|Information about the text on this page|
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
Narrative & Route of the Voyage
|I||Causes for sending the Expedition|
|II||From Callao to the Gulf of Trinidad|
|III||Arrival at the Gulf of Trinidad|
|V||Second Voyage of Discovery|
|VI||Third Voyage of Discovery|
|VII||Voyage to the Strait of Magellan|
|VIII||In the Strait of Magellan|
|IX||Voyage to Spain|
|A||Letter from the Viceroy of Peru|
|What Happened to the Royal Fleet|
|Report Touching the Captains & Ships|
Narrative by Sarmiento de Gambóa
|II||Villainy of Diego Flores|
|III||Desertion of Diego Flores|
|IV||Settlements in the Straits|
|V||Captivity of Sarmiento|
|What Happend in the Settlements|
(From the Colleccion de MSS. de Juan B. Muñoz.)
Peru was at peace when, for our sins, some English pirates pressed through the Strait of the Mother of God, formerly called the Strait of Magellan, into the South Sea, under the command of Francis Drake,* a native of Plymouth,† a man of low condition, but a skilful seaman and a valiant pirate. With only one ship, named the Golden Eagle,‡ he sailed along the coasts of Chile, Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and New Spain, where he committed great robberies. Don Francisco de Toledo, the Viceroy of Peru, adopted all the measures that were possible against him, the Viceroy of New Spain, Don Martin Enriquez, and the Judges of Guatemala and Panama doing the same; but he was so fortunate that he escaped out of the hands of all. The Viceroy of Peru, foreseeing the danger that was imminent, took steps to avert it. He equipped two ships and sent Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, as General, to seek for the English, but chiefly to explore the Strait and find a position where it could be conveniently fortified, and where settlements could be formed; so that the passage might remain closed and guarded against the enemies of your Majesty and of our holy Catholic Faith. By this precaution and labour your Majesty's service would be advanced, and those kingdoms would be guarded and secured, so that the enemies of our Holy Catholic Faith might not occupy them, as they might have hoped after having been successful in passing on one previous occasion.
* Francisco Drac.
‡ This should be the Golden Hind.
Pedro Sarmiento left Lima with his companions on the 11th of October 1579, and, in spite of great difficulties and of being deserted by one of the two ships from fear of the tempests, he entered the Strait in the ship Esperanza, which Strait he called “the Mother of God,” because he had taken her as his guardian. This was on the 22nd of January 1580, and he came out into the North Sea on the 24th February, having explored, sounded, and surveyed, and described all the archipelagos and the Strait with the necessary care. Having performed this service, he went on to Spain, in compliance with the orders of the Viceroy of Peru, to report to your Majesty, and through the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ, he arrived in Spain on the 19th of August 1580. He went to Badajoz, kissed the royal hand of your Majesty, and made his report, both by word of mouth and in writing, of the voyage and discovery he had made, and of the nature of that land. After he had communicated this, and other matters relating to the same business, your Majesty sent him to the Royal Council at Madrid, where he also reported to the Councillors of the Council of the Indies. After your Majesty had been well informed, it was determined that the Strait should be fortified, and that Pedro Sarmiento should be Governor and Captain-General of the Strait, and that settlements should be formed in it. With this object Pedro Sarmiento offered to take out settlers at his own expense, and your Majesty accepted the offer, and consented that a hundred married and single colonists should be licensed to go out—the married men with their wives and children—and honourable and profitable graces and privileges were conceded to them.
Diego Flores de Valdes, an Asturian Knight of the Order of Santiago, was appointed General of the fleet, which was ordered to be large, well supplied with men, arms, and stores, and provided for all contingencies, as it might be that enemies might be found in the Strait. Diego Flores had orders that, with the men he took with him, he should found and build two forts facing each other in the narrowest part of the Strait, and should garrison them with 400 soldiers receiving pay, 200 soldiers in each fort; and that he should not depart until all had been properly completed. To all concerned, your Majesty granted many favours, promising more when the work was done. Diego de la Ribera was appointed Admiral, Estevan de las Alas was to be General Purveyor, Andres de Onino, Accountant, and as Treasurer, Juan Nuñez de Illescas, although this officer did not go, but sent out Pedro de Esquivel as his substitute, to receive half the pay. The Chief Pilot was Anton Pablos, also called Anton Paulo de Corso, who had come with Pedro Sarmiento in this voyage of discovery through the Strait. The names of the Captains will be seen in the return which follows this report.
Your Majesty ordered, at the same time, that Don Alonso de Sotomayor, a Knight of the habit of Santiago, who had been appointed Governor of Chile, should go out with this Fleet, by way of the Strait, to Chile, for several reasons, and he was to take out with him 600 married and single men.
Diego Flores had orders to proceed to Seville and procure the necessary vessels. He was to take seven of your Majesty's ships, the galleass San Cristoval, four frigates, named the Santa Isabel, the Santa Catalina, the Guadalupe, the Madalena, and also the Nuestra Señora de Esperanza, which Pedro Sarmiento had brought from Peru by way of the Strait. The ship Francesa, and sixteen others, were hired from their owners, so that the fleet numbered altogether twenty-three vessels.
The general Contractor appointed for the fleet was Francisco Duarte, the President of the “Contratacion” and Judge of the Council of the Indies being then Doctor Santillan. Presently all began to work, your Majesty giving such orders for despatch as seemed desirable. Pedro Sarmiento was ordered to proceed to Portugal where, in the town of Thomar (where the Portuguese swore allegiance to your Majesty, in the service of God, as natural Lord and King of the realm of Portugal and its dependencies), your Majesty ordered him, in conjunction with the engineer, Juan Bautista Antonelli, to prepare plans and sections of the forts that should be constructed in the Strait. After your Majesty had seen them, we were ordered to proceed to Lisbon to submit them to the Duke of Alva,* the Marquis of Santa Cruz,† and don Francisco de Alava, which was done. Having considered them' those officers replied to your Majesty; and Pedro Sarmiento, by command of your Majesty, consulted the pilots of Brazil respecting the navigation of that coast. He then returned to Thomar, where your Majesty heard the result, gave your approval, and ordered that so it should be. Here your Majesty saw the Pilot, Anton Pablos, and granted him 500 ducats out of the rents of Seville. Your Majesty then ordered all concerned to proceed to Seville in the execution of their respective orders.
* Don Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, third Duke of Alva, succeeded his grandfather, his father having been slain in battle with the Moors on the island of Gelves (Zerbi), near Tunis, in 1510. Don Fernando the third Duke, was Captain-General, under Charles V, in the attack on Algiers. He was afterwards Viceroy of Naples. He was a great general, only too well known in the Netherlands, from 1567 to 1573, and he was well advanced in years when PhiHp II sent him to command at Lisbon at the time that the two crowns were united. The Duke of Alva is said by Herrera to have reported against the scheme for fortifying the Strait, as impracticable.
† Don Alvaro de Bazan, first Marquis of Santa Cruz, was the best naval commander during the reigns of Charles V and Philip II. His most brilliant actions were against Moorish pirates. He also did splendid service against the Turks, in the Mediterranean, while in command of the Neapolitan galleys. In 1571 he commanded the reserves at the battle of Lepanto. When Philip II succeeded to the crown of Portugal in 1580, the Marquis of Santa Cruz entered the Tagus with a fleet, and forced the ships of the pretender, Don Antonio, to surrender. He also defeated a French fleet which was sent in aid of Don Antonio, and reduced the Azores to obedience.
Pedro Sarmiento found him at Lisbon, while engaged on these operations. The Marquis died in 1588, when in command of the Spanish Armada destined for England. Had he lived, its fate might have been different.
Pedro Sarmiento had instructions to prepare the charts, or at least the chart of what he had surveyed in the Strait, in communication with the President of the “Contratacion” and with the Cosmographer, using much diligence and caution. Pedro Sarmiento, therefore, proceeded to Seville and inspected the ships, when he found that many were weak and old, and not suited for such navigation. He reported this to your Majesty, naming several of the ships. Your Majesty ordered that Don Diego Maldonado and Pedro Sarmiento should make another survey. This was done with carpenters, caulkers, and pilots. Your Majesty then received a second report; and your Majesty replied that there was no time to get other ships. Treating of this with Diego Flores, in presence of the President and officers of the “Contratacion,” and placing before him the danger there would be for those who embarked in such ships, and almost protesting that they would be lost, he said that as I had not got to go in one of them I had no occasion to say anything. This was a nice reply from a chief who could have hired other very good, new, and strong ships which, as I understood on very good authority, he passed over. Pedro Sarmiento looked after what your Majesty had ordered respecting the artillery, ammunition, provisions, and clothes for the soldiers and settlers; and he caused a brigantine and a launch to be constructed, which were to be taken out in pieces. They were intended for further exploration in the Strait. He also attended to all the arrangements, engaged pilots and masters with much diligence, for most of them excused themselves, and even hid to avoid service in an enterprise which, they said, was one of much hard work and little profit. This was the cry of all those who were accustomed to serve in the fleets in the Indies, that they would not move from one cape to another, neither for their fathers nor for your Majesty, if they did not go with assurance of profit, and that without risk. Among the bad characters there is a saying, when they shirk their duties or run away from dangers, that “the King neither gives life nor cures wounds.”*
* “Ni el Rey da vida ni sana heridas.”
While Diego Flores proceeded with the business ot appointing captains and despatching them to raise men, and procure provisions and stores necessary for the fleet, Pedro Sarmiento got settlers together in Seville, without pay, and named one Captain Alvaro Romo in Badajos, to take steps for inducing settlers to come. Your Majesty also named two captains, Domingo de Aguinaga and Juan de Saavedra. Meanwhile your Majesty worked harder and did more than all the others together, attending to all the business, and animating all by granting favours, and urging despatch, which was certainly the main thing.
In obedience to your Majesty's orders, Pedro Sarmiento began to work at the preparation of charts for the voyage, jointly with the Licentiate Rodrigo Zamorano,* the Cosmographer, Professor of Mathematics and of Pilotage to the “Casa de Contratacion,”† Examiner of Charts and of Pilots for the Royal Council of the Indies, who is learned in the theory of the art; and with Anton Pablos. The work was done in presence of the President, and all the ancient and modern charts and padrones by the various draughtsmen and cartographers were brought into his room to examine the differences of the positions of places as regards longitude, and by them to delineate the coast lines. The two positions which were considered to be fixed, were Seville and Lima in Peru. The method in which these positions were fixed, although the account of it may be prolix, is so curious, and so important, both now and in the future, that it is given here.
* Rodrigo Zamorano is mentioned in Hakluyt's preface as the examiner of pilots at Seville. He was Cosmographer to the Council of the Indies, and author of the six first books of Euclid translated into Spanish (Seville, 1576, 4to.) of a work entitled, Cosmografia, Compendio del arte de navegar (Seville, 1586), which went through several editions, and was translated into Dutch by Everart in 1598, and of Carta de marear (Seville, 1588).
† The Casa de la Contratacion at Seville was originally established in 1503 to despatch fleets, grant licences, and dispose of the results of trade and exploration. Subsequently, it despatched all business of this kind, under the orders of the Council of the Indies, which was instituted in 1511 for the control of all American affairs.
In former years your Majesty sent out orders to the Indies that the eclipses of the years 1577 and 1578 should be observed. Pedro Sarmiento observed near Lima* in 1578, on a hill called “Quipani-urco,”† in presence of the clergyman of the village, named Caspar de Lorca, and of a good pilot and arithmetician, named Sebastian Rodrigrez, who assisted, made notes, and signed as witnesses.
* 77° W.
† Quipani, in the Quishne language, means “I cover.” Urco here signifies a mountain. Differently pronounced, it would mean the male of any animal.
On that hill the eclipse ended at eight hours and one-sixteenth of an hour in the evening. This same eclipse was observed by Rodrigo Zamorano in Seville, who showed me the computation. The result was that the eclipse ended on the meridian of Seville* at one hour exactly after midnight.
* 5° 58' W.
Although Chaves,* in his Repertory, gives the end of the eclipse at 1 hour 24 min., yet as science and experience combined, when they agree, are irrefragable witnesses, we most go with Zamorano who observed, rather than with Chaves who did not observe, though he made the calculation. The difference then that is derived from the observations of Sarmiento and Zamorano is as follows:—
The difference is 4 hours 56 min., which, reduced to degrees, gives 74° of longitude, and this is the number of degrees of longitude between the meridians of Seville and Lima.†
* Alonso de Chaves was the author of a manuscript at Simancas, entitled Relacion de la Orden que observaba en el examen y admision de pilotos y maestros de la carrera de Indias, 1561. He also wrote the Repertorio referred to by Sarmiento. He was the predecessor of Zamorano as examiner of pilots at Seville. See Herrera, Dec. III, p. 219, and Dec. IV, p. 30.
† The result is nearly three degrees out. Lima is in 77° W. of Greenwich. The 74° of Zamorano's result added to the 5° 58' that Seville is west of Greenwich, gives 79° 58' as the longitude of Lima, or 2° 58' too far west.
This investigation was very interesting, for no one up to that time had worked out the observations with so much care, so that it aroused admiration in those who saw it, and great satisfaction in all who understood. They then proceeded to examine the charts with promptness and diligence.
The first was the chart of Sancho Gutierrez, the cosmographer and draughtsman of Seville, who places Lima 7° more to the west than its true and fixed meridian. It should be corrected as regards its longitude.
Another chart and “padrone” of Diego Gutierrez, cosmographer and draughtsman, father of Sancho Gutierrez, also has the meridian of Lima 7° too far to the westward, which should be corrected.
A Portuguese chart of Anton Pablos places Lima 3° east of its true position,* thus differing 10° from both the above charts, or two-thirds of an hour.
* This is almost exactly correct.
In another Portuguese chart of one Vincente Noble, a draughtsman of Lima, that city is 4° too far west.
On another more modern chart of the above-mentioned Diego Gutierrez, we find Lima 4° 45' too far to the west.
In short, none are found to be correct, some being short of the true position, others going beyond it, and so, having gained this experience, one rests assured “unanima consensu ac neinine prorsus dzscrepante” that in this distance of 74° of longitude we may place and establish the meridians of Seville and Lima.
It should be understood that these remarks are with regard to longitude. In the matter of latitude, commencing with the ancient reckoning from Seville, the chart in present use may be followed for Africa and Guinea. In the Indies, beginning from Lima, the courses should be in accordance with the charts of the modern explorers in the South Sea; and in the archipelagos and Strait of the Mother of God they should follow the description of Pedro Sarmiento. From the Strait to the river of Plata the coast is laid down by Magellan,* Ladrillero,† Simon de Alcazaba,‡ and Pedro Sarmiento. The coast from the River Plata to the Marañion is laid down on the Portuguese charts.
* In 1520.
† Garcia de Hurtado, the Governor of Chile, sent Juan de Ladrilleros in 1557 from Valdivia, to examine the southern coast as far as the Strait of Magellan. He reached the eastern end of the Strait, and returned to Chile, all the crew having died of starvation and cold, except two men and himself
‡ In 1534-35.
These bases having been settled, Pedro Sarmiento made the “padrone” for the North and South Seas. As regards the rumb lines they had been badly ruled on the parchments by Sancho Gutierrez, who was ill at the time, and he died soon afterwards. Thus Pedro Sarmiento was left without any draughtsman to help him, and he had to take the sole charge himself, working incessantly because the time was so short, and the summer was passing away. He constructed twenty-three charts and a padron which was sent to your Majesty. By these arrangements the charts were prepared for this voyage. Astrolabes, cross-staves, needles, and other navigation instruments were all provided in sufficient quantity, so that there might be nothing wanting; in conformity with the demands of all the navigators, pilots, masters, and captains, no objections being raised.
(From the Navarrete Manuscripts copied from the Archives of the Indies.)
Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty:
First the galleass Capitana was named San Cristoval; on board of which embarked the General Diego Flores de Valdes, and the Governor Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa. The Captain of the ship was Juan de Garibay, Chief Pilot Anton Pablos Corso, second Pilot Pedro Jorge, a Portuguese, and the Master a Biscayan named Juan de Arancibia.
The ship Almiranta was named San Juan Bautista, on board of which embarked the Admiral Diego de la Ribera. The Captain was his brother, Alonso de las Alas, the Pilot a Portuguese, named Pero Diaz, who was Chief Pilot of the river Plate, second Pilot Luis Gomez, and the Master a Biscayan named Martin de Guirieta.
The ship Concepcion, Captain Gregorio de las Alas, Pilot Alfonso Perez, a Portuguese, the Master Ortiz of Bilbas.
The ship San Estevan de Arriola, Captain Juan Gutierrez de Palomar, Pilot Bartolomè Vasquez, and Master Villaviciosa Unzueta.
The ship San Miguel, Captain Hector Albarca, Master Martin de Lecoya.
The ship Sancti Spiritus, Captain Villaviciosa Unzueta.
The ship Maria de Jesus, Captain Gutierrez de Solis, Master Balthazar de Varaona.
The ship Nuestra Señora de Esperanza, which came from Peru by the Strait, Captain Pero Estevan de las Alas, Master Pedro de Ojeda.*
The ship Gallega, Captain Martin de Quiros, Master Hormachea.
The ship Maria de Buen Pasage, Captain Toder, Pilot Gasper Madera, Master Juan de Sagasti, who deserted at San Lucar, and was succeeded by the Pilot.
The ship Maria de San Vicente, Captain Fernando Morejon, Pilot Garci Bravo, Master Juan de Arrieta.
The ship Maria, Captain Francisco de Nevares, Pilot Francisco Jimenes, Master Miguel de Sarasti.
The ship Francesca, Captain Juan de Aguirre, Master Juan de la Suerte.
The ship Santa Maria de Begoña,† Captain Pedro de Aquino,‡ Pilot Rodrigo de Mora, Master Juan Rodriguez de Aguilera.
The frigate Maria Magdalena of his Majesty, Captain Diego de Ovalle,^ Pilot Fuentiduena, Master Salvador Moreno.
The frigate Santa Isabel of his Majesty, Captain Suero Queipo, Pilot Pedro Sanchez, Master Toribio de Santa Maria.
The frigate Santa Catalina, Captain Francisco de Cuellar, Pilot Melclor Paris, Master Gaspar Antonio.
The frigate Guadalupe, Captain Alvaro de Busto, Pilot Juan de Escobor, Master Domingo Fernandez.
The ship Trinidad, Captain Martin de Zubieta, Pilot Gonzalo de Mesa, Master Domingo Zelain.
The ship Santa Marta, Captain Gonzala Menendez, Pilot Juan Quintero, Master Pedro de Scarza.
The ship San Estevan de Soroa, Captain Estevan de las Alas, Pilot Pedro Marquez, Master Juan de Esquivel.
The ship Corza, Captain and Master Diego de Alabari, Pilot Antonio Rodriquez.
The ship San Nicolas, Captain Vargas, Master Miguel de Zabalaga.
* She was lost in Cadiz Bay.
† Sunk by the English at San Vicente.
‡ Superseded by Rodrigo de Rada at the Cape Verdes.
^ Shifted to the Francesca at Cadiz, and succeeded by Domingo Martinez de Avendano.
Besides the above-named Captains there were others, namely, Domingo Martinez de Avendaño, who went to Biscay for sailors, and did not return before the ships left Lucar, so when he came to Cadiz, Diego Flores gave him command of the frigate Magdalena, Diego de Ovalle taking the Francesca; and Rodrigo de Rada, who also went to Biscay for sailors at the same time as Avendaño, and went without a ship as far as the Cape Verdes, when he was given command of the Begoña, Pedro de Aquino going to the San Nicolas, where the death of Vargas had caused a vacancy.
Sebastian de Palomar enlisted his company in the province of Medina del Campo. He sent it in charge of his ensign, Luis Gonzalez, while he remained behind.
Gaspar de Aquilera raised his company and brought it to Seville, and he was sent to Madrid with it, so that he did not come on the voyage.
Don Alonso de Sotomayor, Governor of Chile, raised 600 men, among whom some were married, by means of his captains, and he was given separate ships to carry his troops and stores. He himself embarked in the ship called Santa Catalina.
The whole fleet carried 3,000 souls, and over them all his Majesty nominated Don Gabriel de Montalvo, an official of the Holy Inquisition of Seville, as Chief Auditor.
For the Strait his Majesty made the following appointments. Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa was Governor and Captain-General; Andres Nuño was Commandant of one of the forts, with Captain Desidero de Figueroa as his deputy; and Diego Martinez, Commandant of the other fort, with Tomas Garri. The Captain of artillery was Andres de Viedma. Hieronimo de Heredia was appointed Accountant and Overseer of the royal revenues. Francisco Garces de Espinosa, Treasurer, Mayordomo of Artillery, Paymaster, and Storekeeper.
Through Friar Francisco de Guzman, Commissary-General of the Indies for his Majesty, there was appointed a Commissary, named Friar Amador de Santiago, of the order of St. Francis, that he might assemble twelve friars to go in the fleet, for the conversion of the natives of the Strait. The names of the friars were:—
|Friar||Martin de Torreblanca.|
|”||Francisco de Peralta (Preacher).|
|”||Luis de Pedroso.|
|”||Juan de Ocaña.|
|”||Bartolomè de Benalcazar.|
|”||Diego de Haro.|
|”||Antonio de los Angeles.|
For the settlements Pedro Sarmiento agreed with his Majesty to collect a hundred settlers, married and single, in addition to the soldiers who were to garrison the forts (the names follow).* All the unmarried settlers are 114, without counting four boys; but including Felipe the Patagonian, and two Fuegians, named Francisco and Juan. The married settlers consisted of 43 men, 43 women, and 87 children (the names follow): altogether 173 souls, and 118 single, making a total of 291 souls.
* The Hakluyt edition omits all names.
His Majesty appointed Baptista Antonelli as engineer of the forts, who took with him Caspar de Sampier as his assistant, and two servants.
His Majesty ordered that Pedro Sarmiento should take out officers and mechanics for the fortification of the Strait, and he enlisted iii through Francisco Duarte, at 10 ducats a month each, three months' salary to be paid in advance. These advances were made to the masons, twenty-one in number (the names follow), to twenty carpenters (the names follow), to ten blacksmiths (the names follow), to six stone cutters (the names follow), to fourteen gunners (the names follow), to four trumpeters (the names follow). Altogether, the number of persons who embarked in the port of San Lucar to settle in the Strait was 357.
As many as 171 of these were drowned in the storm on leaving San Lucar, and 189 escaped. Among those drowned were the Friars Juan de Ocoña, Francisco de Peralta, Luis de Pedroso, and the Commandant Diego Martinez. In the place of the latter Tomas Carri was appointed, and to fill the place vacated by Carri as captain, His Majesty appointed Captain Iñiguez.
After the arrival of the fleet at Cadiz, with his Majesty's permission, Pedro Sarmiento enlisted some more officials and settlers to fill the places of those who were drowned, or who had deserted. Among these were thirteen quarry men (the names follow). Altogether 1,442 ducats were paid as advances.
The following new settlers joined at Cadiz, twenty-six in number. Besides the above, Pedro Sarmiento employed one, Alvaro Romo, a native of Badajos, to raise some more settlers, and he collected several. When they arrived at Seville, Pedro Sarmiento sent to San Lucar to sec that they were well treated. The General made them soldiers, though they had been engaged as settlers. Those who were selected by the General for the Capitana were thirty in number. (Here follow the names.)
The number of settlers who finally sailed from Cadiz was 203, besides the thirty settlers from Badajos, who were made to go on board the Capitana as soldiers, making in all 223, besides ten friars.
Without counting two commandants, three captains, two royal officers, an engineer, ten friars, and their servants, making 24 souls, there remained 153 settlers, 30 wives, and 26 children.
At the island of Cape Verde more than fifty persons deserted, of whom six were settlers; while four were enlisted there. On the voyage thence to Rio de Janeiro there was a great mortality in the fleet, 151 persons dying, of whom twelve were settlers, including the captain, Antonio de la Parra, and four were women. In Rio de Janeiro there was also much sickness, and more than 200 persons died. Of these eight were settlers, and four settlers deserted.
The total number of officials and settlers who sailed from Rio de Janeiro for the Strait was 206. In a storm in 38° S. the ship Arriola went to the bottom, and forty-five settlers were drowned, leaving 154, who came back to the port of Santa Catalina in the other ships, where the General left those who were married, being seventeen families consisting of fifty-six persons, and two friars, besides all the remaining single men. The captain, Suero Queipo, also turned a friar and five settlers out of his ship. When the General made the second voyage to the Strait there were fifty-one settlers in the fleet, which then consisted of the Capitana San Cristoval, the Maria, the frigates Santa Catalina and Magdalena, the Trinidad, and the store-ship which was lost in leaving the port of Santos. The General returned on account of a gale of wind, which only lasted two days. When we returned to Santos I embarked some of the married settlers, but the General ordered them to be put on shore again. There are still some remaining, though few; and may God grant that they may yet be of service to your Majesty, whose sacred Catholic and royal person may our Lord preserve in greater estate, and augment your dominions. At Rio de Janeiro, June 1st, 1583, your Majesty's loyal servant Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa.
* From the MS. Coleccion de Munoz, tom, xxxvii: copied from a document at Simancas. Printed in the Coleccion de Docwnentos Ineditos relativos al descubrinnento, conquista, y organizacion de las antiguas posesiones Españlas en America y Oceania, por Luis Torres de Mendoza (Madrid, 1886), tom. v, cuadernos iii, iv, v.
To the honour and glory of our Lord God, and of the most ever glorious Virgin Mary, our Lady and Advocate, Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa, their faithful vassal, and the unworthy servant of your Majesty, humbly kisses the royal hands and feet an infinite number of times, in acknowledgment of the singular and royal benignity and most liberal largess granted for his redemption from captivity, and from the power of those infernal ministers of the Devil, such as are the heretics of Gascony in France; for which he prays that the true God may see fit to concede to your Majesty many prosperous and most happy years with complete health and strength, and with increase of many and greater kingdoms and empires, as well as his divine grace, to sustain, defend, and increase his holy church and Catholic faith, and to pass through this temporal life in such wise as to merit the eternal and celestial abode with the blessed. Amen, Amen.
Giving an account and explanation to your Majesty of his obligation, duties, and actions, which were entrusted and committed to him with the good grace and permission of your Majesty, he says that, as now your Majesty very well knows, the said Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa departed from the city of Kings, in the kingdom of Peru, on the 11th of October 1579, by order of the Viceroy, Don Francisco de Toledo, to operate against the piratical robber, Francis Drake, who had done and was doing excessive harm along the coasts of Peru, Chile, and Mexico, and other parts of the south and north seas; and more especially to examine the Strait of Magellan by which the said robber had entered, to survey it and proceed to give a report to your Majesty setting forth the needs of that land and applying for a remedy, that your Majesty might order it to be settled and fortified, so that this way might be closed, for the security of the Indies and of other lands of your Majesty situated on the shores of the South Sea. He performed this service with the favour of our Lord God, and he gave a long and true account of all he did and saw, with authentic opinions, signed by all those who were with him, and attested by the royal notary, with the descriptions of the lands, archipelago, and strait which he discovered. This he did in Badajoz, kissing the royal hands of your Majesty in the end of September, of the year 1580; in which your Majesty, in your royal graciousness and magnanimity, held yourself to have been well served by the said Pedro Sarmiento, for which such high and singular recognition he held himself rewarded for his services, and remained under the obligation to serve anew with the voluntary sacrifice of his life.
Your Majesty for this object, with a lavish and royal hand, ordered a most abundantly supplied expedition as regards both men and supplies, and nominated Diego Flores de Valdes as General of the Sea on the coast of Brazil and in the Strait, ordering him to examine the Strait, and to erect forts in the narrowest part opposite to each other, and not to come away until the said forts were finished and those coasts had been examined. He was to leave 400 soldiers in the forts, with their magistrates and captains, as appears from the third and fourth chapters of the instructions that your Majesty gave to Pedro Sarmiento, and by those of the said Diego Flores de Valdes.
Your Majesty ordered that Pedro Sarmiento should serve by the sea and land, and your Majesty was pleased to honour him with the duties and titles of Governor and Captain-General of the said Strait, and of the forts and settlements which should be established in it, with many prerogatives and privileges for himself and for the settlers in those lands; and in the navigation he was to assist Diego Flores de Valdes with such advice and counsel as might be needed; and Pedro Sarmiento, with Anton Pablos, was to direct and arrange the navigation, as men experienced and accustomed to it.
Item, that Pedro Sarmiento should assist in the selection of sites for the forts, and push on the work so that it might be completed, and that he should settle the surrounding lands, preaching the most holy gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and causing it to be preached to the idolatrous natives of those regions, and instructing them in the things of our holy Catholic faith, which is the principal object of your Majesty; and in good civil polity, inducing them to recognise their vassalage to your Majesty by the most just and righteous means, according to the instructions and ordinances of your Majesty's Royal Council of the Indies, signed and given in Lisbon on the 20th August 1581.
Although Pedro Sarmiento sent your Majesty letters and reports with authentic proofs, and duplicate copies, from Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, and Bahia in Brazil,* yet as there was much delay, and as some were captured by English pirates, for he found some in possession of the Admiral of that land when he was a prisoner, and Don Antonio† had other parts and broke them open; and although some reached the hands of your Majesty and of your Royal Council of the Indies, yet, owing to his absence, imprisonment, and captivity, he knows not whether they have been seen; it seems necessary, in order to make up for these accidents, and for the loss of the papers in the numerous shipwrecks suffered by Pedro Sarmiento, to refer generally to the narrative of the said enterprise, as well by word of mouth as in writing, that your Majesty may be certainly informed of the whole truth, in order that such order may be taken as will be best for your royal service. He protests that in what will be here said, he does not desire to treat of any person, but only to give an account to whom he is under obligation to give it, without regard to anyone, for it is not possible to relate the circumstances without naming those persons who were the officials concerned in the business.
* Those from Rio and Pernambuco were duly received, and are still preserved in manuscript.
† Prior of Crato. The pretender to the crown of Portugal.
Your Majesty gave orders, in the town of Thomar, in the kingdom of Portugal, that Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa should be appointed to serve with the title of Governor and Captain-General solely as regards the forts, without providing for the settlements. But Pedro Sarmiento, seeing that the forts could not be maintained without settlements and cultivators of the land, made a communication with the members of the “Junta,” who at that time were Antonio de Heraso, Juan Delgado, and Antonio de Illescas, offering to take out settlers without expense to His Majesty. Accepting the offer, they communicated it to your Majesty, by whom, as it seemed good, it was accepted and so arranged. And your Majesty ordered Pedro Sarmiento to go and communicate with the Duke of Alva,* the Marquis of Santa Cruz, and Don Francisco de Alava at Lisbon, who, as regards the forts and settlements, were of the same opinion.
* Herrera says that the Duke of Alva considered the scheme to fortify the Straits to be impracticable.
