Project Gutenberg's The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803, by E.H. Blair This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 Volume III, 1569-1576 Author: E.H. Blair Release Date: December 6, 2004 [EBook #13616] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, 1493-1803 *** Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the PG Distributed Proofreaders Team. The Philippine Islands, 1493–1803
Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century
Volume III, 1569–1576
Edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson with historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord Bourne.Page 1
Contents of Volume III
- Preface. ... 15
- Documents of 1569
- Letter to Felipe II. Guido de Lavezaris; Cebu, June 5. ... 29
- Letter to Felipe II. Andrés de Mirandaola; Cubu, June 8. ... 33
- Letter to Marqués de Falçes. M.L. de Legazpi; Çubu, July 7. ... 44
- Relation of the Filipinas islands. M.L. de Legazpi; [Çubu, July 7]. ... 54
- Confirmation of Legazpi's title as governor and captain-general. Felipe II; Madrid, August 14. ... 62
- Documents of 1570
- Letter to Felipe II. Fray Diego de Herrera; Mexico, January 16. ... 69
- Relation of the voyage to Luzón. [June, 1570?]. ... 73
- Act of taking possession of Luzón. Martin de Goiti and Hernando Riquel; Manila, June 6. ... 105
- Letter to Felipe II. M. L. de Legazpi; Panae, July 25. ... 108
- Evidence regarding the Portuguese expedition against Cebú. M.L. de Legazpi; Çubu, October 21. ... 113
- Documents of 1571–72
- Relation of the discoveries of the Malucos and Philippinas. [1571?]. ... 121
- Requisitions of supplies for the Spanish forces in the Philippines [1571?]. ... 132
- Conquest of the island of Luzon. Manila, April 20, 1572. ... 141
- Foundation of the city of Manila. Fernando Riquel; Manilla, June 19, 1572. ... 173
- Documents of 1573
- Expenses incurred for the expedition to the Western Islands, 1569–72. Melchior de Legazpi; Mexico, March 2. ... 177
- Affairs in the Philippines after the death of Legazpi. Guido de Lavezaris; Manila, June 29. ... 179
- Relation of the Western Islands called Filipinas. Diego de Artieda. ... 190
- Letter from the viceroy of New Spain to Felipe II. Martin Enriquez; Mexico, December 5. ... 209
- Documents of 1574
- Letter to Felipe II. Andrés de Mirandaola; January 8. ... 223
- 1Las nuevas quescriven de las yslas del Poniente Hernando Riquel y otros; Mexico, January 11. ... 230
- Two royal decrees regarding Manila and Luzón. Felipe II; Madrid, June 21. ... 250
- Opinion regarding tribute from the Indians. Fray Martin de Rada; Manila, June 21. ... 253 Page 3
- Reply to Fray Rada's “Opinion.” Guido de Lavezaris and others; [Manila, June, 1574?]. ... 260
- Two letters to Felipe II. Guido de Lavezaris; Manila, July 17 and 30. ... 272
- Slavery among the natives. Guido de Lavezaris; [July?]. ... 286
- Documents of 1575–76
- Part of a letter to the viceroy. Guido de Lavezaris; [Manila, 1575?]. ... 291
- Letter to Felipe II. Juan Pacheco Maldonado; [Manila, 1575?]. ... 295
- Encomiendas forbidden to royal officials. Francisco de Sande, and others; Manila, May 26, 1576. ... 304
- Letter to Felipe II. Francisco de Sande; Manila, June 2, 1576. ... 312
- Bibliographical Data. ... 315
1 This document is printed in both Spanish text and English translation.
- Portrait of Fray Martin de Rada, O.S.A.; photographic reproduction of painting in possession of Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. ... Frontispiece
- Landing of the Spaniards at Cebú, in 1565; photographic reproduction of a painting at the Colegio de Agustinos Filipinos, Valladolid. ... 35
- Map showing the first landing-place of Legazpi in the Philippines; photographic facsimile of original (manuscript) map, contained in the pilots' log-book of the voyage, preserved in the Archivo General de Indias, at Sevilla. ... 47
- “Asiae nova descriptio” (original in colors), map in Theatrum orbis terrarum, by Abraham Ortelius (Antverpiae, M. D. LXX), fol. 3; reduced photographic facsimile, from copy in Boston Public Library. ... 86, 87
The documents presented in this volume cover the last three years of Legazpi's administration in the islands, the governorship of Guido de Lavezaris, and the beginning of that of Francisco de Sande. In the brief period which we thus far survey, the first decade of Spanish occupation (1565–75), are already disclosed the main elements of the oriental problem of today: the conflicting claims of powerful European nations, striving for advantage and monopoly in the rich trade of the East; the eagerness of unscrupulous Europeans to subjugate the wealthy but comparatively defenseless Chinese people, and the efforts of the latter to exclude foreigners from their country; the relations between the dominant whites and the weaker colored races; the characteristics, racial and local, of the various oriental peoples; the Chinese migration to the islands; and the influence of the missionaries. Interesting comparisons may be made between the conquests by the Spaniards in the Philippines and those made at an earlier period in New Spain.
The royal treasurer in the Philippines, Guido de Lavezaris, writes (June 5, 1569) to Felipe II, describing the Portuguese attack on Cebú in the preceding autumn, and briefly mentioning some other Page 6matters. A letter from another official, Andrés de Mirandaola (dated three days later), informs the king of the wreck of a vessel despatched to Spain with a rich cargo of spices; and he too describes briefly the encounter with the Portuguese. The danger of another attack leads the Spaniards to remove their camp to Panay, as being safer than Cebú. Mirandaola pleads for reënforcements, and asks that soldiers, of more industrious sort than hitherto, be sent to the islands. He also gives some interesting information about China and its people; and asks for an increase of his salary.
A letter from Legazpi (July 1, 1569) to the viceroy of New Spain describes the difficulties between the Portuguese and Spaniards at Cebú, and complains of Pereira's hostile actions there. The settlement has been removed to Panay; they send their only remaining ship to New Spain, to entreat aid in their distress and imminent danger, for the Portuguese threaten to drive the Spaniards out of the Philippines. All the expense hitherto incurred will be wasted unless a permanent and suitably-equipped settlement be made at some good port. If supplies cannot be sent, Legazpi asks for ships with which to transport the Spaniards home, and wishes to resign his office as governor. With this letter he sends an account of the islands, “and of the character and condition of their inhabitants.” The natives are unreliable, and utterly slothful. Cinnamon is the only product of the islands which can be made profitable to the Spaniards, until they can secure control of the gold mines, and have them worked. Legazpi offers practical advice as to the best methods of treating the natives, conducting commerce, etc. His title of Page 7governor in Cebú is confirmed (August 14, 1569) by royal decree.
A letter from Fray Diego de Herrera (January 16, 1570) to Felipe II gives a brief account of events since Legazpi arrived at the islands. He praises the courage and loyalty of the soldiers, and asks the king to reward them; and asserts that the hostilities of the Portuguese must be checked before much can be done to convert the natives. A document without signature narrates the events of “the voyage to Luzón” in May, 1570. It is a simple but picturesque account of the campaign which resulted in the conquest of Luzón and the foundation of Spanish Manila—evidently written by one who participated in those stirring events. The Moros (Mahometans) of Manila profess a readiness to make a treaty of peace with the Spaniards; but they treacherously begin an attack on the latter—which, however, results in their own defeat. The Spaniards capture the city and set it on fire, which compels the Moros to abandon it. The victors make compacts of peace with the neighboring villages, and return to Panay. Illustrative of this episode is the “act of taking possession of Luzón,” dated June 6, 1570.
A letter from Legazpi to the king (July 25, 1570) outlines the events of the past year. He renews his entreaties for some light-oared vessels, in which he could send exploring parties through the archipelago. In pursuance of a royal order, he sends back to Mexico the Portuguese who are among his troops; but he cannot banish the other foreigners, as they include his best workmen. He asks royal favor and rewards for some of his officers. On October 21 of the same year, he despatches to the king a formal Page 8complaint that Pereira had again appeared at the Spanish settlement (now in Panay), and demolished its fortifications.
A writer unknown gives an outline of the controversies regarding the Line of Demarcation, and of the Spanish discoveries in the Philippines, and the voyages made between the archipelago and Mexico, up to 1571. Lists of supplies needed [1571?] for the struggling colony forcibly indicate the difference between the wants of civilized Europeans and those of the semi-barbarous tribes in the Philippines.
Another picturesque account of the reduction of Luzón is furnished (April 20, 1572) by an unknown writer, who claims to have obtained his information from actual participants in that campaign. He mentions various interesting details not included in the earlier account, and narrates occurrences after the conquest of Manila. Legazpi goes to that place (May, 1571) to establish his official residence; the natives at his approach set fire to the village, which they had rebuilt after its destruction by the Spaniards in the preceding year. The seat of government for the archipelago is founded there; and amicable relations (involving the payment of tribute by the natives) are established between the Spaniards and the people of some neighboring villages. Other communities refuse to make submission, and defy the invaders; but they are successively reduced to subjection by the Spaniards. After narrating these transactions, the writer gives a brief description of the people of Luzón, their mode of dress, religious rites, and various customs; and makes commendatory mention of the Chinese who have settled on that island, who are now converted to the Christian faith. Page 9He then enumerates the islands thus far explored by the Spaniards, mentioning their principal resources and products. In June, 1572, Legazpi formally establishes the Spanish city of Manila, and appoints municipal officers.
An official statement is made by Legazpi's son Melchior, royal accountant in New Spain (March 2, 1573), of the expenses attending the Philippine enterprise during the past four years. Layezaris makes report (June 29, 1573) of Legazpi's death (August 20 preceding), and of affairs in the islands since then. Allotments of lands which include the natives who reside thereon (known as “repartimientos” or “encomiendas”), are being made in the islands, as fast as they are pacified. Most of Luzón is now subdued; its resources are great, and will maintain numerous Spanish settlements. The Chinese trade with its ports is extensive, and steadily increasing; and those traders are bringing wares of better quality than formerly. Lavezaris complains of Portuguese hostility and intrigues; a Bornean king also has attempted an expedition against the Spaniards. The governor sends a cargo of cinnamon to Felipe; if only he had ships in which to transport that precious commodity, he could ruin the Portuguese trade therein. This enterprising official has sent to New Spain plants of ginger, tamarind, cinnamon, and pepper; the first two are already flourishing there. He suggests that it would be well to send to the islands Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, to continue the conversion of the natives, already begun by the Augustinians. He asks rewards for his officers, as having faithfully served the king amid great dangers and hardships—especially Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo. He Page 10advises that municipal officers be changed annually to prevent abuses.
A Spanish captain, Diego de Artieda, writes (1573) a “Relation of the Western Islands.” He enumerates the islands thus far discovered by the Spaniards, describing their location, appearance, and natural resources. He adds much curious information about the natives—concerning their religious beliefs and rites, customs, mode of dress, weapons, food, industries, social condition, etc. Artieda notes all that he has been able to learn concerning Japan and China, with interesting details as to their civilization, and the skill of the Chinese as artisans; he mentions the antiquity of printing among them. He offers to conduct an armed expedition against the coast of China, if the king will supply him with two vessels and eighty soldiers. He advises that Spain abandon the attempt to establish a footing in the Philippines, or else that she ignore the Treaty of Zaragoza and trade with the Moluccas.
Martin Enriquez, viceroy of New Spain, writes (December 5, 1573) to Felipe II, announcing the arrival of ships with despatches from the Philippines. With them has come the Augustinian friar Diego de Herrera, who is on his way to Spain to inform the king of the acts of violence and injustice which are being committed in the islands—especially by the soldiers, who receive no pay and therefore maintain themselves by raids on the native villages. Several Spanish officers have been sent thence to Mexico, by way of punishment for various misdemeanors; from them the viceroy has obtained much information, which he records for the king's benefit. The resources of the Philippines are great; but “every one Page 11asserts that the chief deficiency of that land is justice; and without justice there is no safety.” A new governor is needed there. Reënforcements and supplies have been sent thither from New Spain every year; but many persons die, and there has been little increase of population. The riches of China incline some of the Spaniards to plan for its subjugation to Spanish power. Commerce with that land would be very desirable; but the viceroy cannot persuade Spanish merchants to embark therein, on the uncertain and vague reports thus far received; moreover, the Chinese already possess all the goods that the Spaniards would export to them. Enriquez asks that some large ships be provided for the Philippine trade, for which he has no vessels of adequate size. He sends to the king a cargo of gold, spices, silks, wax, and other goods. He asks that artillery and rigging be sent him, and supplies for a reënforcement which he is planning to despatch next year to the Philippines. He requests the king to reward the faithful services rendered by Legazpi; and to do so by providing for his daughters, now of marriageable age, and giving to his son Melchior some grant in New Spain. The viceroy asks for orders in various matters, especially in regard to the Inquisition; and enumerates the documents he sends with this letter.
Andrés de Mirandaola writes (January 8, 1574) to the king. He enumerates the gold mines thus far discovered in the Philippines, and the advantages possessed by the islands; and urges the establishment of Spanish power therein. He describes, as well as he can from reports, the extent and resources of China, and hints that Spain might find it worth while to conquer that rich kingdom. Page 12
Of much interest is the brief narrative (sent from Mexico January 11, 1574) by Fernando Riquel, Legazpi's notary, of events in the islands during 1570–73. The governor founds a town in Cebú, and allots to his followers the land and the natives who reside thereon. In April, 1571 he conducts an expedition for the conquest of Luzón (the events of which have been related in previous documents). Riquel mentions the coming of the ships, Legazpi's death, and other events. The islands are in a peaceful condition; the lands are allotted in such districts as have been pacified; there is promise of an abundant income from the tributary natives; and the gold mines are very rich. The Chinese trade is described; and Riquel thinks that China, notwithstanding its great population, could be subjugated “with less than sixty good Spanish soldiers.” His narrative is followed by a list of the articles carried in the ships which bear his letters—gold, spices, silks, cotton cloth, and porcelain.
On June 21, 1574 Felipe II bestows on Luzón the title of “New kingdom of Castilla,” and on Manila that of “Distinguished and ever loyal city;” and permits the establishment of a new municipal office. On the same day Fray Martin de Rada, provincial of the Augustinians in the Philippines, gives his written opinion regarding the exaction by the Spaniards of tributes from the Indians. He declares that he and all his brethren regard the conquests made in these islands as unjust; and denounces the acts of injustice, oppression, and extortion committed against the helpless natives. Rada asserts that the rate of tribute is three times as high as it ought to be, considering the poverty of the Indians; and urges the Page 13governor to reduce the amount levied to one-third of the present exaction, and to protect the natives from oppression.
Lavezaris and other officials at Manila undertake to defend themselves from Rada's accusations, writing (probably very soon after his “Opinion”) a letter to the king to state their side of the contention. They deny some of Rada's statements, and excuse their action in other matters, casting the blame for many evils on the treachery of the natives. They claim that they are protecting the friendly Indians, and have nearly broken up the robbery and piracy formerly prevalent among those peoples. They assert that the natives are well supplied with food, clothing, and gold, and that the tribute levied is moderate, and not a burden on the people; also that it is regulated according to the relative wealth of different classes and regions. This is illustrated by interesting quotations of prices and values, and enumeration of goods obtained in trade, and of the products of native industry. The officials admit that the natives pay tribute only under compulsion, but say, “They like to be compelled to do so;” and they consider all poverty among the Indians as due to laziness and drunkenness. It is also far better for them to pay tribute than to be raided by the Spanish soldiers for the means of supporting themselves, as was done before the encomiendas were made.
Two letters from Lavezaris (July 17 and 30, 1574) give account of the past year's events. Juan de Salcedo has conquered the rich province of Los Camarines in Luzón; and the governor will try to found a Spanish settlement there. The town founded at Cebú was almost deserted by the Spaniards; but Page 14Lavezaris obliges them to return thither and aids them in their poverty. He hopes to establish commerce with Borneo and eventually to found a Spanish post in that island; and has other plans for increasing the domination of Spain in the East Indies. Juan de Salcedo has subdued the province of Ilocos, and founded the town of Fernandina. The Chinese trade is steadily increasing. The natives of Luzón are being rapidly converted, and missionaries are needed to care for their souls; Lavezaris especially recommends the Theatins for this work. He forwards a cargo of cinnamon to the king, to which he adds various curiosities, and specimens of oriental jewelry; and sends to New Spain certain plants and roots of economic value, which he desires to introduce there. He has been obliged to send Mirandaola to New Spain under arrest; so the office of factor is vacant, and should be filled. An attorney-general is also needful in the islands. Lavezaris complains of the Augustinian friars for opposing the collection of tributes from the natives. Some reënforcements have come from New Spain. Upon receiving this letter, the royal Council orders that arrangements be made to furnish necessary supplies for the islands from New Spain. Another copy of the document is forwarded to Spain, to which, as it goes on a later vessel, the governor adds some further items of news. Salçedo has pacified not only Los Camarines, but Albay and the island of Catanduanes. The prospect is excellent for the establishment and prosperity of Spanish colonies in the island of Luzón. The governor sends with his letter maps of Luzón and the coast of China. A letter (undated) from Lavezaris enumerates the reasons for which persons are enslaved among the Page 15native tribes. He advises that the Spaniards adopt this institution; otherwise, “this land cannot be preserved.”
An undated letter (1575?) by the same official, to the viceroy of New Spain, mentions the orders given by the latter that all Indians and negroes carried from the islands must be returned. Some Chinese junks have been seized and pillaged. As a result, the trade which was flourishing between the Spaniards and the Moros of Luzón has been almost destroyed for the time—a serious matter, for the Moros supply the Spaniards with provisions. Lavezaris asks that more married men be sent to the islands. Some remarkably fine pearls have been obtained near Bantayán. He asks the viceroy to provide him with a cipher code for future communications.
Captain Juan Pacheco Maldonado sends to Felipe II (probably in 1575) a report on the condition and needs of the Spanish colony in the Philippines. He begins by narrating briefly the conquest of Luzón; then describes the island and its trade, which is carried on with both China and Japan. On account of its wealth and importance, Luzón should be thoroughly subjugated; and Maldonado enumerates the provisions that should be made for that end. Forty or fifty ecclesiastics should be sent; and to aid in their labors a prelate should be appointed, for which post the writer recommends Fray Diego de Herrera. Maldonado urges that five hundred soldiers be sent from Spain and that with these troops conquest should be made of the Liu-Kiu and Japan Islands. He asks also for artisans to build ships, suggesting for this purpose the negro slaves thus employed at Havana. Page 16
The new governor, Francisco de Sande, issues a decree (May 26, 1576) forbidding royal officials in the islands from holding encomiendas of Indians, and appropriating to the crown those formerly granted by Lavezaris. The affidavits annexed to this document enumerate the payments of tribute made by the natives, and indicate the need for Sande's action. The governor sends to the king a report (dated June 7, 1576) of his first year's work, accompanied by a letter (dated June 2). He desires to subjugate China, an undertaking which he eloquently urges upon the king. This report will be given in the next volume.
March, 1903.Page 17
Documents of 1569
- Letter to Felipe II. Guido de Lavezaris; June 5.
- Letter to Felipe II. Andres de Mirandaola; June 8.
- Letter to Marqués de Falçes. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; July 7.
- Relation of the Filipinas Islands. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; July 7.
- Confirmation of Legazpi's title. Felipe II; August 14.
Sources: MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, at Sevilla.
