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what would seem the desperate ex- seemed to claim those of a person who periment of carrying him, thus ren- had also the rights of a conqueror. At dered incapable of resistance, to the no time, however, did he assert claims Spanish settlement; he was sent a pri. inconsistent with the obedience he soner to Spain, but did not survive to owed to the sovereigas in whose name reach Europe. One account states he acted. the vessel in which he sailed to have The natives, oppressed by exactions been lost; another ascribes his death of which they saw no end, finding the to illness, brought on by grief at his Spaniards determined to remain perhumiliation :
manently, in their turn devised plans
to get rid of them. Violence would "Never, perhaps, were little skirmishes, not do. They thought by not cultifor such they were on the part of the Span- vating the land to starve them out. iards, of greater permanent importance than The desperate remedy failed, or rather those above narrated, which took place in the
the evil fell chiefly on the poor natives early part of the year 1495. They must be
themselves, who died everywhere in looked upon as the origin in the Indies of
thousands. The Spaniards, though slavery, vassalage, and the system of repartimientos. We have seen that the Admiral,
great sufferers, did not depend exclu. after his first victory, sent off four ships with
sively on the produce of the country; slaves to Spain. He now took occasion to they had supplies from Europe. impose a tribute upon the whole population The complaints against Columbus of Hispaniola. It was thus arranged. Every brought a commissioner from Spain to Indian above fourteen years old, who was in investigate them ; evidence from every the provinces of the mines, or near to these quarter was sought and found. The provinces, was to pay every three months a
stones," says Herrera,“rose up against little bell-ful of gold; all other persons in him and his brothers.” Columbus the island were to pay at the same time an
thought he had no choice but that of arroba of cotton for each person. Certain brass or copper tokens were made different returning to Spain, to repel whatever ones for each tribute time and were given
accusations might be urged against to the Indians when they paid tribute; and
him. He and the royal commissioner these tokens, being worn about their necks,
returned at the same time, but not in were to show who had paid tribute. A re
the same vessel. Columbus, whatever markable proposal was made upon this occa- the enmity against him, seems at all sion to the Admiral by Guarionex, Cacique times to have had the opportunity of of the Vega Real, namely, that he would in- personal communication with the sovestitute a huge farm for the growth of corn reigns, and he again triumphed over all and manufacture of bread, stretching from opposition. He obtained the means of Isabella to St. Domingo (i.e., from sea to
sending vessels to the colony with such sea), which would suffice to maintain all
things as it required, but was unable Castile with bread. The Cacique would do this on condition that his vassals were not
himself to leave Spain for a period of to pay tribute in gold, as they did not know
two years. how to collect that. But this proposal was
Columbus must be judged of, not not accepted, because Columbus wished to with reference to the feelings of our day, have tribute in such things as he could send but to those of his own, when we have over to Spain."-pp. 145, 146.
to speak of him and the slave-trade,
or of him and his dealings with bis Columbus found himself compelled colony. In early life he was in the to modify the tributo which he exacted crew of more than one of the Portufrom the Indians; and, in 1496, ser- guese voyages along the coast of vice was, occasionally at least, sub- Africa; and the rightfulness of a stituted for it. A farm would be given traffic with which all men were famito a Spaniard to be worked by a Ca- liar, it did not occur to him to dispute. cique and his people.
The ministers under whose advice the The admiral had power to grant re- sovereigns of Castile and Arragon act. partimientos of lands in the Indies to
ed, took higher views, as was natural, Spaniards. In the patent giving this of the relations of the parent country power, no mention was made of In- to its colonies, than even the best of dians; and some legal doubt arose on their colonial servants. The state the way in which his grants were, after papers of Ferdinand and Isabella this war with the natives, often made. often express just indignation at the Columbus, in addition to such rights way in which their Indian subjects as his commission from Spain gave, for so they regarded the natives
of the newly-discovered lands — were pelled to protect even the admitted treated. Compassion for them, in all criminal, by affording to him all such probability, was the principal cause of shelter as these forms give. Thus, their now yielding to two measures, without either being in fault, we may said to be proposed by Columbus, who suppose continuing discord' between could not do without labourers, and Governor and Chief Justice, and each who, could he get the work of the co- appealing in vain to the parent coun. lony done, was, probably, indifferent try, which is unable or unwilling to who the labourers might be. One determine between them. Roldan, was, authorising the transportation of the chief justice, thought Bartholo convicted criminals to the Indies; the mew's proceedings illegal; and Bar. other, allowing criminals, unconvicted, tholomew thought Roldan factious. to go to the Indies, at their own ex- Meanwhile Columbus returns. We pense, and serve, for a fixed period, wish we could pursue his third voyage, under the Governor's orders.