This being settled, your Majesty ordered Pedro Sarmiento to go to Seville to assist in the equipment of the fleet, and he collected the settlers as he had proposed, many of them married men, who numbered 300 persons with women and children, besides fifty officials for the forts, quarry men, blacksmiths, and carpenters.
In compliance with the orders given by your Majesty in Thomar, and afterwards by royal letters, he examined the ships that had been engaged for the expedition and brought forward, and he gave a special account of each ship, reporting to your Majesty what should be done. Your Majesty held this to be useful service, and ordered him to continue it with the necessary diligence. As Pedro Sarmiento saw that some good ships were passed over as gifts, and owing to the high prices, and other defective vessels were selected, he took steps to prevent this by giving notice to your Majesty. On account of his interference Diego Flores conceived such hatred for Pedro Sarmiento that he showed it both in words and deeds, speaking against him in public, and trying to thwart him in all his business. More especially, he began to impede the payments which your Majesty had ordered to be made to the sailors and soldiers who had come from Peru with Pedro Sarmiento by way of the Strait.
Your Majesty having ordered, by a special royal letter, that two companies of 500 soldiers should be raised for the forts in the Strait, and that these should be specially selected, in order that the 400 who were to remain might be chosen from them, Pedro Sarmiento showed the letter of your Majesty containing this order to Diego Flores; but he would not obey it nor take any steps about it, of which your Majesty was informed. This inconvenient course would have given rise to serious mischief, for if all the soldiers were in a confused body, no account would be taken of their necessities and infirmities, and thus they would die or desert; while by taking steps to know them, they would be under inspection in the same way as the settlers.
When there was the greatest necessity for hastening the equipment of the fleet, the said Diego Flores de Valdes left everything in confusion at Seville, and, without saying a word to the President and officers of the “Casa de Contratacion",* nor to Pedro Sarmiento, he absented himself and went to San Lucar, leaving all the business unsettled, the pilots and masters not engaged, and an infinity of other things unprovided for, each one of them being most necessary. The officials were astonished and scandalized, and the President Santillana,† communicating with Pedro Sarmiento, said that as such a thing had happened now, it seemed a bad augury of what would happen to the expedition hereafter. He ordered Pedro Sarmiento to take charge of the neglected business, which he did, getting together the pilots, masters and divers, and all that was still wanting as regards munitions of war, clothing, and materials for the forts, and embarked them. He also caused a brigantine to be made in pieces, for service in reconnoitring shallow places and channels under oars and sails. He made the charts with his own hand, and procured astrolabes, compasses, and other necessary things, looking after everything personally by day and night, and at all hours, and he would have done more if it had been possible, in his Majesty's service.
* The “Casa de Contratacion” at Seville was established by an ordinance of 1503, with authority to grant licences, despatch fleets, and to dispose of the results of trade and exploration. When the Council of the Indies was instituted in 1511 the “Casa de Contratacion” became subordinate to it, and transacted the commercial business of the colonies under its orders.
† The President of the Council of the Indies from 1579 to 1583 was the Licentiate Don Antonio Padilla y Meneses. Santillana presided over the “Casa de Contratacion” at Seville.
Having completed all that was necessary in Seville, embarked the soldiers and settlers, and sent them to San Lucar, Pedro Sarmiento went there himself to go on board, on the 15th of September. Diego Flores did not wish that Pedro Sarmiento should embark, and during more than nine days he refused to receive his luggage and people, Diego Flores and the rest being embarked. It was necessary to show the order of his Majesty and to call upon the Duke of Medina Sidonia to interfere, yet all this was not sufficient, and he persisted. Not only did he do this while in port, giving as an excuse that the luggage of Pedro Sarmiento was so heavy that he could not take it on board until he had crossed the bar; but even after the large ship had crossed the bar to some distance, and anchored in 20 fathoms, he refused to receive it twice, and even sent back the treasure of your Majesty intended for the use of the fleet. While the treasure and the luggage of Pedro Sarmiento were being taken on shore again, the wind and sea rose on the bar, and the treasurer would have been lost with the money, if the boats with the luggage, which were large, had not come to their help and taken them on board. Even when the same Pedro Sarmiento went himself personally, he did not wish to receive him, although he was ready to start, and could not go without him. Nor did he wish to receive 800 cwts. of biscuit which Pedro Sarmiento brought, and it had been sent to the ship Baraona* where it was taken on board. Pedro Sarmiento embarked in spite of Diego Flores, having lost the greater part of his luggage, owing to the showers which fell over the boats which were on the sea without covering. A great deal more was stolen, both of money and goods, to the value of more than 1,500 ducats. He dissembled, in order to avoid an altercation with Diego Flores, and to be able peaceably to perform the service and to carry out the wishes of his Majesty.
As the cause of the loss of the ships and men was the injudicious departure from the port, I will give an account of it, although it is now well known and an old story.
The Duke of Medina Sidonia, without regard of the weather or of the opinions of seamen, forced this fleet to put to sea, towing out the ships with galleys until they were beyond the bar of the river of San Lucar de Barrameda, on the 25th of September 1581, against the wish of all the pilots, of Diego Flores, and of Pedro Sarmiento. The latter, then protesting against the departure, said to the Duke, to Don Pedro de Tarsis and the rest, that we were being towed out by force of oars, and that the departure was contrary to the opinions of good seamen because it was the eve of the conjunction of the first moon of autumn, which generally awakens strong winds from S.E. and S.W. in that part of the country, that such winds are contrary and dangerous for vessels between Capes St. Vincent and Cantin, for they would be driven on the thick sands,* where both ships and men would be lost; that it would be right to wait until after the moon's conjunction, to take counsel respecting the weather, and to follow the advice of seamen; moreover, that he should not be deceived by the land breeze which was blowing on that day, caused by the rain which had recently fallen, that the coolness of the land caused it, and that it did not extend two leagues out to sea.
* Arenas gordas.
All this did not suffice to put reason into them, and, as they had the power, they made the fleet put to sea. Three days had not passed before, on the eve of St. Francis, the second of the moon, a furious wind sprang up from South and S.W. when the fleet was between the two capes, without power to navigate either to north or south. Thus it was that all began to drift towards the shore, without hope of being saved. Diego Flores ordered the cargo and anchors to be thrown overboard. Pedro Sarmiento prevented this from being done, and caused the poop of the ship to be strengthened, for great seas were coming over it, and pouring on the deck where the soldiers were stationed in much anxiety of mind, believing that they would perish. With this protection and the animating words of Pedro Sarmiento, God comforted and emboldened them.
Eighteen ships reached Cadiz with much difficulty, but the Gallega was swallowed up, and foundered with all hands at the entrance of the bay, and in the midst of the other ships, with one blow of the sea. Four others were lost off Rota, on the Picacho, and on the Arenas-gordas, with 800 men who were on board. The large galleass would certainly have been lost in the port, if the anchors had been thrown overboard, as Diego Flores desired.
The fleet having arrived at Cadiz, Diego Flores was in such a state of dismay and perturbation that he was unable to give an order, nor to apply a remedy to any defect. All he could do was to send excuses so as not to have to go on the voyage, and to ask permission of your Majesty to remain behind, as your Majesty well knows.
Pedro Sarmiento, seeing this, sent a report of what had happened to your Majesty and to the “Casa de Contratacion,” and he visited the ships, taking notes of all defects, which he promptly reported to the “Contratacion” at Seville. As the ship Barahona, which had returned to San Lucar in a dismantled state, had many things for the Strait on board, and was unable to continue the voyage, Pedro Sarmiento sent a special officer for them with an order of Francisco de Tello, the Treasurer of the “Contratacion.” The things were recovered and brought to Cadiz, where they were delivered to the masters for survey and report. He also sent to Rota to recover two pieces of artillery which the people of Rota had recovered from the ship which Sarmiento brought from Peru by way of the Strait. She was lost off Rota, but the artillery was recovered and delivered to the masters of the fleet.
As soon as his Majesty knew of the loss of men, provisions and munitions, and of the helplessness of Diego Flores, from the report of Pedro Sarmiento, he ordered all losses to be fully made up from the store-houses, instructing Pedro Sarmiento to draw for what was needed, as he did, embarking everything on board the ships of the fleet, and entering afresh more settlers and officers, to make up for those who had been lost in the storm. By order of your Majesty and of the “Contratacion” he kept watch in person, and through his people and servants, to prevent the crews from deserting, and the masters from taking anything to sell, as they had done before. He stopped these practices, giving notice to Diego Flores and to Don Francisco Tello, that they, as Judges, might remedy the evil by making an example. But excuses were easily accepted, and this was the occasion for further insubordination and robbery. Your Majesty was advised of and Pedro Sarmiento was ordered to persevere in his vigilance. As an example of the way in which these faults were punished, one case may be mentioned. The Serjeant-Major of the fleet, in going the rounds one night, found a master of the fleet with some goods, and when he tried to stop him, the man resisted with violence. When this was made known to Diego Flores, he sent for the Serjeant-Major and reprimanded him, saying that he should let the masters do these things as he had to live with them, if he wished to make a profit. From that time the Serjeant-Major got a little from all, for having entered the fleet without a real, he left it very well supplied, and leaving the confidence of Pedro Sarmiento, he joined the fraternity of those who seek to fill their purses.
All the time that the fleet was at Cadiz, Diego Flores was obstructing the work, and showing that he had no wish to make the voyage, although your Majesty encouraged him. He took no interest in the affairs of the fleet, which caused such ill-will among the soldiers and sailors that many resolved not to make the voyage, and whole companies and squadrons mutinied two or three times, on board the Capitana, and in other ships. Pedro Sarmiento did what he could, with much risk of his person and loss of his estate; for Diego Flores, the captains, and other officers not only applied no remedy, but even wished that the fleet should be broken up and the voyage abandoned. For what Pedro Sarmiento did on this occasion your Majesty took as good service.
Being at Cadiz, your Majesty ordered Pedro Sarmiento, with the chief pilots of Brazil, to go to Gibraltar and communicate with the Duke of Medina Sidonia respecting the wintering, and as to what place in Brazil should be chosen for it, your Majesty having suggested Rio de Janeiro. Discoursing with the Duke, it seemed to Pedro Sarmiento and to the pilots that it would be well to avoid that port on account of the prevalence of worms which destroy the ships, and by reason of other inconveniences. But the orders from Lisbon* were that the fleet should winter in that river.
* Where the court then was.
Diego Flores being at Cadiz, and unwilling to proceed on the voyage, your Majesty wrote to him to encourage him, and offering him rewards; sending by another letter to Don Fransisco Tello an order to speak to him, and if he still did not wish to proceed, to open another paper which your Majesty had sent, and to execute the orders contained in it. Diego Flores was not moved by the letter of your Majesty. Don Francisco Tello then told him what his orders were, and Diego Flores, fearing that in the paper another General would be appointed, submitted out of fright to what he had refused when offered rewards. But he did this in so lukewarm a way that all were of opinion that Diego Flores never desired to prosecute the voyage, as, indeed, he clearly showed in many other ways.
The fleet being ready to leave the bay of Cadiz, and all being embarked, a fresh easterly wind sprang up, which is wont to do harm in this bay. Some vessels were driven on shore, and others dragged their anchors. Among them was a frigate of your Majesty, of which Alvaro Bastos, a son-in-law of Diego Flores, was captain. Seeing that she was about to be lost, Pedro Sarmiento said to Diego Flores that they should go in the boat and launch of the galleass to help her; and that he would go in person, taking an anchor and cable. Diego Flores not only did not wish to do it, or give orders about it, but was enraged at the suggestion. Thus the frigate was lost on the reefs of the Cross. When Pedro Sarmiento beheld such neglect and perdition, not regarding his own provocation, but only thinking of the service of God and your Majesty and the good of all, without further words with Diego Flores, he got into a boat with his servants, and went on shore to save those who were wrecked in the frigate. They found that the pilot had fled with a quantity of rope and blankets, and that the captain was hidden on shore. Pedro Sarmiento got out and saved the arquebuses and muskets, some pipes of wine, cordage, and other things that would be useful, but the powder and bread were soaked by the water. He also recovered one or two pieces of artillery, and placed them in your Majesty's magazine.
As Pedro Sarmiento knew of the robbery of the blankets and cordage, and that these stores were in a certain house where the master had hidden them, he gave notice to Don Francisco Tello, who reported it to the Judge of the “Contratacion” at Cadiz, that they might be recovered. But all had been carried off, so that nothing was saved, touching which the Magistrate of Cadiz lodged an information against Diego Flores.
Pedro Sarmiento being on shore, occupied with these and other duties for the service of your Majesty and profit of the royal revenues, in which Diego Flores was under every obligation to assist, and Pedro Sarmiento was further receiving many tools from the "“Casa de Contratacion” at Seville, to replace those that had been lost, without which the fortifications could not have been proceeded with; yet on asking the Admiral for a boat from his ship to deliver them to the other ships, he did not wish to send it. So, in order that the tools might not be left behind and lost, Pedro Sarmiento gave ten ducats to a shore boat to take them to the store ships, which was done. When Diego Flores knew this, he departed without waiting for Pedro Sarmiento, leaving him on shore and going to sea without him. In order to catch him up, Pedro Sarmiento hired a brigantine, which cost him more money, and went in chase some considerable distance outside. Diego Flores laughed when he saw the shipman being paid, for he always rejoiced at the troubles and expenses of Pedro Sarmiento, who considered all well spent in the service of your Majesty, even life itself.
Departing from Cadiz in such confusion as was notified to your Majesty, on the 9th of December 1581, we had good weather as far as Cape Verde, where we arrived on the 9th of January 1582. Here we found the Portuguese inhabitants of the city of Santiago devoted to your Majesty; for the Governor, Gaspar de Andrada, had explained the matter to them, he being well educated and a good Christian, showing them that your Majesty is the natural and legitimate heir to the lordship and kingdom of Portugal and its dependencies, one of which was this island. Both Andrada and Pedro Sarmiento had become acquainted with each other before, when Pedro Sarmiento, coming from the Strait last year, touched at Santiago, and, with the favour of God, defended these islands from the French pirates, fighting with them, once at the request of the said Governor, and driving them away from that neighbourhood. Although the Bishop of the island was of a different opinion, yet he blessed the standard of the fleet, and a friendly feeling was established with the inhabitants, so that they were contented and confirmed in the service of your Majesty.
Pedro Sarmiento being here, in company with the Governor of the Island and Diego Flores, he examined the positions round this city and on the beach, and with the engineer Antonelli he measured and made a plan of the passes and dangerous places, with a view to their being repaired and fortified, of which he drew up a description and a scheme, describing the island and the weak points; respecting which, and touching the resources and noteworthy things of that and the neighbouring islands, and of Guinea and the adjacent main land, with its rivers and other secrets, he made a report which was communicated to the principal persons of the island, especially to the Governor of the island, and to his deputy and legal adviser Bartolomè de Andrada. Through the Governor it was sent to your Majesty, and the Governor also gave it to Diego Flores to be sent with the despatch which he forwarded by a messenger on board a caravel to Spain. But Diego Flores chose to lose it, in order that nothing might arrive that would give your Majesty satisfaction connected with the services of Pedro Sarmiento. That your Majesty considered it a sign of malice on the part of Diego Flores, when letters were received from him and not from Pedro Sarmiento, was shown in the despatch written to Rio de Janeiro and brought out by Don Diego de Alcega.
The fleet was a month at the Cape Verde Island, and left there for Rio de Janeiro. On the voyage many fell ill, and upwards of 150 died. Many more would have died if it had not been for the mercy of God, and for the gifts of benevolent persons. With the grace of God Pedro Sarmiento did what he could, sending to the different ships some necessaries for the sick and convalescent settlers. Diego Flores disliked this so much that he could not dissimulate, and almost wanted to stop it. His indifference and uncharitableness was such that, when Pedro Sarmiento mentioned one day that a settler in one of the other ships was dead, he presently said “I wish they were all dead!” Such a thing can scarcely be believed unless it was heard and seen, and it was a notable scandal to all on board the galleass. When Pedro Sarmiento gently and temperately remonstrated, showing the good service that would be done to God and your Majesty by settling people in those lands, and how desirable and charitable it was to sustain and nourish them, he answered so mal a propos as to say:—“I do not know with what title and right his Majesty can be called King of the Indies.” Seeing so great a brutality in a serious man, and a servant of your Majesty who was under such obligations to the royal service, Pedro Sarmiento was astonished.
Desiring to put him right, the arguments of Sarmiento only served to exasperate him more. Sarmiento set forth all the divine and human titles which your Majesty has to the Indies, as Fray Francisco de Victoria* explains in his work. He added many others which he established when he collected proofs in Peru of the ancient usurpation in those parts and of the tyranny of the Incas. Touching these things, he sent to your Majesty an ancient history both written and shown in pictures, which was forwarded by the Viceroy Don Francisco de Toledo, Mayordomo of your Majesty, and so diligent in his devotion and service to your Majesty and in the increase of the royal crown, of which Dr. Pero Gutierrez, Judge of the Royal Council of the Indies, is witness, who worked no less, in peace and war, and in general visitations during the viceroyalty of the said Don Francisco de Toledo. These proofs were brought by Hieronimo Pacheco, a servant of the said viceroy, in the year 1572, but all did not suffice to convince Diego Flores of the truth until Pedro Sarmiento showed him the Bull, and motu propria and certain knowledge of Pope Alexander VI, which was the first concession, nomination, and assignment of the Indies to the very high and fortunate Catholic Kings of glorious and eternal memory, great-grandparents of your Majesty, and first discoverers of the Indies and preachers of the holy gospel to the natives, and to their successors, as your Majesty is. Sarmiento said that whosoever contradicted that, disputed the power of the Pope, and accused the royal conscience, and was open to suspicion in both cases. Diego Flores was silenced but not convinced, from which it may be gathered with what sort of zeal he worked in the royal service of your Majesty.
* Fray Francisco de Vittoria, a native of that town in the province of Alava, was a Dominican and Professor of Theology at Salamanca; Author of a work on Theologia (two vols., Lugd., 1557), which went through several editions. The fourth book is entitled De Indias et Jure Belli. He died at Salamanca in 1546. See Antonioi, p. 496.
We arrived at the port of Rio de Janeiro on the 24th of March 1 582, where the fleet wintered in compliance with the order of your Majesty, until the end of November of the same year; where many died of those who had been taken ill during the voyage, and many more fell ill of a disease of the brain, which is a pestilence of that land. It is easy to cure by those who understand it, but if it is not understood or not cured within two or three days, there is no remedy and it becomes incurable, killing by excessive vomiting. It is called the disease of the country.
During these visitations of illness, the Portuguese of the city of San Sebastian offered to cure the sick, asking for some alms from Diego Flores, out of the royal treasure of his Majesty, sent for these and like necessities. Diego Flores once gave them some reales, not amounting to a hundred, for more than 200 sick. The Governor, Salvador Correa, and the citizens of the town, being extremely poor, did what they could, but Diego Flores never gave any more, not even ordinary rations for healthy men, so that 150 died, and others, seeing this, deserted. Pedro Sarmiento, seeing the danger at hand, arranged that the settlers should be lodged in the houses of the inhabitants of the land, where they were cared for and cured, and not more than four died. He also constructed houses of palm branches for the officials, visiting and ministering to them at all hours, so that, to the glory of God, they were cured, and only one died out of 150.
While they were wintering, in order to avoid idleness, which is apt to give rise to evil thoughts rather than to good works, Pedro Sarmiento, with the consent of Diego Flores, made the people construct two portable wooden houses, to be taken on board the ships in pieces, so that, on arriving at that part of the Strait where they were going to remain, they could soon be put together for storage of munitions and provisions in a safe place. The Governor, Salvador Correa, provided large timber, and Pedro Sarmiento caused it to be sawn into planks in great quantity. When one house had been completed, large and well fitted to the satisfaction of all, the envy of Diego Flores was such that he interfered to prevent the other from being made, proposing that the rest of the planks should be used to make hods for carrying earth, although the ships were supplied with them of leather, the best that could be made. Commencing to make them, he got tired on the first day, and left the work because it did not proceed as he wished. He sent to ask Pedro Sarmiento to go on with it, with the Admiral, and Pedro Sarmiento, to facilitate the service, dissimulated in all things, thinking it better to give up his right and to suffer than, through pride and presumption, to have a quarrel with Diego Flores, though he gave occasion for one at each moment. Influenced by these motives he returned to superintend the work, causing the hods and moulds to be made, all which, with the pieces of the house were embarked when the ships sailed for the Strait.
It would not be for the service of your Majesty to pass over in silence anything that was done here during the wintering, respecting the waste and dissipation of the royal property. For it was a cause for sorrow and regret to see the thousand ways in which the provisions, stores, and munitions, as well as the fittings of the fleet, were robbed and wasted, and the materials for construction of fortifications and houses, down to needles and thread. Even the greater part of the treasure of your Majesty, which was sent for the use of the people and the fleet, was given away to any persons who might come, and in like manner much of the stores got into the possession of such persons by illicit means, who sold them to the inhabitants of the city of Rio de Janeiro and of San Vicente, and afterwards at Bahia. Even those who bought them were ashamed and grieved to see the destruction of things for which they gave low prices, as for things that had cost little. Many other things, such as wire, iron and steel, and clothing, were exchanged for Brazil wood to take to Spain and sell. Pedro Sarmiento, who had his dwelling at the beach of embarkation, knew and saw all this by night and day. At night he secretly stationed sentries, who frequently caught the property in the hands of those who came on shore in the boats to sell or hide it, and if he had had jurisdiction over the delinquents, it is very certain that he would have punished them and remedied the evil. As he was unable to do this, he reported what took place to Diego Flores, that he might apply a remedy, but he might as well have spoken to the dead. For many were engaged in it, and he did not wish to interfere, except in the case of some one poor creature whom he would try but not punish, and all the rest would laugh. Pedro Sarmiento made much of these disorders, both in public and private, but the only result was that Diego Flores put himself in opposition to him, and favoured the delinquents, diminishing the stock of provisions by festivities and follies, and representing the impossibilities of the undertaking to everyone, declaring they would all die of hard work and hunger, without a hope of ever receiving rewards or pay. When he came to the workshop to see the officials who worked in the way I have described, instead of encouraging them, he said with vehemence, “Oh, poor and unlucky wretches! whither do you go, who has deceived you into coming here to die without profit?” Besides this, he stopped the rations, which was the reason that many fled and hid themselves in the forests. Not content with this, he gave the best carpenter we had, who could also serve as engineer and surveyor, to the monks,* although he had received pay from your Majesty. When Pedro Sarmiento wanted to recover his services, Diego Flores made them give him the habit of a lay brother so that he could not be taken away.
* Teatinos. This was an order of regular clergy, first approved in 1524. It was so called because Giovanni Piero Carrafa, who afterwards became Pope as Paul IV, assisted in the formation of this order at San Cayetano. He had been Archbishop of Chieti, in the kingdom of Naples, the old name of which was Teate.
In order to buy meat and flour at the towns of Santos, San Vicente, and Campo, Diego Flores sent the quantity of your Majesty's treasure that is now known in the Council of the Indies, with Diego de la Ribera and the Treasurer of the fleet, also sending a quantity of the cloth which your Majesty sent with Pedro Sarmiento, for the use of the people who were to remain at the Strait, as well as iron tools and many other stores, which he ought not to have done, as he had more than enough money, while the stores could not be obtained here, and without them the orders of your Majesty could not be carried out. Sometimes they took a quantity of canvas of both old and new sails, and some of the officers of the fleet, the captains, the notary, and the sergeant-major and purveyor, carried off or sent wine and clothes to San Vicente in payment for meat and flour. The money paid by the Portuguese was divided among themselves. It was so that at the time of paying for the meat and flour, the Treasurer set up a tent like a pedlar, with the cloth, canvas, wine, old and new stores, iron and steel tools. When Diego de la Ribera delivered them to the Treasurer, they came to him, and the Treasurer made them take by force the old canvas at the price of new, and kept back the new and good cloth for those who were in his company, who afterwards sold it again to the Portuguese. These purchasers gave a fourth part in money, and the rest in goods, saying that it belonged to your Majesty, and putting what price they liked upon it. They left many unpaid, and when the Portuguese asked for payment they were threatened, and so they desisted. Thus men who had not a real, got plenty at Rio de Janeiro, and were possessed of sugar and other merchandise to take to Spain, as he who acted as notary at these sales could certify more in detail, if he chose to relate what he saw. He explained it all to me, and gave me several things in writing which I sent to your Majesty, charging the notary to give all his evidence to the Council of the Indies, as he should have done. If evidence was collected in Brazil, many more cases of robbery and destruction would be brought to light.
I will mention one thing from which it will be understood how the business was conducted in all directions. After they came with the flour and dried meat from San Vicente, Pedro Sarmiento went one day to the house of Diego Flores when they were going over the accounts for these expenses. There were present Diego Flores, Diego de la Ribera, the Treasurer, Accountant, Purveyor and others, engaged in investigating some great point respecting which each one was throwing the blame on the rest. Directly they saw Pedro Sarmiento they all became silent and said no more about it. He left them because he had no duty connected with that business, and they remained tearing their beards.
During this wintering at Rio de Janeiro all the ships were attacked by worms and bored, receiving notable harm and deterioration, except those of your Majesty, which had their bottoms covered with lead.* For the great heat, with the mud and swampy ground, creates these worms, and boils the wood, cordage and nails of the ships. So that, at the time of departure, the greater part was reduced to cinder. Even the iron was rotten to such an extent that it could be ground with the hand, an unheard of thing. Thus what was worked with hoes, spades, or adzes came to pieces in the hands like paper, and at the least blow fell in bits on the ground. The ships were refitted as far as possible, but presently they began to let in water in many parts, so that much fear was felt by all. Diego Flores sent one of the ships to the bottom, and the same ought to have been done with the ship Arriola, as she was unseaworthy, but Captain Palomares concealed her condition, thinking it was enough to deceive for the present. Pedro Sarmiento, however, notified to all that the ship was weak, and that the seas that would be encountered would be high. He advised that the people and stores should be divided among the other ships, and that she should be sunk or left; for she was dangerous, as in fact was proved, for she was lost, as will be seen in its place.
* Sir Richard Hawkins mentions that, in Spain and Portugal, some sheath their ships with the thinnest sheet lead; but that it is not durable and subject to many casualties. He thinks a good way is to burn the outer planks until they are hke coal, and then to pitch them. The best plan was that used in England, a sheathing of very thin boards, and between it and the ship's side a composition of tar and hair.—Observations of Sir Richard Hawkins, Hakluyt Society's vol. for 1878, p. 203.
There happened at this time a thing which deserves blame. The ships being ready to start on the voyage for the Strait, many of the masters and captains secretly loaded their ships, during the night, with Brazil wood, which is as heavy as iron and very bad for the vessels, as it breaks them and pulls them to pieces. They put so much on board that the ships were very low, and in order to put the Brazil wood under hatches, a quantity of the stores for the Strait were left on the deck, and exposed to be lost, as happened, in the first heavy weather. I considered, as one acquainted with the sea and zealous for the service of God and the King, that these proceedings were most harmful, and that it might be concluded from them that, the first time the wind blew from the south, these captains would make sail for Spain without stopping in Brazil, to sell their dye wood. For if this had not been their intention it would not have been necessary to load the ships, for they could have left the dye wood, and taken it on board when they returned from the Strait. But they ought not to have done either the one or the other, being military men bound to keep the ships clear and light for receiving the seas during bad weather. Thus it was that the Arriola,* owing to the weight of her cargo of dye wood, opened out and was disabled. When this became known to Pedro Sarmiento he publicly denounced and reprehended such conduct, making great demands for investigation; on which Diego Flores ordered, between his teeth, that the dye wood should be landed. It was disembarked from some ships, and even from the San Cristoval and the Arriola; but the same night it was put on board the Arriola again, as was publicly known, and it cost the crew their lives. Her Master and others, seeing that Pedro Sarmiento has been the cause that the order was given to land the dye wood, publicly declared that they would throw all the stores for the Straits into the sea; and they did throw a quantity overboard, being the property of your Majesty.
* The San Estevan de Arriola . When the fleet sailed from Spain, the captain was Juan Gutierrez de Palomar, the pilot Bartolomè Vasquez, and master Villaviciosa Uncueta.
Diego Flores disliked what Pedro Sarmiento did to preserve the property of your Majesty and to check the proceedings of the thieves; and although he made an appearance of doing the same, he dissimulated too much, and in reality did nothing. But he conceived such hatred for Pedro Sarmiento on account of his efforts, that, contrary to the orders of your Majesty that they should be together for mutual help, he separated himself, and made Pedro Sarmiento embark on board another ship, where there was scarcely room for his stores.
Diego Flores said publicly that nothing connected with the fortification or settlement of the Strait should be where he was, for he neither wanted to see nor to understand them. The officials and stores that came out in the Capitana were distributed in other ships, with much contempt and disdain; a thing almost incredible to behold how this man strove to ensure the failure of the expedition, which was of such importance, and of such interest and service to your Majesty.
The fleet of sixteen ships sailed from Rio Janeiro, badly fitted as regards rigging and other things, and provisioned with flour, roots, meat, and fish obtained at Rio and at San Vicente. They proceeded, with moderate weather, until the 38th parallel was reached, but in the first gale the launch and brigantine were lost. This was the fault of Diego Flores, for Pedro Sarmiento, having built the brigantine at Seville and embarked her in pieces, for use in the Strait, Diego Flores caused her to be put together and armed, contrary to the wishes of Pedro Sarmiento. When Pedro Sarmiento said to Anton Pablos that the sea they had still to pass over would be rough, and that even the ships would have trouble in it, much more a little brigantine which would certainly be lost, Diego Flores laughed and insisted on her being got ready and sailing with a pilot and some sailors, as well as the launch. At the first fresh breeze those who were in the brigantine abandoned her and went on board the ships, leaving her to be lost; and the launch being fast to the stern of the galleass by a tow rope, it was cut by order of Diego Flores, and the launch was also lost. From this I came to the conclusion, in which I was afterwards confirmed, that this man had not the courage even to look at the sea, for when it was blowing he always went below.
