State Library of NSW
Memorial 10 - Señor : el Capitan Pedro Fernandez de Quiros : V.M. ordena y manda a su Consejo de Indias que me despachos a mi satisfacion para que el Virrey del Piru me de lo que fuere menester a la poblacion de las tierras Australes adonde V.M. se...
Tenth in the series of fourteen known Quirós' presentation memorials. Quirós wrote about fifty memorials addressed to the King Philip III of Spain describing the wonders of the lands he had discovered and requesting Royal support to organize a new expedition to the Southern hemisphere. The majority of them were manuscripts, but fourteen were printed between 1607 and 1614 at Quirós' expense for presentation at the Council of the Indies. Circulation of all memorials was restricted to the King, ministers and Councils of State, of War and the Indies. When it was learnt in 1610 he was distributing them beyond the court the King ordered all memorials to be recalled. The Eighth Memorial 'escaped' the Spanish borders and was translated into various languages. These so-called "presentation memorials" - to be distinguished from later derivative printings which appeared throughout Europe - are among the most valuable of all printed Australiana. This tenth Presentation memorial is the most substantial of the memorials, summarising earlier petitions, including an important letter by Luis Vaez de Torres written from Manila 15 June 1607. Kelly described it as the 'Composite Memorial', since it incorporates the "Eighth" Memorial (No 5 in the Presentation memorials series), commencing with "La grandeza ..." , 'Relación sumaria' from information given to him at the Court by the Lic. Hernando de los Ríos, Procurador of the Philippines, ' Relación sumaria' extracted from a report by Ruy Gonzalez de Sequeira, Capitan mayor of the Moluccas, and the Sixteenth Memorial along with substantial excerpts from others of the fifty Memorials already presented during Quirós' three years at Court̀.
My Lord Captain Pedro Fernández de Quirós. Y.M. instructs and commandsthe Council of the Indies to give me dispatches to my entire satisfaction, so that the Viceroy of Perú can give me whatever I need to populate the Southern Territories where Y.M. has sent me. I always considered it true that the claims about the peoples I discovered and are yet to be discovered, my good faith and just petitions, would reach pious ears and motivate Y.M.’s Christian disposition to the greatness of these two liberal favours I humbly accept, and I thank Y.M. infinitely. I promise to devote my life to serve such a great mission with the same love and truth as I have done so far. Sir, the greatest good or evil for those territories and peoples stem from a good or bad beginning. For this reason I must resubmit two memorials – number eight and number sixteen from the fifty that [I submitted] in a period of three yearssince I expressed my aspirations to this court – the same ones I gave Y.M. so that they will stand as full proof of my good will, and of what I could have done and what is owed me for not having helped me [before]. In case I am gone, they will serve as a wake‐up call and a guide to those who continue this great mission.
The first one is about the greatness and riches of those lands with all the connections given to Y.M. Based on this I have shown the world in three colours to Y.M.: all the known territories appear in gold and the known seas in blue; the unknown area is shown in black as well as what has been discovered so far. Sir, there is only one world and after I tried to discover what is left, I have painted more than 200 [islands] in many forms and sizes. In the second [memorial] I mention the perils those territories are in, as well as their inhabitants and the Indies. I also mention how convenient it is for Y.M. to spend his funds only once, as well as how many goods of both genders such an investment will bring and secure at all times. I explain what must be done on arrival. I show the city map and explain how to avoid civil lawsuits and how to manage criminal ones. I explain how to teach, defend, finance and sustain the natives in peace and justice, how to manage government for them and for us including very important and fruitful advice I have written on 600 pages and more, and that as the current work was asked of me, I will stick to two basic topics. The first one: if Y.M. would be so kind as to give me instructions on what I should and can do to serve God and Y.M. to secure my conscience. The second: a dispatch, plus ecclesiastic and secular persons for Y.M. to lead and secure whatever he wishes in that part of the world, both spiritually and temporally, in whose name and as payment for my services, I humbly ask Y.M. to read and consider these writings and to address whatever he can. The enormous size of the newly discovered territories, according to what I saw and to what Captain Luis Váez de Torres – the Admiral under my charge – informed Y.M. is such that with good reason its longitude is as much as that of the whole of Europe including Asia Minor to the Caspian Sea, and Persia with all the Mediterranean Islands and Ocean that fall within its borders, including England and Ireland.
That hidden part is a fourth of the whole Planet. [It is] so large that it could accommodate twice as many Kingdoms and provinces as Y.M. is currently the master of, all of them without bordering with Turks, Moors or any other nation used to worrying and disturbing others. All the spotted lands fall within the Torrid Zone, and part of them touches the Equinoctial [Zone]. They may be at a latitude of ninety degrees, in some cases less, and if they rise up as it appears to be, they can be on the Antipodes of Africa, the whole of Europe, and of most of Asia and Florida. I hereby notify that the lands I saw at fifteen degrees are better than Spain – as it will be shown later – [and] than others that differ in altitude, which must be in themselves a Paradise on earth. There are many peoples in those lands; their colours are white, dark brown, mulatto and indigenous, as well as a mix of one and the others. Some of them have black, long and loose hair; others have frizzy and curly hair; others are fair and thin and their differences are signs of big businesses and competition. For that reason, because of the goodness of their lands, the lack of fire sources to kill each other, and also because they do not work in silver mines, and for many other reasons, it is to be believed that there is a fairly large number of people about whom we do not know any major or minor art, any city walls, any armed forces, any Kings or law. They are no more than a number of simple gentiles divided into factions and not very friendly between them. Their weapons are ordinary bows and arrows, truncheons, staffs, spears and wooden darts. These people cover their private parts, are clean, happy, rational and very pleasant – as I have experienced in person. Considering all of this, it can be expected – with God’s Divine help – that they will be easy to pacify, to indoctrinate and to please – three conditions that are very necessary on principle, so that they can be directed towards all those holy purposes that have to be aspired to at the very least and at the very most, with the utmost of truths. Their houses are made of timber with double slope roofs covered with palm leaves. They use earthenware pots; have looms, fishing nets and other netting.
They carve granite flutes, drums and varnished wooden spoons. They have oratories and funerals, and their farms are reasonably set up and fenced. They make the most of mother‐of‐pearl shells and use them to make chisels, gouges, saws, hooks and patens – both big and small – and wear them around their neck. They are not aware of their riches and hold our rescue objects in high esteem: knives, bells, mirrors and similar stuff. They have well crafted boats, in enough quantity to navigate from one island to the other, and all of this indicates that these peoples perform some policing. The bread they have consists of three different roots that they sow and exist in abundance, and needs no more work than roasting and cooking. They are tasty, healthy, provide good sustenance and last long. They are a yard long and half a yard thick. Fruits are abundant and there are six kinds of banana, a great number of almonds of four kinds and others that are almost the size and the taste of peaches. There are many earth nuts, oranges and lemons that the Indians do not eat, and other extremely big fruit, and others that are no less good, which we saw and tasted, together with many tall sweet canes, and notice of apples. There are infinite palms that can be turned into pipes which can be used to make wine, vinegar, honey and solutions, and hearts of palms are very good. Coconuts are the fruit from these very same palms.
When they are green, they are useful for combing and their flesh can be used as cream; when they are mature, they can be used as food and drink on land and at sea; when they become old, they are a source of lighting oil, as well as healing balm, and as food when they are new. Their husks make good drinking vessels and bottles. Their cocoons can be used as oakum to caulk the ships and to make ropes and riggings, ordinary and arquebus strings. The best leaves are used as sails for small boats, and as fine mattings, as well as for sleeping matsthat are used as floors and to cover houses that are made of straight and high tree logs. They can also be used to make planks and spears, as well as other weapons and oars, and many more things for ordinary use. It must be noted that these palm groves are perennial, can be harvested all year round and do not need any tending. Meat can be obtained from domesticated pigs like ours; there are hens, capons, earth partridges, peacocks, turtledoves, wood pigeons and goats that were spotted by the other Captain. The Indians reported the existence of cows or buffalos. When it comes to fish, there are many red snappers, king fish, mullets, soles, red mullets, shads, dogfish, pompanos, sardines, rays, harvest‐fish, viejas, eels, hogfish, cowfish, red river fish, clams, shrimps, and other kinds whose name I cannot remember. There must be a lot more because these were captured near the ships.
If we consider all of the above, apart from so many excellent supplies, it is possible to enjoy many great gifts such as marzipans and preservesfrom different sources, all of them without bringing anything from others. To store aboard, apart from what was mentioned before, there will be no shortage of legs of pork, bacon and earthenware jugs full of lard, and the rest – which can be obtained from large pigs – without lacking agricultural produce or spices. It should be noted that many of these goods are similar to ours, and that there could be many more, and from this point of view the earth appears to be favourable to grow all the others that are produced in Europe. Wealth comes as silver and pearls that I have seen, and gold that the other Captain saw, as he says in his report to Y.M., which are the three richest commodities from nature. There are several spice nuts, pepper and ginger that both of us have seen. We have heard there is cinnamon, and there could be clove because there are other spices and more, for those are parallel lands with only a small difference between Tidore and Terrenate. There is more to make silk, pita thread sugar and indigo with.
There is good ebony and infinite other timbersto make as many ships as one wishes, with all their sails and riggings in three materials: one very similar to our hemp, and with coconut oil it is possible to make the galagala that would make it unnecessary to use pitch. We also spotted a certain resin that the Indians use to tar their canoes. Since there are goats and possibly cows, there may be cordovans, hides, candle fat and plenty of meat. Bees were also spotted, so there may be honey and wax. Apart from these riches, the news is quite certain of others, and the location and disposition of the lands – which together with industrial production, considering there is so much gear apart from their things to create ours – the ones that I later want to take together with the better and more profitable products from Perú and New Spain, it seems that everything put together will make the land so rich that it will be able to sustain itself, and together with that of South America, it will make Spain greater and richer – exactly as I have demonstrated, if I am well and truly helped to make it happen. Because of what we have seen, given the fact that this is all on the shores, I say, My Lord, that from the inland we must expect so many greatnesses and riches and good things as those we have sampled. It is to be noted that my main attempt was only that of finding such a great land as the one I found, and that because of my diseases and other causes I do not talk about, I was not able to see as much as I would have wanted to, nor were we able to see in one month – considering that there are twelve in a year – the qualities and the fruits produced by all the lands that were created, and that the Indians living in them should not be judged from the point of view of our needs, tastes, greed and estimation of things, but as men who aspire to do as little work as possible in order to spend their lives without exhausting themselves in the same way as we do.
The comfort and good life is as much as can be seen in such cultivated, joyous and fresh land – black and rich and with enough potential, with heavy clay deposits that can later be used to make pottery, bricks and tiles, as well as any other product that can be made from it, and in all the very many nearby marble quarries that can be used to erect sumptuous and curious buildings, and in all those all‐purpose timbers, and in that location full of plains, valleys, hills, ravines, and redoubled highlands, and in those steady trickle rivers and springs where there could very easily be windmills, olive oil presses, sugar mills and irrigation work. In the saltwater estuaries and reed beds that bear witnessto the fertility of the soil, whose canes can reach approximately five and six spans and thick in proportion, with a smooth‐faced thin and hard edge, and flints are as good as those in Madrid. The Bay of San Felipe (St. Phillip) and Santiago (St. James) has a twenty‐league long coastline which is all clear and free to sail in and out during the day and at nighttime. There are several settlements around it, and during the day one can see plenty of smoke, and during the night there are plenty of bonfires. Its port of Veracruz is so large that it offers enough space for a thousand anchored ships. Its bottom is clean black sand; no shipworm was found; it can possibly surge at any depth (from forty to half a fathom between two rivers, one of them as wide as the Guadalquivir in Seville, with an over two‐fathom sandbank) where large frigates and flat‐bottom boats can sail through, and from them we can obtain water, which is absolutely beautiful everywhere. The quay is a three‐league beach that mainly consists of a small extension covered in black pebbles, which would make excellent ballast.
The beach sports no ruins or breaks and looks green: it is understood that the vegetation on the coast has not been beaten by the seas, and all the trees grow straight, without any damage or breakage, thus leading us to believe that there are probably no big storms. Apart from being such a spacious port, it boasts another advantage for recreation, for since daybreak in the nearby forest there is a great harmony of different birds – some of them seem to be nightingales, blackbirds, calandra larks, goldfinches and countless swallows; I have seen small parakeets and a large parrot, and leaving these aside there are many species of birds. The crickets and cicadas sing loudly, and every morning we would enjoy the soft perfumes coming from so many different flowers, such as orange blossom and basil. For all of this, as well as other beneficial effects, we concluded that the weather is benign and that nature keeps its order. This port and its bay owe their excellence to the proximity of so many good islands, in particular seven of them that cover two hundred leagues: one of them is very fertile and populated, has an extension of 50 leagues and is at a distance of 12 leagues.
In short, My Lord, I say that in this 15‐degree bay and port, a third higher than the Antarctic Pole, it will be possible to build a big and populated city, and its inhabitants will enjoy all the riches and benefits mentioned before, and those that my limited understanding cannot point out plus those that will be discovered and that time will tell, and which will be connected to the provinces of Chile, Perú, Panamá, Nicaragua, Guatemala, New Spain, Maluku Islands and the Philippines – all of them Y.M.’s possessions. If Y.M. were to become King of these others that I am offering and that I deem so important that more than becoming the key to those I have mentioned before, in all their curiosity and benefit, I leave the greatness of China and Japan, and more provinces from that coast of Asia with their islands, which would be an understatement on my part, I believe, and I can prove it in front of a gathering of mathematicians. I do not think I exaggerate by saying that these territories can house and sustain two hundred thousand Spaniards. Briefly, My Lord, that is the world where Spain is the centre, and it should be noted that its body is the nail.
My Lord, the air is exactly as good as can be seen in what I stated above, and considering that all of us are foreigners there, nobody fell sick with so much work, sweat and drenching, never forgetting to drink water before breakfast and at odd times nor going without the fruits of the earth, under the Moon and the Sun, which was not very hot during the day. Woollens were tolerable, and considering that the natives are burly and strong, and some of them very old, and since they live in houses built directly on the soil, which suggests good health, for if the soil were sick, the natives would not build their houses on it as it is done in the Philippines and other locations I have been to. Consequently, fish and meat cured with salt would last more than two days, and the fruit that we brought from there – in the same way as these two I have here with me – is well preserved even after being picked from the trees. We did not see sandy spots, or giant cacti, or thorny trees, or uprooted trees, or easily flooded mangroves, or marshes, or snow on the highlands, or crocodiles in the rivers, or venomous bugs in the mountains, or ants that damage houses, or chigoes, or ticks, or mosquitoes – a number of positive facts above all other positive facts to suit our wishes, which cannot be underestimated considering that there are areas in the Indies that have been rendered uninhabitable by such pests, and other where there is so much suffering for this reason, as far as I have witnessed. My Lord, these are the greatnesses and the benefits of the lands that I have discovered in God’s honour and glory who took me there and brought me to Y.M.’s presence, where I stand with the same infinite love and determination that I always felt for this cause.
