they dreaded leaving their comfortable homes and moving to the rough frontier of civilization in the Caribbean. Whatever reason for their reluctance, Mora at last selected three Hieronymite representatives Luis de Figueroa, Alonso de Santo Domin go, and Bernardino de Manzanedo and sent them to attend upon Cisneros and the impatiently waiting Las Casas. In Madrid, the Hieronymites received a detailed set of inst ructions from Cisneros, including the necessity of resettling Taino Indians into concentrated villages that would facilitate Spanish access to their labor. The Hieronymites also received an additional member of their mission: Licenciado Alonso Zuazo juez visitador extraordinario designated to serve as an advocate for the Taino Indians in addition to his work collecting residencia accounts from the officials of the Spanish Caribbean. 55 Historians have endlessly argued about who was in charge of whom in the relationship between the Hieronymites and Zuazo, but Manuel Serrano y Sanz has argued that both the language of their royal instructions and the actions the four subsequently undertook in the Caribbean clearly place Zuazo as subordinate to the Hieronymites 56 Las Casas had devised extensive plans, and he apparently held great hopes for influencing the project of investigating and reforming Hispaniola. He claimed a large role 55 Castro, Another Face of Empire 77. 56 Manuel Serrano y Sanz, Orgenes de la Dominacin Espaola e n Amrica (Madrid: Casa Editorial Bailly Bailliere: 1918), 361.

PAGE 67

67 in the selection of both the Hieronymite order and the individual friars picked by Mora, although both the sixteenth century correspondence and a seventeenth century history of the Hieronymite order are studiously silent about his participation in events. 57 If Las Casas initially had high hopes for the Hieronymites, he was disappointed f rom nearly the beginning. In his account, written many years after the Hieronymite mission to Hispaniola, Las Casas complained that the three friars had fallen into the clutches of his enemies immediately after their arrival in Madrid. These foes the Spani sh settlers who vigorously opposed Las Casas' efforts to end the encomienda "spoke of nothing but ill of the Cleric [Las Casas] and of the miserable Indians, vilifying them as beasts and saying that they were dogs" with such unending repetition that they s ucceeded in prejudicing the friars against the project before they had even set sail. 58 Some subsequent historians have taken a more jaundiced view of Las Casas' accusations, and Lesley Byrd Simpson has argued that Las Casas' autocratic and bullying nature may have played a larger role than the devious blandishments of encomenderos in the estrangement between Hieronymites and Las Casas. 59 However the division developed, it appears to have been in full swing by the time the little group sailed, because the H ieronymites sailed separately from Las Casas to the New World. In December 1516 the Hieronymites arrived on Hispaniola with specific instructions from Cisneros concerning the resettlement of the Taino population and other reforms of the island. However, th e three friars seemingly regarded these 57 Jos de Sigenza, Historia de la orden de San Jernimo II (Madrid: Bailly/Bailliere e Hijos, 1909), 101 110. 58 rigo y de los miserabl es indios, infamndolos de bestias y que eran unos perros Las Casas, Historia de las Indias 3, 119. 59 Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain, 40 41.

PAGE 68

68 instructions with a great latitude, because they did not immediately embark upon the sweeping reforms envisioned by Las Casas. In 1517, Las Casas indignantly returned to Spain to register his complaints, and the Hier onymites were left to their own pragmatic devices. In the actions that the Hieronymites eventually undertook, they balanced their imperial and religious directives with the immediate desires of the Hispaniola encomenderos. Las Casas may have perceived the Hieronymites as ineffectual, but they served as important and, indeed, in some ways prophetic figures in three of the policies that they pursued: sugar cultivation, African slavery, and Indian relocation.

PAGE 69

69 CHAPTER 4 THE HIERONYMITE GOVE RNORS OF HISPANIOL A: 1516 1519 After the Hieronymites left Spain, they travelled first to the Canary Islands, then to Puerto Rico, and finally to Hispaniola, where they arrived on 20 December 1516. 1 They immediately presented themselves to the Franciscan monastery, where th ey stayed for two or three days. They would have stayed longer if they had not been 2 Uneasiness, however, preceded the three friars in Santo Domingo. They discovered tha t letters from Spain about their appointment had arrived before they did, and there were widespread rumors when they disembarked that the Hieronymites had been sent 3 The letters from Spain were not far from the truth the Hieronymites had been sent with a long list of instructions that gave them the power to dissolve the encomienda system if they saw fit. Their purpose, however, was primarily investigative, and their 1516 instructions offere d them flexibility in navigating the local politics of Spanish Hispaniola. While their primary purpose, according to their instructions from Cisneros, was to ensure the continuation of the Caribbean colonies and the religious instruction of the indigenous people, they were instructed to approach these tasks using the guidance and input of the principal vecinos of Hispaniola. 4 The Hieronymites followed this instruction to the letter, while their other instructions from Cisneros were approached 1 Marte, 217. 2 estuvieramos mucho mas si no temieramos la turbacion i desasosiego que con mas estada pudi eran recivir aquellos devotos Padres Marte, 217. 3 Marte, 218. 4 Marte, 190.

PAGE 70

70 with less rigo r. They were instructed to cooperate with both Franciscans and Dominicans in their plans for religious reform, but that cooperation proved impossible to achieve in practice. 5 Likewise, they were instructed to talk to the Indian caciques as well as Spanish encomenderos, but there is little recorded evidence of any contact between the Hieronymites and the Indians of Hispaniola. 6 Other parts of their instructions including investigations into Indian settlements, marriage regulat ions, and religious instructio n were carried out with greater fidelity by the Hieronymites, but their primary concern was working well with the representatives of local political power in Spanish Hispaniola. The Interrogatorio As the Hieronymite friars understood their purpose, they h ad been sent to the Caribbean to investigate the "conservation and good treatment" of the Indians and to "give order so that this land shall be settled." 7 Given the time they had spent waiting in Sevilla to depart, trapped between the opposing importunitie s of Las Casas and the Spanish settlers, the Hieronymite friars had enjoyed many descriptions of Hispaniola before they ever set foot on the island. Yet one of their first actions in the Caribbean was to solicit further portraits of Spanish Taino society. The problem of the Indies was a grave and weighty matter, the Hieronymites said, and they intended to rely on the advice and counsel of the people with the most experience of Hispaniola: the expert 5 Marte, 190. 6 Leelgados a la Espanola llamareis algunos de los principales pobladores, les direis la causa de vuestra ida Y esto mismo direis a los Caciques de la dicha isla 7 la conservaion e b a dar orden como esta tierra se poblase In Los Dominicos y las Encomiendas de Indios de la Isla Espaola edited by Emilio Rodrguez Demorizi (Santo Domingo: Editora del Caribe, 1971), 27 4.