Being in 38° the Arriola, when there was little wind, began to make so much water one night that it could not be got under by the pumps. She made a great signal light which the other ships saw, and they came near her, knowing the danger she was in. So they kept company with her all the night, the water always gaining on the pumps. At daylight Diego Flores made sail, and thinking that he wanted to come near the Arriola to take the crew on board, as he could easily have done, they told him that they were sinking and that he should come to their help. Without answering, he went on ahead, flying from the Arriola before a light west wind which began to blow. Presently the Arriola and the other ships made sail after him, and all left her except the ship Begoña with Pedro Sarmiento on board and the Captain Rada, and the Almiranta with Diego de Ribera. These two vessels kept by the sinking ship, encouraging the crew, while the wind and sea was increasing, though not much. Pedro Sarmiento, seeing that the ship must be lost and that the crew did not take to the boats, said that they should make sail and overtake Diego Flores and the other ships, where they could jump overboard and be taken up. This they did and came up to the ships, but Diego Flores made more sail and ran away more than before, so as not to give them help, and so they were abandoned. The Admiral and Pedro Sarmiento, not having fast ships, were unable to keep up, and having lost sight of the rest of the fleet, were left behind. Next day they fell in with the other ships again, and learnt that the Arriola had gone to the bottom that night with all hands, being 350 persons. May God have mercy on their souls. An immense quantity of stores and munitions were also lost, for as she was a large ship of more than 500 tons, she carried many things. This was in December.
This misfortune was due to our sins and negligence. Diego Flores, being frightened, without bad weather, without calling counsel or saying anything, presently began to return and fly back again, not desiring to hear anything Pedro Sarmiento could say. Thus he came to the port of Don Rodrigo, which is in 2S° of latitude. His navigation was so unseamanlike that, having arrived in 40 fathoms of depth near the coast of Viaza, he did not stand out to sea during the night nor shorten sail until daylight, and so all the ships were in danger of being lost. The ship Santa Marta was lost. Seeing her upright and entire, Diego Flores took no other step than to leave Diego de la Ribera with her, who sent boats and a vessel with some Franciscan friars, including Fray Juan de Riba de Neyva, Commissary of the river Plate, whom we fell in with by chance in that little vessel, going with the friars to the river Plate. They gave us news that in that port of Don Rodrigo they had found three ships full of English pirates on their way to the Strait, who robbed them of what they had and afterwards returned their boat. The English then departed, but it was not known whither they went. The Captain of the English was named Funtonuy, according to what the Friar told us.*
* The English vessels, here mentioned, were the Queen's ship Leicester (300 tons), commanded by Edward Fenton, whom the Friar called “Funtonuy,” and the Bonaventure (300 tons), commanded by Luke Ward, besides the pinnace Francis (40 tons), under John Drake, with William Markham as master. Their object was commerce, and their destination the East Indies or China. The Earl of Leicester was the chief adventurer. Fenton's Instructions, from the Lords of the Council, will be found in Hakluyt, iii, p. 754, together with a narrative of the voyage written by Ward. Another journal was kept by Mr. Maddox, chaplain of the Leicester, and a third by William Hawkins, who was Lieutenant-General under Fenton. Hawkins's Journal is preserved in the British Museum (Otho E. viii), but much mutilated by fire. What could be deciphered was printed in the volume of the Hakluyt Society on the Hawkins's Voyages (1878). The Instructions are dated April 9th, 1582. They went first to Guinea, and reached the island of Santa Catalina, on the coast of Brazil, in December. When they heard, from the Friar, that Sarmiento was on his way to fortify the Strait of Magellan, they abandoned their plan of passing through it, and anchored at San Vicente, in Brazil, on January 19th, 1583. A few days afterwards three disabled ships, sent back by Diego Flores, arrived and attacked the English. One of the Spanish ships was sunk. Fenton made no further attempt to prosecute the voyage. He returned home with the two ships, arriving at Kinsale on June 14th, 1583, but the pinnace was wrecked on the coast near the river Plate, and her crew fell into the hands of the natives. John Drake, and a few others, escaped to a Spanish settlement, and were sent to Peru according to Lopez Vaz. Their subsequent fate is unknown.
Edward Fenton was a brother-in-law of Sir John Hawkins, having married Thomasine Gonson, a sister of Sir John's wife. He served with Sir Martin Frobisher in his first and second Arctic voyages; but his voyage to Brazil was an utter failure, and he had a violent quarrel with young William Hawkins. Fenton commanded the Mary Rose in the fleet which dispersed the Spanish Armada in 1588. He died at Deptford in 1603.
Pedro Sarmiento, finding himself in 40 fathoms that night, stood out to sea under easy sail until daylight, showing a light to the vessels near, and telling them to follow him until morning. Thus God was served that we should escape the danger into which the ship ran which blindly confided in Diego Flores. She was lost without a tempest or other cause, but in a smooth sea with a gentle breeze.
In this port of Don Rodrigo, Pedro Sarmiento, disregarding his own personal injuries in view of the public good and of the service of God and of your Majesty, went to speak with Diego Flores and to encourage him to persevere in the undertaking, offering to give orders to his own people to make good the defects of the ships. He argued that the weather was fine, and entreated him to consider the wishes of your Majesty, and the general good of Spain and the Indies, which depended on the efficiency of the forces of the royal crown. I told him that all the world was watching our proceedings from far and near, and that the enemies of the church of God and of your Majesty would rejoice at our incapacity and loss, seeing that from it they hoped for their own accursed increase in power, while our perseverance and resolution was their perdition. Diego Flores replied that he wanted to go to the island of Santa Catalina, which is eight leagues further back, and that there he would discourse farther on the matter. This was done, as appeared afterwards, to lengthen out the time, so that the winter might come on suddenly and impede the voyage. He intended then to return to Brazil, and thence to Spain, abandoning everything.
Eventually we arrived at the island of Santa Catalina, where Pedro Sarmiento again spoke to Diego Flores, repeating what he had said before. He offered to get the forges and necessary tools ready, and, with the carpenters to cut and dress the wood that was wanted, as there is plenty of timber in the place, and to repair the ships; for there was not much that required to be done. Diego Flores did not wish to take this advice, hoping that some excuse might arise for returning; for he and his friends were seeking for reasons to act contrary to their honour. After a few days, Pedro Sarmiento was sent for to talk with Diego de la Ribera, who also tried to persuade him to consent that they should return, placing before him numerous drawbacks, such as the want of men and stores, the bad weather, the state of the vessels, and other absurdities. Pedro Sarmiento replied that so long as he had a plank on which to go, no one could induce him to fail in his duty to your Majesty, and that Diego Flores was under the same obligation, and even greater, as he had a higher command at sea, and had been offered rewards, and been enriched and honoured in the service. As to the want of men to make settlements in the Strait, and to take the ships back, there were plenty; and as regards the loss of stores and tools your Majesty would provide more, besides we could remedy that evil in the land itself, with the help of God. As for the violent weather, of which rumours had been spread in Seville with reference to what was suffered in the first discovery, he said he was a knight and would behave as one, and that to die well is an act to be honoured. Besides, having promised your Majesty, he would persevere and set an example to others while wind and weather permitted. Finally, he would undertake to repair the ships, and from this resolution nothing would turn him but God, your Majesty, or death; and with this he took his leave. On another day Pedro de Rada was sent on the same errand, and he received the same answer in stronger terms. Then Don Alonso de Sotomayor* came, as a friend of Pedro Sarmiento, who began to talk seamanship without understanding it. Pedro Sarmiento easily refuted him, and urged upon him that he, who was his friend, should not advise so vile and base a thing, for that he would rather die a thousand deaths than consent to such baseness, with which answer he departed very sad. As they could not honestly return without the consent of Pedro Sarmiento, and as he would be exonerated if they abandoned the enterprise against his will, they sought for another most disorderly way of impeding the voyage.
* Don Alonzo de Sotomayor, Marquis of Villa Hermosa, was Captain-General of Chile. He was taking a passage with 600 soldiers. He was landed in the river Plate, whence he marched over the Pampas, and across the Andes to his government. He thought he would easily be able to conquer the Araucanian Indians, but he did not succeed after nine years of incessant warfare. He was Captain-General of Chile from 1583 to 1592.
First, the friends of Diego Flores proposed to him to kill Pedro Sarmiento. But God was served that this should be avoided, and Pedro Sarmiento was warned. Not for this did he swerve from his course, but he kept his counsel and was always on his guard. Yet the proposal appeared the best means of cutting short the career of him who pried into their secrets, for this done they could return without contradiction. Glory be to the true God for so much mercy as was here shown to this unworthy sinner.
In order to oblige Pedro Sarmiento to consent to return, a rumour was spread that the three best ships, which were the Almiranta,* Concepcion,† and Begoña,‡ were not sea-worthy, and that they must either be sunk or sent to Brazil.
* Her name was the San Juan Bautista, in which the Admiral Diego de la Ribera sailed from Spain. The Captain was his half brother, Alonso de las Alas.
† Commanded by Gregorio de las Alas.
‡ The Santa Maria de Begoña, commanded by Pedro de Aquino. She was afterwards sunk by the English.
This was done by Diego Flores because, without these ships, there were none to take the settlers and friars, nor the stores and provisions; for they were those which carried the greatest proportion of these things. So that without these ships nothing could be done, and a return would be inevitable. The plot was the more easily exposed because the masters of the three ships repudiated the statements of Diego Flores, declaring that their ships were fit and ready for sea, and if anything was wanting, it could be supplied in two days. It is certain that what the masters said was correct. In order to satisfy himself, Pedro Sarmiento inspected the ships down to the keels and in minute detail, trying the pumps several times. One of them had been navigated by Pedro Sarmiento, and was well known to him as the soundest ship in the fleet.* In short, he found that the masters were right, and that these very ships were the safest in the fleet. Finding himself thwarted in this scheme, Diego Flores got people to tell the masters that if they would give evidence contrary to the truth, and say that the ships could not be navigated, they should receive rewards, to which they consented. On this Diego Flores was delighted. His accomplices published the news that the ships were to return, all the married settlers and soldiers being put on shore. Many of the soldiers fled into the woods, and remaining there, they were eventually eaten by the cannibal Indians of the main land, who came in canoes to the island, and finding the fugitives weak and ill, they killed and devoured them.
* The Begoña. See page 251.
Soon afterwards the friars mutinied, who were to go to the Strait, and some of them declared they would remain where they were. Pedro Sarmiento, knowing that their commissary, named Fray Amador, was in the woods with another friar named Martin de Torre Blanca, with little regard to their habit or the precepts of their order, or to the orders of your Majesty, went into the woods to them, accompanied only by another friar of the order and two of his servants. His object was to entreat them, for the love of God, to return to the ships and comply with the obligations and rules of their order. When Pedro Sarmiento came to the place where they were concealed, the commissary fled further into the woods, but the other friar was overtaken and induced to return. The commissary was called and exhorted, but he would not come until another day. Thus three or four friars remained on shore through the fault of Diego Flores. Afterwards they came back to the ships which returned for the settlers and soldiers.
Seeing that Francisco Gavres, who had been appointed Treasurer, and Herrera, who was to be Accountant at the settlement in the Strait, were afraid of the prospect and did not wish to continue the voyage, but spoke evil of it, Diego Flores induced them to leave the side of Pedro Sarmiento, their Governor, who had importuned your Majesty to grant them favours. They mutinied against their Governor, whom they were under obligations to serve in the name of your Majesty, and these, with the Commissary of the Friars, began to sow the seeds of insubordination among the people.
Diego Flores ended by leaving the ships and the settlers, and many soldiers with munitions out of the three ships at Santa Catalina, with Andres de Aquino, Accountant of the Fleet as commander, to whom he gave 5,000 reales with which to obtain food for the soldiers. But he sent away more than 300 of the best, which was one of the greatest blunders he was guilty of, by making it impossible to proceed with the fortification and settlement of the Strait in accordance with the orders of your Majesty. Moreover, he left the clothing and tents which your Majesty sent out for the settlement, in the three ships. When this came to the knowledge of Pedro Sarmiento he worked hard to get them out of the ships, trying to arrange with the masters of the ships that were going to the Straits to take them on board, but none of them would do so, because it was against the orders of Diego Flores. Seeing this disastrous state of affairs, Pedro Sarmiento reflected that they must be secured, otherwise the people who were landed in the Strait would be without clothes or covering. So he resolved to take them himself, and he did so with his own hands and with the help of his own people and servants. No one else would help, for fear of offending Diego Flores, for it was known that he detested the voyage and the enterprise of fortifying the Strait, and wished to thwart it. The clothing was at last received, the greater part being rotten through damp, and ruined.
Thus, with the enterprise mismanaged and thrown into disorder, leaving the three ships and the settlers and soldiers Diego Flores departed from this island of Santa Catalina on the 13th of January, having allowed 13 days of light favourable winds to slip away, with which the fleet might almost have reached the Strait. He let these days pass, although he was requested to sail, because when the fair wind had passed a foul one was sure to blow and hinder the voyage.
In leaving this port the store ship ran on a sunken rock and was lost. Diego Flores had gone out first, and when he saw this he would not stop nor send help, and thus she was lost with her crew, and the stores she was carrying for the settlement. But Andres de Espino and the purveyors got many pipes of wine out of her, and other property, which they embarked, took to San Vicente, and sold or wasted them, as will be related further on. In this ship were lost or stolen many pipes of wine which she carried for the settlers, and being stolen they were lost and never could be recovered.
The fleet sailed on, with fair weather as far as the 34th degree, near the river Plate, when it was discovered that there was a leak in the quarter gallery of the poop of the San Cristoval, on board of which was Pedro Sarmiento and Diego de la Ribera. For Diego Flores had embarked on a swifter and stauncher frigate,* so as to be in greater safety, and be able to take to flight more readily if the English should be encountered. That he might not be recognised he did not hoist the general's banner on board the frigate where he was embarked, nor did he show a light. But he ordered that the San Cristoval should carry the lanthorn, so as to excuse himself from the responsibility and danger of being in the leading ship in an engagement. This was judged to be very bad conduct by the rest of the fleet.
* The Santa Catalina.
Having reached the above latitude, and discovered the leak, as well as the dangerous condition of the foremast, and this being known in the fleet, it was held for certain that Sarmiento would at last be alarmed, and would consent to return. With this object, and to please Don Alonso de Sotomayor, a council was summoned to come on board the frigate of Diego Flores, consisting of Pedro Sarmiento, Don Alonso Diego de la Ribera, Anton Pablos the pilot, and some others. Diego Flores announced the condition of the people, ships, and provisions, and the dangerous state of the Capitana, and first asked for the opinion of Anton Pablos. This pilot had already been corrupted by prayers and promises, although your Majesty had granted him great favours in honours and salaries, at the request of Pedro Sarmiento. He answered that under no circumstances should the Capitana proceed to the Strait in her present condition. At this all the pusillanimous officers rejoiced, supposing that this opinion would force Pedro Sarmiento to concur. But they were very much mistaken. When it came to his turn, he said to Diego Flores and the others who were present:#8212;
“Gentlemen,—I never use words without feeling obliged to follow them by corresponding acts. The King our Lord trusted in me, and I distinctly promised my services. From this I cannot swerve. As regards the present enterprise, neither my reputation and condition, nor that of any man of honour, would permit me to turn my face backwards, so long as I am not forced to do so by violence, and even then it must be clearly shown that nothing more is possible. Therefore, so long as I have life and health, and a vessel under my feet, with the help of God I will not turn away from achieving this enterprise, in compliance with the will of his Majesty, until it is completed, or until my life's end, with my best ability. If 1 have to go alone, as I did when I came from Peru to discover the Strait, I should complete the voyage or end my life, without waiting until the winter was passed. I, therefore, say and require that we must go on and do that which his Majesty has ordered us to do. If the enemy should occupy the Strait before us, it will be a great injury to the service of our Lord God and to his Majesty, as well as ignominious to us and to our nation. Yet we know that the enemy is in these seas, for the Father, Fray Juan de Ribadeneira, has told us that he has seen their ships, and that they are proceeding to occupy the Strait, or to pass it and commit robberies on the coasts of the South Sea, Maluco, and India, as Drake did. As for the leak on board the galleass it is being repaired, as well as the fore-mast, and by this time the repairs are completed. As the Lord-General does not wish to go in the Capitana, he need not fear what I do not fear, for his person is safe."
To this speech Diego Flores did not answer a word, but Don Alonso took him by the hand to give him confidence, and said that he himself would land at the river Plate, which he did. He then said to Pedro Sarmiento that they had not sufficient force, either as regards men or stores, to carry out the orders of his Majesty, and that, therefore, the best plan was to return. To this Pedro Sarmiento replied that he well knew the artifice by which ships, men, and stores had been left behind in order that this excuse might be made; but even with what was left, much might be done to deceive the enemy, and that a commencement is half the work: that in the Strait there was no one to disturb them, and that much could be done with what they still had, whereby his Majesty would be well served and the kingdoms of Spain and the Indies would rejoice: that his Majesty would take care to send help and to complete what had been commenced: and that he ought not to meddle with what did not concern him, being ignorant of matters touching navigation.
Don Alonso being thus silenced, he turned to Diego Flores saying that this was temerity. Diego Flores, not wishing to speak, merely said to Don Alonso that the Governor, Pedro Sarmiento, would do his duty if he could. Then Diego de la Ribera said:—“Pedro Sarmiento speaks well, and if the weather does not force us to turn back, we ought to proceed.” Then Diego Flores said to Pedro Sarmiento that if it was his opinion that they should return, Don Alonso would give his, signed with his name, before he left the frigate. Pedro Sarmiento replied that he would not be doing his duty if he allowed himself to be guided, in this matter, by Don Alonso, for he was not ordered to be so guided by his Majesty, and it was not the business of Don Alonso to treat of navigation, for if the opinion was erroneous, he would not be without fault; and Don Alonso would not be responsible for it when he should give an account to his Majesty. Diego Flores then said to Pedro Sarmiento that he would have to maintain what he asserted; and Pedro Sarmiento answered that if it should be well done he would help him, and if not each one for himself, and he would find at last that violence cannot be perpetual.
Finally, to the great disgust of Diego Flores, Don Alonso, the Chief Pilot, and the others who wanted to return, it was agreed to continue the voyage to the Strait and to carry out the orders of his Majesty. As soon as the debate was finished, Diego Flores having dinner ready for all, he entered his cabin to take his meal with only Don Alonso and Anton Pablos, who had been on his side. Pedro Sarmiento and Diego de la Ribera remained outside to write down what had been arranged: and after all that had happened, the Captain, Gregorio de las Alas, desiring his own interests which he had left in Brazil rather than the prosecution of the voyage, began to try and persuade Pedro Sarmiento, with blandishments, to agree to return. But Pedro Sarmiento repelled him with few words. He expressed his astonishment that gentlemen, who pretended to be honourable and loyal to your Majesty, should allow such disgraceful ideas to enter their minds: that he declined to discuss such proposals, nor to listen to them, and thus they parted in great anger.
Don Alonso de Sotomayor, fearing the passage of the Strait, and seeing that the fleet would have to go thitherwards, and even knowing and saying that he was aware that it would not arrive, which was as much as to say that Diego Flores had given out that he would only go there for form's sake, but that he would take the first excuse of storm or wind to go back without entering, now requested Diego Flores to allow him to depart with the three ships which carried his soldiers, that he might land in the river Plate and thence proceed to Chile, whither he was going as Governor.* Diego Flores consented to this, as Don Alonso had supported him on the question of returning, which was not in conformity with the wishes and orders of your Majesty, and of your Royal Council of the Indies. Don Alonso was desired to proceed by way of the Strait in order that, if by chance an enemy should be encountered as was expected, he might help us and drive them out with the force under his command. It was, at this time, even more necessary, because it was known that the English were going to the Strait, where, as was given out by Diego Flores and those of his opinion, the enemy would be found, and where the passage must be defended or, if it had already been occupied, where they must be dislodged. In this Pedro Sarmiento was not consulted, and it was carried out before he could protest, moreover as the materials taken by Don Alonso had not been placed in his charge by your Majesty, he had no power to resist. But he obtained the condition that, before Don Alonso departed for the river Plate, he should give up the stores and people destined for the Strait that were embarked in the three ships, and so it was settled between Diego Flores and Don Alonso. When Pedro Sarmiento wanted to send boats for the stores, he was prevented, being told that Don Alonso and Diego Flores would get them out and send them to the San Cristoval without fail. This was not done, and Don Alonso sailed that day for the river Plate, which was thirty leagues distant, taking with him many munitions of powder, lead, iron, steel, cordage, pieces of artillery, blankets, cloth, many tools, friars, officers, and many other things intended for the fortification of the Strait. These were sold in the river Plate, or exchanged for horses and other things wanted by Don Alonso, which was a notable injury to your Majesty's service and a diminution of the royal treasury, it being most just that payments should be made in accordance with the prices ruling at the place where goods are sold. The injury done to the public service by increasing the difficulty of carrying out a work of such importance to Christianity and to the crown of your Majesty as the fortification and settlement of the Strait, must also be considered. This thwarting and contravening, with such persistency, of the commands and wishes of your Majesty is unworthy of faithful servants of their King. Much regret must be expressed here by those who were left to proceed on the voyage, for now there was no remedy.
* Don Alonso's orders were to go to the Strait, assist in the work of fortification, and then proceed through the Strait to Chile.
Don Alonso having departed for the river Plate, we set out for the Strait on the next day, making sail with fine weather, to the great sorrow of Diego Flores and his accomplices. We only had two ships and three frigates* of your Majesty, out of the twenty-three that started from San Lucar the first time. We navigated as far as the mouth of the Strait with very fine weather and fair winds. Throughout the voyage, although Pedro Sarmiento saluted Diego Flores, the latter never returned the salute. Pedro Sarmiento laughed at this as childish petulance, not caring so long as he attended to the wishes of your Majesty.
* The San Cristoval, the Trinidad, Maria, Santa Catalina, and Magdalena.
We came to the mouth of the Strait in the beginning of January, and, commencing to enter, the ebb tide came with some wind, as is usual, and the current carried the ships out again. The wind fell, and when the tide turned we began to enter again. The same thing occurred again, and it was proposed to anchor under shelter of Cape Virgins, where the San Cristoval and the other vessels had anchored the day before. But Diego Flores would not do this. His determination was not to enter the Strait. So, without consulting either with the pilots or with Pedro Sarmiento, he fled, and the other ships followed him on a N.E. and E.N.E. course.
Pedro Sarmiento made all sail to come up with Diego Flores that he might detain him, for the wind had gone down, and he now knew by experience that when the south wind fell the N.E. breezes began, which would not be later than the next day, the time for returning to the Strait and getting under the shelter of the land, where there was security from side winds. Diego Flores replied to this, “I am going to Brazil. He who pleases can follow me. I shall not remain here.” Pedro Sarmiento, seeing that he was urging on his flight, cried out, “Señor Diego Flores, your worship is well aware of the fault that is committed by you, being able to return to the Strait, as you are able. For there can be no excuse where there is no obstacle, and there is no pardon when we do not do our best. Dense ignorance is worth nothing, and he cannot merit the palm who shuns the fight. Remember that in Spain little is made of this navigation, and our discoveries are not considered. Your worship has not even seen a flower in the sea, nor passed into the South Sea; whither it may seem impossible to go. God helps the weak and resolute, when we make discoveries and pass on with His grace, to whom be many thanks. Some arrive here in one small vessel to the honour and glory of our Lord God, not being more immortal than your worship, for the more of a knight, the greater the obligation to show constancy in an arduous service.”
To this Diego Flores gave no other answer than to make more sail and take flight for Brazil. After a short interval, speaking with Anton Pablos, he asked him how it appeared to him. The pilot replied that it would appear to him as it appeared to his worship. Presently he asked whether it would appear right to his worship to return to the Strait, on which Diego Flores answered by making more sail, and said, “Follow me to Brazil, for thither I go;” which all willingly did.
Seeing this resolution, Pedro Sarmiento, in a very loud voice, which was heard by Diego Flores and the whole fleet, required of Diego Flores in due form, in the name of his Majesty, that he should remain, for now there was neither contrary wind nor sea, and they could return to the Strait, the entrance to which was in sight, while the little sparrows and butterflies flew from the land to the ships. He protested against the mischiefs and injuries that would arise from giving up the service, both to the royal crown and treasury, and to the people of the fleet, of which notice would be given to his Majesty, adding many other things. He requested the royal notary, Pedro de Rada, to give his testimony as witness; but he, being of the faction of Diego Flores, said that he did not wish to do so. Diego Flores, without answering a word, put on press of sail and pursued his course to Brazil, proceeding without any storm, but with a light wind from E.N.E. and a smooth sea, so that he could easily have returned to the Strait. Presently a breeze sprang up which obliged the ships to work against it, though they could comfortably have run before it to the Strait, and have entered and found a perfectly secure port, until there was another south wind. It fell out that while Pedro Sarmiento was taking this course with Diego Flores, there rose against him the Admiral Diego de la Ribera, the Serjeant-Major Loaisa, the treasurer and royal notary Rada, and the pilot Anton Pablos. These officers mutinied against Pedro Sarmiento, saying that they did not want to return to the Strait, but to follow Diego Flores, who was their Captain-General. When Pedro Sarmiento wished to arouse in them some zeal for the service of his Majesty, they turned against him, and Diego de la Ribera said in a loud voice:—“If God put spirit into your worship, he did not put it into my word, and even Pedro Sarmiento would be ashamed of his shame.” Pedro Sarmiento answered that all had a good spirit if the will was ready, and that was not the cause; for that he was a seaman and had been bred to the sea. Diego de Ribera replied that he did not wish to do it, to which Pedro Sarmiento contested that some day his Majesty would know who had served him. Diego de la Ribera answered, “Do not give anything that the Queen may know.” This was a thing unworthy of a man of honour, and of one who had previously shown some constancy. They continued to shape a course to Brazil, and after reaching the 38th degree the breeze again became very favourable for a return to the Strait. Not only did they not want to take advantage of it, but they shortened sail and hove to, waiting until the breeze should blow itself out and the wind again begin to blow from the south. Imagining that the San Cristoval with Pedro Sarmiento, and the frigate of Captain Avendano,* might return to the Strait with the wind N.E., Diego Flores sent orders that they should not make sail until he did so. The ship Maria, on board of which was his son-in-law, Alvaro del Busto, had dropped astern until she was out of sight, two days before. But he would not wait for her, being so intent on his flight that he would not have cared if all the world had been lost. All that night we were hove to, and the next afternoon it was reported to Diego Flores that the frigate was taking in a little water. Upon this, without waiting even to put on his hat, he left that frigate and had himself taken on board another, which was a better sailer.† Next morning neither Diego Flores, nor the other frigate in which he had been before,‡ were in sight. On making enquiries, the sailors and pilots, who had kept watch during the night, reported that they had seen a light to N.W., and in that quarter the frigates should be followed. This was done by the San Cristoval and the frigate of Avendaño,^ without finding them until they reached the port of San Vicente, where they arrived in April, together with the ship Maria, which by this time had joined them. They did not find Diego Flores in the port of San Vicente, and it was said that she had been lost through ignorance of navigation, having no fear of a tempest from not having known the signs.
* The Magdalena.
† The Trinidad.
‡ The Santa Catalina.
^ The Magdalena.
Arrived in this port of San Vicente, we found the three ships in it, which had been left at Santa Catalina to proceed to Rio Janeiro; the Begoña being at the bottom, with half her masts above water.* We were informed that when our three ships arrived, they found two English ships inside the port, being two of the three which had robbed the friar, as already stated. The other was a pinnace which was lost between the island of Lobos and the main land at the mouth of the river Plate, as Pedro Sarmiento heard in the following year. The crew escaped in a small boat and went to the natives, who detained them. After a time the captain, who was named John Drake, a native of Plymouth, the pilot named William,† and another man escaped in a canoe and went up the river Plate to the city of Buenos Ayres, 60 leagues from the sea, and thence they were sent up country to the Judges of the Audience of Peru. Returning to what happened in the port of San Vicente between our ships and those of the enemy, our ships, on entering, found that the English were on shore getting water. Our ships anchored at a distance from the English. The enemy, who at first had given themselves up for lost, seeing that we kept at a distance, went on board and got ready their cannons for the battle, that our people might not come upon them, for at first their ships were almost without hands. Afterwards the Begoña, whose captain was Rodrigo de Rada, desiring to board, came up until she was alongside fighting with the English, while our other two ships did not move. The English in their ship, working their pieces of artillery, killed some of the crew of the Begoña, and with the lower deck guns they sank her and sent her to the bottom, the crew escaping to the shore in boats. The boatswain, who was an Aragonese, went to the English and remained with them. It is suspected that he returned to the Strait in 1586, with the corsair, Thomas Cavendish,‡ of whose voyage Pedro Sarmiento sent tidings to your Majesty from England, and also from France.
* The two others were the San Juan Bautista and Concepcion.
† William Markham. He was Master of the Elizabeth (Captain Winter) in Sir Francis Drake's voyage of circumnavigation.
‡ “ Telariscandi.”
Next morning the two English and the two remaining Spanish ships began to cannonade each other, and it was believed the English admiral received some injury. For the English finally left this port, and went to sea in the direction of the burnt island, which is 8 leagues distant to the S.S.W. On another day only one was sighted.*
* William Hawkins, who was on board the Leicester with Captain Fenton, relates that he anchored at St. Vincent on the 20th of January 1583. On the 23rd three Spanish ships arrived, of 600, 500, 400 tons respectively, with 670 men in the three ships. The fight began at about ten o'clock at night, and continued until the next day at noon.
He continues—“their vice-admiral we did sink. There were of our men slain in both ships six or eight, and more than twenty hurt. They had of theirs slain above a hundred, and many wounded. This we understood at Spirito Santo (Santos) of the Portingales, when we watered there.” Leaving St. Vincent the English fleet anchored at Spirito Santo on the 22nd of February, departing on the 5th of March. The Leicester reached Kinsale on June 14th, 1583.
The rest that happened in this action will have been re- ported by those who saw it. I, being absent on the voyage to the Strait, was not there, although I made enquiries respecting the circumstances when I arrived, and sent the result to your Majesty in a special report on the whole affair, by the hand of Don Juan de Pazos, at the time when Diego Flores returned to Spain.
I know not whether the faults committed in this port were concealed, including what the writer of this account saw and heard. This is that, after what happened regarding the English enemy, the hostile ships went to the island of Santo Amaro* from this port to refit, and were there more than eight days. During that time our two ships, being superior in size and better manned and armed, not only did not go out against the enemy, but went two leagues up the river, as far as the town of Santos, where they began to trade in sugar and hides, selling in exchange the wines, iron, and tools on board, being the things saved from the store-ship that was lost at Santa Catalina. These stores consisted partly of the property of your Majesty, and partly of the private property of Pedro Sarmiento, but all were intended for the settlements in the Strait.
* Off Santos.