I believe in Y.M.’s sensible counsel, greatness of spirit and Christian piety, the great care that you will certainly give to the population in those lands as much as it is convenient, being the main reason for not leaving them empty, and in that way making the name of Our Lord known, believed, adored and served instead of that of the Devil. Moreover, this will be the gateway for so many peoples in Y.M.’s care to receive all His goodness and remedy, as well as the extra care that should be given if enemies of the Roman Church were to sow their false doctrines and to convert all the good I represent into greater evils, and to call themselves lords of the Indies and ruin them all. I also believe that Y.M. must be aware that such pernicious damage or any other disaster – should it happen in the present or future – would cost millions in gold and thousands of men of dubious remedy. Go ahead, Y.M., because with only a small sum of money spent in Perú once, you will be able to win Heaven, eternal fame and that new world with all its promise. And since there is nobody who asks Y.M. for the gift of such a great gift from God, saved for your blessed time, I request them, and for them I request to be sent off; the galleons are ready, and there is plenty that I have to chase, to sort out and to do, and there is plenty in the Spiritual and Temporal [realms] that is lost every hour and that will never be recovered. If Christopher Columbus became stubborn through his suspicions, what I have seen and touched makes me annoying, and I offer to tell Y.M. that of all the means available, I am aware of one that will aid the achievement of what I suggest, and I promise I will give entire satisfaction in everything. My Lord, this is a great deed, for the Devil wages deadly war, and it is not fair that he should be so powerful when Y.M. is its defender.
Account given by the Indians ‐ a chapter from the second memorial that I submitted to Your Majesty: The Indians from Taumaco Island gave us news of more than 60 major and minor islands populated by black people, by whites with very long and very blond hair, by mulattos and by Indians – people like the one we saw now. In a large part of those territories, there are fifteen islands where pearls can be found, where mother‐of‐pearlshells were seen both in this and another trip, as well as some pearls. It is to be believed that they did not create themselves, nor did those men – that land, that silver or the rest of the things I saw. They also mentioned there is a mainland, and it is understood to be the same as what we saw. After he learned how to make himself understood in our language, Pedro, the Indian that I brought from those areas, corroborated what was said, and gave us news of very large pearls and of large shells capable of housing them, and of very beautiful white women that cover themselves with thin cloaks. He also gave us news of that large territory and of a very good port, of great rivers, high mountain ridges, many people, many kinds of food, and a large number of nutmegs. I say that even if Pedro and the other Indians had not given us such news, by necessity there have to be many large populated territoriesto the East and West of those I saw, as well as an unknown 5,000‐league long territory at 80 degrees of latitude. In short, there is a quarter of the whole Globe to be discovered there. I refer to documents on all this, and to a committee of mathematicians and practical people, for apart from what was said before, there is more to be said and noted, and we can find out there. It should be mentioned that experience has shown that all kinds of riches abound in low‐lying areas – both in the North and South – and that these can and should be expected from the lands I am writing about, not only from the news and clear indications but also because that area is parallel to Perú, with the good disposition of its high mountain ridges.
Summary account from what Hernando de los Ríos Esq., Attorney‐General of the Philippines, reported to me: Miguel Roxo de Brito, a Portuguese navigator, departed from Maluku and took the King of Bayseo and some of his people with him, on 12 of his ships. Sailing from island to island he arrived at one that was unpopulated due to a serpent that ate all the natives. He ended up at New Guinea, called Botan by the locals (it means “mainland”). He said that the natives are black, wear gold on their ears and neck, are merchants and organise a great fair in a town located in the province they call Segat, where slaves can be purchased. They are later taken to a rich island like Sardinia, and there is an inhabitant there who has 1,000 slaves. He also mentioned another province called Hugar, famous for its gold, and another one called Sufia, inhabited by black people and mulattos who spoke about some islands in the area with fair‐haired, white and freckled inhabitants. He referred to another province called Apaa; its natives go naked and some important people wear black and red cloaks.
They do not pay attention to gold because they say iron is better due to its availability and usefulness. There are many coastal rivers; the earth is temperate, healthy and fertile, with large quantities of rice, meadows, coconuts, honey, pigs, goats, buffalos, hens, and he saw many mother‐of‐pearlshells, sandalwood, certain bells and several vessels, as well as people who use darts and arrows as weapons without venom and use vermillion. They spoke about three Spaniards who got married in that territory, which they call the mainland, and there were more who died. Afterwardsthey returned to an island called Noton, where it was heard that the natives use lighting at night produced by stones from the forehead of a cat‐like animal – in the same way as in certain islands to the North East and around the Island of Ievé. The natives of Baiseo worship their ancestors as gods, and when they sail they carry their bones in boxes, as well as sticks to change the direction of the winds.
Copy of what Luis Báez de Torres wrote to me from Manila on June 15th, 1607, received at the end of August 1609. I have the original with me: He says that he sailed along the San Felipe (St. Phillip) and Santiago (St. James) Harbour coast towards the West, where he found other smaller harbours and large rivers, and that the mountain ridges that I saw constitute one large ridge. He says that he found a large land mass at 11.5 degrees and that he followed the coastline towards the West, a quarter North West, and that 2, 4 and 6 leagues away there is a large reef with a channel, several islands and the mainland. He adds that there are several ports and harbours and that it is possible to drop anchor almost along the whole coast in highly sheltered parts. He found a harbour of less than 100 leagues where the heads are separated by a gunshot distance. During the low tide, it loses a powerful flow volume. There are several islands and he has plenty to say about them, as well as about the other harbours.
He says that when he sailed up to 7.5 degrees, he found a 3 to 9 fathom spot with several islands, where he sailed for 40 days from 7.5 to 11 degrees. It is a full archipelago where countless islands, large and small, have black inhabitants whose body frame is larger than that of the San Felipe and Santiago inhabitants. Their weapons resemble those of giants, and both weapons and people look different from those on the mainland. He heard about other territories and other peoples. He says that he returned to the 7.5 degree coast which runs into a corner towards the North East called Canbaru, close to the Papuas’ land, with several other islands and low‐lying areas. They all seem to be part of the same land mass that ends up at 1.5 degrees near Maluku. On the southern strip, he found many islands, both large and smaller, and the last people that he saw, as well as the Maluku inhabitants, were the most despicable that he saw. There is plenty of gold in that land, but he was under orders not to make use of it. He sailed from there to Terrenate, where he left his smallest vessel with 20 men on board to service that position. From Terrenate he sailed to Manila in the Philippines, where he sent Y.M. the account that the State Council has, which both he and I refer to, the account he sent to the Terrenate Field Marshall Esquivel, and the Audience of Manila to the Council of the Indies. He finishes by saying that he departed from the coast at 50 leagues from Maluku Islands and that it would take at least 10 years to finish exploring what he saw. In spite of the confusing manner in which the account has been written, the continuous land strip that is mentioned is real, with its highs and lows, showing over 800 leagues, excluding the multitude of different sized islands. It should be noted that what the Taumaco Indians signalled to us, what Pedro the Indian said, added to what I say in my writings – as can be seen in the first and second memorial – fits with what this letter about the mainland says. Many islands, men of different coloured skins, greatness. Because of this and other facts, what the Indians have said about the pearls and the silver must be expected to be true, as well as the rest. For this reason I say, Sir, that it is necessary to stay in those populated areas to explore, to sight very many territories and to find out what there is in each of them, for it will not be possible otherwise to make several large gains from both men and women, with the promise of so many discovered territories and of many more to be discovered.
Summary account from Ruy González de Sequeira’s account (Maluku Mayor Captain), on what he saw as well as what he heard about those territories during his time in government, given in Madrid: He says that many vessels arrived at Tidore from New Guinea, full of dark skinned people with loose hair, beautiful eyes and common disposition similar to ours, who told him that there is a large territory there with thousands of large and small islands populated by people like them and some others who are very white and fair. He had a a young girl from that area, as white and fair as the Flemish, and he said there is plenty of gold in those territories which the natives use to make chains. He had plenty of them and he also had chokers that women wear around their necks and bracelets, and men have them on their sword pommels. They have silver, which they do not esteem, and pearls, which they do not pay attention to, but they grill and eat oyster meat. Some of them are as large as the giant clams, which they call via and whose meat can feed three men for a whole day. There is amber and civet, but they do not know how to obtain it from cats and they kill them to eat.
There is iron, copper, tin, lead and sulphur; there are plenty of hens, pigs, long‐ fleece sheep; goats, buffalos and cows are as large as Andalusian ones. There are rabbits and other fox‐like animals; there is a certain kind of cat with wings from their shoulders to their breasts that allow them to fly long distances. There are so many elephants that they use their tusks to make corrals to keep small cattle. There is white tar, honey, wax, rice, and it is true that there is highly nutritious, long‐lasting hardtack. There are inames and other edible roots, bananas of different kinds, several coconuts and sweet canes, but they do not know how to obtain sugar. There is salt and there are garlics, onions and some giant trees that give a kind of cabbage and lettuce. There is pepper, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, which the Indians do not esteem. There are infinite earth almonds, oranges, limes, lemons and many other fruit sources, as well as several species of fish and tortoiseshells, a highly valuable merchandise. They obtain wine from certain palm trees and they use the leaves to cover houses and vessels. There is a herb called Gamuto, used to make ropes and riggings that do not rot in the rain or sun. There are many red and white parrots, large turtledoves and partridges and many other bird genera, both large and small, as well as certain birds of unknown origin which were never seen alive and they are found dead. Their feathers are of different beautiful colours which the Indians wear as plumes. There is sandalwood, ebony, large canes and good timbers. There is an abundance of all the mentioned species. There are neither mosquitoes nor venomous animals, only some large and foolish non‐venomous snakes.
It has been mentioned that there are animals with a lighting stone on their forehead, living on a North Eastern island. He says that the inhabitants are nice‐to‐deal‐with real people (sic), recognised, pleasant, liberal and easy to please. They become very sensitised if someone lays their hands on their heads and if their women are taken away from them. They travel as merchants with slaves, gold, amber, wax, iron and many more of the merchandises mentioned above. They exchange the most valuable ones for cotton clothing in blue, red and other colours. They value glass beads, mirrors, scissors, combs, bells and similar items. It is likely that a ransom was paid for small 50 real items and they exchanged them for 1,800 ducat items. If they had known, they would have cost 5,000 or 6,000. He also says that from Maluku to New Guinea there are several large and small islands ruled by a king that does not recognise the others. None of them is powerful. Their natives are dark‐skinned and most of them are good‐looking and with long hair. They go naked, but some of them wear garments made from a certain fibre that they bring in from Maluku. They are Gentile and they live as they please; they have neither worship places nor adore anything. Their weapons are arrows and cane darts with wooden tips, swords, crises and bucklers. They are spirited and their vessels have sails and oars. They are great fishermen and self‐styled musicians.
They have plenty of netting, looms and earthenware, and make a living on what the earth gives them. It should be noted that New Guinea is the top end of the Southern Territories that I am talking about, and that the people and their customs referred to are symbolic. I note that the further away one goes from the Philippines, where gold and other valuables are held in high esteem, the less that those Indians are aware of what they have. That way, we can leave aside the 33 islands discovered by pioneering Governor Álvaro de Mendaña, which he called Solomon Islands, added to Santacruz (Holy Cross) Island and Mendoza’s four Marquesas Islands, which he discovered in the second trip where I took part. Leaving aside the 300 leagues of coastline in New Guinea discovered in the past, the valid discovery as such consists of 500 leagues of mainland and the large number of islands referred to. My point is that of the very many territories that can be found in the hidden part, I saw good peoples on islands between 10 and 18 degrees in the 700 leagues eastward from San Felipe and Santiago Harbour, and these cannot be here without others in the vicinity. Considering this account, their number adds up to eight [spots] where the riches and greatness of the Southern part have been mentioned at different times and in diverse locations, as shown in my writings. It should be noted how careful the Almighty God was with those creatures, for the longer we take to go in their help, the more our Divine Majesty hurries us, with new and real relationships, making them more certain, though the early ones are shorter. For these and other reasons I have given so many times, we should expect twice as many spiritual goods, mainly because that is the way it seems, though due to their condition and providence God has kept the best territories from us to conquer the spirit of those who populate them, which will be followed by all the natives’ conversion in the honour and glory of God and for what was suggested to Y.M.
Copy of the above mentioned memorial number 16, where there are some added chapters, to declare what I succinctly suggested: Regarding the case that I have suggested to Y.M. more than a year and a half ago, I told Y.M. that I have submitted 16 memorials – adding this one – and retold my memories. I say that in order to carry out what I owe God and Y.M. and with the difficulties I experienced trying to bring it to its current good condition, with my great love and wishes to carry out the discovery of unknown territoriesthat Y.M. happily entrusted me with, and God showed them in all their greatness, richness and fertility, exactly as I have described them. Their natives are Gentile and I remind you of the eternal penalty that awaits them and that they are under Y.M.’s care, whose Christian piousness assures me that he can hear their pitiful clamours, and my continuous and humble requests. He will do me the favours that I expect for my dispatch today, with efficient means to go to their help in Y.M.’s name, with the claim of what I aspire to do there and the belief that God is looking, and that there is death, judgement, hell and glory for whoever does the right or the wrong thing to humanity, as well as if Y.M. were looking at me with reward or punishment in his hand. First, considering the danger that those territories and peoples are in, it is good to note and to fear what could happen with or without the arm or a powerful king because pirates, who sail all the seas looking for vessels that they can rob, can gather with all the expense, hard work and risks that we know, looking for places they cannot find, in order to populate them. They can go to San Felipe and Santiago Harbour and populate a settlement there, remembering that it is a known fact all over the world that they have been discovered and that they are to be coveted and adapted.
There, My Lord, they will mean to all those peoples the same evils and damages that these days affect all the Indians from all the Indies, so that they will not accept or believe, and in order to be accepted and believed, to step in giving rather than forcing or offending them as it happens elsewhere, preaching the long and wide life, measuring themselvesto suit both parties’ taste, and in other worse mannersthat they will easily find, they will use those spirits to hear, receive and follow the preaching of their errors, which is what should be felt the most, and they will teach them to navigate and to fight our way as well, and will give them offensive and defensive weapons. Since they are many and highly spirited, these are enough reasons, leaving aside others, that will make it impossible to preach the Gospel to them as Y.M. expects. Since they are under Y.M.’s care, if they condemn themselves as Gentile, they will also condemn themselves as heretic, and apart from losing all these souls, Y.M. will lose those great territories and millions in gold that promise to last long, and the enemies could very well wreak havoc from there in all the other provinces where Y.M. is the lord. On their perimeter, Y.M. will have to build fortresses in all the Southern seas to address the issue, to equip and sustain their requests, which will mean high expenses, or at least that Y.M. will not be able to spare a naval fleet to defend the coasts, which will be as costly as the profits obtained in Perú with the added inconvenience that friendly vessels will not sail because they may be robbed as well. For this reason, sea transportation will be lost and Y.M. will lose his rights, his vassals and his assets, and the provinces will lose their best advantages. These [friendly] ships will be certainly boarded to make use of them or sink them, making [pirates] the masters of the seas. The harbour will turn into La Rochelle, full of thieves who will be able to come and go as they please. It must be noted that in the same way as Cortés and Pizarro did, with very few people and weapons, they started the American monarchy. In the year 1600, 14 vessels travelled through the Strait of Magellan. Since they did not have a known port for them to make a stop or stay, they just sailed on.
It will be possible for 100‐200 [ships] to enter, and should the Aniam Straight exist – which they have been looking for – 1,000 will gain that position. In order to recover it, it sounds as though it will be possible for [pirates] to inflict damagesfrom there upon all the kingdoms in the Eastern and Western Indies, and in all the territoriesI discovered, which are North and South of that strait, with very favourable winds to come and go. Besides, it is possible to establish connections with China, Japan, Cathay and other Asian provinces and to deprive Spain of all – or a large share – of its commerce. For these and other reasons, Sir, I say that it is convenient to make it known that if that strait exists, the Indies or the other [territories] that currently cannot be reached cannot experience the above mentioned damage. If it is convenient to discover that [Aniam]strait, I offer myself to discover it from the South, relinquishing the 20,000‐ducat lifelong pension requested for its discovery, added to the 60,000 ducats that would cost to dispatch people and vessels. It must be warned that there is no difficult navigation or hard work for nations that are on the quest for riches or their better advantage, and that Southern nations do not ignore what good sailing is. In the same way as they go to the Indies to load salt from the Araya salt‐pan, they would be much better off going to the New World, to rob and to hurt the Old one, and either of them would start a new monarchy for themselves. There are beautiful white women there or of any other colour they want whom they can marry. Sir, the importance of all the damages mentioned here lies in the fact that they will require a remedy, that is, taking care of the straits, or the coasts of America, or of the new territories, and this cannot be achieved without spending several million in gold and thousands of men. Victory will be dubious, as well as the relationships among those natives, for the above mentioned reasons.