PAGE 71

71 encomenderos. 8 To that end, they prepared a set of seven q uestions for the vecinos of Hispaniola that mingled concerns both spiritual and political. Did the Indians have the capacity to govern themselves? How should the Indians receive religious instruction? How should Indian labor be organized? In April 1517, interviews were conducted with fourteen residents of Hispaniola. Their testimonies were recorded by the notary Pedro de Ledesma. The collection of these testimonies in the 1517 Interrogatorio contains a wealth of information about the economic, religious, and social aspects of Taino Spanish society and the influences at work upon the Hieronymites. The men interviewed were powerful members of Spanish society on Hispaniola, and it was these same men, employing a rhetoric that combined political purpose and re ligious sentiment, who sought to mediate how the Hieronymites perceived Hispaniola. The fourteen interviewees of the Interragatorio all occupied positions of power or prestige within Spanish Caribbean society, but they varied in the amount of time that e ach had spent in the Caribbean. A fourth of these interviewed had arrived in the 1490s, another fourth had come with Ovando in 1502, and the other half had arrived between 1506 and 1512. The testimonies in the Interrogatorio represent experiences from the entire period of Spanish colonization in the Caribbean, but the largest segment of those testimonies came from men who had arrived in the previous ten years. Four of the vecinos had arrived in the first decade of Spanish Hispaniola. Anton de Villasante, Andres de Montamarta, and Diego de Alvarado had arrived on Columbus' second voyage in 1493. All three men said that they had not left the Caribbean since 8 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 274.

PAGE 72

72 their 1493 arrival; if true, all three had witnessed the complete arc of Spanish Hispaniola's developm ent, and their perspectives were shaped by that complicated history. Alvarado, for example, could remember the very earliest schemes of Taino subjugation, starting with Christopher Columbus' command that each Indian "vassal" was required to bring him enoug h gold to fill a hawksbell every month. 9 It was not long, in Alvarado's telling, before the Indians stopped bringing gold in favor of dancing areytos and smoking cohobas and "pondering how they would kill all of the Spanish." 10 The fourth vecino to arrive in the 1490s was Pedro Romero, whose arrival in 1499 or 1500 would have coincided with the beginning of Francisco de Bobadilla's tenure as governor. 11 Romero stands as a significant representative of Spanish Taino culture. He was one of the many Spanish en comenderos to marry a Taino woman, and he said that he had come to his knowledge of Taino affairs by "asking my wife as well as the other caciques and cacicas of the island." 12 He testified that he had numerous connections with both the Taino communities an d the Spanish settlements on Hispaniola. 13 When Enriquillo revolted against Spanish authority and formed his own autonomous community in the 1520s, it was Romero who acted as one of the mediators between Enriquillo and the Spanish authorities. 14 9 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 295. 10 fazer sus areytos e cohobas e pensar como matarian a todos los espanoles Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 295. 11 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 333 338. 12 a si preguntandolo a mi muger como a otros ca iques e caicas desta ysla Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 334. 13 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 333. 14 Altman, "The Revolt of Enriquillo," 609.

PAGE 73

73 Three vecin os testified in the Interrogatorio that they had arrived in 1502 with Ovando. Juan Mosquera was a significant figure in early Spanish Hispaniola: a member of the island elite who would become heavily involved in the inter Caribbean slave trade. 15 He was mar ried to Ofrasina de Pasamonte and therefore linked to the powerful Pasamonte family, and their daughter Maria would marry Don Diego Col n 's son, Don Luis, in 1546. 16 Gonzalo de Ocampo and Christbal Serrano, who both subsequently would lead various military campaigns and slaving raids in the South American mainland, arrived together with Ovando in 1502. 17 The third and largest wave of interviewees had arrived between 1506 and 1512. Lucas Vzquez de Aylln, the most powerful judge in the Audiencia de Santo D omingo, arrived in 1503 or 1504. 18 Miguel de Pasamonte, royal treasurer, arrived in 1508. 19 Jernimo de Agero, tutor to Don Diego Colon and, subsequently, to his children, arrived in 1509. 20 Marcos de Aguilar arrived in 1509; in addition to his time on Hispa niola, he had spent time on Cuba and Puerto Rico as well as Hispaniola. 21 Juan de Ampies, royal factor in 1517, had arrived in 1511. 22 15 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 278 282; Enrique Otte Las Perlas del Caribe: Nueva Cadiz de Cubagua (Caracas: Fundacin John Boulton), 160, 209, 251. 16 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 81 fn 16; 17 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 282 288, 296 301; Manuel Gimnez Fernndez, Bartolom de Las Casas: Deleg ado de Cisneros Para La Reformaci n de las Indias (1516 1517), vol. 1 (Sevilla: Escuela de Estudios Hispano Americanos de Sevilla, 1953), 316 fn 872; Otte, 102, 189. 18 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 85 fn 27, 308 311; Otte, 139, 143, 192. 19 Rodrguez D emorizi, Los Dominicos 75 fn 5, 306 308. 20 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 288 293. 21 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 339 350. 22 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 302 306; Gimnez Fernndez, 312 fn 865.

PAGE 74

74 Among the fourteen interviewed men were two regular friars. Franciscan friar Pedro Mexia arrived in 1506. 23 He had experie nced extensive contact and conversation with the Taino, he said, and they only desired "to be free and idle and move around at their pleasure." 24 He opposed the continuation of the encomienda and argued instead that the wheels of the economy should be drive n by a tribute that the Taino would pay through laboring at their own discretion. 25 Bernardo de Santo Domingo was one of the first three Dominican friars to arrive in 1510, and his testimony in the Interrogatorio represented the antagonism against the encom ienda already expressed by Montesinos and Crdoba The Taino, as Painted by the Encomenderos The interviewed encomenderos had a vested interest in retaining their repartimientos, and accordingly they took pains to represent the Taino Indians as undiscipl ined and in desperate need of oversight. In an ideal Caribbean, the Indians would work and live in the familiar manner of Castilian peasants, but it was clear to the vecinos that, given the choice, the Taino would spend all their time dancing areytos and p laying on the batey field, where the Taino participated in a ceremonial ball game. 26 They were "lazy idlers and enemies of work," Juan de Ampies testified. 27 They could also be violent. Even the recently arrived colonists displayed a keen awareness of the b loody dimensions of Spanish Taino society. Montamarta testified that 23 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 328 330 24 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 329. 25 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 330. 26 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 332, 340, 290. 27 muy perezosos holgazanes y enemigos de trabajar Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 302.