More especially Andres de Aquino, as chief of these ships and accountant, sold in the town the cloths and blankets intended for the Strait, as he confessed to Pedro Sarmiento and Diego de la Ribera. Being asked why he acted thus, he answered that it was to get food for the people. But this was not necessary, because he had received 5,000 reales for purchasing provisions. God will judge his intentions; but if he sold the stores for this purpose he never gave a ration to the people after he arrived, telling them they could go where they liked, but that he would not give them a mouthful of food. When Pedro Sarmiento again asked him why he had behaved in this way, his answer was that he was ordered to do so by Diego Flores. Thus it was that Pedro Sarmiento found the men and women half dead with hunger, miserable, nearly naked, and bare-footed. Some had lost their clothes in the ship that went to the bottom, others had given clothing to the Portuguese in the town, in exchange for food to support themselves. It was a very great misfortune, and it was enough to break a man's heart to see them. Pedro Sarmiento, with the favour of God, did all he could to help them. Some had gone to other small towns to ask for food, for the love of God, and he provided them with a little nourishment, giving some clothes to the most naked; as well from the stores of your Majesty as from his own property, to cover their miserable bodies. He maintained them and took them on board again, giving them rations, and attending to the sick. He intended to take them to Rio Janeiro, and then to proceed to the Strait with them, God willing.
I could not then clothe them all, because, on returning from the voyage to the Strait, Diego de la Ribera took the men's clothes sent out for the settlement, and divided them among the soldiers of the galleass without any urgent necessity, and without the consent of Pedro Sarmiento, although he was present while Ribera was writing down to whom each thing should be given. The rest of the hose, shoes, caps, and other things were stolen, and some lost on board the Arriola and other ships. All these effectual means did Diego Flores adopt, to cause the ruin of the expedition.
The impiety of Diego Flores as regarded the sick, the poor, and indeed the people generally, was remarkable. Sometimes he said, in so many words, that so long as he escaped he did not care what happened to the rest. Once, when there was scarcity of water on board the galleass, he said to the dispenser in a loud voice, “Take care what you are doing; there must be no reduction in my share.” From that time he always had a large jar of water in his cabin, which he kept locked with a key, and would not give a drink of water even to a sick man. Once, unknown to him, a boy took a small jug of water out of his cabin for his son-in-law, who was sick and suffering from thirst. But Diego Flores caught the boy outside the door, took the water from him and poured it back into the jar, locked it up, and put the key in his pocket. He did the same with some almonds and other medical comforts, and would not give away a single one, although there were many sick on board, saying that he should keep them for himself. In the end he took them back with him, when he returned to Spain, and they became mouldy. Although these are trifles, they are things to be remarked in one who is placed in charge of a number of men.
Returning to what happened in the port of San Vicente, as soon as the English departed, Andres de Aquino, at the request of the Portuguese, began to construct a sort of bastion on a rock at the entrance of the river of this port, to defend the entrance in the event of the enemy returning. He put some pieces of artillery on it and manned it with some arquebusiers. In this way many tools were destroyed which were intended for the Strait. While this work was in progress the other captains who came with him were in the ports of San Vicente and Santos, trading and selling the wine at the public taverns and buying sugar and hides to take to Spain, all being done with the most shameless ignominy and baseness that can be imagined. Even the Portuguese, who gained by it, could not help mocking and laughing at the proceedings. Following the example of their superiors, the masters and notaries, and some soldiers, did the same.
When Pedro Sarmiento asked Andres de Aquino why he sold the stores if he was supplied with money wherewith to buy provisions, he replied that he knew it was not necessary, but as he knew for certain that Diego Flores never intended to go into the Strait, even if he was able, there was no need to preserve the stores, and that he would give an account to Diego Flores. From this it may be gathered that Diego Flores and Aquino discussed the matter with their accomplices, and that the departure from Santa Catalina was only intended as a form to be gone through because Pedro Sarmiento insisted upon proceeding with the expedition; but with the intention of turning back as soon as there was the slightest excuse. In fact, he turned back without any excuse.
The Captains Alonso de las Alas* and Estevan de las Alas,† and many others, having loaded their ships with sugar and hides to take to Spain for sale, as they might have carried palms of victory and weapons dyed in the blood of their enemies, were very joyful and contented. Their purses, which came out empty, went back closed and full. They determined to sail for Rio de Janeiro, whence news had come that Don Diego de Alcega had arrived with four ships which your Majesty had sent, laden with all kinds of provisions and stores, like a monarch and lord and more than father to all, having the feelings of a Saint. This showed your Majesty's great desire for the efficiency and success of this enterprise, which was so necessary for all Christians and for the Catholic Church, as well as for the prosperity of your Majesty's royal crown, which may Almighty God preserve for many years, and afterwards grant that heaven which your holy works on earth have merited. I say that these captains were very joyful, considering that they would also enrich themselves with another good lump of money from the ships that would be delivered to them, and from other things arising from the new arrival. It is certain that Mercury and Mars cannot be made very well to agree: trading and stealing are not compatible with obtaining honour in the career of arms and showing constancy in the service of a prince. One exalts the mind as much as the other debases it by traffic, makes it fall into many faults, and loses personal respect as well as patriotism and loyalty. For in place of contending with the enemies of God and of their King, they despoil their own King and country of wealth, credit, and honour. May God grant a remedy who is able to do so. I confess myself to be more evil than the evil; but not as regards these kind of faults, for which I give glory, honour, and grace to God. I will not deceive, nor do I wish, nor ought I, nor can I maintain that my condition is faultless, though if I am evil it is with those men who err from love of their King, which, to me, is a crown of triumph; and all good friends of your Majesty will judge me as I ought to be judged, and encourage me to persevere, which, with the grace of God, I will do to the utmost of my power. Let him complain who will complain, so long as I do my duty in the service of God and of my King. When, for my sins, it shall not be granted that this shall be recognised in me, I shall remain so before God. And I shall count myself well rewarded in this life, by being able to reflect that I have served faithfully, loyally and efficiently my King and Lord, my natural monarch, so Christian, liberal and gracious. Thus I will serve the crown though I should be in puribus, and those who have dishonestly enriched themselves should deride me. For I will ever be unus et idem seeking God.
* Captain of the Almiranta San Juan Bautista.
† Captain of the San Estevan de Soroa.
Having been some days in this port, taking in wood and water, and some provisions, and having saved some pieces of artillery from the wreck of the Begoña, leaving some men to defend the little fort, unnecessarily, we sailed in order to shape a course for Rio de Janeiro. As we were going out Diego Flores and the other frigate arrived, fifteen days after us. We found that, through ignorance of navigation, they had been thus delayed, for the weather had been the same for all, while the frigates were better sailers than the Capitana and the other vessels. But as a knowledge of navigation was wanting as well as the Capitana which showed them the way, they took a thousand confused courses and almost despaired of being able to reach Brazil. It seems as if God desired to show them that what they had got, after having turned away from their duty, they were not to see concluded. According to what they themselves said, they were for making for the land of the river Plate to save their lives; where they would have been captured and eaten by Guarani or Guarayo cannibals. But God, who does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live, had pity on them and brought them to this port. Instead of acknowledging God's mercy and giving thanks to Him, Diego Flores began to boast and play the lion on shore, not having done so at sea where it was more necessary. He seized on the Chief Pilot, and quarrelled with the Admiral, declaring they had deserted him, when he had left them because he thought the Capitana would be lost. He did not speak to Pedro Sarmiento, but presently he began to persecute and injure the poor settlers, turning them out of the ships and stopping their rations, saying they might go where they liked, that they were of no use any more than the undertaking they were engaged for. This was done with great cruelty, to the grief of those who saw them go away weeping, disconsolate, and helpless. Pedro Sarmiento, not being able to resist the power of the general, held his peace, seeing that words would not avail. He went to the town of Santos to avoid scandal, where he divided the settlers among the houses of the inhabitants of the town, consoling them and promising to return for them or to send from Rio de Janeiro, as he afterwards did. With this some were comforted and others were allowed to embark, and were provided with what was necessary.
Pedro Sarmiento suffered these and other vexations and annoyances, for in the instructions of your Majesty it is said that he who suffers most serves best. This so increased the insolence of Diego Flores that it can hardly be credited. The more humility was shown, the more he was puffed up with pride, and he said things that were unworthy to hear. Among others there was one instance that may be mentioned. Diego Plores had treated one of the settlers harshly without any cause. He was a gallant soldier and a good servant of your Majesty in Flanders, Italy, and the Indies, and had come with Sarmiento from Peru by the Strait. When Pedro Sarmiento requested Diego Flores to be more moderate and not to set himself against the settlers, he replied with intolerable insolence—“Be off! Be off to the Strait.” Pedro Sarmiento answered, “I shall go, with many thanks to God and to his Majesty.… To this Diego Flores said—“And have many thanks to me!” almost ignoring God and the King, and implying that there he would have his way without regard to God or your Majesty, as he did. Presently he began to form cabals with the pusillanimous traders and enemies of the enterprise, against Pedro Sarmiento, saying that it was impossible that it could be done, and that Pedro Sarmiento was desperate, and that if he had known what that navigation was, although his Majesty had offered all he possessed, he would not have taken charge of it. It is certain that, on the passage from the Strait this time, Diego de la Ribera said to me that it is a disgrace to see the English thieves pass the Strait with ease, while to the vassals of his Majesty, who are so accustomed to encounter all dangers by sea and land, it appears impossible. In these times your Majesty ought to feel this fault, for it is not well to set aside the good and brave vassals of your Majesty who are numerous, for the sake of some inconstant ones who always exist: for God will be served when the good are allowed to repair the faults of those who are not such.
In this state of confusion Diego Flores and the other ships left San Vicente for Rio Janeiro with as much parade as if it was a triumph after the victories of Scipio. At a distance of twelve leagues is the island of Sebastian close to the shore and forming a narrow channel with a strong current. Our direct and proper course was outside, and we might easily have reached Rio that night. But Diego Flores, who had before been so anxious to keep at a distance from the land, must needs, without any reason, enter a channel with a current like a mill race. Taking this route, without any precaution, a gust of wind came down from the island, which is not unusual. An experienced pilot, who was with him, then advised him not to take that route which was dangerous, but he had his own way, and a squall took the sails. All the ships were then in danger; and the galleass made a plunge nearly under water, insomuch that Diego Flofes was afraid for his life. The precaution he took was to clasp his hands and exclaim:—“Here! here! we are going to perish.” The other ships, cutting cables and taking proper steps, were safe, the squall quickly passing and leaving Diego Flores and his traders so terrified that they did not soon come round. At last they entered the channel, and the ship Concepcion, which was large and heavy, in anchoring had her cable parted by the furious current. Before she could let go another anchor the ship went broadside towards the land. It being now dark, all gave themselves up for lost, or at least the ship, for the crew could have been saved. They fired off two pieces of artillery, that the boats of the other ships might come to their assistance. Although the ships were near, no boats came during more than two hours. The master, Estevan Cortados, saw the threatened loss of the ship, and Pedro Sarmiento, who was on board, perceiving that she only touched on one side, and that the shore was steep, jumped on to the land. Telling those who were weeping to hold their tongues, he made them lay out an anchor and heave round on the capstan like fury. The cable parted, and presently they bent another, and hove round on the capstan again. It pleased the Lord that the ship was got off without injury, thanks to Him. Then a boat arrived without even an anchor or cable, and not having any means of anchoring, Pedro Sarmiento undertook to take the ship out, although it was night. He navigated her clear of the channel and the current, and took her into the open sea. In the morning the other ships weighed their anchors, but such were the currents, eddies, and squalls between the small islets and the island of San Sebastian that we were detained, in a distance of half a league, for two or three days.
Finally emerging from these obstacles to progress, the fleet arrived at Rio de Janeiro in the beginning of May, where we found Don Diego de Alcega* with the four provision ships which your Majesty, moved by pity, had sent us with a most bounteous hand. They were full of excellent victuals, biscuits, bacon, beans, wine, and many other excellent and very wholesome things supplied by a great monarch who is a father to all. For this bounty all offered up thanks, and the good men shed tears of joy; while the covetous laughed at the thought that they might replenish some corners of their purses, which still seemed to them to need filling.
* Mariana calls him Diego de Abreu (vol. x, p. 90).
Only Diego Flores was dissatisfied, and instead of giving a welcome to Don Diego de Alcega, he showed him such a sour discontented countenance that Don Diego, from annoyance, avoided his company after having given him an account of what he had brought, and how he had honourably carried out his instructions. He also offered his person and property for the prosecution of the return to the Strait. He further proposed that the captains, Don Juan de Pazos, my nephew, and Francisco Morejon, should help with their people who were very carefully selected and well disciplined. To all which Diego Flores showed no approval, and instead of offering any thanks he disdained and depreciated the proposals, so that every one was disgusted and did not wish to converse with him further, nor to visit or see him.
Seeing what your Majesty had sent out to order us to perform by royal letters, as well as by the mouth of Don Diego de Alcega, who gave the packet to Diego Flores, and a letter to Pedro Sarmiento in which he was advised of the news from France that a pirate was fitting out for a voyage to the Strait, and that he should do all in his power, acting with Diego Flores and Don Alonso de Sotomayor, Pedro Sarmiento made a communication to Diego Flores. He offered his person and abilities with joyful and sincere good will, not regarding former differences, in view of obeying the fresh commands of his Majesty. Diego Flores replied that this was not necessary, as if he desired to say that he wanted to return to Spain, and that he would not, and was not obliged to do what your Majesty desired. But Pedro Sarmiento, with the favour of our Lord God, persevering in his zeal, and confirmed in it by the fresh notice of your Majesty, so increased in constancy that his heart could scarcely fit in his body. Consequently, although Diego Flores landed in wedding clothes as in triumph, Pedro Sarmiento remained on board in the plain dress of a sailor, with the resolution not to go to sea except with a course in the direction of the Strait, in conformity with the orders and wish of your Majesty.
Diego Flores saw the letter of your Majesty, in which reference was made to the favours your Majesty had granted, in which he was incited to the prosecution of the enterprise, and in which the necessity for it was impressed upon him. He was told of the great service to his Majesty that would be secured by doing this work, in words which would have moved even an enemy, and would have put courage into a coward, how much more into a knight who had been ennobled and enriched by the royal hand of your Majesty. But all was not sufficient to make him do his duty, or to undertake that which every well-born man would have looked upon as great good fortune to be entrusted with; as well as an honour and a felicity to be given the chance of risking a thousand lives, one after the other, to serve your Majesty. All this was not enough to move his torpid and shameless will. He was silent with those who spoke of the enterprise, but he was ready to eat and to dance with those who advised him to return. He was mute on the subject of fighting at sea, but he became a talker on shore. His final answer respecting your Majesty's letter was that he did not want to go to the Strait, but to return to Spain, making an excuse that he wanted to turn the five lame Frenchmen out of Paraiba.
Your Majesty ordered a letter which Bernardino de Mendoza had written to your Majesty from England to be shown to Pedro Sarmiento, respecting the intentions of Francis Drake when he entered the Strait; but Diego Flores would not show it, saying plainly that he did not wish to show it, and that it was not necessary.
Your Majesty remarked that it was reported, in the Royal Council of the Indies, that letters of Pedro Sarmiento from Cape Verde had not been received, though the letters of Diego Flores and others had come to hand. It was suggested that the cause was some difference between Diego Flores and Pedro Sarmiento, and that this ought not to be, because it was prejudicial to the service, almost hinting that the letters of Pedro Sarmiento must have been hidden by Diego Flores, as was the case, and desiring that there should be no differences nor disputes. From the clerk who saw this affair, Diego Flores took an oath and ordered that he should say nothing to Pedro Sarmiento until they had left the port, whence he understood that the packet which Pedro Sarmiento wrote to your Majesty, and to your Royal Council of the Indies, had been left behind, which was of much importance. If by chance it should ever reach the hands of your Majesty it will show how Santiago may be defended, for it contains many secrets touching the lay of the land, and the means of fortifying and defending the beach, and other things very much to the liking of your Majesty, and for the benefit of the royal estate.
Pedro Sarmiento remained on board, waiting for Diego Flores to change his views owing to the letter of your Majesty, for there were now provisions, ships, men, and munitions to enable him to persevere, with a little trouble and constancy. The Admiral, Don Diego de la Ribera, came on board to visit him, and said that Diego Flores was resolved to return to Spain, making the excuse that he was going to turn out the Frenchmen who had joined the negroes at Paraiba. This was no part of his duty, and contrary to his orders. Besides, the settlers of Pernambuco were able to cope with the few Frenchmen who remained, as they eventually did: while his departure would cause great mischief throughout Peru and in the Strait, the harm that was caused being irremediable. Pedro Sarmiento said that he wished to speak again with Diego Flores, and ask him whether his Majesty had ordered him to return, for if not he was unable to believe that one who had received so many royal favours as Diego Flores could have so little gratitude and loyalty, nor how he could dare to appear in the royal presence after having turned his face from carrying out the wishes of your Majesty. He could not, therefore, believe but that Diego Flores must have secret orders to return, and if this was so, he desired to know whether his Majesty intended him to return or to remain, because he was, as he is, so attached to the service of your Majesty that nothing could possibly make him wish to act contrary to the royal pleasure: even exerting himself beyond his powers, as he had always done and intended to do in every way until his life's end, or until the end of many lives if God had given them. Diego Flores had said, however, that your Majesty had not ordered him to return, but rather to prosecute the enterprise more zealously than ever; nevertheless, he was resolved to return, contrary to your Majesty's orders. Pedro Sarmiento urged Diego de la Ribera to counsel Diego Flores to comply with his obligation and not to act so ignominiously against his honour, for he might take it as very certain that such conduct would affect his honour and quiet in Spain, as well in the opinion of your Majesty as of all noble and honourable men. Diego de la Ribera answered that it would be preaching in the desert, that he had put all such things into the bag behind,* and that he would go before the wind to Spain. He added that Pedro Sarmiento would not be moved, that they were both of one mind, and that they would complete the enterprise together.
* “Alforja trasera.”
On hearing this Pedro Sarmiento answered:—“How can this be if Diego Flores returns to Spain. His Majesty ordered me to accompany and attend upon Diego Flores to give him help and advice in the undertaking, as I have done, and am ready to do with the help of God to the best of my abilities. In this I will not fail until my death, for I know that his Majesty puts his trust in me, and I cannot forfeit his confidence, for neither my birth nor my position would suffer me to do otherwise. In conformity with the order of your Majesty I have complied with my orders which I received in writing, and which are to accompany him wherever he may go. If I should be asked why I returned, the reply is clear and brief. I have only to say that I have strictly obeyed orders throughout, and now I have done the same in coming with my captain under whose orders I am placed, and to whom I owe obedience in all things. As it is not for well born gentlemen to use prevaricating or misleading words with any one, how much less with princes, I have to explain the reason as I see and know it, which is the will of my King and natural Lord, whom, apart from God's commands, I love far more than myself, as your Majesty is my witness. For your Majesty has seen me set out to perform your will an infinite number of times, in a way that I would not work for myself, nor for anything else in the world. Now Diego Flores, and so many others, have fallen away, but I, with the help of God, though weaker than all the rest, have more zeal than ever, and each hour I feel my will more ready and my determination more firm to persevere until this undertaking is completed. The limbs will take example when the head changes, and all will have a good excuse by saying my leader turned his face away, and I did my duty in following him; but the same men will condemn their captain, seeing his inconstancy. Yet if Diego Flores should want to go without orders from your Majesty, I will not do so until I have done all that I possibly can, and more, towards carrying out the service in compliance with the royal will.”
After this, Diego de la Ribera left the ship, and gave an account of what had been said to Diego Flores, who would not even then hold communication with Pedro Sarmiento, fearing that he would persuade him to go. Instead, he obliged Pedro Sarmiento to land almost with violence, together with the munitions for the Strait which your Majesty had sent, which Pedro Sarmiento had secured in San Vicente, turning them all out on the beach. Pedro Sarmiento, although in conformity with general usage he might have left them to perish, because Diego Flores was responsible for them, yet, moved by sorrow at seeing such disorder and waste, and neglect of duty, he collected and guarded them as if they had been precious brocades instead of a few bales of cloth and canvas. As soon as Pedro Sarmiento had landed, which was what Diego Flores wanted, he published his intention of proceeding to Spain, touching at Bahia on the way. He did this without any communication with Pedro Sarmiento, who, speaking with Don Diego de Alcega, requested him to speak to Diego Flores and remove the phantasm from his brain. Don Diego made the attempt, and even proposed to go with Pedro Sarmiento to the Strait, offering 8,000 ducats if there was want of money, which he and his friends could produce. Diego Flores quarrelled with him and refused to discuss it, as if it had been an insult, and this was well known throughout the fleet.
On this, Diego de la Ribera came to tell Pedro Sarmiento that, if he intended to remain, he would stay also with five vessels, some stores and provisions, and people to proceed with the settlement of the Strait. The fortifications, he thought, could not be undertaken. Pedro Sarmiento replied that he must consider well what he did, because what he undertook must be carried out. He said that the forts must not be given up, because they were intended by his Majesty to close the passage. Although the settlement was of great importance to supply the forts and to keep the peace and convert the natives, yet the main object had been and must be to prevent the passage by the enemies of God and of your Majesty; although Diego Flores had not complied with the orders to fortify the Strait in obedience to the will of your Majesty.
He made this reply, and as Diego de la Ribera said no more, Pedro Sarmiento, in order further to try and have the royal commands obeyed, went to see Diego Flores at his lodging. Having saluted him apart, and the two being alone, Sarmiento once more strove to induce him to remain and obey his orders, speaking in a friendly way. He gave him many reasons why he ought to carry out his instructions. The reply he gave was that Pedro Sarmiento ought not to say such things, that he knew what was right, that he was not bound to give an account of the course he took, and that he would go, and would not say more on the subject.
On hearing this precious answer, Pedro Sarmiento made a full demand in a loud voice and also in writing before witnesses and a royal notary; the purport of which was, couched in respectful language, that Diego Flores ought not to abandon nor to discourage the enterprise nor to return to Spain before he had carried out your Majesty's orders in the Strait, explaining the benefits from doing the work, and the evil results of abandoning it and returning to Spain, also pointing out the uselessness of going to Bahia, as he would not be able to go to Paraiba that year, while he could easily sail to the Strait, and do anything that was necessary in Brazil on his return; moreover, to go to the Strait was his duty, and the other business was only an excuse for not complying with his obligations.
It was further urged that if he went away, all the best and most enterprising men in the expedition, and even those who wished to do their duty, would be disheartened and would wish to go with him, under colour of following their leader, while it would be impossible for those who remained to do the work, as they would be poor, bare footed, and naked.
Having made this protest, Pedro Sarmiento placed it in the hands of Diego Flores. In answer to it, Diego Flores gave a banquet to the notary, Pedro de Rada, who was his lawyer, and to his trading accomplices. He delayed two days in making a written answer, and he did not dare to have it delivered to Pedro Sarmiento until he had embarked. After he had gone on board he sent it. In substance it was to the effect that it was not the duty of Diego Flores to give an account of his proceedings to Pedro Sarmiento, that he knew what it was proper to do, and would give an account to your Majesty; which seemed almost equivalent to saying that he had orders from your Majesty to return to Spain.
When Diego Flores was ready to sail, the Captain Cubierta arrived at Rio de Janeiro from the river Plate, with his ship cut down to the second deck. This was one of three ships which took Don Alonso de Sotomayor and his people. He brought the news that the other two ships had been lost, and that Don Alonso had sold the stores intended for the Strait, in exchange for horses and provisions. This ship brought some pieces of artillery belonging to the others, and presently we began to put them to rights and make them as good as new for service in the expedition, for which purpose they were afterwards used.
It must here be observed that Diego Flores tried to find an excuse for his conduct in a letter of Don Bernardino de Mendoza which was sent out by your Majesty, but the simplest person in the world would see that it was no defence and only material for laughter. It was that Don Bernardino de Mendoza,* your Majesty's ambassador in England, had collected some particulars from men who had been with Drake in the Strait. He said that they had given him to understand that Drake had not come out by the same channel that he entered; but that he had entered by the great mouth in 52° 30' S. and gone out by that of San Julian, there being many openings and channels forming islands. On this Pedro Sarmiento replied to your Majesty, refuting this story with clear proofs and from his own experience and that of his companions with the greatest possible diligence, and afterwards he did more, as will appear in its place. Four years afterwards, discussing this point in Paris with the same Don Bernardino, he made this reply to Pedro Sarmiento. He said that he had not understood, and he believed that the information he obtained was misleading. It is not to be wondered at that piratical thieves should always vary their statements, because they use no judgment in what they do, and cannot keep to the same story afterwards. All this is satisfactorily explained in the report I sent with the captain, Don Juan de Pazos from Rio de Janeiro, in the year 1583, when Diego Flores returned. Diego Flores tried to get hold of the report at Bahia, through third persons, that his proceedings might be unknown. But Don Juan de Pazos left it in charge of the Bishop of Brazil, that it might not be stolen from him by his shipmates who were accomplices of Diego Flores.
* Don Bernardino de Mendoza was a son of Don Alonso de Mendoza, Conde de Coruña, by a niece of the great Cardinal Cisneros. He came to England as Ambassador in 1578, with very conciliatory instructions. When Drake returned in 1580, Mendoza demanded a restoration of his plunder. Elizabeth was determined not to give it up; and other differences arose. In 1585 Mendoza was ordered to leave England, and in the same year became ambassador at Paris. He either misunderstood his informants about Drake's track in the Straits of Magellan, or was deceived by them.
One thing alone suffices for an answer to the statement in the letter of Don Bernardino. It is that Francis Drake, after he entered the Strait and passed out into the South Sea, never returned to it.* For he went to Maluco and by the usual route of the Cape of Good Hope, by which the ships of Portugal return from India. This being the case it cannot be said he returned by that or any other mouth of the Strait. Another fact is equally conclusive, which is that the port of San Julian is a bay without any channel, but only a little river of sweet water and two islands in the middle. Wintering there until August, Drake made sail again into the North Sea and went to the entrance by the Cape of Virgins, to which he gave the name of “Good Success,”† in the same North Sea. Hence he cannot either have entered or gone out by San Julian. For both mouths, both that which he entered by the Cape of Virgins, and that by which he went out into South Sea by the Cape Deseado, and the port which I called the Bay of Mercy, and Drake the Bay of Safety, are in 52° 30' S.: while the Port of San Julian is in 43° S.
* But Captain Winter, in the Elizabeth, returned home by the Strait.
† This name is not given in the narratives of Drake's voyage. Edward Cliffe, who wrote the narrative of Captain Winter's voyage in the Elizabeth, called it “Cape Victoria.”
Further, Magellan,* Loaisa,† and Simon de Alcazaba,‡ at different times, having been in the Strait making discoveries, were also in the Port of San Julian. If a channel had existed to the other sea, they would have used it, thus saving distance, time, and losses. I traversed the whole Strait by sea, a great deal by land, and if there had been any channel coming from the North Sea from the north, I must have found it. But it is certain that the largest river I found in the extent of a hundred leagues could be passed over with lances crossed to serve as a bridge. For this reason I called one the “River of the Lances,” which enters the bay at the first narrow where the forts were to be built.
* From April to August 1520. It was at Port San Julian that Magellan suppressed a mutiny, by assassinating one captain, quartering the bodies of other mutineers, and abandoning others on the beach.
† Garcia Jofre de Loaisa and Sebastian del Cano, with six ships and a pinnace, sailed from Spain in 1525, and passed through the Strait of Magellan, but did not touch at Port San Julian, according to Herrera (Dec. Ill, Lib. vii, cap. v and vi), nor, according to the report of Andres de Urdaneta, who was on board (Muñoz MSS.).
‡ Simon de Alcazaba was a Portuguese in the Spanish service. He left Spain in 1534 with two ships, but he does not appear to have touched at Port San Julian, either in the account of the voyage given by Herrera, or in the narrative written by the notary, Alonso Vehedor, on board, which was preserved in the Muñoz MSS., and since printed.
This being so, as Diego Flores saw the chart of Don Bernardino showing the information respecting the pirate, he wanted to use it as a shield for his delinquencies, saying that Pedro Sarmiento had not come out by the mouth he had seen. He told this to persons who did not understand navigation, not to those who sailed with Sarmiento, but to people ignorant of the sea; and this is the other foolish thing he made use of to sharpen his knife. The fact is that Pedro Sarmiento, in his report, gave the latitude of the mouth of the Strait at 52° 30' S. The day that Diego Flores and Pedro Sarmiento were at the mouth of the Strait, on the 7th of February, all the masters and pilots of the fleet, as well as Pedro Sarmiento, took the sun and made the latitude of the entrance 52° 30' S. exactly. Diego Flores, although he took the astrolabe in his hand, did not know either how to take the altitude or to make the calculation, nor could he plot his position on the chart any more than if he had never been to sea in his life.
Further, if Diego Flores, having ill will towards Pedro Sarmiento, thought that the opening he saw was not the one through which Sarmiento had passed, how was it that afterwards Pedro Sarmiento and Diego de la Ribera, with five ships, arrived there and entered by that very mouth, and that later a single ship came there and navigated as far as Point Santa Ana, where Pedro Sarmiento had established the settlement of Felipe, without any pilot or any guide but the chart and sailing directions supplied by Pedro Sarmiento; finding on the same point the cross planted there by Pedro Sarmiento and Anton Pablos, and the ashes of the wood they burnt, as well as a dagger lost by one of the soldiers, the cross at the river of San Juan, and all the old signs and relics, as will be mentioned in the proper place. Your Majesty already has a report of these proceedings, which Pedro Sarmiento sent from Pernambuco and the bay of San Mateo in Brazil, in 1584. Thus it is easy to expose the feeble attempt that Diego Flores made to excuse the serious fault with which his reputation is stained. Truly accurate statements should be made to princes, otherwise ignorance should be confessed, which is better than attempting to defend our faults with inventions.
Pedro Sarmiento would have been well satisfied if Diego Flores, saying that he would report what had occurred, had done so in reality, because your Majesty would then have been well served. But avoiding further disputes, Pedro Sarmiento sent to say that as Diego Flores was abandoning his duty and departing, he ought to leave on shore the people, munitions, and necessary stores, especially the pieces of artillery, powder, lead, arquebuses, muskets, and all that was intended for the Strait, and that what was wanting should be supplemented from the stores brought out by Don Diego de Alcega. But it was like preaching in the desert, for he carried off a thousand things intended for the Strait, and it was even necessary for Pedro Sarmiento to send and get out of the Capztana, ten small cannons, after she was over three leagues at sea. What Diego Flores said to Diego de la Ribera when he departed, was that there were to be no fortifications, but that Pedro Sarmiento was only to make his settlement. This shows the care that was taken by him and by others never to obey your Majesty's order, which was to fortify.
Diego Flores finally sailed from Rio de Janeiro with the best men, and the greater part of the stores and provisions brought out by Diego de Alcega, and with the best ships merely for the passage home, without taking leave of Pedro Sarmiento or saying a single word to him, nor to the Governor on shore, going as joyfully as if he had been triumphant in the greatest victories that ever were won. He left Pedro Sarmiento at Rio ready to die in the service of your Majesty and in carrying out the royal wishes, and Diego de la Ribera with 300 soldiers, the settlers and some officials who had remained. Altogether there were 500 persons large and small, seamen and soldiers, and settlers, besides 30 servants of the house of Pedro Sarmiento who were resolute men.