The longer the remedy takes, their resistance will be greater and so will the expenses, the losses and the damage between both genders, as well as for ourselves. It must be noted as well that these enemies can cause damage on a round trip because it would take place over Y.M.’s territories and weakened ports. Such damages – added to what Spain will endure, not having the silver from the Indies – appear to be unnumbered and [the enemies] will be even more so by becoming rich and powerful while impoverishing all Y.M.’s kingdoms. Y.M., I ask you to consider that everything I have referred to here, added to the vicinity of peoples who live in freedom of conscience and [who are easy] preys, and who aspire to what is known and what is secret – both in the present and future – is not good for the Indies, where ill‐treated natives want to escape subjugation and a large number of slaves want their freedom, and where there are so many spirited mulattos, so many lost white people, many who sing their grievances and bad rewards, others who are obligated and some more that do not want riches to be removed from their land. In short, Sir, wherever work makes people bitter and is frowned upon cunningly and unfairly, whoever digs and leaves fallow land and [makes] the new inhabitants cry, I want to say that idleness will be widespread and loved and there will be someone who will act upon threatening news. If I have said too much, I still have much more to say [about] everything that Y.M. can and must remedy, without wasting any more time, by populating that harbour, for it will cost only 500,000 ducats spent once in Perú, where the journey will start, which will be of great benefit for those territories, as well as for the good ones where sowing will take place, in order to reap everything that God gives at all times. It seems that the strength of my words lies upon Y.M.’s acquisition of the kingdoms I offer, so that he can preserve those he already has.
Second, Y.M. is very interested in settling, pacifying, converting, teaching and securing so many high resources by spending 500,000 ducats only once, noting that if it is done once, it will be possible to pacify the Kingdom of Chile and there would be no need of having a prison there at a cost of 250,000 ducats per year, nor would there be so many consumed and busy Spaniards or other inflicted and feared damages, or so much unquietness in that Kingdom, or the need of so much care. Sir, considering that there are monies for Chile, and there have been millions in gold for other smaller parts and thousands of men to employ, I beg Y.M. to show those great and rich territoriesthat I discovered with my hard work a bit of love, some money and a few of the very many men that overpopulate Perú, which will help to start the foundation of many cities of concerted government in due course. Many great islands that have been already discovered will be populated. More new territories will be discovered so that from all of them it will be possible to choose and seize all the riches they have as well as the comforts and safety that are promised to all Y.M.’s Kingdoms. Believe me, Y.M., that when it comes to spending your revenue, it will only be on the bricks and mortar that the mission needs in order to build, shine, last, fill and satisfy Y.M.’s Christian zeal and what will give the most aspired and expected honour and glory in this life and in the next, [not to mention] that persuading you to spend these monies is the greatest of my services. If I aspired to honour, profit or downtime, or other benefit, that is, my own interests instead of the greater good of this mission, I would have already shown my colours, both on the occasions that I travelled to those territories or in this Court, requesting great favours of Y.M. and paperwork for others and going with them to Perú or New Spain, where there would be no shortage of people to associate with, in order to pursue what is explained in the next chapter. When a private individual offers to go by himself requesting a financial advantage, he himself should say what motivates him. I say that divine work does not mix with some of the human work I have seen, forged in a fleshy heart with no spirit.
If neither healthy means nor the length of the mission are observed, but only personal benefit is considered and evils are sought and wanted, though through others’ hatred, scandals and losses of kingdoms, apart from this one, and since they cannot meet costs with their own resources, others’ are sought after. In this way, there is bad company with similar intentions. Everybody looks for others at the same time who do not have a place where they depart from for causes that are now well understood, and the hope that such workers will certainly do as they must, where only insolence resounds and disturbs a whole kingdom and dissipates great works, St. Peter’s miracles become necessary to repair the damage that is done. Apart from this, it is the power that governs suffering and conceals others where malice does its best, as well as the reports on expenses, dangers and their importance, the great feats that were done, the big rewards requested and how little they are deserved. Since there will be many complaining parties, they are all easy to group together with the same resolve that is more than enough to create a thousand disconcerts in a body made up of several talking heads who are so different in their opinions, tastes and ideas, in the belief that theirs should reign supreme or at least that the one that actually is supreme should not dare punish, refrain, upset or give the slightest indication of ill‐will. On the contrary, for the simple purpose of being ill‐ preserved, improved, fertilised,sustained, it would defend those that through this and more will take the licence to ask (as they do) what has the King put here? And the others will not answer anything.
Everything that the eye can see and is expected from those territories has been set up and supported with our money, industriousness and shoulders, and that is the way we send Spain everything it has, in exchange for what we are sent, to visit and to govern one and many who treat us as badly as they want without considering our merits as well as the very few they have, and for pointing them out for other their other objectives, their most certain mistakes, and as a finishing touch on their return, a big danger of squeezing resources. Not fully satisfied yet, they take from [those resources] without scruples because next year it will be a new year and we are the columns upon which such machinery operates and which they may shatter in any case. It may fall later or on the way down to their ruin, with the discord they saw, and not stopping at anything to their memory. Loss of love and fear is very near; Y.M. is far away, and after indifference, hatred and ill‐ will become certain, and with such feelings a whole revolution can be feared, and it all starts by weighing up, or as it is said, if there is one who can start the hunt. There have been several examples of what I said, and a bit more to say as well. If Y.M. spends 500,000 ducats, he will completely shut the door to the above mentioned perils, as well as to those mentioned below, and to the obligation of supporting perpetual governmentsrun by those who think that because of their expenses they are free lords, owing no pay to anybody.
Even though they, and their nearest and dearest, may claim the opposite of what it seems, they say it in a loud voice, which in my view constitutes a loss of royal revenue, a damage to new peoples, the loss of so many souls, the kingdoms’ ruin, care without remedy and the enormous offences against God, which is what should be felt the most. If this were to be tried on Y.M.’s account and similar enterprises, or by a private individual, I cannot see any difference whether it finishes well or badly, nor is there any more difficulty or distance than to know or not to know, or to wish or not to wish. In short, it is all about making such a correct choice that it secures the case, or throwing it to the wolves. If Y.M. is going to spend his own finances, the best results will come from choosing people from all states and occupations, taking only those who are necessary, following Y.M.’s Christian instructions, having some help at hand. Y.M.’s strongest suit is to walk in the light, so that what the natives from the Indies say will not be said later: that they were all measured with the same yardstick, or that a fence was painted and made of people from all states with scissorsto shear each other, or if others said that God told Adam to eat by the sweat of his brow, that it was good for him and all of his town to sweat so that he would eat one of us, or another one who was collecting monies to buy some justice, or another one whose theme was to say Spaniards and two of mine, what do you want in my territory that I do not see you taking a rest and giving orders; and considering the worst of our crimes, and judging from the smallest of your complaints, we do very little for you.
It would be more than enough if you were our pure governors and not your absolute and dissolute lords; if you use seniority as yardstick, you are the foreign upstarts; if you look for owners, we are the owners of everything you are looking for; if you want reason and justice, you have none to remove our land from us; if you want advantage, we are as naked and barefoot as we used to be; if you want people growth, we have almost finished with your chaotic greed; if you want a good government, at the time of our Inca King there was no idleness, homicide, adultery, robbery, cheating, force, grievance, injustice, cruelty, or tyranny that was not diligently or faithfully found out, abruptly ended with no respect and rigourously punished. We lack plenty of this and we also have it in excess. [Another Indian’s lord] advised him not to allow deceit. The Indian said that he could not be deceived because he was already a Christian. His lord asked him how that could be understood. The Indian replied: “Because I learned how to gamble, swear, lie, deceive, argue, steal and kill”, to which his lord replied: “So is that what being a Christian means?”, and the Indian said: “Yes, because you have taught us; and someone else said that if you praise humility, how can you be so arrogant that it defies reason and confuses all of us; if you say that poverty is very good, how can you attempt to become rich with such might and against the fairness you owe us, build houses, dress and eat without measure, suit yourself and not tire of anything that appears to be good, for you chase it until you obtain it.” Another one said: “If we owe you, as you say, give us money, for you are like holm oaks that have to be shaken for their fruit; if we ask for what you owe us, you say ‘these Indians, they are drunk’; since we became Christians you do not honour us any more; for the many benefits you receive from us, you afflict us; so long as you are in charge, you do not give us anything in return; I do not understand you, nor do I know less because you said you will go to heaven and we to hell, with more suffering.”
I say that if a man does not know others, he will tell them to eat something he has never seen, even if it is only for the benefits they will supposedly receive, and he tells them to save whoever gives it to them and they can see that he does not want it, that he has doubts, or does not want to eat it. To those who say that Indians have their faults, I also say that we are not saints here, having a greater obligation to live honestly, and that of the wrongs that are talked about they inflict as much as they can to our people, who started before thousands of them did and continue to do in such a way that they can be found guilty, in the same way an Indian was (as I heard) by the Governor of Santa Marta, Mancio de Contreras, who asked “How is it possible that being in charge, you have ended peace and given us war?” He replied that among his people it was neither words nor finished peace, after having been deceived by us so many times. They say that the very few Indians that come to Spain do not find honour, riches, relief, whereas the very many Spaniards that go to their territories find at least someone who breaks bread with them. I say that whatever was said needs to be seen, that those Indians are not as ignorant as they are painted, and that if we had honoured, taught and given them time to rest, they would have learned how to see, perfect, refine, say and do as gladly and usefully. I also say that they have not made the most of the many tight royal letters patents that Y.M. granted them, and the remedy has to be applied hastily. However, Sir, all the journeys made in the Indies on other parties’ account were as badly planned as it has been seen, or they were ineffectual and did not escape losses and damages.
Most of the time (as an example) I saw Y.M. give instructions for the journey organised by pioneer Álvaro de Mendaño (where I participated in 1595), bankrolled with royal resources. Thirty‐eight years of spiritual benefit would not have been lost from past to present in all the unknown territories, a loss that has been as big as it sounds, nor would I have worked and suffered for so many years to free them from oblivion, which was no small loss for them, for Y.M. and for me. In the end, the good adelantado (pioneer) spent his finances, did whatever he could and ended up losing his life; I am giving mine as well after having spent my finances; I keep my counsel about the rest just by saying that whatever can be happen and can be seen should be prevented, mainly on principle. What I mean is that good management can go far, and for execution it is important to look for and attract good men. In order to correctly understand how valuable the goods of both genders are, I give an example: I say that if disorder eliminated several million Indians referred to in a memorial that I submitted to Y.M., when it comes to the Western Indies a good [royal] order would have left us with several millions of them today, and even if there were only these, it would be as great a gain for the heavens and the earth as it sounds. If only less than two million who are alive today have produced from eight to fourteen million in gold, with my example there would be one‐hundred and fifty millions in gold coming every year. This could have happened and had it been half; out of this half [Spain would have received] half. It remains to be seen who will pay God, the Indians and Y.M. for all the past damages, as well as for those that will occur until the end of the world, which are those innumerable damages that astonish those that consider them. If we go in greater depth, we would lose insight and count and this should be well understood and not imitated.
I confess my share of the guilt and my share of what I am responsible for, and pay for such infinite damage as I might have for not having acted preemptively there. I have no shoulders to carry that weight, nor am I of the opinion that others should shoulder it, and these speeches and advice obligate Y.M. to spend his finances generously, so that there will be nothing to regret or to pay later. I give Y.M. tokens of my care, wishes and preventions towards the population for the good administration of the Southern territories where Y.M. wishes to send me. I will go with the determination to introduce all good Christian, political and military discipline among us, with God’s favour. To achieve this I seek Y.M.’s help, and within my possibilities scientific, experienced and conscientious persons that I can find in Spain, for in Spain they can be easily found, since it is convenient for me to receive their advice and to agree – as required in such a case – on what should be done for those peoples along spiritual and temporal lines in our trip to their territories, so that they will make steady progress, which they should say in their own words and all other nations in the world should sing to. Together with warriors, sailors and businesspeople, work should be divided and help should be offered should they so require, both when present or absent, but either way it is very important. I also require artists and all kinds of tradespeople who are very necessary there, so that both can build the first city, which will be a model for all those on that side of the world, and they will not be mud wall cities or republics of disconcert which could bring several major evils without remedy for both genders.
If we consider both ecclesiastic and secular persons, the number I referred to is eighty. I have already shown Y.M. how such fundamental foundational rocks can be taken from Spain without paying more than what Y.M. wants to. I asked for 1,000 men – the smallest number required in such faraway territories. There is plenty to sustain them with, to make them comfortable and to allocate them to fortresses, shipyards and sugarcane mills, to indigo, silver and gold mines, pearling, cement factories and breeding, and also to make discoveries by land and sea, to send warnings and treaty ships, to found the first city, to erect the second, to populate. Those who fall sick or become unavailable will be sent back for not being the right people. Since many will be officers, it is important to save time, with the proviso that I do not ask for such power in order to kill or mistreat the natives, whom I want and aspire to rigorousjustice for – the same treatment I want and do not want for myself, but power is an efficient means to carry out the attempt easily and in a short time. The reason is that if they see that we are strong, they will not dare seize the occasion, and if [such occasion] does not present itself, they will not be hurt in a necessary defence operation. What I mean is that those peoples neither speak our language nor can guess what we attempt to do, nor are aware of all the mysteries of faith that they will be taught.
It is true that they will not consider bad works against them as good, regardless of the reason, and it is good works that will open their eyes, oblige them, reassure them and make them love and believe in us. With all this, religious people will very well arrange their ministry, and if that is not the case in any way, they group themselves against the Devil should he want to destroy their good work. We can defend ourselves without offending [the natives], defend them against their enemies – if they have any – protect those who already are or want to become Christian – should there be someone to prevent it – and to defend the land against the enemies of God’s Church and of Y.M.’s that appear there, as well as to defend ourselves from ourselves. This is what power can do, under penalty if the right thing is not done, unless it were by miracle. I remind Y.M. that a good, fulfilled and very timely dispatch is of the essence to start such a great mission, that true help will secure what was done and that with just laws and holy institutions it is possible to open a brief and secure pathway to create a Republic in those territories (which can be called concerted). It will be created by real and substantial men, so that they can think ahead and leave their secure possessions here in order to populate, pacify, defend and sustain others’ territories, great favours and honours. Generosity and freedom are very necessary, based upon granting land and natives to individual settlers, all the while preventing landowners from saying that they are masters of Indians, for it is possible to give every one of them their due by banishing forced personal service and allowing voluntary service.