PAGE 75

75 the Indians should not be released from the encomienda system because "they are not people of reason and they are inclined more to the bad than to the good and, knowing such liberty, they would kill the Spanish who had overseen them." 28 Aguilar said that the Taino of Puerto Rico still celebrated in 1517 a victory that that they had won over Spanish forces in 1511. 29 The Taino in the mountains of Hispaniola, living beyond the easy reach of the Spanish, were portrayed as alien to Spanish sensibilities. Pedro Romero reported that, unlike people of civilized knowledge, the Taino had such disregard for the possessions of their ancestors that "by the smallest whim in the world, the Indians might destroy and burn their homes and go to the mountains to build others." 30 Juan de Ampies stressed that the Taino of the mountains were sustained by poisonous spiders and snakes, while Juan Mosquera described the Taino as having such vices as eating spiders a nd alligators and "other filthy things" although this diet suggests hunger more than it does perversity. 31 Gonzalo de Campo was even more explicit about the savagery of the mountains: And the caciques and Indians having such a necessity of work, because the y walked around naked and by working, they were given clothing with which to cover their flesh [but] very few of them were seen that came to serve before they fled intercourse with the Spanish and went through the 28 e por que no son gente s de rrason e son ynclinados mas al mal que al bien e sabiendo la tal libertad matarian a los espa oles que toveisen dellos cargo Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 332. 29 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 346. 30 hablando en general de todos digo que c omunmente aborresen lo que las personas de conosimiento suelen amar que son las casas e posesyones que sus antepasados les dexaron que por el menor antojo del mundo las destruyen e queman e se van al monte a hedifican otras Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Domi nicos 334. 31 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 302, 279.

PAGE 76

76 mountains eating wild roots and showing Ov ando their brutality and the ruin of the Christians. 32 Not all of the Indians lived at a distance from Spanish settlements. While some vecinos emphasized the fundamentally alien and uncivilized nature of the Indians, others suggested a more complicated imag e of an entwined Spanish Taino society. Complexities emerged in the cases of Taino Indians who lived among the Spanish or the caciques who held encomiendas themselves. 33 The testimonies suggest the ways in which the Taino had adopted Castillian trade goods. They would happily trade their only shirt or hammock for a pair of scissors, Agero noted, which he interpreted as yet further evidence of their inability to understand the true worth of objects. 34 Several vecinos made reference to alcohol consumption amon g the Taino, and Juan de Ampies described them as habitual drunkards. 35 Diego de Alvarado said that the Indians had been known as enthusiasts for batey and areytos and cohobas and "drinking yerbas so that they could expel from their bodies everything that t hey had eaten," but now they were also known for their enthusiasm for wine, which they said was better than cohoba or games on the batey field. 36 32 teniendo los dichos caiques e yndios asaz nesesydad de trabajar por que andavan denudos y les dieran por su trabajo rropa con que cobrir sus carnes muy pocos dellos se vio que viniesen a serui r antes huyan de la conversaion de los espaoles y se adavan por los montes comiendo rrayzes salvajes y veyendo el dicho Comendador mayor su bestialidad y la perdiion de los christianos Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 283 284. 33 porque son ladrones por la mayor parte espeialmente aquellos que mas sean criado entre los espanoles Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 302. For Indian encomenderos, see Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 283, 306, 341. 34 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 288. 35 Rodrgue z Demorizi, Los Dominicos 302. 36 ser afiionados hera al juego de batel e areytos e cohobas e tomar yervas para hechar del cuerpo todo lo que an comido e enado, e lo que agora al presente delllos conoso es ser afiionados al vino porque dizen ques mej or cohoba que la suya e al dicho juego de batel." Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 292.

PAGE 77

77 It was the space between the mounta ins and the Spanish settlements the long and deadly road that linked Taino c ommunities to Spanish mines and haciendas that most concerned the vecinos. 37 The encomenderos testified that, within Spanish spheres of control and influence, the Taino lived good and prosperous lives, but that prosperity slipped away as soon as the Taino l eft, once their annual labor commitments were completed. According to Gonzalo de Ocampo, It is very evident that when the Indians go to serve, they go fat and well treated, and when they return, they come very thin, as though they cannot support themselve s while they have the distractions of women and games of pelota and the other frivolities with which they occupy themselves on their own lands that are more exhausting to them than work 38 Issues of food and hunger were frequently invoked by the vecinos, w ho blamed the demographic collapse of the indigenous population on the starvation and willful destruction brought about by the Taino inability to live and eat in a civilized manner. The Taino ate filthy things; the Taino gorged on food; the Taino practiced ritual vomiting in cohoba rituals. In particular, yuca cultivation and cassava production were singled out as examples of deadly Taino practices. Aguilar described people who "value life so little that they drink yuca water and other herbs" that continued to kill them, while Montamarta testified that the Taino deliberately damaged themselves because they "would drink yuca water and die" rather than relocate their communities. 39 Yuca could be deadly; improperly prepared, it was a poison. The mortality create d by encomienda 37 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 343. 38 muy manifiesto que quando los yndios van de servir van gordos y bien tratados y quando buelven vienen muy flacos asy por los mantenimientos que no tienen como por sus desconiertos de mugeres y juegos de pelota y otras liviandades en que se ocupan en sus tierras que los fatigan mas quel trabajo Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 286.