Pedro Sarmiento sent a special report to your Majesty and to your Royal Council of the Indies by the Captain Don Juan de Pazos, as has already been stated. As Pedro Sarmiento had been robbed of the clothing for the settlers, he wrote to Manuel Tellez Barreto, Governor of Brazil, with whom your Majesty ordered Pedro Sarmiento to keep good correspondence, and him with Sarmiento; as well as to Cristobal de Barrios, your Majesty's purveyor at Bahia, that the people might be succoured who were to proceed to the Strait. He asked for some pieces of cloth, baize, and other things to cover the nakedness of soldiers and settlers. For among the other good things that Diego Flores did as a servant of your Majesty, and for the good of the expedition was that, being aware of the robberies and losses of the stores, the most robust and best dressed soldiers were taken away. More especially it was arranged that those who had clothes from the royal stores should not go to the Strait. All these were taken, while the lean, miserable, weak and naked, were left with their flesh so exposed that it was misery to see them and to think what they had suffered. Those who were left cried to God against Diego Flores and against those who were his accomplices.
At the time of his departure Diego Flores did a fine piece of work. The best officers and soldiers came to volunteer their services to Pedro Sarmiento, for the service of the Strait, like honourable men. When Diego Flores heard it he was so annoyed that he put some in prison, abused others with bitter words, and afterwards promised them all to get them made captains in Spain, and to enrich them in the career of the Indies. Then he went from ship to ship, crying, “I will reward you and clothe you in Spain, and they will leave you to die in the Strait like dogs.” In this way he seduced many who had already agreed to remain. Even after it was settled about those who were to remain, because there were a few well dressed and healthy, he himself came to the ships and took them out, much against their own wishes. Even among the settlers he carried off some clandestinely. If a soldier came to him and said, “I want to return with your worship,” he praised and rewarded him, saying he would make a gentleman of him, as if he had merited a civic crown for having liberated some citizen or city.
In this condition the General Diego Flores de Valdes left us naked, hungry, and unprovided with necessaries, while through his orderly arrangement, constancy and in- telligence, his own ships were well laden, and the purses that had come empty were full of the money of your Majesty.* Those who were intended by your Majesty to be supplied with provisions and money, were left often without a skin; but they were not stripped of courage to consume what was left of life to fulfil the royal wishes, with the favour of our Lord God, without which it is not possible to do any good thing.
* Diego Flores de Valdes, who was a native of Gijon in Asturias, sailed from Rio on June 2nd, 1583. It would naturally be supposed that, after such gross misconduct and such a display of incapacity, Uiego Flores received his deserts on his return to Spain. But this was far from having been the case; and the reason appears to have been that he was so fortunate as to perform what was held to be good service at Parayba, before leaving the coast of Brazil. Some French ships were getting in a lading of dye-wood at Parayba, where Diego Flores succeeded in burning three and sinking two. He thus destroyed five French ships, fortified Parayba to resist future attacks, and returned to Spain with his fleet richly laden. These services were of sufficient importance to secure his misconduct respecting Sarmiento and the Strait being condoned. He even appears to have been taken into favour. In the Invincible Armada Diego Flores received command of the squadron of Castille, and was captain of the fleet and adviser to the Duke of Medina Sidonia on board the flag-ship (Duro, i, p. 43). He was jealous of his cousin Pedro de Valdes, who com manded the squadron of Andalusia, and when that officer was in danger, Diego Flores refused to succour him. For this disgraceful conduct he was censured even by the servants on board his own ship. When the Duke shut himself up in his cabin, Diego Flores was left in command. More by good luck than by good management the flag-ship reached the coast of Spain at Santander. Diego Flores at length got his deserts. He was proceeded against for leaving Pedro de Valdes to his fate, and was confined in the castle of Burgos. He remained in prison until January 1590 (Duro, ii, p. 513).
Pedro Sarmiento wrote further to the Governor and purveyor at Bahia, for a supply of tar for the ships that were left behind, and for canvas for the sails, using for this purpose the money of your Majesty that remained. For Diego Flores left a certain quantity, very little, with Diego de la Ribera, to buy necessaries for the ships during the time of wintering, until December. Of this, the greater part was sent to buy tar and other things. The Governor and Factor, in compliance with the request of Pedro Sarmiento, provided some cloth and baize, and the tar. Diego Flores, instead of increasing, reduced the sum that was left, and the money which Alonso de Alas brought was taken again, when a receipt had been given for it. This was the fine help he left for us, giving as an excuse that he had taken it to maintain the soldiers. The maintenance he gave them was a death by hunger, insomuch that they fled by thirty at a time. The best remained in the city of Bahia, where there was plenty of biscuit and flour. One man, named Pedro de Arcea, borrowed 5,000 ducats in food and money, with other persons who there sustained themselves, and Diego Flores treated them so badly that it was thought they would rise against him. In all this the estate of your Majesty received much injury, for there they robbed and sold the royal property more shamefully than here; as Pedro Sarmiento knew, for he saw pieces with the mark of your Majesty in Bahia when he was there.
One thing ought not to be passed over in silence, as proving the things already mentioned, with regard to what happened at the island of Santa Catalina when Diego Flores sent the three ships Almiranta, Concepcion and Begoña back, on the pretext that they were unseaworthy. These same ships went on from that time, which was in February, throughout that year, and when they were taken to Spain they were the best in the fleet.* From this his sinister intention is proved, when he left them behind, his only object being to oblige Pedro Sarmiento, seeing the ships and settlers left behind, to agree to return to Spain. This is most clearly proved.
* He must mean the Almiranta and Concepcion, for the Begoña was sunk by the English.
In Bahia the friends of Diego Flores sold the powder, wine, provisions, and anything purchasers wanted to buy for low prices, as things that had cost them little. Touching other matters, and what occurred at Pernambuco and Bahia, it is not for me to be the narrator. I relate what should be known with reference to our own expedition and our work.
Frequent footnote citations of a “Pernambuco Report” in Part IV refer to a report sent by Sarmiento from Pernambuco.
See Introduction for more details.
Pedro Sarmiento and Diego de la Ribera, with their people, remained at Rio Janeiro, waiting for the season to sail southwards. With them were the Captains Gregorio de las Alas* and Pedro Avendano,† and Alonso de las Alas,‡ who went to Bahia as Accountant. Two of the captains appointed to serve in the Strait had been drowned with the Arriola. The other two were Andres de Viedma and Pedro Iñiguez. Another had been left at San Vicente in charge of the fort. Francisco Garces, who came as Treasurer, and Geronimo de Heredia, the Accountant, were also at San Vicente. Out of the twelve Friars sent by your Majesty, only two remained, the Commissary, Fray Amador, and his companion, Torreblanca. Of the others, Don Alonso de Sotomayor took some by force, and and some fled at Santa Catalina and came with the ships that were left at San Vicente. They had all mutinied through the instigations of Diego Flores and the Treasurer Garcia.
* He went out as Captain of the Concepcion.
† This must be a mistake for Domingo Martinez de Avendano, who went out in command of the frigate Maria Magdalena.
‡ There were three other captains of this name; Gregorio of the Concepcion; Pero Estevan, who had the Esperanza when she was lost in Cadiz Bay; and “Estevan,” who commanded the San Estevan de Soroa. Alonso was doubtless one of the family. He was a half brother of the Admiral Diego de la Ribera, and left Spain as captain of the Almiranta San Juan Bautista.
Pedro Sarmiento saw the nakedness of the soldiers, and tried to remedy the evil and to cover the bodies of the most necessitous with some old pieces of cloth that had been saved from the stores, also giving them shirts and hose, and buying hides with which they could make sandals for themselves. Thus a remedy was found, to the glory of God and thanks to your Majesty; for with the royal clothing much damaged but carefully kept, they became joyful, consoled, and pleased, praying to God for your Majesty, and saying that they were ready to start. Their rations were regularly served out and they became stout, healthy, and contented. Pedro Sarmiento also sent to San Vicente for the settlers who had been left there, and almost all came. They also were lodged and cared for by the inhabitants of the city, while the Governor and citizens assisted them and also gave help to the ships. There were only missing three or four families of settlers who had been seduced by the Friars and by Garri, the officer who was left in charge of the fort. As he had been talked over by Diego Flores, that vinegar remained. Only two of the Friars were true. One was named Antonio Rodriguez, and the other Geronimo Portugues. All the others mutinied against their obedience to their Commissary-General, and the wishes and orders of your Majesty, without the slightest occasion in the world, except the example of Diego Flores, and other little matters, which for the honour of the habit of the blessed and seraphic St. Francis it is not decent to mention in public. All these inconveniences and innumerable others show the kind of constancy of Diego Flores and his followers, who were loud enough in peace, which was on shore, and were dumb during war, which is being at sea.
The cloths and tar having arrived from Bahia, and some flour and salt meat from San Vicente, the vessels were caulked and refitted, and we embarked. Pedro Sarmiento embarked the settlers with some calves and goats, and some sheep, plants of fruit trees, vines, and garden vegetables to cultivate, and seeds of all kinds. We sailed from Rio de Janeiro with five vessels* on the 2nd of December 1583, having bought tools for the fortifications, and paid for everything with money, down to the bed clothes. We took two Friars, the one named Antonio Rodriguez, and the other Geronimo. For the Commissary, and his companion Friar Martin, had mutinied and refused to embark. This was contrary to the provision of your Majesty, and the others had mutinied nihilominus. A commission was issued against the other Friars who had remained at San Vicente, and were four in number.
* The Maria, Trinidad, Santa Cafalina, Magdalena, and another.
Having arrived at Santos and San Vicente, Pedro Sarmiento went on shore, and embarked some settlers who had been left there. Three of the Friars fled into the interior, leaving one named Geronimo, whom Pedro Sarmiento asked, for the love of God, to go on board, which he presently did. He also begged another Friar, named Bartolomè,* with urgent prayers, to make the voyage as he had come out on that duty, and wanted nothing in the way of clothing, shoes, and provisions, and the ecclesiastical office. But the more he was asked, the more he would not come. Pedro Sarmiento requested him to turn it over in his mind for a day, and besought him to show charity to us and to the service of God by going with his two companions, that we might not be in want of confessors and ministers of the holy sacraments. Meanwhile, Pedro Sarmiento discovered the ornaments of the church which the other Friars, Juan de Carvajal and Amador, had sold, being the property of your Majesty. He recovered the ornaments complete, with the altars and chalices of silver. Then returning to Friar Bartolomè to entreat him to go on board, he found that he did not wish to embark, although he had given his word to do so. He had a large supply of linen and cloth which had been given to him, as to the rest, for. the voyage, and the Commissary had made off with a quantity of money which had been given to him at Seville by order of his Majesty for the use of all. They had wasted and sold many pieces of cloth that had been brought for habits, as well as damask for chasubles. The commissary pocketed the money and spent it. They had also been given numerous presents of flour, bacon, and other food during the voyage, which they sold and kept the money with which to escape to other parts, leaving the road which was pointed out by their duty to your Majesty. Out of reverence for his habit Pedro Sarmiento did not wish to compel Friar Bartolomègrave; to come on board, although he had the power to take that course. But this Friar returned to the lodging of Pedro Sarmiento making a joke of everything, so the commission was made use of, and he was ordered to embark. The Friar was alarmed and went in a canoe to the Capitana† with the other two monks, which pleased the people on board for good reasons. Having finished the shipment of the flour and meat, and some pipes of wine, we got under weigh for the Strait, with the favour of God, on the 8th of December.
* Bartolomè de Benalcazar.
† Not the San Cristoval. She had been taken by Diego Flores. This new Capitana appears to have been the Trinidad.
Sailing with fair winds and fine weather, thanks be to God, we arrived at the entrance of the Strait, without accident, on the 1st of February 1584, the day of the Purification of our Lady. Entering with wind and tide, and even on the same tide without stopping, we reached the first narrow and passed it, not without some satisfaction. Being in the second bay between the Cape of San Gregorio and the said narrow, four leagues beyond the latter, the tide turned and the current began to be against us, which obliged us to anchor, to wait until the next flood, being unable to proceed in opposition to it. One of the frigates towed a large boat which we had bought at Rio for use in examining and surveying the Strait and for other purposes. As the frigate turned to keep her head to the current, the boat was caught under the counter and could not be cleared, and with the pitching of the frigate she was torn to pieces. The men in the boat escaped on board, losing their clothes.
After this the tidal current increased so that the cables were strained to the utmost. The Indians, who had seen us, made such a smoke that it concealed sea and land. Then the wind came down from the snowy mountains with great force and, combined with the current, the cables parted, so that the other anchors had to be let go. Such was the straining and pitching of the ships on their cables that no one could keep his feet, and they all believed that the ships would go to pieces and that they would all be lost. One frigate parted her second cable and she was carried by wind and current, under bare poles, into the narrow. The ship Trinidad, with Pedro Sarmiento on board, was in the part of the channel where the current was most furious, and consequently laboured more than the others, being larger and heavier, and more loaded with people, artillery and stores. Consequently all, including the master and pilot, bemoaned their fate, believing that they must all be lost. Their terror was such that some of them confessed, thinking they must perish. The captain wanted to cut the cable and run out of the Strait, but Pedro Sarmiento prevented it, seeing that it was half-tide. The Captain Zubieta* persisted in his desire to cut, so Pedro Sarmiento gave him an order in writing on the part of his Majesty that he should not do so, pointing out the mischief of having come here to make a settlement and being driven out by force. Pedro Sarmiento restrained him, there being neither reason nor justice in cutting the cable. Such was the terror with which Diego Flores had infected those under his command that this man trembled, although he was a Biscayan, one of a nation which consists of resolute and experienced sailors. In this state of things they cut the cable, pretending that it had parted owing to the force of the current. We were left to drift, and began to take a turn towards the narrow, though Pedro Sarmiento worked so as to make tacks until the flood began, which would be in two hours, for the bay was clear, and there were ten leagues from shore to shore; but the pilot, captain, and sailors were so amazed that they could not work the ship. At this time we were twenty-two leagues within the Strait, and three leagues from the Cape of San Gregorio, so that we should arrive there in an hour and a-half, the tide helping, where there is secure anchorage, and where we could unload and establish the first settlement and begin to build the fort, there being many conveniences, good land, water, and wood, and natives at a league's distance.
* Martin de Zubieta, Captain of the Trinidad,
The ship Maria* with Diego de la Ribera and Anton Pablos on board was there, anchored near the shore, so that she had less strain on her cables; although she parted more than one. She and the other frigate had the means of repairing damages. Presently the other frigate parted her cable, and, turning into the narrow, she encountered the current when half through it. The stream was so strong that with the foresail hoisted she could not make half a quarter of league during the whole night, with the wind whistling in the sail. In the morning of the 4th of February we passed the narrow, and the ship Maria, with the other frigate, parted cables and came out of the narrow, heaving to in the wide part, fourteen leagues short of the capes at the entrance. Diego de la Ribera and Anton Pablos were here able to communicate with Pedro Sarmiento. He told them to go back with the tide, and if unable to pass the rapid again owing to a contrary wind, that we should anchor in the bay to the north of the rapid, where the forts were to be built, at a distance of a league from where the ships were hove to. This they did. Coming to the narrow channel we were met by such a fresh westerly wind that it was impossible to enter or pass on so as to anchor in the bay. Two more attempts were made, but each time the ships fell off, and were carried out of the Strait.
* Her full name was the Santa Maria de Castro.
Pedro Sarmiento turned once more to speak with the two officers. Seeing the unfavourable weather, and that their cables were nearly expended, in order not to lose more time, and as the people were becoming sad and despondent, they agreed to anchor under the low land of the Cape of Virgins, at the first entrance of the Strait, and fourteen leagues from the narrow. Pedro Sarmiento went on shore to reconnoitre and, with the favour of God, they anchored on the fifth of February, and at once got the boats out. Pedro Sarmiento then went on shore with Captain Gregorio de las Alas and Anton Pablos. Sarmiento carried a great cross on his shoulder, with which, in the name of the most Holy Trinity, he jumped on land, and the others after him, with eight arquebusiers. With the cross on high they went on their knees and recited a Te Deum laudamus* Coming to a large plain clothed with odoriferous and consoling herbs, and putting his hand on his sword, he solemnly took possession for your Majesty and your heirs and successors to the crowns of Castille and Leon, in the name of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In sign of possession he cut the grass, moved stones, and made a great heap of stones with his hands, the others helping. Presently he planted the cross which he had borne on his shoulders, and they sang the hymn of Crux Vexilla Regis. They placed a white cloth he had brought on the cross as a banner, making the complete instrument of possession to secure the right of your Majesty.
* In the Pernambuco Report he gives the names of the witnesses—Captain Gregorio de las Alas, Pilot Anton Pablos, Hernando de Requena, Gonzalo de Reyna, Juan de Osuna.
This having been done, Captain Gregorio de las Alas wanted Pedro Sarmiento to return to the ships and report what had been done to Diego de la Ribera. Pedro Sarmiento replied: “Sir Captain, for the glory of God, until now, so long as I was able, I have never abandoned that which I had once undertaken in the discovery of the Indies. I have planted the cross of Christ in the name of the King our Lord, and I will not abandon the place, with the favour of God, while there is no one who is able to put more constraint on me than at present. I trust in God that, when there is no one here but ourselves, the land will sustain us by the divine grace.” He then ordered the captain Gregorio de las Alas to disembark the soldiers and stores with diligence. Pedro Sarmiento remained on shore waiting, with only eight soldiers. Presently all the boats were hoisted out, and the first who landed were the captain and servants of Pedro Sarmiento, who raised a royal standard with the arms of your Majesty on one side, and the crucifixion on the other. As they arrived, the people formed in order of battle, and at once raised certain tents round a place of arms, and dug a deep trench round, for the protection of those who had landed, having first made a survey, a review, and a record of what was done. The biscuit and bales of clothing were stored in a large tent; and this day all received the best shelter possible, which gave them satisfaction, and those were gladdened who had felt the cold. Then people were sent out to seek for water, as there was none on the spot. At a distance of a quarter of a league five fountains of perennial water were found in a little valley, which received the name of the “Valley of the Fountains,” and this first site was named the “Purification of our Lady.”
Next day the naked were clothed, all being given cloth for clothes and sandals, together with some linen, needles and thread. As there were no needles in store, Pedro Sarmiento bought them at a real each, and distributed them, one to every four persons. I say this to show the abundance we had. Further, God provided that, on the effects of the Governor being disembarked, he divided all that was necessary among those in want, serving out caps and shirts, one for each man, and sandals, insomuch that presently all were clothed, glory be to God. There had now disembarked three hundred persons, but there were more to land, besides almost all the stores of powder, and all the artillery.
That night there was a strong breeze with the current, which obliged the ships to weigh and run out for three days. Believing that they had deserted and gone to Brazil, the Governor addressed his companions, saying that now they had sufficient hands to labour and obtain all they desired. He asked them to raise their eyes and consider the extent of land that was before them, adding that it would all belong to those who showed valour and constancy, to enjoy so many mercies which God our Lord had conferred on them. Putting their confidence in Him, and forwarding His holy service, He would give us grace to prevail and to persevere in labour, for in these parts it is honour which brings welfare to the good, both those now living and their descendants. They must no longer think of the ships, because they were gone, but that our feet and hands, endowed with persevering courage, must be our parents and our granaries. Henceforth we must tuck our shirts into our girdles and set to work to build huts, and seek for provisions and shelter for the winter which was at hand. All answered that they were ready to obey and to follow to the end of the world as they had no other father; so they entreated Pedro Sarmiento to do what he said, as they would work and persevere under him, for in no other way could they be preserved.
At this time we had not provisions for four days, except flour from the roots of Brazil* and two sacks of biscuit. Seeking over those wildernesses for roots, we found some that were sweet and well flavoured like turnips, which, when roasted or boiled, might serve as bread; and also some very small roots as sweet and pleasant as conserved pine nuts. We also found such quantities of the black berries of a thorn tree, well flavoured and nourishing, that they brought them in large sacks and ate them. With this food, for they had no other that was more sustaining, Pedro Sarmiento selected the Valley of the Fountains at the entrance to a ravine, and half a league from the Cape of Virgins, as a site most sheltered and most convenient for a settlement. Under the favour of the most Holy Trinity he brought the people there in procession, with a cross on high and candles lighted, taking possession in due form for your Majesty and the royal crown of Castille and Leon, and for your successors. On this site he formed a settlement, giving it the name of the “City of the Name of Jesus,” with additional names of Saints. A cross was presently set up where the church was to be built; and in the square was set up the tree for the execution of justice. The church was next traced out, which was to be dedicated to the Purification of our Lady, because the arrival in the Strait was on that day, and by reason of a special vow made to the Virgin, our advocate.
The Governor, with a spade in his hands, cut the first sods for the foundation of the high altar, in the name of the most Holy Trinity, behind him being the Friars in their vestments. Then the captains and officers dug up earth, in the name of their saints and advocates.* Pedro Sarmiento placed the first stone in the hole, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and of your Majesty he put a large silver coin, with the arms and name of your Majesty, with the day and year, in a testimony or instrument written on parchment, with the testimony of possession, into a jar, tarred and sealed with charcoal, so as to make it imperishable. Next, the altar was made, and the bounds of the church traced out to the height of a man and a half, the clergy blessing it in the usual way and sprinkling it with holy water. It was covered with a sail from the ship as there was no other material at present, images and a cross being placed inside. The royal standard of your Majesty was blessed, and the vespers of the Holy Trinity and of the Purification of the Virgin were said, those being the invocations of the church. Then a procession, singing a litany, went round it.
* In the Pernambuco Report the names of the officers, and of the patron saint of each are given.
Next, Pedro Sarmiento marked out, at the sides of the square, streets and houses in squares, building huts made of poles, earth and grass. At one side of the church your Majesty's store house, large and spacious, was made for receiving all the stores. On the following day he named the officers of the municipality, in conformity with the ordinance of your Majesty. Having been called together the Governor showed them the commission of your Majesty appointing him Governor and Captain-General. The judge and officers, receiving it in their hands with much reverence, kissed it and placed it on their heads, and they received and obeyed Pedro Sarmiento as their Governor and Captain-General. Two magistrates were then elected and the Governor confirmed them in the name of your Majesty, with the other officers of the settlement.
Sarmiento also ordained a solemn and perpetual festival to the honour and glory of our Lord God and the most glorious Virgin St. Mary his mother, our Lady and advocate, with a procession, a march with banners, vespers, and a mass, on the day of the Purification, in memory of the founding of the city; and this was signed and entered in the municipal book. On that very day the first festival was celebrated. A hospital was got ready for the sick and infirm who were not able, at present, to build habitations for themselves.
The Governor had brought out labourers and gardeners at his own expense to cultivate the land, and he now caused them to begin to break up the ground near the city, and the sowing labourers sowed a quantity of Spanish beans, although they had been made wet by the salt water. The gardeners made little gardens round the fountains, and planted the vine shoots which Sarmiento had brought out, in barrels, as well as all kinds of vegetables and some fruit trees with shoots. He also made a pond for the use of the city, where the settlers and their wives could make their arrangements and remain contented. Pedro Sarmiento sent people in all directions to seek for things to eat, for they had no provisions now that the ships were gone, without any hope that they would return. They found a quantity of chick peas in the underwood, sweet like honey, but smaller than those of Spain. They also collected a quantity of shell-fish in an arm of the sea near the settlement, and found dog fish and a fish with a very rough skin, at low water. One day all the soldiers went there, and one of them caught more than a hundred very large ones with his hands, which they took for provisions. These little things made them cheerful, for, though they did not expect that the ships would return, yet they trusted in God and were confident in themselves.
But God, who never forsakes those who put their trust in Him, brought the ships back to the old anchorage on the 13th of February.* As that beach is dangerous when the wind is blowing on the shore, as it then was, nothing could be disembarked without the chance of losing the effects and the boat, and getting the provisions wet and spoilt. Pedro Sarmiento went to the ship of Diego de la Ribera, which was the one furthest out, and arranged that the Trinidad, which was the largest, and was loaded with flour, munitions and artillery, should be run on shore high and dry during flood tide, so as to get out the flour and other things to be conveyed partly in boats, and partly in carts to the narrow; and that the Maria should be left at anchor with the soldiers and remaining stores, that Pedro Sarmiento might proceed up the Strait to found another city, at the part of the land where there is wood, and great quantities of fish, game, fruits, birds, and many other things, being in the country of the tall natives.
* Saturday, the 17th of February, is the date given in the Pernambuco Report.
This having been settled, all that was wanted, and that was on board the three frigates, was put on board the other two ships. But while Pedro Sarmiento sent for the captain to put the things on board, those that were in the frigates and had to return, took and stole many things.* Finally, Pedro Sarmiento put his relation, Juan Suarez de Quiroga, on board the Maria as captain; he being a very resolute knight and servant of your Majesty. On board the Trinidad he put Andres de Viedma, a captain of artillery and a veteran of honour, trained in the wars of Flanders, and resolute. These arrangements having been made, a bad S.E. wind sprang up during the night, which tore all the vessels from their anchors and drove them out to sea. This was the fourth time, and they were driven as far as 49°, so that they thought they would be unable to return. At the end of five days God was served by sending fine weather, and they all returned to the same anchorage. Diego de la Ribera did this very manfully, showing a desire to serve your Majesty. It is just to give every one his due, that the good may be recognised and the bad condemned. By this example it will be seen whether Diego Flores could not have returned if he had chosen, when Pedro Sarmiento loudly called upon him to do so; but he, not looking forward, turned and fled.
* In the Pernambuco Report Gregorio de las Alas, the Captain Morejon, and the Master, are mentioned as having stolen everything on board the Maria, down to rigging, chains, and even nails. She was left with one small anchor and cable.
As soon as the ships anchored this time, Diego de la Ribera, having been on shore and seen the natives, and Pedro Sarmiento having gone to the ships, they agreed that at high-water that night, the tide rising very high here, Pedro Sarmiento being on shore, should make fires at high water to show the place where the Trinidad should be beached. Those on shore were to help with ropes, so that at low water the ship would be high and dry. Everything could then be got out of her without trouble. Pedro Sarmiento was all night on shore showing lights, but those on board did not carry out the arrangement, which was ill done and harmful, as it turned out. Next morning, Anton Pablos brought the ship Trinidad in shore, and the low-water left her in an arm of the sea, where he abandoned her to be lost, and went to his dinner without giving any help.* Pedro Sarmiento seeing the disaster, and that the people and stores were in danger of being lost between sea and land, came quickly to the rescue in a boat, though it was hauled up on shore a league away. In a moment he set to work with his hands, God being favourable, and with the help of some soldiers he ran her into the water. Getting into her he reached the ship, which was rolling and opening out, so that there was danger of all, people and stores, being lost in the surf.
* In the Pernambuco Report there is a long account of an interview that Sarmiento had with Ribera and Pablos. He entreated them to save the Trinidad, but they treated him with great insolence and would do nothing.
Pedro Sarmiento was giving orders to secure her, so that she might rise with the tide which was flowing, and so remain dry and clear of the sea. But Anton Pablos arrived in a fury, and, without considering the tide, made them run the ship on shore, when she commenced to roll with the seas that broke over her, so that we looked upon all as lost with the stores; for not much account was made of the ship, except to make houses and doors with the boards that were in her. There were still soldiers and settlers in the ship, under Captain Viedma, who were hurled about at every lurch, and presently she opened at the keel, so that the water entered freely. Anton Pablos was stupified, and fled to his own ship without offering any help, neither him nor any of the others. Assuredly Anton Pablos was under the greatest obligation from the favours your Majesty had conferred upon him at the request of Pedro Sarmiento. The Chief Pilot having fled, the others did the same.
The day after this disaster, Pedro Sarmiento being on board the Maria to finish his arrangements with Diego de la Ribera, Anton Pablos presented a certificate for your Majesty, composed and written by himself, in which there were some things against Pedro Sarmiento and intended to clear himself, and wanted it to be signed. Pedro Sarmiento, to oblige and content him, and to induce him to persevere in the service of your Majesty and to complete the work of the ships, not only dissimulated and signed, but even wrote under the whole, in his own handwriting, a request that your Majesty would confer more favours on him. It was thus that Pedro Sarmiento strove to animate those who were slack in the royal service on difficult and doubtful occasions, and those who only care to stir in their own interests. It is always like the sign of an inn that shelters those who pass, and ever remains serene, thanks be to our Lord God, to whom be all praise. Diego de la Ribera then asked me to write a certificate to your Majesty for him, and to please and oblige him I said I would do so in letters of gold. But Anton Pablos, when he had got his, was wanting in everything as regards your Majesty's service, neglecting his duty and leaving the ship without help, and deserting Pedro Sarmiento. He also gave Diego de la Ribera to understand that the three frigates could not hold by their cables, though it was calm.
With this precious scheme, on that same night, without any need from wind or current, Diego de la Ribera and the other vessels* departed silently, without waiting for letters which Pedro Sarmiento had written for your Majesty and for your Royal Council of the Indies. The hurry of Anton Pablos arose from the fear that, as the ship Trinidad had been abandoned without any profit from her, Pedro Sarmiento would come to the other ships and take out some of the provisions of which they had more than they wanted, and the stores and munitions for the Strait, of which there was still a quantity not yet landed, and which they carried off to Brazil, even including clothes. Some of those who were on board wished to remain and settle, but they were persuaded not to land, so that even many of the settlers returned. Honest men would not have done this simply by persuasion, so that they must have been taken back almost by force.
* Three frigates,
Diego de la Ribera was asked for a pilot to serve on board the ship that remained, but he never would appoint one although he had four supernumeraries. It was, therefore, from having no other resource that Pedro Sarmiento agreed with a Portuguese sailor that he should act as pilot, teaching him how to observe an altitude, and promising him a salary of 600 ducats a year out of his own pocket, and if he had to proceed into the South Sea he was to have a hundred ducats a month, according to the custom of that sea, all for the service of your Majesty.
Finally, on this same night they made sail silently and maliciously, and without the excuse of bad weather. The proof that this was the case is that the ship Maria, which remained, continued to lay quietly at her anchor with only one cable and a boat's hawser; while the frigates had two cables, as was proved as regards the Maria and the other ships in Rio de Janeiro, and reported to your Majesty from Pernambuco. The original documents, drawn up by Pedro Sarmiento, and, to prevent all doubt and suspicion, attested before Salvador Correa de Saa, the Governor of Rio de Janeiro, and by his Secretary, being also Secretary of the city of San Sebastian, is now submitted.