With all these favours, Y.M. will earn everybody’s goodwill – both Spaniards and Indians – in such a way that later it may be said that great part of the world was acquired for such a small price, securing both spiritual and temporal goods, as many as there are and can be in this mission, about which there is so much to say, to consider and to organise, rather than otherwise. This mission is the greatest in the present and in the future. I advise Y.M. that I fear it will end before it even starts. I mean to say that Y.M.’s greatness would grow as long as he becomesthe ruler of more well acquired and governed peoples, sustained in peace and justice. I note that those who know say that the decline in the Western Indies stemmed mostly from discontinuing the system of granting land and native inhabitants to a settler and from such settlerstaking advantage of it too hastily. I also concur that if Y.M. had those thirty million natives that were found at the beginning, there would be twice as much wealth and that potential fortunes would be assured, with a warning that if more Indians are wanted, there are no monies, that there will be no Indians for twenty years and that silver and gold are not the worst losses, for there have been countless others, that those existing today are priceless and that the future can only be remedied by God. The Brothers of John of God that I requested will be in charge of all the hospitals that will be founded, so that they can cure all the natives in them comfortably. With such a significant benefit, the natives will feel obligated to love us, and for this reason they will believe in and follow us. [The Brothers] will also cure our people of any diseases in separate quarters, in short, they will perform the Fourteen Works of Mercy, which may be their responsibility as people who practice charity under the local government (Cabildo), which they would be accountable to, will help them and supply whatever they require.
In each one of these hospitals, there will be four or more priests in separate quarters who will administer the sacraments, bury the dead, say masses and in all quarters will look after and give consolation to the sick and help the dying both in hospitals and cities – a necessary and meritorious deed. Care should be taken not to take older soldiers, or sick people, or notorious lowlives, or the self‐ entitled and arrogant from Perú – those who believe that nothing is enough for them – least of all those who believe that nothing is enough for them, and even less so those who only think of their self‐interest or those who say that God never gives peace. Officers should be practical and careful to train their soldiers in modesty and dexterity. If possible, they should be sailors and artillerymen who run whenever there are no soldiers who say what one of them who used to rob and kill Indians said – that after dead he would put his soul on a hill so that whoever owned it could come and fetch it. If God conceded me the favour of choosing the most convenient people for such an honourable and glorious enterprise, I would request your whole Apostolic Council to be sent.
If the Roman Pontiff had not said “You can ask for as much as you can, for your request is just” (such as the happily remembered Clement VIII did), I would have asked for those priests and monks who work miracles. If Y.M. asked me who are the best people to start such a mission, which is so important for Y.M., I would ask you to send your whole State Council, for it is very Christian, wise and cautious. The three things I can assure you of are great love, great wishes to do the right thing in this mission, great care, diligence and watchfulness to look for God’s means – the most convenient [strategy] to convert such a large number of people. Remember, Y.M., I said that if my person did not serve the purpose of this mission, Y.M. should send someone more convenient, since the several million present and future souls of those peoples should not stand to lose if I am not deserving enough or for any other reason. Should it be necessary, I would serve you in any capacity you wished me to, and I would sign my name on it. I would thus reach the three titles I aspire to, of which I already have two, that is, eye witness, applicant for this cause and guide to those who travel to lead those peoples. The reasons I give to start the journey in the City of Kings in Perú are that, since the port of El Callao is only two leagues away, there are many ships from many places and several sailors plus whatever is necessary for sailing, and there is a large amount of hardtack, flour, pulses, wine, oil, fish, salt and many good supplies which in my experience are very long‐lasting. From San Felipe and Santiago harbour, I am familiar with the winds, the timing and the course because I have sailed the seas in those regions; I am very knowledgeable and efficient in that city and its divisions.
There are plenty of honourable people in that kingdom, and it is easy to sail from Lima to Callao, where families can come aboard with all the supplies that will be shipped. With God’s help I will arrive at the above mentioned harbour where I will make a stop for the following purposes: first, a fortress will be erected to accommodate and protect people from the natives or from other enemies that may appear. Second, a large area will be sown with our corn and rice, and many other of our pulses, seeds and roots. Burning or pruning that sown plot of land will not be allowed as easily as the others. Hardtack, flour, wine and oil will be stored with the rest of the spare supplies, both for return trips and for people to sustain themselves while sowing and food gathering takes place, while we use the ransom items that will be shipped for that purpose, to keep the Indians happy and to obtain whatever valuable items are in their possession. Even though the soil is extremely fertile, it is not wise to arrive without food supplies, since their use cannot be delayed for a single day and it would not be fair to seize the Indians’ – this will shock them and thwart our intentions. In the third place, smaller frigates and brigs will be built, which can be used with sails or oars, to set off on discovery voyages and for transport. Fourth, the goodwill of elders will be gained with deeds as a means to attract the younger, as well as the inhabitants of neighbouring and faraway territories, and the islands in the area.
By using soft methods, we will attempt to bring as many Indians as possible to our company, in order to treat them well and clothe them, and to send them back to their land so that they can inform the others. Some will stay so that they can teach their languages and learn ours, as well as give news and answersto our questions, and having reassured them with our kind, faithful, informed and long‐lasting treatment, I am certain (considering what I learned from them) that we will attract them to the existence of God, and to obey the Holy Apostolic See and Y.M. Fifth, we will feel the pulse of the seasons, till the land, discover its greatness and secrets, understand the natives’ way of life, explore the coasts from East to West, as well as the nearby and faraway islands. After learning as much as possible, a description will be written, adding all the information given by the natives about the current state, including settlements and the form of government, with great diligence. Some of those natives – young boys and adult men – can be useful here and there. When they go back, messages will be sent to Lima and México at different times, so that Y.M. will be kept thoroughly informed, and can agree with, add or delete whatever is convenient so that the mission will be run in such a way that the present is excellent and the future will be greatly improved. In short, Sir, I want to perpetuate three features, which are the manner in which idleness – scourge of the world – will be uprooted and judged very rigorously, while doors will be frankly open to virtue, with great rewards, and how charity will be practised with fervour. Sixth, priests and monks will teach the soldiers how big an offence against God it is to kill the souls and bodies of those peoples who will now have Gospel preachers in their territories and at their doorstep, so that they can listen to, believe in and follow them. The offence against Holy Mother Roman Church will be enormous if they disturb their holy attempt.
If those peoples are well guided, they will triumph with eternal glory and God will appreciate being thus respected, and that his power and providence will be more trusted than our weapons and industriousness. In short, they will be told that their mission is purely to be at the service of His Divine Majesty, whom their work will shine for, and rewards are certain. This way, it will never be said that in God’s name we are going to dispossess those peoples of what God himself has given them. At least, if it is plentiful and very good, what we are going to teach them is that we will sell it expensively, and that without any price fixing we will pay out of our own pockets and leave little or nothing to others. V.M., rest assured that you will be well served there; if there are no attempts to truly serve God Our Lord, those who have served will be given millions of spiritual rewards in heaven and earth, which is all that can be sought after. On the contrary, for grave crimes there will be immense punishment both ways. At war, the pusillanimous will meticulously become stronger, and the novices’ eyes will be opened, as well as the eyes of those who have limited understanding, for even though they may see the greater good, I do not know if all of them can see it, and they can inflict damage even if they do. There will be a conversation with all the people together representing them,so that they will be obligated to uphold the standards and flags that other Spanish settlers raised and upheld in so many parts of the world that are not as kind and hopeful as those territories, with the innumerable triumphs and riches that were won for both majesties in heaven and earth; the honour and fame that they earned overcoming difficulties, scorning dangers, tackling tasks and anything else that could have had them lose their rewards and the great name of their homeland – Spain, which is more deserving that life itself. If God has taken them to such good territories, where they can gain what others have not lost with great advantage, they should not forget the little esteem deserved by whoever behaves less courageously than others do, even more so where honour, advantage and fame will cost so little. Eighth, attempts will be made to discipline all people well; they will receive good treatment, if there are fallouts, they will make peace and avoid point scoring, siding and challenging; duel laws will remonstrate and cast aside the affronting party. Those who affront will be affronted back and punished for having left their own honour aside, and that will bring in reparation and avoid the evils created by laws that are against God.
Life will be lived with care and with whatever else is explained. Ninth, to conclude, it will be agreed that for everybody in general there is a God, a world, an Adam, a sin, a redemption, a Church, a Pastor, a King, good and evil, a reward, a punishment, a death, a trial, a glory, a hell and an eternity. After that, the foundation of a city will start on the river bank and by the sea; as it has been said, its blocks and streets will be flat, and as wide and long as necessary. There will be five plazas; in four of them there will be convents without any other buildings [nearby],so that they will be comfortable and in good command of the area. Twelve streets will start at the middle plaza; the main church will be there; Y.M.’s house and the Town Hall will be in the other four, as can be seen in the plan. There will be four parishes and all the nine plazas will be at the same distance; the five larger ones will be on two perpendicular streets. In this way, all the city inhabitants will have a church and a plaza nearby. Houses will be designed according to position and trade. Since walls will be the same size on all four sides and all streets will be main thoroughfare, there will be gardens or corralstowards the centre of a block; castles will be built in the most convenient areas to defend the city and the port, and all the buildings will be erected at the same time so that it will not be necessary to make renovations or to move city later on. As desired, México’s heights and Lima’s port, all of this and much more can be built comfortably there because of the abundance of materials and the inhabitants’ good disposition – I do not mean in one day or one month, but once the government is well set up and the design and construction of the city are well under way, sanely and correctly, they will be finished once God is fully served. His power and will are to be trusted and all favour and help should be expected, both for what was explained as well and for whatever else is aspired to. If Y.M. agrees, it would be convenient to set up three other populations: one on that harbour, another one as close to Perú as possible, and a third one on the way to the Philippines, so that all these provinces can connect with each other easily as well as with those areas between them, to receive what is brought in and to distribute it, giving what they have in exchange.
To benefit all natives in general over a shorter period of time, it must be ensured that no city has less than 400 inhabitants, not only to preserve and increase our population but also theirs. If it were convenient to add Indian population to towns, they should first be taught how to build their houses with stone or bricks, with large enough corrals, kitchens, beds, tables, chairs, boxes, and whatever else is necessary, helping them to understand little by little how good these arrangements are for them and requesting their consent. Proceeding in any other way would mean killing them, dispossessing them of their home ground and leading them to build houses by themselves wherever they can, sawing and reaping, and they will die of sadness, scarcity and work in excess. There will be seminars where children will be gathered and taught with their parents’ consent, all under the zealous care of priests and monks. If this were not enough, other methods will be sought to teach the subjects and to guide them to whatever they show an inclination towards. The most hopeful ones will be guided towards priesthood and once ordained will be sent elsewhere to preach their parents and other natives, which as far as I understand can yield many great effects upon the souls, for it must be believed that the son or father who becomes aware that father or son will be condemned will force love upon pain; both of them will tirelessly do more than the usual, and everybody in general will be well listened to and even better believed.
An example of tears and insistence, living witnesses of St. Monica’s pain and love, but remembering that we neither cry nor perspire. It should be noted that in those territories we will find elderly and young people, children and unborn babies and that exercising all our power to reduce them to our holy Catholic Faith, if we cannot finish with the old, we will with the young, and if not, with the children. When they become men, the unborn will become young people taught in seminaries and the old will not be walking the world, so the Christian Faith will be introduced at an early age and there is no reason to doubt the conversion of well‐treated Gentiles taught by example. In short, Sir, everything comes down to good sowing, good benefit, diligence to reap, keep, preserve and increment as much as possible, not contenting ourselves with little, for it is only in good deeds that excesses seem good, in the same way as temperance for other things. What I say, Sir, can be proved, since there is no reason to question the cause without testing it with the passing of time because in the Western Indies there have never been nor are any Indigenous Clerics or friars, nor Indian nuns, and I would like them to respond: “They do not want us as Clerics or friars, but as dressed‐up slaves, nor do they want us as nuns, but to carry cushions and similar objects to churches”. Considering the little growth that faith has experienced among those Indians, I say that I do not know whether it was their fault or ours, and I want to do the right thing by others whose conversion I seek, according to their needs and our service, for God will give what those Gentile creatures should have.
I remember that all Christians were Gentile and we owe it to those twelve great disciplinarians that they had and we have as teachers. I want more, for in order to learn, believe in, love and serve God, pray to Him with faith and to expect all that is fair to ask from His great kindness, it is necessary to eradicate those peoples’ ignorance. This is possible and feasible with good will on our part and trust in God, who has been so kind as to give life to our memory, light to understanding, sharpness to will, and everything so that a Kingdom, a people, a whole lineage cannot be judged from the good or bad of only one Indian, and disciples will be as good as their masters. There will be an order to build schools so that [the Indians] can learn to read, write and count; Universities will be founded to read all the allowed arts and sciences. I will take the best masters at the necessary trades so that they can build houses, beds and tables; wear our dress and shoes, and forget their past lives, dress and language; plant all their and our fruit trees; sow our and their seeds; breed all cattle and beasts, and with all this there will be good tithes that benefit mining and pearling; [natives] will become contractors, which will allow them to acquire fifths and rights; they will learn what honour and shame are, and it is certain that if they learn these two jewels, they will appreciate them as they deserve, and for this and other reasons they will wear and spend all the things that go from Spain on larger fleets – whether they go for four, ten‐thousand Spaniards or millions of Indians – and politicians who have gold, silver, pearls and many other valuables already referred to, as well as others that industry gives, considering that the land has so many riches, and from my perspective they are greedy enough to go and explore; from their perspective they have so much good disposition to learn, and from the point of view of reason, their strength is their motivation.
It must be noted that for both genders it is enough to make a Kingdom rich, and each of the above mentioned benefits will make Y.M. rich as well as the land and sea, which have shown so many advantages on their coastlines; the natives are not greedy and do not promise great riches in the hinterland and vicinity, and it is more certain that such riches will be found according to location and disposition, even more so since [the land] is fertile and healthy and has very many comforts to live there and to make deals with the richest kingdoms in the world, where their advantages and rights will be such and so many in the first years, and with good governance and good understanding they will be even greater with the passing of time. If God and Y.M. help me, all this will become a reality. I note that most of the natives I have seen in faraway lands have had to look for clothing forced by need, and natives from dry, lean and poor territories use benefits and industry in the best way they can, so that they can support themselves with some ease, and are happy with very little, whereasthe natives from territories where conditions are benign do not get dressed, and since their land is fertile, they do not attempt to work it, but enjoy what nature gives them for free. It must be also noted that it is better to have less good land than too much bad one, that people who have been mistreated become extinguished quickly, and that the few well treated ones grow substantially in a short time. Such are large and good territories, and their peoples are many and good; the space takes up a quarter of the planet, and we do not know what we will find in it. This is as much as we can wish in this case, both in greatness and in riches.
The peoples from China are rated as wise for their form of government, industry and letters. I say that having heard about the roughness in treatment that has taken place in other territories, for fear that their land and assets be removed from [the inhabitants], or because they do not want new customs and laws, or for any other reason whatsoever, their knowledge hurts them so much that they do not trust any foreign nation. For this reason, the Spanish clergy has not found an alternative road to teach them the Gospels – that is their greatest loss – and to many in Asia, who live politically, appreciate wisdom, it is only a matter of exchanging their clothing and drugs for silver and reales, and they all stay there. Being so simple and docile, these other peoples will be easy to pacify, and for this reason they will be easy to indoctrinate, teach and please without giving them money. Nevertheless, among such ignorant people as those I refer to, there will not be a purposefully created trading post, but a founded settlement with everything referred to [above] and far more organisation if possible, so that the greater good spreads as fast as possible all over those territories and is not confined to the shores, nor should it be understood that we go there on a temporary basis, but with the strong wish to find efficient ways to hastily help those people leave behind the blindness they live in. Without the Holy Gospels’ divine light and at the entry of this sea of mercy, they will not drown but sail smoothly and prosperously until they resurface in such a life and death that the Church will pray for them.
