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Under colour of shewing the Indians an European tour. nament, he advanced with his troops in battle array. The infantry took possession of all the avenues which led to the village, while the horsemen encompassed the house in which Anacoana and her chiefs were assembled. These movements were beheld with admiration, without any mixture of fear; until, upon a signal, the Spaniards drew their swords, and rushed upon the Indians, who were defenceless, and astonished at an act of treachery, which exceeded their conception. Anacoana was instantly secured ; all her attendants who were in the house, were seized and bound. Fire was set to the house ; and without examination, all those unhappy persons, the most illustrious in their own country, were consumed in the flames. Anacoana was reserved for a more ignominious fate. She was carried in chains to St. Domingo ; and, after the formality of a trial before Spanish judges, she was condemned upon the evidence of those very men who had betrayed her, to be publicly hanged.
The Indians overawed and humbled by the destruction of their chief and principal-men, submitted to the Spanish yoke. Ovando distributed them among his friends on the island. The exactions of their oppressors no longer knew any bounds.- But barbarous as their policy was, and fatal to the natives, it produced considerable consequences, by calling forth the exertion of a whole nation, pointing it in one direction.
The working of the mines was carried on with amazing success. During several years the gold brought into the royal smelting houses in Hispaniola, amounted annually to sixty thousand pesos, above one hundred thousand pounds sterling; an immense sum at that time.
Although Ovando had treated the Indians with cruelty and treachery, he governed the Spaniards with wisdom and justice : he established equal laws, and executed them impartially ; he endeavoured to turn the attention of the Spaniards to industry, more useful than searching the mines for gold. Some slips of the sugar cane having been brought from the Canaries by way of experiment, were found to thrive with such encrease in the rich and warm soil of Hispaniola, that the cultivation of them became an object of commerce : and, in a few years,' the manufacturing this commodity became the great cbjcc: the inhabitants, and most certain source of their wealth,
But notwithstanding this prosperous appearance of the colony, a calamity impended, which threatened its dissolution. The natives, on whose labour the Spaniards depended, wasted so fast, that the extinction of their whole race appeared to be inevitable. When Columbus discovered Hispaniola the number of the inhabitants was computed to be at least a million. They were now reduced to sixty thousand in the space of fifteen years. This amazing consumption of the human species, was the effect of several concurring causes. The inactive indolence in which they were used to pass their days, as it was the effect of their debility, contributed to encrease it; their food afforded but little nourishment, and taken in such small quantities, as was not sufficient to invigorate a languid frame, and render.it equal to the efforts industry required.
The Spaniards without atending to those peculiarities in the constitution of the Indians, imposed such tasks upon them, that many sunk under the fatigue, and ended their wretched days. Others in despair cut short their own existence with a violent hand. Diseases of various kinds compleated the desolation of the island. The Spaniards thus deprived of their slaves found it impossible to extend their improvements, or even carry on the works which they had already begun.
Ovando in order to provide an immediate remedy for an evil so alarming, proposed to transport inhabitants of the Lucayo islands to Hispaniola, under pretence they might be civilized with more facility, and instructed to greater advantage in the christian faith, if they were united to the Spanish colony, and under the immediate inspection of the missionaries settled there.
Ferdinand deceived by this artifice, or willing to connive: at an act of violence which policy represented as necessary, assented to the proposal. Several vessels were fitted out for the Lucayos, the commanders of which informed the natives, with whose language they were now acquainted, that they came from a delightful country, in which their departed ancestors resided, by whom they were sent to invite them to partake of that bliss which they enjoyed. The simple people listened with wonder and credulity; and delighted with the idea of visiting their relations and friends in that happy region, followed the Spaniards with eagerness.
By this artifice, above forty thousand were decoyed into Hispaniola to mingle their groans and tears with its native inhabitants. The ardour with which the Spaniards pursued their operations in the mines, and the success attending their pursuit seemed to have engrossed their whole attention : no enterprize of any moment had been undertaken since the last voyage of Columbus. But the rapid decrease of the Indians rendered it impossible to acquire wealth with that faciļity as formerly; they began to form new schemes of aggrandizement, and the spirit of discovering new countries revived.
Juan Ponce de Leon, who commanded under Ovando in the eastern district of Hispaniola, passed over to the island of St. John de Puerto Rico, which Columbus had discovered in his second voyage, and penetrated into the interior part of the country. As he found the soil fertile and expected from the information of the inhabitants, to discover gold mines in the mountains, Ovando permitted him to make a settlement. This was easily effected by that officer, who was eminent for his conduct and courage.
In a few years Puerto Rico was subject to the Spanislı government; the natives were reduced to servitude, and treated with the same inconsiderate rigour as those of Hispaniola ; and were soon exterminated.