in which he discovers Paria, on the During Columbus's absence, the co- continent of America ; but we must lony was governed by his brother Bar. hasten with him to Hispaniola. Other tholomew, and wild work went on. work than that of discovery is before War with the Indians was carried on. him now. He finds resistance is made In this the Spaniards were always suc- to paying tribute, which, it would apcessful. It was admitted by all jurists, pear, is now demanded over the whole that captives taken in lawful war might island, and he sends home the ships be made slaves; and, at times when with which he had last come, loaded the colony produced nothing else, with slaves, captives taken in resisting shiploads of slaves were sent to Eu. those demands. Roldan and he are rope to be sold. What, perhaps, was
now at peace:
“ Roldan kept his more severely felt was, that on the chief-justiceship, and his friends reconquered districts a tribute was im- ceived lands and slaves." They reposed—a personal tax on every one ceived lands, and caciques with between eighteen and forty years of their people to work them, and, in ad. age, and, in addition to this, a tax on dition, slaves, the prisoners of war. the land itself. The precise grounds
Others of Roldan's party, who preof right on which the conquerors
ferred returning to Spain, were given placed their demand are not, in all slaves some one, some two, some cases, easily ascertained; but it would three. It is not recorded that Roldan appear that Columbus's deputy, in made any legal objections to this ar. some instances, proceeded by demande rangement. When the Indians, how. ing tribute from a district with which ever, arrived in Spain, they were or. he had no previous relation. If paid, his dered by the Queen of Castile to be object was attained ; if not paid, he at once sent back. Columbus had no declared war; and in addition to the right to dispose of her slaves. She tribute, his victory gave him as slaves seems to have felt righteous indigna. all such prisoners as he could succeed tion at the whole transaction. in making. That the country should It is not unlikely that this incident rise in
not surprising. led to Columbus's being deprived of But that the Spaniards should say a the administration of the colony. ACword against it, did astonish the cusations numberless were made against Adelantado_thus was the Governor's him—the unanswerable one that he deputy styled. There were those was an Italian, not a Spaniard, being, among the Spaniards, however, who did perhaps, at the root of all. That speak against this manner of proceed- gentlemen should work for their bread, ing; and of those, one was the Chief and that they should be satisfied with Justice of the colony. Even in modern half rations in a time of distress—that colonies something of this kind will now they should be whipped like common and then occur. Governors and chief fellows when they stole wheat ;-this justices, each with the very best in. was intolerable, still we think he might tentions, will squabble. The Go- have got over it. His wars with the vernor will seek to do what he deems Indians were more against him. They right, with military dispatch, disre. were entered into, it was said, for the garding all forms of law; the magis. purpose of making and selling slaves. trate, if he have any true sense of He was said also, but this seems a what is due to justice, will be com- calumny, to leave Indians unbaptised,
" because he desired slaves rather than dearly-purchased gold, and sent us to Christians.' Bovadilla, the new go- Spain in chains, without trial, crime, vernor, on his arrival, threw Columbus or shadow of misconduct ? These and his brother into chains, and sent chains are all the treasures I have; them to Spain.
they shall be buried with me, if I There is a passage often quoted chance to have a coffin or grave; for from Las Casas, in which the Admiral I would have the remembrance of so is made say, that the chains were unjust an action perish with me, and, placed upon him by royal authority for the glory of the Spanish name, be and that he would not suffer them to eternally forgotten."# The sovereigns be taken off till his king and queen or- disclaimed the acts of Bovadilla, but dered them to be removed, and that thought it better that Columbus he would ever after keep them by him should not, at least for the present, “as relics and memorials of the re- resume the government, and Ovando ward of my services."
• He did so,"
is sent out. says his son Fernando. “I saw them The first act of his government was always hanging in his cabinet; and he to take what is called a “residencia requested that when he died they of the former governor-an inquisition might be buried with him."