Translations: The first two documents are translated by Arthur B. Myrick; the others, by Alfonso de Salvio. Page 18
Letter from Guido de Lavezaris to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
This letter will serve to advise your Majesty that by the capitana “San Pablo,” which left this port on the first of July in the past year 1568, I wrote at length to your Majesty regarding events which had happened up to that time; and I refer you to the letters which will go on this despatch-boat in the general budget, which is thus accidentally increased. Now I shall relate the history of this ship, and what happened to us after it left, with as much brevity as possible, both to avoid prolixity and because the governor Miguel Lopez will give your Majesty a longer and fuller relation. This ship was despatched with more than four hundred quintals of cinnamon for your Majesty, besides small wares and other articles as specimens, which would give no little satisfaction in that land. There arrived at this port of Cubu on the eighteenth of September of that year a small vessel of Portuguese, whose captain was Antonio Rrumbo de Acosta, a person who had already come, the year before, to this port with letters from the Captain-general Gonzalo Pereyra. He said that the captain-general was coming with, all his fleet to see the governor [of the Philippines] Page 19and provide him with necessaries, and that having been separated from his fleet, he [Acosta] came to seek shelter at this port, as he had knowledge of it, whence he would return immediately to seek the fleet. He did so, having first been well received by the governor [Legazpi] and this whole colony. On the twenty-eighth of that same month, he came back to this port with letters from the captain-general to the governor, saying that the former was very near the port. The governor answered his letters, and despatched them; and on the thirtieth of the same month, the captain-general entered the port with a heavy fleet of Portuguese. They came with nine sail—four ships of deep draught and five galleys and fustas, without counting other small vessels which the natives of Maluco use for the service of the larger boats. They remained in this port certain days, peacefully, during which the captain-general and the governor saw each other twice—once on land and the other time on sea. At the last visit, the Portuguese stated that he would serve summons upon us, which he at once proceeded to do. On the fourteenth of October he sent the first summons, which the governor answered. The Portuguese made answer to this reply and after that made his third demand; and on the same day when he did this, he came to blows with us, in which nothing was gained. He surrounded us at the entrances of this port (of which there are two, one to the east and the other to the west). He always endeavored to make war on us from the outside, in order to guarantee his own safety as much as possible. Many people were seen from this camp, and he captured many more, without it happening that they could take or kill any of Page 20us. He granted life to a few soldiers and boys that fled from this camp and went to his fleet. During the time of this blockade, the flagship was burned because it was of no use, and so that the nails it contained might serve for a ship that was being made. At this time came the news that the capitana “San Pablo” had been lost in the Ladrones during a storm, and while the ship was moored. All the people had escaped and came to these Filipinas islands in a bark which they made from a small boat. It was a marvelous thing that one hundred and thirty-two people should come in it as they did. May God pardon whomsoever did us such harm in losing this ship in this manner. The Portuguese had notice of this loss, and, having kept us surrounded all the rest of the year, went away from this port on the first of January of this year 69, with different ideas from those which they brought hither—because they had maintained that we must go with them to India; and the captain-general demanded in his papers or summons that we should leave these islands, since they were within the demarcation of the king of Portugal. Now because, as I said, the governor will give your Majesty at greater length the news of all this, and is sending a relation and the copy of the demands, I shall say nothing further of it. I finish by saying that the despatch-boat “San Lucas” is being sent away today, in order to request that your Majesty may send us sufficient help, suitable to our need, which is very great, as they who are going to you in this ship will bear witness; and by referring you to all that I have before explained to your Majesty. In the ship “San Juan,” which left this port on the twenty-sixth of July, of the year 67, I sent certain tamarind trees Page 21and ginger roots to be planted in the more fertile districts of that Nueva España. Now I am sending your Majesty by Rrodrigo Despinosa, chief pilot who came in the capitana, some roots of pepper already sprouted, for the same purpose. I, as a zealous servant of your Majesty, am always, so far as my little strength permits, watchful of everything that concerns the royal service. And because I personally desire to inform your Majesty of these things, and in order that I may do it as fully as I have heard it, I beg your Majesty to do me the favor to send me your favorable permission, in order that I may do so in the first ship that may leave these parts for that Nueva España; and because in all things I hope to receive favor from your Majesty, in regard to all the rest referring to the aforesaid letters that I wrote your Majesty which are likewise going on this vessel. I close begging our Lord to keep your Majesty's sacred royal Catholic person, and prosper you with increase of greater kingdoms and seigniories, as we, your Majesty's servants and vassals, desire. From Cebu, June 5, 1569. Your Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty's faithful vassal and humble servant, who kisses your royal feet,
Letter from Andres de Mirandaola to Felipe II
Sacred Catholic Majesty:
With the capitana which left this port on the first of July, five hundred and sixty-eight, I sent your Majesty a relation of what had happened up to that day in this place, with the fidelity and loyalty which I owe as your Majesty's servant; and so will I do in this. It pleased God that the capitana, making the return trip from Nueva Spaña1 for the second time, should lose the way, and be driven upon the island of Guan, which is one of those called the Ladrones, where they were lost on account of the storm that struck them there. Assuredly this caused great sadness and anxiety in this camp, besides the great loss that it occasioned us, both because that ship was very convenient and important for the expedition, and because of its large cargo of cinnamon and other goods which would have given great satisfaction in your Majesty's kingdoms and seigniories. It carried, registered for your Majesty, one hundred and fifty quintals of cinnamon; and for private individuals more than two hundred and fifty—which consignments we allowed to be carried on Page 23the register, mindful of the misery and necessity which the people were suffering, and considering that they had nothing else with which to help themselves. On this account, permission was given to take these goods, and with the idea that if it should seem best in Nueva España to take them at a moderate [price]2 in your Majesty's name, they would be thus taken; and advices to that effect were sent. There were also specimens of pieces of [gold], porcelain, and other things, as I have said, which would give great happiness to your Majesty's vassals and make them desirous to come to these parts to serve God and your Majesty. As I have said, it pleased God that everything should be lost, and that the men should be saved, although with considerable risk of life. Moreover, after both privations and shipwreck had happened to them in a land where they had neither refuge nor refreshment, they had to deal with the most brutish and least civilized tribe of people ever seen hitherto. Our men experienced great difficulty with those people, because of their utter barbarism and their savage manner of fighting. God, who brought them to this port, protected them, showing them his divine clemency and pity. May He give us grace to serve Him, and may He keep us in your Majesty's service.
There arrived at this island, where we had settled in your Majesty's name, Gonzalo Pereira with the fleet (of which we sent your Majesty news by the patache “San Juan”). He arrived on the second of October of the year five hundred and sixty-eight; and he came thus, with four galleons and six small Page 24galleys, which took position near this your Majesty's camp, after having gone through certain formalities and requisitions, as your Majesty will see by these letters.3 The said blockade lasted three months, during which they made war on us, not as on Christians, and your Majesty's vassals, but as against infidels and tyrants. They uttered all the insults and inflicted on us all the humiliations that they could, taking away from us the entrances to the harbors, whence came our provisions, and burning the houses and possessions of our neighboring friends—which certainly gave these pagan natives a great notion of cruelty, seeing that with such wicked ways and such cruelty the Portuguese were trying to hurt and annoy us. And in this way, seeing that by fighting they might lose more than they would gain, they did not care to fight, but resolved to take, on the side toward the sea, the harbor entrances (which are two) with their ships, as they were fully aware that we had nothing with which to resist them. Accordingly, they kept us shut up; and in all this time no food or anything else could be brought in for our support, for which reason we ran a great risk of perishing and dying in great misery. The governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, acted with the power delegated to him by your Majesty, doing in everything all that was possible, as was evident by the messages and requests to which I refer, which were made in your Majesty's name.
It has pleased God that through some loss of his Page 25men, who died from diseases, the Portuguese should raise the blockade on New Year's Day of this year five hundred and sixty-nine. He went away with his fleet, without leave-taking or without saying anything more than to warn us that he would return in a short time, with forces enough to crush and destroy us. Therefore it was decided to change the site and situation of this camp to a province called Panae, where it is believed that we can hold out until your Majesty provide us with help and reënforcements, in order that your Majesty's affairs and vassals may not be so injured by the vassals of the king of Portugal- a place where no damage may be done, for never since these parts were discovered have the Portuguese resorted thither, and neither the king of Portugal nor his vassals had trade or commerce, nor can they possess anything there. Therefore your Majesty will understand how little respect the Portuguese have—in your Majesty's absence, and in a place where they can act thus—for what is due to your Majesty. They are willing to execute very correctly the conditions and clauses of the agreement, that is to say those conditions that are in their favor, but will not admit any excuse or exoneration however reasonable or legitimate it may be. We are quite certain that your Majesty will already have taken action in these matters, so that the Portuguese cannot continue to harass us. This present enterprise is of such a nature that, if your Majesty wishes to continue it—an enterprise so long desired, and in which God has afforded your Majesty so fortunate and evident a result—it offers God a great increase of his Catholic faith, which may be cultivated in these regions, and to your Majesty an increase of great Page 26kingdoms and seigniories. As I have said above, the continuance of the liberty due to our government in these lands would assure your Majesty of being served with the greatest diligence and care, such service being especially necessary. I have to report, as your Majesty's faithful servant and vassal, that the persons appointed to your Majesty's royal service are of little experience, and that any business, however light it is, gives them a fright. Accordingly, they content themselves with doing little, and continually oppose certain things which have been discussed touching the royal treasury—as has occurred in the case of the fifths, for which my companions asked, during my absence, in a certain council that was held, telling the captains that for the present these ought not to be given. And although I do not believe that the amount is yet so heavy that it could swell your Majesty's royal treasury, through the good custom and law permitted by God, which that would put an end to—the answer that I gave when they notified me of it, was that, since they were like myself, your Majesty's servants and vassals they were in duty bound to increase your Majesty's crown and royal estate, to the best of their ability, and ought to do so.
It is especially necessary that your Majesty order that the people who are to come to these parts from Nueva España shall be sent without regularly appointed captains, but that they shall bring a person suitable to command them as far as these islands, to the point where the governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, shall reside, in order to deliver the people to him and give up the command; and that your Majesty shall assign to this duty persons who shall Page 27seem to be better qualified for your Majesty's royal service, because thus our reënforcements will come more conveniently and with less expense to the royal treasury. There will thus be an opportunity for rewarding the persons who have served your Majesty here, as being also men experienced and conversant in the business and affairs of this land, and accustomed to the hardships to be encountered here. I think that those who newly come will feel these hardships keenly, on account of this country being, as it is, very different from other regions—as your Majesty will see in the case of Diego de Artieda.4 He came on the capitana, in which he wished to return immediately after having transacted his business, and having served your Majesty very little, as your Majesty will, by this time, have full information and account; and the cause, as far as it is known, has been his unsteady disposition. I say this, that your Majesty may have the most important information in this matter; and in everything your Majesty will act as suits your pleasure.
When the Portuguese were in this harbor, it was learned that they were trading and bargaining on the coast of China and Japan; and that it was a business by which they were maintaining themselves, since it was the most extensive and advantageous trade that has been hitherto seen in any place where trade has been carried on. I am certain of this from what I heard from them in general, and especially from the captain-general and other persons in the fleet that came here, mainly to learn what your Majesty is doing—a thing they strenuously denied. Page 28I make this observation as one who transacted the business with them and with the said captain-general, for your Majesty and in your Majesty's royal service. Your Majesty will understand, without doubt, their feelings at learning that your Majesty was continuing this affair and expedition—which were quite evident in the messages and summons served on us by them, and their procedures while here. One or two persons were captured in an islet, when we went to discover it, who were there with a vessel, which we chanced to encounter—in this vessel, as I have said, being these two men. They appeared to be more intelligent than the others whom we met. It was learned that the Moros from Borney had robbed them; consequently they had nothing except some gold and silver not worth more than a hundred escudos5 and some other articles of no value. It was learned from these men that China is a very important country and that its people are highly civilized, engage extensively in trade, and have a well-ordered government. They tell of thirteen cities called Chincheo, Cantun, Huechiu, Nimpou, Onchiu, Hinan, Sisuan, Conce, Onan, Nanquin, and Paquin.6 Page 29Paquin is the court and residence of the king. Fuchu, Ucau, Lintam, and Cencay are cities of especial note. There are in all fifteen in which they say that the king has placed his governors. The king is named Nontehe, and a son of his Taycu. This is the relation that we have been able to get from these men—hitherto, outside of the ancients, the only description of the greatness of China that your Majesty has. They say that these people are so fearful of a prophecy related to them many times by their astrologers—namely, that they are to be subdued, and that the race to subdue them will come from the east—that they will not allow any Portuguese to land in China; and the king orders his governors expressly not to allow it. Throughout his land he has enforced great watchfulness, and stored military supplies, as these Indians give us to understand. All of us your Majesty's servants and vassals are quite sure that, in your time, China will be subject to your Majesty, and that in these parts, the religion of Christ will be spread and exalted, and your Majesty's royal crown increased, and all this in a very short time.
I humbly beg and beseech your Majesty that you will grant me the favor of increasing my salary to Page 30three thousand ducats, in consideration of the poorness of the country and the fact that we have to be supplied from España and your Majesty's realms with what we need to maintain ourselves. Consider also the position that was granted me in your Majesty's name by Don Luis de Velasco, viceroy of Nueva España (whom may God keep in his perpetual glory); I have served until now in these districts as your Majesty's faithful servant, enduring great hardships and misery; and that, in order to join this expedition, I spent my patrimony and ran into debt besides, to the extent of many gold pesos.
It was agreed to despatch this patache on account of the delay there has been in sending your Majesty's despatches from Nueva España, and also to let your Majesty know our negotiations with the Portuguese and our great necessity; for there does not remain to us a larger boat in which we can give notice of what happens, nor supplies enough to be able to make one. In consideration of this, your Majesty will be pleased to have provided, with diligence, sufficient assistance, so that we may find out what there is in these regions; and, that God and your Majesty may be served therein, we are sure that your Majesty will have this provided for. May our Lord guard your sacred royal Catholic person and increase your kingdoms and seigniories. From Cubu, June viii, 1569.
Your sacred Catholic Majesty's faithful servant, who humbly kisses your Majesty's royal feet.
1 Evidently meaning that the ship was proceeding to Spain, since it carried a cargo of spices for the king.
2 The words in brackets are conjectural readings, the MS. being illegible in these places.
3 Referring to Legazpi's official despatches, evidently sent to Spain by the same vessel which carried these letters by Mirandaola and Lavezaris. This document appears at the end of Vol. II, under the title, “Negotiations between Legazpi and Perdra.”
4 A relation purporting to have been written by this officer will appear later in this series.
5 The escudo was a Spanish silver coin worth about 50.1 cents of United States money; it was equivalent to ten reals.
6 These cities of China may be thus identified: Chincheo (also written Chinchew) is the modern Chwan-Chow-Foo (variously written Shen-tsheou, Tsiuen-Tchou, and Tsiuan-tchau), in the province of Fo-Kien. Cantun (Canton; Chin. Kwang-Chow-Foo) is the metropolis of the province of Kwang-Tung. Huechiu is Hu-Chau (Hou-Tchou), Nimpou is Ning-Po, and Onchiu is Wan-Chau—all in the province of Che-Kiang. Hinan may refer to one of the towns on the island of Hainan, which lies south of Kwang-Tung. Conce (also, by early writers, spelled Cansay) was later known as Khing-Sai (or Kingsze)—the modern Hang-Chau (Hang-Chow-Foo) in the province of Che-Kiang. Onan is probably Ho-Nan, in province of same name. Nanquin (Nanking) Page 29nis the capital of Kiang-Su province; and Paquin is the modern Peking, capital (as then) of the Chinese Empire. Fuchu (Fu-Chau, or Foo-Choo) is in the province of Fo-Kien. Cencay is probably the modern Shang-Hai, in the province of Kiang-Su. Sisuan, Lintam, and Ucau cannot be satisfactorily identified. The name Lequeios, which occurs elsewhere in this volume, refers to the Luchu (Liu-Kiu, or Loo-Choo) group, which lies between Japan and Formosa. For early accounts of China, its people, and its commerce, see Henry Yule's Cathay and the Way Thither (Hakluyt Society, London, 1866). See pp. xli, xlii of that work for interesting citation regarding the civilization and excellent character and reputation of the Chinese people.
Letter from Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to the Marques de Falces
On the first of July of last year, I despatched from this port Captain Felipe de Salzedo in the flagship to that Nueva España, to give your Excellency1 an account and relation of what had occurred until then, and to carry specimens of articles produced in this land. It pleased God that the ship should be wrecked while at anchor in one of the Ladrones Islands; for it was driven on the coast and all that was on board was lost, except the crew. They returned to these islands with much difficulty, in the boat, which they repaired for that purpose, as well as they could. Felipe de Salcedo saved the packet of letters for your excellency, which accompanies this letter. A few days after the departure of the flagship from here, I heard that a Portuguese fleet was coming toward us. In fact, it came in sight of this port—seven vessels in all, sailing in a line, four galleons and three fustas. The captain-general of the fleet was a gentleman called Goncalo Pereira. At first, he declared that he came there only to see us and to inquire whether we needed anything that he Page 32could supply us; but after he had entered the port with fine words, offers, and promises both general and specific, he tried to persuade us to go with him to India, saying that he was surprised at our remaining so long in this land, when we knew that it belonged to the king of Portugal. I answered him that I had believed myself to be on land of his Majesty, but that, not being a cosmographer, and not possessing a commission from his Majesty in regard to it, I did not wish to contradict him or quarrel with him on that subject. I assured him that, on arriving in this land, I was obliged to go into winter-quarters here; and that I had despatched a ship to his Majesty with a relation of what had occurred on the voyage. I added that I had been expecting and still expected an answer to that report; and that for lack of ships I had postponed my departure from the country until they should be sent from Nueva España. To this he answered that, on the contrary, it seemed to him that we wished to take possession of the land of his king, with the intention of passing over into China and other regions which were likewise his, thus breaking the compact made between the kings of Castilla and Portugal. That was satisfactorily answered by me, in the above manner, and I assured him that my intention was not to injure his king in anything whatever, or to seize anything belonging to him, because such was the injunction imposed upon me by his Majesty. All this did not prove sufficient, and he said that he could not go away from here unless either he took us away, or we left the country immediately. He began to issue some written injunctions, which, together with our answer to them, accompany the present letter, so Page 33that your Excellency may know what occurred. My intention was always to avoid giving him occasion for commencing hostilities; but it availed little, for without any cause whatever he started the war, and began to demolish with his artillery some gabions we had built on the coast for our defense. He blockaded both entrances to this port with his ships, to prevent us from bringing in provisions or anything else, as will be confirmed by the testimony accompanying this letter; and declared that, if they could not capture us by any other means, they would do so by hunger. Thus he besieged us for nearly three months, and the harm which he could not inflict upon the Spaniards he inflicted upon the natives of the neighborhood who were our friends. He burned and destroyed seven or eight towns, and gave the natives to understand that this land belonged to the king of Portugal. He said that we were thieves on a plundering expedition, and that the Portuguese would destroy and kill those who befriended us. From this we clearly saw and understood the good-will with which they had come. Many towns which had been won to us have withdrawn from our friendship, especially those lying along the coast of Mindanao, where cinnamon is bartered. These towns the Portuguese injured, and captured and took away some of the people. On the New Year's Day just passed, they raised the blockade and departed; for God, our lord, in His infinite goodness and mercy was pleased, through the very means by which they thought to defeat us, to force them to depart—namely, because of lack of provisions; although at their departure they threatened to return soon and take us away by force. Page 34
After the blockade had been raised, and we saw the great need and distress into which they had brought us, the captains and leaders of the camp discussed the course which was to be taken for our defense in case the Portuguese should return hither, as they are likely to do. All agreed that we should change our location and settlement, because it would be impossible to defend ourselves here where they could, simply by closing the entrances to the port, as they did at first, starve us, on account of the lack of food on this island. In view of other causes and arguments set forth for this change, we thought that the river Panae, situated forty leagues from this place, would be a more suitable site, for it abounds in rice, and no one from the sea could prevent us from going up the river to the mountains. Accordingly we have removed thither the artillery, although the quantity of powder and ammunition now remaining is so small that the artillery can be of little help in any place. We have decided to send the companies around the river into other towns, where they can sustain themselves until we hear from the enemy.
