BECK index

Spanish Colonies and the West Indies 1580-1744

by Sanderson Beck

Rio de la Plata 1580-1744
Peru and Chile 1580-1744
New Granada 1580-1744
Central America 1580-1744
Mexico 1580-1744
Northern Mexico 1580-1744
Spanish and French West Indies 1580-1744
British and Dutch West Indies 1580-1744

This chapter has been published in the book America to 1744. For ordering information please click here.

Rio de la Plata 1580-1744

Southern South America to 1580

Buenos Aires was founded by Juan de Garay in 1580, and three years later the Creoles elected Juan Fernandez de Enciso the successor of Garay. The next year the Chiriguanos destroyed the fort at La Laguna, and they would continue to resist the Spaniards from their cordillera hideouts for the next three centuries. In 1587 the audiencia of Charcas prohibited the governor from appointing relatives to government positions, and in 1588 the cabildo (assembly) of Buenos Aires made Cordoba governor Ramirez de Velazco respect the elections. In 1592 Fernando Trejo y Sanabria became bishop of Tucuman and defended the rights of the natives. In 1596 Tucuman governor Ramirez de Velazco reported that 200,000 Indians had been converted with 56,500 allotted to encomiendas. The native men had to provide their labor to the encomenderos while the women were required to spin one ounce of cotton per day. Velazco's authority was extended over all of Paraguay, though he delegated it to Hernando Arias de Saavedra, who in December 1597 was named governor by the viceroy at Lima. A royal cedula in 1595 authorized Pedro Gomez Reynel to import six hundred Africans annually to Rio de la Plata for nine years.

After another governor died in 1600 and was succeeded by his lieutenant governor, Hernando Arias de Saavedra became governor of Paraguay again in 1602, when a royal ordinance permitted colonial products to be exported to Brazil and Guinea. Believing it was better to convert the natives than to exterminate them, Saavedra appealed to King Felipe (Philip) III, who in 1608 authorized the Order of Jesus to enter the province of Gayra. Two Italian Jesuits arrived two years later, and under a new governor they began their work at Loreto in an experiment called a "reduction" in which the natives practiced self-government. The Jesuits soon came into conflict with the settlers, who were exploiting native labor. In 1611 Licentiate Francisco de Alvaro passed ordinances that replaced personal service with tribute, though thirty days service was still allowed. After an interval of five years, Saavedra was appointed governor for the third time in 1614. Three years later the Rio de la Plata territory was divided between Asuncion (Paraguay) and Buenos Aires. Perez de Salazar was governor of Buenos Aires and established a custom-house at Cordoba in 1622. Jacinto de Lariz became governor in 1646, but he was considered unscrupulous. Governor Jose Martinez Salazar established an audiencia tribunal at Buenos Aires in 1661 in order to curtail contraband trade and protect Peru's monopoly, but it was suppressed after a decade.

Bishop Fernando Trejo of Tucuman founded a Jesuit college at Cordoba in 1612. Governor Felipe de Albornoz offended Calchaquian chiefs in Tucuman by punishing them, and their war of rebellion lasted ten years. In 1644 imperious Bishop Bernardino de Cardenas of Paraguay excommunicated Governor Gregorio de Hinistrosa, and in turn the Governor banished Cardenas. After Hinistrosa died in 1648, the people chose Cardenas to be governor. He demanded that the Jesuits surrender and sacked their college. For this the Audiencia of Charcas denounced Cardenas, and the next year he was deposed and banished by the Grand Council of Peru, which also recalled the Jesuits to Asuncion. In 1655 Tucuman governor Alonzo Mercado y Villacorta believed the promises of secret treasure made by Pedro Bohorquez, who called himself Hualpa Inca and became chief of the Calchaquians. Conflict arose, and the forces of Tucuman, Jujuy, and Salta defeated the Calchaquians. The Viceroy of Peru pardoned Bohorquez; but after he incited the Calchaquians again, he was executed in 1667. Governor Mercado y Villacorta finally pacified the Calchaquians by distributing them to various villages. Manuel Mercadillo became bishop of Tucuman, and in 1678 he transferred the cathedral seat to Cordoba. Fernando de Mendoza Mate de Luna became governor of Tucuman in 1681 and founded Catamarca two years later. He sent Jesuit missionaries into the Chaco forests, and three of his successors sent military expeditions.

In 1705 Col. Baltazar Garcia Ros captured the Portuguese colony of Colonia de Sacramento, but it was returned by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The Jesuits introduced printing in 1703, and in 1724 Arte de la lengua Guarani by Antonio Ruiz de Montoya was published. Their college at Cordoba became a university. In 1720 registered ships were permitted to sail directly to other American ports, and in 1735 South America abandoned the fleet system.

In 1717 Viceroy Carmine Nicolas Caracciolo of Peru appointed Diego de los Reyes Balmaceda governor of Paraguay; but he was unpopular and was investigated in 1721 by Jose de Antequera, who was supported by the comuneros, challenged royal authority, and imprisoned Reyes Balmaceda. The Viceroy repudiated this, but Antequera organized a military force and sent Reyes Balmaceda to Asuncion as a prisoner. Meanwhile Buenos Aires governor Bruno Mauricio de Zabala had sent troops to defend Montevideo against the Portuguese. The Jesuits had sided with Reyes Balmaceda, and Antequera expelled them from Asuncion. The royalist forces led by Garcia Ros were defeated by Antequera and returned to Buenos Aires. In 1724 the new viceroy Jose de Armendariz ordered Governor Zabala to drive out Antequera or send him to Lima for trial. Antequera was deserted by his followers and fled in March 1725 to a convent in Cordoba before being arrested at Chuquisaca in Charcas and taken to Lima. Fernando Mompo was influenced by Antequera in prison, and in 1730 he started a revolt in Asuncion by suggesting that the community was more powerful than the king and should govern. The comuneros militia resisted the next governor sent by Viceroy Armendariz and detained the town council (cabildo), shouting that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Antequera was eventually brought to trial in Lima and was executed in 1731.

Martin de Barua became governor of Paraguay and allowed the Jesuits to return again. The Jesuits formed their own army of native workers. Barua was replaced by Manuel de Ruiloba, who was supported by the missions. He tried to enhance his authority by disbanding the comuneros, causing a civil war that cost him his life in December 1733. The rebels elected visiting Buenos Aires bishop Juan de Arregui governor and made him issue a confiscation decree against the Jesuits and the remaining royalists. He nominated Cristoval Dominguez de Obelar to succeed him as governor and went back to his episcopal duties in Buenos Aires. Zabala had been promoted to the presidency of the Charcas Audiencia, and his troops scattered the undisciplined comuneros. He entered Asuncion in triumph, and once again the Jesuits regained their resented influence. Governor Miguel de Salcedo (1734-42) besieged Colonia and tried to stop contraband trade, but he was eventually removed for incompetence.

Rio de la Plata 1744-1810

Peru and Chile 1580-1744

Pizarros and Peru 1532-80
Southern South America to 1580

Viceroy Toledo left Peru in 1582, and King Felipe II approved his ordinances two years later. In 1589 the King claimed the sole right to grant lands and annulled previous grants made by local authorities. Royal officials in Peru were ordered to put vacant lands up for sale by a land commissioner. In the late 1580s epidemics of smallpox, plague, and influenza spreading from Quito, Cuzco, and Potosi devastated the entire Andean region. Even so, by 1600 the silver-mining town of Potosi had 150,000 people. The Spaniards in Peru used the same term for the labor draft, mita, as the Incas. The state worked about one-sixth of the adult males for six months at a time. The annual income from the Potosi silver mines gradually decreased from seven million pesos in 1600 to less than two million pesos in 1700. News was published regularly in Lima starting in 1621.

A plot to overthrow the Spaniards and set fire to Lima was discovered in 1666, and eight years later some native artisans planned to incite the people and seek aid from the English. Lima was devastated by an earthquake in 1687. That year Viceroy Duque de la Palata established the tariff that determined the wages the natives were legally owed for their labor, and this lasted throughout the 18th century.

The fleet system of commerce ended with the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13) as cheaper goods could be brought around Cape Horn or inland from Buenos Aires. Viceroy Conde de Superunda complained in 1756 that goods from Buenos Aires made prices lower in Cuzco than they were in Lima. The population of Lima increased from 25,450 in 1614 to about 60,000 by 1746.

Jesuits first came to Chile in 1593. Martin Garcia de Loyola became governor in 1592, but he and fifty Spaniards were defeated and killed by three hundred Araucanian horsemen in 1598. This disaster caused Church treasurer Melchor Calderon to write a Treatise on the Importance and Usefulness of Enslaving the Rebel Indians of Chile, which persuaded Jesuit rector Luis de Valdivia. He notified the Viceroy, and in 1599 Archbishop Reginaldo de Lizarraga recommended this treatment of the Chiriguanos in Paraguay. That year the Cordes brothers in Dutch ships came to the Bay of Castro in Chiloé, incited natives to rebel against Spaniards, and killed many Spaniards themselves before they were driven away.

In 1603 Peru established a standing army of 2,000 to control the Chile frontier. In 1608 King Felipe (Philip) III decreed that all Indians over the age of ten captured in rebellion could be enslaved. A royal audiencia was installed at Santiago in 1609. The royal fifth was taken from the gold that was stamped at Santiago, and the circulation of gold dust was prohibited. An ecclesiastical tithe of ten percent was taken from agricultural produce, and the customs duty on imports and exports was five percent. Public offices were also purchased. Chile had to pay high prices for imports which came through Puerto Bello in Panama.

Luis de Valdivia was among the first Jesuits that came to Chile in 1593. He tried to defend the natives and preached to them in their own language. He went to Lima and Spain to promote the "defensive warfare" of having the army only defend the land acquired. The court agreed to limit the labor services of Indians, abolished the encomiendas, and made Biobio the boundary of Spanish territory, allowing the Araucanians to live south of there. In 1612 Valdivia was accompanied by missionaries to implement the plan in Arauco. He held a conference with the natives and exchanged prisoners. However, after three missionary priests were killed in Araucania, a rebellion broke out. In 1626 King Felipe IV ordered Luis Fernandez de Cordova in Santiago to end the defensive warfare policy. When the Spaniards went back to offensive warfare, they lost hundreds of men; but they captured many prisoners that they sold as slaves. In 1641 Francisco Lopez de Zuñiga, the Marques de Baides, became governor. He liked the Jesuits and admired Valdivia, and he brought gifts to make a new agreement with the natives. They made a pact in the Quillin River valley, but a year later the Spaniards began using the military to put down uprisings.

