State Library of NSW
Memorial 2 - Señor : el capitan Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, digo : que para descubrir la parte incognita del Sur …
Second in the series of fourteen known Quirós' presentation memorials. It describes his 1605-1606 expedition in search of Terra Australis, gives a short description of his discoveries and sets forth requirements to form a settlement in the new land. 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.
My Lord I, Captain Pedro Fernández de Quiy explorationós, say: that in order to discover the unknown Southern hemisphere, as ordered by Y. Majesty, I set sail from Callao, the City of Kings’ port, on the day of St. Tome Apostle, December 21st, 1605, with two ships (150 and 120 tonnes), a landing craft, 130 people for all trades and another 22 without pay, and 6 monks from the Order of St. Francis. On October 9th, 1607, I arrived at this Court, and on December 14th, I submitted a memorial to Y. Majesty about the same trip requesting from Y. Majesty a new hasty dispatch to continue with the mission to be served to the Count of Lemos and Andrada, President of the Royal Council of the Indies. The Council appointed Francisco de Tejada as commissioner, Judge from said Council, who after listening to me carefully, instructed me to write the following summary. The substance of what I discovered consists of three parts of land with high mountain ranges, which are understood to be part of one great land mass, where we found a harbour that was twenty leagueslong from head to head, with a good port and two rivers. One of them was considered to be as big as the Guadalquivir in Seville, and we had news that there is a larger river nearby. The harbour was named San Filipe (St. Philip) and Santiago (James), because it was discovered on his day. The port was called Veracruz, for it was on that day that the ships sailed in. The whole land mass was called Australia of the Holy Spirit because that was the day it was taken possession of, under the Royal Standard whose edicts I have with me. We stayed here for thirty‐six days. We found several good supplies, and very good roots of three kinds which are eaten as very nutritious bread, many pigs, hens, wood pigeons and other birds, many coconuts, bananas, sweet canes,
and two different kinds of almond, lots of earth nuts, oranges, obos, very good large and sundry other fruits. The fish are soles, red mullets, kingfish, mullets, dogfish, pargos, other species and good waters. The people from this harbour are dark‐skinned, and before we sailed in, in the same land and nearby we saw other whiter Indians, and both groups are Gentile. A common characteristic is their large body structure; all of them cover their private parts and do not eat human flesh. Judging by the large number of bonfires and smoke that could be seen all around, we believe there are many people who are partial and not very friendly with one another. Their weapons are bows and arrows, truncheons and darts, all of them made of hard timbers; we believe there is no grass. Houses have two‐slope roofs, are constructed on timber boards and covered excessively with palm leaves, and this is where they have their meals. We did not see many towns, but we did see houses here and there. There are several fenced farms. The soil is black and soft as bread. They use earthenware pots. They have small looms and plenty of fishing nets. They castrate pigs and chicken. They trap birds, which they have in abundance, and many of them are songbirds. They carve granite and ebony, an indication that the outskirts are large extensions of land and of people policing the vicinity. They do not use large ships, which lead us to understand that is the reason why they do not need to resort to other lands. There are neither mosquitoes nor caymans, and poisonous bugs were not spotted. We saw small dogs like ours and learned about the existence of larger ones, as well as of a larger kind of cat, and of the existence of cows and buffalos. There are many nutmegs, which is a valued spice, and their pulp is valuable to make sugar. It is possible to make silk with the leaves of a tree called obo. Silver has also been spotted, though not in large amounts. It is said there are many metals. This is a land where industries can prosper because there are good spaces and many people, and it is feasible to hire from Chile, Perú, Panamá, New Spain and the Philippines. As far as I can see, I may reasonably say that such gentle, healthy and fertile soil will bear fruit. There is a range of large stones and timbers to found a very large city by the sea, by the port and by a river, on a plain and near mountain ranges and ravines, well designed to breed, plant and sow everything produced in Europe and the Indies. Judging by the disposition mentioned before, there is no livelier or more open port, with all the requisites to be considered as such, without any known disadvantage, with good space for a shipyard and deep enough to launch many ships in different directions, near a forest full of strong timbersfor curved ribs, breast hooks, high and thick masts, straight trees for planks and masts, and poles. There is no land that by itself can later sustain so many people so generously – if what has been written is considered – or has everything that this land has so close together at hand, in front of a port and so close to seven populated islands that cover two hundred leagues of apparently the same quality, or has such large and good signs to be searched for and found, without hollow spots or other accidents, almost half way to known populated islands and an apt port of call. I have not seen any in my voyages or had any such news. This land is 1,700 leagues away from the City of Kings, 1,300 from Acapulco and 1,100 from the Philippines. Its height is between 15 and 17 degrees, and we may expect twice as much at 20, 30 and 40 degrees. I say that even if it is no better than what has been seen, it mainly is worth populating; otherwise it would be impossible to discover the remaining territories, or gain any insight into so many varied things. Without considering the above mentioned territories,sixteen other islands were discovered at 10, 12, 13 and 14 degrees, and at different distances. Five of them are populated and it is assumed that another four we could not sail to are populated as well. The remaining seven are desert islands, and the first one was discovered from El Callao after thirty‐six days of navigation. 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 land 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 five‐thousand league long territory at eighty 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 a lot to be said and noted, and we can find out there.