Returning to the ships Trinidad and Maria: when Pedro Sarmiento saw that the former was hopelessly lost, and that the sea was making clean breaches through her, he caused the masts to be cut away, and making cables fast to her, he secured her on the beach with anchors, by the force of three hundred men, and thus she remained safe. He had sacks made from the sails, and in two hours he got out all the flour that had remained dry, for much had been damaged by the salt water which entered the ship. He also got out some salt meat, grain, and wine.* These stores having been placed in safe custody, he presently set to work with the artillery, saving 22 pieces, including two culverins and two half cannons, and some iron and steel. Half the wine and flour, and some tools were lost. Next day was spring tides, and the ship was broken up. The wood, cordage, and nails that could be made useful, were collected with great diligence. We made carts and brought everything to the city, partly also in men's arms or on their backs, and all was stored in your Majesty's magazine, in charge of the ensign Garnica, whom Pedro Sarmiento nominated as store-keeper. Captain Viedma, a very honourable, diligent and conscientious man, was nominated Lieutenant to the Governor, and Captain Iñiguez became Master of the Camp, to assist in the defence of the city, for the natives came resolutely and very often to surprise it by night.
* The Pernambuco Report adds beans and atun or preserved tunny fish.
While thus occupied in saving things from the Trinidad on shore, the crew of the Maria got together cables, anchors, bars of iron, blocks and other things belonging to the lost ship, and in the place where the Maria was anchored they found some buoys of anchors, and lengths of cable which would be useful for making her fast to her anchors more securely. Pedro Sarmiento served some clothing out, from the stores, to the poor soldiers and sailors on board the Maria^ giving orders that they were not to land, because they had to proceed up the Strait to found another settlement. He also gave clothing to those who had been saved from the Trinidad.
While Pedro Sarmiento was on the sea making these arrangements, the natives made an attack on the settlement, discharging many arrows, and advancing to where the guard was posted, they wounded a Spaniard in the thigh. Pedro Iñiguez was on watch with few men, but he resisted the attack, and put the natives to flight. Although they came again, they never attacked with such fury as the first time.
The settlers proceeded to improve the huts, and the carpenters and blacksmiths began to work, repairing the arquebusses at two forges which Pedro Sarmiento had bought at his own expense, for those in store had been lost. They dragged four sakers up from the sea, for the defence of the city, which they surrounded with as good a ditch and rampart as could be made in a short time. Sentries, keeping vigilant watch, were posted day and night, for the natives were very audacious. On the 20th of February Pedro Sarmiento gave instructions to Juan Suarez de Quiroga, the captain of the Maria, and to the pilot Antonio Gonzalez, how they were to navigate within the Strait, and he gave them a chart with sailing directions. They were ordered to sail to the foot of a mountain, to a port which Pedro Sarmiento had named “Los Rincones,” at the point of Santa Ana, when he first came there from Peru. They were to wait there with the ship, and to cut good timber, while the Governor came by land with a body of men to found a settlement. The ship got as far as the first narrow, but while in it a contrary wind sprang up from the west, with a strong current, and forced her to return to the anchorage in front of the city. Anchoring off the beach of the city of Jesus she was driven from her anchor again, and carried out to sea during the night. God was served that she should return next day with a fair wind. As soon as Sarmiento saw her, he made signs that she should not anchor, but proceed with the same tide and pass the narrow. The captain, understanding the signal, went on without stopping, sounding carefully as he proceeded, and so he sailed up the Strait, in obedience to the orders of Sarmiento, with some accidents, but not being again driven back.
The arrangement was that Pedro Sarmiento should wait three days, and, if the ship was not driven back during that time, he should set out from the city on the fourth day by land. While he was waiting, some natives came to the city, and, stopping on the hill near the fountains, they began to speak in their language and to make signs. Pedro Sarmiento came out to speak to them, but they would not let him get near them; so he gave orders that one should be caught and brought to him, whom he dressed in a shirt and to whom he gave some presents. When the father of the native, who was waiting to see what happened, beheld that Pedro Sarmiento let his son go to join the rest, he was so well content that he took some martin skins and, covering himself and his son with them, he went straight to the Governor and thanked him by signs for what he had done. He presented his mantle, while Pedro Sarmiento gave the father some things made of glass and a hat, and for the chief he gave a looking-glass, which astonished him at seeing his figure in it. Then all the others came with confidence, and Pedro Sarmiento presented something to each, giving them to understand that he was their friend, and that they should call their chief. They promised to do so by signs, and that in the course of two days they would come with him, and bring some food. Then they departed.
As soon as the three days were passed since the ship sailed, Pedro Sarmiento made a speech to the settlers, animating them to persevere in the work of the settlement, and in good fellowship with each other. He left with them certain ordinances for the services of God and of your Majesty; and celebrated the festival that he had instituted in memory of the founding of the city, with vespers and masses, with all the solemnity that was possible. On the 4th of March he set out with a hundred men, arquebusiers and shield men, each carrying rations for eight days. New sandals and shoes and some spears had been served out to them. Taking leave of the rest, the settlement was left in charge of Captains Viedma and Pedro Iñiguez. They parted with tears from those who remained behind, taking Friar Geronimo* with them, and leaving Friar Antonio. Diego de la Ribera had carried off Friar Bartolomè. Sufficient provisions and necessaries were left to last for some time, and Pedro Sarmiento promised that he would return to see them, and to take back some of the married couples to settle in the other city that he was going to found. After fifteen days the Lieutenant was to send a Serjeant and thirty or forty men to follow the same road, which would be marked out by signs. It is worthy of remark that when Pedro Sarmiento began his march, the sheep they had landed, and the dogs, set out also, and it was not possible to induce them to return to the settlement. They marched as well and as quickly as the men without any compulsion, which seemed a miracle, and every night they came to lodge themselves in the middle of the corps du gard.
* Geronimo de Montoya the Commissary.
Marching in order of battle by land, they encountered some hardships. Pedro Sarmiento always went ahead to make out the road, and when he came to gulfs or arms of the sea, he left the main body and went on with a few men to select the route first, so as not to tire the rest. Many times he came to places where it was necessary to make a round of several leagues, and to come back for the others; and he always went with a compass in his hands, for there was no clear way—nothing but wilderness. He carefully remarked the lay of the land, so as always to return to the channel of the Strait, for sometimes it was necessary to leave it for twelve and fifteen leagues, to find a way. It was a curious thing that we found vestiges of many people, great and small, yet in more than forty leagues not a single human being was seen, nor any smoke. Previously, when in the Strait, all the plains were seen full of smoke. From this we were led to believe that the natives were either hiding, or watching us secretly, that they might fall upon us, if they caught us off our guard on the march. In marching over this land, we saw very pleasant valleys covered with odoriferous herbs, also many deer, wild cats with beautiful skins,* and many vultures whose eggs were found on the plain and were eaten by the men. Once we found on the plain a quantity of creeping herbs which produced a small fruit, the size of a pomegranate seed, which were sweet and wholesome.† Another fruit, called cherries by the men, was in such quantity that the men could pluck it as they marched, without stopping, and satisfy their hunger.‡ Their hunger was greater than could be wished, for the ration for eight days only consisted of half a pound of biscuit a day, and one small measure of wine, for the whole time; for there was no wine in store—only what the Governor had left, which he kept for the sick and to say mass, so that it could not be regularly served out. As the soldiers were young, and unaccustomed to the hardships of a march, most of them ate all their rations in two days without looking forward, and soon afterwards they began to be faint with hunger. Then God succoured us with the fruit, and now and then with eggs, while when we came down to the seashore there were shell-fish and sea-weed, which they cooked in a pot brought by Pedro Sarmiento for that purpose, as one who knew the necessities of a new land. Sometimes a deer was secured.
* Skunks? In the Pernambuco Report he says that some were run down by the dogs.
† This was probably the Myrtus nunmularia, which has a small edible berry.
‡ Perhaps the crowberry, fruit of an Empetrum.
Before reaching the first narrow, no water was found in the space of two days, and the people, such as in the Indies are called chapetones,* became very sad. The reason was that the rivers, flowing from the interior to the sea, flow underneath when they reach the sands, and, as we were marching along the shore, we did not find any fresh water from this cause. It pleased God that when we were marching along a backwater looking for shell-fish on the beach at low tide, we came to some running water. Pedro Sarmiento tasted it out of curiosity, and found that it was sweet. Telling his followers, they drank and were consoled when they expected to perish, for now they no longer felt thirst. There was here a great quantity of black stone which, when put into the fire, burnt for a long time like grease, and better than French coal.
Having arrived at the first narrow, which is the position where the fort should be built, we found it to be very well suited for the purpose, and at a distance of a quarter of a league there is extensive pasture land, very pleasant to behold, with grass suitable for sheep, lagoons, and fuel, while near the narrow is a rivulet of good and plentiful water which falls into a bay forming good and secure anchorage for ships large and small, quite close to the narrow. We called the rivulet “of the Lances” because, being narrow, we put the long lances we carried across it and so passed over. Here there are salt marshes between high and low water, and swamps suitable for making salt in the summer, and mines of saltpetre as it appeared to us.
Having passed the first narrow, which is 14 leagues from Nombre de Jesus, we arrived at a bay of the Strait where there was a great quantity of whales' bones, hugely large, for the whales enter the Strait to pair for the summer, then come to the coast and die. The natives thereabouts eat their flesh, and that of the seals, which is their ordinary food. From this place we began to find quantities of nourishing shell-fish the shells containing many small pearls, some black and others good, the black kinds shining and polished like jet which is a wonderful thing to behold.*
* The principal edible shell-fish are mussels, very large limpets, and macteas. The Fuegians also feed on sea urchins: but the Magellan mussel, a very large bivalve, is their staple food for the greater part of the year. These mussels occasionally contain very small pearls.
We travelled along the coast of that bay, named the “Bay of Victoria,” because, when Pedro Sarmiento passed this way the first time, he gained a victory over the natives here, and was also saved by God from a great danger on the sea, which was here encountered. After marching ten leagues we arrived at the Cape of San Gregorio, which is in the second narrow, where the width is half a league. This land is pleasant and fertile, producing much fruit, as well the red cherries as the berries growing on thorn trees, and there are many wholesome and sustaining shell-fish. A league and a half away there were many valiant natives, who all retired and waited for us in an ambuscade. Here Pedro Sarmiento had an encounter with some natives when he was passing through the Strait on his way from Peru in January 1580. This time the natives let us pass about a league into their land, when, as we crossed a ravine by the sea, we came upon the very valiant men of great stature, with a leader very much taller than the tall native captured by Pedro Sarmiento at the time of his first visit, who was seen by your Majesty at Badajos in the same year.
The natives had dogs with them, of different colours, much larger than those of Ireland, and there are many in that land.* They use them in war time, the dogs fighting each other, and also being set at men opposed to their masters. These natives came naked, with bows and arrows, wearing clouts of the wool of the llamas,† which are the sheep of Peru, whence the bezoar stones are obtained. Here there are many, and their natives wear their wool on their heads as a llautu,‡ the name of the head dress worn in Peru instead of hats or caps. They also wore many strings of beads round their necks, and from the wrists to half way up their arms. They came shouting “Jesus, Maria, Cross, Captain,” which surprised every one who was unable to conjecture whence that novelty arose. The chief of these natives came straight up to the Governor saying “Captain, Ho! Ho! Ho!” raising his hands to heaven, and expressing satisfaction. Pedro Sarmiento embraced him, and showed friendship to him and the rest by signs and by some words which they understood, and also by some trifles, such as combs and beads, and a red cap and looking glass, explaining the use of each. They appeared to be satisfied, and invited us to come to their settlement, making signs that they would give us to eat, but that we should not proceed in the direction we were going, as other natives further on would kill us. They also made signs that our ship, of which we were in search, had passed on through the second rapid. At this we were rejoiced, because we had become anxious from having seen nothing of her. This great native, to amuse us, or perhaps to terrify us, took an arrow more than doue palmos in length, and fine as a cross-bow shaft, and taking off the stone point, he forced the arrow through his mouth and down his throat into his body until the feathers were hidden in his mouth. Afterwards he pulled it out, and there was a little blood at the end, the most astonishing thing that can be imagined.
* Dr. Coppinger tells me that some of the Fuegians had dogs with them, resembling large rough-coated terriers. But they were never seen running wild.
‡ Huaraca is the word used in the Pernambuco Report: which means a sling in the Quichua language. It must have been twisted round the head. These slings were made of the wool of the guanaco.
Then he gave himself a good blow on the chest, which sounded like the stroke of a timbrel, and immediately after he gave a great leap into the air, with a terrible shout. Next he embraced Pedro Sarmiento and pretended to turn back.
Pedro Sarmiento continued his march, going in front himself as he always did, and directing the ensign Guernica to bring up the rear. Guernica had with him six shield men and six arquebusiers, and he was told not to let the natives approach if they made their appearance, for their custom was to come first to reconnoitre as friends, and the second time to make war. He was to pass the news of what happened on to the front. After having marched about a thousand paces, the same natives returned, and those of us who were in front saw them first. They carried many arrows in the llautus on their heads, and in the bows, and others in their hands. As soon as Pedro Sarmiento saw them, he returned quickly to the rear guard with sword and shield, followed by some of the arquebusiers. Rapidly as he came, the Indians had already discharged one or two flights of arrows, and had killed a soldier, who received an arrow between the shoulders, which came out at the heart, passing through a bag that he was carrying on his back, full of shirts, shoes, and sandals. They had seriously wounded ten other soldiers in the thighs, arms, and body; and they attacked so furiously that they seemed to have expected to destroy us all.* But when Sarmiento came to the rescue, by the mercy of God, he got some to return to the defence, and incited others. A soldier attacked the native chief with a flint, shielding Pedro Sarmiento, who gave the same chief a good blow with his sword at the same time, on which he fell. It is a wonderful thing that as the chief was falling, he shot an arrow furiously, which went whistling through the grass and cutting it. The native chief died. His followers were all wounded, and those who were able, took to flight, some falling at intervals. It was noteworthy that our dogs, and those of the natives, flew at each other until they came within four paces, when they turned round without touching, and we could never get them to attack again. The Spaniard having been buried,† and the wounded having been cured with a little grease,‡ we continued the march, with much difficulty, owing to the bays and inlets of the sea. The Governor suffered more than can be imagined in seeking out a road, which was made so much longer by these obstacles, while the want of provisions and of shoes disheartened his people. Besides this the wounded had to be carried, some of them on the backs of their comrades. These wounded men did not want to go on, but to be left to die among some reeds. Being unable to do anything else, they were left behind, to the grief of the others. In marching, the men only had the fruit and wild celery to eat, and some were ready to faint, so, to comfort them, Pedro Sarmiento killed a goat,^ and divided a quarter of it among the weaker men every morning, without giving the strong men a mouthful, or taking one himself. This being done, the infirm gained strength to march, thanks be to God. Goat's flesh, which does not agree with healthy people, does good to the sick and wounded. Pieces of the skin were served out to those who were bare footed. Thus we pushed on, circling round the bays and arms of the sea, and marching over trackless mountains with the compass always in hand, until we came once more to the shores of the Strait. All this time there were murmurs against Pedro Sarmiento by those who said that he took the wrong way, that they would never find the ship, but would die without help. Although Pedro Sarmiento knew this, he dissembled and encouraged them, following a route until he came to the coast of the Strait.
* From the Pernambuco Report it appears that there was a panic. The men fired their arquebuses without taking any aim and they fell back on each other Hke sheep.
† His name was Lope Baér, a native of Badajos, and a respectable married man.
‡ A fire was lighted, and the wounds were cauterized, grease being then appHed, bandages being made with strips of cloth from the men's shirts. The wounded were then given mouthfuls of preserved ginger. They were then helped along by the arms, which was hard work for the other soldiers.—Pernambuco Report.
^ He was taking seven goats for breeding purposes.
Having marched 70 leagues by land, which would have been scarcely 30 by the Strait, we arrived at the wooded country, where there are good rivers, and many shells, containing pearls, on the beach. Here we left the land of the tall natives, and reached that of the small people, where they killed some deer, of which there are many, with wholesome and well-flavoured meat. The men were thus refreshed, while those who were still bare-footed made sandals of the skins. For now almost all were bare-footed, and many would have had no feet left, if it had not been for a bag of shoes of cowhide which the Governor brought, having been made in Jesus, each pair costing more than three ducats. These relieved the sufferings of the weakest and most necessitous. There were some who had so little confidence that they secretly fled into the woods, and remained there hidden, to die.* To prevent this, Pedro Sarmiento imposed the penalty of death on him who should see a comrade fall out and not report it. In this way the evil was remedied, and some of those who had concealed themselves to die were brought back.†
* One soldier, named Lorano, hid himself in the bushes and could not be found.—Pernambuco Report.
† Three of the best dogs had also fallen out, and dropped behind, too tired to proceed.
Marching along the beach in great affliction at not seeing the ships, a new trouble fell upon us. In the trees there were some bunches of green and soft nuts, smelling like chestnuts. The soldiers, finding them pleasant to the taste, ate them like bread. But, in many cases, they had the effect of stretching the belly almost to bursting, and they were like stones in the stomach.* With this, and their despondency, the men were so downhearted that, on the 23rd March, they all said that they could not go another step further, but that they would wait were they were, either for the mercy of God, or for death. Then most of the men threw themselves on the ground. Who can imagine the feelings of the Governor, seeing his comrades, whom he loved as himself, quite despondent and without confidence, and hearing the groans and miseries of the sick, wounded, and tired? He gave each one a mouthful of meat and some roots, and spoke to them to encourage them, pointing to a cape, not three quarters of a league distant, and promising that, with the favour of God, before they reached it, which was called Santa Ana, they would find the ship.† He said they should rest were they were, with the ensign Guernica, and that he would go on with those most able to march, and would return to them. But all believed this to be impossible. So next day Pedro Sarmiento set out at daybreak, with ten or twelve of his own servants, taking leave of the rest. Before they had gone two hundred paces along the beach, they came in sight of a boat coming towards them. Presently Sarmiento made out it was the ship's boat, and sent the news back, which so raised the spirits of all the men that they got up, and came down to the beach, some limping, and others on all fours, to where the boat had now arrived, to the great joy of all the people. They embraced the boatmen, who said that the ship was in a port, at the distance of an arquebus shot from where they were.
* This may, perhaps, be the fruit of the beech tree, of which there are two kinds, Fagus antarctica and Fagus betuloides.
† He made them a long speech, which is given in the Pernambuco Report. In order to arouse their pride, he told them the story of Pizarro having drawn a line upon the sand with his sword at the isle of Gallo, calling upon those who dared to follow him, to cross to his side. He said that only twelve dared to cross the line, who suffered every kind of misery with Pizarro until Almagro came to their rescue, when they gained immortal honour by the conquest of Peru. He then told them how Cortes had burnt his boats, to prevent all possibility of retreat, and thus gained undying fame; and he also described the desperate march of Cortes through Honduras. His next examples, for their edification, were Blasco Nuñez de Balboa when he marched across the isthmus of Darien, Pedro de Alvarado in Guatemala, Cabeza de Vaca in Florida, Benalcazar in Popayan, and Valdivia in Chile. He deduced an impressive moral lesson from these heroic deeds; but he could not induce the worn out soldiers to shake off their feelings of despair.
Pedro Sarmiento sent for biscuit and meat, and wine, which was quickly supplied, and he gave each man a mouthful and a drink of wine, whereby they were comforted and made joyful. The wounded and most feeble were put into two boats, while the Governor, with the others, went by land to another bay where the people of the ship were camped in small huts. With great delight they embraced each other and gave thanks to God at having escaped such imminent danger of death. Those of the ship also gave thanks, for they ran great risks in the second narrow, and were nearly lost on the rocks. After that Captain Suarez went away in the boat, sounding and seeking for a harbour, until he found the same one which Pedro Sarmiento had instructed him to seek. He then went back to look for the ship which had been left in charge of the pilot. He was a bad sailor, and as incapable as a landsman to find a port, on account of which there were conspiracies to kill the captain, as was made known afterwards.^
Pedro Sarmiento presently set to work to cut wood, and made a large hut with his own hands, in which all the people he had brought with him found shelter. The wounded and sick were sent on board ship to be cured and to receive the necessary comforts. Thus all were cared for, and only one died, besides three on the road, one having been killed by the natives, one hid himself, and a third could not be carried further, and was left to die.
Pedro Sarmiento arrived on the 20th March 1584, and having made arrangements both for the sick and the healthy, he, on another day, examined the neighbouring sites as far as the river of San Juan and the bay of Santa Brigida, where he had been when he came from Peru the first time. There he found all the signs, in the shape of crosses and cairns, which he had then left. But the cross he had set up on the point of Santa Ana had been blown down by the wind. He even found a dagger which was lost by one of the men there, when they landed to take possession for his Majesty. Along all the route we had traversed by land, from the city of Jesus to this place, there are a hundred leagues, counting the circuitous marches round the bays, and there are no large rivers, but only rivulets of sweet water. Whence it is proved that there is no other opening to the North Sea, besides that in 52° 30', as has been said, by which Pedro Sarmiento has entered and gone out five times. Thus the malicious ignorance of Diego Flores is refuted, when he said that this was not the opening by which Pedro Sarmiento came out, when he made the voyage from Peru. He said this to excuse himself for not having had the courage to enter it when he was there, wishing to turn and run away as he did. Further, the sinister information sent from England by Don Bernardino is also confuted, to the effect that there were many mouths, and that Drake had used one from the bay of San Julian, as has already been mentioned. Touching this matter, there is no truth except what Pedro Sarmiento certified, and this is most certain, without any doubt.
* The captain was Juan Suarez de Quiroga, the acting pilot Antonio Gonzalez, the boatswain Antonio Vidal, and the ciew consisted of 29 sailors, besides boys and pages, in all 52.
Having investigated the surrounding coasts, and ascertained that there was no more convenient place for a port, or for obtaining timber for building and for conveyance to the projected fort at the first narrow, a distance of twenty-five leagues, which can be traversed by sea in the period of one tide or a little more, it was also found that the country abounded in large deer, which stood until they were approached quite close. One soldier got five fawns in an hour, and many birds, which is a sign that there is plenty of fruit in the woods. It is still more worthy of notice that there are many flocks of green paroquets, which hitherto had only been seen in warm climates. There are also many shell-fish, insomuch that the boats were loaded with them in a short time every day. The soldiers and sailors cooked them in a stew with wild cinnamon. But many of them are full of pearls, and the people found it tiresome to pick them out, though they could not eat them without doing so. There is also plenty of fish, large and small.
When the ship arrived, there were huts of native fishermen, who fled. This is the frontier between the two races of Indians, the gigantic and the small men. The half ot the land which is plain and open is towards the North Sea, and the mountainous and wooded half is towards the South Sea. For this and other reasons Pedro Sarmiento, with the general approval, selected this site for a settlement. On the 25th of March 1584, with the divine grace and in the name of the most Holy Trinity, he took formal possession for your Majesty, selecting officers for a municipality, by whom the ordinary magistrates were elected and confirmed by the Governor in the name of your Majesty. The tree of justice was erected, and the city was traced out, receiving the name of the “King Don Felipe.” Presently the church was commenced, with the name of “Our Lady of the Annunciation.” A perpetual festival was instituted, to be held every year on that day, with vespers and a mass, in honour of the Annunciation and in memory of the founding of the city. The church was built of very fine timber, high and strong, the chapel of the high altar being of stone, which all the people brought on their backs, Pedro Sarmiento taking the lead. He who carried most was held in most honour, and the same with regard to cutting and leading the timber. The church was roofed with good rye straw, of which there was plenty near, which was brought by the boats. Divine service then began to be performed daily. The shops of the carpenters and blacksmiths were round the principal square. Next, the royal store house was commenced, 100 paces long, with thick and lofty forts of oak and beech timber, daubed with clay and roofed with straw. It would hold 500 men, and here were stored all the biscuit, flour, salt meat, wine, beans, powder, lead, rope, balls, steel, and other things which had been brought in the ship. They were delivered over to ensign Guernica, who was appointed storekeeper. Fixed rations were ordered to be served out,* for the supplies obtained by land and sea supplied the want of things from Spain; and all were satisfied and invigorated by the work.†
* Only 12 ounces of biscuit or flour and half a gill of wine, for each man, and nothing else. Without the shell-fish life could not have been sustained. But there were only 50 casks of flour, 12 of biscuit, 12 of wine, 2 of dried tunny fish, one of salt meat, one of bacon, and 4 small barrels of beans in store.
† Sarmiento himself touched nothing but shell-fish.
The church, royal store-house, and hospital, having been built, the town was traced out in form of a square, and surrounded by a fence. The houses and streets were then traced out in squares. In front was the sea shore, with a convenient port for loading and unloading the boats. On one side a secure port, at four brazas from low water, and on the other side another, with good, wholesome fresh water flowing into each, while around were many birds in beautiful groves of trees, affording much recreation in the summer time.
As soon as the houses were traced out, the people began to work at them with great diligence, building them of the same wood, with a coating of clay. They were lightly thatched for the sake of despatch, for it was now the end of April, and winter was approaching. Here the month of April corresponds with our October. In each house four comrades were lodged, the houses being given by lot, so as not to favour anyone. The municipal house was also traced out, the clergy house, and the site of a Franciscan monastery, at one side of the city. The view of the sea from the city was very pleasant. While the building was progressing, ground was broken near the city for cultivation, and a quantity of beans and seeds of turnips and garden vegetables, and some grains of wheat, were sown.* The sowing of maize was put off until the weather was warmer. Presently all the seeds sprouted, which was a sign of a very fertile soil, as it is. The town was surrounded by pallisades, and a bastion was erected on the sea face to defend the anchorage and the landing place. Six pieces of artillery of 20 cwt. were planted on it, on a levelled platform. Ensign Francisco de Guernica,† an old soldier, was appointed Captain of Artillery, and the Cap- tain Juan Suarez de Quiroga became Chief Magistrate and Mayor of the city.‡
* The wheat had all been ruined by salt water. The seeds which remained dry and good had been obtained by Sarmiento at Rio de Janeiro, and they soon germinated. These seeds were of turnips, radish, cauliflower, and lettuce.
† Garnica in the Pernambuco Report.
‡ The people then elected two magistrates for the year, one named Simon Navarro, the other Diego Fernandez.—Pernambuco Report.
The people were well nourished with shell-fish, seals, and some small fish. There were many sardines and fish like hakes. There were also many vultures and other birds with wattled necks. Provision of fish was made for the winter.
It fell out that certain soldiers, who had been most honoured and favoured by the Governor, conspired to seize the ship, murder the captain, and return to the river Plate, forcing the pilot to take them. They delayed the execution of the plan while they decided who should be their leader; and also because Pedro Sarmiento, not without apprehen- sion and mindful of past events, arranged that certain men in his confidence should be in attendance near the captain, and so be prepared. It was known that, when the ship was in danger in the Strait, some men wanted to return but they did not dare because the ship was aground and they knew not how to escape, but they had weapons in their hands with the intent of mutiny.
Among them there was a man, in the habit of a clergyman,* who had been taken at Rio de Janeiro, being a soldier, and released from prison to which he had been condemned for a serious offence. This man conspired with Antonio Rodriguez,† a native of Villacastin, to take to flight in the boat with the people who would mutiny, and they proceeded to corrupt many others, but it all came to the knowledge of Pedro Sarmiento. They intended to kill the Governor and all those who would not go with them. Antonio Rodriguez and the principal conspirators were arrested, and, in answering the accusation, they confessed. Justice was executed upon Antonio Rodriguez, his head being stuck on a pike. The others received lighter punishments.‡
* Named Alonso Sanchez.
† Juan Rodriguez according to the deposition of Hernandez, made many years afterwards. But Sarmiento was doubtless right.
‡ The other ringleaders were Juan Alonso and Francisco de Godoy. The clergyman was named Alonso Sanchez.
This being done, and the settlement having been pallisaded, the winter came on very suddenly. During fifteen days it never ceased to snow, and nearly all the trees lost their leaves in two days. A wonderful thing was then seen which was that, although all the other trees were bare of leaves, there were many as green as when it first began to snow. On going to see what trees they were, it was found that the snow had not reached them within a circuit of more than ten paces. On further investigation it was seen that the bark was like very strong cinnamon, and the fruit like that of the cloves of Gilolo. It was in flower during the proper season, and was like a wild jasmine, which fell after eight days and left a green clove, of the same size as those that are eaten, there being fourteen or sixteen at the end of each branch, and in the middle a thick mother clove. After twenty days the clove was red, and began to ripen and turn black. Pedro Sarmiento could not see it in the ripe state, because he came before the season.*
* Probably the Winter's bark tree, Drimys Winterli, the bark of which tastes like cinnamon combined with pepper.
Pedro Sarmiento had promised the people of the city of Jesus to return and visit them after he had founded the second settlement. As well for this as with the object of beginning to convey some of the heavy artillery to the first narrow, to commence the forts for defending the passage of the Strait, he embarked on board the ship with thirty men, leaving sufficient supplies in the city of Felipe, and got under weigh before daylight on the 25th of May. At this time a total eclipse of the moon occurred, of a pale yellow colour, the occupation lasting two hours and a half. This eclipse is not noted or calculated in the ephemerides for these parts.
On the same day Pedro Sarmiento reached the anchorage of the city of Jesus late at night, and sent to the city to give orders for embarkation of things which were to be taken to the city of Don Felipe. While this was being done such a furious gale sprang up that the single cable parted,* and the ship was driven out to sea without a chance of being able to return or to anchor again.† The storm increased and blew furiously for upwards of twenty days, so that the ship was forced to make for San Vicente or Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, with only half a barrel of flour and roots. Some became blind from cold and hunger, others lost their fingers and toes.‡ In San Vicente Pedro Sarmiento sold his clothes to obtain food for the crew. Here the ship grounded, and Pedro Sarmiento, making an offering to our Lady of Guadalupe, it pleased God that she should be saved.
* On Saturday, May 26th, 1584.
† Two men who had come on board from Jesus, were carried off, being unable to land again. They reported that, a few days after the Governor's departure from Jesus, Andres de Viedma had sent Iñiquez into the interior with forty men to discover the river Gallego. They explored its course and were returning when they were attacked by four bodies of natives. Ten Spaniards were wounded, and the native chief and his son were killed by shots from an arquebus. The natives then retreated. Flour was reserved for the sick, and the rest of the settlers lived on seals, shell-fish, and roots. There had been a mutiny, and the ringleader had been executed.
‡ Sarmiento arrived at Santos on the 27th of June. They only had six rations of flour left, and the men were gnawing sandals, and the leather of the pumps.
In Rio de Janeiro, Pedro Sarmiento* found letters from Diego de la Ribera, saying that he was shortly going to Spain, without taking the despatch from Sarmiento to your Majesty, and that he would leave at Rio the stores which had been brought there in the frigates, and which belonged to the Strait.
* Sarmiento left Santos for Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, the 3rd of July 1584.
