THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 145.
From Jolhan de la Puente to the King of Spain.
Source :-Boletin de la Academia JNacional de Historia de Caracas,
Vol. IX, No. 23. March, 1926. Translated from the
i4th July, 1534.
YOUR ROYAL AND IMPERIAL MAJESTY :
I now beg to report to Your Majesty the state of the
conquest of the Island of Trinidad where Antonio Sedeno
has been a long time carrying out his commission lrom
Your Majesty, to settle and pacify this Island.
In compliance with this, he brought from Castile two
ships with men and supplies necessary for this conquest and
as they were not numerous enough then to enter or establish
themselves in the Island, he built a fort in Paria as a base of
supplies and came on here to collect and send many more men.
This he did and before he could send men, horses and cattle,
Ordas had taken not only the fort but also all the men, food,
clothes, boats and everything there which amounted to
about 4,000 ducats.
The reinforcements which Antonio Sedeno sent from here
were in difficulties because his people in Paria had been taken
so they went to land in Trinidad where the Indians incited
by the men of Ordas expedition, killed as many as possible
of those who had come in the one vessel and all the horses
and cattle which they had landed. Only three christians
escaped in the ship.
Notwithstanding all this, the said Antonio Sedeno zealous
in the service of God and Your Majesty, again collected all
the forces possible and went with 80 men and landing in
that Island, punished these wicked Indians for their cruelties,
putting them to fire and sword and inflicting severe penalties.
After this it was necessary for want of provisions to leave the
Island and he went to Cubagua. Here in spite of much
opposition and at great cost to his estate, he again collected
and armed I20 men as no more could be obtained. With
these men he went back to the Island and made a settlement
remaining more than a year and a half in a strong fort. He
could not conquer the whole Island.
He had left his horses in Paria as there had not been
room for them in his ships so he sent for them to Alonso
de Herrera who had been a Lieutenant of Ordas. Not only
did Herrera not want to deliver the horses but he even tried
to capture the ship. When he learnt this Antonio Sedeno
went there at once and although tIhliad been put in the fort,
he took his horses and other supplies.yhich he had bought
with his own money.
Because Herrera had resisted him and was unreasonable
in making difficulties, Sedeno took him with the intention of
sending him and all these affairs for Your Majesty's decision.
But he had to release him by the instructions of the Royal
Audiencia on which Herrera took all the men and ships
which Sedeno had there and went to Paria leaving only
S8,house servants who remained.expecting to be kild ; more
would have remained but forfear of death. "
After, when Herrera sent back for those who hag remained,
they found Sedeno as one who had lost the confidence of his
followers. His estate had all been lost in pursuing this
conquest and be was sorrowful having nothing but the sword
- in his hand. He did not wish to embark but said that he
would rather die in that Island on which he had built his
hopes, the more so since it was certain that Herrera would
keep him prison in chains and would not receive him as a
courageous but unfortunate man but as a traitor and a coward.
A report of all this has been sent to the Audiencia of
Santo Domingo so that instructions may be issued to settle
these affairs. Sedeno has no resources on which to live as,
since leaving Seville for Trinidad, he has spent of his estate
17,000 pesos de oro. Not only has his estate been spent but
he owes much to others and to me also 1,2oo pesos. What
remains to me is bare subsistence especially as I do the duties
of Contador during his absence for which only 4,000 maravedis
JOHAN DE LA PUENTE.
Puerto Rico, i-
14th July, 1534.