Since their temporal lives will be secured in such a way that it will always be theirs and since they will be taught how to work at the right pace, let us not slack off, for it will be said that we are looking for someone to sell, or to exile, or to afflict and tire, just for us to repose. Since they will not die either of pain or mistreatment, nor of a sense of urgency caused by our greed, they will soon quit their barbarous lives and the dangers their souls run in order to enter polity. Sir, I wish that Y.M. would be honoured and glorified for everything that has been done in his royal name and that there would be someone exclaiming “long live all of us” in those territories, for we have all been created by God and there is something for all of us in moderation. These Indians have large extensions of very good land that they do not make use of, and together with what was said in the previous chapter, I would like to know if our people can use their vacant land without resorting to force or aggravation. If it can be granted as a fief or as conveniently as possible, or since there will be a committee made up of religious and non‐religious legal counsellors, it seemsthat this matter can be aimed at preserving their own good as well as God and Y.M.’s service and the security of other people’s conscience as well as mine, who persuades four, six or ten each year teaching them how to earn 100, 200 or more, as it has been stated.
It should be noted that only by themselvesthese Indians cannot achieve their greater good if Y.M. does not help them as their protector by sending preachers,ships, people, weapons and whatever else is convenient to secure this mission in enough numbers. To the best of my knowledge, either without these or without finding common ground, this mission cannot be secured; God can potentially do it and if that is the case, I say that this money has to be kept in a safe box with three locks and its contents should be divided by three: one share should go to those who require it; the second share should be for those settlers who prove themselves as the best administrators of land and Indians; the third share will always be available as extra funding for Church factories, convents, hospitals, worship and all common necessities, as it has been shown in these writings and in the one below. Please note that two of the shares can be allocated in different ways, a fact that must be clearly borne in mind, since one [share] will be used to give leeway to those who intend to deserve and gain honours and benefits and the other is earmarked for budget blowouts, which will surely exist after a while. Consider the City of Kings and México City, who are said to have over 150,000 inhabitants including natives, and the latter can be called foreigners. Of the 10,000 or 12,000 Spaniards, some are rich and some others are affluent or moderately affluent.
However, there are 130,000 who have no financial resources or guidance. Consequently, it is fair to ponder on whose account are the dangers that so many non‐landed and unhinged inhabitants run and whose behaviour has to be countered by the others. These inhabitants have to be either stopped or else they will collide against a hard wall, either today or tomorrow, ending up in a dissolute and debilitated life of misconduct that entails the loss of soul and desire to live, with nothing to gain but suffering or death as a consequence of their misbehaviour. Thus, their health will be damaged and further affliction will ensue as a consequence of the misrule that disfigures a Republic, which can be avoided if we seek the greater good through a new order. Each block that a city will be divided into will either have one or two owners, or four if convenient. Vacant land will be allocated to individuals so that they can start farming, with the obligation to sow, grow and breed whatever is more suitable and gives the best fruit in convenient quantities. The amount of available funds will be stated in the above mentioned safe box, and it will be paid either in a lump sum or in three instalments. Apart from what has been said, an encomendero (settler in charge of a group of natives) can profit from mining gold, silver and other metals, pearling, growing,sowing or by signing land and sea trade agreements, as long as they are honest dealings for the common good. Settlers would be allowed to market their produce. All this is considered without turning our people into the Indians’ masters, which will free them from forced personal service and from being beaten up in the way it is currently done.
The clergy will not have any disagreements with anyone on this, nor will they be disturbed or worried about what they should faithfully do. With the freedom they will enjoy, the Indians will be masters of their time and with their assets they will be able to study and learn whatever they are taught at ease and with pleasure. In short, Sir, none of us will have absolute authority over the Indians. It is not fair that the inherent good of so many peoples’ souls and bodies should be entrusted to just one man without a proven track record of his zeal, charity and transparency and that one such individual may destroy or help destroy the common good, while those who feel the pain cannot remedy it, even though they may try and persevere to use the means they deem more proper to that end, as can be seen now in the Indies. However, that trust should come from many that could be enchained and forced in such a way that even though they may not want it, they should defend the Indians at all levels. Sir, even when it may be so as not to lose their [i.e. The Spaniards’] current and future advantages, what I say can be regarded as true. In this way and others that God will give, those peoples will be able to acquire the three treasuresthat I propose: the knowledge of [God’s] Divine Majesty, political life and great riches. Our people will be able to live among them easily and comfortably (holding them at arms’ length through reason) and if they want to make use of population surpluses that will surely exist as in Europe (and they will), our people will persuade them with good pay and better treatment, doing without the evil ones that spoil and raze everything to the ground. Let us not forget what happened in the Indies and that those who were involved and their descendants are the ones who will bear the responsibility for the damages upon their shoulders, as heavy as they are, for they are responsible and must therefore pay later.
Sir, practical people cannot show what they will do unless they are given the occasion. Help me, Y.M., to carry out your good work, which is excessively large, and since it is in the honour and glory of God and so important for Y.M., it is good for Y.M. to start once and for all and very hastily, for arts last long and lives are brief, practice is difficult to acquire and even more so the disposition to learn. If good chances and time are wasted, damage will have no remedy. I want such an order to be issued because even though territorial possessions may grow immensely with time’s passing, in order to preserve them it would be necessary to have twice as many ministers of government, justice, war and finance, as it currently happens in Americas, and Y.M. should not pay them a salary. This should be heeded because – apart from the several million that will be saved – the greater good lies upon pursuing such high Christian objectives, guaranteeing the long life of those territoriesthat Y.M. is so far away from, and I expect that the people who go there keep Y.M. in mind, which is entirely possible. In that way, with this order that I can show in theory and practice, and opposition, no undeserving person will be appointed to royal or public office. Since justice will work secretly to investigate lives, it will rigorously punish crimes and will have debts paid; everybody will adjust themselvesto reason and if the state of affairs degenerates, they will be deprived of what they own and everybody will live cautiously. Sir, bearing in mind how Republicans are represented and considering that they will have all they need and that lack thereof makes it unworthy, a Republic will be set up.
In the same way as in many others we can find ignorant, dissolute and idle people, in this one there will be wise, virtuous and hard working people in excess who will protect as much as the former will attempt to damage. The false hopes of those who want to take advantage of other people’s work, negotiations and purchases will be eradicated this way. It must be warned that whoever leads during elections will allow others to manage government wisely and cautiously in those provinces they love, where they grew up and gained experience and which they must strive to preserve and not destroy. In order not to lose a second time, they will strive to refine themselves, in the understanding that the only worthy efforts are to work in order to learn and to live a deserving life. They will inspire themselves to do good that way. Some will not consider siding with those that lead them to success and the rest will clearly see that their studies, work and good characteristics will be of use to them. It is my sincere wish, Sir, to have my intentions believed in, and remind you that the current situation can barely be controlled – having experienced it in practice – let alone an absent, unseen, unexperienced world, and what has not been experienced or known cannot be ruled upon wisely, no matter how good intentions may be and whoever knows about right and wrong can trust God and Y.M., whom I ask not to allow the truthfulness of my zealous attempt to be challenged. In short, in to start a new world where there is a Christian and political government with the highest intentions that require more than the ordinary, whatever is in doubt must be set aside, for I trust God to vouch for me. There will be a universal reference to all natural and artificial entities with their names and differences, to all the most influential people and to all notable deeds, cases and causes that should be known so that students can study, learn and come to know them, and give them a fresh look. Thus, they will be able to choose the right course of action according to their nature. Such is the way to understand the difference between these truths and of studying such useful things as opposed to reading litigation procedures, damaging books or at least fiction.
To ensure that encomenderos will be of any use, two of them will be appointed yearly,so that they can become judges on their street or their district and hear the possible legal claims. In order not to turn to the registry mentioned below for mediation and to finalise outstanding situations similar to those below, to unburden the population from smaller matters; also to inquire into and find out how their neighbours live, what sort of enmities they have, the distress they are in, who is poor, sick, widowed, orphaned, and who is in a bad marriage or unmarried, together with everything else that needs to be known in order to give an account to the higher tribunal on the most important matters and to find a remedy for everything. In the Cabildo royal houses (local government house) in each city or village, there will be a large hall with a separate chamber with large and triple‐lock strong cupboards on one of its walls. Their keys will be kept by the two city mayors and a third person to be mentioned below. These cupboards will be used to keep all the existing registry books with alphanumeric indexes, and signed and sealed pages, for convenient and important good governance matters expected in such a Republic in order to maintain its peace and concord. A person of proven Christian faith and honesty will be appointed. Even if it is not the case, it does not matter, as it will be shown below.
Such person will become the legal – i.e. the man that will be in the highest position of confidence to be created there – for it is his truthfulness that will be entrusted with the lives, honours, properties and possessions of living people – both in the present and future – in that southern area. He will hold the third key and will have the obligation to attend the hall every morning for three hours after having opened and closed the cupboards to take the books out and put them back in their place, taking the keys [with him]. In that hall there will be assistants as well as senior and junior officials, one or two bailiffs, and the necessary [staff] to do their work. The legal will receive a good pay and the rest will receive enough so that they will not require anything else in keeping with their high office, and all of them will have the obligation of not stopping their work for an hour or for one day at the most, under severe penalties, the worst of them being the loss of their position. Nor will he curtail the rights of any person, whoever it may be, or receive a bribery – no matter how much. If he were found lying – to any extent – he will be given the death penalty.
This hall will be attended by the biannual Lord Mayors and by two aldermen if need be, to ensure that what is said above is enforced and to preside over whatever is laid down as faithful eye witnesses. They will be given entire credit and since the Lord Mayors will hear lawsuits, they will be there to hear them as well. There will be firm legislation so that no person or persons, regardless of their standing and condition, will be allowed to sell, buy, donate, lend, bail or enter any other agreement for a high or low amount of money, unless it is pronounced lawful and in the presence of the Lord Mayors, under the penalty that before a court they will not be allowed to request whatever was agreed with other parties, and that what was laid down is precisely valid and enforced with what is deemed to be in good faith. Entries in the registry books will be done by year, month and day, including names, why they were summoned, and both or all parties concur on a certain day, month and year. The legal will read aloud so that all parties and both Mayors can hear. Once the parties give their consent, they will sign it together with the Mayors and aldermen; the legal and all parties concerned will receive a copy of the entry and the in‐folio; they will only give a one‐real alms which will go into a sealed box for the souls in Purgatory, whom I am a devotee of because [I know] how hard it is to wait in pain.
Once the waiting period is over, whoever must pay will pay, and should he refuse, his assets (if any) will be seized. Otherwise, he will be jailed until he pays or makes amends with the other party. For this purpose, both parties (or as many parties as there may be) will seek the means for an agreement and everybody will mind their own business. I believe that more paper will be wasted in an ordinary lawsuit than in ten years of such agreements. This would be the way to avoid double‐dealings, usury, disregard, deceit, enmity, revenge, capital expenditure and timing, and the deceit of such a large number of people who are busy with litigation and who make a living out of it. The greatest pity is that in order to discover the truth between Christians, it is necessary to go through impossible confusions that produce paperwork here and hidden facts there, with a favourable ruling as outcome for those who do not deserve it, for today it looks more like craftinessthan justice itself. In short, all the damages that follow lawsuits will be avoided, as well as the many offences against God that take place as a consequence.
Please consider, Y.M., that if God Our King and Lord (who is in heaven) promised great rewardsto those who find a way to shorten lawsuits –which I have found – how could they not be used in those territories and even in these, except for those that are pending, and the only reward I ask for myself is that Y.M. agrees and puts [such system] into practice. Since litigation also occurs when inheritances are contested – and finding proof is difficult in those cases due to absences – there will be another indexed book in that hall, numbered,signed and sealed with the names of all men – unmarried and married, with their wives and children, and whatever else God givesthem – so that there is no deceit here, and when someone leaves this earth, it will be compulsory to register who or whose child they are – including their skin and hair colour, scars and moles – and their age. In that way the Registrar will keep a copy of the entry signed by both Mayors and the legal, with day, month and year, to attest the fact. If a person cannot be registered for any given cause, it will be done by whoever is in charge, and even if either one or the other did not do it, they will be liable for damages. It is not fair that due to their lack of care, as well as due to those mentioned in the previous chapter, the Republic will experience turmoil. There must be another record book for all virtuous and advantageous deeds that occur including the names of anyone who goes to live in those territories first.
Those who inflict pain upon all will be deleted from the book and exiled to Perú, as stated in the following chapter. All the good deeds of the past are not appreciated in the present, nor do those good deeds reach the whole world today – which needsthem badly. Nor do the present times need good deeds any less. Neithershould only those living in the present be satisfied with what the dead have done, nor are the dead the only ones whom we owe our success and reward to; neither should the present and future generations be under no obligation to work wonders for what they are worth, nor should those who did the great and good deeds lose rewardsfor a second time or more. In that way, nobility will not be founded in vanity but in pure virtue, nor will riches or favours or any other kind of passion choke virtue and nobility. This should be heeded – as well as anything else deserving of justice – as a whole and in a timely manner, with God’s grace, whose glory and honour it serves, and who must be loved, served and worshipped forever. The Cabildo is supposed to erect temples, sustain the clergy, lead and help the peoples and cater for their needs.
Those who pass away will have the obligation to instruct their executors to include the Cabildo itself in their last will and testament. Bequests and alms will be distributed fairly and assets will be entrusted to faithful and wealthy persons so that they can take care of them. Monies will be either deposited in a box or employed without risk, in such a way that minors can either increase or at least maintain their assets, and they can also be indoctrinated and taught in Seminaries, where they will be surely guided, and if the deceased have not made a will, the Cabildo will charge their wives, children and assets, and all the good considered convenient will be done for the deceased’ssoul. Once we do away with mourning laws, litigation, gambling (i.e. playing dice or cards) and very many more disconcerting things that I do not but can actually show, with the above mentioned vigilance, it is true that there will be less criminal cases, and for those that do occur there will be witnesses appearing before judges who will ask them with a questionnaire in their hands and see what is actually recorded. [Judges] will not accept any notorious lowlifes, Indians or black spokesmen, for all of them answer questions affirmatively in every situation. Such witnesses will be examined with goodwill, with detailed reporting, plenty of attention and due diligence, and with Christian skill, to discover the truth and always bearing in mind that what is written without help, on foot, on one’s knees and too fast, and is given to an ignoramus or to an illiterate person or to someone who does not know what they are saying, in order to sign it, is not worth less than several men’s honour, lives or possessions.
If the judge who passes sentence takes a writing at face value, he must realise the danger it has, and it is well known that neither negligence nor trust will be excused if an innocent person is condemned, and that even if they are punished for someone’s passing or unfair suffering, it will neither remedy nor satisfy such a damage, nor will it exempt them from paying in both lives. But over there, Sir, ordinary judges will only be allowed to prosecute and pass sentence, but not to execute it without the supreme court, where the process will be revised and justice will be given with clemency even though the parties may not lodge an appeal. If the judges executed such a sentence, damages must be paid as they should, either with loss of life or of possessions, or both. There is plenty to say on this topic as well as on torture, since very often it is used to find a culprit, to torment a hundred innocents who blame four, and these four will blame one hundred, and with even more harassment they will blame a whole kingdom. I refer to what I have written about this. Since parishes will not have only one priest in charge, nor will they be poor and badly served as we see in many places, there will be houses built with all comforts in whatever is left of a block where parish churches are built, so that the twelve prebend priests in them can stay free of charge paid by the parishioners’ tithes and a contribution from the bishops, whom they must recognise as their head.