Pedro Sarmiento, with the help of the Governor, Salvador Correa, arranged for a vessel laden with flour to be sent to the Strait, with a pilot who had been left at Rio by Diego de la Ribera.* Leaving a general message, and having made a cable of the bark of trees and got an anchor, Sarmiento departed for Pernambuco† to obtain a supply of tar, provisions, and clothing to take with him to the Strait. In order to effect the purchases, he took with him a 1,000 cwts. of Brazil dye wood in the ship. Not being able to cross the bar into the port of Pernambuco owing to want of depth, more than 300 cwts. were thrown overboard by the advice of Martin Corballo, your Majesty's surveyor. Even after that there was no pilot who could take the ship in, until Pedro Sarmiento got into the boat and went ahead to sound, making signals to the ship with a flag. The ship followed and entered safely, together with a large ship from Bahia laden with sugar, on board of which was Gabriel Suarez, who is now at this court.
* His name was Caspar Conquero. The stores left by Diego de la Ribera consisted of some iron and lead, powder, balls, nails, and copper. They were used for the purchase of provisions.
† On August 14th, 1584, arriving at Pernambuco on September the 16th.
In Pernambuco, the Royal Purveyor, having seen the orders of your Majesty, and the correspondence, supplied some clothes and baizes, some barrels of wine, twelve boxes of tar, and other necessaries, with which Pedro Sarmiento determined to proceed to Bahia to refit the ship, and buy flour and hides for the Strait. He gave Martin Carballo 700 cwt. of Brazil wood for the stores, with which many things were paid for what had been taken, and an entry was made in the royal book, signed by Pedro Sarmiento and the notaries.
While he was there, such a scandal took place in the city between Martin Carballo and the Bishop of Brazil on one side, and Martin Leyton, the Chief Justice, on the other, that the negociation, on the part of Captain Francisco Morejon, ended in an appeal to arms, including the clergy and all the people. If Pedro Sarmiento had not been there it would have ended in many deaths. For the said Pedro Sarmiento, sword in hand, went before the Court of Justice in the Rua Nova, where more than 500 people were assembled in battle array, and succeeded in appeasing them by persuasive words. He also calmed down the Chief Justice, who wanted to arrest Martin Carballo in the house of the Bishop, and induced them to make friends for the time, which was a notable service to God and your Majesty; touching all which, and a report of what afterwards happened, I sent, in two parcels to your Majesty, by way of Lisbon.
Leaving Pernambuco for Bahia in the end of September,* Pedro Sarmiento arrived near the port of Bahia, and, as he was about to enter, a great storm arose, which drove the ship on to the shore, dashed her to pieces, and she presently filled with water. Pedro Sarmiento got the boats out, and put all the people who could not swim into them, that they might be saved. He remained on board to the last, at the mercy of God, with a few who could swim, that he might help them. On reaching the shore the boats were dashed to pieces, so that there could be no return to the ship and no human help. Sarmiento nailed two boards together and he and a priest got on them and left the ship. But the seas were so heavy that they were nearly stifled a thousand times. Holding on to the boards, Pedro Sarmiento received many wounds on his body and legs from the nails. All who could swim abandoned him, except a negro of his own, yet God was pleased that, through His infinite mercy, he should be saved, to whom be many thanks for ever and ever. He lost all he had in the ship except two or three barrels of wine, and a small piece of artillery. Presently the ship broke up, and Pedro Sarmiento beheld the loss and found that some were drowned. He consoled the survivors as well as he could. During that day and the following night they went without eating or drinking, for they had nothing. He wrote to some monks, who were at a distance of four leagues, asking for succour. One of them came with some Indians and flour, with which they were consoled. They then made their way to an estate, four leagues distant, where they rested for two days. The Governor of Bahia sent an officer to visit Pedro Sarmiento and bring him to the city, where he arrived, with his companions, on the 3rd of October. All were kindly received by the Governor, and by your Majesty's Factor. Pedro Sarmiento asked the favour of being enabled to return to the Strait, and they gave him a vessel of 160 tons, with 600 alcahices of mandioc flour, and some cloth and other things for the Strait. He took many stores on credit, and from one man alone, named Pedro de Arce, he bought 600 ducats worth of powder, and other things. The said powder belonged to your Majesty, and had the royal mark on it. When Diego Flores was here with the ships it must have been stolen and sold, and I bought it at half a ducat the pound.
* His detailed report to the King, from Pernambuco, dated September 18th, 1584, was duly received, and has been preserved; but it remains in manuscript.
Having got this vessel ready, and saved a piece of artillery of the two lost in the ship, and having given account of all, to be kept by your Majesty's purveyor, and written to your Majesty and to your Council of the Indies by the hand of the Governor, Manuel Tellez Barreto, Pedro Sarmiento left this port and went to that of Espiritu Santo, where he obtained some cotton cloth, and 200 arrobas of dried beef. A Portuguese named Coutinho was Governor, who was zealous in the service of your Majesty, and had recently resisted the ships of the Englishman, Frentons,^ when he arrived here, after being repulsed at San Vicente. It is understood that he sustained some damage.
From this port Pedro Sarmiento again sent an important despatch, and departed for Rio de Janeiro on the 15th of January. It was a month since the vessel had been despatched to the Strait with flour and other stores, as well as with the munitions that had been left at Rio, and some sheep for breeding. We set out for the Strait at a stormy season, from the desire to lose no time in succouring our companions, for the service of God and your Majesty. We sailed in fine weather until we reached the 33rd degree when we encountered a gale from the west and south-west, which was so furious that it was judged to be the worst and most terrible we had seen. All the elements seemed to be entangled together. The thunder and lightning broke over our heads, so low and horrible, that it seemed as if the sea had opened an abyss of flame. We were all amazed and without feeling. Looking at each other, we could not recognise those nearest to us. Every sea threatened to overwhelm us, and one struck the port quarter of the poop, sending the starboard side under the sea. Then we all thought we must be drowned, and we called to God for help. The sheep and everything on deck, including boxes of cloth and hide, were thrown overboard. The ship then began to right itself, by the mercy of God, and we ran with bare poles whithersoever the sea might take us. The blows from the sea were so terrible that they tore open the bulwarks, and washed over the deck of the poop. Seeing no human remedy, we again commended ourselves to God, and threw overboard most of the flour. Passing grass cables under the ship, we secured them above with hawsers and hove taught on the capstan. In this manner, with wind S.W., we ran before an increasing storm for fifty-one days, until we entered Rio de Janeiro, thanks be to God who saved us from this danger, as from others.
Having arrived nearly naked and bare-footed, with the vessel knocked to pieces, we had one more disappointment, which was that the barque, which had sailed with flour for the Strait, had also returned owing to bad weather. On seeing her Pedro Sarmiento was ready to burst with rage, but he considered that in the various and sudden events of the world, many must be irreparable, and we must submit to the will of God, whose works and secrets are marvellous and incomprehensible. He presently caused several masses to be said for all, and turned his attention to the needs of the ship. In order to pay the officers he sold everything, down to the shirts, in which he was assisted by the Governor, Salvador Correa, a good servant of your Majesty. There were no nails, so Pedro Sarmiento and his companions pulled to pieces a ship that had been wrecked and, having burnt her, they got all her old nails, from which they made new ones, and boarded the ship afresh. As there was no tar, a man was sent to Bahia, where there is plenty, and it is cheap on credit. The Governor waited until April, for before that it would not be the season for making a passage to the Strait.
The skins belonging to Pedro Sarmiento did not suffice to sustain the people, who numbered thirty-two, including officers. He, therefore, sold all that remained of the cloth for the Stiait, at good prices, and with the proceeds maintained the people with rations of cassava flour, meat, fruit, treacle beer, and fish.
The tar having arrived, the grease was wanting. So Pedro Sarmiento gave orders to the sailors to kill some whales. They caught two in the port, from which a quantity of grease and oil was taken, for which the sailors were paid, and with this and the tar the ship could be re- fitted.
In addition to all these calamities, another befell Pedro Sarmiento, and not the least. It was that the sailors, although they had received food, clothing, and pay, not wishing to remain, became so disaffected that they determined to seize Pedro Sarmiento and kill him. Knowing the facts, Sarmiento apprehended the chief mutineer between decks; but next day, when he was at mass, the others broke open the door of the prison and released him. When Pedro Sarmiento was informed of this, he came promptly to the ship with his servants, and went on board. He found the mutineers in arms, in open rebellion and without shame. They disowned the service of your Majesty, and showed their desire to seize the ship and go off with her. Although Pedro Sarmiento spoke gently to appease them, it was not sufficient. Seeing this, he would not yield to force. He drew his sword and drove them all below with blows, wounding the most audacious, and giving the pilot, who was secretly at the head of it, a sword thrust. He seized the man and put him with the rest, who numbered twenty-three or twenty-four. He disarmed them and made them more yielding than wax. The worst delinquent was sent to the fort of San Vicente. When the others thought they were going to be punished, he pardoned them and treated them well, for it was no time for rigour, but rather for indulgence, otherwise he would have been left alone and without sailors. He considered that such hardships had made them despair, and they might say that, taking example from Diego Flores, as he had turned back, they also wished to return. A pilot and an ensign had already taken to flight, who had been left by Diego de la Ribera to return to the Strait.
Finally, Pedro Sarmiento, seeing that the time was passed, and that now no means of returning to the Strait with help could be got in Brazil, and having done all that was possible, with the concurrence of the Governor, Salvador Correa, of the Chamber of that city, and of the general public, he came to the resolution that the most necessary and indispensable thing was to return and give an account to your Majesty of what had happened, that, being informed, order might be taken to provide what would be best for the royal service in those parts. With evidence and proofs of everything, he set out for Spain on the 26th of April, arriving at Bahia on the 14th of May very ill, but always on deck, apprehending some insubordination from the sailors.
The Governor of Bahia asked for help in the shape of ammunition, because the Indians had killed many people, and he intended to make war on them. Pedro Sarmiento, out of his poverty, gave the Governor six barrels of powder.
We left Bahia on the 22nd of June 1586, and on the 11th of August Pedro Sarmiento was between the islands of Terceira and San Jorge. Here he encountered three English vessels,* which together had thirty-four pieces of artillery and 170 musketeers and arquebusiers, with two armed launches. They surrounded us and fired some rounds from the cannons, and many rounds of musketry. Without power either to resist or to escape, with only twenty inefficient men as a crew, Sarmiento was taken prisoner and robbed of the little he had. He and his men were stripped and brought on board the Capitana of the English frigates, where they were stripped to the skin, and tortured with fire and twisted cords in such a way that the ends of their fingers were maimed and broken. This was done to make them say whether they carried silver or money. The English captain then wanted to let Pedro Sarmiento go, for some provisions he would supply, but the same Portuguese pilot he had brought with him, betrayed him and said who he was, even exaggerating his importance, to do him more harm. On this the ship and the rest of the crew were allowed to go, while Pedro Sarmiento, the pilot, and two others were taken to England.
* It was in 1584 that Sir Walter Raleigh sent his first expedition to Roanoke: when the Queen gave the land the name of Virginia, and knighted Raleigh. Sir Richard Grenville took out a colony in 1585, returning in October; and in the following year Sir Francis Drake came to the settlement and took the colonists home. He arrived in England on the 27th of July. In the meanwhile Sir Walter Raleigh sent out three vessels in 1586, under the command of Sir Richard Grenville, who returned in August. It must, therefore, have been Grenville's squadron which captured Sarmiento on its way home.
We arrived at Plymouth in the end of August, where Pedro Sarmiento was kept a prisoner and nearly naked until the 11th of September. On that day the general, John Hawkins,* arrived at Plymouth with twenty-two ships, galleons and frigates of the Queen, carrying 4,000 men for sea and land service. They were going to cruise and commit robberies on the coast of Spain. When they arrived it was four days since the English pirate named Thomas Cavendish† sailed for the Strait with five ships, having sold all his property to fit them out. After eight days he arrived at Artamua,‡ and, hearing that the Strait was fortified, he determined to postpone his expedition, as he did then, but when he heard of the imprisonment of Pedro Sarmiento in France, he again determined to start, and sailed from England for the Strait.
* Juan de Aquines.
† Teloriscandi. Cavendish left Plymouth with three vessels, the Desire (120 tons), Content (60 tons), and Hugh Gallant (40 tons), on July 21st, 1586. Sarmiento's information was, therefore, incorrect. He was in the Strait, and visited Sarmiento's city of Don Felipe, which he called “Port Famine,” in January 1587.
Pedro Sarmiento apprised your Majesty of all this from England, by way of Lisbon, sending his letter in a Venetian ship which was wrecked off Cape Finisterre. After his imprisonment at Plymouth, they took him to Hampton Court* on the 14th of September, and thence to Windsor† on the 15th of the same month, where Queen Elizabeth of England was. He who had charge of him presented him to a gentleman usher of the Queen,‡ who was owner of the ships that made him prisoner, and he received the prisoner very courteously. Conversing with him in Latin, Pedro Sarmiento made himself so agreeable that God was served by his gaining the captor's good will, who began to show him honour and to sit by his side.^
‡ Sir Walter Raleigh.
^ Speaking of the fictions of map makers, in his History of the World, Sir Walter Raleigh says:—“To which purpose I remember a pretty jest of Don Pedro de Sarmiento, a worthy gentleman who had been employed by his King in planting a colony upon the Streights of Magellan; for when I asked him, being then my prisoner, some question about an island in those Streights, which methought might have done either benefit or displeasure to his enterprise, he told me merrily that it was to be called the “Painter's Wife's Island,” saying that whilst the fellow drew that map, his wife, sitting by, desired him to put in one country for her that she, in imagination, might have an island of her own.”—Vol. II, Book ii, Chap. xxiii, p. 327 (Ed. 1736).
He gave the prisoner a special house, and a gentleman who spoke Spanish to attend on him, to accompany him, and keep guard over him. Don Antonio of Crato* took such offence at this companionship and friendliness, all his reliance being on Sir Walter Raleigh,† that he strove to disturb it, as he afterwards did.
* The Portuguese pretender.
Don Antonio complained to the Queen of this friendship, saying that Pedro Sarmiento was said to be illegitimate, and that, being under his protection, he was under an obligation to give him satisfaction, and that not doing so he would teach him a game that would cost him his life. The Queen became angry, and ordered Sir Walter to put Pedro Sarmiento in prison. Then Sir Walter spoke to the Queen in favour of Sarmiento, in such wise that the anger she felt against him was turned against Don Antonio. In consequence of this Don Antonio plotted to kill Pedro Sarmiento by means of a Portuguese, his favourite, named Antonio de Vega, who is now at this court. But he warned a Portuguese merchant in London, named Bernaldo Luis, who is also now at this court, and he passed on the warning to Pedro Sarmiento. Thus it was that the intention of Don Antonio had no effect.
The Queen expressed a wish to speak with Pedro Sarmiento, who was called up to London for the purpose, and he conversed with her in Latin for more than two hours and a half, in which language she is proficient. What passed on that occasion is reserved for a more particular report, and for the information of your Majesty alone. Pedro Sarmiento also conversed with the Lord Treasurer and President of the Council, Lord Burleigh,* who is well known to your Majesty, on the same subject as with the Queen. The Admiral† and Sir Walter also treated with Pedro Sarmiento, as your Majesty has already been informed, and on which a report will be made. This done, and other important matters being settled, by the grace of the Queen a passport was given to Pedro Sarmiento, with leave to proceed to Spain and to return to England if it should be necessary for the object contemplated. Having given him a present of a thousand escudos in pieces and pearls, which Bernaldo Luis lent to Sir Walter, Pedro Sarmiento left London on the 30th of October 1586, having received much courtesy in that land from all sorts of people, thanks be to God. It may be taken that the wish of the Queen to set Pedro Sarmiento at liberty was the sign of a desire to humiliate herself to your Majesty from fear.‡
† Lord Howard.
‡ It seems likely that Queen Elizabeth, in her conversation with Sarmiento, entrusted him with some conciliatory verbal message to Philip, intended as a basis for negotiations. The imprisonment of Sarmiento in France prevented the message from being delivered, and when he was released in 1589, the Spanish Armada had been defeated, and the face of things was entirely changed. The Queen's declaration of October 1st, 1585, had virtually been a declaration of war with Spain. In December Leicester had landed, and in September 1586 the battle of Zutphen was fought. But it was a hazardous proceeding, the Queen desired peace if it could be obtained with honour, and she was doubtless glad of an opportunity to communicate privately with Philip. The release of Sarmiento without ransom, and with a passport and a present of money, points to something of this kind.
He came to Calais, and went thence to Dunkirk in Flanders to see if there was any despatch to convey to your Majesty, and to apprise the Duke of Parma respecting affairs in England that it was proper he should know, and that he might take order about certain things relating to the war, as he did. Having visited that port and M. de la Mota in Furnes, he returned to Calais, where he communicated with M. de Gordan, the Governor of that town for the King of France. Pedro Sarmiento found the Governor to be informed respecting the affairs of your Majesty, often pressing Sarmiento's hand, whereby he felt that officer's great regard for our nation. Sarmiento showed his pleasure by the usual ceremonies, at which Gordan made known his satisfaction by doing the same.
Pedro Sarmiento arrived at Paris on the 21st of November, and was nine days with the Ambassador Don Bernadino de Mendoza, who advanced money for his journey. Continuing his journey by post, with the concurrence of the Ambassador, and carrying his packets for your Majesty, he arrived at Bordeaux. Between that town and Bayonne he was taken prisoner, on the 9th of December, by a Captain de Vendome, Viscount of Bearne, and a company of arquebusiers, while he was sleeping in an inn. On the 11th they took him to the town of Mont Marsan, where Vendome is the Viscount, and presented him to M. de Castelnau,* the commandant who resided there with five companies as a garrison, fifty cuirassiers, and loose horse-men, with which forces he made war on the catholics of the towns of Dax and St. Sever,† where a valorous catholic, named M. de Poyarne, is governor, who waged war on heretics and their abettors.
* Michel de Castelnau, Baron de Jonville, was Ambassador in England, and died in 1592, author of the Mémoires de Casiebiau. The commandant of Mont Marsan may have been his son Jacques or a cousin, Mathurin de Castelnau, Seigneur de Rouvre.
† Towns on the Adour, above Bayonne.
When Pedro Sarmiento was made prisoner they collected the packets that were for your Majesty and his own papers; and the interpreter, who acted as his guide, a native of Irun, in order that he might be released, said that Pedro Sarmiento was a great personage, much more important than he really was, that they had better guard him well, for that they would get a large ransom for him. The man's name is Ramos, a servant of Juan de Arbelaez, the postman at Irun. May God pardon him for the mischief he did.
A few days afterwards they killed the captain and soldiers who captured Pedro Sarmiento, owing to which there were differences between the colonel and the other captains, and Vendome himself, over which of them should eat up the poor prisoner. Pedro Sarmiento wrote to the Viscount of Bearne, who was in Rochelle, giving him to understand the injury that had been done when there was no war, on the contrary, that there was peace, confirmed and settled, between the crowns of France and Spain. He presented the passport of the Queen of England, his ally, which ought to be sufficient to let anyone pass free through an allied and confederate country. He entreated that, on these grounds, he might be set at liberty, thus undoing the wrong that had been committed. The said Vendome replied to Pedro Sarmiento with feigned courtesies, saying that he had not the power to do what was requested, because he had given him to the relations and friends of M. de la Noue for the liberation, in exchange, of his son Telini,* taken in Flanders, and of the father of M. de la Noue,† who, on his faith, had given your Majesty his word not to make war. Pedro Sarmiento replied to the said Vendome, and to Colonel Castelnau, that they had not adopted a good way of getting what they wanted, because the exchange was unworthy of being entertained, Sarmiento being a man of peace, and Telini a man of war taken with arms in his hands, perpetrating his illegality in flagrante and that your Majesty would take no more account of such a proposition than of a worm. Had I been a great Lord of Spain, I should sooner be left to be burnt alive by them, and this they should well know, or they would be altogether deceived, for instead of obtaining the liberty of Telini, they would secure the death of both.
* Teligny was a son-in-law of the Admiral Coligny, and held St. Quentin in I557. He was killed or desperately wounded in a sortie. For, in the Memoirs of Sully, he is said to have been killed at the massacre of St. Bartholomew in 1572. The prisoner mentioned in the text as a son-in-law of De la Noue may have been a son of Coligny's son-in-law.
† Francois de la Noue was taken prisoner at an action near Ingelmunster in 1580. He was not only one of the most experienced soldiers, but one of the most accomplished writers of the age, so that his capture was a great blow to William of Orange. The States in vain offered Count Egmont and other prisoners in exchange. De la Noue remained for five years in a loathsome dungeon at Limburg Castle. In June 1585 he was exchanged for Egmont, at least eighteen months before Sarmiento was captured. So that this was only an excuse about De la Noue; the real person whose release was sought, was the son-in-law Telini (or Teligny?).
After all they compelled Sarmiento to petition your Majesty, which he did much against his will. Pedro Sarmiento spoke to the said Vendome in Marsan, and gave him the letters he had received in reply from this court. Above all they wanted to force him to continue to urge his petition. Pedro Sarmiento answered them that he would die in the prison before he would importune one whom he was bound to serve, on which Colonel de Castelnau insolently gave expression to some irrelevant words against the authority of a monarch whom Pedro Sarmiento loves more than himself. Unable to stand this Sarmiento challenged him with the weapons at his hand, on which M. de Castelnau was so aghast that he did not answer a word. If Pedro Sarmiento had not done this, he would deserve to be branded as a disloyal and recreant knight, and an unworthy servant of your Majesty, though there may be some who would condemn it as temerity.
For this Pedro Sarmiento was disliked by the heretics, which for him was honour and glory, and all the more, the more it was made public. It took place before all the gentlemen of that town, and before one Christoval de Morales, a Spaniard known to Don Juan de Idiaquez. Presently the permission was withdrawn to go to mass; he was put under lock and key, his guards were doubled, and he was threatened with death at every moment. But God watched over him in the cruel prison, where the damp crippled him, where his hair turned grey, and he lost his teeth. For a change and alleviation they took him to a castle, and immured him in infernal darkness, deprived of all human communication, and accompanied by the music of toads and rats in the castle ditch. The place where he was thus imprisoned was so fetid that those who brought him food were unable to endure it. He was here for thirteen more months, sentenced either to pay 5,000 escudos and four horses, or to be thrown into the river, as was done to others, his countrymen, every day. After many disputes over it they definitely announced that the sentence was 6,000 ducats and four select horses, or death. Understanding this, and that he might not perish miserably among heretics, and for another chance of doing some service to God and to your Majesty, he accepted, confident in the mercy of God and the magnanimity of your Majesty, to whom I humbly prayed that your Majesty would redeem me, not for any merit of my own, for I have none, but that by reason of your Majesty's admirable liberality, bounty, and mercifulness, your Majesty would see fit to succour me, and deliver from this hell, from which only God and your Majesty can deliver me, for the ministry of good Christians, zealous of God's honour and for your Majesty's service.* Glory to God who brought me before the presence of your Majesty, with a heart as ready as ever, and more, if more is possible, for the royal service in affairs most near to your Majesty's wishes. At present, in all humility, Pedro Sarmiento kisses your Majesty's feet and hands a thousand times, praying to Almighty God that, for so much humanity, liberality and mercy as your Majesty used towards him, providing the 6,000 escudos and four horses, in addition to many other mercies which during the imprisonment you conferred on him, He will see good to show His divine mercy to your Majesty, granting you His most holy grace, that, during many joyful years, you may govern your most Christian states and monarchy with increase to it, sustaining, as you have sustained, the most holy Catholic Church, and the catholic faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose protector and defender and only column your Majesty is, so that, at the end of your most propitious temporal life, you may be received by God into His celestial eternity.†
* There are two letters of Sarmiento from his prison at Mont Marsan, in the Archivo General de Indias. One is addressed to the Royal Secretary, Juan de Idiaquez, and is dated September 27th, 1589. It appears that money had been collected, among friends and relations, for the ransom; but he represented that 5,100 ducats of his salary were still unpaid, and that 1,000 ducats were due to him for the government of Peru; as well as 14,800 ducats for his grant in that country. All this being due to him, he entreats that the King will be pleased to advance the amount of the ransom. One Christobal de Morales was the bearer of the letters and of the ransom. The second letter, on the same subject, is addressed to the King himself, and dated from his prison of Mont Marsan, on October 2nd, 1589. The period of Sarmiento's captivity was the disturbed times at the end of the reign of Henry III of France. He called Henry of Navarre the King of Bearn. Henry III was assassinated on August 2nd, 1589, and Sarmiento appears to have been released in the following October.
† All the rest, from this place, is in Pedro Sarmiento's own handwriting, as well as the signature.—Note by Muñoz.
When the English captured Pedro Sarmiento between the islands of Terceira and Graciosa, seeing that escape was impossible, he threw many papers containing secrets of navigation and of discovery, reports, notices, and proofs, touching the expedition to the Strait, into the sea; especially a large book, containing descriptions in colour and in the art geographical of the mountains of the new discoveries and routes, that they might not fall into the hand of the enemy, lest, coming into their power, they might enable them to injure our navigation. A few that were in cypher were alone saved, as they would not be understood, some of which I have been able to ransom, and the rest I may be able to do over again in time and with the help of God.
It is necessary to make the following statement respecting the ships that were left in the Strait, the Trinidad and the Maria. The Trinidad having been broken up, the owner treated for a valuation, but Pedro Sarmiento had been nominated valuer by the owner of the ship. Before she could be valued Diego de la Ribera departed for Spain without taking the letters of Pedro Sarmiento, and in Rio de Janeiro Sarmiento heard that an excessive valuation had been put on the ships, respecting which Sarmiento felt great scruples of conscience, without saying anything at the time. Now he must inform your Majesty that there has been deception in this business, to the injury of the royal treasury, as well in this as in other things, both written and by word of mouth.
Pedro Sarmiento was made prisoner by English pirates when he was coming from the Strait and from Brazil to give an account to your Majesty of all that had happened connected with the expedition, and of the settlements that had been founded; to give information respecting the necessities of that land, and of the faithful, loyal, and constant subjects of your Majesty who were left there, under such urgent need of being succoured and maintained, and that the Strait might be fortified in accordance with the wishes of your Majesty. Having been liberated from that captivity, and coming back through Gascony, I was again taken prisoner by the heretics of Vendome, from which prison I advised your Majesty of affairs touching your royal service, and I especially entreated your Majesty to send succour to those loyal and constant subjects and cities of the Strait, which your Majesty will have done as a thing so important to the royal service, and because God has shown such pity and mercy by the hands of your Majesty in setting me at liberty so as to be able to make my supplications in person, and being bound by my duty to prosecute the matter, especially seeing what notable service to our Lord God and to Christianity is placed in charge of your mercy, whose service and satisfaction I seek and desire. Humbly, in the name of the said cities of your Majesty, I kiss your royal feet and hands, and entreat, for the love of our Lord God, may He be served continually, that other occupations and demands may not impede nor detain the help; for the royal hand of your Majesty, with the favour of God, is more than enough for all. This business ought to be preferred to many others, because if this is impeded, the best work there is placed in jeopardy, and the purse which sustains all is put in danger.
Thus your Catholic Majesty is under an obligation of conscience to succour your subjects and cities, with whose service, under God, the royal crown of your Majesty will be sustained and preserved in those parts, and in the Indies of the South Sea, Molucos and Philippines, whence, in course of time, will result very great advantages, exceeding the present expense. For the execution of it, if this weak subject and servant of your Majesty can serve in anything non recuso laborem above all former work, with joyful countenance and prompt willingness, more now than formerly, it being more needful, I will embrace the work until my life's end. Certainly it is not convenient for the service of your Majesty that I should be called upon to answer the faults of others, being scarcely able to give an account of my own. As my desire is that my will should not be different from your Majesty, this I will follow, with the favour of God, by sea and land, here and elsewhere, beseeching for the sake of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, that your Majesty will be mindful of your poor subjects, and that your Majesty will not be content to send some relief, but to continue until they are firmly established, to the terror of the enemies of God and of your Majesty, when that Strait is closed. For this I offer myself, with the help of God and of your Majesty, God giving me life. This I pray with such insistency because my conscience obliges me.* After I have brought it before your Majesty, it remains with your Majesty, to whom may Almighty God grant long life and health, with increase of power for His sacred service, and afterwards for heaven. Amen.
* Again, on November 21st, 1591, Sarmiento entreated the King to send succour to the abandoned settlers in the Strait. He also requested that his accounts might be adjusted, after deducting the cost of the ransom.
In the Escurial and San Lorenzo the Royal, 15th of December 1589. This humble subject and most loyal though unworthy servant kisses the feet and hands of your Majesty.
Pedro Sarmiento de Gambóa
In the city of the Kings, on the 21st of March 1620, the most excellent Lord Prince of Esquilache,* Viceroy of these kingdoms, said: that his Excellency had understood from a report made by the General, Don Ordoño de Aguirre, that Tomé Hernandez, resident in this city, came from Spain in 1581, in company with Diego Flores de Valdes and Pedro Sarmiento, to the discovery and settlement of the Strait of Magellan, where he lived two years and a half, until he embarked in the fleet of Thomas Candi,† an Englishman who passed into this sea; and that it was desirable for his Majesty's service to know and understand the width of the Strait as well at its opening as in the middle and at the other side, what bays, harbours, and anchorages it contains, and whether its navigation would be easy or difficult, as well as in what season of the year it can be passed, and what winds are favourable or the reverse, and what islands and main lands border on the Strait, also what kind of people inhabit them, whether the countries are desert or inhabitable, and everything else bearing on the subject, in order that it may be more distinctly understood with scientific accuracy and sound knowledge. His Excellency, therefore, orders that the said Tomé Hernandez shall make a declaration in presence of his Excellency, and before Garcia de Tamayo, Chief Notary of Mines and Registers, and of the Royal Treasury.
(Signed) The Prince don Francisco de Borja.
(Before me) Garcia de Tamayo.
* Don Francisco de Borjay Aragon, Prince of Esquilache, was a son of that Duke of Gandia who was canonized as San Francisco de Borja. The Prince was Viceroy of Peru from 161 5 to 1621. He was a poet and a scholar, and he founded colleges for the education of noble Indians. Returning to Spain, he survived until 1658, when he died at Madrid, at the age of 76.