The flagship having been lost, I tried to repair this patache “San Lucas,” in order to send word to your Excellency that I have no other ship left, nor can I send further information until its return. Thus we are left surrounded on all sides by water and enemies, awaiting the mercy of God, and the help and remedy which your Excellency will be pleased to send us, for we cannot expect it from any other source. During the blockade by the Portuguese, we did not lack infamous men who, persuaded by words and promises, turned traitor and passed from this Page 35camp to their fleet. These men, whose names accompany this letter, did us no little harm. If the enemy return, may it please God that there be no more thus inclined; for, as we are poor and needy, and have not seen for many years any letter or order from his Majesty, or from any other person in his royal name, concerning what we ought to do, some of our men are much disheartened. On the other hand, they are strongly solicited by the Portuguese with many offers and promises—a thing which I most regret, and which gives me more grief than the harm which the enemy can do us. May it please God to remedy this, for he knows what we need.
Before now I have written that if his Majesty has an eye only on the Felipina islands, they ought to be considered of little importance, because at present the only article of profit which we can get from this land is cinnamon; and unless order is established and a settlement is made, his Majesty will continue to waste money—although since then I well understand that this land possesses regions which would more than pay for the money spent on them. If his Majesty desires more important things hereafter, he needs to have a settlement here with a sure harbor and port. In order that a better explanation may be given concerning what I am saying, I send to your Excellency a summary relation on the nature of this country and of the natives,2 so that your Excellency may examine it and provide what is most necessary for the service of God and his Majesty and for the welfare of this land. I also send with this letter the register of the flagship, so that it may be learned Page 36what it was carrying, and what of the cargo was lost.
What we most need and lack at present is powder, ammunition, arquebuses, and pikes. We are so short of them that a third of our men possess no weapons with which to fight. I humbly beseech your Excellency kindly to favor me by sending us what I have asked for, by this same patache, or by any other which might speedily be sent. This aid, even if no men or other supplies be brought over, will, with the news of favors to be received hereafter, give courage to the men; and will make them stand their ground and defend themselves until the other supplies arrive. Otherwise, I think it will be exceedingly difficult for them to do so. If your Excellency holds a warrant from his Majesty to provide what we need here, may your Excellency be pleased to see that it be fulfilled with the haste which the matter demands, and for which we beg and implore; otherwise, may your Excellency favor us by sending vessels by which we might leave this land, and not perish here without any profit. And I am sure that his Majesty will be pleased with that, for he would not wish us to perish here for lack of ships, as long as he expects nothing else from this land.
I am sending in this patache five pieces of artillery as ballast. They are medium-sized cannon, in very good condition; and, with their ammunition cases and fittings may be utilized by the ships which your Excellency may be pleased to despatch. They will not be missed here, for we lack powder and ammunition even for the cannon which are left.
I notified your Excellency, through the flagship, that I detained Captain Diego de Artieda against his will, for he desired to depart with the ship. He Page 37has now insisted and claimed that he should return; and I, in order not to oppose and detain him longer against his will, have permitted him to depart on the patache. On the same vessel departs father Fray Diego de Errera,3 who has been our prior here, and whom we shall greatly miss. Only one religious is left us, the father Fray Martin de Herrada,4 and it is fortunate that he is with us. If this work is to go on, it will be necessary to send him companions and religious suited for so great and holy a work, and who might help him to sustain the charge and labors of this land, where they cannot be rewarded at present as much as in that Nueva España. The people who come here, whether they be religious or laymen, should be such as are willing to settle in this land as permanent residents, and not return in the same ship on which they came. Your Excellency will provide for this and in all other necessary matters. I humbly beg your Excellency to have Page 38much compassion on me, and kindly give me permission to go into retirement, entrusting the affairs of this land to the hands of one who might take them up with more energy. This will be a very great favor to me.
Before now I have written that it is best not to allow any Portuguese to come over with the other people. This matter ought to have careful attention, for the Portuguese are not to be trusted, and will profit us little. Many of them, both soldiers and sailors, came on the flagship, and I would be glad to see them far from here. I beseech your Excellency to be pleased to take the necessary measures in this respect; for it is certainly an important matter, upon which much depends. Felipe de Salzedo is coming in this patache and will give a more complete relation of everything; I refer you to him. May our Lord keep, etc.
1 Gaston de Peralta, Marquis de Falçes, was the third viceroy of New Spain; he arrived at Mexico on October 16, 1566. Incurring the hostility of the Audiencia, he was removed from his office, and returned to Spain in March, 1569.
2 The document here referred to will be found directly following this letter of Legazpi.
3 Diego de Herrera was born at Recas, Spain, and entered the Augustinian order in 1545. He was in Mexico when Legazpi's expedition was organized, and accompanied Urdaneta therein, as a missionary to the heathen beyond the sea. When the latter returned to Mexico, he left Herrera as prior of his brethren; and in 1569 Herrera became superior of the mission, with the rank of provincial. He immediately went to Mexico, and brought back reënforcements of friars to the Philippines. For the same purpose, he went to Spain in 1573; returning thence with missionaries, they were wrecked on the coast of Luzon, where they all were slain by the natives (April 25, 1576).
4 Martin de Rada (Herrada) also went with Legazpi to the Philippines, from Mexico. He was born at Pamplona, July 20, 1533, and at the age of twenty became an Augustinian friar; he was noted for his mathematical and linguistic ability. In 1572, he was provincial of his order in the Philippines, and was sent as ambassador twice to China and once to Borneo. On his return voyage from this latter mission, he died at sea, in the month of June, 1578.
Relation of the Filipinas Islands and of the Character and Conditions of their Inhabitants.
This archipelago is composed of many islands. Some of them are large, and most of them thickly populated, especially on the seacoast and all along the rivers. The mountains are also inhabited; but there are not as many large towns as along the coast and the rivers. The inhabitants of these islands are not subjected to any law, king, or lord. Although there are large towns in some regions, the people do not act in concert or obey any ruling body; but each man does whatever he pleases, and takes care only of himself and of his slaves. He who owns most slaves, and the strongest, can obtain anything he pleases. No law binds relative to relative, parents to children, or brother to brother. No person favors another, unless it is for his own interest; on the other hand, if a man in some time of need, shelters a relative or a brother in his house, supports him, and provides him with food for a few days, he will consider that relative as his slave from that time on, and is served by him. They recognize neither lord nor rule; and even their slaves are not under great subjection to their masters and lords, serving them only under certain conditions, and when and how they please. Page 40Should the master be not satisfied with his slave, he is at liberty to sell him. When these people give or lend anything to one another, the favor must be repaid double, even if between parents and children, or between brothers. At times they sell their own children, when there is little need or necessity of doing so.
These people declare war among themselves at the slightest provocation, or with none whatever. All those who have not made a treaty of peace with them, or drawn blood with them, are considered as enemies. Privateering and robbery have a natural attraction for them. Whenever the occasion presents itself, they rob one another, even if they be neighbors or relatives; and when they see and meet one another in the open fields at nightfall, they rob and seize one another. Many times it happens that half of a community is at peace with half of a neighboring community and the other halves are at war, and they assault and seize one another; nor do they have any order or arrangement in anything. All their skill is employed in setting ambuscades and laying snares to seize and capture one another, and they always try to attack with safety and advantage to themselves.
The land is fertile, and abounds in all provisions common to this region.1 If at times some places lack Page 41the necessaries of life, it is because the natives are the laziest people in the world, or because they are forced to leave their towns through war, or for other reasons. The land is neither sowed nor cultivated. Another cause for the lack of provisions is, that they have so little authority over their slaves. They are satisfied with what is necessary for the present, and are always more ready to rob their neighbors of their possessions, than to work and cultivate their own land.
More or less gold is found in all these islands; it is obtained from the rivers, and, in some places, from the mines, which the natives work. However, they do not work the mines steadily, but only when forced by necessity; for because of their sloth and the little work done by their slaves, they do not even try to become wealthy, nor do they care to accumulate riches. When a chief possesses one or two pairs of earrings of very fine gold, two bracelets, and a chain, Page 42he will not trouble himself to look for any more gold. Any native who possesses a basketful of rice will not seek for more, or do any further work, until it is finished. Thus does their idleness surpass their covetousness. In spite of all this, we see that the land possesses much gold; for all men, whether they be chiefs or not, whether freemen or slaves, extract and sell gold, although in small quantities. Then, too, many ships come every year to these islands, from Bornei and Luzon, laden with cloth and Chinese goods, carrying back gold2 with them; yet, with all this regular withdrawal of gold, the natives have always gold enough with which to trade. All these things permit us to infer that, if the mines were worked steadily and carefully by Spaniards, they would yield a great quantity of gold all the time. Nevertheless, in some places where we know that mines exist, the natives do not care to work them;3 but, on the arrival of the foreign vessels for purposes of barter, they strike a bargain with those foreigners and allow them to work in the mines for a period agreed upon. From this it is clearly evident how slothful these people are.
There are places in these islands where pearls can be found, although they are not understood or valued by the natives; therefore they do not prize them, or fish for them. Cinnamon is also to be found here, especially in the island of Mindanao, where a Page 43large quantity of it is gathered on the headland called Quavit,4 and in Samboaga and other parts of the said island. In some places we have seen pepper trees and other drugs which the natives do not value or cultivate—from which, with care and cultivation, they might derive and obtain profit.
At present cinnamon is the only article in the land from which we can derive profit; for, as I have said above, the gold supply will always be small until the mines are worked. I believe that if the land is settled and peopled by Spaniards, we shall be able to get plenty of gold, pearls, and other valuable articles. We shall also gain the commerce with China, whence come silks, porcelains, benzoin, musk, and other articles. Thus partly through commerce and partly through the articles of commerce, the settlers will increase the wealth of the land in a short time. In order to attain this, the first and foremost thing to be attempted is colonization and settlement. Through war and conquest, carried on by soldiers, who have no intention to settle or remain in this country, little or no profit will result; for the soldiers will rather impoverish the land than derive profit from it.
If your Majesty looks forward to this land for greater and richer things, it is necessary to people it, and to have a port here; for this land has many neighbors and is almost surrounded by the Japanese islands, China, Xava [Java], Borney, the Malucos and Nueva Guinea. Any one of these lands can be reached in a short time. This country is salubrious and has a good climate. It is well-provisioned, and Page 44has good ports, where can be found abundance of timber,5 planking, and other articles necessary for the building of ships. By sending here workmen, sails, and certain articles which are not to be found here, ships could be built at little cost. Moreover, there is great need of a good port here, for it is very dangerous for large ships to sail very far in among these islands, on account of the shoals and tides hereabout. For this reason, it would be better to build galleys and light boats with oars, to go to the lands above-named, whence they would bring the cargoes for the heavy vessels. Thus the latter would not leave any port of these islands which might be founded for this purpose; and by this method the voyages and trading would be effected with great rapidity in every direction. The large ships would simply come to such ports as I have said, load their cargoes, and return.
I believe that these natives could be easily subdued by good treatment and the display of kindness; for they have no leaders, and are so divided among themselves and have so little dealing with one another—never assembling to gain strength, or rendering obedience one to another. If some of them refuse at first to make peace with us, afterward, on seeing how well we treat those who have already accepted our friendship, they are induced to do the same. But if we undertake to subdue them by force of arms, and make war on them, they will perish, and we shall lose both friends and foes; for they Page 45readily abandon their houses and towns for other places, or precipitately disperse among the mountains and uplands, and neglect to plant their fields. Consequently, they die from hunger and other misfortunes. One can see a proof of this in the length of time which it takes them to settle down again in a town which has been plundered, even if no one of them has been killed or captured. I believe that by peaceful and kindly means, they will be easily won over, although it may take some time to do so—because, in all towns where Spaniards have brought peace and not destruction, the natives have always begged for friendship, and have offered to pay tribute from what they gather and own in their lands. And although at times they do not fulfil their promise, it is not to be wondered at; for the country is not yet sufficiently settled and secure. I am sure that, when this is so, they will be subdued and will do whatever is justly commanded them.
These natives will be easily converted to our holy Catholic faith, for most of them are heathens, excepting the natives of Borney and Lucon (who are chiefly Moros), and a few converted chiefs of these islands.6 These Moros have little knowledge of the law which they profess, beyond practicing circumcision and refraining from pork. The heathens have no law at all. They have neither temples nor idols, nor do they offer any sacrifices. They easily believe what is told and presented forcibly to them. They hold some superstitions, such as the casting of lots before Page 46doing anything, and other wretched practices—all of which will be easily eradicated, if we have some priests who know their language, and will preach to them. Certainly, there is a great opportunity to serve God, our Lord, and to expand and extol our holy Catholic faith, if our sins do not hinder the work.
In some of these islands,7 the mountain regions are inhabited by blacks, with whom as a general rule, the Indians are at war, and whom the latter capture and sell, and also employ as slaves.
Marriage among these natives is a kind of purchase or trade, which the men make; for they pay and give money in exchange for their women, according to the rank of the parties. The sum thus paid is divided among the parents and relatives of the woman. Therefore the man who has many daughters is considered rich. After marriage, whenever the husband wishes to leave his wife, or to separate from her, he can do so by paying the same sum of money that he gave for her. Likewise the woman can leave her husband, or separate from him, by returning the double of what he gave for her. The men are permitted to have two or three wives, if they have money enough to buy and support them. The men treat their wives well, and love them according to their habits and customs—although they are all barbarians and have no manners or politeness.
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi
[Endorsed: “There is no date.” “Relation of the Filipinas Islands and of the character of their inhabitants.”] Page 47
1 At this point may be presented some additional matter, obtained from a document (also in the Sevilla Archivo general) which purports to be a letter from Mirandaola to the king, but dated June 8, 1574. He has apparently incorporated therein the greater part of the Legazpi relation of 1569 which is presented in our text—adding thereto some interesting details. At this point, he enumerates the kinds of food used by the natives—“namely rice, millet, borona [a grain, also called mijo, resembling Indian corn], Castilian fowls, buffaloes, swine, and goats. They Page 41nhave wines of many kinds: brandy, made from palm-wine (which is obtained from the cocoa-nut palm, and from the wild nipa palm); pitarrillos, which are the wines made from rice, millet, and borona; and other wines, made from sugar-cane. There are fragrant fruits—large and small bananas, and nancas. These nancas are as large as a winter melon, and contain a yellow fruit of the size of a friar's plum, within which is a kernel that, when roasted, has the flavor of a chestnut. It has a delicious taste, and there is no fruit in Spain that will compare with it. There is abundance of fish, and much game—deer, mountain boars, and excellent waterfowl.” For enumeration and brief description of the leading vegetable products of the archipelago, see Philippine Gazetteer, pp. 70–95. Fuller descriptions are given in various documents which will be reproduced in the present series.
We may add here that, “on the death of Legazpi, which occurred in August, 1572, so many unauthorized and irregular acts were committed by Andrés de Mirandaola that the governor, Guido de Lavezares, was compelled to ship him to New Spain, with other persons whose presence in the archipelago cast odium on the Spanish name” (Cartas de Indias, p. 804).
2 The Mirandaola MS. already mentioned enumerates the articles exported from the Philippines—“wax, cotton, cotton-seed, tortoise shells, and buffalo horns;” also the imports, “provisions, buffaloes, live hogs, and wine;” also “silks, porcelains, benzoin, and musk.”
3 “Because they say that their god orders them not to take out the gold, except on the arrival of foreign vessels.” (Mirandaola MS.)
4 Cabit, in the Mirandaola MS.; now Cáuit, a point in N.E. Mindanao.
5 For account of the forest wealth of the archipelago, see the recently-issued Gazetteer of the Philippine Islands, published by the United States Bureau of Insular Affairs (Washington, 1902), pp. 85–93; it contains a list of nearly two hundred kinds of trees whose wood has economic value.
6 “All the natives of Cubu have been converted, both chiefs and followers, except two chiefs, Sumaquio and Batungay. These men have not been converted, because they are not willing to leave their wives; Sumaquio has two wives, and Batungay three.” (Mirandaola MS.)
7 “In Panae, and in Luzon and Vindanao.” (Mirandaola MS.)
Confirmation of Legazpi's Title as Governor and Captain-General
Don Phelippe, etc. Inasmuch as Don Luis de Velasco, our former viceroy of Nueva España, through my orders equipped a fleet and the necessary men in the port of La Navidad for the discovery and finding of the Western Islands; and inasmuch as he was pleased with you, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, and with your merits and services rendered, and named and appointed you captain-general of the above-mentioned fleet and its men; and inasmuch as (so we learn from the reports and information sent to us), having pursued your voyage and route, you discovered the aforesaid islands and settled in one of them, called Cubu; and with your men disembarked there, fought against several towns, and built a fortress for the defense of the said island and its inhabitants: therefore, in consideration of this, and of the services rendered in this expedition, and of the private expenses that you have incurred in making it; and because we believe that it is best for our service, and for the prosperity and settlement of the said islands, and for the welfare of their inhabitants—it is our will that henceforth, as long as you live, you shall be our governor and captain-general of the island of Cubu, and of the other settlements Page 48which you or any other person whatsoever may hereafter make in the island. You are also empowered to administer our civil and criminal justice, in company with the officers of justice who may be appointed in the said island and settlement. By this our ordinance, we command municipal bodies, courts, magistrates, knights, squires, officials, and good men, in all the cities, towns, and hamlets, which shall exist or be colonized in the said island and province, and our officials and others residing therein, each and every one of them, as soon as they shall be required—without any delay or hesitation, and without any further requirement or consultation on our part, and without awaiting or expecting any other ordinance, second order, or third injunction from us—to take and receive from you, the said Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the oath and formality requisite in such case, and which you must fulfil. After you have done this, you shall be recognized, received, and regarded as our captain-general of the said island and settlement, as long as you live. And they shall freely grant and consent that you fill and exercise the said offices, and that you administer and execute our justice among them—either personally or through your subordinates, whom you are empowered to appoint and shall appoint to the offices of governor, captain-general, constables, and other offices annexed and suitable to your government. You may dismiss and remove these subordinates, whenever you desire, or consider it best to do so for the fulfilment of our service and the execution of our justice, and to appoint and substitute others in their stead. And you may hear, examine, and decide any civil or criminal suit or case that may arise in the Page 49said island, or in its towns which you have founded or shall found, and in those settlements which shall be made in the future, either among our colonists or among others who are natives of the island, now or in the future. You and your said subordinates are also empowered to take the payments annexed and pertaining to the said offices, and to make any investigation you think best in cases at law, precedents, and all other matters annexed and pertaining to the said offices. You and your said subordinates shall perform the duties which pertain to our service and the execution of our justice, and to the colonization and government of the said island and towns. In order that you may enjoy and exercise the said offices and execute our justice, all persons shall yield obedience to you as to their persons and property; they shall offer and cause to be offered you all the support and help that you may request and need from them; in everything they shall respect and obey you, and shall carry out your orders and those of your subordinates; and they shall neither in whole nor in part place or consent to place any obstacle or hindrance in your way. By the present decree we entrust you and consider you entrusted with the aforesaid duties, and the enjoyment and exercise of the same. We give you power and authority to enjoy and exercise your office, and to administer and execute our justice in the said island and in the settlements that have been and shall be founded in the cities, towns, and villages of the said island, and its boundaries, by you or your subordinates as aforesaid. And in case that you should not be received by them, or any one of them, by this our decree we order any person or persons who exercise or shall exercise the authority of our Page 50justice in the towns of the said island, to relinquish and surrender it to you, the said Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, as soon as they shall be requested to do so; and they shall enjoy the same no longer without our1 permission and special order, under the penalty which private citizens are liable to and incur who make use of public and royal offices without possessing the due power and authority. We hereby suspend, and already consider as suspended, all such persons. Furthermore we order that the fines pertaining to our exchequer and treasury imposed by you and your subordinates, be enforced; and you must enforce them, and deliver and surrender them to our treasurer in the said island. And further we order that if you, the said Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, should consider it fitting to our service and to the execution of our justice, that any one whosoever, now or in future, in the said island, should leave it, and should not enter or remain therein, and that he should present himself before us, you may so order in our name; and you must banish him from the island according to the ordinance governing this matter, giving to the person thus banished the reason for his banishment. And if it seem best to you that the reason should be kept secret, you shall give it in a statement closed and sealed; and shall send the same to us by a different person than the one banished, in order that we may be informed of it. But you must take notice that, when you are compelled to banish anyone, such banishment should be only for very serious reasons. We hereby give you full power to exercise the aforesaid offices as our governor and Page 51captain-general of the said island and settlements, and to enact and execute our justice therein, with all due rights, titles, and interests. It is, moreover, our pleasure and order that you shall have and receive an annual salary of two thousand ducats or seven hundred and fifty thousand maravedis in consideration of the said offices. You shall enjoy this from the day when you took possession of the said island of Cubu, in our name, and as long as you hold the said offices. We order our officials of the said island to pay you the above-mentioned two thousand ducats from the revenues and profits accruing to us in any manner in the island during the time of your rule. Should this amount not be collected during the said time, we are under no obligation to give you any of it. The officials shall take a receipt from you, and a copy of this decree, signed by a notary-public. We order that the said two thousand ducats be received and placed on the accounts every year, from the said day and henceforth. Let no person act in any manner contrary to this decree. Given in Madrid, August fourteen, one thousand five hundred and sixty-nine.