In that way they will be together and the Church will enjoy greater authority. Since [priests] have become students first to deserve them, prebends will be granted by assessment of their merits. Each parish will have preachers, confessors, masses, choir and music, and they will accompany the Holy Sacrament,so it will go with more brevity and decency since our very same Lord is present both in the poorest parish and in the richest cathedral, and the souls of both groups of parishioners are worth the same and can have their Cabildo meeting on church government affairs and how to help their parishioners because work must be shared, and on such mattersthere will be agreements on whatever is more convenient. Each parish will have the obligation to shroud and bury [their parishioners], say four masses and to give exequies to all the poor who die. Thus it will be not be necessary to stand at the church door begging for alms to bury the poor. It should be forbidden to take money or any other elements used for any of the sacraments, whether it is done by rights, by habit or for alms. I advise that I can give examples about this. Each parish will have its own [funds] so that it can cover all its expenses, such as supplying wax and oil to light up the Holy Sacrament and images. In that way there will be no need [for priests] to walk the streets day and night, begging for alms for that purpose.
There is no shortage of opinions that using the methods I describe there will be no poor or people in need. I ask the opinionated whether they want to be poor or want hundreds to suffer so that they can shine when giving to the poor and I also say it seems that lack of piety has given charity a cold and that when there is a pitiful case, those that are not used to seeing them will feel sorry and give better help with whatever they can. I promise those who fear that they will be unable to give to charity in order to give them an opportunity to prove themselvesfully, that if their works do not fulfil my wishes, no matter how passionate they are, it seemsthat the rest is boundless and very many dire needs have no remedy. Many offences against God are born of such needs, as well as losses of honour, lives and even souls – not to forget grave dangers against them. There will be order because none of the independent priests will live in extreme poverty, for this is not for everyone and it would make some exemplary ones change their minds if only they had bread on the table. Among Christians it is shameful that there should be such ministers of God walking cap‐in‐hand, following women and begging on the streets, and it is even more shameful that there should be many who do not take it away from them or pay any attention to this, or to see them walking around badly dressed and badly treated and for all other reasons lacking [basic] comforts. Exemplary priests will give effective sermons and the laity’s good deeds will be the hallmark of religious teachings. The laity is to honour and revere priests so that the Indians will do the same; it will be up to them to serve their own well with one hand and send them to beg every day for sustenance, as well as for anything else they cannot do without. When priests walk or sail with permission, they will be given whatever they need in sufficient quantities. Apart from either ship captains or the towns they visit, all priests’ expenditures will be covered with Cabildo cheques. In that way, they will not look for what they need in any other way, nor will they have to depend on persons that lose their respect or look down on them in the same way I have seen before.
The clergy will not need to please any specific men or wait until they die, so that they bequeath them property after years of such aspirations, and even less so seek others who could build everything or part of it, and others who will give them whatever they need or bequeath assets so that they can support themselves. The clergy will thus not have to visit courts to learn their rights, nor will they have to divert themselvesto cater for their needs and to seek footwear and clothing. In short, God must not be the poorest among us in a manner of speaking, nor should His holy houses pay hundreds to men (as I have seen in some places). I finally say that if these priests devote themselvesto God, they should have all their time to themselvesso that they can do it with ease, and at the same time they can teach the natives and others in seminaries they will hold in their convents separately, and will be able to preach, administer confession and the Eucharist, as well as the rest of their obligations. We beg, do, spend, suffer and persevere for what we say. Our attempts are known and for this reason mine should be believed in. I have had to represent them so many times. In Rome Cardinal Pedro Aldrobandino asked me what it was that I wanted. I replied “To discover a new world that is new in everything”. Monsignor Peña, Auditor of the Roman Rota, asked me what language I spoke to make myself understood among those peoples. I told him I knew the general one: to do good, not wrong, by them. In order to understand our people, whose language is the strangest and most remote of all, I say, than to demean good, consistent deeds and that I will resort to other methods that life has taught me, and if what I make myself do is too much, God can do even more in many ways. I have so many reasons to complain to Y.M. as I do because I find myself in need here in Madrid, wasting the life I want to spend settling the lands that I discovered; [I want] to discover the remaining ones and to bring them to reason as much as possible. I have so much to say about each and every thing that this cause entails – as well as about my wishes – that I do not know how to express it in its totality or in part, except by screaming that my spirits cannot suffer any more for those innumerable men and women who have been lost. Those territories are lost and I want to exclaim “Y.M., take them because God is giving them to you through my hard work and persistence, before others seize and damage them together with their surrounds”.
In order to defend them, it is impossible not to create the navies [I] referred to, nor can I give up looking for ways that can force this truth to become known in the same way as others that I have said so many times. In short, I shout so that I will be allowed to go ahead. Sir, I do not see any reason whatsoever that can force Y.M. to lose what has been mentioned before, which will last as long as the world and then will spring eternal. Y.M., justify this cause by what you owe to God and honour such a great Lord in the same way by doing such a great service, so that the Catholic Church will triumph gloriously this time, as combated as it is by all its deadly enemies. Y.M., defend those great territories and its peoples together with the rest because they are in danger; God will help and pay one‐thousand to one in this life and the next. Believe me, Y.M., that if I could, I would have conquered them all long ago to given them to Y.M., and that my spirits can do more, more and more. Y.M., I want you to appreciate the favour that God has bestowed upon you, the services I have rendered, how ready I am to serve you again and how much I wish to serve you faithfully all my life for nothing. Some say that Flanders cost Y.M. 244,000,000 in gold and 300,000 men. I say that if there is a revolution, many more million and men will be spent and that part cannot recompense what was spent, let alone what will be spent. Y.M., you must spend – the only means in those territoriesthat may bring returnsto Spain and help her against her enemies, but even more so in the conversion of those innumerable Gentiles that do not know how to contradict the truths of our Catholic faith.
Trust me, Y.M., since I trust God, who took me and brought me back twice and who will help me in such a way that the third time I will be lucky. I gave Y.M.’s confessor, Fr. Luys de Aliaga, part of these Chapters and I added the following one. When I entered this Court I was asked about the rights we have to claim those territories. I replied our right is exactly the same we have to take possession of all the others and that it seems likely that Y.M. bears it in mind because he sent me to discover them according to briefs given to me by Roman Pontiff Clement VIII and Christ Our Redeemer tells us to preach his Holy Gospel to every human creature, which is what I ask for. His Holiness is Y.M.’s conscience judge and for this reason he is the judge that will pass a perdition or salvation sentence to all those millions of Gentiles who were born and are yet to be born, in whose name I beg His Holiness not to let them suffer the consequences of delaying what is so immediately important to him, even more so when I pursue this cause to my cost in God’s honour and may lose mine; His Holiness comes to the remedy and hastily gains glory in this and in the next life granted to those who are faithful to their God, to souls, to their King and their homeland. In short, [as if I were] the judge who is in favour of the petitioner, in the same way I plead for justice for this cause in whose favour Our Lord has humiliated the most damaged wills, and for this reason and the rest I should not fear for its ruin, even less so being aware (as I certainly am) of His Holiness’ Christian zeal for the cause and the favours I receive, that I have to serve all my life. It will only cost to send the following goods Pedro and others to whom the 10,000 peso payment is not owed since they are Indians who are said to be free from work, a master or a property, will receive such payment exactly in the same way in all the Indies. The required copy should be applied to these and others that I will mention, so that in Salamanca – or wherever it is more convenient – a Seminary will be founded with the income required for sustenance from the Indians. Then, four young men should be brought in to be taught all the good disciplines from each province and borders, and from all the warrior groups.
They will come to study not only because of the distance and long absence from their homeland and its customs, but also because of their young age and continuity. Once the subjects are known, those with more potential will study until they become Theologians; the most satisfactory ones will become Priests, and after having received convenient training, will be sent to teach their parents and all the natives in their own language, and the results in all those Indies are clearly understood, both in divine and human policing. Y.M. should not believe in everything said against this people and should not trust common procedures that were followed in their teaching and conversion at the beginning, given the state in which we see them and what we know about the past bears witness of. Sir, the twelve holy and zealous Apostles are currently not among us and what was needed in their heyday is still necessary nowadays in different areas of the world. Maintaining the order they kept so that they are visible is still necessary as well, as we can see in the fruits of what they did: God is as powerful now as he was then. I believe that exactly in the same way they were forced to work for others, they had been forced to sow, breed and work mines for themselves instead, and teaching them arts and crafts, and how to work as merchants on land and sea. If they had become rich, they would have been sought wherever they were by peoples who would have built not just one but several well designed and appointed Seminaries where good teaching and doctrine would have worked so well that the Indians from those Indies would fly into the sky – in the same way as others from this Europe – and I truly say it would not be too bad for those who have not been taught how to fly not to fly.
I refer to a speech I have written about the Indians. After they have arrived, young men of all languages should be sought among the very many black people brought from Guinea to Spain, so that once sent to convents, schools and seminaries, or in the above mentioned Indian seminary, they can teach them with the same love that their white counterparts and the rest are taught until they become Theologians and ordained [priests]. Given that training (as it was said about the Indians) they will be sent on board the Guinea contract ships to preach to their parents and fellow natives, whom I understand will receive them well and believe in them even more, and will quickly be of use to all men and women who need them. I can say this because of the good opinion that I have about those dark skinned peoples from my long trips. An example would be that of Fr. Juan’s stateliness among the Ethiopians, whom are said to have stayed in the Faith since the days that St. Matthew preached to them, and those in Congo where they firmly follow the Holy Roman Church because it was preached to them, as well as to many other coloured ones who are great gentlemen, neither lesser in virtue nor bad with weapons.
The same must and can be expected from all of them if the same care is taken, for in order to finish the work with haste, no matter how big, love is very powerful when the means are available, as they are here. I refer to a speech I have written about the dark peoples. The Constable has mentioned the shortage of navigators that Spain currently experiences. For this reason I will explain to Y.M. to what extent the following is necessary for the purpose of navigation. To artfully become aware of the needle variation and remedy every day, which requires absolute fidelity since it is what guides a ship and it can lead it astray if it is ignored or kept in a fixed position. To become aware of the latitude, which is self‐evident, and the longitude, which allows the navigator to ascertain where his ship is, but without it he would not be able to, because there would be only an approximate estimate full of contradictions. Navigation chart point. A navigator calls the spot where his ship appearsto be in order to ascertain the distance between his departure point, where he is and what remains to be sailed, and the remaining estimated distance.
Based on the latitude, that point is known using the quadrant astrolabe and the star height measurement instrument with its rulers. Once this point is measured, he must mark it on his chart and name it using the height and direction used, or set square. In order to determine [the point] according to the longitude, there are no poles on the East or West, nor are there any instrumentsthat indicate it while navigating. Rough estimation can replace their nonexistence and such procedure may be called “the navigators’ confusion” due to the long distances and proximity to dangers and damages that may occur very often when the ship hits sandbanks or land, and when [navigators] believe they are close, but are in fact many leagues away. A nautical day is a complete one‐day journey sailed by a vessel. Navigators give their best shot at estimating the rough distance in leaguesthat they have covered, in whole or in part, which is ruled by the direction they have followed and call “fantasy”. Against the two, except for the height, the following inconveniences may ensue. Thus according to the longitude, the point is deemed impossible. For this reason, I can say that only half the navigation is known. Winds have unequal strength because they sometimes are very strong and some other times not so; duration can vary because they can blow for an hour, two or three, or a day, two or even more.
Sometimes they may be tailwinds when they blow from the stern; they may be crosswinds or bowline [winds], or sometimes blow from the opposite direction which may make the ship spin. There are periods of dead calm as well. Ships may carry all their sails, which may be assisted by bonnets, or lateen and topgallant sails. When these are all up, navigation is said to be in full sail, but sails can be up half a third or higher on the masts, or lower. They may be on high or low antennas, or on higher or lower masts, loosely or close‐woven; they may be dry or drenched by rain or dew. They may have long sheets, tallied or drawn sails, or [may be] running without sailing. Undersea rivers may bring spring tides at short intervals that produce knocks, and slower streams, which are continuous waves, and wind hits may produce rudder yaws to both sides with their fury; ships may then go adrift or winds may be blowing. How light or heavy ships may be for sailing; if they are heavier at stem, stern, starboard or larboard; if they take the load or not, or if they are half loaded; if they are in deep waters, have a lighter load or are buoyant; how much this matters or damages the ships; how much they lighten every day. If ships are clean, or have mud or conch; if keels or sides are dirty; if they support the sails or not; if they run through, sling or rise well; if they keep step or not; if masts and riggings are in or out of step; if tacks are open or in place; if [ships] are flat or let water in and if they do, how much is it; if they experience delays to speed up. The damage or advantage produced by people’s quietness or unquietness; going leeward or windward; if ships are delayed or speedy when called, as well as other wiles and if they are favourable or not.
Navigators’ impression – unless it is on the Equinoctial Zone where they sail in a smaller circle – or modifications when they amend the uncertainty of recorded locations, which are represented on flat charts that are so different from the roundness where ships do in fact sail, as well as their awareness of these and other false impressions produced by badly manufactured or broken instruments, by quantities, hours, days, weeks or longer periods, or ratios; each thing that navigatorssail past and how it waxes or wanes. All of these may produce considerable damage, which may work in the navigators’ favour and be judged should there be any damages or otherwise. Given all this I do not know what kind of trial would be sufficient to do justice to what was said in order to have any navigator disclose his ship’s exact location. With this it has been adequately proved that when navigation meetings take place or when participating navigators are asked their opinions, it is impossible to agree, in the same way a lone navigator may not attempt an imaginary point on any given route correctly, whether it is North, South, East or West or any other course, even if it is done respectfully. Sailing the globe or being knowledgable on how to reduce such a shape to a flat surface, considering that a ship sails a shorter distance than what appears on the chart due to the fact that meridians are parallel and they make parallels as long as the Equinoctial, [so] navigators believe in what they see and many do not understand how far they are from the truth. Measuring the Sun at any time and moment of the day when it is hidden under cloud coverage. Leaving this aside, there are many other reasons that make it imperative to measure [the sun] height from the poles to determine different facts. Becoming aware of the hour and minutes, [which will allow to apply] necessary mathematical rules for navigation whenever necessary. Learning [the position of] stars so that they can be used at nighttime to measure heights with reference to them because impediments and shortages are not measured through the navigators’ needs. Putting another cross‐staff in place of the one being used, since it may have unknown manufacturing flaws.
Learning whether a bright looking Sun or star are what they seem because navigational movements do not allow navigatorsto ascertain this, thus rendering their observation more or less inaccurate. Becoming aware of stream or current directions because if they are not, navigators cannot take a decision with certainty and this leads them astray very often, but if they are, they can continue sailing or wait for a better occasion. Learning how tides work in order to sail into sandbanks or channels, so as not to become stranded in ports where the ship can run aground if there is a low tide, and also to become aware when they can continue safely. Being able to measure distances from the ship at first sight, so that when [navigators] spot two ports, they can head for the nearest one, and by using the needle they can learn how coasts, capes, points and islands run without reaching them, bearing in mind that there may be sandbanks and powerful crisscrossing winds, and it may become dark. [In that way, navigators do not waste] their time and route in order to describe them in new discoveries and [can] amend them in old ones, and learn which ships are closer and further away in order to operate their own artillery without becoming a target for others’. On short courses or at nighttime, or when it is dark, when estimation is necessary, even more so when winds change briefly or when ships are close to firm land or between islands and bars, a needle movement on the logbook cover with twelve holes and numbers in each direction, in order to note how many watch‐glasses were sailed through them and in that way [navigators] will become as aware as possible about the actual positioning of their ship in order to continue sailing or to take shelter.