PAGE 78

78 labor and Old World diseases was likely exacerbated by the exhausted Indians' lack of time and energy to cultivate and prepare the staple of their diet properly. Pedro Romero said that the Indians had been driven to eat from new and "unseas oned" conucos, and that "great illnesses" developed from their diet of "much filthiness." 40 The solution to this childish improvidence depended, the vecinos testified, on proper regulation and close oversight by both encomenderos and religious officials. W hen asked about the ideal encomendero, the settlers of Hispaniola concurred on the need to give encomiendas exclusively to those people who resided in the Caribbean. Just as the Taino could not be incorporated into the economic and spiritual provenance of the Spanish when they lived at a distance, the encomenderos should be required to oversee their labor force personally and closely. Given the large numbers of absentee encomenderos who lived in Spain, and given the fact that the interviewed vecinos all cla imed a long and uninterrupted tenure in the Caribbean, it is not surprising that requiring encomenderos to reside permanently in the Caribbean was a common sentiment expressed. Miguel de Pasamonte suggested that married Spaniards receive preference for enc omiendas over the unmarried Spaniards who remained so uncommitted to Hispaniola and so full of longing to return to Spain that they would not even consent to the permanence of building a "stone house." 41 39 gente que estima en poco la vida tom arian agua de yuca e otras yervas e cosas con que por muy livianas cosas se suelen matar Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 342; porque tomarian agua de yuca e se matarian Ibid., 331. 40 asymismo comen tras aquello los conucos nuevos questan syn sazon e tras de aquello muchas suziedades de que pro eden grandes enfermedades Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 333. 41 a los solteros con tanto que tengan casas de piedra porque los que no las edifican y tienen con que tan poca voluntad tienen de permanee r en la tierra como los solteros que mas desean yrse a Castilla." Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 308.

PAGE 79

79 The vecinos occasionally mentioned concerns about th e "depopulation" of Hispaniola, but it is clear that those fears encompassed both Taino and Spanish. Christbal Serrano said that, if the Taino Indians were given their freedom, the disappearance of the Spanish from the island was certain, because the Tain o would not serve the Spanish, and thus the entirety of the Spanish Caribbean would be lost. 42 In order to sustain Spanish residence in the Caribbean, several vecinos mentioned alternate sources of labor. Because the Indians "were not able to be instructed in our sainted faith any more than they were able to multiply within the mines, it would be good if His Highness could open the license for bringing blacks to this island," said Pedro Romero, who also alluded to the internal slave trade of Lucayan Indians from the Bahamas. 43 Africans appeared several times in the Interrogatorio, both as a source of labor and as an additional source of discontent when they collaborated with the rebellious Taino. 44 Religion and Regulation The vecinos offered differing opinions on how to reform and regulate the treatment of the Indians. Jernimo de Ag ero, for example, offered a long and elaborately detailed plan for reform that, among other things, called for every Indian to possess two shirts, so that "when they got wet, they would have a change of clothing." 45 Yet all of the interviewed participants duly agreed that converting the Indians to 42 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 297. 43 e porqe como dicho tengo los yndios andan en las minas no pueden ser dotrinados a nuestra santa fee ni me nos puden multiplicar andando en las minas seria bien que su alteza abriese la li encia para traer negros a esta ysla Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 338. 44 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 292, 304, 308. 45 por que quando vienen mojados tegan rropa que mudar Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 292.

PAGE 80

80 Christianity was the most important step in the reformation of the Indies. The traditional Taino were set up in opposition to the Christia ns. If released from the encomienda, the about naked and live bestially as they are the enemies of intercourse with the Christians," Aguilar testified. 46 For the encomenderos Christian belief required the outward expressions of the faith, such as saying the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria, but the Taino did not maintain these simple demonstrations when they were within their own communities, according to Montamarta. 47 However, these expectations would have been difficult for even Spaniards of the period to fulfill; Sara T. Nalle has found that many lay Christians in sixteenth century Spain could not recite from memory the established prayers of the Church. 48 Nevertheless, the vec inos affirmed the importance of converting the Indians in order to save their immortal souls. Given the cultural background of the vecinos and the nature of the three men conducting the Interrogatorio, it is not surprising that they would be so explicit ab out the need for more clerics to administer the sacraments to the Indians. However, the emphasis placed on ensuring that the Taino enjoyed a good death may also be linked to the social conditions surrounding the vecinos in 1517. There is little overt discu ssion of high mortality rates among the Taino, but many of the vecinos suggest a consciousness of death and disease among the Taino that may have been driven by European diseases. 46 se tornarian bestialmente como son enemigos de la conversaion de los christianos Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 340 47 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 331. 48 Sara T. Nalle, God in La Mancha 105.

PAGE 81

81 The interviewed vecinos chalked up the past failure of religious instructi on to various factors. Gonzalo de Ocampo said that some Taino elders would mock other Indians if they spoke about Christian beliefs among themselves, which further inhibited conversion efforts. 49 Gonzalo de Ocampo noted that current religious instruction on ly penetrated so far as the laboring Taino, who were adults, and thus missed the opportunity to convert malleable children, who instead were reared in the "vices and bad customs" of their mothers. 50 Similarly, Miguel de Pasamonte said that, because the Tain o did not begin to serve (and, implicitly, mingle with) the Spanish until they were at least twelve or thirteen years old, they absorbed the customs of their parents and never were able to embrace Christianity. 51 The Dominican friar Bernardo de Santo Domin go offered the most extensive suggestions for the proper regulation and religious instruction of the Indians. His ensuring the least damage to the haciendas or the royal revenues from the Caribbean. 52 He offered numerous suggestions for the regulation of agricultural systems, labor requirements, Taino administration, and domestic spaces. The re gu lation and protection of women occupied a significant portion of his 49 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 284. 50 sus v i ios y malas costumbres espeialmente en cosas de mugeres 51 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 307. 52 menos ynconveni Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos

PAGE 82

82 bread, cooking food, washing clothing, making shirts, rearing chickens, and other such 53 Cott on was to be planted around the villages so that women could make hammocks; and the women are instructed to take up sewing so that the Indians would have clothing. 54 In addition to these restrictions, Santo Domingo issued a broadly inclusive prohibition aga or Spanish man or black man or man of any other nation that would force [themselves 55 In some ways, the preoc cupation with women operating within a particular sphere is unexpected it was certainly not directly echoed by the other encomenderos, who appear largely unconcerned with Taino women in their testimonies. They discuss the need to bring women closer in term s of properly Christianizing the Taino race: they could not civilize the people if they could not reach the women and children. Other motives for bringing women closer to Spanish society go undiscussed, although many Taino and mestizo women already operate d within Spanish societies as cooks, nannies, mistresses, wives, and daughters. In some ways, therefore, the Dominican friar must have been responding to situations undiscussed in the testimonies that were nonetheless visible to members of Spanish Taino so ciety. In other ways, however, the friar and the encomenderos are concerned about the same thing: the preservation of the labor source for the Spanish Caribbean. Ensuring 53 ni en deservarlos ni cogellos ni entidean las mugeres salvo en hazer pan guisar de comer lavar sus pa[n]os hazer camisas crier gallinas e en tales cossas Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 350. 54 Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 350, 352. 55 qualquier yndio o espaol o negro o de otra naion que forare alguna yndia o otra mugger de qualquier naion o por fuera desflorare la pena de la ley avisallos Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 352.