I, The King
Countersigned by Francisco de Eraso. Signed by Luis Quixada, Vasquez Çapata, Molina, Aguilera, Villafane.
[Endorsed: “Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Title of Governor and Captain-general of the island of Çubu.”] Page 52
1 This word may be “your;” it is uncertain whether the Spanish word is nr̄a or vr̄a.
Documents of 1570
- Letter to Felipe II. Fray Diego de Herrera; January 16.
- Relation of the voyage to Luzón. [June?]
- Act of taking possession of Luzón. Martin de Goiti and Hernando Riquel; June 6.
- Letter to Felipe II. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; July 25.
- Evidence regarding the Portuguese expedition against Cebú. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; October 21.
Sources: MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.
Translations: The second and third documents are translated by Alfonso de Salvio; the others, by Arthur B. Myrick. Page 53
Letter from Fray Diego de Herrera to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
In the fleet that your Majesty had sent from this Nueva España to the islands of the West, there were among the people some religious of St. Augustine who were in your Majesty's service. By your order, I was one of them. We had a prosperous voyage as your Majesty will already have been fully informed. The fleet effected a landing, and founded a colony (in accordance with the instructions brought from this Nueva España) in the island of Çubu—as that place abounds in food, has a very good port and is a healthful region, as has been since found by experience; and it is very strong for defense, in any casualty that might befall us. From that place a ship was sent to discover the return route [to New Spain]. It succeeded well, although it appears that some of its men died. The people who remained there have all this time endured very great privations, notwithstanding the richness of the region, because they could make no settlement so peacefully that it was not against the will of the natives. Therefore they were disquieted, and many fled, deserting their towns; and those who remained determined not to cultivate their fields, or to sow, believing that by this Page 54stratagem they could drive us from their land. Consequently they and ours have endured very great extremities, because the same thing was done in other islands where the Spaniards went to find food—so much so that many times the natives have taken the food more than four leagues inland, carrying it upon their shoulders, and crossing creeks and rivers with it, with great risk of their lives. Then too another cause of so great distress has been the lack there of boats with oars; and the fact that, up to the present, no one has ventured to seek richer and more abundant lands—which are very near, as Lequios, Japan, and Jaba [Java], therein fulfilling your Majesty's commands. After all that, came the Portuguese fleet, arriving about the end of September of last year (1569), under command of Gonzalo Pereira. That man, although we made every possible effort for peace with him, would agree to nothing except that, in any case, we must leave these islands, or else go with him. The first could not be done, because we had no ships; nor the second, because that was very ignominious for us. Therefore as we came to no agreement, he determined to begin hostilities, and make war on us, trusting to his numerous ships—although afterward it did not turn out as happily as he thought, as your Majesty will see by the relation which the viceroy sends from this Nueva España.1 The blockade being so long and rations so scant, the poor soldiers were in such distress that they took to hunting rats, of which there are great numbers in that land, and which are much larger than those of Page 55España. With all this privation, and the allurements and abundance in the Portuguese fleet, they served your Majesty with as great loyalty and cheerfulness in this war, and in all the rest, as I believe any men in the world have ever displayed in their king's service. There was nothing which gave them so great pleasure as being ordered to do things wherein they risked their lives. Therefore it seems to me that your Majesty ought to reward their services, because until this present assistance ordered to be sent them by your Majesty (which is very helpful), they have had nothing but two almudes2 of uncleaned rice every Saturday (after cleaning which there remained but one), without receiving any other gratification.
I came to this Nueva España to give information of the great need of supplies there, and of some injuries done to the natives on account of the extremities that the soldiers suffered, and of many other things which seemed to me fitting for the service of our Lord and of your Majesty. I have informed the viceroy of all those things; so that, as he is nearer to those regions than is your Majesty, he may remedy them. I believe that he will remedy them, because he is a good Christian and conducts this business as earnestly as your Majesty would desire. Some of these things I think it will be necessary to submit to your Majesty's consideration, and I believe that this has been done. They have ordered me to return immediately to the islands, because they tell me that in so doing I shall fulfil your Majesty's service.
In what concerns the conversion of the natives, Page 56nothing has as yet been really done, until we know your Majesty's will, because so near Çubu there are lands as great and as rich as this, which belong to your Majesty—as China, Lequios, Jabas [Java], and Japan. We have heard that you will order us to go to those places and leave these other islands—which, although they have many mines and rivers of gold, are very ordinary, in comparison with the former. The people there are very barbarous, while those others are civilized. Now that your Majesty's will is manifest to us, we will commence the work in earnest, because hitherto, only about one hundred persons have been baptised. It will be a very great obstacle to conversions, if the war with the Portuguese continues. Therefore, I beg your Majesty through love of the Lord that some means and expedient be adopted to prevent its continuation; because, besides the great scandal given to the natives, it is a great pity that Spanish and Portuguese, who are so friendly in España, should come here to kill each other, as if they were infidels. I could advise your Majesty regarding everything else in these regions, such as the nature of the land and the nature and conditions of the peoples and what would be most profitable to your Majesty in it. A true relation of everything has been given to the viceroy, so that he may send it to your Majesty. May our Lord keep your Majesty's royal person in good health and in his service many years, and increase you into greater kingdoms. Mexico, January 16, 1570. Your Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty's least and humble servant,
1 Evidently referring to the account of these proceeding which Legazpi sent to the viceroy, Marqués de Falçes (See p. 44 ff., ante).
2 The almude is one-twelfth of a fanega, or about 4¼ United States quarts.
Relation of the Voyage to Luzon
On the eighth of May of this year, one thousand five hundred and seventy, the master-of-camp, Martin de Goite, left the river of Panay with ninety arquebusiers and twenty sailors on board the following vessels: the junk “San Miguel,” of about fifty tons' burden with three large pieces of artillery; the frigate “La Tortuga;” and fifteen praus manned by natives of Çubu and of the island of Panay. The officers who accompanied the master-of-camp were Captain Joan de Salzedo1 (grandson of the governor), Sergeant-major Juan de Moron, Ensign-major Amador de Rriaran, the high constable Graviel de Rribera, and the notary-in-chief Hernando Rriquel.
After sailing northwest for two days, they arrived at the island of Zibuyan, a high and mountainous Page 58land known to possess gold-mines. Without talking to any of the natives, they left that island, which is situated about fourteen leagues from the river of Panay, and went to the island of Mindoro. Among other islands passed was that of Banton, where lived certain Spaniards, who had gone there in vessels belonging to friendly Indians. The island of Banton is about fifteen leagues from Cibuyan. It is a small circular island, high and mountainous, and is thickly populated. The natives raise a very large number of goats here, which they sell in other places. The natives of this island of Banton, as well as those of Cibuyan, are handsome, and paint themselves. From the island of Banton to that of Bindoro there is a distance of about twelve leagues. The master-of-camp reached this latter place, and anchored there with all the vessels in his charge. Mindoro is also called “the lesser Luçon.” All its ports and maritime towns are inhabited by Moros. We hear that inland live naked people called Chichimecos. As far as could be seen, this island lacks provisions.
News reached the master-of-camp that, in a river five leagues from the place where the ships had anchored, were two vessels from China, the inhabitants of which these natives call Sangleyes.2 Seeing that the weather did not permit him to send the large ship, because the wind was blowing south by west, he despatched Captain Juan de Salzedo, with the praus3 and rowboats to reconnoiter the said ships, Page 59and to request peace and friendship with them. This step had scarcely been taken when the southwest wind began to blow so violently, that our people were compelled to put into a harbor, and to find shelter for that night behind a promontory. Four praus and the frigate, unable to do this, found shelter farther away; and, keeping always in sight of the shore, these vessels looked for the ships all that night. The next morning they were overtaken by five of the other vessels and the frigate, which were searching for them. The master-of-camp and captain Juan de Salzedo were still behind, with the large junk and the other praus. At break of day, the praus which had preceded the others reached the river where the Chinese ships were anchored. The Chinese, either because news of the Spaniards had reached them, or because they had heard arquebuse-shots, were coming out side by side with foresails up, beating on drums, playing on fifes, firing rockets and culverins, and making a great warlike display. Many of them were seen on deck, armed with arquebuses and unsheathed cutlasses. The Spaniards, who are not at all slothful, did not refuse the challenge offered them by the Chinese; on the contrary they boldly and fearlessly attacked the Chinese ships, and, with their usual courage, grappled them. This was certainly a rash move on their part, for the Chinese ships were large and high, while the praus were so small and low that they hardly reached to the first pillar of the enemy's ships. But the goodly aim of the arquebusiers was so effective that the Chinese did not leave their shelter, and the Spaniards were thus enabled to board their ships and take possession of them. There were about eighty Chinese on board the two ships; Page 60about twenty were killed in the affray. The soldiers searched the cabins in which the Chinese kept their most valuable goods, and there they found silk, both woven and in skeins; gold thread, musk, gilded porcelain bowls, pieces of cotton cloth, gilded water-jugs, and other curious articles—although not in a large quantity, considering the size of the ships. The decks of both vessels were full of earthen jars and crockery; large porcelain vases, plates, and bowls; and some fine porcelain jars, which they call sinoratas. They also found iron, copper, steel, and a small quantity of wax which the Chinese had bought. Captain Juan de Salzedo arrived with the rear-guard of the praus, after the soldiers had already placed in safety the goods taken from the Chinese ships. He was not at all pleased with the havoc made among the Chinese. The master-of-camp, Martin de Goite, who had remained behind with the large ship, showed much more displeasure, when he heard of the occurrence. As soon as he was able to cast anchor with the junk in the river of Bato (the name of the place where the Chinese vessels were found), he made all haste to make them understand that he was sorry for their misfortune, and that they had done wrong in sallying forth against the Spaniards. Nevertheless, he said he would give them, besides their freedom, a ship, in which they might return to their own country without any hindrance—besides whatever was necessary for their voyage. This was highly appreciated by the Chinese, who, being very humble people, knelt down with loud utterances of joy.
After this proposal had been made clear to the Chinese, and gladly accepted by them, the master-of-camp Page 61entrusted the chief notary, Hernando Rriquel, with the repairing of one of the ships—ordering him to have the hatchway taken out, and to send all that the ship contained to the port of Panay. Seeing that the sails, masts, and rigging of the vessels were so different from ours that none of his men had any knowledge of them, the master-of-camp thought best to ask the Chinese to send three or four of their sailors with the junk to Panay, in company with some friendly Moros of Luçon, who were with the Spaniards. The Chinese very willingly agreed to that, and provided the required men. Thus the ship was despatched with twelve Lucon Moros, four Chinese, and four Spanish soldiers of the guard.
In this river of Bato was found some green pepper4 growing on trees as small as shrubs, with their clusters like agias. Here they learned that the town of Mindoro, which is the capital of that island, was five leagues from Bato, and that three more Chinese ships were there. They also heard that the Moros of Mindoro had made great preparations for its defense, and had provided themselves with a large number of culverins, arrows, and other offensive weapons, and were intrenched in a very strong fort. In consideration of this, and the fact that the Spaniards in this country have always desired to come in conflict with people who do not flee from them, they decided to proceed immediately to that island—although the natives of the river of Bato offered them peace, and promised to pay them two hundred gold Page 62taels5 (the equivalent of two thousand pesos de minas in Spanish reckoning), if they would remain there a few days. The master-of-camp assured them of peace, and, telling them to have the money ready upon his return, set out for the port of Mindoro. Departing from the river of Baco in the morning, the Spaniards arrived, by noon, at the town of Mindoro, which is an excellent though poorly-sheltered seaport. The harbor has only one entrance. Its waters beat against a hill which is the first and the smallest of a chain of three hills overlooking the port. The other two hills are very craggy and thus form a defense to the pass for the natives. Many armed Moros appeared on the first hill—bowmen, lancers, and some gunners, linstocks in hand. All along the hillside stood a large number of culverins. The foot of the hill was fortified by a stone wall over fourteen feet thick. The Moros were well attired after their fashion, and wore showy head-dresses, of many colors, turned back over their heads. Many of them were beating drums, blowing horns made from shells, and ringing bells. The number of men was quite large.
The master-of-camp arrived with his ship, ahead of the oared praus. When the first prau arrived, he embarked in it with the chief notary, Hernando Rriquel, the interpreter, and a recently-converted Moro, who served as guide. With only these men, and one soldier armed with a shield, the master-of-camp advanced toward the Moro fort. He reached the foot of the hill, without allowing any others to Page 63follow him; and, being unable to proceed any further on account of its steepness, he summoned from above two Moros, to treat for peace. There seemed to be a difference of opinion among the Moros, as was gathered from their demeanor, for some made gestures of war, and others of peace, some of them even going so far as to throw a few stones and level the culverins. On the whole, they were not very anxious to fight. Meanwhile, the master-of-camp was so near them that they could have spit on him. All the Spaniards had already disembarked, and stood at an arquebuse-shot from the master-of-camp. The latter was so anxious to win over those Moros and gain their confidence, because they exhibited fear, that he wished to climb the hill on all fours to reach them; but his companions dissuaded him from this. At this time Captain Juan de Salzedo, the sergeant-major, the high constable, and the ensign-major, came up; and the master-of-camp, the captain, and the officials were assembled there, with but one soldier, for the master-of-camp would not allow the others to advance. The Moros having seen the peaceful attitude of our people, one of them descended the hill, almost on all fours. Our Moro guide advanced toward him; but, on account of the great steepness of the hill, he had to be helped up by the other Moro. After they had seen and recognized each other, and after the customary embrace and kiss, they descended to the master-of-camp. The latter told the Moro who had come down, through the interpreter, that he need not fear; for he had not come to harm them, but to seek their friendship. The Moro carried the message to the others upon the hill, and a chief came down; and, upon reaching the master-of-camp, said Page 64that he and all the town wished to be his friends, and to help the Spaniards with whatever they possessed. The master-of-camp answered that the proposition was acceptable; whereupon the Moro chief asked him to withdraw from that place—saying that, after they had withdrawn, he would come to treat of friendship and of what was to be given. The master-of-camp, in order to please him, agreed to this; and told the chief that he was going to review his men, and that he should not be offended when he should hear arquebuse-shots and the noise of artillery. Accordingly, he withdrew to the place where his men were drawn up in order, and there a fine review took place—the company closing ranks in such perfect order that both the friendly Indians (who came with us, to the number of five or six hundred) and the Moros were greatly frightened. The master-of-camp ordered that the cannon amidship on the large vessel be fired, although not to increase their fright. The review had not yet ended when a Moro came with sixty gold taels, which he gave to the master-of-camp—asking him not to be offended if the gift were not brought quickly, because the people had dispersed through fear, and therefore it could not be collected so soon; but he promised that they would raise the amount to four hundred taels. The master-of-camp received this gold, and had it placed in a small box, the key of which he gave to the Moro, telling him to keep it until the promise was fulfilled; but to consider that after treason nothing could be more blameworthy than falsehood. The Moro salaamed low, and said that he would not lie, and that they would fulfil their promise, little by little. And so they did, for, on that same day, four Page 65more messengers came with gold; and all entreated and begged the master-of-camp not to be offended at the delay, if there should be any. With these flatteries and promises the Moros detained us about five days, during which time we had friendly dealings and intercourse with them, although they mistrusted us to a certain extent. They had already abandoned the first town on the shore and had withdrawn to a hill about two hundred paces away. There most of them had taken their wives, children, and part of their goods, although the best part of their property was kept farther inland. This hill was so well fortified by nature, that, had it not been for the two ladders, which the Moros kept in two places, one could have ascended it only with wings. Notwithstanding all these difficulties, our Spaniards paid them friendly visits. On this little fortified spot the Moros had built their huts, as high as Mexican market-tents. They resembled a crowd of children with their holiday toys. During these five days, the Moros had, little by little, given two hundred taels of impure gold, for they possess great skill in mixing it with other metals. They give it an outside appearance so natural and perfect, and so fine a ring, that unless it is melted they can deceive all men, even the best of silversmiths. While in this port of Mindoro the master-of-camp sought information concerning the distance to Manilla and the towns which would be found on the journey. Our interpreter disagreed with the Moros of Mindoro as to the number of days it would take; but they all agreed that it was far, and that perhaps the weather would not permit us to sail thither. The natives of Mindoro added also that the Spaniards were crazy to go to Page 66Manilla with so small a force, and that they pitied us. They recounted so many wonders of Manilla that their tales seemed fabulous; they said that there were very large oared boats, each carrying three hundred rowers, besides the warriors; that the people were well armed and excellent bowmen; that the ships were well equipped with artillery, both large and small; and that any one of those vessels could attack two praus, and sink them when within range. With these accounts the Moros tried to discourage the Spaniards; but the more they attempted to frighten them with such things the more desirous they all became to set foot in Manilla. In view of this, the master-of-camp did not wait for the full payment of what the Moros had promised; but, warning them to have the remainder ready upon his return, he left them on friendly terms, and set out for the town of Manilla with all his men.
He left the port of Mindoro at midnight, and the next morning cast anchor before a small island lying between Mindoro and Lucon, where he remained two days waiting for the praus. Meanwhile, having sufficient leisure, he crossed over to the shore of Lucon, which was about two leagues distant; and discovered in that same island a wide, spacious bay. The praus went forward, in company with one of the Moros belonging to the town of Balayan, who had offered their friendship. These Moros pointed out to Captain Juan de Salcedo, who went with the oared praus, the mouth of a river which led inland to a lake, called Bombon.6 All the praus entered Page 67this river, and came upon an uninhabited town. After the Moro guides from Balayan had gathered all the house commodities that they could store in their prau, they told the Spaniards that they wished to warn their own village, so that their people should not be anxious; and so they went away, leaving the Spaniards in that river.