Francisco Nuñez de Pineda was captured by the Araucanians in 1629 and lived with them for seven months. Later he described their ways in his popular book, Happy Captivity, in which he also condemned the encomienda system and the greed of the traders. Gaspar de Villarroel (1587-1665) was born in Quito, educated in Lima, and wrote theological works in Spain for ten years. He was appointed bishop of Santiago in 1637. He was injured in the earthquake on May 13, 1647 but still ministered to those suffering and financed the rebuilding of the cathedral. His most famous work was Peaceful Ecclesiastical Government.

Governor Antonio de Acuña was corrupt and tried to enrich his two brothers-in-law named Salazar. They tried to punish the natives for having killed shipwrecked sailors, and in 1655 the Salazars lost their lives in two massacres that cost 350 Spanish lives. In reaction the people deposed Acuña at Concepcion. The arrogant and corrupt Governor Francisco de Meneses quarreled with Bishop Diego de Humanzoro and used every public service to acquire personal wealth, but colonists went to the Spanish court and got him dismissed in 1668. The more honorable Juan Henriquez arrived two years later and oversaw many public works projects; but he came into conflict with the audiencia for having taken and sold 800 Indians that gained him 800,000 pesos. In 1692 Governor Tomas Marin de Poveda introduced priests into the territory to convert the natives. Many were baptized, but this had little effect on their behavior. Spanish soldiers venturing into their territory were often killed, and this experiment was also abandoned in 1700.

As the Spaniards became less abusive, relations with the natives gradually improved. In this era Chile began trading with registered Spanish ships, made contraband deals with the French, and crossed the cordillera to Buenos Aires. The sailor Alexander Selkirk was abandoned on the island of Juan Fernandez for five years until he was rescued in 1709; his experience eventually became the basis for the novel Robinson Crusoe. Cano de Aponte arrived in 1717 with his nephew Manuel de Salamanca to govern Chile. He drafted Araucanians into service despite the royal prohibition, and Salamanca forced them to sell their ponchos to him at fixed prices. They revolted in 1723, and the Spaniards abandoned their forts south of the Biobio River. Warfare also disrupted the colonists, who resented having to pay taxes for the troops. The pay of soldiers was often years behind, and many deserted despite the penalty of hanging. In 1730 Chile suffered a major earthquake and then a smallpox epidemic. In 1732 the Santiago cabildo petitioned the crown to establish a mint.

In 1738 Jose Antonio Manso de Velasco met with the leading caciques in Chile to ratify a peace treaty, and he founded seven cities. He was known as Conde de Superunda and was viceroy of Peru 1745-61. In 1740 Admiral George Anson rounded Cape Horn and used Juan Fernandez as a base for attacking merchant vessels sailing between Peru and Chile. The cities of Santiago and Chillan were badly damaged by earthquakes in 1730 and 1751.

Chile 1744-1817
Peru 1744-1817

New Granada 1580-1744

New Granada 1525-80

In New Granada the encomienda system of exploiting native labor caused overwork, mistreatment, and rebellion, which along with European diseases wiped out about 95 percent of the native population in a century. The Spaniards had many children with native women so that the mestizos came to outnumber both the Spaniards and the Indians. Cartagena became the principal South American port and naval base in the Spanish Main. The government paid for this by its monopoly on tobacco and liquor prices. In 1586 Francis Drake with nineteen ships attacked Cartagena and stole slaves, precious metals and gems worth 400,000 pesos, artillery, and church bells. He demanded a large ransom and set houses on fire, but then he accepted another 100,000 pesos and had the conflagration stopped. Antonio Gonzalez became president in 1590. He issued decrees to protect the Indians and initiated the alcabala (sales tax), which was resented until a Dominican friar explained its legality. Drake returned in 1596 and destroyed Santa Marta. In 1605 Juan de Borja became president and captain-general of the New Kingdom of Granada, and with the help of Indian allies he defeated the hostile Pijaos after four years of war. In 1619 Borja authorized the use of natives in the mines, and most of the thousand a year used did not survive the heavy labor. After the native population was depleted, the miners imported African slaves.

The Spanish Inquisition came to Cartagena in 1610. In the entire colonial period they burned five or six people, compared to more than a hundred in Mexico City and Lima. Yet the Inquisition at Cartagena did sentence 762 people to lesser penalties. The Jesuit Pedro Claver worked for more than forty years with the Africans, especially those suffering from elephantiasis, until he died at Cartagena in 1654. Claver estimated that he baptized about 300,000 slaves. In 1656 Franciscans from Spain founded missions in eastern Venezuela at Piritu. Spaniards spent eight years subjugating the Chinato and Lobatera tribes and founded San Faustino de los Rios in 1662. Caracas was protected from the coast by mountains, but in 1680 some buccaneers crossed these mountains and sacked the city. That year an English force was guided by natives to the mining town of Santa Marta and massacred the garrison.

Diego Cordoba Lasso de la Vega governed New Granada 1703-13 but moved to Cartagena in 1710 to prepare for a foreign invasion. New Granada became a viceroyalty independent of Peru in 1717. However, Viceroy Jorge Villalonga (1718-23) recommended that the presidency would be a more efficient form of government, and the viceroyalty was not re-established until 1739, one year after Bogota got the first printing press in the colony. In the province of Quito the best land was taken by the Jesuits, who were also exempt from the tithes. Ecuador became part of the viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717, and its audiencia was maintained. Dionisio de Alcedo became president in 1728; but restrictions on the exports of cacao caused such poverty that in 1734 salaries for him and the judges of the audiencia could not be paid. Thieves robbed private houses and even churches, and a canon of the Church was assassinated. After the Franciscans reached the Orinoco, in 1734 they made an agreement with the Jesuit and Capuchin missions that gave the Piritu mission much of Guayana south of the Angostura and east of the Orinoco.

War with England broke out in 1739, and Viceroy Sebastian de Eslaba arrived at Cartagena in 1740. Edward Vernon led an English fleet of 51 warships and 28,000 men, attacking Bocachica in March 1741; but after losing nearly 18,000 men to warfare, dysentery, and scurvy, Vernon withdrew in May.

The province of Venezuela was usually represented by the cabildo at Caracas. In 1725 a seminary was upgraded to become the University of Caracas. Venezuela was important for its exports of cacao and wheat, and the Caracas Company was formed in 1728 and given a monopoly on commerce in exchange for patrolling the coast. Later the Company's monopoly expanded to take in the Maracaibo region. The Company's agents often abridged the rights of locals.

New Granada 1744-1814

Central America 1580-1744

Central America and Caribbean 1521-80

In 1574 Nicaragua bishop Gomez Fernandez de Cordoba transferred to Guatemala and ministered to the natives until his death in 1598. A college opened at Santiago in 1592, and by 1600 Guatemala had 22 Franciscan convents and 14 Dominican. In the 17th century the Spanish towns and haciendas (plantations) of Central America exploited the native settlements by collecting tribute and exacting forced labor. Mestizo laborers were paid salaries but were kept in debt peonage to their employers. Cattle ranching spread along the Pacific coast. Herds were driven to the markets in Panama, but in the second half of the century piracy caused a decline in the fairs at Puerto Bello. Trade with Peru had been forbidden, but it was gradually allowed with restrictions. Only in Honduras were there gold and silver mines that made their Spanish owners rich. Captain William Parker attacked and captured Puerto Bello in 1602. Many diseases and a poor economy took their toll, and by 1610 the population of Panama was one-third of what it had been in 1585.

Dominicans led by Juan de Esguerra penetrated the Manche territory of Guatemala in 1603, and within five years they were teaching Christianity to eight villages. Franciscan Estévan Verdelete tried peaceful conversion in Nicaragua, but in 1609 he asked for help from Captain Daza. Verdelete bravely entered a burning village to persuade the natives to be less hostile, but in 1612 Daza and Verdelete were killed at Tologalpa. Bishoprics were organized in Chiapas, Guatemala, Honduras, and Leon. In 1621 the Franciscan Diego Delgado established the town of Zaclun in Bacalar. In 1622 two missionaries and five native interpreters sailed from Trujillo to Cape Gracias a Dios and founded seven villages for different tribes. Benito Lopez volunteered in Guatemala, and the next year they baptized 5,000 people. Governor Cardenas and Captain Francisco Mirones tried to subjugate the Itzas. Mirones went to the Itzas capital in 1623; but he treated the Zaclunes badly, and they killed his party and him the next year. In 1626 the Lacandones attacked converted natives and carried off prisoners. After the Itzas invaded the next year and captured 300 converts, most of the Manches abandoned Christianity. Spanish efforts to pacify the central part of Guatemala of the Lacandones, Itzas, Manches, and Choles continued throughout the 17th century without much success. Army captains doubted that kindness would win over these natives, but a royal decree threatened the death penalty for violating the royal prohibition against entering into hostilities without provocation.

The Church received part of the tribute from the natives and tithes from the Europeans. The religious Order of Mercy, Dominicans, Franciscans, and Bethlehemites were very influential. Pedro de Vetancur was a saintly Franciscan who helped the sick and the poor. He celebrated the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem, and his followers were known as Bethlehemites. In 1660 Governor Rodrigo Arias de Maldonado of Costa Rica resolved to subjugate 26 tribes of Talamanca with the sword and Christianity. He spent his own money on an expedition with 110 men and gathered the natives into villages; but after they left, the villages and the churches were deserted. Maldonado fell in love with the wife of a high official, and one night she collapsed in his arms. He prayed he would devote his life to Pedro de Vetancur's work if she survived, and the friar revived her. After Pedro died in 1667, Maldonado was called Fray Rodrigo de la Cruz. Rodrigo went to Madrid and Rome as an advocate, and in 1681 the Bethlehemite Order was sanctioned by King Carlos II and Pope Innocent XI. In 1684 the Franciscans Melchior Lopez and Antonio Margil went into the interior without arms and in five years baptized 40,000 Indians, establishing fourteen villages. Others suffered martyrdom in these missions, but these early efforts were seldom lasting.

Dutch rovers raided Nicaragua along the Rio San Juan to Lake Nicaragua in 1640 and 1649. A Portuguese slave ship was wrecked on the islands off the coast of Honduras in 1641. The Africans who survived lived among the Missikis Caribs, who came to be called Mosquito Indians by the Spanish. This area of Honduras and Nicaragua was named the Mosquito Coast, and the people of the mixed race were called zambos. The English were expelled from the island of Providence off of Nicaragua in 1641, and two years later they retaliated by sacking Trujillo. In 1651 the governor of Costa Rica complained to King Felipe (Philip) IV that the 800 Indians were extremely poor and that the royal treasury had no money to pay the salaries of officials and priests. After the English captured Jamaica in 1655, they taught some zambos English and used them to raid Spanish settlements, especially in Costa Rica. After the gold mines of Santo Domingo were worked out and the natives had been exterminated, slaves were too expensive. Domestic cattle herds were abandoned and multiplied in the wild. The Caribs who ate human flesh used wooden racks to dry the meat over a smoky fire and called the wooden frame barbecue. The system and the resulting meat was called boucan, and the French called the hunters who used these boucaniers. Thus the English pirates who smoked the meat of the wild cattle they caught were buccaneers, but the French preferred the name flibustiers from the Dutch word for freebooters, referring to boats. Later the word "filibuster," which meant a mercenary, came to have a political meaning. Dutch pirates used the term roovers (rovers).