In the city of the Kings, on the 21st of March 1620, in the presence of his Excellency, the oath was taken before God our Lord, and the sign of the cross, in the prescribed form, by a man who said his name was Tomé Hernandez. He said that he was a native of Badajoz in Spain, and he promised to speak the truth. And being interrogated in accordance with the tenor of the above order, he said as follows:—
This witness being in Spain in the year 1580, people were taken, by command of his Majesty, to form a settlement in the Strait of Magellan, as well as to serve in the war of Chile. Diego Flores de Valdes was nominated as General of the fleet and of all the people who went out, as well to the Strait as to Chile. They fitted out twenty-three vessels for this service. Don Pedro Sarmiento embarked to go to the settlement, and Don Alonso de Sotomayor as Governor of Chile. This witness knew that the settlement, of which Pedro Sarmiento was in charge, was ordered to be formed in consequence of the report he had made of the Strait, for he had come out of it and come from these kingdoms to those of Spain. The General had orders, after he had taken the soldiers to Chile, and after he had landed the people who came to settle in the Straits, to return with the fleet to Spain. In conformity with these orders they sailed from the port of San Lucar in 1581, and this witness embarked as a soldier on board the Capitana of the fleet, which was a ship called the galleass and named the San Christoval. All sailing in company they encountered a great storm in the Gulf of Yaguas,* owing to which it was necessary to return to Cadiz with the loss of seven vessels which were missing. There they were refitted, and again set out in search of the Strait. The first land they touched at was Cape Verde, where they took in water and other things necessary for the fleet, and presently sailed, continuing to navigate until they arrived at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. They remained there for months hoping for better weather, and at the end of the four months they anchored in a port called San Vicente, which must be about 50 leagues further on than Rio de Janeiro. It was peopled by Portuguese, who told General Diego Flores de Valdes that the English had done them harm when they came there, and asked him to land some soldiers and artillery to protect them from the attacks of the enemy. He, therefore, landed a garrison and some cannons, and built a fort, leaving Hernando de Miranda, who had come out in the fleet, as Governor.
* The fleet encountered the storm outside the Strait of Gibraltar, between Cape Cantin and Cape St. Vincent.
At the end of a little more than six weeks, during which time they were in the port of San Vicente, they set out to go direct to the Strait, and sailed as far as 48°, the ships going more than 200 leagues over the sea. In this latitude a great storm arose which scattered the ships of the fleet. They ran before it under bare poles, and a ship named the Arriola, with 300 settlers on board for the Strait, foundered and went down with all hands. The storm lasted eight days, and when it abated the ships rejoined the Capitana^ except the one that had been lost. This was in the latitude of the Rio de la Plata, which is in 38° a little more or less. Here the Governor, Don Alonso de Sotomayor, asked the consent of the General to proceed to Chile with his people, who were on board three of the ships, saying that, as they could not reach the Strait, he wished to continue the journey overland from the Rio de la Plata. His troops were landed at Buenos Ayres, and started from there for Chile.* The General Diego Flores went with his fleet to the island of Santa Catalina, and before arriving he lost a frigate which went on shore one morning.† She fired a piece of artillery, which was the cause that the whole fleet was not lost. The soldiers in the frigate got on shore with all the clothing, powder, and artillery, all was saved except the frigate, the soldiers remaining on shore by the lost ship. The fleet anchored in the port of Santa Catalina, which is three days' journey by land from the place where the frigate was lost. The whole way is a war-path frequented by Indians. The General, with his fleet, being in the port of Santa Catalina, anxious about what had become of the men who were left at the place where the frigate was lost. Captain Gonzalo Melendez,‡ who was on board the frigate, arrived by land with two women.
* Don Alonso de Sotomayor, Marquis of Villa Hermosa, was Captain-General of Chile from 1584 to 1592.
† The Santa Marta. See page 252.
‡ He was captain of the Santa Marta.
They brought news that the soldiers had mutinied, not wishing to obey him who was their captain. He had reduced them to order, by good arguments, and they had agreed to leave the place where they were. At the end of about 15 days all the soldiers of the lost frigate came to the port where the General was. The ringleaders of the mutiny were taken into custody. They said that they had come retreating from the Indians. At first they had been regaled and well received. Afterwards the Spaniards had been deceived by a mestizo who had been brought from Rio de Janeiro in the frigate, and who had declared that the Indians intended to kill them. He advised that the Spaniards should kill the Indians when they came for them to eat. This they did, and when the rest of the Indians knew it, they attacked the soldiers, setting fire to the grass all round, so that there was no way open except along the sea shore.
After the mutineers had been punished, the fleet sailed in search of the Strait, and in leaving the port a ship, named the Proveedora, was lost. She was of about 500 tons. She was lost on a rock, but all the people were saved, losing the artillery and stores. The rest of the ships shaped a course for the Strait and, after some days of navigation, entered it with good weather, and anchored in the first narrow, off the point of San Geronimo,* where the width is about a league from shore to shore. This was the place where the forts were to be built. That night there was such a storm that the ships had to cut their cables and go to sea.
* He must mean San Gregorio.
They returned to Rio de Janeiro, where they found four galleons which his Majesty had sent with supplies for the fleet, under the command of Diego de Arce.* Here the fleet assembled, and the ships were divided. The General, Diego Flores de Valdes, resolved to go to Bahia with the fleet, and to send Diego de la Ribera to the Strait, as General, with two or three frigates to convey the settlers. In short, Diego Flores intended to return to Spain. In accordance with his scheme the two ships and three frigates sailed from Rio de Janeiro and went south to 40°, arriving on the coast of the Strait in January, having made a good voyage in fine weathen. They entered the Strait for half a league, where Diego de la Ribera put the people on shore, as he did not want to enter the Strait any farther. One ship went on shore, the artillery and wet provisions being got out of her. Landing 280 men at this place, in charge of Captain Pedro Sarmiento, Diego de la Ribera departed, leaving no supplies except what was contained in one small vessel. At this same place a settlement was formed near the sea.† Thence Pedro Sarmiento despatched the small vessel up the Strait with some arms and a crew of sailors, with orders to wait at the point of Santa Ana until he reached that place by land. Being in this first settlement there came 250 natives with signs of peace. There were men and women of gigantic size, and they conversed with the Spaniards, who regaled them, after which they went away. Three nights afterwards they made an attack and fought with us for some time, some of our soldiers being wounded. Then Captain Sarmiento gave orders to Captain Iñiguez to march inland and find them. He came upon 220 natives, who came and spoke to the Spaniards in their own language, so that they were not understood. Their bosoms were searched to see if they carried any arms. The Captain of them took Captain Iñiguez by the hand and led him to the other natives, as if in friendship. The Spaniards thought that this was so, until Captain Iñiguez cried out that the natives were carrying him off. The soldiers then attacked them, killed several natives with their arquebuses, and recovered their captain. When they fired, the natives who were hit, shook the place as if what had struck them would drop out. The women cried out, and made signs that the Spaniards should depart, which they did, and returned to the camp.
* Diego de Alcega. See page [278-]279.
† [Pedro Sarmiento called this first settlement “Nombre de Jesus.” Perhaps it was founded on the cape to which he had given the same name.—Sp. Ed.]
Leaving 300 men at the first settlement where what I have just related took place, Pedro Sarmiento set out by land with 80 soldiers, in search of the little vessel. Having gone about 10 leagues, they came to the wreck of a ship, and they found that the anchors were buried in the earth with only the flukes showing, and half a league from where the wreck was, they came upon a ship's mast thrust into the ground with a great pile of stone round it, and they could not stop to find out what it could be. Marching along the coast to the first narrow, eleven gigantic natives like the others met them. Pedro Sarmiento stopped and joined them, treating them in a friendly way, and asking them if they had seen a vessel pass that way a few days before. They replied by signs in the affirmative, and that it was eight days since they had seen her. After they had been half an hour with the Indians a Franciscan Friar, whom Pedro Sarmiento had brought with him, gave them to understand that Sarmiento was Captain of the Spaniards who had come. The native, hearing this statement answered that he himself was captain, striking his breast, and he showed anger that the Friar should have said that Sarmiento was captain. Going a little apart, he took an arrow out of his mouth, cut himself with it, spit some blood out, and coolly anointed his bosom with it. The Friar then told Pedro Sarmiento that they must depart from thence, because these natives were sorcerers and were deceived by the devil, and that it was better to go away. So they went on in search of the ship, and after a time they perceived that the natives, who had remained behind, were now following them, and coming near. The Spaniards went on without taking any notice, and the natives, seeing that twelve or fourteen Spaniards were marching behind as a rear guard, shot arrows at them. The soldiers defended themselves with the arms they carried, although they could not use their arquebuses because the matches were packed up, that they might not be wasted. The natives killed an officer named Loperraez* and wounded eight soldiers with their arrows, who died afterwards. It was looked upon as certain that the arrows must have been anointed with poisonous herbs, for not one of the wounded ever recovered. The Spaniards killed the native Chief and the rest were badly wounded, taking to flight as Pedro Sarmiento returned to the rescue with his vanguard. Having attended to the wounded, and interred the officer, they passed the night there without being disturbed, and proceeded on their way next morning and for several following days. At the end of fifteen days since leaving the first settlement they found their little vessel anchored in a small port, with sufficient depth of water, but no inhabitants. On that day, which was St. Mark's day, when they found the ship at anchor in that port, it began to snow, and a site was sought out which seemed suitable, near the sea, where they formed a settlement, to which they gave the name of “San Felipe,”† fortifying it and surrounding it with very strong timbers, but leaving an opening towards the sea, where two pieces of artillery were mounted. Two other gates were left towards the hills, each with two pieces of artillery.
* Lope Baér. See [footnote on] page 322.
† Don Felipe. See page 328.
The settlement having been formed, posts were established in convenient positions. After twenty or thirty days the people were getting worn out with hard work and hunger, and from want of proper clothing, and were becoming disgusted. One night, when this witness was visiting the posts as officer of the guard (“cabo de esquadra”), he found a clergyman named Alonso Sanchez, at a late hour of the night, conversing with a soldier named Juan de Arroyo, who was on sentry. This witness was surprised that he should be occupied in such a way at so late an hour, and Juan de Arroyo admitted he was there without giving his name. This witness was angry, and reprehended them. The clergyman replied that for himself he did not need a name, and he walked off without another word. Seeing that this witness had gone away very angry, he sought him out, and when this witness asked what it was that he wanted, he answered that if he could keep a secret he would give him notice of a serious business, very profitable to all the soldiers. This witness gave the promise, and the clergyman told him it was discussed among all the soldiers to mutiny, and kill Captain Pedro Sarmiento, seize the ship, and return in it to Brazil, because their lives had become insufferable. This witness reported the affair to Pedro Sarmiento as soon as he landed from the ship, for he slept on board every night, for if he had not taken this precaution and had slept on shore, he would have been killed some days before. Having this knowledge, he dissembled and went on board again. He then sent for a soldier named Juan Rodriguez, a native of La Mancha, who was the ringleader of the mutiny, and, having him on board, he sent for three other soldiers, his comrades, whose names this witness does not remember, and put them under arrest. Then he sent for the clergyman, and took their confessions. They declared that it was true about the mutiny. So he took them on shore with scrolls on their backs declaring their treason, and caused them to be beheaded in the plaza from behind, and their heads to be stuck on poles.* The clergyman remained a prisoner on board. Having been two months in this second settlement called “San Felipe,” Pedro Sarmiento embarked on board the ship with the sailors and ten or twelve soldiers, and made sail, taking the clergyman as a prisoner. He left the settlement quiet and peaceful in charge of his nephew Juan Suarez, who remained as captain. He said that he was going for the rest of the settlers at the first settlement, to bring them to the other, and afterwards to proceed to Chile for provisions. He never more returned.†
* Only one was executed, the ringleader Rodriguez. See page 331.
† He went to Brazil for supplies, and once more sailed for the Straits. But his vessel was so disabled in a violent storm that he had to return to Rio; where the Governor was unable to give him any more help. He consequently sailed for Spain, and was captured by an English vessel belonging to Sir Walter Raleigh, near the Azores. See page 340.
Two months after Pedro Sarmiento had sailed from the second settlement with the object above mentioned, the people who had remained in the first settlement arrived, and all were collected at the second settlement. This was in August, which was winter, and they came by land. Their news was that Pedro Sarmiento had arrived with the ship at the anchorage of the first settlement, which is an open bay without any shelter. Then there was a great storm and, the ship being at anchor, they slipped the cables and made sail. No further news was heard of the ship in all the time that the Spaniards were in the Strait.
It was seen by Andres de Viedma, a native of Jaen, who had become captain of the people in the second settlement, and head of all the soldiers in both settlements in place of Pedro Sarmiento, that there was not sufficient food to support so many people. So he decided upon sending 200 soldiers, under the command of Juan Iñiguez, to the first settlement, with orders to pick up shell-fish, and get food in the best way they could. Their orders were to look out for any ship entering the Strait, that they might get help and give notice of the condition of the people in the second settlement. The rest of the people remained there with Andres de Viedma all the winter, and all the next summer, waiting for the return of Pedro Sarmiento. Seeing that so long a time had passed and that he never came, and that a second winter was coming on, and that the people were dying of hunger, they agreed to build two boats. This having been done, fifty men embarked in them who had survived in the second settlement, together with Captain Viedma, Captain Juan Suarez, and the Franciscan who was named Friar Antonio, but whose surname this witness does not remember,* and five Spanish women. Having navigated for six leagues down the Strait, they struck upon some rocks near point Santa Brigida, where one boat was lost. The cause of this accident was that there were no sailors on board, and not by reason of any bad weather. The people were saved, and all who embarked in both boats were landed. The captain considered that there was not room for all the people in one boat. The winter was coming on with great severity, and they had no provisions. The people were told to scatter and try to live on the shell- fish they could pick up along the beach; while Captains Viedma and Suarez, with the Friar and twenty soldiers, returned to the second settlement in the boat. This witness, and thirty men with him, and the five women, remained on the beach where Viedma left them, and wandered about all the winter, picking up shell-fish, at night taking refuge in huts they made, four in each. They kept apart along the coast so as to be able to support life, when summer returned.
* [Perhaps this Friar was Antonio Guadramiro, Chaplain of the Nuestra Sefñora de la Esperanza, who is so often mentioned by Sarmiento in his journal.—Sp. Ed.] This is a mistake. The Friar's name was Antonio Rodriguez.
Captain Viedma sent for them to return to the settlement, and altogether fifteen men and three women assembled, including those who remained with Viedma and those who had been landed with this witness. All the rest had died of hunger and sickness which supervened through the sterility and rugged character of the land. These survivors agreed to go to the first settlement, and were journeying with this intention by land until they had passed the first narrow of the Strait at point San Geronimo.* Along the coast they found many dead bodies, being those of the soldiers sent by Viedma to the first settlement. Having passed point San Geronimo about four leagues, the survivors came in sight of four ships which were coming into the Strait in latitude 52° 30' S. It was perceived that they had suffered from the weather, because the despatch boat† they brought with them was injured by the gale encountered outside the mouth of the Strait, owing to which two ships anchored in the bay, taking the southern side where there are soundings. That night the people who were on shore showed lights that the ships might see them, for it was supposed that they were Spanish ships, and they showed lanterns as a signal that they saw the lights. In the morning they made sail, and it was seen that a boat was manned which pulled along near the shore. This witness, seeing that they were going away, and that the boat did not come to the place where Captain Viedma and the survivors stood, asked permission to follow that boat, see who the people were, and tell them how it was with the survivors. The captain thought well of it, and this witness started with two other soldiers, named Juan Martin Chiquillo of Estremadura, and Juan Fernandez of Puentevedra. Having run for half a league, they put themselves in front of where the boat would pass, and made signs with a white flag. This having been seen by the boat's crew, they came to the beach, and this witness asked them what people they were. They answered in Spanish that they were English, and that they were going to Peru. Without asking any questions of those on shore, they said that if they liked to embark they could have a passage to Peru. Those on shore replied that they did not wish to do so, because they feared that they would be thrown into the sea. One of those in the boat, who seemed to have come as an interpreter, answered that they might well embark because those on board were better Christians than we were. Saying this they went on a-head without more words. This witness and his companions consulted together, and agreed that it was better to embark than to perish as all the rest had done. Having come to this conclusion they again called to the boat which was near, and which returned to the beach. This witness then got into the boat with his arquebus, and, having embarked, they shoved off without caring to take the other two soldiers on board. This witness then knew that the General Tomas Candi‡ was in the boat, to whom he prayed to take the other two soldiers on board. On this occasion he asked whether there were more Spaniards on shore? and this witness answered that there remained twelve men and three women. The General then desired this witness to tell the other two soldiers to go to the rest of their people, and that for his part he would come to embark them all, and that they were to wait for him. On this the two soldiers went to where the survivors were waiting.
* He must mean San Gregorio.
† The Hugh Gallant,
‡ Thomas Cavendish sailed from Plymouth on July 21st, 1586, with three vessels, the Desire (120 tons), Content (60 tons), and the Hugh Gallant (40 tons). They anchored near the first narrow on January 6th, 1587, and it was on the 7th that Cavendish went away in a boat, and took the Spaniard on board. [The same information was given in another footnote earlier.
The General went back to the ships, and embarked on board the Capitana, and while this discourse was proceeding the ships had anchored. When Thomas Candi went on board, seeing that it was good weather for navigating, he made sail without waiting for the rest of the people to whom he had sent,* and went on to anchor off the island of the Ducks,† where they landed and, in the space of two hours, got six casks of the flesh of young birds. There are many on that island, and the ground is full of holes where they breed, and they are very large and fat. Thence he sailed on to the city of San Felipe, which was the second settlement founded by Pedro Sarmiento.‡ They were there four days, taking in wood and water, and pulling down the houses for the wood. While they were on shore, they took the six pieces of artillery in the settlement, four of bronze and two of cast iron, which were those that were landed from the ship in which Pedro Sarmiento went away. Making sail, they passed through the Strait, and eight days after they had left the second settlement they came out into the South Sea,^ where they encountered great storms. In this weather the despatch boat|| was separated from the ships, and was not seen again until they came to the island of Santa Maria, having seen no land up to that time. They had given up the despatch boat as lost. On that island they landed, and supplied themselves with plenty of provisions from the houses of the Indians. After being there four or five days the despatch boat arrived, and came to anchor where the two ships were. Then all made sail for the port of Valparaiso, but the land was so shut in by mist that they could not make it out, and when it cleared up they found themselves in the port of Quintero.
* Burney endeavours to find excuses for this inhuman conduct, but with little success.—II, p. 70. One man survived in 1590, and was taken on board by the Delight of Bristol, Captain Merick. His name is not given, and he died on the passage home.
† Santa Magdalena.
‡ They anchored here on the 9th of January 1587, naming the place “Port Famine.”
^ On the 24th of February.
|| The Hugh Gallant.
A party went on shore for wood and water, and fresh beef. For they had seen much cattle, but they could not catch one, because they were escaped cattle. They were occupied in this way until four in the afternoon, at which hour three Spaniards on horseback appeared, with lances and daggers, who came to reconnoitre. When the General saw this he called to this witness and told him to go where they were, and find out what they wanted. This witness did so, two Englishman going with him as a guard, and came near them, asking them what people they were. They answered they were Spaniards, and asked the same question. This witness then said that they also were Spaniards, and came from the Strait of Magellan in want of wood, on which they offered to supply as much provisions as was wanted. While talking carelessly with them, this witness perceived that twenty-five men were approaching stealthily; and it seemed that the General had sent them to capture one of the three horsemen. Seeing them coming, this witness gave warning secretly so that the two Englishmen could not understand, telling them to ride away as those he came with were English, and that this witness, being a Spaniard, would return and see them. On this the horsemen departed, and this witness returned where General Tomas Candi was, and told him that they said they were Spaniards. He saw that the General intended to send him again where the Spaniards were, saying that they would supply him with provisions. Having gone with this order in search of the Spaniards, who were waiting for him, one of them took him up behind, and took him that night to a farm. By this time the Corregidor of Santiago had received tidings of the arrival of an enemy, and came to the same farm with his troops, where he found this witness. Next day he made an ambuscade, and when the people of the ships landed to get water, and to wash their clothes in a lagoon near the port of Quintero, the Spaniards attacked them, killed twelve Englishmen, and took nine prisoners.* The Spaniards saw that the despatch boat was coming near the shore to fire her artillery, so they retired without one of them being wounded or hurt. They returned to Santiago, where this witness remained, and afterwards went to Peru, leaving seven of the nine English prisoners that were taken, hanged. And this was the end of the voyage he made to the Strait and settlement of Magellan.
* The English account was that only twelve men were killed and taken prisoners, while they killed twenty-four of the Spaniards.
He was asked.—In what latitude is the mouth of the Strait and its opening at the other end?
He answered.—That the mouth was in 52° 30', but he did not know the latitude of the other end, not being a sailor. He knew the latitude of the mouth because he had taken notice of what was said.
Asked.—Whether from the time he embarked in the English ship, near the first settlement, until he left the Strait, they had bad or good weather?
Answer.—They had very fine weather.
Asked.—Whether they navigated at night?
Answer.—No. They anchored every night, and made sail in the morning.
Asked.—What order was kept in the navigation?
Answer.—They went on, sounding as they went, and the boat a-head.
Asked.—What was the time of year when they passed through the Strait until they came out of it?
Answer.—In the month of February, which is summer.
Asked.—Whether there are any sheltered ports in the Strait?
Answer.—There is anchorage everywhere, for it is all sheltered by high land on one side and the other, from the second settlement onwards.
Asked.—How narrow is the Strait in the narrowest part, and how wide in the widest?
Answer.—The mouth of the Strait, at the entrance, has a width of 7 leagues, and at the second settlement, which will be 50 leagues within the mouth, there is a bay, and the width is 2 leagues. Six leagues further on the Strait becomes narrower until it opens into the South Sea, and before arriving at the bay from the mouth there are different widths of 1 or 2 leagues. The narrowest part of the Strait is an affair of an arquebus shot across. All the Strait on the south side has soundings, and the north side is dangerous on account of the rocks. In the first narrow, at the point of San Geronimo,* there are some sand banks, at a distance of some 14 leagues from the mouth.
* San Gregorio.
Asked.—What winds prevail in the winter?
Answer.—Winds blow from all quarters. The inconvenience of navigating the Strait in winter is only from the excessive cold, which is very rigorous, with continual snow, insomuch that it never ceased to snow all the days, and the sun is never out, but always obscured. In case of contrary winds it is always possible to anchor in any part of the Strait, from the second settlement of San Felipe§ onwards to the South Sea; for it is sheltered by very lofty chains of mountains. But from the mouth to the said settlement, unless a ship runs in at once with a fair wind, there is force to drive her out again, because there is no shelter where she can anchor in safety, for the land is low.
§ Rey Felipe.
Asked.—Whether there are any rocks to be avoided at the mouth of the Strait?
Answer.—In the mouth itself, on the north side, there is a point called Madre de Dios, and there are some reefs which run some distance into the sea, where it is needful to keep a good look out.
Asked.—Whether there is another entrance at the mouth of the Strait?
Answer.—He did not see one. Being established at the second settlement, in the middle of the Strait, they went in boats from one side to the other, and saw an opening on the south [east?] side, as if there was an archipelago of islands. Navigating with Tomas Candi, the General made a statement that there was another entrance at the mouth. This witness asked him why he did not enter by it? and he answered that it was in a higher latitude, and that as there were many islands he had not wished to run the risk of entering by another mouth. According to what this witness saw in the account of the navigation, he understood that, entering by the mouth mentioned by the Englishman, it would come out by an opening in the middle of the Strait.§ For he did not see any other.
§Would this refer to the San Sebastián Channel, which has gone missing in modern times? See “In Search of San Sebastián” for some commentary on this.
Asked.—What is the distance along the whole Strait, from the mouth to its termination at the South Sea?
Answer.—It is 100 leagues, as well from what he saw in navigating, as from having walked half the distance on land.
Asked.—In how long a time could the Strait be navigated?
Answer,—With a fair wind blowing fresh, he thought it might be done in eight or ten days from the second settlement, which is near the narrow.
Asked.—Whether it is dangerous at any part besides the entrance?
Answer.—Near the river of San Gregorio, which is between the second settlement and the South Sea, where Tomas Candi destroyed some canoes of the natives, there is difficulty, owing to the meeting of the two seas, but it does not amount to being dangerous owing to the shelter from land on both sides.
Asked.—For what distance is there no shelter?
Answer.—He thought about 30 leagues from entering the mouth of the Strait. The next 20 leagues is more sheltered as the land becomes higher, and for the remaining 50 it is as smooth and navigable as a river, owing to the shelter from the mountains and to its being so narrow.
Asked.—How are the gigantic natives that are said to have been seen clothed and armed?
Answer.—They are dressed in the skins of animals, and armed with bows and arrows.
Asked.—What colour are they, do they wear their hair long or short, and have they beards?
Answer.—Some are white and of a good colour, and others very brown. They have no beards, and they wear their hair long, and gathered up on their heads like women.
Asked.—What stature had they?
Answer.—They were very corpulent and ill formed.
Asked.—Whether during the time he was on shore in the Strait he saw other natives besides those referred to, and women; and whether all the rest have the same stature, and whether he saw many people together, and how many?
Answer.—The greatest number of natives he saw together would be 250, being those who first came peacefully. They were of the stature and appearance already mentioned. They frequent the neighbourhood of the first settlement, which is plain country. From the second settlement to the South Sea there are natives of ordinary stature, with the same clothing, and the hair short. They carry darts for weapons.
Asked.—What settlements have these natives, of the first and the second kind?
Answer.—He saw none of any sort.
Asked.—If while he was there the Spaniards had intercourse with the natives, and whether they went inland?
Answer.—They did not go further inland than 3 leagues, and they had no further intercourse than has been mentioned above.
Asked.—How much plain country did he think there was from the first settlement onwards?
Answer.—From thence to the mountains there are 30 leagues of plain country.
Asked.—If there are any pastures and rivers in the plain country?
Answer.—There are two small rivers before coming to the mountains and plenty of pasture.
Asked.—Whether there are cattle or other animals of Castille, or peculiar to the country, or any birds?
Answer.—In the plain country he saw vicuñas,* which they call sheep of the country, and there are wild birds, and deer in the hills, but no sheep nor birds (domestic?).
* Guanacos. The vicuña is confined to Peru.
Asked.—Whether the natives ride on horseback, and if there are any horses?
Answer.—He always saw them walk on foot, and he saw no horses.
Asked.—If he knew how these natives maintained themselves, if they have any tillage, and how they live?
Answer.—As soon as he landed he saw that the natives had pieces of whale flesh and shell-fish for food. Also one of the women who were brought out by Pedro Sarmiento went to live with the natives, having fallen into their power, out of two they met walking on shore (having killed the other), and this woman remained alive among them for three months, at the end of which time they set her free. She said that they had no settlement, and that they maintained themselves on some roots, shell-fish, and seal and whale flesh, and that they did not cultivate anything.
Asked.—Whether he saw any fruits, wild or otherwise?
Answer.—He only saw fruit like jujubes,* which they ate. He saw no others.
* “Azufaifa,” a fruit of the jujube tree. Rhamnus zizyphus (L.).
Asked.—Whether in the plain or mountainous country he saw any animals?
Answer.—He saw small lions* and no others.
Asked.—Whether in the woods he saw any vipers or other poisonous reptiles?
Answer.—He did not see any because they do not breed, owing to the country being cold.
Asked.—What shell-fish it was that this witness and the other Spaniards lived upon?
Answer.—There were cockle-shells and barnacles, and some sea urchins, on which they kept themselves alive.
Asked.—How they roofed the houses they built in the settlement?
Answer.—With grass, which is also called icho.
Asked.—What language the natives spoke, and how did the Spaniards understand them?
Answer.—They only heard them say “Jesus!” “Santa Maria!” looking up at the sky; and they gave us to understand that there were other men inland, saying, “other men with beards, with boats; other boys;” and pointing out to the Spaniards the boys they had with them, they said, “that they were like those,” and they showed their size with their hands, and that they were in the land beyond, by which we understood that the country towards where they pointed, which was to the north, was inhabited.
Asked.—Whether there are any people to the south, coming through the Strait, and whether they communicate with those in front?
Answer.—From the Tierra del Fuego some Indians came in their canoes and communicated from one side to the other, and it is supposed they use the same language with those in the plain country, who are giants, and who have intercourse with those on the side to the south who are like them. But those of the mountainous part do not communicate with those of the plains. When Tomas Candi was sailing in his ship, and this witness was with him, arriving at the river of San Gregorio, the boats went on shore in the afternoon for water, and found many natives in the river, who received the English well, and gave them some dead game of what they had with them, and they were invited to return another day. The General was much pleased at this, and resolved to do as they were invited. This witness said that these natives intended deceit, and to form an ambuscade, for they were treacherous, and had done the same with the Spaniards, his companions. With this warning the English landed next day in a different part to that where the natives watched, and when they saw they could not carry out their intention they came on the beach, near the mouth of the river, menacing the English who had to pass it, and had no other way out in the boats, and intending to kill them all there. Then they came nearer. This witness said to the General that all the natives being now collected together, he had better fire upon them and put them to rout. This was done, and many were killed and wounded, on which they abandoned their post and fled into the woods. The English then got into the boats and crossed the river, where they found a great barricade aud many weapons behind it, darts and arrows, pointed with swords and daggers left by Spaniards, whom they had killed on the road, being people brought by Pedro Sarmiento to the settlements. Presently the English took the shallops and, having ascended the river, they found more than twenty canoes without any natives. They towed them out in sight of the ships and set them on fire.
Asked.—What weather is met with in that land?
Answer.—From October summer begins, and lasts for six months, and winter begins in April.
Asked.—Whether it is very hot in summer?
Answer.—Yes; and the winter, beginning in April, is severe. There is so much snow that the ship, which was anchored there, had to push it off the deck into the sea with shovels.
Asked.—How many pieces of artillery were landed from the ship at the first settlement, and where were they left?
Answer.—He did not remember well, but he thought there were over thirty, all of bronze, and that they were buried a stone's throw from the sea, in front of the settlement, and he thought they must be covered with sand, the coast being so wild, though they were left with proper earth over them; it is half a league from the mouth of the Strait, as it is entered, on the north side.
Asked.—Whether the Indians who came brought anything of silver or gold, as ornaments in their noses or ears, as others are accustomed to do?
Answer.—That they did not bring anything of the kind, nor, while he was there, did he see anything of silver or gold. When this witness and his companions were seeking for shell-fish on the beach to keep themselves alive, they found in many parts of it shells, with pearls inside, but as they were of no use to them as food, they left them and sought for others with more meat. They had much knowledge of the pearl shells, as they were numerous; and at first, when they had no thought of perishing, and had hopes of escaping, they kept them. Men and women collected them for Captain Pedro Sarmiento; but, afterwards, when they found themselves in such hopeless case, they took no more care of them.
Asked.—What kind of pearls were in the shells?
Answer.—They were very white and of all kinds.
Asked.—What timber there was in the forests, and whether it was large enough for ship building?
Answer.—There were white alder, some cypresses, and other kinds, forming large timber, which he did not know by their names, and ships could be built with the wood. And that what is here said and declared is all the truth by the oath which has been recorded. Signed by this witness, who is now of the age of 62 years. His Excellency also signed it.
Tomé Hernandez: before me, Garcia de Tamayo.