The master-of-camp took a different route with his junk, and cast anchor before the town of Balayan, two leagues from the river of Bombon. While anchored there, and while the master-of-camp was fretting over the non-appearance of the praus that sailed with him (since now it was already two hours after nightfall), at that very time one of them, under command of Captain Juan de Salcedo, made its appearance. He had been wounded in the leg by a poisoned arrow. Soon afterward, the other praus and vessels which had sailed in his company arrived. They reported to the master-of-camp that they had entered a narrow arm of the sea, which the land inward forms into a medium-sized lake, around which seemed to be many people and much cultivated land. The country seemed thickly populated and well tilled. Captain Juan de Salcedo advanced farther up those waters, in search of a fortified place of which information had been received on the way thither—situated on both sides of the water, and thus very high and rugged, and suitable for laying ambuscades. This proved to be true; for suddenly, and without them being able to see any one, many arrows came flying through the air, one of which wounded Captain Juan de Salcedo in the leg; and many more would have been wounded had not the prau been supplied with canvas guards. The arquebusiers immediately Page 68hastened to their posts with their medicine,7 and prevented the Moros from discharging another volley of arrows, which ceased at their coming. The captain secured an antidotal herb for his wound; and, seeing that the approach to the fort was too dangerous and that it was impossible to effect a landing, he went back to collect his praus, and to look for a shore where he could easily disembark. A landing-place was found near the town; the men disembarked, and set out on foot in search of the Moros. The latter appeared in a broad plain, covered with grass about a hand-span high. The men were divided into two troops, in order to attack the Moros, who were shooting arrows as rapidly as they could, and wildly shouting. The Moros waited until the Spaniards began to hit their flanks with arquebuse bullets; and then, seeing the rage of their opponents, they took to flight. Our men pursued them to the very gate of their town, where more than forty Moros fell under the fire from the arquebuses.
The Spaniards entered the town, and set free two Chinamen, who were kept there in chains. They learned from these men the ostensible reason for their imprisonment, as follows. Two Chinese ships had come to trade with the Moros in this river; but, hearing of our presence in Mindoro, they desired to betake themselves thither. The Moros would not allow them to go away. In the quarrel that ensued over the question of their departure, the Chinese fired a culverin from one of the ships and killed a Moro chief. The Moros assembled to avenge him, and overtook the Chinese as they were about to sail Page 69out to sea through the estuary. It seems that the vessels were wrecked on certain shoals at the entrance to the estuary, and the Chinese with all their possessions fell into the power of the Moros, who inflicted on them a severe punishment—seizing them all, and putting them to death by inches in a most cruel manner, flaying their faces, and exposing them on reeds and mats. When the Spaniards entered the town, they encountered not a few similar sights; and so recent was this deed that the flayed faces of the Chinese were still bleeding.
Such was the account given by Captain Joan de Salcedo of what had occurred that day during his absence from the master-of-camp. The Balayan Moros who had come out peacefully detained the master-of-camp there for three or four days, giving him, little by little, some impure gold. The latter, to avoid any further delay, decided to proceed to Manilla. Accordingly, he left these Moros, on peaceful terms, telling them to collect for his return what was lacking of the amount promised. Then he sailed along the coast toward Manilla, which was said to be three leagues from that town. The chiefs of this town of Balayan said that they wished to accompany the Spaniards one day's journey from their town, in order to avenge themselves for injuries and wrongs received at the hands of some neighboring communities on the coast called Tulayansi. Therefore seven or eight praus of Moros went with us, and, when we reached that coast, two praus with white flags were seen, which advanced to the ship of the master-of-camp. Upon arriving there, they declared that they were natives of that coast, and that three towns, which could be seen with the naked Page 70eye, wished to be our friends, and to give us tribute as the others did. The master-of-camp received them in peace, and assured them of friendship, notwithstanding that the Balayan Moros who came with us opposed him—saying that those people ought not to be admitted to friendship, because they were hostile to themselves for making peace with us first. These arguments were of little avail, for the master-of-camp declared to both parties, that he had come to make friendship with all, and that his friends should have no differences between themselves; that, in case they did, it would be right for them to go to the Spaniards for the settlement of them; and that the one breaking with the other would be considered as enemy of the Spaniards. When they heard this answer, both sides promised to abide by that decision, whereupon the master-of-camp dismissed them all, advising those natives who had lately offered their friendship, to have the tribute ready upon his return.
According to the men of Balayan the enmity between these towns was because a Balayan vessel, on its return from Manilla, laden with merchandise, was driven by stormy weather on that coast of Tulay, and the natives showed them so excellent hospitality that, instead of helping and receiving them kindly, as neighbors should, they stole the goods of the Balayans and killed two of them, setting their heads on stakes. Similar sights were noticed by the Spaniards in these towns, which still exhibited the cruelty of the deed.
This coast is called Tulay. It has broad shoals and for this reason, as well as for the keen desire of all our men to set foot in Manilla, they remained Page 71there only one night. Therefore at dawn they set out for the town called Menilla, which according to report was quite near. They sailed along the coast, noting many bays and ports. There were some towns along the shore, whose inhabitants and citizens had sought other shelter, taking away the best of their possessions. The oared vessels came to shore, to see what these towns contained; but, finding no people, they sailed on. The large vessel was sailing about a league from the coast. Here they met some small boats, which the natives call tapaques. They were laden with provisions, rice, and salted sardines without the heads, resembling those which are found in España. The soldiers of the praus took away a quantity of rice from the Moros, who did not defend themselves. The latter were allowed to depart in freedom, with their vessels. There were some who did defend themselves, and wounded two Spaniards and killed one of the friendly Indians who accompanied us. The master-of-camp, as he was sailing in the large vessel, was unable to put a stop to these disorders, for they were occurring in his absence. When he learned of this, and that the Moro ships were coming from the bay of Menilla laden with provisions, he cast anchor in a small port; and there, calling together all the praus, censured the men for their disorderly conduct, ordering them not to depart from his ship from that time on.
The next morning, having heard from a Moro captured in one of the tapaques that the town of Menilla was very near, all the vessels and praus set sail, taking the captured Moro as guide. In the afternoon they came in sight of a very large bay, which formed a wide gulf. It resembled a narrow Page 72sea with its entrance at that point; but the guides affirmed that the land was one, and so it proved to be when we entered the bay. We had taken with us from Panae a Moro, a native of the town of Menilla, who has had intercourse with Spaniards for many years and is well known among them; for, when the camp was in Zebu, he always came to sell them provisions. Before the master-of-camp started on this expedition from Panay, this Moro, and his wife and one son, had become Christians. He left his wife in Panay, and accompanied the master-of-camp as interpreter. He had taken with him his brother, who was likewise a native of Menilla. When we entered the bay, these men advised the master-of-camp not to cast anchor before the town of Menilla itself, for the coast was treacherous, and to enter the river it was necessary to wait for high tide. They advised him to anchor in a small sheltered port, two leagues from the port of Menilla; and thence to send word to Raxa8 Soliman, the greatest chief of all that country, with whom the terms of peace and friendship were to be made, and whose opinion was to be heeded.
The master-of-camp found this advice good, and felt at ease about the port; for he had been fretting over the possibility of finding shelter in all that bay, which, because it was so large and spacious, seemed almost harborless. Therefore we sailed straight to the harbor pointed out by the guides, reaching it two hours before nightfall. The land all around this bay, in the part where we anchored, and which the guides Page 73declared to be the port of Menilla, was really marvelous. It appeared to be tilled and cultivated. The slopes were smooth, and had but little herbage. In fact, so excellent indications have not been seen in this land, as were seen there. After the master-of-camp cast anchor in the small port, the praus and the frigate arrived there. On that day it was decided to send to Raxá Soliman, lord of Menilla, to request peace and friendship; and that the man appointed for this should be the brother of Mehomete, the converted Moro. It was decided that the captive Moro and a Cafre9 interpreter should go to examine the port and its position, as well as to sound the mouth of the river. These men departed the next morning, two hours before daybreak. Before leaving the ships,
Mehomate's brother, who had been married in Menilla, said that he would be able to bring back an answer on the same day, as he intended to rest at his own house. The master-of-camp was so desirous of making peaceful terms with the town of Menilla that, although hasty by nature and disposition, he patiently waited there for three days after the Moro's departure. The Moro returned with another man, his uncle, who was said to be a servant of the king of Menilla. He had been sent to act as ambassador, with certain other Moros who accompanied him. He tried to make us understand, with high-sounding words, that his master was a most magnificent lord. After a great show of authority and many pauses, he Page 74finally declared that the king of Menilla wished to be the friend of the Spaniards, and that he would be pleased to have them settle in his land, as they had done in Çubu and Panay. The master-of-camp answered, through the interpreters, that he was much pleased to consider the king of Menilla as a friend of the Spaniards, since his only aim in coming was that of offering them peace and friendship. He also added that to carry out these wishes it was necessary for them to see each other. He therefore declared that he was going to set out immediately for the said town of Menilla, and said that the Moro should precede him to advise the chief of it. The Moro ambassador begged him not to set sail until he had already gone a little distance, for he wished to go first to advise his master. The master-of-camp promised him to do so, and so managed that, until the Moro had gone a considerable distance, he would not set out. But when it appeared that the Moro had advanced about half a league away from us, all the vessels set out in the wake of his prau. We sailed along a thickly settled coast. Moros came out in praus from some of the towns to complain of the Raxa Soliman, for having plundered their towns and killed many of the inhabitants. The master-of-camp was going ahead under full sail; and, receiving all of these people very kindly, we kept on until about ten o'clock in the morning, when we passed the bar of the river of Menila. The town was situated on the bank of the river, and seemed to be defended by a palisade all along its front. Within it were many warriors, and the shore outside was crowded with people. Pieces of artillery stood at the gates, guarded by bombardiers, linstock in hand. A culverin-shot Page 75from us, and close to the houses of the natives, were four Chinese ships. Immediately the Chinese came in their skiffs to visit the master-of-camp. They brought him brandy, hens, winnowed rice, a few pieces of silk, and knick-knacks of little value. They complained to the master-of-camp of the Moros of Menilla, saying that the latter had taken away by force the helms of their ships and the best of their goods without paying for them. The master-of-camp received them kindly; but, desiring to be at peace with all, he waived that question. Then having dismissed the Chinese, he sent the interpreter ashore to tell King Soliman that he wished to confer with him, and to make arrangements therefor. The interpreters returned quickly, and said that they would meet at the edge of the water, and that Raxa Soliman would come thither. The master-of-camp immediately landed with the Spaniards, to meet him. Immediately an uncle of the ruler, who also bore the title of king, advanced with so large a following that he was thought to be Soliman himself. He embraced the master-of-camp, and appeared to be a man of good intentions. Soon after came the other ruler, his nephew Soliman, who was a younger man than he who first came. Soliman assumed an air of importance and haughtiness, and said that he was pleased to be the friend of the Spaniards, but the latter should understand that the Moros were not painted Indians. He said that they would not tolerate any abuse, as had the others; on the contrary they would repay with death the least thing that touched their honor. This speech having been made through the interpreter, the master-of-camp gratified the chief with kind words; then after they had Page 76embraced each other and made a friendly compact, the Moro entered his fort. The master-of-camp returned to his ship, leaving all the oared boats and most of his men on shore, less than thirty paces from the town; and gave general orders that no man should enter the town, until the Moros, who seemed quite irritated, had regained their calm. Then leaving ashore the sergeant-major, Juan de Moron, in command, he returned to his ship to have it moored and set in order.
In the afternoon of the same day, at three o'clock, the Moro Mahomate asked permission to spend the night among his relatives, and the master-of-camp granted his request. During the day the Moros came to look at the soldiers ashore with their arquebuses and lighted match-ropes. The Moros carried their weapons and showed a rather bold attitude. They even did things which the Spaniards not often tolerate; but in order to obey the orders of the master-of-camp, and not give the appearance of starting hostilities on our side, they overlooked all the unmeasured boldness displayed by the Moros. At nightfall the men ashore withdrew to the ships, where they slept. The next morning the Moro Mahomete returned with the same ambassador who had first come. The latter bore a message from Rraxa Soliman, to the effect that he had been informed that a tribute was to be asked of him; and that, consequently, he would not allow the Spaniards to enter the river. The master-of-camp—as one desirous of peace, and in view of the orders of the governor to make peace with the said town of Menilla—in his answer, requested the messenger to tell his lord not to believe such reports, for hitherto he had not asked Page 77for any tribute from him. He added that they would see each other again, and make a friendly settlement, which would be to his taste. Thus he dismissed the messenger; and he himself, after a little thought, went ashore with only the Spanish and Moro interpreters, without notifying any one of what he was going to do. He entered the palisade, whose gates were guarded by many Moros, and was led by the Moros straightway to a small house, where he was bidden to await King Soliman. As soon as the latter heard that the master-of-camp was within the fort, he hastened to him; and both went to a house where they made a friendly compact, after the fashion of the land—namely, in this wise: the master-of-camp drew blood with the two chiefs, uncle and nephew—both called Rraxa, which in the Malay language signifies king. The Moros drank the blood of the master-of-camp mixed with wine, and the master-of-camp drank that of the Moros in a similar way. Thus the friendship was established, on the terms that the Moros of Menilla were to support the Spaniards who came to settle there; and, doing this, they should pay no other tribute. The master-of-camp asked them for a list of the neighboring towns on the bay; and they gave him the names of forty towns of those situated on the shore, besides those inland. After this friendly agreement had been made with the Moros, who promised to give some food for our men, the master-of-camp left the fort, much to our pleasure. The Moros, notwithstanding the great security given them by the master-of-camp, persisted in their hostile and warlike attitude; and, even on account of the peace made, would not lay aside their weapons—on the contrary, the number Page 78of armed men seemed to be increasing continually.
In the afternoon of the same day the chief notary went to the fort with the permission of the master-of-camp, to see whether any of the kings wished to trade for the royal testoons which he had in his charge. He went there accompanied by a boy only, and spoke of the matter to one of the chiefs. The latter received him very kindly and showed him some gold trinkets, which he wished to exchange for gold. For each gold piece the Moro asked five of silver, but the notary would give him only three. The Moro Mahomete, who was present at this trading, and acted as go-between, told the chief notary to postpone the bargain until another day; and to return to the ship, and tell the master-of-camp that King Soliman said that, in order to celebrate the peace made that day, he was about to pass in review his people, both on sea and on land, and should fire all his artillery, at which no offense should be taken, for all was in celebration of the peace. The chief notary left the port with the message, and found the master-of-camp receiving information in the above-mentioned vessel of friendly Indian rowers; they were saying that, having relatives among the Moros, they had learned that the latter were planning to fall upon the Spaniards at the first rain, when it would be impossible for them to make use of the arquebuses. From this news, and from the preparations which the Moros were making on both sea and land for the great review they said they were about to give, we saw that they were anxious to start the affray. At this time the Moro Mahomete arrived with a message from Rraxa Soliman, to the effect that King Soliman had learned that the lord of Candola, Page 79a town on the other side of the river, intended to fight the Spaniards on sea and had invited him to join in the attack; but that he, Soliman, had refused to do so. For this reason he would get in readiness, and, if the chief really came to offer battle, he would aid the Spaniards with his people, since the master-of-camp was his friend. This new message gave a full understanding of the deceitful plan of the Moros; notwithstanding all this, the master-of-camp sent his thanks to Soliman for the warning, saying that he would be pleased to fight any one who desired to fight with him. He added that if it were not so late he would immediately go to the town of Candola to fight with that chief. Having dismissed the envoy with this message the master-of-camp ordered all the men to be on the watch, and for all the crews of the praus to sleep on land. That day the sunset was so blood-red that it presented a wonderful sight. The men said that the sun was blood-stained. All that night the men, both on land and sea, slept fully armed. The next morning two or three soldiers were going ashore in a little canoe, when, seven or eight paces from land, their small canoe suddenly filled with water and the men went to the bottom. One of the soldiers, Juan Nunez, a native of Talavera, was drowned. At ten o'clock of that same morning, some sails were seen at sea, and the master-of-camp, thinking them to be the ships of those who were coming to fight with the Spaniards, despatched a prau to reconnoiter them. As the prau came near them, these vessels were seen to be tapaques, and the master-of-camp, fearing that the prau might do them harm, called it back by firing a cannon seaward. The Moros, who were waiting an opportunity for Page 80treason—but had not manifested it because it had not rained as they had expected—therefore opened the war; and without any warning, fired three cannon-shots, one after another. One of them pierced the side of the ship, and struck the cast-room, scattering its ashes among the bystanders; the other two shots were high, passing over the ship half-way aft; and one would have killed many men had the aim been a vara10 lower. The Moros had begun their treacherous work even before this; for they had seized some of the friendly Indians who had gone there to feast with their friends, had wounded the Indian slave of a soldier, beaten and frightened two or three others, and wounded another soldier with an arrow. When the effrontery of the Moros was seen, and that they could do us some injury with their artillery, it was decided to attack them.11 Therefore in the twinkling of an eye, the Spaniards attacked and took the palisade, hurling down the bombardiers with linstock in hand, giving them no chance to fulfil their duties. After this first artillery had fallen into their hands, they immediately took the town, and set fire to it, on account of its being large. The Moros abandoned the burning town, for they were unable to resist the attack of the arquebusiers, or rather the will of God, who had ordained it so—a self evident fact, since for every Spaniard there were a hundred Moros. The large ship was firing upon a Moro boat Page 81with long-bladed oars, which was far up the river. This vessel was said to have three or four hundred fighting men and rowers on board, with many culverins and large pieces of artillery. The cannonball struck the water, for the vessel was some distance away, surrounded by more than five hundred Moro praus and other large ships full of armed men, bowmen, and lancers. All these ships were scattered by the artillery of the large junk.
The town was rapidly burning. The master-of-camp hurriedly took the artillery from the Moros—thirteen pieces, small and large. He took care to protect the vessels of the Chinese, who had been greatly frightened. He ordered the return of the sails and helms which the Moros had taken away from them; and the Chinese, attaching the helms to their ships as quickly as they could, proceeded to cast anchor near the junk, so that the firing should do them no harm. The master-of-camp, having captured the enemy's artillery, fired upon them with their own pieces, while they were fleeing, thus inflicting upon them severe losses, both on land and water. About one hundred dead were found on land, having been burned to death, or slain by arquebus bullets; more than eighty persons were taken captive; and many others were killed in the praus, as they fled up the river. The rain expected by the Moros came when the town was quite destroyed by fire. The loss in the town was considerable, for it was large, and carried on an extensive trade. In the town lived forty married Chinese and twenty Japanese. Of these some came to see the master-of-camp on board the ship, before the breaking out of hostilities, among whom was a Japanese with a Theatin Page 82cap, from which we thought him to be a Christian. When we asked him if he was one, he answered in the affirmative, saying that his name was Pablo [Paul]. He adored an image, and asked for some beads; but people say that he was among the Moro bombardiers.