PAGE 83

83 Taino reproduction was an essential step for ensuring Taino production, but while t he encomenderos perceived this problem as one external to Spanish society something that needed to be fixed out there, in the mountainous wildernesses be yond the bounds of civilization Santo Domingo perceived it as a problem that sprang from the entangled and entwined nature of Spanish Taino African society. Unsurprisingly, Santo Domingo devoted extensive space to the forms of religious instruction to be practiced among the Taino of Hispaniola. Religious instruction was to the commandments and the sacraments, and the other things that they agree to know and they will be given writings for that language in their language so that they are able to read, in their language if it is known 56 Sugar, Slavery, and Smallpox By and large, the established encomenderos of the island felt the encomienda system was excellent, and they vocally doubted the ability of the Indians to live properly without Spanish supervision. The Interrogatorio conducted by the Hieronymites appears to have b een influential in shaping how the friars perceived the situation on the island, and their letters back to Spain express the general tenor of these interviews. Similarly, they were encouraged by the encomenderos to pursue new forms of economic development for Hispaniola as the profits of the gold mines dried up. Thus, the Hieronymites entwined purposes the religious reform of the Indians, the preservation of the Caribbean's labor force, the prosperity of the Spanish settlers led to the advent of sugar p lantations, African slavery, and the inadvertent decimation of the Taino 56 para quel cura ensee los articulos de la fee mandamientos e sacramentos e las otras cossas que a ellos conviene saber e dargelas escrptas a esta lengua en su lengua para que gelas pueda leer, que esta lengua sy supiere Rodrguez Demorizi, Los Dominicos 351.

PAGE 84

84 through smallpox. In these efforts, the Hieronymite governors were in accord with Zuazo, whose florid letters to Spain echoed the concerns of the Hieronymites. Sugar cane arrived in the Caribbean with Christopher Columbus's second voyage, which brought a hybrid variety of Saccharum barberi and Sacharum officinarum that was cultivated in India, the Middle East, and the Eastern Atlantic. 57 The sweet plant proved popular with the indigeno us people of the Americas, and it penetrated through some areas of the Caribbean and the mainland Americas far ahead of European settlement. 58 Sugar plantations would come to dominate the economy of the Caribbean during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nine teenth centuries, and the crop would have a wide ranging effect on the course of industrialization, globalization, and modernity throughout the Atlantic World, but sugar failed to achieve that dominance in the sixteenth century Spanish Caribbean. 59 Nonethel ess, the sugar cultivation in the early Spanish Caribbean was an important chapter in both the development of sugar plantations and the economic development of the Spanish Caribbean, and the Hieronymites played an important role in that story. In the wake of diminishing returns from exhausted placer gold deposits, the Hieronymites recommended the pursuit of more agricultural industries, including increased sugar production. In a letter from June 1517, the three friars spoke of the rich earth of Hispaniola a nd suggested a broad array of possible crops, "such as wheat, wine, sugar cane, cotton, and ca afistula, and other 57 J. H. Galloway, The Sugar Cane Industry: An Historical Geography from its Origins to 1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), 11. 58 Ibid., 62. 59 Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Powe r: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Viking, 1985).

PAGE 85

85 groves of these parts." 60 In 1518, the Hieronymites dutifully reported that they had planted ca afistula and were optimistic about wheat and w ine, but most of their enthusiasm was reserved for sugar. Concerted sugar production had been occurring in Hispaniola since at least 1501, but an effective mill arrived on the island only in 1515. 61 In consultation with the encomenderos, the Hieronymites su pported and promoted sugar cultivation on Hispaniola, even going so far as to issue loans to prospective planters. 62 "And we in the name of Your Majesty helped with some little money," they wrote to Charles V in 1518, "because as we said, these are needy pe ople." 63 This effort by the Hieronymites was subsequently followed by increased state support: funds from the Royal Treasury were available to settlers seeking to build ingenios by 1518, and by the 1520s, colonists were permitted to smelt their own copper f or their sugar kettles, rather than importing that copper from Spain and paying its attendant import tax to the Spanish treasury. 64 The efforts of the Hieronymites therefore marked the beginning of a shift in the policies of local and imperial administrator s and their conception of the Caribbean economy. Despite the promising possibilities of sugar cultivation in 1517, the burgeoning industry faced an immediate obstacle: it required a great deal of labor, and Hispaniola 60 asi como trigo, vides, canaverales dulzes, algodonales, i canafistolas, i otras arboledas de las desas partes In Marte, 229. 61 Genaro Rodrguez Morel, "The Sugar Economy of Espanola in the Sixteenth Century ," in Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450 1680 ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 87; Galloway, The Sugar Cane Industry 65 66. 62 Mervyn Ratekin, "The Ea rly Sugar Industry in Espanola," The Hispanic American Historical Review 34:1 (Feb., 1954), 10. 63 i nosotros en nombre de Vuestra Magestad ayudamos con algun poco de dinero, porque como havemos dicho es gente nezesitada In Marte, 249. 64 Morel, "The Su gar Economy of Espanola," 89.

PAGE 86

86 was currently enmeshed in an intensi fying labor shortage. With growing numbers of Taino either dead or disappearing to spaces beyond Spanish reach, a new source of labor would need to be found in order to keep the colonists living in the style to which they had become accustomed. In weighing this situation, both the Hieronymites and Zuazo recommended African slaves as the solution to Hispaniola's labor problems. 65 Slavery had been a fundamental aspect of the early Greek polities and the Roman Empire, and the institution survived in the Medit erranean world to become one of the cultural legacies passed down to unified Christian Spain in 1492. 66 An internal slave trade also occupied an established place in African history, but it was not until Portuguese traders established trans Atlantic trade r outes with sub Saharan African in the fifteenth century that the Atlantic slave trade truly developed. 67 A small number of enslaved Iberian Moors and Africans traded through the slave port of Sevilla already lived and labored on Hispaniola alongside illegal ly imported African slaves, but the Hieronymites wanted to expand the legal slave trade and they specifically wanted African born slaves. 68 Encompassed within the intellectual sphere of the "Old World," the continent of Africa had already experienced an opp ortunity of long duration for Christian instruction, unlike the Americas, and thus religion could be used to defend the enslavement of the African people as willful infidels and heathens. The request for negros bozales who were perceived as the easiest ty pe of slave to train, was a 65 Carlos Esteban Deive, La Espaola y la Esclavitud del Indio (Santo Domingo: Ediciones Fundacin Garca Arvalo, 1995), 233 234. 66 Herbert Klein, "The Atlantic Slave Trade to 1650 ," in Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450 1680 ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 201. 67 Ibid., 204.