The buccaneers would take over Spanish ships and often threw the crew overboard. Then they would capture Spanish towns and lock up the citizens for ransom. The French François L'Olonnois was one of the most cruel. He gave Spaniards no quarter and once personally beheaded all the survivors on a captured ship that had been sent against him. In the early 1660s he commanded six ships with 700 men and raided the north coast of Central America, murdering Indians and destroying their villages. Finally L'Olonnois and his men were looking for provisions near the gulf of Darien when they were killed and roasted.

Like many pirates, Henry Morgan had been made a slave and was cruelly treated at sea but escaped. He and some companions saved their share of the profits from raids and bought a ship. He became the lieutenant of Edward Mansvelt, who led the invasion of Costa Rica in 1666. After Mansvelt died, Morgan was in command of 700 men on a dozen ships. They plundered Puerto Principe of Cuba but got only 50,000 pesos. In 1668 they attacked Puerto Bello. When those at nearby Puerto Ponto refused to surrender, he burned the castle with the prisoners. Then he used priests and nuns as shields to carry the scaling ladders for his men in order to take Fort San Lorenzo. The buccaneers drank, feasted, and raped the women; prisoners were tortured to find out where their treasures were hidden. President Juan Perez de Guzman of Panama led 1,500 men to Puerto Bello; but they were routed, and Morgan made him pay a ransom of 100,000 pesos for citizens at Puerto Bello. The value of the other booty was estimated at 260,000 pesos. Morgan gathered 15 vessels and 960 men and raided the southern coast of Española for 260,000 pesos.

The largest collection of buccaneers gathered at Española in 1670 with more than two thousand men and 37 ships. The captains elected Morgan their commander for a venture across the isthmus to the city of Panama, and he flew the royal banner of England. First they captured the Spanish penal colony on the island of Santa Catarina (Providence). They tortured two Indians from Panama to be guides; one died; the other and a mulatto served them. To save face the Spanish commander and Morgan agreed to stage a battle using gunpowder without shot, and then the Spaniard surrendered. The Spaniards in Panama were warned, and battles were difficult. The castle of San Lorenzo did not fall until a buccaneer wrapped cotton around an arrow and fired it from a musket, causing a fire that spread. A hundred buccaneers were killed, and only thirty of the 300 inside the fort survived.

In January 1671 Morgan and 1,200 men began crossing the isthmus by the Rio Chagres. The people had abandoned their homes and left no supplies, and so the buccaneers could not steal food. After eating leather, they found some maize and ate dogs and cats; wine they found made them sick. The largest battle ever fought between Europeans in Panama occurred on January 28. The Spaniards had 400 cavalry, 2,400 infantry, and 2,000 wild oxen guided by Indians. Yet the Spaniards gave way and had 600 killed. Some Franciscans giving the last rites to the dying were killed. Fires got out of control and burned down the town except for the stone buildings. Most of the inhabitants had already fled with the gold and the nuns. To keep his men from deserting him, Morgan had the masts of all the ships in the harbor cut down. A large golden altar had been painted, and none of the prisoners revealed the secret. The buccaneers led 600 prisoners and pack animals with booty worth 4,500,000 pesos back across the isthmus. Morgan and his accomplices kept most of it, and each buccaneer got only 200 pesos. The city of Panama, which had 30,000 inhabitants, was rebuilt at a more strategic location with massive walls.

Puerto Bello was plundered by pirates again in 1679. The next year five English captains with 350 buccaneers crossed the isthmus again and sailed into the South Sea. As others returned, their physician Lionel Wafer was injured and stayed with the Indians. He helped cure the wife of the cacique Lacenta and promised to return to marry his daughter but never did. Wafer wrote the following description of the natives:

The young women are very plump and fat, well-shap'd;
and have a brisk eye.
They are little better than slaves to their husbands;
yet they do their work so readily and cheerfully,
that it appears to be rather their own choice
than any necessity laid upon them.
They are in general very good condition'd,
pitiful and courteous to one another, but especially to strangers;
ready to give any just attendance or assistance they can.
They observe their husbands
with a profound respect and duty upon all occasions;
and on the other side their husbands are very kind
and loving to them.
I never knew an Indian beat his wife, or give her any hard words.
They seem very fond of their children, both fathers and mothers,
and I have scarce seen them use any severity towards them.
And the children are suffered to divert themselves
which way they will.1

In the next seven years buccaneers raided Realejo, Leon, Granada, Villa de los Santos, and Nueva Segovia.

William Paterson persuaded the Scottish Parliament to charter the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, and they raised 100,000 pounds. After a friend of Paterson's lost 8,000 pounds, Paterson was not part of the governing council. Paterson believed in free trade without violence, and his idea of establishing a colony at Darien for overland trade between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was kept secret until the 1,200 people sailed from Scotland on five ships in July 1698. They landed in November at what they called Caledonia Bay and built Fort St. Andrew. Paterson was in the delegation that made a Treaty of Friendship with the natives. The seven councilors included ship captains, and each councilor presided for a week at a time, canceling previous orders. The initial settlement was located in a mangrove swamp and had to be moved. The colonists had brought goods that were hard to sell, and they lacked food. In April 1699 Paterson's proposed parliament was elected, but drenching rain and mosquitoes caused disease and 300 deaths. News came from Jamaica that King William III had disowned the colony, and his subjects were not to trade with them. Panic led to colonists getting on the ships to leave. Paterson and Thomas Drummond planned to stay with thirty people, but Paterson became ill and was carried to a ship in June. His ship went to New York, and only one ship made it back to Scotland.

A second expedition of 1,300 colonists left Scotland before learning the lessons of the first. Drummond managed to charter a trading sloop to get food. The second expedition was poorly led by the autocratic James Byres, and they remained on the ships in Caledonia Bay. Byres hanged a carpenter for criticizing the council and arrested Drummond, whom others wanted to follow instead of going to Jamaica. Byres bought a sloop with company money and left for Jamaica in February 1700. Four days later Captain Alexander Campbell of Fonab arrived from Scotland, released Drummond and the other prisoners, cancelled the order to send people to Jamaica, and set them to work on defenses. With 200 veterans he went to attack an approaching Spanish army by surprise. When they returned, eight Spanish ships were blockading the bay. Byres ordered his ship to return to Jamaica, but Drummond sailed in at night. The Scots were besieged, but eventually Juan Pimienta offered them a more favorable capitulation that allowed them to leave with their guns. None of the ships made it back to Scotland, and more than two thousand people died on the two disastrous expeditions.

In the 1660s extensive logging was done along the Yucatan coast. Governor Lynch of Jamaica reported that 2,000 tons of logwood had been cut in 1671. The next year a Spanish royal cedula declared that anyone trading in a Spanish port without a license would be punished as a pirate, and in three years 75 ships were seized. In 1680 the Spanish captured all the British subjects on the island of Trist and imprisoned them at Veracruz. In 1681 Governor Lynch tried to forbid cutting logwood in the Bay of Campeche and Honduras. In 1686 the Swallow was seized at Jamaica because it did not give a bond that it would take the logwood to England or an English colony. The Spanish attacked the Bay of Campeche in 1696 and imprisoned the British survivors.

The English got the right in 1713 to send one vessel annually to trade at Puerto Bello. In 1726 Panama governor Alderete authorized the mestizo Luis Garcia to lead Indians against the French filibusters who were still raiding the isthmus. When war broke out in 1739, the English designated Captain Edward Vernon to lead an attack. They captured Puerto Bello, and he did not allow his men to pillage the town. After blowing up the fortifications, he left in February 1740.

Missionaries gathered some Talamancans into settlements, but the natives revolted in 1709, killing friars and ten soldiers. Governor Lorenzo Antonio de Granda y Balbin sent a detachment of soldiers that killed many Talamancans in revenge and took more than five hundred prisoners. A decade later Governor de la Haya reported that the missionaries still were not being protected. Haya said that Costa Rica was the poorest province, and they were raided by pirates twice in 1740. That year Fort San Fernando de Omoa was ordered built to protect Honduras, but it was not completed until 1756.

In Santiago, Guatemala a Dominican college became the University of San Carlos Borromeo in 1678. Guatemala suffered plagues and famine in the 1680s and earthquakes in 1688 and 1717. The Zendas (Tzendales) Indians in Chiapas revolted in 1712 led by a girl who claimed to be inspired by the Virgin Mary. The Spaniards took Cancuc, but the rebellion spread throughout the province. Guatemala lacked money until they established a mint in 1733. The cathedral of Leon took 37 years and five million pesos to build, and it was completed in 1743. The British built a fort in 1740 to control the Mosquito Coast, and four years later Col. Robert Hodgson was appointed superintendent. The 1763 Treaty of Paris obliged the English to withdraw their military forces, but the settlers remained.

In 1716 the Spaniards removed many of the English from Laguna de Terminos, and two years later was their first effort to remove settlers from the Belize River. Seven vessels were captured on the Belize River in 1730.

Central America 1744-1817

Mexico 1580-1744

Mexico 1528-80

Pedro de Moya became archbishop and viceroy in 1584. He strictly enforced laws, hanged many, and sent 3,300,000 silver ducats and 1,100 gold marks to the royal treasury before he was replaced the following year by the Marques de Villamanrique. In 1583 a judge of the audiencia, Diego Garcia de Palacio, wrote in a treatise that soldiers usually leave the moral responsibility of the war to the prince; but if the war is so unjust that even the soldiers see it, they may obey God instead of the prince. Pirates led by Thomas Cavendish plundered the coasts of South America in 1587 and captured valuable cargo from the Philippines headed for Acapulco. The Italian engineer Juan Bautista Antoneli was hired to design forts for Cartagena, Puerto Bello, Veracruz, Havana, and San Juan in Puerto Rico; these were expensive but reduced piracy. By 1595 ten inquisitions had been held, and thousands of spectators attended in an amphitheater. The Inquisition punished thousands for "relapsing into Judaism," bigamy, sorcery, and blasphemy, including Portuguese for political reasons; several victims were burned. In 1596 Luis de Carvajal, his mother, and two sisters were executed for practicing Judaism; he was resented by priests for trying to secularize education.