Among the prisoners were the Chinese wives of some of the Chinese who had married and settled in the town; and although it would have been justifiable to make them slaves, because their husbands had fled with the Moros, the master-of-camp was unwilling to do so, but simply handed them over to the Chinese of the ships. One of the Chinese women wished to come with us, and we have found since that she was insane; now she is with the governor, who will send her back to her own country. Those who saw Soliman's house before it was burned, say that it was very large, and that it contained many valuable things, such as money, copper, iron, porcelain, blankets, wax, cotton, and wooden vats full of brandy; but everything was burned to the ground with the house. Afterward the iron and copper furnished gain to whomsoever wished to take it, for a great quantity of it which this house and others contained, was found on the ground after the fire. When the prisoners captured were asked why the Moros had broken the treaty of peace and friendship, they answered that the young Soliman was to blame, for he always opposed his uncle, the other chief; that he had a malicious disposition; and that it was he who gave the order to fire, and who even fired with his own hand the first shot, which struck the ship. Next to Soliman's house was another which was used as a store-room. It contained much iron and copper, as Page 83well as culverins and cannon which had melted. Some small and large cannon had just been begun. There were the clay and wax moulds, the largest of which was for a cannon seventeen feet long, resembling a culverin. The Indians said that the furniture alone lost in Soliman's house was worth more than five thousand ducats.
After the burning of this town the master-of-camp waited two days in the river for some message from the Moros, but seeing that no one appeared, and that he had but few men with him to seek them inland; and that the bay and waterway was such that, in order to sail out of it, they needed the northeast wind (which was now blowing, although feebly); and that the southwest gales were coming, so that, as the interpreters affirmed, if the necessary steps were not taken the probability was that the large ship would not leave the place; and in order not to lose the ship and its artillery—the master-of-camp decided to leave the bay immediately after having first asked full information concerning the towns upon its coast. Thus we set sail in company with only the Chinese and their four vessels; these said that they had no articles of trade in their vessels except some large earthen jars and porcelain. Many of the soldiers bartered trifles of little value with them in exchange for wax, which the Chinese greatly value and even buy with gold. From what we could see and hear of them, the Chinese are a very humble people. It seems that they observe among themselves a certain form of politeness and cleanliness. They became great friends with us, and gave us letters of security, which consisted of white cloths that they had with them, upon which were painted the royal coat of Page 84arms. They promised to come the next year to this river of Panay, and to establish trade with the Spaniards. All that the Chinese asked was given them, which pleased them much, and they were shown the best possible treatment. Then they left us, and, according to what they said, went to Mindoro. The master-of-camp cast anchor in the port where we halted before; and there we remained another day, to see whether or not any of the natives would come to us for peace. Seeing that no one came, the master-of-camp, fearing lest the northeast wind would cease, left the harbor with his vessels, for it would not be possible to do so when the southwest wind should blow. He coasted past the towns which had made peace on the voyage hither, until the town of Balayan was reached. Thence we despatched the junk to the island of Panae with Captain Juan de Salcedo, who had not yet recovered from his wound in the leg, and five or six sick soldiers. The master-of-camp remained with the oared praus in order to win over all the towns which were desirous of peace. Thus leaving them behind pacified and assured of friendship, he returned to the camp; for the governor had sent them by sea an advice-prau on the arrival of the fleet from Nueva España. Such, then, are the events of this voyage.
[Endorsed: “An account of the conquest and discovery of Manilla.”
“May eight, 1570.” “Relation of the discovery of the island of Luçon, one of the western islands.”] Page 85
1 Juan de Salcedo (Salzedo, Sauzedo) was born in Mexico about 1549; his mother was Teresa Legazpi, daughter of the governor. He came to Cebú in 1567, and, despite his youth, displayed from the first such courage, gallantry, and ability that he soon won great renown—especially in the conquest of Luzón; he has been called “the Hernan Cortés of the Philippines.” These qualities brought him rapid military promotion; but his career was brief, for he died at the early age of twenty-seven (March 11, 1576), from drinking too much water while overheated by a hard march. He died a poor man; but his will provided that what remained from his estate, after paying his debts, should be given to certain natives belonging to his encomienda.
2 Sangleyes: derived from hiang (or xiang) and ley, meaning “a traveling merchant;” appellation of Chinese traders in the Philippines.
3 The prau or parao (a name of Malay origin) was a large, flat boat with two masts, and lateen sails; used for carrying freight, and employed in the rivers and bays.
4 Cf. Friar Odoric's description of the green pepper found in Malabar (called by the Arabs Balad-ul-Falfal, “the Pepper Country”)—growing on vines which the natives plant against tall trees for support, and bearing fruit “just like bunches of grapes;” see Yule's Cathay, vol. i, pp. clxxvii, 77.
5 The tael is a Chinese money of account, worth formerly about $1.50; now $1.68, “Tael” is the trade name in China for the ounce of silver; it also designates a weight, of 1⅓ oz. avoirdupois.
6 This lake, about seventeen miles long, is the second largest lake in Luzón. It is also named Taal, after the celebrated volcano in its midst. Its outlet is the river Pansipit.
7 Spanish pildoras (“pills”); a jocular allusion to the leaden bullets from the muskets.
8 The Malay appellation rajá or raxa, meaning “a sovereign,” is used of rulers in Manila or Tondo. See Retana's note on Zúñiga's Estadismo, vol. ii, pp. 521*, 522*.
9 Cafre (or Kafir): a term applied by Mahometans to the heathen natives of conquered countries; it means “infidels.” From this originated the name Kafiristan (“country of infidels”), applied to the region north of the Punjaub of India and south of the Hindu-Kush Mountains; its people are called Kafirs. See Yule's Cathay, vol. ii, p. 554.
10 Vara: a measure of length, equivalent to a little more or a little less (in different Spanish countries) than thirty-three English inches.
11 In the Spanish text, se acordo dar sanctiago en los moros,—literally, “it was decided to give the 'Santiago' among the Moros,”—the Santiago (“St. James”) being the war-cry of the Spaniards when engaging with Moors and other “infidels.”
Act of Taking Possession of Luzon1
In the island called by the natives “Luzon the greater,” in a town and river of the same called Manila, on the sixth of June in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy, the honorable Martin de Goite, his Majesty's master-of-camp in these Western Islands, declared before me, Hernando Riquel, chief government notary, and in the presence of the undersigned witnesses, that, inasmuch as—a thing well and generally known—his Excellency being in this river of Manila, with the men and ships accompanying him, and having made peace and drawn his blood with two chiefs, styling themselves kings of this said town (by name Soliman and Raxa respectively), and without giving them cause or treating them in a manner that would make the said natives change their attitude, the above said chiefs began war treacherously and unexpectedly, without advising him beforehand; and wounded and seized certain Indians accompanying us. After that they discharged the artillery in their fort, two balls from which struck the ship “San Miguel,” on board of which was the said master-of-camp. He, in order to guard himself from the injury which the said Page 86Moros were doing him in starting the war, and to prevent their artillery from harming his men, attacked the said fort of the Moros, and captured it by force of arms and is now in possession of it. And inasmuch as the said fort and town of Manila have been won in lawful and just war, and since, according to the said natives, Manila is the capital of all the towns of this said island: therefore in his Majesty's name, he was occupying and did occupy, was taking and did take, royal ownership and possession, actual and quasi, of this said island of Luzon and of all the other ports, towns, and territories adjoining and belonging to this said island. Moreover, as a sign of real occupation, he ordered his ensign to raise the flag of his company on the fort built by the natives, had the artillery found in the said fort taken for his Majesty, and performed other acts and duties as a sign of real occupation. And when he had thus taken the said possession in his Majesty's name, he asked me, the aforesaid notary, to certify and attest it, and to draw up a statement so that the proceeding might be clearly set forth. In fulfilment of that demand, I, the said Hernando Riquel, certify, as an actual witness, to whomsoever may see this present, that the said master-of-camp took and seized in his Majesty's name the said possession in the manner above specified. And in affirmation of the above I draw up this statement, which the said master-of-camp signed; witnesses to all the abovesaid being the sergeant-major Juan de Morones, the high constable Graviel de Rrivera, the ensign-in-chief Gaspar Ramirez, and many other soldiers in the said fort.
Martin de Goite
Drawn in my presence:
Collated with the original, which is in my possession.
[Endorsed: “Possession taken of the island of Luçon in his Majesty's name.” “Possession of Luzon.”] Page 88
1 Bound up with the MS. of this document, in the archives at Sevilla, are similar official acts for “the islands of Luban, Similara, Baluyan, Helin, and Vindoro.”
Letter from Miguel Lopez de Legazpi to Felipe II
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
With Captain Joan de la Ysla, who arrived at this river on St. John's eve last, I received a letter from your Majesty from the Escorial1 dated the sixteenth of November, of the year sixty-eight, with the despatches and the favors that your Majesty was pleased to grant this camp. For these and for other things that we expect from your Majesty, all these faithful vassals of your Majesty, and in their name for all, kiss your Majesty's royal feet and hands. We pray God, our lord, to give us time and opportunity, as loyal vassals employed in your royal service, to merit being the instruments of the augmentation of your royal crown, with increase of new realms and dominions; and that in the fortunate days of your Majesty the Christian faith may be planted, grow, and increase in these lands, where the infidelity and rule of the Devil, our adversary, so long prevailed. Page 89
With the ships that left here last year (sixty-nine), under Captain Felipe de Salcedo, I sent your Majesty a report of everything that happened until then and the affair with the captain general of the Portuguese fleet. They write me that this same Felipe de Salcedo took this despatch to your Majesty on a despatch boat that was sent from Mexico, for this purpose, whereby your Majesty will have seen, learned, and understood what occurred here. We have had no word here, since then, of the Portuguese; nor do I believe that they will return, because they were much harassed, and also I am certain that none of those that went from here will have any desire to return. That, however, is no reason why I should neglect what concerns your Majesty's royal service. I await them within three months in this archipelago, which is the time in which they can come; and so I live with as much foreboding as if I had them before me.
By other letters I have entreated your Majesty, informing you of the necessity in this archipelago for boats with oars; and how important they will be for the further discovery of other things of greater importance, which until now has been neglected, through not having these boats. Twice I have sent men in Indian praus for explorations to the north and northwest of us. Once they discovered certain islands, small but well peopled with Moros; and the other time they discovered on the coast of Luçon, which is a large island, several settlements of Moros. The latter have artillery, which they themselves cast and finish, and likewise powder and other ammunition. Some of the towns received them in peace, but others would not. The possessions taken in your Page 90Majesty's name accompany the present letter. These Moros have much more trade, because they make voyages for that purpose, going among the people on the Chinese mainland, and to the Japanese. I again repeat how advantageous it would be to your Majesty's service to have some oared vessels here, because the Spanish are not accustomed to navigate with skill in those of the Indians, and run great risks by going in them. And in order that this may not occur, will your Majesty please command that what seems best to you in that case be ascertained and provided.
The Portuguese left us so badly accredited with these natives that some of them withdrew from our friendship; and it has been necessary to turn to pacifying them again, and at somewhat greater cost than the first time. In the future we shall have the greatest care in their conversion and good treatment, as your Majesty commands. We will gladly strive to bring them to the subjection and dominion of your royal Majesty, and with those who refuse and do not wish it, we shall adopt more convenient means to preach and teach to them all the evangelical law, wherein God our lord and your Majesty will be well served.
In fulfilment of your Majesty's orders, on these two ships which are going to Nueva España, I send ten or twelve Portuguese from this camp. Some still remain but it seemed to me that to avoid trouble, it was well not to send many together. I am certain that some of them are good soldiers, and have served your Majesty very well. There has not been heard or imagined of them anything that they ought not to have done, but your Majesty's order was very Page 91well considered and noted, and therefore will be executed. On the first ships that leave here will go those who remain. The foreigners of these nations can not be banished at present, without considerable inconvenience; because all the workmen, carpenters, gunners, and half of the sailors are foreigners, Some of the soldiers are Flemings, and others Italians, Venetians, Greeks, French, and so on. Wherefore no new action has been taken in this at present, until your Majesty is pleased to have the matter looked into, and shall command what you think best to be done about it.
We have had news here from Mexico that a certain fleet that sailed from Peru in your Majesty's name, to discover Nueva Guinea and other lands in those western regions, was instructed to settle all the lands extending westward between ten degrees north latitude and sixty degrees south latitude. This was incredible, because, as your Majesty knows, the fleets that have left Nueva España in your Majesty's name have discovered many islands and lands as far as the equator, and in south latitude. What I have settled, subdued and discovered in your Majesty's name commences at six degrees latitude north of the equator, and extends from there farther north. If it were conceded to those from Peru up to ten degrees, it would be equivalent to giving them the greater part of all this Filipinas archipelago, and more. I thought that I ought to inform you of it, so that your Majesty could make what provisions seemed best to you.
Melchior de Legazpi, my son, who for a long time has resided at that court, has charge of my affairs; and last year, Captain Felipe de Salcedo, my grandson, Page 92went to give your Majesty a report of affairs here. I humbly pray your Majesty to have them sent back, granting them favor so that they may come to serve your Majesty in these regions.
Captain Joan de la Isla goes to that court, and will return on the same ship on which he went. He has served and labored much; I pray your Majesty to reward him as he merits. With him I send your Majesty two bronze culverins [versos] made by the Moros of this land, so that your Majesty may see what dexterity they possess in working and casting artillery. Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty, may our Lord guard and increase the life and person of your Royal Majesty with more kingdoms and seigniories for many happy years, with victories over your enemies, as your royal heart desires. From this island of Panae, on St. James' Day, July xxv, 1570. Your Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty's most humble and faithful servant, who kisses your royal feet and hands.
1 The palace of the Escorial was built in the town of that name, twenty-four miles from Madrid, by Felipe II; it was begun in 1563, and completed in 1584, except that the pantheons were added by Felipe IV. The total cost is estimated at £660,000 sterling; it is one of the largest buildings in the world, being a rectangle of six hundred and eighty by five hundred and thirty feet. It is a palace and monastery combined, the latter being in charge of the Augustinian order.
Evidence Regarding the Portuguese Expedition Against Cebu—1570
In the island and town of Cubu in the Western Felipinas islands, on the twenty-first of October, one thousand five hundred and seventy, the very illustrious Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, governor and captain-general for his Majesty the king, Don Felipe, our lord, and of his troops and royal fleet for the exploration of the said islands, in the presence of me, Fernando Riquel, chief government notary, and of the undersigned witnesses: he declared that, whereas the day before yesterday, the nineteenth of this present month, while he was building some gabions on the river of Çubu, for the defense of certain pieces of artillery, which he ordered to be mounted there, Gonzalo Pereira, captain-general of the Portuguese fleet which is anchored in this port, wrote to him that he must stop work on those gabions which were being made on the said river. To please him, the said governor, although the gabions were for the defense of the said artillery, yesterday (the twentieth of the said month) ordered the men to stop work. In the morning the said captain-general wrote to him again, ordering him to demolish the said gabions, as it seemed to him that they were being Page 94made as a menace to him and his fleet; and that he should reply to him what he intended to do in this matter, for, whether he answered or not, it will be held as if answered. At the same time when the Portuguese sent the above letter, the said governor had written to the said captain-general, and had sent to him the factor Andres de Mirandaola, and myself, the said Fernando Riquel, with an answer to a requisition which the said captain-general had sent him the day before. Whereupon the captain-general again sent word that he must order the said gabions to be destroyed; because, if they were not destroyed between that time and the evening of that day, he would take it for granted that war was declared. This said day, after dinner, the aforesaid persons having returned with this message of reply to the said governor, they told him how the galleys and small boats of the Portuguese fleet were coming ashore. The said governor ordered the master-of-camp, Martin de Goiti, to go to see what was wanted. The said Portuguese—immediately, and before the expiration of the time-limit set by the said captain-general, and without waiting for any response to be given—those of the said galleys and fustas, began to batter down the said gabions with a great number of guns; and they continued this almost until sunset. Nevertheless, the said governor ordered that no one should discharge any artillery at them from his camp; on the contrary, he reproved an artilleryman who, without his permission, discharged one gun. While the said Portuguese were demolishing the said gabions, the said governor sent the said answer to the said captain-general, complaining that he was commencing and making unjust war, against all Page 95reason and without the said governor having given any occasion for it. Not only did the Portuguese not relax at all but sent part of his galleys and fustas to blockade the other entrance to this harbor, which lies toward the east, so that nothing can enter or leave this camp. The governor declared that the said Portuguese have said and published that through famine they will seize and carry us away prisoners, by force. In order that the manner in which the said captain-general and his men commenced to make war—and they began it, as is related hereafter—may be manifest both now and in the future, he said that he asked me, the said notary, as he did, to certify these facts to all the aforesaid in public form, in such wise that witness may be had for the protection of the rights of his Majesty, and of himself in the king's royal name. All those who were present he ordered to witness it, and signed it with his name.
I, the said Fernando Riquel, chief notary aforesaid certify to whomsoever shall see this present, or copies of it drawn up in public form, that on yesterday, Wednesday in the morning, the twentieth of this said month, I, having gone by the order of his lordship the said governor to the flagship where the said captain-general Gonzalo de Pereira was, to take him a certain answer to a requisition sent by the said captain-general to the said governor, the said captain-general sent an oral message through me, the said notary, and the factor, Andres de Mirandaola, to the said governor, to the effect that, if on the evening of that day the gabions on the river of Cubu were not ordered to be demolished, he would consider war declared. With this message we came from the said ship. Almost at high noon, and after Page 96dinner, I, being in the said governor's room, despatching certain messages which the said governor had to send to the said captain-general, we heard a heavy fire of artillery. It was reported to the said governor that the Portuguese, in fustas and galleys, were attacking and firing upon the river of Cubu, where there were certain works and soldiers from this camp. The said governor ordered that no artillery should be fired from this camp; on the contrary, he reproved an artilleryman who fired a piece without his permission. Then he sent me, the said notary, with a letter and other despatches to the said captain-general. I went to his galleon and on my way thither, I saw that the said galleys and fustas were discharging artillery at the said river and the gabions. Having arrived where the said captain-general was, and having complained in the name of the said governor, he replied that he had ordered the firing of those pieces, and those being fired at the time, to frighten the troops who were on the said shore with the said gabions. Also the said captain-general said that he intended to make war without wasting so much powder as was wasted that day; that on the following day if they did not remove the gabions, war would begin in earnest. So on the said day at this hour (which might be eight o'clock, more or less), I see, and it is seen clearly, that three galleys of the said Portuguese fleet are rounding the island of Matan with oars, against a head wind, toward the other entrance of this harbor eastward. In affirmation of the abovesaid, I signed here my name, jointly with the said governor, who asked to have given him necessary copies of this testimony. There were present, as witnesses to the said request, Captains Page 97Luis de la Haya, Andres de Ybarra, Juan de Salcedo, Juan Maldonado de Verrocal, and many other soldiers of this camp.
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi
I, the said Fernando Riquel, chief notary of the royal fleet that came for the exploration of the Western Islands, and their government for his Majesty, certify to the aforesaid, in the form and manner abovesaid, wherefore I here affix my usual signature and flourish, in witness of the truth.
I, Sancho Lopez de Agurto, royal notary of the royal Audiencia and chancelleria of Nueva España for his Majesty, hereby certify that Miguel Lopez de Legazpi by whom this testimony is signed is governor and captain in the Western Islands; and Fernando de Rriquel, by whom this testimony is witnessed and signed, was appointed as his Majesty's government notary—as appears by other acts that he has exercised and exercises in the said office; and the handwriting and signature of the said subscription appears like those that I have seen him make, all of which are alike. In order that this may be manifest, by the order of this royal Audiencia, I gave this present, which is dated from the City of Mexico, on the eighteenth of January, one thousand five hundred and seventy. Wherefore I sign in witness of the truth.