PAGE 87

87 common feature in their reports to Spain. One of the Hieronymite friars, Bernardino de Manzanedo, returned to Spain in 1518 to issue a report in which he recommended African slaves as a repeated request from the Hispaniola encom enderos: "Everyone on Hispaniola asks permission to bring Blacks, as there are not enough in the Indies." 69 The Hieronymites were not the first to suggest the expansion of the African slave trade in the Caribbean. Las Casas had also suggested enslaved Afric an labor as an alternative to Indian labor, and this single suggestion has tarnished his humanitarian legacy ever since. 70 If the import of African slaves to the Caribbean was not a novel idea when the Hieronymites suggested it, neither was it an idea that had previously enjoyed much support from the Spanish authorities. However, in 1519, Charles V issued a permit to import 4,000 African slaves to the Caribbean tax free. Expanding throughout the course of the region's subsequent colonial history, the African slave trade would prove to be the major demographic and cultural influence on the modern Caribbean, and the Hieronymites played their supporting role in that larger event. In addition to acting as boosters for sugar cultivation and the African slave tra de, the Hieronymites also played a role in the continuing decimation of the indigenous Taino population of Hispaniola. Finally following their original instructions from Cisneros, the Hieronymites had rearranged the scattered Hispaniola Indians into thirty new settlements. Far from easing the problems of a declining indigenous population, this action exacerbated the demographic collapse when smallpox broke out on the island for 68 Guitar, Cultural Genesis, 279 282. 69 Los de la Espanola todos piden licencia para llevar Negros, pues no bastan los Indios ." In Marte, 247. 70 Eric Williams, From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492 1969 (New York: Vintage Books, 1984), 43.

PAGE 88

88 the first time at the end of 1518 and decimated an estimated third of the Indian population in the first month. 71 Back in Spain, Cardinal Cisneros had died in November 1517, and the reins of Spanish government had been taken up by a new king, Charles, and his new set of advisors. Charles signed the documents relieving the Hieronymite s of power in August 1518, but neither these instructions nor their successor, Rodrigo de Figueroa, arrived in Hispaniola until August 1519. 72 The next year, the Hieronymites returned to Spain, their religious duties, and historical obscurity. However, thei r participation in the developing society of Spanish America came at an important transitional moment for the region, and the Hieronymites are an important component to understanding the influences and problems that would subsequently define the Caribbean. Sugar, slavery, and smallpox remade the region, and the Hieronymites presided over the initial period of Caribbean transformations. 71 Cook, Born to Die 60 63. 72 Simpson, 53.

PAGE 89

89 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS The Hieronymite governors exercised an influence in the encouragement of sugar plantations, the exp ansion of the African slave trade, the extent of the smallpox epidemic. These things may have happened without the Hieronymites: smallpox would have arrived anyway, delivering its inevitable blow to the social fractures already produced within Taino societ y by physical separation, sexual segregation, overwork, and malnutrition, while sugar and slavery were predictable (although not inevitable) solutions to the economic crisis of the 1510s. The Hieronymite governors were merely convenient conduits: receptive to persuasion by the settlers and capable of passing those demands onward to higher levels of Spanish authority. If not the Hieronymites, another governor might have done just as easily. Yet it was the political and moral conductivity of the Hieronymites that made them unusual in the early Spanish Caribbean. Until the Hieronymites were invested with power, the Spanish Caribbean had oscillated between the feudal aspirations of the Columbus family, the brief tenure of Francisco de Bobadilla, and the deliber ate military conquests of Frey Nicol s de Ovando. Christopher and Don Diego Columbus had little prior political experience, but during their governments, they established an entrenched Caribbean network of support through patronage and marriage, and both B obadilla and Ovando had experience with power and leadership as military commanders governing frontier lands on the Iberian peninsula. 1 1 la, 1493 Antiquity 66 (1992), 132.

PAGE 90

90 The Hieronymite governors lacked both political experience and a ready network of Caribbean support. Their own religiou s order had virtually no presence on the island. The Dominicans were obdurately opposed to them after the experiences of Las Casas, and the Franciscans, while not hostile, do not appear to have lent them much visible support after their first few days on H ispaniola. The Hieronymite governors arrived as neutral observers, chosen for their lack of a stake in the fate of the Spanish Caribbean and this absence of a stake weakened their political position. For the sake of their original appointment by Cisneros they were obligated to investigate and alleviate the conditions under which the Taino lived, but their lack of ready made allies in Spanish established encomenderos, w ho had the most to lose in the reform of Indian labor laws. These obligations were further complicated by the overriding imperative to justify their political appointment by materially improving conditions on the island, which is why they desperately inves tigated various industries and labor alternatives. None of their plans quite worked out, and when Charles V came suddenly to power in Spain, the summoned home, lacking a plac The Hieronymites had a tradition of steadfast and safe neutrality in their positions of service to royal or political authority. After all, they had been profoundly successful in their stewardship of multiple Spanis h shrines, and multiple Hieronymite friars served as personal and political auxiliaries of the Spanish monarchs in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. They were named as the governors of Hispaniola in recognition of this tradition of imperturbable stead fastness. That Hispaniola might fail to yield the rewards

PAGE 91

91 of those earlier acts of service the rich rents of Guadalupe or the bishopric of Granada may have been foreseen by the Hieronymites at the time. Hence their hesitancy to accept the charge, but their reputation prevented them from a successful evasion. Ramn Pan was chosen by Columbus for similar qualities of reliability. He was not chosen for his untainted ability of ethnographic description but because Columbus initially perceived him to be a safe bet, someone who he could toss into the wilderness to investigate a muddled situation and someone who could be counted upon to report back with reasonable accuracy. Columbus eventually disowned Pan and denied the accuracy of his report, but the implicati ons of his original decision remain unchanged. Pan, as one of the lone religious figures on the island at that time, was chosen to go among the Taino of the Vega Real because he seemed to embody the two roles that Columbus most sought: a mediator, to lear n Taino culture and transmit Christian religion, and a reporter, to describe and communicate. That these roles were apparently any innate qualities that he demonstrated to Columbus, but for the qualities that he was supposed to have as a Hieronymite, as a member of a regular order, and as a religious figure. A similar expectation of reliability and neutrality appears to have overlaid governors in 1516. In many ways, the Hieronymites of early Spanish Hispaniola fulfilled these expectations and discharged their responsibilities by going where they were told to go and attempting to find a safe middle ground between competing forces. The weakness of their position in Hispaniola forced them to make alliances where they could, and the qualities assigned to their religious identity allowed them to seek particular kinds of