The mestizo son of a Chichimec mother, Captain Miguel Caldera, functioned as a diplomat between the Spaniards and the Chichimecs starting in 1587 and mediated peace treaties, which under Viceroy Luis de Velasco II greatly reduced the Indian wars. Caldera's approach offered protection of pacified natives, provisions to sustain them, and education in agriculture as well as religion. In 1591 his plan of moving Tlaxcalan families into Chichimec country was implemented to stabilize the peace.

King Felipe II needed money for his European wars and forced Mexico to give him loans; this doubled the tribute natives had to pay. Yet his income from the new world had reached its height in the 1590s at 2,500,000 ducats annually. By the end of the 16th century wars, pestilence, and pushing people off their land had reduced the native population of Mexico from about 25 million in 1519 to about one million. Increasing numbers of African slaves were imported; many Africans married native women, producing mestizos called zambos, which some considered unruly. In 1600 the estimated number of these Afromestizos was 140,000. That year Martin Gonzalez de Cellorigo wrote that the Spanish empire had created illusions of prosperity but actually had caused many to abandon productive pursuits in order to seek treasure in the Indies.

Spain's trade with Mexico flourished, and in the first decade of the 17th century the tax on merchandise yielded the government 2,671,190 pesos. By then nearly a hundred thousand Spaniards and their descendants were living in New Spain (Mexico). The Franciscans had 712 monasteries, the Augustinians 90, and the Dominicans 69. Children born out of wedlock were very common in 17th century Mexico-about one third of descendants of Spaniards and two-thirds of others. The double standard was prevalent as women were expected to be virgins when wed, but the men were not. In the 16th century Spaniards had been encouraged to marry native cacicas, but in the next two centuries having native or mestiza concubines became more and more common. Women who entered convents had to take an additional vow of enclosure, and unlike monks, they were not allowed to leave the convents. Nearly five dozen convents were founded in Mexico between 1550 and 1811. Bernardo de Balbuena described Mexico City in his poem Grandeza mexicana in 1604.

In 1602 a cedula advised the public hiring of natives instead of repartimientos. However, speculators connived with judges to get many workers and charge others higher rates, causing the system to be abandoned. From 1603 through 1605 about 225,000 natives were resettled in civil congregations. To prevent revolts, a 1609 decree ordered that provisions and clothing be sold to natives at reasonable prices. Not more than one-seventh of a village could be away at work, and fair wages must be paid. That year African slaves revolted at Veracruz, and in 1610 Indians rebelled at Durango. Luis de Velasco governed New Spain a second time from 1607 to 1611. Archbishop Garcia Guerra governed New Spain for only eight months before he died. In the interim the audiencia hanged 33 Africans on doubtful evidence after their driving pigs to slaughter caused panic. The Marques de Guadalcazar arrived as viceroy in October 1612, and in 1620 he was promoted to be viceroy of Peru. The corruption of the government was criticized by a Jesuit preacher, who was arrested for a time.

The Marques de Gelves became viceroy in 1621 and quickly implemented numerous reforms. The King's slaves were only for royal service and could no longer be used by officials or private individuals. On his journey to the capital Gelves made sure that all services were paid for at the highest rate, and he would not accept any gifts. He cut back the bloated administration of Guadalcazar. Gelves promptly took care of delayed business. He ordered that no distinction between the rich and poor should affect justice, and he would not allow a magistrate to sit on a case in which he had an interest. Officials guilty of stealing were punished. License to carry arms was limited to those of good character, and he suppressed drunkenness, gambling, and other vices. He made free Africans and mulattoes register and pay taxes. He stopped the practice of selling votes, and he made those who embezzled funds pay back the government. He ended the contraband trade between Acapulco and Peru, and he put honest men in charge of the supplies sent to the Philippines. Under his management a million pesos were sent to the King in 1622 and a million and a half the next year.

These reforms brought Gelves into conflict with many people. The senior oidor (judge) Pedro de Gaviria refused to follow his orders and was put under house arrest. Other judges and officials were kept at the city hall or were dismissed. Archbishop Juan Perez de la Serna was popular for his charity to the poor, and he resented the reforms of the ecclesiastical court. By the end of 1623 Gelves was opposed by the Archbishop, friars, the audiencia (judges), and the cabildo (council). When the corrupt Metepec mayor Varaez while on bail took sanctuary to avoid imprisonment, Archbishop Serna excommunicated his accuser, judges, guards, and even their lawyer. When Viceroy Gelves arrested his notary for contempt, Serna excommunicated Gelves, who in turn fined the Archbishop. A papal delegate sided with Gelves, and Serna was banished. When the Viceroy's officer Terrones was ashamed to take the Archbishop by force, Serna put an interdict on the capital. Public opinion supported Archbishop Serna; Varaez was released while the Viceroy's officers opened fire on assailants to protect the prisons. As Gelves fled to the San Francisco convent in a disguise, rioting erupted. Gaviria had proclaimed himself captain-general, and he turned the citizens to restoring order. The next morning Serna lifted the interdict, and Gelves was found and put under guard. The Viceroy's documents were sent with a treasure fleet that was wrecked, losing two million pesos in precious metals. Serna left Mexico for Spain in the spring. In the next eight months the end of the reforms caused so much corruption and disorder that Gelves became popular. The court appointed Galicia governor Cerralvo viceroy, and in October he removed the excommunication from Gelves, who was cleared in his residencia trial of fifteen months.

Francisco Manso y Zuñiga became archbishop in 1628, but he too came into conflict with the Viceroy and was recalled in 1635. Spain appealed for money from Mexico to support its wars, but in 1628 the Dutch admiral Piet Heyn captured a fleet carrying twelve million pesos worth of bullion. The next year Mexico City was inundated with rain, and the flooding lasted four years. A tax on imported wine was imposed to relieve the city's funds, which spent nearly three million pesos in 1637 on drainage works.

To the west in New Galicia (Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, and Zacatecas), Governor Diego Nuñez de Morquecho (1629-32) enforced the royal decrees against slavery by limiting a native's credit to five pesos so that they would not suffer perpetual peonage. To the east in New Leon, Governor Martin de Zavala treated the natives harshly and provoked a rebellion that lasted eight years until 1637, when some natives fled to Tamaulipas.

In 1633 the Crown abolished the labor exploitation of repartimiento except in the mining industry. Viceroy Cerralvo had governed well and retired in 1635. The Marques de Cadereita was the next viceroy, and he was succeeded by the Duke of Escalona in 1640. He came into conflict with the visitador Juan de Palafox, who arrived on the same fleet to be bishop of Puebla. His investigations showed that much money was taken from the treasury for a fleet that was hardly seaworthy and too small with the result that a storm destroyed the fleet, losing eight million pesos. When Spain went to war with Portugal in 1640, Escalona and other Portuguese were suspected and were ordered to give up their fire-arms. The decree making Palafox viceroy arrived in May 1642, but in his residencia Escalona was not convicted of disloyalty. Palafox drew no salary and was replaced in October. The Bacalar Indians rebelled in Yucatan between 1636 and 1644. By 1650 about 120,000 Africans were in New Spain, and their numbers would double by the end of the colonial period.

The Count of Baños became viceroy in 1660, and by acting selfishly and arrogantly he quickly became unpopular. He tried to destroy all the letters from Spain that indicated he was replaced by Archbishop Diego Osorio; but eventually a letter from a ship that ran ashore got through to Osorio, and Baños was removed. Those he had exiled returned, and other abuses were reformed. The Marques de Mancera arrived as the new viceroy in 1664. Much progress was made on the Mexico cathedral, the largest in the world, and in 1667 it was dedicated. In 1672 English buccaneers raided villages around the Goazacoalco River. The next year a famine was alleviated by the Viceroy and the city council. Fray Payo Enriquez de Rivera became viceroy in 1674, and he extended the work of the Bethlehemites from Guatemala to Mexico. The first gold coins were minted in Mexico in 1679. A four-volume compilation (Recopilacion de leyes de los reynos de las Indias) with about 6,500 laws was published in 1681 and became the standard reference work.

The Marques de Laguna became viceroy in 1680 and prepared defenses for the attacks by buccaneers. Nicholas Van Horn and Laurent (Lorencillo) attacked Veracruz in May 1683 with 800 men. They imprisoned 6,000 people in churches without food or water for three days while they abused the women and plundered the city. The governor paid a ransom of 70,000 pesos. About 1,500 prisoners were taken to an island for ten days until a ransom of 150,000 pesos was paid. More than three hundred people were killed in the raid that cost several million pesos in damages. The buccaneers selected the most attractive women and left with them and 1,300 Africans and mulattoes. The booty was divided into 1,200 shares with each getting 800 pesos. Van Horn took eighty shares but quarreled with Laurent over his portion. In a duel Van Horn's wrist was wounded, and fifteen days later he died of an infection. A year later Tampico was raided by pirates. In July 1684 Laurent besieged and captured Campeche and marched to Merida, but the rovers were driven back. Soon after the Count of Galve became viceroy in 1688 news arrived that corsairs had attacked Acaponeta in New Galicia. War with France in 1689 led to imprisoning French subjects in Mexico City. A squadron of six ships with 2,600 men sailed from Veracruz and attacked northern Santo Domingo, killing five hundred French.

In 1692 the price of grain and corn multiplied several times, but daily distribution from the public granary kept people in the city from starving. On the evening of June 7 the supply ran out, and native women complained. The next day some women tried to take some corn, and their leaders were whipped and beaten. About two hundred women went to the palace of the Archbishop and then to the viceregal palace and back, and the injured woman died. Now men joined the protest, and the crowd swelled to ten thousand. After the Archbishop fled, the palace was set on fire. The rioting turned to looting, and the Viceroy's soldiers started to fire on the crowd; but the religious persuaded them not to kill innocent people. Many government buildings were destroyed, and a hundred natives and three Spaniards were killed. Because many natives were intoxicated, the use or sale of pulque was prohibited. The viceregal palace was rebuilt in grand style and took a century to complete. The Count of Moteuczoma was married to a descendant of the Aztec emperor, and he became viceroy in 1696. He tried to improve social conditions, especially for the Indians, and he had the fortifications of the city and the coast strengthened.

Juana Inés de Asbaje was born near Mexico City on November 12, 1651, the illegitimate daughter of a Spanish captain and a Creole woman. She began to read at the age of three and became an intellectual prodigy, but her mother would not let her attend the university disguised as a boy. However, her grandfather had an extensive library. She studied various subjects and began writing poetry at the age of eight. She became a maid-in-waiting at Viceroy Mancera's court in 1664. She took the name Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, but in 1667 she found that a Carmelite convent was too strict for her. To show off her knowledge of science as well as the humanities, the Viceroy arranged for her to be questioned by forty university professors. In 1669 she entered the convent of San Jeronimo, where she spent the rest of her life. She wanted to live alone free of obligations so that she could pursue her studies and writing. The viceregal court protected her intellectual salons. In 1683 she wrote the comedy of manners, The Trials of a Noble House, based on a play by Calderon. She lost her protection at court when the Marques de Laguna and his wife went back to Spain in 1688, but he published an anthology of her poetry the next year. In 1689 Sor Juana wrote the plays, Love, the Greater Labyrinth about Theseus and the Minotaur and the sacramental The Divine Narcissus.