into the details of his administration. would not,"we transcribe from Cooley's One of the results of that held on Bovavery valuable History of Maritime dilla was the restoration of property of and Inland Discovery,' " allow his fet- Columbus and his brothers, seized by ters to be taken off; but being sensible the governor. of his great merits, and more of fu- Ovando's government lasted for seture fame, he fondly wore those affect- ven years. It is not easy to undering testimonies of his vicissitudes, and stand the precise position of the natives, even expressed a wish that when he either in the theory of the parent state, died they might be hung on his or in the acts of the colonial governors. tomb.”+
In Ovando's instructions from the We have looked at some half dozen Court of Castile, he is told “ that all other books, and the same turn is the Indians in Hispaniola should be given to this thought. Many changes free from servitude, and unmolested of feeling on such a subject must have by any one, and that they should live passed through Columbus's mind, yet as free vassals, governed and prowe think it likely that there was some tected by justice, as were the vassals mistake made, not unnaturally, by of Castile. Like the vassals in Spain, whatever compiler first united together the Indians were to pay tribute ; they the passages from Las Casas and Fer- also were to assist in getting gold, but dinand Columbus. Columbus's own for this they were to be paid daily letter from Jamaica, written in 1504, wages."$ All officials who had gone to seems to have originated all that has the colony with Columbus were to been written on the subject; and if we return to Spain, and a new body of understand that letter rightly, it ex- men to accompany Ovando. No Jews, presses a very different, and far higher, Moors, or new converts were to go to and juster tone of feeling.
the Indies, but did not Bovadilla kill me when he power of Christians” might. “This,” robbed me and my brother of our says Mr. Helps, “is the first notice
negroes born in
Irving's “Life of Columbus," iii. 130; Helps, vol. i. 172. † Cooley's “ Maritime Discovery,” ii. 12.
"Columbus to Ferdinand." The letter is not in Navarette, and, perhaps, exists only in an old English translation. " There is preserved,” says Bryan Edwards, “among the journals of the Honourable Council in Jamaica, a very old volume in manuscript, consisting of diaries and report of governors, which relate chiefly to the proceedings of the army, and other transactions, in the first settlement of the colony. In this book is to be found the translation of a letter to the King of Spain, said to be written by Columbus during his confinement on this island. As it appears to me to have marks of authenticity, I shall present it to my readers. It was written, probably, about eight months after the departure of his messenger, Diego Mendez, who had attempted to reach Hispaniola in an Indian canoe."History of w. I. vol. i. 156.
§ Herrera, Decade i. 4 ; Helps, i. 179.
about negroes going to the Indies." Our author seems to approve of These instructions were given in the what looks rather like sharp practice in year 1501:
the new governor. His habit was, when
vessels were about returning to Spain, " Nicholas de Ovando arrived at St. Do- if any person was regarded as particu. mingo on the 15th of April, 1502. Las Casas, now in his 28th year, came out in larly turbulent, to invite him to dinthe same fleet; and he mentions, that as the
ner, talk with him about his neighvessels neared the shore, the Spanish colonists
bours, and inquire on what terms ran down to hear the news from home, and they lived with each otherto tell their good news exultingly in return, which was, that an extraordinary lump of thinking that he was now in high favour with
“ The unsuspecting colonist exulted in gold had been found, and that certain Indians were in revolt. 'I heard it myself,' the his.
the Governor, and likely to have more Indians torian says; and he is right to chronicle the
allotted to him: when suddenly Ovando fact, showing as it does the views which pre
would turn upon him with this question : vailed among the settlers, of the advantage
• In which of those ships (probably visible of an Indian revolt in furnishing slaves.
from where they were sitting) would you This great piece of gold which they talked
like to go to Castile ?" The contented look about, had been found accidentally by an
of a man who is expecting some benefit, Indian woman at the mines, while listlessly changes to the terrified appearance of one moving her rake to and fro in the water one
who is about to be sent home ruined to his
friends. He falteringly asks, 'Why, my day during dinner time. Its value was esti
Lord ?' The stern Comendador Mayor anrmated at 1,350,000 maravedis, and in the festivities that took place on the occasion,
swers, “You have nothing else to do but to was used as a dish for a roast pig, the miners
go.' But, my Lord, I have not the wheresaying that no king of Castile had ever
withal, not even for my passage.' 'It shall feasted from å dish of such value. We do
be my care to provide for that,' replies the not find that the poor Indian woman had any
Governor: and in this summary manner he part in the good fortune. Indeed, as Las
was wont to ship off a dangerous person at Casas observes, she was fortunate if she had
once, and thus to clear the colony of a posany portion of the meat, not to speak of the
sible nuisance.”—Pp. 203, 204. dish."-p. 188, 189.