It should be mentioned that experience has shown that in low‐lying areas – both in the North and South – abound all kinds of riches, 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. In His secret judgment, I suppose that God has shown us so many good lands in order to speak, to do and to venture into, and that in Perú there is an excess of men and this is a very good opportunity for them. In many places, there are many great soldiers, and they are people who can sustain themselves on very little and can make use of very much. There are also many ships equipped with what is necessary for sailing, and there are many good supplies from different sources whose durability I have experimented. The weather, the wind and the journey from El Callao to those lands is known to us, and for this reason I say (always from the best point of view on everything) that at present it is convenient to organise this journey from the City of Kings and nowhere else, because its port is two leagues long – greatly convenient for what is required – and the most that can be offered at the time of dispatch. After this is understood, Sir, the first thing that has to be done is to raise a thousand men because there is plenty to assign them to, plenty to sustain them with and plenty to accommodate them in. Many of them should be married and all of them will go without earning a wage, with the sole exception of sailors, who will receive pay for eight or more months. A hundred sailors that will remain on land will be paid for a year and there will also be ship carpenters and caulkers. Ships will be needed to take these one thousand men with enough supplies for a year, increasing the need of hardtack and flour for longer. Two small boats to lead the way at nighttime whenever necessary, and after reaching port they may be sent out to make discoveries. Some artillery, a few muskets and several reinforced arquebuses with gunpowder for two or three years, and as much rope as necessary for a year, for there is plenty that can be used to make more over there. Also, some spears, spiked sticks and a few round shields, because it is possible to make more over there. Many one‐hand axes, butcher knives and mountain machetes, plus hats, screens (mosquito nets) and rope‐soled sandals for the soldiers. A large amount of iron planks and every kind of tool for factories, plants, sown fields and mines; sets of nails, oakum, tar and sails to build two large ships later and load them with everything the earth offers, later to be sent to Lima and to Mexico for the purpose of building other ships and brigs to start the transport. Some cattle and thoroughbred stock. Two mills or stills in case it becomes necessary to desalinate seawater in the way I have already done it. On land they will serve the purpose of extracting wine out of palms, and they can also be used to make salt if need be. Two copper ovens and other implements made of this metal, and more iron for ordinary service. Vests, underpants and taffeta skirts in the colours of China. Bells, necklaces and other garmentsto wear and to please the Indians, as well as for bartering with them. Twelve or more discalced monks from the Order of St Francis, four of them well learned in church wardrobe and ornaments, and four small bells. A doctor and two surgeons so that one of them can go to what is on offer, pharmacy medications and John of God brothers to cure the sick and to start hospitals. Y.Majesty’sroyal letters patents to perform all the above mentioned must be very clear, strongly worded and unlimited, for whatever else that can be offered for a good dispatch. There must be other patents addressed to all the ministers in Y. Majesty’s government, justice and war, both on land and at sea, from East to West, both for coming and going, and for other events that may occur in this mission. They should stipulate punishments to pay for all the damages befalling due to delays or other causes, be it in the service of God, Your Majesty, Royal and private assets, plus everything that is my part and right. They should state a manner and form on how the punishment should be executed. They should be free and respond to this Royal Council, and should include other points to protect me against the dangers I have run so many times on the good service of Y. Majesty, because none of them have been greater or more ordinary. Once the service of God has been done, and that the ships and people have arrived at that St. Philip and Santiago (St. James) Harbour, later on and always with mature counsel in every respect, a square and strong house will be built, surrounded by a fence, by one of the two rivers, so that people can take shelter in it. The necessary supplies should be available for sustenance. A large area should be sown with corn and rice, and many other of our pulses, seeds and roots, which are very good. Burning such sown area should not be allowed, nor pruned with the same ease as the others. For this purpose, there is excellent cleared land near the Indians’ own. We will rescue as many pigs as possible and breed them on our own. Then we will use very soft and diligent methods over and over again to secure the Indians’ friendship – in the first place that of their leaders – and once they are happy, and having experienced fair, faithful and lasting treatment from us,
impressing upon them that it is a serious crime to slay one of us, I am certain that we will achieve what we aspire to and desire: to attract them to the knowledge of God, and to obey the Holy See and Y. Majesty. Other important matters: to feel the pulse of the seasons, to soak the earth through, to unravel its secrets and greatnesses, to understand the inhabitants’ way of life, to tour the coasts and the nearby islands from East to West. After having achieved a deep understanding and relationship, using the news given by the Indians as well as the current state and form of government, all the samples that can be searched for and found with diligence, and one of those natives, different notices will be sent at different times to Lima and Mexico, so that Y. Majesty remains fully informed and can order to remove or add whatever is convenient, so that this mission can be continued and finished in such a way that the present becomes magnificent and that the future can be expected to be substantially better. I remind