PAGE 92

92 negotiation and accommodation within the framework of their Christian r eligious understanding. In turn, their religious identities shaped the ways in which they interacted convince the Hieronymite governors; Las Casas objected to the Hieronymit es Taino of the Vega Real was defined by his evangelical role. In these ways, the events that occurred within the Hieronymite sphere of early Spanish Hispaniola w ere specifically contingent on the peculiar role played by these four Hieronymite friars and the position they occupied at a formative moment in the relationship between evangelical Christianity and the expansion of empire in the early Iberian Atlantic .Th e diverse experiences of Hieronymites in Hispaniola suggest the variety of ways in which European and American religious understandings were enacted, contested, and reshaped during the course of colonialism.

PAGE 93

93 LIST OF REFERENCES Adorno, Rolena. The Polemic s of Possession in Spanish American Narrative New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. The Americas 63 (2007): 587 614 Arrom, Jos Juan. "Introduction to the English E dition." In An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999. Aston, Margaret. The Fifteenth Century: The Prospect of Europe London: Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc., 1968. Burkhart, Louise M. The Slippery Earth: Nahua Chr istian Moral Dialogue in Sixteenth century Mexico Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1989. Brinton, D. G. "The Arawack Language of Guiana in Its Linguistic and Ethnological Relations." Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 14 (1871): 42 7 444. Castro, Daniel. Another Face of Empire: Bartolome de Las Casas, Indigenous Rights, and Ecclesiastical Imperialism Durham: Duke University Press, 2007. Christian, Jr., William A. Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain Princeton: Princet on University Press, 1981. Christian, Jr., William A. Local Religion in Sixteenth Century Spain Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981. Coln, Fernando. The Life of the Admiral Christopher Columbus by his son Ferdinand Translated by Benjamin Keen. N ew Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1959. Cook, Noble David. Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492 1650 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Cook, Sherburne F. and Woodrow Borah. Essays in Population History: Mexico and the Caribbe an Volume I. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971. American Antiquity 69 (2004). Deagan, Kathleen and Jos Mara Cruxent Columbus's Outpost among the Tanos: Spain and America at La Isabela, 1493 1498 New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. Deive, Carlos Esteban. La Espaola y la Esclavitud del Indio Santo Domingo: Ediciones Fundacin Garca Arvalo, 1995.

PAGE 94

94 Eire, Carlos M. N., From Madrid to Purgatory: The Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth Century Spain Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. Elliott, J. H. Imperial Spain 1469 1716 London: Penguin Books, 1990. Fernndez Armesto, Felipe. Before Columbus: Explorati on and Colonization from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, 1229 1492 Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987. Floyd, Troy S. The Columbus Dynasty in the Caribbean, 1492 1526. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1973. Galloway, J. H. The Sugar Cane Industry: An Historical Geography from its Origins to 1914 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Gaylord Bourne, Edward. Columbus, Ramn Pan, and the Beginnings of American Anthropology Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Soci ety: Worcester, 1906. Gibson, Charles. The Black Legend: Anti Spanish Attitudes in the Old World and the New New York: Knopf, 1971. Gimnez Fernndez, Manuel. Bartolom de Las Casas: Delegado de Cisneros Para La Reformaci n de las Indias (1516 1517). Volu me 1. Sevilla: Escuela de Estudios Hispano Americanos de Sevilla, 1953. Glick, Thomas F. and Oriol Pi Sunyer. "Acculturation as an Explanatory Concept in Spanish History." Comparative Studies in Society and History 11 (April 1969): 136 154. Gonzlez Echeva rra, Roberto. Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative Second edition. Durham: Duke University Press, 1998. Granberry, Julian. "Was Ciguayo a West Indian Hokan Language?" International Journal of American Linguistics 57 (October 1991): 514 519. Gruzinski, Serge. Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to Blade Runner (1492 2019). Translated by Heather MacLean. Durham: Duke University Press, 2001. Guitar, Lynne A. Cultural Genesis: Relationships Among Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispa niola, First Half of the Sixteenth Century PhD diss., Vanderbilt University,1998. Hale, J. R. Renaissance Europe, 1480 1520 Second edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd., 2000.

PAGE 95

95 Hanke, Lewis The First Social Experiments in America: A Study in the Deve lopment of Spanish Indian Policy in the Sixteenth Century Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1964. Hanke, Lewis. The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949. Henige, David. In Search of Co lumbus: The Sources for the First Voyage Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1991. The Hispanic American Historical Review 58 (1978): 217 237. Highfield, J. R. L Journal of Ecclesiastical History 34 (1983): 513 533. Huizinga, Johan. The Autumn of the Middle Ages Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. Hulme, Peter. Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean, 1492 1797 London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1986. Janiga Perkins, Constance G. Reading, Writing, and Translation in the Relacin acerca de las Antiguedades de los Indios (c. 1498) by Fray Ramn Pan: A Study of a Pioneering Work in E thnography Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2007. Keen, Benjamin. "The Black Legend Revisited: Assumptions and Realities." The Hispanic American Historical Review 49 (November 1969): 703 719. Keegan, William F. The People Who Discovered Columbus Gainesv ille: University Press of Florida, 1992. Keegan, William F. Taino Indian Myth and Practice: The Arrival of the Stranger King. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007. Klein, Herbert. "The Atlantic Slave Trade to 1650." In Tropical Babylons: Sugar an d the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450 1680 Edited by Stuart B. Schwartz. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004. Knight, Franklin W. The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism Second edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. Ladero Quesada, Miguel Angel. "Spain, circa 1492: Social Values and Structures," in Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters Between Europeans and Other Poeples in the Early Modern Era Edited by Stuart B Schwartz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