Ovando was a religious man moreTI same tale of distress and famine over; and on one occasion, Las Casas which was the fate of this settlement tells us of thirteen Indians being for so many years, is again its history. hanged “in bonour and reverence of Two thousand five hundred persons our Lord Jesus Christ and the twelve came out with Ovando. Within à apostles.” The same Las Casas says, short time a thousand are dead, and * he was a man fit to govern, but not the rest a burthen on a society, which Indians." Of some of these horrors had not even provided sufficient food Queen Isabella heard, and said to the for themselves. Who should suddenly President of the Council, “I will appear on the scene but Columbus ? have you take such a residencia of him Columbus who is ordered not to land as was never taken before." who cannot consistently with Ovan- This was Isabella's last act in condo's instructions be received on the pexion with the Indies. She died island,—asks to be admitted into the before the termination of Ovando's goharbour. He says that his knowledge vernment. of the appearances of the sea and sky We must find other opportunities of satisfy him of an approaching hurri. bringing Mr. Helps's important book cane. He has to depart and seek before our readers. We regret not shelter where he can. His prediction being able to pursue the subject at is distrusted, and the return-fleet sail present, but we have exceeded our for Spain. Most of the vessels are space. With one part of his subject, lost. Roldan, our old friend the chief and that the most important, he has justice, perishes. Bovadilla bas no taken great pains - the repartimiento chains to throw upon the raging sea. and encomienda systems. This has biHe, too, is gone. The worst vessel therto been insufficiently examined, in the fleet is that on board of which and cannot be well understood in Columbus's goods have been stored, the various changes which it underand this is among the few that escape. went, without a knowledge of the “ The men of that day saw in this the system of vassalage, as prevailing in especial hand of Providence."
Spain, more particularly in Castile,
on which Crown the Indies were re- at the mines, and by other causes. The first garded as depending; and also of the large transaction of this kind furnishes us precise relations between the caciques with one of the most affecting narratives in and the lower classes of society in the history. The King was told that the Lunew lands, previous to the Spanish
cayan islands were full of Indians, and that Conquest. In some instances the de
it would be a very good action to bring them inands of tax or tribute would be re
to Hispaniola, in order that they might en
joy the preaching and political customs' which gulated by the first, and assent or re
the Indians in Hispaniola enjoyed. Besides,' sistance by the second. Neither is
it was added, they might assist in getting very easy of ascertainment, but by
gold, and the King be much served." The any one wishing fully to understand
King accordingly gave a licence, and the the subject neither can be neglected. evil work commenced.
In the gifts of land in the Indies to "It will be remembered that the first land the Spaniards, it would appear that seen by Columbus, and called by him St. at first lands only were granted-next Salvador, was one of these Lucayan islands; lands, with a right to employ for a
and it is peculiarly shocking to think that certain period of the year the labour of
this spot should have been signalised by such
an atrocity as that about to be recorded. the natives ; if only of the natives re
“ The first Spaniards who went to entrap sident on the lands, this would be feu
these poor Lucayans did it in a way that dal vassalage, rather than anything
brings to mind the old proverb of seething a properly called slavery. Then fol.
kid in its mother's milk'--for they told the lowed grants, not of lands, but of simple people that they had come from the men, made to favoured individuals. heaven of their forefathers, where these forefaThey were given for a limited period, thers and all whom the Indians had loved in life and the property reverted to the were now drinking in the delights of heavenly Crown. The labour to be performed
ease : and the good Spaniards would convey was limited and defined.
the Lucayans to join their much-loved anconfined to the tillage of land. Soon
cestors, and dearer ones than ancestors, who after the Indians thus granted were
bad gone thither. We may fancy how the
more simple amongst them, lone women and compelled to work in the mines;
those who felt this life to be somewhat dreary, but for this a special license was re- crowded round the ships which were to take quired, and during Columbus's admi
them to the regions of the blest.”—Pp. 223nistration the license was given but 225. from month to month. The next governor allowed the Spaniards to em- We close our notice of this, far the ploy their Indians as they pleased, as
most interesting and instructive book though they were beasts of burthen.
which we have for a long time read, « Servitude worse than what Bovadilla
with Mr. Helps's note on this last pas. thus created in the island,” says Char. levoix, “never existed." War and
sage:oppression now depopulated this is
"I picture to myself some sad Indian, land, which, a few years before, bad not without his doubts of these Spanish inseemed to Columbus the very paradise ducements, but willing to take the chance our first parents lost. Means were of regaining the loved past, and saying, like suggested for repeopling the solitude. the King Arthur of a beautiful modern poem Criminals from Spain were imported. to his friend Sir Bedivere upon the shoreThis was evil, but a worse evil fol
** I am going a long way lowed, one at least that more shocks With these thou seëst if indeed I go the imagination:
(For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)
Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow, " As the Indians in Hispaniola were now Nor ever wind blows loudly, but it lies beginning to grow scarce, the next thing that
Deep-meadow'd, happy, fair with orchard-lawns
And bowery hollows crown'd with summer sea, was almost sure to happen, was, that impor- Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.'" tatious would be made from other islands to
-ALFRED TENNYSON, Morte d' Arthur, fill up the vacuum produced by the working
vol. il., p. 15.