Y.M. that the most insignificant things were discovered little by little, that this factory is very big, and that nothing can be built all at once, and that what will be done over there cannot be dictated from here if everything is under control. Supposing that the service to God has been done, should this mission achieves the state described before, and should there be a just manner – though this cannot be stated in the present – for how much these people could or should contribute to our people as fief for all the due obligations on our part towards them, it seems that such benefits will befell later than expected without this means. In each of the cities to be founded, it is possible to divide revenue and lands in such a way that God Our Lord and Lord of everything receives the largest share. What I mean is that in the present and the future there will be churches, convents, hospitals, widows, orphans and maidens to marry off, poor inhabitants to sustain, many other needs to meet and many affairs to direct, help, preserve and increase – in other words, the fourteen works of mercy. It can be of great help owed to the natives if we looked for the most effective way to help them leave behind the blindness they live in, without the divine light of the Holy Gospel, so as to make sure that entering such a sea of compassion does not drown them and they can navigate it smoothly and prosperously until they surge into such a life and death that the Church prays for them, and Y.M. is honoured and glorified for what was done, and the way they will assure their temporal part in such a manner as it has never been theirs, and for which they were speedily taught how to work and for us not to stay idle, nor can it later be said that we are trying to make someone tired in order to rest ourselves, and to make sure that they will not die of sadness or mistreatment, nor of the haste that our greed can give them. In short, how to hastily become second Spaniards in all policy related matters and in the enjoyment of another thousand advantages. It can be made public that all the people who want to go and become deserving of that population by being honourable, and to make use of their consciousness and mine securely, since I am the one who persuades and considering that this will be the basis of such a mission, I limit myself to what I can say or write. It can be made public that in order to make Y.M. a greater lord there and to make use of his Royal monies in such a way that Y.M. will never have to pay a salary to any of his ministers, nor to anyone in the Republic, to facilitate agreement I finally say that I would like three different occurrences, as follows: shutting the doors completely to idleness and being rigorous against it (in the same way as there will be openness and frankness to virtue) with great prizes, in the same way as works of charity will be abundant and performed with fervour. The City of Kings and Mexico should be looked at with great attention. Both of them are said to have more than 150,000 inhabitants including the natives. It should be noted that these natives could be called outsiders and that the ten or twenty‐thousand Spaniards are rich and have secured a good or at least reasonable standard of living. Then, those 130,000 (or as many as they were) should be considered. They have neither a leg to stand on nor guidance. One should rightly wonder on whose account are the dangers that so many people run, without any assets, controls or moderating influences, to whose faults do the ones go while the others rush. They are a force to be stopped, or else it will crash against a hard wall, either today or tomorrow, and this, either in a dissolute life, or in a life at fault, or in a sick life, where everybody runs the risk of losing either their soul, or their insight, or of earning their suffering, or of dying of pure hardship, or if such hardship damagestheir health, added to all these damages that disfigure a Republic, born from disorder, with the possibility of there being less damages and more benefits when we seek to do good by means of good order. 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 increase so long as he becomes the ruler of more well acquired and governed peoples sustained in peace and justice. I note that those who know well say that the decline in the Western Indies stemmed mostly from the fact that the system of granting land and native inhabitants to a settler was discontinued, and that such settlers took 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 the potential fortunes would be assured, and the warning that if Indians are wanted, there are no monies; that there are no Indians for ten years and that silver and gold are not the worst losses, for there have been innumerable others, that those existing today are priceless and that the future can only be remedied by God.
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) and that 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 on the granting of land and natives to individual settlers, all the while preventing their owners 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 a way that later it may be said that such a great part of the world was acquired for such a small price, securing both the spiritual and temporal good, as many as there are and can be in this mission, on which there is so much to say, to consider and to organise, rather than otherwise. Without much objection, it should be said that this mission will not exist with all that has not been believed in or helped for so many years and that Our Lord, to whom we owe our thanks, removed it from Satan’s claws. For all of that, and with the utmost humility and trust, I beg Y.M. to organise my dispatch to sail in the first galleons, and to hasten the settlement of such great and worthy territoriesthat Y.M. sent me to discover. I remind Y.M. that lives are short and that time flies, that much can be lost in riches, and that a loyal, faithful, truthful and diligent man who understands what I request is highly worthy and cannot be found every day, is even more worthy if he has nothing to hide, loves the mission, and can suffer, persist and seek justice. There is a handwritten note on the left margin of the page: "(...) and of service of the relationship of the new discovery and things that the ( ...)for its population."