An accurate map of the courses, winds, timings, depths and landings, in three and four directions, with copious notes and warnings. Pumping water out as a different way to remove water using an alternative method because one or two sailors can replace fifteen and the rest, and many times when it is impossible to bail out or replace [the sailors], ships sink to the bottom. Separating fresh from saltwater because failure to do so can make many people suffer and die in misery, which is a constant threat. Caulking ships, because it prevents water leakage and damage, and it prevents oakum and planks from rotting, deteriorating, shipworm and the effects of bombing, with the added benefit that the ship will have a longer lifespan. If it were possible, making an attempt to sail the ship without wind, which would be very important in the event of dead calm so as not to run aground, and to tie a rope, save men and women’s lives, enter ports or channels, to get windward from obstacles, to flee faster and reach less, to aid mates, to avoid currents, to save time and circumstances, and if it were necessary it would help to sail with all sails set.
I mention this because many things that were deemed impossible were achieved and this could be one of them. Understanding how to make, examine and use all forced sailing instruments securely when sailing with all their rules, for two reasons. First, because many times it is necessary to use them. Second, because in case of errors, they will give wrong readings, and it is a must to command [a ship] without them, as well as to build vessels and any other objects that have always been used in navigation. In short, Navigators should find solutions and do without, Boatswains should distribute and store and Captains should govern and defend. When navigators set sail together, their instruments should be examined so thoroughly that all of them may be said to work as one because if they do not work in the same way, it is impossible to navigate without determining where errors come from and how many of them occur, and what remains [to be done] is to exactly decide when [a navigator] gets lost at sea, which is impossible if the above mentioned conditions are considered. The navigational charts used nowadays have been based only on the information given by other navigators;some have been wiser than others; the wise ones cannot see everything and many details are overlooked at night; their observations were made with instruments that were not fully accurate, with inconsistent sun declinations.
Those who issue a notice do not do so in doubt and descriptions through comparisons cannot be certain if navigators give exact locations according to longitude, latitude and shape, and they may estimate two or more leagues of width only by taking ten or twenty steps. This may also happen with points and capes and the East or West coast may be considered too many leagues longer. I can prove these two uncertainties, therefore if four navigators – even on land – observe the Sun or star height with the same instrument, they will find differences and will agree very few times; when they try again, they will find new differences and they will find errors in height and course measurements using all the charts that they are accustomed to. In short I say, Sir, that if all charts are false, and they will be so long as Y.M. does not send a person with scientific knowledge and expertise with accurate instruments in order to observe and describe all the navigated seas whom all navigators will follow. I say that without this it will be impossible to find what is exactly sought and it makes the current and future confusions more likely. With all this, navigators, who are always talked about, can call themselves wise men in their art, well proven in all the seas that they have crossed so often, using their dexterity to compensate for so many faults and excesses, so many inconveniences and annoyances, and totally impossible feats that astonish those who understand them, even more so because their art is not affected by ignorance or carelessness and their feats are miraculous in spite of their limited means. The very many and common advantages that we enjoy as by‐products of the art of navigation are very evident – more in the present than in the past – and our Spain bears witness of this truth, for the Western and Eastern Indies and their annexes have continuously received so many navies and large fleets, as well as many other vessels of different capacities, and their treasures seem so incredible because of their high price: gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, drugs, balms, fragrances and large amounts of clothing, as well as many other unusual and curious objects, all of them very necessary for people’s livelihood.
Therefore [the Indies] are full of so many goods as they have and they have become so well known and feared, envied and sought because there are ships going there that commonly and frequently carry loads full of their products to other foreign provinces, and they in turn bring and leave their own products to barter. Our European Spain is sucked dry being the richest, the most prosperous and the most bountiful province in the world as it is today, and it will continue that way so long as it lasts through God’s power. It is for this reason that I can say that there is hardly a known city or small corner, or dwelling – no matter how lonely and hidden it may be in the depths of the Earth, that has not received any benefitsfrom the art of navigation, which also helps to defend the homeland, seeks the enemy in their own home and keeps their greedy attempts at bay. It is [navigation] that has found large and hidden provinces far away, as well as tiny islands in the most remote and confusing gulfs, and has taken, still takes and will take the preachers of God’s word that have manifested themselvesin them and will continue to manifest themselvesin the remaining ones. [Navigation] has transported so many people from very remote kingdoms, at four, six and ten thousand leagues, who (after God) only trust the art of navigation that allows them to see the new works and wonders of the Lord, so that He will be known and well served by His creatures.
All of this greatness and riches, known in every corner of the world, are the by‐product of many navigators’ achievements whose importance is not known and nor are their watchfulness and paid work, for in order to be one only their wish suffices, together with their spirit on a slim vessel laden with other lives and their own in increasing isolation and removed in the distance. They enter a struggle where death is always nearby, with two powerful and courageous opponents such as the wind and the sea when they are enraged, not to mention ordinary hunger and thirst, and among enemies the most present of are human beings themselves. I leave aside the absence from their homeland, their fears and astonishments, their infinite inconveniences, their problems as a whole, adding the low esteem of people who can be considered courageous and their lack of a reward, which is what enables and spoils it all. Some are generally happy with the little they know; some others have nobody to teach them;some others give up pursuing this art and many flee from it to seek a way in which they can make a living with more certainty and security.
This, Sir, is the reason why our Spain does not have many unique navigators. If Y.M. holds their science in the high esteem it deserves – for it is one of the three columns of this Monarchy: letters, arms and navigation – Y.M. will have many more navigators who choose not to become one even when they have what it takes, who would serve Y.M. as befits him so that he can become Lord of the Seas because it is important. As far as I am concerned, so long as I have my strength, I refer to a set of instructions and a navigation treatise that I have written with my eyes set on my duty, and such are the navigators I want in those territories who can be found easily using the methods I discovered. A certain person of cold will towards my cause and myself wanted to topple and demolish me and since Columbus’s struggles were immense and more acknowledged than mine, I have commissioned the following memorial to find out if [Y.M.] would be inclined to consider me and my cause with pious eyes and I did not succeed, exactly in the same way as he did not succeed in destroying me or my faith in God and in Y.M. with the very many disfavours he did me.
The persistence of a courageous gentleman such as Christopher Columbus, whose memory should be honoured by erecting a gold statue, for it was on his bones that the Council of the Indies was set up, which in turn created a Patriarch, many Archbishops and Bishops, many church dignitaries and secular persons, Viceroys, Audiences, provincial governors and their necessary ministers, for such great kingdoms and so many peoples that fit in them, with financial returns such as those of Mt. Potosí (as it is said) worth over a thousand million, it must be noted that all these past, present and future riches and greatness, together with others that are there, have come without being seen in such great numbers, were bought by the great Columbus from Madeira Island, where he heard the news from Portuguese navigator Ruy Falero, who was shown those hidden territories by the power of the wind, over a period of eight years and months along 3,000 leagues, when he noticed the first territories he saw (in the same way as I have now) and it will be fair to understand (and also compelling to say) that I went from Perú to the unknown hemisphere, and from the unknown hemisphere to the Philippines, and from the Philippines to the City of Kings to make a proposal on my attempt, and from the City of Kings to Rome, and from Rome I came straight to this Court, and from the Court to the unknown hemisphere, and from there to New Spain, and I went acrossfrom sea to sea, and from there I came here where I am, and can say that I will not leave my cause aside for a day and that my persistence has clocked up sixteen years; I have covered 20,000 leagues and in the Indies I have left many things that are not easy to navigate because they are so difficult to acquire.
I request that contradictory detours be judged, as well as the threats, lawsuits, travails, misery, nakedness, justifications, pleading and assisting my King without wavering, together with the rest that I refer to, both the histories and all my petitions, and to a sign that will later be seen, with the importance of some cases, and I say to those who proclaim their most obscure aspirations, times of poverty and of war, that for the same reason I have had more to contend with considering that my demand is clear, that times are peaceful, that Perú is rich and that monies can be counted by the millions, and surplus population can be counted by the thousands, which is everything I need to succeed in my attempt. In order to start his own attempt, Columbus was dispatched from Moguer and his cries from there could almost be heard by the Monarchs, and on the way back he disembarked in Spain after having knocked on all doors, and he was received with love here and dispatched with a large float, many people and all the necessary supplies. Their great estimation is source of immense pride, the greatest reward and lancet of wills. I must confess that when I went and came back via the Northern and Southern seas, I went past seven governments, which is the same as seven kingdoms away from this one, and that I was so badly received here that I can truly say that I have proven my love, for nobody has died so far of such great love.
To Columbus I confess those magnificent and rich Provinces of America, with a reminder that everything that is left of them, which is surrounded and crossed in different parts, must be behind some mountains and valleys, and it seems as though all the gold and silver paid to Spain had never been there. If not, let Spain say how many millions in gold it has in excess and let the Indies say how many of their natives are missing, and I say that those who are about to be pacified or retired have been scalded as a consequence of the mistreatment that they and their neighbours received, and for this reason they do not want to believe us or submit themselves; they would rather die fighting in the same way as those in Chile and other regions do, as Chichimecos have, and [to deal with] some of them it is necessary to send as many of us. This should be duly considered, and if we reduce America to only the good territories or to a reasonably comfortable lifestyle, it will be seen that many of its areas are unpleasant due to excessive heat and humidity, and in some cases [the weather] is extremely cold due to snowfalls and wastelands; there are very large deserts, long sandy spots, many confined mountains, flood plains, marshes, rocky ground, hills and areas where since it rains too much or too little, added to the rest, there is too much worthless and sick land full of mosquitoes and alligators, poisonous herbs and animals, and leaving aside a small number of provinces, I say that if there are four or ten contiguous leagues of good land, in some areas there are between 100 and 500 almost completely underused or wasted [leagues] where many Indians have lived and now live and where there is no space for a Spaniard with four heads of cattle and a plough.
If we leave aside all the above mentioned decreases, there is very little good land left in contrast with America’slarge extension, where the natives are savage and cruel in excess, go completely naked, eat human flesh, snakes, lizards, fleas, use sorcery, and drink in excess, which is the root of enormous evils. Regarding Christianity, that is for priests to comment on because they have taught them. Generally I understand that these shortcomings started way back when [the natives] were disciples of Satan and for this reason it was our obligation to show more care and compassion than we did, an obligation we still have. In short, I say, Sir, that the remaining peoples, even all of them, have shown little faith, and their present condition does not do justice to God, to them and to Y.M. I understand that if they were asked, they would name that the cause, or more precisely the reason they do not mine gold and silver, clothe themselves, become greater or build housing, which many of them do not own.
In other words, what is the purpose of so much work if everything will be seized from their hands. The peoples I discovered are mostly ready and willing, of good size and features; among the whites many of them are very beautiful; they are energetic and courageous, which is just as well to understand that they will become good and pious men. I found most of those that I spoke to and brought were friendly, accepting, pleasant, and above all else truthful, bashful and respectful, which brings in hope that they will gladly receive and perpetuate the Faith if we do our duty. Together with me there were Spaniards and people of other nationalities that have seen the newly discovered parts of the world and all of them said in unison that these peoples are better than those from America, and the lands are the best they have seen. I say so as well on both peoples and territories and if these were not the way they are, large, populated, fertile, healthy, rich and with many comforts to live in them as I have described them, no matter how much I speak for them or persist, I would not be able to persuade the most convenient people to settle there. The following features should be noted.
First, the goodness and the riches of the territoriesI discovered. Second, they have not had a government yet and it is my wish that it becomes established. Third, many natives are alive and they can all be initiated in the one and only Faith, because of their predisposition and our awareness, as well as the recommended means and the zeal displayed by God’s ministers. Fourth, the land and sea have not been exploited yet and I cannot see any other riches that can redeem and replenish Spain but these. Fifth, thank God I am alive, knowledgeable and realistic, and have the same instincts that I have always had to serve this mission that God gave us, at a time in which all these gifts are priceless, even more so after having lived for so many years in spite of being mistreated so much. There are many people who will pass blind judgement and say that the discovery I made is of little importance and that I am worth even less, but I say what a terrible blow of ignorance, or of envy, or from the devil, who is skilled in dealing [calamities] like this. To do strict justice I say, Sir, may we add to my leagues and years another two [men] so that there will be three distinguished navigators – Columbus, [da] Gama and Magellan – if we consider their first trips, and if we add Cortés and Pizarro to the final count of leagues and time, it is more than enough, and if it were necessary to add more to the five, I can easily do it, and if I had received more help, I believe I would have achieved greater feats. With God’s help I aspire to conquer only the hearts. Thus it seems, Sir, that God saved places to be discovered later, the best territories, and even though it was through His help that this truth was unveiled so slowly and He showed it by miracle, I request that whatever I have said in this and other writings be reduced to weight or to numbers and subtract from what Columbus found in the islands he brought news about. I conclude by saying that Columbus made his findings helped by a Queen, a Cardinal, a priest, a Royal Secretary and two brothers whom he shared his workload with, and that his suffering and persistence, his prison and shackles, and the enormous value of what he did and what he wanted for himself with his reward and his end, has all been seen.
What I aspire to, not for myself but for others, is not believed, even less so what I will achieve if I am accepted and stay alive, or what else I will suffer or the ending I will meet. I leave the reward aside because I only expect it from God and I say that it has only escaped the two of us who have pleaded and persevered without judging each other. I would only consider the integrity and the good will of the great Columbus, and how far he reached with his three caravels, and if it were not for my great tenacity or where I went and arrived with three little vessels, and with this I think it has been amply proved that Columbus will be front runner, but I only honour and glorify God who owns everything and I have nothing. I thank His Divine Majesty infinitely, for exactly in the same way he showed us such a magnificent part of the world through Columbus, it was also his great goodness that showed me the way (even though I am unworthy) and speaking fairly [He was] no less great and useful to Y.M.’s good fortune. I only need to know if any of the very many interested parties have prayed a Hail Mary for Columbus’ soul.
If his soldiers and sailors wanted to throw Columbus overboard when he was on his journey, I will remain silent honouring my two mothers, Rome and Spain, on what happened on the journey, both by land and sea, and the causes and who and how many are those that I saw and that I know of, how far the finesse of their actions and wishes has gone and promised, how they feel very little fear, how they complain without cause, and that contradicted what they said in Lima on departure: that the only reward they wanted was to die during that journey, thus achieving the Jubilee that was conceded. However, I suspect (and believe that I am not deluding myself) that they did not want to gain souls but to find heaps of gold, silver and pearls on the beaches, without realising that these and other riches are to be found in the bowels of the Earth and sea, that Seville was not built in a day, let alone México and Lima or the mills that mines have in their provinces, or that those Indians were not going to learn our language in two days or guess the attempts, or how much is read in Paris, nor would they receive what God gave them in three days including freedom, nor would it be possible in four days to appear in Spain with all the wealth they had dreamt of. All this would require space and rolling up their sleeves, for the sane were not awarded their gains with any less than what is needed to start Kingdoms. They wanted to be the great lords of all the discoveries, or second in government and first in all the maritime and military outposts, without considering that each deserving man can be given only one and they are not for those who ignore them and take them for granted.
They expected to find a large provision every fifty leagues, with set tables, and after sitting at them they would promise themselvesto rule the world, which is only a necessary servant for all of us, and if it cost one day of hard work without water – I leave dangers aside – it is astonishing to see the lack of spirits and the very little love for the mission. [They do not want] either heaven, or honour, or advantage, or fame; they only want many othersto work for them while they have a holiday because of their eagernessto avoid bitter efforts for others (even for their children) in months and years. Lives are very short and come to an end – no matter how artfully – and those who understand this still suffer when they could do the exact opposite so as not to allow the most immense rigours to stop them, but for this and other reasons I cannot but say that those who are unable to take much suffering do not know much at all and that those who are knowledgeable are aware that they must do their duty.