Sancho Lopez de Agurto
I, Jhoan Augustin de Contreras, his Majesty's recorder of the royal Audiencia of this Nueva Page 98España, certify that Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, whose signature is attached to this testimony, was appointed governor and general of the islands of the West and Fernando Riquel as his government notary; and that I have certain information that they discharge their offices in those provinces and this is a matter well and generally known regarding the above-mentioned persons. And, having seen them writing and signing their names many times, I hold and recognize as their writing and signatures, those which are contained in the above testimony of this other part, given by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Fernando Rrequel, and followed with the subscription of the said Fernando Requel. I saw the aforesaid despatched as such governor and general and government notary of those islands, in the first fleet sailing thither in the month of December of the year sixty-four, and to which I refer. In affirmation whereof, I gave this present, which is dated at Mexico, the twenty-eighth of January, one thousand, five hundred and seventy.
Accordingly, in witness of the truth, I here affix this my signature, which is as follows:
Documents of 1571–72.
- Relation of the discoveries of the Malucos and Philippinas. [1571?]
- Requisitions of supplies for the Spanish forces in the Philippines. [1571?]
- Conquest of the island of Luzón. April 20, 1572.
- Foundation of the city of Manila. Fernando Riquel; June 19, 1572.
Sources: MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias at Sevilla. The third is obtained from Retana's Archivo del Bibliófilo filipino, iv (Madrid, 1898).
Translations: The first two documents are translated by Alfonso de Salvio; the third, by J. G. Gill; the fourth, by James A. Robertson. Page 100
Relation of the Discoveries of the Malucos and Philippinas, and Various Negotiations Concerning Them
From what may be gathered in the said account and various agreements concerning the navigation, discovery, and commerce of the Western Islands, especially those of Maluco, Philippinas, and Çubu, we must assume that the discovery of the Yndias was begun by order of the Catholic Sovereigns, in the year ninety-two, and on the second of May of the following year, ninety-three.
The supreme pontiff, Alexander the Sixth, granted to the Catholic Sovereigns of Castilla and Leon, and to their successors, the navigation of the Yndias, with all the privileges, favors, indulgences, and prerogatives which had been granted to the kings of Portugal in respect to the Yndias of Guinea, part of Affrica, and other Yndias which they might conquer. This is contained more fully in the bull of concession, an authentic copy of which is to be found in the Archives of Simancas. On the third of the said month and year, the same supreme pontiff made a concession to the Catholic Sovereigns of Castilla and Leon, and their successors, of all the Yndias in general, the islands and mainlands which had been discovered or should be discovered in the limitless Page 101future, drawing a line from pole to pole, one hundred leagues west of the Acores and Cabo Verde islands. All land already discovered and to be discovered, found west and south of this line (being not actually occupied by any Christian prince before Christmas and the beginning of the year one thousand four hundred and ninety-three)1 was to be the navigation and discovery of the kings of Castilla, and was to come under their kingdom, seigniory, and jurisdiction. He who passed this line without permission would incur blame and punishment, as is more fully shown in the original bull, which is sealed with lead and deposited in the Archives of Simancas, and dated at Rome on the fourth of May of the said year.
On the twenty-sixth of September of the said year one thousand four hundred and ninety-three, the same supreme pontiff conceded to the Catholic Sovereigns, and their successors, besides the general concession of the Yndias, whatever conquest they might make in their name in the eastern, western, and southern islands, “provided they be not occupied by any other,” etc., as is more fully shown in the original bull given in Rome on the sixth of October of the same year, and deposited in the Archives at Simancas.
These concessions made to the Catholic Sovereigns of Castilla and Leon and their successors, as well as that made to the Kings of Portogal, respecting the navigation of the East Indies, caused and still cause dispute and controversy between the kings of Castilla and those of Portugal, concerning the boundaries which should separate their navigation and discovery—the limit and bound which is to be Page 102drawn from pole to pole on this side of our hemisphere, and concerning the other bound and meridian line which is to be drawn in the hemisphere corresponding to the upper one.
Differences have existed and still exist between the kings concerning the line of demarcation which was to be drawn between their respective navigations and discoveries in this our hemisphere. The kings of Castilla claim that it was to be drawn according to the papal concession, one hundred leagues west of the islands of Acores and Cabo Verde; the kings of Portugal claim that it was to be drawn farther west, so that their side of the demarcation might include most of the coast of Brasil, and of that Tierra Firme2 adjoining it. They agreed to settle this controversy, and the kings of Castilla consented to have the line of demarcation drawn two hundred and seventy leagues farther west than the line decreed in the bull of concession, as is set forth in a deed of agreement.
(In the original instrument, drawn on paper, the said year, in the presence of Fernand Alvarez of Toledo, secretary of the Catholic Sovereigns, and in the presence of Estevan Vaes, secretary of the king of Portogal, is found a confirmation by the Catholic Sovereigns. The said instrument, drawn on parchment, in Arevalo, on the second of July, 1495, is fully signed by the Sovereigns. The signature of the prince is found below. The instrument is countersigned by the said secretary. The seal was removed, but the cord to which it was attached remains. The Page 103confirmation of the said instrument of Tordesillas by King Don Joan of Portogal is attested by a contract written on five pages of parchment, signed by the king, and countersigned by Martyn de Veyra. The confirmation was given in Ebora on February 27, 1525)
[It] practically reads that on the seventh of June, one thousand four hundred and ninety-four, the attorneys of the Catholic Sovereigns and of the king of Portogal empowered by their masters met in Tordesillas, and drew up the said instrument. The agreement reached was that a line or meridian was to be drawn from the Arctic to the Antarctic pole, three hundred and seventy leagues west of the islands of Cabo Verde. Everything west of the said line or meridian was to belong to the kings of Castilla, and that east was to be the navigation, discovery, and conquest of the kings of Portogal. The sea of the king of Portogal was open for navigation to the kings of Castilla, with the understanding that the latter should follow their course without any deviation. Whatever should be found up to the twentieth of the said month of June in the first two hundred and fifty leagues of the three hundred and seventy, was to belong to the kings of Portogal; and that which should be found in the remaining hundred and twenty leagues was to belong to the king of Castilla.
Item, both parties agreed to send within ten months an equal number of ships, pilots, astrologers, and sailors to mark out the said line of demarcation.
It is not specified that within the said ten months they did send the said pilots, astrologers, and sailors to draw the said line of demarcation; on the contrary, Page 104it is clear that the said line was not drawn; for according to the copy of a decree and declaration of the Catholic Sovereigns given in Madrid on May the seventh, 1495, and signed by the secretary Samano, it is urged that the said line be drawn—from which it is evident that the line had not been drawn within the ten months. That this line had not been drawn appears also from the conferences and records concerning the possession and ownership of the Malucos, between the commissioners of both parties in the year twenty-four at the bridge of Acaya, Yelves, and Badajoz, where the determination of this line of demarcation was discussed; and the determination thereof, discussed under three heads.
First, whether a spherical or plane surface should be considered in drawing the line of demarcation.
Second, how should the islands of Cabo Verde be properly situated and located.
Third, from which of the said islands should they begin to measure the three hundred and seventy leagues for the demarcation.
The Castilians agreed with the Portuguese to employ the spherical surface and still not to exclude the plane surface and other measurements. The second point appears not to have been discussed. As to the third, the Castilians disagreed with the Portuguese, saying that the three hundred and seventy leagues were to begin from the island of Santo Anton, the most western of the islands of Cabo Verde. The Portuguese claimed that they ought to begin from the islands of La Sal and Buena Vista, the most eastern of the group. It seems (the original having been destroyed) that each party was striving to have the islands of Maluco fall on his side of the Page 105demarcation—thus contending for the contrary of what they claimed in the year 1494, when each party, ignorant of the differences which would arise about the Malucos, was striving to have the coast of Brasil fall on its side of the demarcation.
Item: From the Castilian and Portuguese sea-charts it appears that the said line of demarcation was neither drawn nor determined; because, in the model sea-charts deposited in the India house of trade in Sevilla, this line or meridian is found drawn from pole to pole so as to cut our hemisphere three hundred and seventy leagues from the island of Sancto Anton, the last of the Cabo Verde islands. It also cuts the coast of Brasil about two degrees from the equinoctial line through the land of Humos, the tropic of Capricorn, the Cape of Dospermitas, and the river of Sant Salvador. According to these charts, the line of demarcation of the king of Portogal includes three hundred and ninety leagues through which the line of demarcation passes inland, and for a distance of six hundred leagues down along the coast. Within the line of demarcation of the kings of Castilla fall all of Tierra Nova [Newfoundland], of the Bacallaos, and of Labrador. In the Portoguese sea-charts, this line of demarcation is so drawn as to cut Brasil farther north than the great river of Orellana or Amazonas, two degrees from the equinoctial line, and thirty-eight degrees south, through the low submerged districts, so that it cuts the land seven hundred leagues inland and almost one thousand three hundred leagues along the coast, including within the demarcation of Portogal all of Tierra Nova, Bacallaos, and Labrador.
[Here follows some matter which we omit, as Page 106superfluous—an account of Portuguese settlements in Brazil, decisions of the Junta of Badajoz, and the Treaty of Zaragoza.]
After the execution of the said deed, one of the first and chief instructions in the settlements and discoveries made, as well as on the merchant vessels and fleets despatched, is that no one shall go beyond the line of demarcation of the king of Portogal, and the boundaries specified in the said contract. A similar injunction forbidding men to go beyond the boundaries of demarcation of the king of Portogal was made after the execution of the demarcation deed, in the year fourteen hundred and ninety-four.
1535. In the year thirty-five, Simon de Alcaçava was despatched with two hundred and forty men. He passed the strait of Magallanes and one of the ships returned to Santiago de Cuba.
1536. In the year thirty-six, Cortes sent Grijalva and Alvarado with two ships below the equinoctial line. They reached the Malucos.
1542. In the year forty-two, Don Antonio de Mendoza sent from Nueva España Ruy Lopez de Villalobos with four ships, four hundred soldiers, and four hundred Indians. He discovered Mindanaos, Çubu, and Nata.
1543. In the year forty-three, Villalobos despatched Bernardo de la Torre to give an account of the expedition and its route; he discovered and named the Philippinas islands.
1545. In the year forty-five, the said Villalobos went to the island of Nuzo, to the city of Sanuso, to Gilolo, and to Tidori. From Tidori he sent Yñigo Ortiz de Roda as captain, and Gaspar Rico as pilot. On the way they discovered the coast of Nueva Page 107Guinea, which had been discovered by Saavedra in the year twenty-seven.
1545. On November the ninth, 1545, his Majesty the Emperor wrote from Bruxas [Brussels] to Don Antonio de Mendoça, viceroy of Nueva España, saying that the ambassador of the king of Portogal had in behalf of the latter complained that the fleet of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos went to the islands of Maluco; and that, being requested by the governor of that place to leave, had gone to another island, where it remained.
(Ruy Lopez de Villalobos died, and his companions endured so many hardships, that finally they were obliged to return to Spaña by way of the province of Yndia. This is verified by a letter of Fray Gonzalo de Santistevan, an Augustinian, who was with the fleet.)
In order to please the king of Portogal, his Majesty ordered the captain and his people to leave that place immediately. The said viceroy and other magistrates in whose districts the captain and his men might land were requested to arrest them, and to confiscate their drugs and spices. His Majesty warned the viceroy that this decree was issued to please the king of Portogal, and requested him to send news of the outcome. Dissembling and secrecy was required, etc.
1559. On September 24, 1559, a decree of his Majesty was sent from Valladolid to Don Luys de Velasco, ordering him to send men to discover the Philippinas islands, and other places where spices could be found; but in doing this they were to avoid Maluco and other places forbidden by the compact. Page 108
1560. On May 28, 1560, Fray Andres de Urdaneta wrote from Mexico that he had received the above-mentioned decree of September 24, and offered himself to undertake the expedition. He sent a memorial in which he declared that the Philipina island does not come within the agreement, and that the expedition could be made under the pretext of going to rescue the men who were captured from the fleet of Fray Garcia de Loaysa in the year 1525, from the one which Cortes despatched in the year 1527, from that which Don Antonio sent in 1542, and from another ship despatched by Cortes, which was lost on its course from Nueva España. Don Luys began to get ready the fleet. At his death the Audiencia of Mexico made haste to complete the preparations; and on the first of September, one thousand five hundred and sixty-four, instructions were given to Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who had been appointed governor and general of the discovery of the Western Islands. The latter set sail with four ships on November 21, 1564. On April 27, 1551 [sic], he reached the island of Çubu, where he built a fort. He took possession in his Majesty's name of the Barbudos Islands, the Ladrones Çibabao, the bay of Sant Pedro and Maletie in the island of Camiguinni, and Bohol. He despatched the flagship under command of his grandson Phelippe de Salzedo, and Fray Andres de Urdaneta. They set sail on June the first, sixty-five, and on September the eighteenth they came in sight of the first land of Nueva Spañia, the island of Sant Salvador, which is in twenty-nine and five-sixths degrees north latitude. On the first of October, they reached the port of La Navidad; but, without stopping there, they proceeded to Acapulco Page 109which is a better port, forty-five leagues nearer to Mexico.
As soon as the flagship arrived, an advice-ship was despatched from Nueva Spaña. It reached the royal settlement at Çubu on the fifteenth of October, 1566, without the store of arms, ammunition, and other provisions needed. The captain and ensign were missing, for they had been killed in a mutiny.
Phelipe de Salzedo as general, Captain Artieda with a company, and another company of Juan de Aguirre for Captain Andres de Ybarra, set sail in April, 1567, with two ships and three hundred men, both sailors and soldiers. They reached Çubu August 20, 1567.
The general Miguel Lopez despatched a ship commanded by Joan de la Ysla. It reached Nueva España November 16, 1567; and España June 5, 68.
The Council hastened to get ready a ship in Santander with the said aid, arms, and ammunition, and to entrust it to the said Joan de la Ysla. The preparations were carried out by Joan de Peñalosa, administrator of the marine tithes, to whom the affair was entrusted. The ship set sail with good weather August 27, 1569. The ship, its repairing, and the goods it carried cost four million eight hundred and seventeen thousand eight hundred and seventy-six and one-half maravedis, as is evident by the memorandum of Joan de Peñalosa for the said day.
The ship reached Nueva Spaña on the last of October, 1569. On March 9, 70, it left the port of Acapulco with two hundred men including sailors, soldiers, workmen, and married men. Joan de la Ysla says that the officials of Nueva Spaña wasted one hundred and twenty-six thousand pesos on his Page 110expedition, and as much while he remained there. He reached the islands at the end of May, and cast anchor in the island of Marapite. Thence he sent despatches to the governor and awaited his orders. On the arrival of the orders he set sail, June 20, and reached Panae, where the governor was, on the twenty-third of June.
On July 27, he left Panae for Nueva Spaña, with two of the three ships which the other had brought, and reached the port of Acapulco in Nueva España, November 21, 1570. January 25, 1571, he left Sant Juan de Lua, and reached Sant Lucas April 17, 1571. Through an advice-ship sent by the viceroy, Juan de la Ysla was requested to set sail with the two ships, not later than the month of February. The time to set out from Nueva Spaña is from the beginning of November to the latter part of January; the voyage will last two months. The time to set out for Nueva España is from the end of July to the beginning of August; the voyage will last three months. Page 111
1 The matter in parentheses is side notes in the original.
2 Tierra firme: this term means simply “the continent,” and was at that time applied to the northern mainland of South America, as distinguished from the adjacent islands.
Requisitions of Supplies for the Spanish Forces in the Philippines—1570–71 (circa)
Memorandum of the articles asked for by the governor of the Felipinas islands—with a note of what can be supplied from Nueva España, and what must be brought from España. This memorandum was brought last year by the advice ships.1
First, he asks for rigging. We must buy some of that brought by the merchant fleet; for none was sent here from España on his Majesty's account. A supply must be sent, for it is very expensive here.
(Six hundred and forty-five arrobas and fourteen libras of small rigging were taken.)
They ask also for pitch. It will be sent from here
(A large quantity of pitch and tar was taken.)
Tow. We have very little of it in this country.
(There were taken cxxxvii arrobas of tow, and cvii arrobas of old rigging for the same purpose.)
Saltpetre. We shall send what we have from here.
(Six quintals, nine libras were taken, because they Page 112need it there only to refine the powder; likewise xi arrobas of sulphur.)
Powder. We have it here.
(There were taken cl quintals2 and three arrobas.)
Two shipmasters to build ships and galleys. Shipmasters are not to be found in this land.
(Only one carpenter was taken, for we could not supply more.)
Twelve carpenters for the same purpose. We shall look for them here although it will be difficult to find any.
Twelve calkers. They also will be supplied from the merchant ships.
(Four were taken.)
Two overseers. They will be procured here.
(Enough men were sent for that purpose.)
Galley captains who know how to make lateensails. They are not to be found in this land, unless some come on the merchant ships.
Fifty bombardiers. There are none here, except those who are in the port. We shall try to send some.
(Five were taken, and these are sufficient; for Robles, who went there as artillery founder after having served all his life in these royal houses, will instruct enough of the soldiers going from here so that they may serve whenever it is necessary.)
Two artillery founders.
(One went, Robles by name—he who is mentioned above.)
(Some of the soldiers who went there can make valuable suggestions in that respect.)
Five hundred pikes. We shall send the iron heads from here, for the wood can be found in the islands. (Three hundred pikes were sent; for we heard afterward that the wood of that land was of an inferior quality. Therefore may your Majesty be pleased to order that a thousand pikes be sent us, for the wood of this country is irreparably worm-eaten.)
Corselets. Any quantity. There are very few of them in our military stores.
(None of them will be found here, unless your Majesty orders that they be sent from España. It is not right that the military stores of these royal households be left without corselets.)
Large artillery, six pieces, averaging forty quintals; and two swivel-guns. We do not have them here, and it is very difficult to transport them to the wharf; so that it will be better to cast them in the islands.
(The governor wrote that he had there a number of pieces of artillery which he had bought; and others that had burst, from which some might be made. Eighty arrobas of tin were taken; and now they are taking cc quintals of copper, for we had no time to extract it last year.)
A good arquebuse officer. He will not be easily found here.
(He was sent.)
Thin wrought iron for forelock plate-bolts. We shall send it from here, although Valero said that it would be less expensive if it came from España.
Thin iron plates. We will send them also from here.
(The ninety-two quintals, two arrobas and nine libras contained a quantity of iron plates.)
Fine steel for carpenters' axes and other tools. All of this that comes in the merchant ships will be sent from here.
(Twenty arrobas of steel were taken.)
Two pairs of bellows of the best kind. We have them here.
(Four pairs were taken.)
Two screws. We shall send them from here.
(They were taken.)
One anvil. It will be sent from here.
(One large anvil was taken.)
Two screw plates to make screws for arquebuses. We shall send them from here.
(One was taken.)
Two grind-stones. They will be sent from here.
(Two were taken.)
Two dozen carpenters' axes. We will send them from here.
(They were taken.)
Six French saws. They shall be sent from here.
(They were sent.)
Oil. We must send some of that which comes in the merchant ships.
Lead. We have it.
(cc quintals were taken. But this is the first time that we have been asked for lead; for each time that soldiers go, they take with them all the lead they wish; and it was never known that they needed it there. The vessels here are leaded, but not there; for never until now has any vessel been launched Page 115there, that has to sail on this course [between the Philippines and New Spain].)
Tin. We must buy some of that which comes from España, for we have none here.
(Eighty arrobas were taken—those above-mentioned.)
Copper. We have it here.
(cc quintals are being taken now; for it had not been extracted when the ship sailed.)
(ccxix quintals and three arrobas, less a small quantity used in repairing the ship in the port, were taken; and more of it will be taken this year.
Trumpeters and mechanics.
(At the time we had no Indians to send them, nor do we have any now.)
