THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF TRINIDAD
Publication No. 266.
Disgo LopriC de Easobai, (overnor of 7 ri iidad to lthe Iing.
Source :- -British Muen. Additional Mss. 36326.
Published by co.utc(es of tle 7;I ruees, oJf he Briii.sh Miuseum.
Triawslated jiom i the ,Spa'ih.
221id February, 1640.
Don Diego states that it is flur years since ie assumed
tils government and on doing so lie reported at once to
His Majestv sending a special dispatch which was bfowarded
in duplicate to the Royal Council of the Indies. In this
dispatch he liad repolid t il >ta!e of the govcernmc)t, how
the enein\ had ctnlelced in two places and Ihow they had been
In this \cear three 11101nths ago the enemy entered (;uavana
b1 the river \itll a large aiti ada. h'e Tenicnte who was in
command lio him there, bturnt the town beIcause lie could
no1 contend with the large lOrces o. thie enemy. He retired
to the woods, sall ing forth to harass tie enemy killing
many of them.
He states that tie eit n\ have collected samples fiom
the quicksil t mine iil',, iiih i le there and which he had
reported to His iaje't\. 'Th\ ha\cv seclted them and
taken the metal away.
He fitrther states that a (ldangero(us disease lhad broken
out in the place so that in 1 hours maIn of the people
had died. Ther remain o)nly o m en so weary and sick
that it is not possible to Ihnd more miserable people in the
w\ hole of the Indie"s without exception.
Afiei this success in (Giuaana, the enemy with his fleet
of ships and pirogues came to this Island of Trinidad but
found him lead. hec ports and roads were guarded as
well as possible which is not much because there are in the
Island onl- 3o men and some ol lThese are old and sick.
The cncmy attacked from Ioub points but God was
pleased to defeat their efforts and they left without doing
anything. They said that thev would gather forces and
(ome back to this Island as their object has always bern to
settle it. It is quite easy to attack Margarita and Cumanai
irom hcre and destroy everything. He has often reported
this to His A\tajest but has nex er had a reply.
More than tl(i cars iha.: passed since a ship arrived in
(uayana bringing supplies arnd taking away their produce ; the
result is thai all has been lost and no (one will do anything.
These lc ople a' no\\ in ix renIm necessit\ and as they aic
subjects of His Miajest, lie has helped thini all these scars
with what could be obtained from Margarita and (:umana
such as clothes, wine, necessaries and other things to Le
divided amongst them. This has been done and help given
with all diligence because they ha\e always w anted to leave.
All this has becn written since their urgency is pressing and
their necessities crquire immediate ieliel as th(v are more
than man can bear.
When h mecamn as Governor, His Majesty ordered a salary
ol 3,o)0 ducats, 2,000 fiom Cartaxena and I,ooo from
Trinidad. Not a single real has lie been able to collect;
not even to pa\ the rents due to the Church. As to the
2,000 ducats from Cartlaxena, a messenger wxas sent there with
power to collect thus entailing expenditure upon the voyage
but the Royal (Oficials there have not paid although the
grave necessities have been described to them.
He has made in the service of His Majesty, exceptional
efforts in aid IT CG(uaani all these ears, tuice being so
pledged and r c, led that theic \w-as absolutely nothing wxith
which to supplPol tle government. 'Tl e eneint has robbed
his house foIi i,'s so tha l he lias to go nearly naked with
not v,. n a pair ol'slhos eft- almost incredible.
During all ith(c lIur years lhe had been continually in
arms and on guard, lighting \i th e it nm and all tlhe time
suffering Iri.n sickness. y 1Ther are Ibut l'f men here and
in such necessity\ t hat th aie al\xaxs talking of abandoning
the Island (If Trinidad and (ertainl\ the conditions are
The eneiin lIas dealt sch li misloi"1ittes to a man in the
service of His 'llaji sli and has taken i \\a his all. This is
sufficed with gladness elthoughl, as he is serving His Majestx
under the reatewt difficulties in the world, a scivice which is
an honour and a litigation of all th(e miscries and misfortunes
which have occurred.
May God preserve lhe Catholic :nd Royal Person of
His Majesty as ('h'isundom needs.
DIEGO DE ESCOBAR.
2-,nd February, I640.