The next year the Puebla bishop Manuel de Fernandez de Santa Cruz asked Sor Juana to write a commentary on a famous sermon by the Portuguese Jesuit Antonio de Vieira, and without her knowledge he published it as Missive Worthy of Athena along with his own critical letter under the pseudonym Sor Filotea, urging her to give up secular learning to perfect herself in the religious life. In 1691 Sor Juana Inés published her Reply to Sor Filotea, which brought upon her persecution from Archbishop Francisco Aguilar y Seijas. In this work she described her intellectual quests and advocated for the education of women. She learned from experience and quipped, "If Aristotle had cooked, he would have written more."2 In a society under the threat of the Inquisition she found that a head with knowledge could expect no other crown but one of thorns. When forbidden to read books, she studied the things God had created. In her poem "First Dream" she suggested that the inner life is more real than the outer world; through dreams she could escape from the world. In 1693 she gave up her intellectual pursuits, signed a confession in her own blood, and sold her library of four thousand books and her scientific and musical instruments to devote herself to the religious life of helping the poor. She died of illness in 1695 after taking care of her sisters during an epidemic.

When the War of the Spanish Succession began in 1701, Viceroy Montañez was ordered to increase the garrison at Veracruz to 6,000 men, and he induced men to volunteer by arresting idlers. The next year a shipment worth 17 million pesos was sank and lost after it reached Cadiz. The Duke of Albuquerque was viceroy 1702-11 and was considered fair and energetic. He cleverly called in a wealthy man and made him pay his debt to a complaining widow. However, the law courts were so corrupt that the rich laughed at charges while the poor were rigorously treated. Alcaldes mayores took bribes and committed perjury. To stop the brigands the Viceroy turned to the court of the Sacred Brotherhood. In 1710 the people of Querétaro got Miguel Velazquez appointed alcalde of the Santa Hermandad, and his enforcement measures were upheld by Mexico's criminal court in 1719 and by royal cedula in 1722. He died in 1732 and was succeeded by his son Jose Velezquez, who suppressed brigands until his death in 1756.

Viceroy Linares (1711-16) tried to improve justice and administration, but an earthquake on August 16, 1711 lasted a half hour and devastated Mexico City. Early frosts in 1713 led to famine and pestilence. After Indians in New Leon killed a thousand Spaniards in six years, Linares appointed Francisco Barbadillo governor in 1715, and he founded settlements for 5,000 Indian families from Tamaulipas. Also that year Gabriel Guerrero de Ardila used 800 cavalry to force a treaty on the natives in Sierra Gorda territory. Settlers often provoked the Indians to revolt so that they could make them slaves. Linares extended charity to relieve the poor, and he left generous gifts in his will to worthy causes. However, his successor, the Marques de Valero, was criticized for paying himself a salary of 27,000 pesos a year. A famine hit Texas, and provisions were sent to the governor of Coahuila. Elsewhere mines, crops, and trade prospered. In 1717 an expedition from Veracruz went to Campeche and attacked buccaneers on the island they named Carmen. Barbadillo was recalled from New Leon in 1719, and the incompetent policies of Pedro de Zaravia Cortes caused disorders and revolts. The French attacked Pensacola, Florida in 1719, but they withdrew from Texas in 1721. Viceroy Valero (1716-22) patronized native women, and the first convent for cacicas was founded in 1724.

Archbishop Jose Lanciego (1713-28) was known for his charity and friendship for the Indians. In the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht the English were given a monopoly on importing African slaves. King Felipe V and Queen Anne were each to receive one quarter of the profits. The English also engaged in much contraband trade. By the time this was annulled in 1750 the English slavers and smugglers had made an estimated 224 million pesos compared to 62 million for the Spanish galleons.

In Nayarit on the west coast of New Galicia a few people kept to the Aztec traditions. In 1701 when Governor Gutierre persuaded Captain Francesco Bracamonte to try to subjugate them, the Nayarits blocked his advances. They allowed no European to enter their territory, and the peaceful effort led by the Franciscan Margil de Jesus failed in 1711. Five years later General Gregorio Matias de Mendiola with thirty Spaniards and a hundred Indians forced the Nayarits to submit to Felipe V, but they refused to give up their religion. In 1721 the chief (tonati) and two dozen Nayarits traveled with Captain Torres to Mexico City, and they made a treaty admitting Jesuit instructors while protecting their rights. When they returned, an inconclusive battle took place. The tonati became a fugitive among his people, was captured the next year, and was baptized in 1725. The Nayarits accepted the teachings of the missionaries, and after 1767 the seven Jesuits were eventually replaced by twelve Franciscans. The government monopoly on mercury was enforced in 1730 by prohibiting its mining in New Galicia. Mercury could only be bought in large quantities, and the purchaser also became responsible for the expected tax on the silver produced with it; these policies helped tax collection but drove all but the wealthy out of silver production. New Galicia produced much wealth for Mexico.

Viceroy Casafuerte (1722-34) abolished the practice of selling offices, and he had an aqueduct built to supply water to the city of Querétaro. In 1735 a mulatto spread a rumor in the Cordoba region of Veracruz that slaves had been freed by the King and were illegally kept in bondage. The militias were called out, and a force of 600 Spaniards crushed the insurgents; leaders were executed, and others were tortured. The island of San Juan de Ulua off Veracruz had a fortress from the time it was visited by Thomas Gage in 1625, and in 1746 a wall around the city was completed and mounted with 120 guns. The only periodical that was allowed to publish political news was the Gaceta de Mexico, which had been founded in 1722. In 1734 Jose de Escandon pacified the Sierra Gorda by taking 400 prisoners and punishing the rebel leaders; but instead of enslaving the natives he treated them well with beneficial results.

Mexico 1744-1809
Mexico’s Struggle for Independence 1810-17
California Missions 1768-1817

Northern Mexico 1580-1744

Mexico 1528-80

In 1581 Francisco Sanchez Chamuscado led an expedition to look for gold in New Mexico; but two years later the force led by Antonio de Espejo learned that the missionaries left behind had been killed. In 1590-91 Castaño de Sosa went up the Pecos River with 170 people to start a colony; but he was not authorized by the Crown and was taken back to Mexico in chains. The Portuguese Francisco Leiva Bonilla also led a private venture about 1595. The governor sent a party that discouraged some, and later Juan de Humaña killed Bonilla in a quarrel. Jesuits were sent to northern Mexico in the 1590s, founding a college in 1593 and baptizing four thousand natives by 1597.

Juan de Oñate was given a contract by the Viceroy in 1595; but he was delayed by a new viceroy and did not establish an outpost at Taos until 1598. Like Coronado, he ordered the natives to evacuate a town for his men. In July, seven chieftains representing 34 pueblos submitted to his authority at Santo Domingo. The Acoma warrior Zutacapan organized resistance, but the elder Chumpo persuaded the Sky City of cliff dwellers to welcome the strangers peacefully. They provided corn, turkey, and water, and Oñate moved on. However, a month later Juan Zaldivar complained it was taking too long to grind the corn. When a Spaniard took a turkey, a fight broke out, killing Juan Zaldivar and all but four of his men. Oñate sent seventy soldiers under his brother Vicente Zaldivar to punish the Acomas, killing eight hundred and capturing five hundred women and children along with eighty men. They were all sentenced to twenty years of indentured servitude, and the men each had a foot cut off. In 1601 Oñate led eighty soldiers northeast and on the Matanza plain killed a thousand Escanjaques. Oñate was named adelantado (governor) the next year. In 1605 he explored to the west as far as the mouth of the Colorado River. Oñate was replaced for mismanagement in 1608.

In 1601 the Acaxées gathered five thousand men from the mountains of Topia and San Andreas and attacked villages and mining camps. When Governor Urdiñola sent sixty troops, the Acaxées withdrew to the mountains and used guerrilla tactics. Urdiñola wisely treated the women captives well, and Padre Hernando Santaren persuaded the Acaxées to rebuild the forty burned churches. Thousands were baptized, and by 1608 nine missionaries were working in the region. Their southern neighbors, the Xiximes, revolted in 1610, but their two strongholds were reduced by 200 Spaniards and 1,100 Indians; ten of the eleven rebel leaders were hanged. The next year 7,000 Xiximes were settled into villages under padres Santaren and Alonso Gomez.

The missionary Juan Fonte attended a meeting of 800 Tarahumaras in 1607, and he worked to build up communities until he was killed during the Tepehuan rebellion of 1616. The Spaniards exploiting the silver mines around Durango caused numerous conflicts. Many Tepehuans followed Quautlatas, who advocated rejecting the missionaries' gods and driving them from the territory. Three expeditions of Spanish soldiers from Durango were required before the rebellion was suppressed in 1618, when Quautlatas and their military leader Cogoxito were killed. The Tepehuans had killed ten friars and about two hundred Spaniards; but a thousand warriors; women and children were captured, and their fields were ravaged. Within five years seven Jesuits had returned and repaired the image of the Virgin Mary. Gradually the Tepehuans left the mountains to return to pueblo life. A silver strike at Parral in 1631 brought new problems as Spanish law allowed mine owners to use force in recruiting non-Christian Indians; often they did not pay wages for the first two months.

By the 1640s the Jesuits had established four missions in the Tarahumara lowlands. Some apostate Indians turned anti-Spanish, and two of their rebel leaders were executed in 1648. Two years later a missionary and the soldier protecting him were crucified; in 1652 a new missionary was killed, and the new chapel was destroyed. Jesuit expansion revived in the 1670s, but new mining activity in 1685 led to the rebellion of 1690 that was aggravated by epidemics of measles in 1693 and smallpox in 1695. The next year Captain Retana arrested sixty or more Indians he suspected of preparing for war and had them killed, putting the heads of thirty on sticks. This provoked a major revolt in Upper Tarahumara that lasted two years. The conquest wars in Tarahumara ended in 1698, and even the silver rush of 1709 met with little resistance. That year the city of Chihuahua was founded. Spaniards were allowed to force up to four percent of the Christian Indians to work as servants, but this was usually exceeded.

Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino worked with the Upper Pimas from 1686 until his death in 1711. He founded the Dolores mission in 1687 and gave more instruction before baptism but still had baptized 800 by 1689. He tried to persuade Spaniards that the Pimas were friendly by giving them personal tours, and he crossed Gila to visit the Colorado Yumas. In 1695 Pimas of Tubutama killed an Opata overseer and two others. General Jironza led Spanish soldiers and a few Seris into Pima territory. Kino arranged a meeting with immunity. When a man was pointed out as guilty of killing the overseer, a Spanish officer beheaded him. The Pimas were upset, and Spanish and Seri soldiers quickly killed fifty Pimas including their peaceful chief of El Tupo. This led to war until the Tubutamans responsible for planning the killing of the Opatas were turned over to the Spaniards. Kino baptized 40,000 people and distributed cattle to the Santa Cruz settlements. The Pimas often served as allies in the Spaniards' battles against the Apaches. In 1722 citizens of San Juan Bautista asked that the Jesuits be removed so that mission lands and cattle could be given to the Indians.

As mining developed in Alamos and Sonora, Spanish settlers arrived in the 1730s. In 1740 Juan Calixto raised an army of 6,000 warriors who shouted in favor of the King and the blessed Mary but fought against bad government. They killed a local governor and took over the towns in the region. Baltazar led the Yaquis with support from the Lower Pimas and Mayos. Augustin de Vildosola defended Tecoripa and claimed the Spaniards killed 5,000 Indians in two battles. More than a thousand Spaniards were also killed during this revolt. Juan Ignacio Muni, a Yaqui, resented the whipping of a relative by missionaries, but he negotiated with Governor Manuel Huidobro (1734-41) and was appointed captain-general of the Yaqui and Mayo territory. Huidobro was replaced by Vildosola, who executed Muni and three others for allegedly plotting to drive out the Spaniards. Six years later Vildosola was removed for financial improprieties.

In 1599 along the Fuerte River, Captain Diego de Hurdaide began subjugating the Sinaloas, Tehuecos, Zuaques, and Ahomes, and he governed Sinaloa until 1626. Five Jesuit missionaries founded eight missions in 1600, and most of the 850 baptisms in 1602 were in the new Guazave district. The Mayos and Yaquis spoke Cahitan and were larger and more organized tribes. In 1601 the Mayos requested missionaries, and the Yaquis negotiated with Hurdaide through the Mayo leaders Osameai and Bothisuame. The Jesuits baptized thousands, and by 1604 Padre Velasco had compiled the grammar and vocabulary of local languages. That year Hurdaide defeated revolting Bacoburitos.

In 1610 the Yaquis made peace with the Spaniards but refused to surrender the apostate Ocoroni chief Lautaro, who had taken refuge with them. When some Christian Indians sent to retrieve him were killed, Hurdaide went with forty soldiers and two thousand allies and battled eight thousand warriors. In a second encounter the allies fled. The friendly Mayos helped negotiate a peace treaty in April 1610, and the Yaquis requested missionaries. Three years later missionaries moved into Sonora. In 1614 Pedro Mendez went with Hurdaide to Camoa. The Mayos built churches in seven towns as 16,000 were baptized, and by 1619 nearly 30,000 Yaquis had been baptized as well. Jesuit records recorded 30,000 baptisms in 1620, and the next year 86,340 Christian Indians were living in 55 villages. Captain Pedro de Perea governed from 1626 to 1640, and in 1632 his raid into the mountains killed 800 rebels. The Jesuits counted more than 300,000 baptisms and had 35 missions in Sinaloa and Sonora by 1645, the year Padre Ribas published his historical account in Triumphs of the Faith. This region was relatively peaceful for the next century.

Jesuits began arriving in Guale on the east coast north of Florida in 1566, but they had little influence on the natives. A few Franciscans came in 1573, but they did not operate much in Guale until 1596. They held services and baptized Indians. In September 1597 the friar Pedro Corpa was murdered in his church at Tolomato for objecting to the pagan Juanillo being the chief of Guale. The Indians revolted and killed four more missionaries, though some were protected by friendly Indians. Governor Gonzalo Mendez Canzo from St. Augustine used 150 soldiers to suppress the uprising. Juanillo was eventually killed fighting other Indians in the interior. Bishop Fray de las Cabezas Altamirano of Santiago visited St. Augustine during Easter week in 1606 and confirmed more than a thousand Indians.

In New Mexico the capital was moved from San Gabriel to Santa Fe in 1609. The natives the Spaniards called Pueblos had a feminist society in which women's advice was valued; they grew corn (maize), beans, and squash. By 1630 fifty Franciscans were working in 25 missions and had baptized 60,000. Missionaries quarreled with Governor Luis Rosas from 1637 to 1641, and the people of Taos killed their missionary and destroyed their church. In the 1650s Governor Lopez used large forces of Indians to collect supplies of salt, piñon nuts, and hides, and this prevented them from working in agriculture. Civil authorities criticized the missionaries for whipping Indians as punishment for not attending Mass.

Popé from San Juan was a leader in the revival of the native religion in the 1670s. He was not allowed to conduct his rituals, and he had secret meetings about how the gods were saying the Spaniards must leave their land. Governor Juan Francisco de Treviño had him imprisoned and whipped in 1675. The Spanish government used force to try to stop the renewal of the traditional religion, and 47 leaders, including Popé, were tried in Santa Fe for witchcraft and sorcery; three were hanged, and the rest were whipped and imprisoned. A delegation of seventy Christian Tewas from the Rio Grande pueblos went to Santa Fe and threatened a revolt if the prisoners were not released. With only about 2,800 Spaniards among 16,000 Indians, they freed them.

Popé planned an uprising and had his son-in-law Nicolas Bua stoned for suspected treachery. In August 1680 while uprisings were occurring in Taos, Santa Clara, Picuris, Santa Cruz, and other pueblos, Popé led Tanos and united Pueblos in an attack on Santa Fe. The Spaniards had only fifty troops in the capital and tried to negotiate. During a siege of nine days the town around the fort was burned, and the inhabitants of Santa Fe fled. After a desperate sortie by the Spaniards, the Indians fled to the hills, leaving behind three hundred dead. Tewas and Tiwas from Taos joined the revolt, and within a few days they killed 21 out of 33 missionaries and 375 colonists. In 1681 Governor Antonio Otermin burned Tiwa villages and took 519 prisoners. Most of the Spaniards fled to El Paso, which was founded as a presidio to protect New Mexico. Three new pueblos were also founded in the south at Senecu, Socorro, and Isleta. Popé restored the ancestral religion and banned the Spanish language and Christian names, but he despotically had dissidents put to death and claimed beautiful women for himself and his officers. After a drought he was deposed, but Popé was elected again in 1688 shortly before his death. The Apaches and Yutas used the opportunity to increase their raiding, and after this they spread the use of horses throughout their region. Jironza de Cruzat attacked the Queres at Cia and killed six hundred apostates.

The region was not reconquered by the Spaniards until 1692. Diego de Vargas was able to get the rebel pueblos to submit by peaceful means, except for battles with Apaches, while the friars baptized 2,214 children. In December 1693 Tanos at Santa Fe resisted being transferred and were reinforced by Tewas. After nine were killed, seventy warriors surrendered; but Vargas had them shot and distributed the four hundred women and children as enslaved "hostages." After the Jemez rebellion killed six missionaries and 21 other Spaniards in 1696, Vargas finally squelched the resistance of the Rio Grande Pueblos. In 1697 he was replaced by Pedro Rodriguez Cubero. Many settlers were upset because their Indian slaves had been restored to the pueblos to win their good will. Vargas was convicted of embezzlement and for shooting the Tanos captives at Santa Fe; his property was confiscated, and he was imprisoned for nearly three years. However, an investigation exonerated Vargas, and he was later re-appointed governor. Many apostate Pueblos took refuge in Moqui (Hopi) country. In 1700 Governor Cubero would not agree to a peace treaty with the Moquis (Hopis) because they insisted on maintaining their own religion. The next year Cubero invaded the Moquis and killed some but released the captives. The town of Zuñi was left alone.

The Sumas revolted in 1712, but they were subjugated by Captain Antonio Valverde and settled near El Paso. The next year Captain Serna used 400 soldiers and allies to defeat the Apache Navajos. The Navahos were the northernmost Apaches. As they developed a more settled life, the Navahos became an independent nation. Governor Felix Martinez with 68 soldiers marched against the Moquis (Hopis) in 1716. Viceroy Valero summoned Governor Martinez, and Valverde eventually became governor for four years. In 1719 he attacked the Utes and Comanches.

Not many Spaniards had ventured into California since Sebastian Vizcaino had explored the coast and discovered Monterey Bay in December 1602. In February 1697 Viceroy Moteuczoma granted padre Juan Maria Salvatierra a license to convert Californians at his own expense if he claimed the land in the name of the Spanish king. Salvatierra founded the first mission in Baja California at Loreto in October. Gradually more missions were added. In 1734 the Manila galleon put in for the first time at San Bernabé near the cape to treat sailors with scurvy. That year the mulatto chief Chicori and the zambo (Indian mulatto) Boton complained about the law against polygamy and instigated a rebellion that caused the padres to take refuge at Loreto. When a boat from the Manila galleon San Cristobal went ashore at San Bernabé in 1735, all thirteen men were massacred. Governor Huidrobo was ordered to invade Baja California; but he did not listen to the padres, and the rebels avoided his forces. Eventually the Jesuits devised a way of drawing them into battle, and the Indians were routed. More soldiers were sent to the area, and one was assigned to guard each padre. The southern tribes continued to rebel in the 1740s. The men complained they needed wives; but the Yaqui women the Jesuits brought over rejected the southerners.

North Mexico and Texas 1744-1817

Spanish and French West Indies 1580-1744

Central America and Caribbean 1521-80

In Puerto Rico the El Morro Castle was able to defeat the attacks by Drake and Hawkins in 1595. However, George Clifford, the Earl of Cumberland, led an attack with 1,400 troops in June 1598 that forced the garrison of 400 men to surrender, but the English lost 400 men to disease and left with slaves, sugar, ginger, and pearls in September.

Puerto Rico governor Juan Perez de Guzman began the policy of granting slaves asylum in 1664, and he urged Spain's Council of the Indies to adopt this policy. The British objected, and after 1683 they often occupied Vieques in order to catch fugitives and to trade with Puerto Rico. Contraband trading in Puerto Rico had become increasingly popular ever since they prohibited the cultivation of ginger in 1602. In 1691 a clergyman from San German was beaten up for reporting to San Juan illegal commerce in Ponce. As smuggling increased in the 1690s, private ships were encouraged to seize vessels; but this led to plundering any cargo ship.

Puerto Rico fought off minor invasions by the British in 1702 and the Dutch the next year. The mulatto Miguel Henriquez was so successful at privateering that King Felipe V commended him in 1713. In 1731 Governor Matias de Abadia was instructed to curb contraband trading, but he protected the French and Dutch corsairs while punishing British smugglers. Privateers from Puerto Rico seized a fleet of six English ships bound for North American colonies in 1734.