PAGE 96

96 Las Casas, Bartolom de An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies Edited by Franklin W. Knight. Translated by Andrew Hurley. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 200 3. Las Casas, Bartolom de. Historia de las Indias 3 volumes. Edicin de Agustn Millares Carlo y estudio preliminar de Lewis Hanke. Mexico, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1951. Liss, Peggy K. Isabel the Queen: Life and Times New York: Oxford Universi ty Press, 1992. Livi The Hispanic American Historical Review 83 (February 2003): 3 51. Lockhart, James and Stuart B. Schwartz. Early Latin America: A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. L pez Baralt, Mercedes. El Mito Tano : Levi Strauss en Las Antillas Second edition. R o Piedras, Puerto Rico : Ediciones Hurac n 1985. Marte, Roberto, ed. Santo Domingo en los Manuscritos d e Juan Bautista Muoz Santo Domingo: Ediciones Fundacin Garca Arvalo, Inc., 1981. McInnis Dom nguez Meghan. "La violencia del/al g nero en la Relacin acerca de las antigedades de los indios de Fray Ramn Pan ." Esp culo : Revista de Estudios Literari os 40 (2008). Available from http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/numero40/relacion.html. Medina, Miguel A. Doctrina Cristiana Para Instrucci n de los Indios Salamanca: Editorial San Esteban, 1987. Mintz, Sidney. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Mode rn History New York: Viking, 1985. Morison, Samuel Eliot. Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1942. Moya Pons, Frank. Des pus de Coln : Trabajo, Sociedad y Pol tica en la Economa del Oro Madrid: A lianza, 1986. Antiquity 66 (1992): 130 139. Nalle, Sara T. God in La Mancha: Religious Reform and the People of Cuenca, 1500 1650. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University P ress, 1992.

PAGE 97

97 Newsom, Lee A. and Elizabeth S. Wing. On Land And Sea: Native American Uses of Biological Resources in the West Indies Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2004. Nouel, Carlos. Historia Eclesitica de la Arquidicesis de Santo Domingo, Primada de Amrica Volume 1. Santo Domingo: Editora de Santo Domingo, 1979. Oakley, Francis. The Western Church in the Later Middle Ages Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979. Otte, Enrique. Las Perlas del Caribe: Nueva Cadiz de Cubagua Caracas: Funda cin John Boulton. Ozment, Steven. The Age of Reform, 1250 1550: An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980. Pagden, Anthony. The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Or igins of Comparative Ethnology Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982. Pan, Ramn. An Account of the Antiquities of the Indians Edited by Jos Juan Arrom. Translated by Susan C. Griswold. Durham: Duke University Press, 1999. Perri, Michael H. The S panish Conquest of the Pearl Coast and the Search for the Province of the Meta PhD diss., Emory University, 2004. Poole, B. T. F. "Case Reopened: An Enquiry into the 'Defection' of Fray Bernal Boyl and Mosen Pedro Margarit." Journal of Latin American Stud ies 6 (Nov. 1974): 193 210. Ratekin, Mervyn. "The Early Sugar Industry in Espanola ." The Hispanic American Historical Review 34 (February 1954): 1 19. Ricard, Robert. The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico: An Essay on the Apostolate and the Evangelizing Methods of the Mendicant Orders in New Spain: 1523 1572 Translated by Lesley Byrd Simpson. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966. Rodrguez Demorizi Emilio, ed. Los Dominicos y las Encomiendas de Indios de la Isla Espaola Santo Domingo: Editora del C aribe, 1971. Rodrguez Morel, Genaro. "The Sugar Economy of Espanola in the Sixteenth Century." In Tropical Babylons: Sugar and the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450 1680 Edited by Stuart B. Schwartz. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004. Rouse, Irving. The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.

PAGE 98

98 Sauer, Carl O. The Early Spanish Main Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966. Schmitz, Timothy John. Particular Devotion s": Tridentine Reform and State Power in the Hieronymite Order, 1563 1598 ." PhD diss., Indiana University, 2000. Schwartz, Stuart B. All Can Be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. Seed, Patricia. "Taking Possesion and Reading Texts: Establishing the Authority of Overseas Empires." The William and Mary Quarterly 49 (April 1992): 183 209. Serrano y Sanz, Manuel. Orgenes de la Dominacin Espaola en Amrica Madrid: Casa Editorial Bai lly Bailliere: 1918. Sigenza, Jos de. Historia de la orden de San Jernimo 2 volumes. Madrid: Bailly/Bailliere e Hijos, 1909. Simpson, Lesley Byrd. The Encomienda in New Spain: The Beginning of Spanish Mexico Berkeley: University of California Press, 1 966. Starr LeBeau, Gretchen D. In the Shadow of the Virgin: Inquisitors, Friars, and Conversos in Guadelupe, Spain Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2003. Steck, Francis Borgia. "Christopher Columbus and the Franciscans." The Americas 3, (January 194 7): 319 341. Stevens Arroyo, Antonio M. Cave of the Jagua: The Mythological World of the Tainos. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988. Stevens Arroyo, Anthony M. "Juan Mateo Guaticabanu, September 21, 1496: Evangelization and Martyrdom in the Time of Columbus." The Catholic Historical Review 82 (1996): 614 636. Stoudemire, Sterling A. "Preface." In Christian Doctrine: For the Instruction and Information of the Indians. Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1970. Tibesar, Antonine S. "The Fra nciscan Province of the Holy Cross of Espaola, 1505 1559" The Americas 13 (April 1957): 377 389. Todorov, Tzvetan. The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other Translated by Richard Howard. New York: Harper and Row, 1984. Van Engen, John. "Multiple Options: The World of the Fifteenth Century Church." Church History 77 (June 2008): 257 284. Wagner, Henry Raup and Helen Rand Parish. The Life and Writings of Bartolome de las Casas Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1967.

PAGE 99

99 Williams, Eric. From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean 1492 1969. New York: Vintage Books, 1984. Wilson, Samuel M. Hispaniola: Caribbean Chiefdoms in the Age of Columbus Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1990. Wright, Irene A. The Early History o f Cuba, 1492 1586 New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916. Zamora, Margarita. "Christopher Columbus's 'Letter to the Sovereigns': Announcing the Discovery." In New World Encounters edited by Stephen Greenblatt. Berkeley: University of California Press, 199 3.

PAGE 100

100 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Lauren Elaine MacDonald received a Bachelor of Sciences in journalism (with a concentration in photojournalism) and a Bachelor of Arts in history (with a sidelight in modern poetry) from the University of Florida in 2007. In 2009, she served as a departmental representative in the University of Florida Graduate Student Council, and in 2010, she was awarded the Roger Haigh Latin American History Award from the University of Florida Department of History She received a Master of Arts in history from the University of Florida in 2010. She will begin a doctoral program in history at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 2010.