Those who succumb to passions do not know much either, even less so if they become excited for no reason at all and are intent on revenge with or without cause, not to mention those who did not make themselves useful for a single day in the whole journey, and there were those who were not useful for a single hour. It was embarrassing to see those who had the barest minimum sense of duty, the most malcontent, who could not be trusted for a moment but through their trickery they stole a march on others and were still paid for the day. I paid them; these are truths and there is more that I keep my counsel on. They have said that they rendered greatservices to God and to Y.M. and that they have honoured and favoured me, who had to suffer for their actions when that could have been avoided, and benefitted them as much as I could, treating them like brothers. I leave aside all the ingratitude that I experienced there, for I do not know what sort of wrong the ungrateful may do and I ask them to point out the disorder I created, or the advice they gave me, or what sort of aggravations or violence I exerted upon them, or how much due diligence and finenessthey were so zealous about, or what evidence they can show against me in this and other cases, so that they can be believed against me, whose intentions are well proved, nor would I believe that such men existed if there was not so much proof, but it could well be that it was convenient to send them on that trip.
For this reason it is recommended to carefully consider who can be taken there. Even though many of them are deceitful – they are those that Satan takes on similar journeys with him to reap what he sows – I advise that I took certain men only to do the right thing, whom I found and felt for their honour and lives, and did what others would not have done, and it was said that all of them were at risk. I argue that if mercy for the account and reasons I had deserves enormous punishment, I am here, ready to receive it, and to remember how good it has been and will be to build upon mercy. All this will be easy to understand in order to judge a man that does his best to make everybody under his authority happy, even though he may feel devastated and struggle to achieve it with great effort. I also say that if those in government would allow those who want to live an unbridled life to do so, what would become of those who have always been good, and if the former are stopped in their tracks, I will become the villain. If Diogenes did not find a wise, prudent, courageous, stoic and persevering man, it is not surprising that I have not found the very many that I looked for carefully, especially an honest thinker, nor is it a mean feat that some of those who participated in the journey would guide (as they did) all my new aspirations to conclude this mission in such a way that the lesser of my losses would be that of the judgement I do not have.
If that were the case for other missions, apart from this one, I would have already lost it; I do not mean only my sound judgement, but had I been hurt as well, I would have been dead for a long time already, and it is dead that I look good in the eyes of those who know that whoever does not feel cannot love, and whoever loves great and honourable deeds and sees their ruin has a strong obligation to feel all this proportionately and a man who is capable of loving will suffer, dissimulate and repair even more and as many times as it was offered here and there with such zealous care every time; let us hope that all the greatness that he works on does not come to an end, or at least does not become entangled and delayed. This, Sir, is in my name and others’: I say that I do not know of any way to force wills, even more so considering that the most certain fact about the human condition is that it is changeable. It must be believed that since I did not want to give up on my persistence, I suffered companies that only soul and body could keep. It is also fair to understand that there are people who came from the journey who regret not having had more travails so that they could prove their courage, as well as how they could become hardened and admired and again they are being challenged and despised while they love danger and death in the service of their God, their King, their homeland and for the benefit of the peoples from those countries, whom this mission is dedicated to, so that they could truly say that they were born for a purpose, not only to appear exhausted after such a joyous and happy trip as the one they are coming from.
Everything that has been repeated here is for the purpose of defending my cause and my part, for I find myself forced to do the impossible and to say that I am alone and highly contradicted by people who should help me, and ask what is it that I should have discovered so that a small sum of money is spent at once, hoping that for each real spent there would be a one‐thousand soul profit, and God will give these two thousand men and women as reward, or is it that by doing more than what was done at once so that my actions seem reasonable to those that bite them, for I have done as much as I say I have and have served without pay, and so far without profit, and it will not be found that I never flaunted it but that I have made the most concerted effort I was capable of, and that I give as much as God has given me to free all the territories and peoples I discovered from oblivion and from present and future danger, as well as those about to be discovered, as shown in my writings, my petitions, my assistance, my persistence and my patience (even though this is not to anybody’s liking), when there should have been an ending to those occasions that resent me and make me complain, for I can see that I am more likely to be killed than dispatched. I ask those who belittle my work to show their great actions, and to those that say I am in the wrong, to teach me how to do the right thing, since this is what I pursue.
To those who doubt my attempt: if you want to show your zeal, come with me, all of you, that I offer myself to point millions of lost people from centuries ago to you, who are expecting God’s mercy for all of them. That is what really mattersto them, not the words I hear, and if what I said is not of your liking, graciously accept from me all the profits you say I made, at the cost the job was done, adding six months of sickness without medical attention on top of the journey’s eleven months, sometimes up and about and sometimes bedridden, in the wrong care, deprived of the basics and in excessive pain. Added together, I experienced twenty‐ two life risks, leaving aside the usual ones, as well as those experienced by my friends. Otherwise take what is left over at its minimum price, for after confession I offer it myself. In order to err, all it takes is someone’s wish, and to believe what I believe, that having fought for this cause so well, I despair immensely, study deeply and want to learn, but do not know three quarters of it. Sir, so many necessary things may come together (as they do) and I may lack so many of them (as I do) that all my best efforts on a continuous basis will not be enough to lay a small rock for this marvellous building, and there could be so many arguments and counter‐argumentsthat will not allow me to move forward, as it has been happening for a while, or mow me down to the ground and render me unable to stand up again, unless this, together with the rest, is what will hurt less in payment for the good faith which I have worked in and offer to work in for this pious and holy cause.
I beg Y.M. not to let me and this cause become less fortunate than Columbus and his cause, since mine is no less important, nor is the love and the cost involved in saving it from oblivion with God’s help. I ask how much is a Columbus worth and I also want to know the reason, or is it that my cause stands to lose because of me, or do I stand to lose because of it? Alexander and Ulysses, the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians and the Romans, as well as all the others that in past times deserved laurels, triumph, monuments and to have their names eternally remembered on roads, I understand they did not go beyond the Ganges in India to the East, or Hibernia to the West, or Tanais to the North, or Meroe Island on the Nile in the centre. I can excuse the goals they aimed at and their different causes and forces and I say that I can see myself walking all over Spain and Italy on my own, supporting myself with a cane, following my desires and eating mainly unripe wild fruit, fennel and other country herbs, many times without finding them either here or elsewhere. The cause will have neither a beginning nor a valid end, and with so many difficulties encountered after each step that it seems unbelievable that I persevered and triumphed (thank God). I shall not discuss the three yearsin this court, where I stepped in without a single maravedí, forced to sustain this great cause and to estimate how much it costs me and the hardships I endured and still endure for not abandoning it. I say, Sir, that I bear witness to God’s power in the same way I experienced it, as well as of Y.M.’s zeal for the souls of all those peoples, for only on their conversion does Y.M. spend his revenue.
I am aware of how much it damages the world to believe that those in government are interested, passionate, trustworthy and inclined, and I am aware of many wills since my demand is their great discoverer. I remember that when I requested the Church’s help in Rome, I said that I would justify both my cause and my part, and that by not denying the truth to me, my demand would not be denied. I was asked to give an example and I replied asking them to point out who else did what I did, and if it were now I offer Y.M. kingdoms, riches and glory; I point out the justified manners and means of the value that all sound; I give means, warnings and advice that are worth millions in gold, without one or the other, not even if I gave my life would I request anything for me but for the greater good of this cause that has always been only one: the obligation to help me for three reasons, my truth, importance and honesty to serve. This has always been my justice, Sir; I have always been pleading in its favour for three years; this much should be given to me, this is what I expect to receive from Y.M. as soon as possible to continue my services. Please note, Y.M., that you are worth everything you could have gained in this mission, which is a lot, and that the mission and those peoples are owed all the benefits they have lost, and I am owed everything I could have done, which is priceless, and the more I am held back, the more I will be owed, and that everything will be paid to me and to the peoples who should be benefitted. I also remember that when I found myself in need in Rome, I asked His Holiness Clement VIII’s permission to read him a document; he listened and asked me what I wanted; I replied that I wanted one of three things.
First, that I wanted him to hear about my cause the way I wanted to present it, to learn its value. Second, that I wanted to be believed in all I said and requested. Third, that if he did not want either the former or the latter, that I should be sent away, and right then and there he conceded me all I asked for. Again, with all my heart I ask Y.M. to consider everything I have outlined and promised in this memorial so that this mission gets under way and is saved from such enormous evils and damages that threaten it as I can see, evils that are now plaguing the Indies for lack of a good start. Sir, in this good start that I request for such a remote part of the world I remind you that if there are errors, there is no other where we can get it right and that regrets have no place afterwards, but it is all about the remedy right now, and this remedy lies with the favours that Y.M. does to the mission and to me, that is, to arrange all the necessary dispatches to my satisfaction so that the Viceroy of Perú will give me whatever I need for such an enterprise. I remind Y.M. that my satisfaction lies in securing this mission in all its benefits and for this to occur it is convenient for Y.M. to be so kind as to instruct the Viceroy to spend 500,000 ducats from the City of Kings’ coffers without excuse or delay, and to give me 1,000 men, as many married men as possible, and enough ships to take them, with supplies, weapons, ammunition, respect, ransoms and whatever else is necessary for a proper dispatch, each item expressed in your royal letters patent as clearly and firmly as possible so that the Viceroy understands Y.M.’s determination not to exceed the above mentioned sum. [The letter]should also mention why I go and what for, in other words, Y.M. will grant me a title (that I cannot do without) and instructions on what I am to do, and a letter that addresses all his ministers so that they help me and not hinder me, nor do they hinder the people that volunteer along the way and in Lima, and another letter so that in the event of my death I can appoint the most convenient person for the role, as well as 80 known clergymen and laymen that Y.M. allows me to take from Spain to my satisfaction for no other reason than Y.M.’s esteem for the cause, and for my goodwill Y.M. should grant this favour to [the mission] and to me, even more so because in order to go to Japan and to other areas in the Indies, clergymen were sent in droves, as well as whole armies were sent to the Philippines, and since the Southern Hemisphere is so large and there are so many needs, for it lacks all kind of benefits. Considering how expensive it is to start great enterprises with little strength and even less organisation, I offer my help to take these people and 3,000 ducats from the 6,000 that Y.M. has granted me for my expenses.
I would offer the remaining 3,000 were it not that I need them to pay part of my debts, but should Y.M. ask, I will give them. The people I request are the following: six priests; one of them is Mancio de Ureña, Canon and Treasurer of the Holy Church of Astorga; twelve Spanish Capuchins whom I received 102 lettersfrom and who are learned men, and even if they were not, it is now far more important to teach the natives by example than knowledge, but knowledge and virtue are always necessary. I want their help because of the fervour I see in them and the devotion I have towards St. Francis’ Order, and because they will give strength to our people. I am aware of the movement in the Dominican Order and Fr. Bernardino stands firm in his good purposes as does Fr. Andrés de Almeyda. I request Y.M.’s permission to take them with me, for I need them for great feats.
Two brothersfrom John of God; six war and sea captains that have offered themselves and six standard bearers; twelve good business experts to allocate tasks and to secure Y.M.’s share. Arquebus masters, blacksmiths, quarrymen, labourers, carpenters, oakum experts, grippers, riggers, coopers, dispensers, pot makers, a smelter, an architect, a painter, a sculptor, a silversmith, a mathematician to observe, describe and teach, an engineer, a physician, a surgeon, a pharmacist and all the many other trades that cannot be disregarded for the creation of a new world. It must be noted that all these people will be within the allowable numbers and that it would be more difficult to take the ten from Perú because it is not certain there would be any there than to take the 80 from here, which is as important as it sounds and as it is to take soldiers for whatever they are needed. It must be noted as well that they should not cost more than the allocated funds, as I have shown with the iron management and in those that follow below. I remind Y.M. that in the main dispatch it is necessary to support and preserve the mission by sending a large consignment of hardtack, flour, wine, oil, vinegar and other products to sustain people.
For return trips, new ships will be necessary to send back the old ones, [and the former require] a consignment of sails, riggings, caulk, lard, oakum, pitch apple, sets of pins, wicks, lead sheets, anchors, small anchors and achote resin for lamps. In order to train soldiers it is necessary to take a large batch of grogram, embroidery canvas, Rouen linen, or shirts, hats, rope‐soled sandals, swords, knives, tomahawks and machetes to tear vegetation down and to open up trails when marching. For the church it will be necessary to take an image of the Saviour, another of the Virgin Mary, a canopy, a pallium, a custody, chalices, ornaments, sculpted wax, bells, taffeta straps or embossed leather, organs and music with other items used in divine worship, its decency and authority to attract the Indians, as well as religious attire. It will be necessary to take a large batch of dresses, taffetas and coloured cotton clothes, cloth caps, footwear, mirrors, combs, scissors, knives, small bells, horns, ornamental necklaces and other eye‐pleasing glass items, and other exchangeable items to please male and female Indians and to rescue valuable items from them, as well as their food. It will be necessary to take a large stock of iron and steel to carve and to hold all tools from all kinds of factories, to work the land, plants and mines, and take a few ready made ones to use later. Four copper instruments with their ranges will be necessary, as well as iron ovens to extract freshwater from saltwater at sea and to extract palm wine on land, as well as for other uses. Pots, cauldrons for sugar and indigo, saucepans, frying pans, funnels to obtain a water supply, baking ovens to cover shortages and for sick people, as well as other copper pieces that come in handy when navigation is resumed. Artillery will be necessary for the fortress, versesto discover, muskets, arquebuses, gunpowder, lead, ropes, pike iron, bucklers and other weapons, and a good medicine chest.
I remind Y.M. that by purchasing the goods that will travel from Spain to Perú to continue the journey with the funds that Y.M. allows for expenses, and by purchasing all the necessary earth products for the trip in Trujillo, Saña, Ica, Sierra Valleys, and in other areas, it will be possible to save over 100,000 ducats according to best of my estimates, and with only 15,000 it will be possible to take all the people I request from here, hence ensuring that the mission is well organised and secured from beginning to end. Sir, all the batches mentioned before, that is, those for the main dispatch as well as the spares, the ships and their riggings, people’s wages, plus all the items I will take from Lima, which would be too long to enumerate, will not cost more than a one‐off disbursement of 500,000 ducats spent both here and there, of which I will not touch a single maravedí, ensuring that I supervise the pricing and the articles so that the dispatch is to my entire satisfaction.
I am happy to undertake this task to better serve Y.M. and so that the Viceroy will not be inconvenienced. You must believe that I want to take good people, good ships, good supplies, good weapons, good rations, good protection. I want to set sail on time and to bring good fortunes to God and Y.M. within my possibilities. I note that when I went on my discovery trip, it cost 184,000 ducats and I took 130 people; this time I offer to take 1,000 men, the married men’sfamilies and adventurers with the above mentioned 500,000 ducats. It must also be believed that I bear Y.M.’s finances in mind and that I proved it by declining to receive a salary and I do not ask for payment now, and that I will zealously guard the spiritual and temporal possessions of those peoples along the way. I have persisted for I do not feel pity for myself. Instead, it is my intention that the mission will not perish. For all this I beg Y.M. again to do me the favour I request,since it is convenient and unavoidable and my spirit is that of succeeding in this immense service to God and Y.M. I finally say, Sir, that if millions of greatly valuable persons have died while pursuing minimal ventures, that it is not much, that I am worth nothing, I spent my life suffering and persisting to bring the greatest of all missions to life and out of danger. I will die for it or in it. I offered it, Sir, many years ago, without taking heed of why or when, or how or at which stage it will be. Everything will be as Y.M. commands it. Everything boils down to actions.