In 1597 the fortress at Castillo del Morro was completed to protect the Havana harbor. During the 17th century Cuba suffered epidemics and attacks by Europeans as the population increased from 20,000 to about 50,000. Tobacco cultivation was banned for ten years until 1614 when it was revived; but the entire crop had to be shipped to Seville. Pirate raids slowed down after the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 as the English began executing buccaneers.

In 1708 a Spanish royal decree enabled slaves to purchase their freedom, and the vast majority of freed Africans in the West Indies were in the Spanish colonies of Puerto Rico and Cuba. In 1715 the Spanish established the Factoria in Cuba to monopolize the tobacco business, but the growers revolted against this two years later and again in 1720 and 1723. That year a Belgian set up a printing press, and in 1728 Dominicans founded the University of San Jeronimo at Havana. Slaves in the copper mines of Santiago, Cuba revolted in 1729 and again two years later.

Following royal orders, in 1605 Española governor Antonio de Osorio ignored cabildo protests and had the settlements at Puerto Plata, Montecristi, La Yaguana, and Bayaja burned to stop smuggling. Some rebelled and were defeated while others fled to Cuba. Only 2,000 livestock out of 110,000 survived in the new pasture. One third of the people from La Yaguana and Bayaja who were settled at Bayaguana died of hunger and disease by 1609. During the Thirty Years War (1618-48) the Dutch blocked Spanish shipping, and the sugar mills stopped producing. Governor Chavez de Osorio (1628-36) monopolized defense industries and acquired a fortune, as did his successor, Juan Bietrian de Biamonte (1636-44), who also controlled export licenses. He brought in 250 Portuguese soldiers to protect his tyranny. In 1662 colonists requested a license to import slaves for their cacao plantations, and the Crown replied that a contract to import 3,500 Africans annually into the Indies had been signed. An effort to recapture fugitive slaves called cimarrones in 1665 gained only seventy. The French attacked Santiago in 1667, and this was followed by a devastating hurricane the next year and a smallpox epidemic that killed about 1,500 in 1669. That year 400 Africans were brought to Española, but the colony could only afford to buy 140. In 1677 twelve slaves escaped from French territory and were given refuge and their freedom in Santo Domingo. In 1681 the Spaniards began selling horses, salted meat, and cowhides to the French. De Cussy's attack on Santiago de los Caballeros in 1690 burned 160 homes, but the Spaniards retaliated with an attack in the north the next year.

The Spanish colony on Española supplied the populated sugar-producing St. Domingue colony with cattle in the 18th century. When the Spanish governor imposed a tax on the cattle sold to the French in 1721, the people of Santiago rebelled against it until troops subdued them. The French gradually pushed the border east until it was fixed in the agreement of 1731. When the new governor Pedro Zorilla de San Martin discovered in 1741 that the French were taxing the meat, he prohibited the export of livestock. St. Domingue was suffering a drought, and they persuaded the Spanish governor to permit an export quota of 200 cattle per month. The conflicts continued until they signed a treaty in 1764 for the free trade of cattle.

In the 18th century St. Domingue became France's greatest colony. In 1705 an ordinance required every free man to serve in the militia. In 1734 marriages between Europeans and Africans were banned, and officers were dismissed for marrying mulatresses.

The French began their conquest of the Windward Islands in 1635. Sixty or more slaves fled to a mountain in the French portion of St. Kitts in 1639 and were killed. Tortuga Island is just north of western Española; the English, Dutch, French, and Spanish fought over this island from 1630 until 1659, when the French gained control of what they called La Tortue along with the western portion of Española they renamed St. Domingue. Louis XIV's prime minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert chartered the French West India Company in 1664. A royal order opened to the French the slave trade from Guinea to the islands, and by 1672 the French had imported 3,000 Africans into their Caribbean colonies. That year all the French colonies were taken over by the Crown. Bertrand d'Ogeron de la Bouere reached La Tortue and Port-de-Paix the next year. He collected women from French jails and married them to settlers, increasing the colony from 400 to 1,500 by 1669. When the Company raised prices by two-thirds the next year, the people revolted. Admiral Gabaret helped suppress the rebellion, and Ogeron persuaded Colbert to pardon them. Tobacco was the chief crop, and exports increased along with immigration. Ogeron was succeeded by Jacques Nepveu, Seigneur de Pouancey, in 1675.

Padrejean was a former Spanish slave, and he led a slave revolt in 1679 that massacred European settlers and burned plantations until the rebelling Africans were killed. When de Pouancey died in 1682, a census of St. Domingue counted 6,658 people with eight priests. In 1687 the Spaniards captured the fort at Petit-Goave, but the French fought back and hanged their leaders. Two years later Louis XIV was at war and ordered the French to invade the Spaniards, and Tarin de Cussy sacked Santiago. In 1691 the Spaniards attacked the north and killed about five hundred. In 1694 Jean-Baptiste du Casse led an attack on Jamaica that burned 200 homes and looted machinery and distilleries while capturing 3,000 slaves and £60,000 . A year later the British allied with the Spanish in an invasion that sacked and burned Cap François and Port-de-Paix. Du Casse moved his government to Léogane. In 1697 he led an expedition with 650 buccaneers and 180 African pioneers along with 170 soldiers and 110 volunteers that plundered rich treasures at Cartagena. The Peace of Ryswick recognized French sovereignty over western Española in September 1697.

That year a revolt by 300 slaves was suppressed. The number of slaves in St. Domingue increased from 2,000 in 1681 to more than ten thousand by the end of the century. Louis XIV issued a royal decree in 1685 that came to be known as the Code Noir. Slaves had the rights of marriage and family cohesion, due process of law, and religious instruction in Catholicism. They were forbidden to carry arms, own property, trade, hold meetings, testify against a master, or leave the plantation; theft, assault, and escape had severe penalties. The masters were responsible for the feeding, clothing, and well being of the slaves; corporal punishment was allowed, but torture, mutilation, and death were prohibited except by law. A slave could get the death penalty for striking a master or his wife, and runaways were mutilated the first two times and executed after a third attempt. A master having sexual intercourse with a slave could have her and the children confiscated. Slaves could be mortgaged as moveable property. Masters could liberate those who had been slaves for twenty years, and freedmen had all the rights and privileges of persons born free.

British and French West Indies 1744-1817
Cuba and Puerto Rico 1744-1817
Haiti’s Slave Revolution

British and Dutch West Indies 1580-1744

Central America and Caribbean 1521-80

Francis Drake raided the West Indies in 1585. His men held the plaza of Santo Domingo for a month while he tried to negotiate a ransom. Next he attacked Cartagena and destroyed its buildings while demanding a ransom. Drake avoided Havana as too strong. The next year King Felipe II sent the engineer Juan Bautista Antoneli to strengthen the fortifications at Havana in Cuba, San Juan in Puerto Rico, Puerto Bello in Panama, and Cartagena.

In 1605 the English tried to settle at St. Lucia in the West Indies, but the Caribs drove them away. That year Olive Leigh found Barbados uninhabited and claimed it for England. In 1621 the Dutch formed their West Indies Company, and three years later the British House of Commons chartered the West Indies Association. English colonists led by Thomas Warner landed at St. Kitts in 1623 and at Barbados two years later. The English added Nevis, and the French settled for half of St. Kitts in 1625. That year the English and the Dutch occupied St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, and Bowdoin Hendricks sacked San Juan, Puerto Rico. In response the cabildo (council) at San Juan strengthened the walls around the town.

In 1627 King James I granted the Earl of Carlisle proprietary rights to the "Caribees Islands" between ten and twenty degrees north latitude. That year Captain Henry Powell went from Barbados to Guiana, where his friend the Dutch governor Adrian van Groenewegen was married to a Carib and had friendly relations with the natives for 48 years. He let Powell take 32 Arawaks back to Barbados to advise him on farming cassava, corn (maize), tobacco, and other crops on the understanding that they would be free to return after two years; however, they were made slaves and were not released until 1655. Warner and the English drove all the Caribs except a few women slaves off St. Kitts. Spaniards led by Fadrique de Toledo attacked St. Kitts in 1629; the French fled in their ships, but the English ships were captured. When the English did not return their ships as agreed, their hostages were held prisoner in Spain for five years. Some of the English had fled to the mountains; they and the French returned to their plantations after the Spaniards left. England and Spain resolved this conflict in the 1630 Treaty of Madrid, but Cromwell later used it as an excuse to attack the Spanish West Indies.

Near Trinidad, the Dutch occupied Tobago in the early 1630s, but this island would change hands twenty times in the next three centuries. English settlers lived on St. Lucia for three years before the Caribs drove them off again in 1641. By then Barbados had more than 30,000 inhabitants, and St. Kitts and Nevis had 20,000. Sugar plantation owners became wealthy fast, though it required three times as many Africans and livestock as other crops. In 1640 a plantation of 500 acres sold for £400 in Barbados, but in 1648 a half share cost £7,000. In 1647 a conspiracy of European servants to revolt was discovered on Barbados, and eighteen were executed. In the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia the Spanish recognized the Dutch colonies in the West Indies. The Spaniards took over St. Croix, but the French drove them out in 1650.

Because of the English civil war, the Commonwealth government prohibited trade with Barbados, Antigua, Bermuda, and Virginia. Barbados royalist governor Willoughby had 5,000 men to less than one thousand in the Commonwealth squadron led by George Ayscue. Modyford's men doubled the latter, and in January 1652 he and Ayscue made a treaty with Willoughby. This Charter of Barbados called for the usual governor and his council but also included an assembly elected by local freeholders, and no taxes could be imposed without the consent of the assembly. Between 1654 and 1660 Barbados received 2,331 indentured servants from Europe.

In the middle of the 17th century the Dutch dominated trade with 15,000 of the 25,000 ships. A treaty between England and France in 1660 allowed the Caribs to keep the islands of Dominica and St. Vincent. The Staple Act of 1663 required all European goods shipped to English colonies be transported in English vessels. After the restoration of Charles II, the sugar business at Barbados boomed, using four hundred ships in 1661 to export goods worth £350,000. Willoughby governed Barbados again (1663-70) and imposed a 4.5% tax on all commodities and produce exported. Barbados withstood an attack by the Dutch admiral de Ruyter in 1665, but he captured sixteen English ships from the other Leeward Islands. The Treaty of Breda in 1667 ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War and allowed the Dutch to keep Surinam while the French kept Tobago. The Danish West Indies Company was formed in 1671, and they founded a colony at St. Thomas. The British Plantation Duties Act of 1673 taxed named commodities shipped between colonies.