About this time, Juan Diaz de Solis, in conjunction with Vincent Yanez Pinzon, one of Columbus's original companions, made a voyage to the continent. They held the same course which Columbus had taken, as far as to the island of Guanicos; but, standing from thence to the west, discovered a new and extensive province, afterwards known by the name of Yucatan, and proceeded along the coast of that country.
This led to discoveries of greater importance. Sebastian de Ocampo, by the command of Ovando, sailed round Cuba, and first discovered that this country, which Columbus once supposed to be a part of the continent, was a large island. This was one of the last occurrences of Ovando's administration,
Ever since the death of Columbus, his son Don Diego, had been employed in soliciting Ferdinand to grant him the offices of viceroy and admiral, in the New World, together with all the other immunities and profits, which descended to him by inheritance, in consequence of the original capitulation with his father. But, if these dignities and
revenues appeared so considerable to Ferdinand, that at the expense of being deemed unjust as well as ungrateful, he had wrested them from Columbus, it is not surprizing that he should withhold them from the son.
Don Diego, after wasting two years in fruitless solicitation, brought his suit against Ferdinand, before the council that managed Indian affairs, and that court with that integrity, which reflects honour upon its proceedings, decided against the king, and confirmed Don Diego's claim of the viceroyalty, and all the other privileges, stipulated in the capitulation
T'he sentence of the council of the Indies, gave him a title to a rank so elevated, and a fortunu so opulent, thať he found no difficulty in concluding a marriage with Donna Maria, daughter of Don Ferdinand de Poledo, great commendator of Leon, and brother of the duke of Alva, a grandee of the first rank, and nearly related to the king. The duke and his family so warmly éspbused the cause of their new ally, that Ferdinand could not resist their solicis tations. He recalled Ovando, and appointed Don Diego his successor, in 1509 : in conferring this favour, he could not conceal his jealousy ; for he allowed him only to assume the title of governorand not that of viceroy, which had been adjudged to him.
He soon repaired to Hispaniola, attended by his uncles, his wife, (whom the courtesy of the Spaniards honoured with the title of vice-queen) and a numerous retinue of pers sons of both sexes, descended of good families. He lived with a splendour and magnificence, hitherto unknown in the New World ; and the family of Columbus seemed now to enjoy the honours and rewards due to his 'superior genius; and of which he had been cruelly defrauded.
The colony acquired new lustre by the accession of so many inhabitants of a different rank and character, from those who had hitherto emigrated to America ; and many of the most illustrious families in the Spanish settlements, are descended from the persons who attended Don Diego at that time. Though it was above ten years since Columbus had discovered the main land of America, the Spaniards had hitherto made no settlement in any part of it ; but Alonzo de Ojeda, who had formerly made two voyages, as a discoverer, by which he acquired considerable repue tation, but no wealth ; his character for intrepidity and conduct, easily procured him associates, who advanced the money requisite to defray the charges of the expedition.
About the same time, Diego de Nicuessa, who had acquired a large fortune in Hispaniola, revived the spirit of his countrymen. Ferdinand encouraged both; and though he refused to advance the smallest sum, was very liberal of titles and patents. He erected two governments on the continent; one extending from the Cape de Vela, to the gulf of Darien ; and the other from that to Cape Gracios a Dios. The former was given to Ojeda, the latter to Nicuessa.
Ojeda fitted out a ship and two brigantines, with three hundred men; Nicuesșa, six vessels, with seven hundred and eighty men; They sailed about the same time from St. Domingo, for their respective governments. There is not in the history of mankind, any thing more singular or extravagant, than the form and ceremony they made use of in taking possession of the country. They endeavoured to convince the natives of the articles of the Christian faith, and in partieular, of the jurisdiction of the pope over all the kingdoms of the earth; and, that he had granted their country to the king of Spain : they required them to submit to his authority, and embrace the Catholic religion. If they refused to comply, Ojeda and Nicuessa, were authorised to attack with sword and fire ; to reduce them, their wives, and children, to a state of servitude, and compel them by force to submit to the authority of the king, and jurisdiction of the church.
The Indians of the continent, spurned with indignation at propositions so extravagant : they could not conceive how a foreign priest, of whom they had no knowledge, could have a right to dispose of their country; or how a prince, altogether a stranger to them, should claim the right of commanding them as bis subjects. They turned to ridicule such extravagant proposals and fiercely opposed the new invaders of their territories. Ojeda and Nicuessa, endeavoured to effect by force, what they could not accomplish by persuasion.
They found the natives of the continent different from their countrymen in the islands ; they were fierce and brave. Their arrows were dipped in poison so deadly, that every wound was followed with certain death. In one encounter, they cut off seventy of Ojeda's followers, and the Spaniards were, for the first time, taught to dread the in