During the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-78) Tobias Bridge led a force from Barbados and destroyed a settlement at Tobago in 1672, taking four hundred prisoners and as many slaves. The alliance of England and France forced the Dutch West Indies Company into bankruptcy by 1674, giving the French a commercial monopoly in their own colonies. In 1674 Caribs from Dominica raided Antigua and killed English settlers. That year Governor William Stapleton (1672-85) convened an assembly of the Leeward Islands with two representatives from Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis, and St. Kitts. Slaves in Antigua revolted in 1687 and were hunted down. In 1698 Barbados had an average of eighteen slaves for every European male.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, Leeward Islands governor Christopher Codrington took over the French portion of St. Kitts in 1702, but in the next two years French privateers captured 163 prizes. Commodore Hovenden Walker brought a British fleet that invaded Guadaloupe in 1703. A French fleet attacked St. Kitts in March 1706, looted the island, and left with 300 slaves. The next month Admiral Pierre le Moyne d'Iberville with 3,000 troops invaded Nevis, forced the English to round up their slaves, and carried off 3,200 Africans. Col. Daniel Parke arrived as governor of the Leeward Islands in July. He complained that the rich could never be convicted by a jury, and so even murder went unpunished. Parke behaved erratically and refused to obey his orders to depart. The Antigua Assembly refused to recognize his authority, and in 1710 he was killed in a riot. His successor Col. Walter Douglas conducted an investigation, and three men were tried for his murder. Yet all the members of the Assembly were re-elected. Douglas was charged with accepting bribes from those he pardoned and was recalled in 1714. In the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht the British were given the Asiento that authorized them to supply 144,000 slaves to the West Indies. In 1730 the governor of Barbados complained that money was corrupting politics. The Barbados Gazette began publishing the next year. In 1733 at the behest of the legislatures of Barbados and the Leeward Islands, the British House of Commons imposed a heavy duty on all foreign sugar, molasses, and rum imported to the northern colonies.

In their colonies the British prohibited the manufacture of copper in 1722, hats in 1732, and iron in 1750. The Danes on St. Thomas occupied nearby St. John in 1716, and the French sold St. Croix to the Danes in 1733. That year slaves in St. John rebelled and killed all the Europeans except a few who fled to St. Thomas. The slaves who revolted in Antigua in 1736 were better off than most but were punished severely. A commission inquired and recommended that slaves be barred from jobs considered proper for free men. In 1739 the British went to war against Spain over Jenkins' ear in order to maintain control of the slave trade, and in 1744 France declared war on England.

The British Navigation Ordinance of 1651 prohibited importing colonial products into England except on English ships, and European goods sold to their colonies had to go on English ships or on ships from the country where the products originated. This policy led to a war with the Dutch the next year. Oliver Cromwell sponsored his "western design" for the West Indies, and in 1655 Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables led 2,500 men and captured eleven Dutch ships at Carlisle Bay of Barbados. They recruited 4,000 volunteers and indentured servants, leaving Barbadians unprotected and short of food. After taking on 1,200 more men from the Leeward Islands they attacked Santo Domingo by land in April 1655 and were routed by Spanish cavalry who killed 600. However, Jamaica had only 1,500 Spaniards, and the English easily conquered it for Cromwell, who went to war with Spain to keep it. The English soldiers slaughtered 20,000 cattle in a few weeks, and they even destroyed the crops so that they could go home. An epidemic spread from the English to the Spaniards still in Jamaica, and many Spaniards left in 1657. That year the Maroon leader Juan de Bolas surrendered to the English and was made a colonel in an African regiment. The next year Yassi returned with a thousand soldiers from Spain, but they were driven out in 1660.

Col. D'Oyley was replaced by Governor Windsor, who arrived in Jamaica in 1662 and proclaimed a grant of thirty acres to every male and female over twelve years of age that included military service. He was soon succeeded by Thomas Modyford, who supported the buccaneers that were used in the war against the Dutch. In 1665 Edward Mansvelt captured Sancti Spiritus on Cuba and sacked Granada in Nicaragua, and he and Henry Morgan took over Providence Island. Pirates captured 260,000 pieces of eight at Maracaibo in 1666. After Mansvelt died, Morgan plundered 250,000 pieces of eight at Puerto Bello in 1668. The next year Morgan captured Maracaibo. In 1670 Morgan raided Providence, La Hacha, and the San Lorenzo castle, and the next year his men captured the city of Panama.

The Spanish recognized British West Indies possessions in the 1670 Treaty of Madrid in exchange for the English suppressing buccaneering. Governor Thomas Lynch (1670-74) tried to decrease piracy in Jamaica, and the Assembly prescribed at least one European for every eight Africans. Buccaneers got only 100,000 pieces of eight from Trinidad in 1673. In 1674 Lord Vaughan became governor of Jamaica with Morgan as lieutenant governor, and the next year Modyford was appointed chief judge. In 1678 French buccaneers were active; de Grammont raided settlements in the Gulf of Maracaibo, and the Marquis de Maintenon plundered Trinidad and Margarita. Modyford died in 1679, and in 1683 Morgan was suspended from office for disorderly drinking. That year buccaneers led by Van Horn and de Grammont plundered the rich city of Veracruz. Lynch was governor of Jamaica again 1681-84. The Jamaica Assembly in 1681 put a tax of 5 pounds on each African exported. In 1685 slaves revolted and fled to the hills. A valuable sunken treasure ship was found off Cap François in 1686. When James II became king, he turned Morgan over to Spain for imprisonment; he died in 1688. Slaves revolted again in 1690. Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake in 1692, dispersing the Jamaican buccaneers.

Archibald Hamilton was appointed governor of Jamaica in 1711, but he was recalled five years later for his association with piracy. In 1717 many pirates were given amnesty in Jamaica. That year England's attorney general advised that a freed slave who had been baptized in Jamaica was entitled to the rights of a free Christian. A Jamaican law of 1720 set the limit at thirty slaves for each European. In 1721 the pirates Anne Bonney and Mary Read who dressed and fought like men were sentenced to death in Jamaica, but both had their sentences suspended because of being pregnant. In 1722 the weekly Jamaica Courant became the first newspaper published in the West Indies. In 1726 the Jamaica Assembly refused to pass another revenue act, and some believed the government could do without money or laws. In 1731 the governor reported that half the troops were in a woeful state from being drunk on rum. A treaty was made with the Maroons in 1739; they were declared free forever and were given 1,500 acres to grow anything but sugar. Jamaica imported 610,000 Africans as slaves in the first eighty-seven years of the 18th century while exporting 160,000 of them. Edward Trelawny governed Jamaica fairly well from 1738 to 1752.

English buccaneers used the island of Providence off the coast of Nicaragua as a base from 1629, and Robert Rich, the Earl of Warwick, formed a company. In 1631 Captain Anthony Hilton was appointed governor, and Tortuga came under the protection of the Providence Company. In 1634 Spaniards invaded and massacred most of the English settlers and buccaneers. In 1637 the Dutch offered to buy Providence for £70,000, but King Charles blocked the sale. That year Nathaniel Butler replaced Hilton as governor. Spaniards raided again the next year, and slaves revolted in 1639. Spaniards led by Francisco Diaz de Pimienta attacked again in 1641, and only a few English escaped to the Mosquito Coast. In response Captain William Jackson recruited 650 men from Barbados and 250 from St. Kitts to attack the Spanish colonies at Margarita, Puerto Caballo, and Maracaibo. In 1643 he took Santiago de la Vega in Jamaica. After taking several towns on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, he returned to England in 1645. Captain William Sayle led settlers to Eleuthera in the Bahamas in 1646.

New Providence in the Bahamas was raided by 250 Spaniards in 1684. The preacher Thomas Bridges brought settlers from Jamaica while others came from Bermuda. In 1688 suspected pirates were sent back to Jamaica. Proprietors made Bridges governor that June, but the next year Cadwallader Jones arrived with a commission to proclaim William and Mary, but instead he acted dictatorially with help from pirates. In 1691 English pirates left Tortuga and moved to New Providence, but in January 1692 the Council rebelled and put Jones in irons, appointing Thomas Bulkley to prosecute him. However, supporters of Jones on a grand jury restored his power and kept Bulkley in irons for 485 days. In January 1693 the Proprietors appointed Nicholas Trott to replace Jones.

Captain Elias Haskett became governor of the Bahamas in 1700, but the next year he was thrown in jail for trying to imprison Read Elding for piracy. In 1703 French and Spanish privateers cooperated in sacking Nassau, and government broke down in the Bahamas until the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13). Edward Teach gained his own ship in 1716 and had an infamous career for two years as the pirate called Blackbeard. A general amnesty for all pirates was declared in September 1717, and Woodes Rogers was appointed governor of the Bahamas. He had sailed around the world from 1708 to 1711 and rescued Alexander Selkirk from Juan Fernandez Island; Rogers' account of the marooned sailor inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe in 1719. Rogers arrived in July 1718 while the pirate Charles Vane was burning a French prize. Vane sailed away but was executed at Jamaica in 1720. Rogers declared martial law, set up an admiralty court, and organized a militia that included ex-pirates. He sent three pirates to England for trial and hanged nine in December 1718. Between 1716 and 1726 the British executed about five hundred pirates, and at least twice that many were killed resisting capture. However, Rogers was not supported by the inhabitants and left Nassau for England in March 1721. George Phenney managed to bring order to Eleuthera and governed the Bahamas until Rogers returned in time to convene the Assembly in September 1729 with eight members from Nassau and four each from eastern New Providence, western New Providence, Eleuthera, and Harbour Island. John Colebrooke controlled the Assembly, but Rogers dissolved it. Colebrooke refused to turn over papers and was convicted of sedition; he could not pay the fine of £750 and was detained. By the time Rogers died in 1732 he had done much to solve the piracy problem. The Bahamas prospered in the mid-18th century.

British and French West Indies 1744-1817

Northern America to 1642


1. Quoted in Panama by David Howarth, p. 106.
2. Reply to Sor Filotea IV, 460 by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, quoted in Women in Colonial Spanish Literature by Julie Greer Johnson, p. 164.

Copyright © 2005-2006 by Sanderson Beck

This chapter has been published in the book America to 1744. For ordering information please click here.


Mayans, Toltecs, Aztecs, and Incas
Spanish Conquest 1492-1580
Brazil and Guiana 1500-1744
Spanish Colonies and the West Indies 1580-1744
Northern America to 1642
English, French, and Dutch Colonies 1643-1664
New France 1663-1744
New England 1664-1744
New York to Pennsylvania 1664-1744
Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas, and Georgia 1663-1744
Franklin's Practical Ethics
Summary and Evaluation of America to 1744

World Chronology
Chronology of America to 1817

BECK index