Indian workmen of all trades: tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, masons.
(At the time we had no Indians to send them, nor do we have them now.)
In addition to all the above the vessel took the founder who was going to cast artillery.
One tulcapoté, to cover the clay mould for the artillery. Two levels. One claw hammer. One medium sized saw. One quintal of steel to make files, punches, and drills, for boring the artillery. Twenty-nine arrobas and ten libras of wrought iron for the manufacture of animas, sledge hammers, tongs, and hammers with which to work the iron for the artillery. A screw-plate with seven holes; and seven sledge-hammers. One anvil and forge. Another small forge and three screws.
[Endorsed: “Without date or signature.”]
[All these items apparently refer to articles subsequently Page 116added to the list; for on the MS. each one is checked off.]
Memorandum of what we need in this camp of his Majesty which is stationed and has its residence in the Western Islands, in addition to the requests made in the letters and memoranda which have been sent in the past. It is as follows:
Bellows: First of all we need four pairs of bellows—two pairs made of dressed leather, and the other two of rawhide. They should be sent wrapped in coarse frieze, and placed in their jars, so as not to be gnawed by worms.
Tubes: Four pairs of bellows-tubes large enough for the forges.
Axes: One hundred Viscayan iron axes for the carpenters.
Anvils: An anvil weighing about one quintal or six arrobas.
Pitch: Three hundred quintals of pitch.
Tar: A large quantity of tar.
Tallow: Tallow in quantity, as may be needed, to be sent in suitable skins or casks.
Nails: Item, nails one span in length, and for crosswise timbers. Item, spikes and clinch nails.
Sail-cloth: A quantity of sail-cloth.
Paper: A large bale of paper, for we have none.
Books: Twelve books of large paper, bound in parchment, for the accountant.
Twine and sail needles: Some sailmaker's twine and long sail-needles.
Saws: A dozen carpenters' hand-saws.
Tacks and leather: Tacks and some pieces of tanned leather for the pump.
Hoops, casks, and staves: Casks and hoops suitable for this land, because we have used a third of those brought here by the ships, in repairs for the return, voyage. Let a large quantity of staves be sent.
Coopers: Item, two coopers.
Carpenters: Item, some ship-carpenters, provided they be good workmen.
Rope-maker: Item, a rope-maker, for we are in great need of one to make rigging here.
Tarpauling-nails: A quantity of tarpauling-nails.
Grappling-irons: Some grappling-irons, for the frigates have lost those brought by Captain Juan de la Ysla in the year seventy. Let some be of five arrobas' weight, and the others from four to six arrobas.
Anchors: Some anchors, of three or four quintals each.
Boilers: Half a dozen pitch boilers, for we have none of them.
Wine: Wine for the sacrifice of the mass, and for the sick; also some vinegar.
Assayer: Item, an assayer, for we are in much need of one.
Negroes: We are in great need of negroes for the labors of this camp, so as to avoid the inconveniences that arise from [depending on] the natives.
Soap: One or two quintals of soap; we greatly need it for the rigging which is being made in this land.
Mariner's compasses: Half a dozen of mariner's compasses.
Hour-glasses: Twenty hour-glasses indicating one to one-and-a-half hours.
Screws: Two good screws for filing arquebuses.
Iron wire: Six libras of iron wire to repair arquebuse locks.
Tin: Two libras of sheet-tin for the tinning of locks.
Rigging: All sorts of rigging.
Smiths: A smith who knows how to make crowbars, adzes, axes, and chisels, and how to sharpen tools.
Gunpowder: A large quantity of gunpowder.
Sulphur and saltpetre: Sulphur and saltpetre.
Medicines: Some medicines for the sick and wounded.
Lead: Lead, both in bars and in sheets.
Gunners: Gunners are much needed.
Pickaxes, shovels: Pickaxes and crow's-foot shovels.
Kettles: Large and small mess-kettles, for there are none.
Balances: Two new balances, one of them small.
Weights and denominations: Weights to weigh gold and silver, graduated from two to four libras.
Bells: Small and large bells for churches.
Measures: Measures of one arroba, half-arroba, azumbre and quartillo.
Half-hanega: Two half-hanegas, one celemin, and one half-celemin.3 Page 119
Fishing-nets and fishermen: Two fishing-nets and a couple of fishermen [pescadores], if they are to be found.
Stamps for the tithes: Stamps for branding the tithes, for those which were sent are out of order; also a small anvil and hammers, for marking the fifths.4
Tow: A large quantity of tow, for we have none.
For the main church: Item, we need a pair of chalices with their silver pitchers, two missals, and some altar-cloths and linen for the main church of this city. We need them because all that was sent us was taken by the Augustinian religious, and we are unable to get any of them.
1 Internal evidence indicates that this list was prepared in New Spain. In the MS., in the right-hand column are enumerated the articles demanded for the Philippines; on the left is a statement of articles sent—various memoranda being made on each side. As here presented, the items in the left-hand column follow (within parentheses) the corresponding items on the right hand.
2 The Spanish quintal (100 libras), varied in different provinces; that of Castilla was equivalent to 101.6097 United States pounds. Other denominations: 25 libras = 1 arroba; 4 arrobas = 1 quintal; 20 quintals = 1 tonelada.
3 Of these measures of capacity, the first set are for liquid measure: 4 copas = 1 cuartillo; 4 cuartillos = 1 azumbre; 8 Page 119nazumbres = 1 arroba mayor or cantara. This arroba equals 4.26304 gallons, and is supposed to contain the weight of 35 libras of pure (i.e., distilled) water. The arroba for oil, however, is only 3.31853 gallons.
The other measures are for dry substances. Hanega is only another form of fanega (= 1.599 bushels), which is described in Vol. II, note 72; the celemín is the same as the almude (note 20, ante). Table: 4 ochavillos = 1 racion; 4 raciones = 1 cuartillo; 2 cuartillos = 1 medio; 2 medios = 1 almude; 12 almudes = 1 fanega; 12 fanegas = 1 cahíz.
4 References to the shares, in goods discovered or produced, which were to be set aside for the king and the church.
Relation of the Conquest of the Island of Luzon
An account of the discovery and conquest of the islands of Luzón and Mindoro, together with the most important events which took place therein, being a brief and summarized relation of the conquest and reduction of all that has been conquered and subdued in these islands up to the present time. Likewise is contained herein a description of the civilization of the people and their mode of living; the weapons which they possess and use; and the forts which they build to defend themselves against their enemies. I have ventured to write this relation because I have been informed that many things concerning events in this land have been written, and sent to Nueva España, which are the merest fable and conjecture. For instance, they say that there are in this country Moors like those of Barberia [Barbary], and that their strength in arms is quite equal to that of those people; and that they fight and defend themselves like the Turks. Those who have so written are in error. Much to the contrary, it is quite certain that the natives of this island of Luzón, whom we Spaniards commonly call Moros, are not so; for the truth is that they do not know or understand the law of Mahoma—only in some of the villages on the Page 121seacoast they do not eat pork, and this for the reason that they have had dealings with the Moros of Burney, who have preached to them a little of the teaching of Mahoma. As I shall farther on treat more in detail of the rites and ceremonies of these natives, I shall in the first place describe the wars between them and the Spaniards, without useless amplification or omission; for thus have I been instructed to do by a certain person who has ordered me to write, and thus whatever I may say in defense of these natives will be read without any mistrust whatever, for whosoever reads this will know the truth with regard to what occurs here.
The first thing which I shall attempt to relate herein will be an expedition which was made by Captain Juan de Salzedo when he was governor in the island of Panai. As has been already related in other accounts, written in the year sixty-nine, the Portuguese raised the blockade established by them on the island of Çubú against the camp of his Majesty, because of certain difficulties which arose; and the governor determined to cross to the island of Panay with his captains in order to levy tribute upon the people of certain provinces. His nephew, recently made captain of the company which his brother Felipe de Sauzedo had brought to these islands, was sent with forty soldiers to certain islands. This captain embarked in fourteen or fifteen small native boats, and set out for an islet which is called Elem,1 and when we had reached this island we did Page 122not find any resistance whatever, for all the natives came to us in peace. From there, led by a guide, he crossed to the island of Mindoro, and made an attack one night just about dawn upon a very rich native village called Mamburau, and plundered it. Many of the natives were captured, some of whom afterward bought their liberty, and others were allowed to go free. Thence he took a guide for a little islet, Loban by name, which is fifteen leagues farther. When the captain was departed, the natives, who had fled from the village, returned and saw the havoc and destruction caused by the Spaniards, and were unwilling to return to rebuild it; accordingly they themselves set fire to it, and totally destroyed it. The captain, having arrived at his destination at midnight, with all possible secrecy leaped ashore, and arranged his men and the Pintados2 Indians whom he had with him in ambuscade near the villages, in order to make the attack upon them at daybreak. However, the natives of this island having been informed of the hostile incursion of the Spaniards, withdrew with their children and wives and all their belongings that they could take with them, to three forts which they had constructed. Now since these were the first natives whom we found with forts and means of defense, I shall describe here the forts and weapons which they possessed. The two principal forts were square in form, with ten or twelve culverins on each side, some of them moderately large and others very small. Each fort had a wall two Page 123estados high, and was surrounded by a ditch two and one-half brazas in depth, filled with water. The small weapons used by these natives are badly tempered iron lances, which become blunt upon striking a fairly good coat of mail, a kind of broad dagger, and arrows—which are weapons of little value. Other lances are also used which are made of fire-hardened palm-wood and are harder than the iron ones. There is an abundance of a certain very poisonous herb which they apply to their arrows. Such are the weapons which the natives of these islands possess and employ. Now as the captain approached the villages at daybreak, and found them empty, he proceeded through a grove to the place where the first fort was situated; and, having come in sight, negotiated with them, asking whether they desired to be friends of the Spaniards. The natives, confident of their strength, refused to listen, and began to discharge their culverins and a few arrows. The captain, seeing that they would not listen to reason, ordered them to be fired upon. The skirmish lasted in one place or the other about three hours, since the Spaniards could not assault or enter the fort because of the moat of water surrounding it. But, as fortune would have it, the natives had left on the other side, tied to the fort, a small boat capable of holding twenty men; and two of our soldiers threw themselves into the water and swam across, protected by our arquebusiers from the enemy, who tried to prevent them. This boat having been brought to the side where the Spaniards were, fifteen soldiers entered it and approached the rampart of the fort. As soon as these men began to mount the rampart, the Indians began to flee on the other side, by a Page 124passage-way which they had made for that very purpose. It is true that thirty or forty Moros fought and resisted the entrance of the Spaniards; but when they saw that half of our people were already on the wall, and the rest in the act of mounting, they all turned their backs and fled. A hundred or more of them were killed, while of our men five were wounded. In this way was the fort taken, together with fifty or sixty prisoners, ten or twelve culverins, and everything else in it. On the morning of the next day, which was the second of May, in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy, the captain set free one of the Moro prisoners, and sent him to the second fort, which was in the middle of the island very near the first one, and charged him to tell them that he summoned them to surrender peacefully. The Moro having performed his mission, and delivered the message of the captain to those in the fort, they sent back the reply that they did not desire to be friends with the Spaniards but were eager to fight with them; and with this reply the Indian aforesaid returned to the captain. On the following day we went with some four hundred friendly Indians to the fort; and the captain, advancing within sight of it, addressed them, asking that they should be friends with the Spaniards and not try to fight with them, as that would result badly for them. They again declared that they did not desire this friendship, and began to fire their culverins and discharge arrows; and in return the soldiers discharged, on all sides, their arquebuses. But during the whole day we were not able to enter the fort, for we Spaniards were very few in number; and the heat was intense, and we had not eaten, although it was near night. The captain, Page 125seeing that he had not accomplished anything, decided to return to the boats which he had left behind, and on the next morning again to besiege the fort, and hem them in as closely as possible; and thus he did. Having come in this manner and having grounded his boats upon a beach close to the enemy, when these latter saw the determination of the Spaniards, and that they would not depart under any circumstances until they had conquered them, they therefore determined to make peace and become friends. To this end the leaders came out of the fort and made peace and friendship with the captain, becoming good friends, which they are up to the present time. They gave him a hundred tall [taels] of gold, which he divided among his soldiers. From there the captain went to a rock belonging to another small islet very near to that of Loban, and lying in the sea at a very short distance from the said islet. The natives who lived in that island had retired to this rock to the number of about three hundred warriors. The captain, having arrived on the same day at about ten o'clock, went around the rock, and we captured a small boat containing thirty men. Many volleys from the arquebuses were fired at them during this day; and on the following morning the soldiers began to make ladders to scale the rock—whose occupants, when they saw the determination of the Spaniards, came to terms of peace and friendship, giving another hundred tall of gold, following the example of those of the other fort, who had been left good friends. The captain returned with all of us who were with him to the island of Panay, where the governor was with the master-of-camp, who had returned from another expedition made with his men Page 126to an island called Acuyo. Thereupon the question was discussed of sending men jto explore the island of Luzón; and it was agreed that the master-of-camp and captain Juan de Sauzedo should set out upon this expedition with a hundred soldiers.
The necessary preparations having been made for this expedition, the master-of-camp and the said captain embarked in two of our small ships, with three large pieces of artillery, and accompanied by fourteen or, fifteen ships of the Pintados Indians, our friends, who in their own language are called Viseys. They sailed out of the river of Panay in the year of seventy, above mentioned, on the third of May, the day of Sancta Cruz. I did not take part in this expedition but shall describe literally everything which occurred in it. I have drawn my information from the others who participated in it, and more especially from two of my associates, both of whom went on this expedition, and who are men of great reliability—an advantage, as I have before mentioned. The master-of-camp arrived at the island of Mindoro, the village and port of which had the reputation of being very great and very strong, but which proved to be an exaggeration, for the village is small, containing only about three or four hundred inhabitants. The master-of-camp having arrived, as I have said, at that port, the Indians were drawn up on a declivity before the village, and made signs that they intended to prevent the entrance of the Spaniards. The master-of-camp, with all his soldiers, leaped ashore in front of the village on a little plain, and, approaching the village in a zigzag course, thus attacked it. The gunners who were in the ship were ordered to discharge a cannon in the air when the Page 127attack was made, and this was done. The Indians seeing that they intended to enter the village by force, made peace with the master-of-camp, and paid him tribute; and they have remained friends and vassals of the royal Spanish administration up to the present day. This is the port where enter all the passengers who come from the islands of the Pintados and from España to this island of Luzón, where the governor resides. From here the master-of-camp set sail for the island of Luzón, or rather the port and village of Manilla, which was said to be large and very strong. It is but just to say that it is not more than one-tenth as large and as strong as in Nueva España and in other places it is reported to be; and yet, in comparison with the natives of this land, the inhabitants of Manilla were powerful, for they had twelve pieces of small and inferior artillery and a few culverins, with such other weapons as I have already mentioned. This village of Manilla is situated on a tongue of land extending from east to west between the river and the sea, and a fort had been built on the extreme western end of this peninsula at the entrance to the port. The sea makes a very large harbor about thirty leagues in circumference; and bordering upon this harbor are many villages, among which is that of Manilla.3 Manilla is now a Spanish city, founded in the name of his Majesty by the governor Miguel López de Legazpi. The captain-general Page 128and Captain Juan de Sauzedo having arrived in view of this port of Manilla, entered in peace, and under the safe-conduct of two native chiefs of the said village. One of these was called Laya, lately deceased, who died a Christian; the other was called Raxa Solimán. With these two chiefs were drawn up articles of peace, although Raxa Soliman was suspected of lack of good-faith, while Laya was always to be trusted, even until the day of his death. While these peaceful negotiations were in progress between the master-of-camp and the two chiefs above-mentioned, there collected a large number of natives of various classes; and yet there were not so many a» was reported in Nueva España, where it was claimed that there were in all eighty thousand Moros in this village of Manilla, when this event took place. Indeed one should subtract seventy-eight thousand from the eighty thousand mentioned, in order to arrive at the two thousand which there might have been from the said village of Manilla and those in its environs, including the women and children, who were present in great numbers. Now, as I say, these negotiations being in progress, some of the natives desired peace and others war; for indeed the Indians had some pride, and it seemed to them that the Spaniards were very few and could be easily slain, even if only with clubs. Thus it was that, at the end of three days during which these friendly negotiations continued (because it was impossible to come to an agreement, or conclude them), one day at ten o'clock, on the twenty-fourth day of the month of May of the year above mentioned, the Indians, who were in the fort, began to discharge their artillery at two of our ships, which were moored very near by. The master-of-camp Page 129was ashore with eighty soldiers, close to this same fort, on a small piece of level ground. The fort was made of palm-tree logs surmounting a very narrow mound, and the pieces of artillery protruded from immense gaps by which the soldiers could enter at will, as I have said above. Now when the Moros began to violate the articles of peace and friendship which the master-of-camp had made with them, the latter was deeply concerned; for he had great fear, because the enemy were in force. Yet, when he saw that the battle had broken out, he put on his helmet, and commenced to encourage his soldiers, telling them that they should acquit themselves as Spaniards, and as they had always done in critical times. Thereupon he ordered them to attack the fort through the openings made for the artillery, and it pleased God that not one of the gunners had the courage to fire his piece; and so great was the confusion, that they trembled upon seeing the Spaniards enter with so great spirit, and, turning their backs, abandoned themselves to flight, and slew one another in their mad rush for freedom. The master-of-camp, realizing that the village was large and rich, and that the victory was his by the grace of God, for the soldiers were few, feared lest our soldiers should, through greed, set to plundering the houses and become widely scattered; and that, if the enemy should see them thus scattered, they would return and attack them when unable to reunite. That he might avoid this danger he ordered the village to be set on fire, and the soldiers to collect upon the promontory, which order was obeyed. In this manner, as related, it befell the master-of-camp, and the victory was obtained over those of Manilla. The artillery which Page 130they possessed, and which I have mentioned above—namely, ten or twelve medium-sized pieces and a few culverins—was taken. On the other bank there was a village, whose chief was named Alcandora, with whom the master-of-camp did not wish to deal as yet, for he knew that the governor desired to establish a settlement in this island. Therefore, as he desired that this chief should stay where he was and do him no injury, he left him and returned to the island of Panay, making peace and friendship, on the way, with many villages on this same island of Luzón. Upon reaching the island of Mindoro, and being in a river which is called Vaco, news came to him that Juan de la Ysla had arrived from Nueva España with three ships sent by the viceroy, Don Martín Enrríquez, and with the letters which the said Juan de la Ysla was bringing from España from his Majesty. News was received likewise of the payments of money which were being made to the soldiers in the service of his Majesty in these regions. There also came on these ships the most reverend Father Diego de Herrera, a member of the order of St. Augustine, who had gone hence a year before to Nueva España, on business which pertained to the public welfare and to the service of God and his Majesty. The master-of-camp, having received the news as to these ships, made haste and arrived in the middle of the month of June at the river of Panay, where the governor was. He was well received by the governor and by all, although it grieved the governor much that they had burned Manilla, for he had planned to take up his residence in this village of Manilla, as he afterward did. According to the story told by those who were present, it does not seem that the master-of-camp Page 131was at fault in the burning of this village; for he did it in order to make sure of the victory, and so that the enemy might not return to attack him. This is my opinion, for I regard him as a good Christian. Laying aside this question, I shall relate the doings of the governor.
The ships having arrived at the said island of Panay, orders were given for all the other captains who were scattered with their companies through the other islands to assemble. The papers and letters of his Majesty were opened, and it was seen that it was his will for the lands to be settled and divided among those who conquered and subdued them. Other and greater favors were conferred by his Majesty, who has always striven and will always strive that our Lord should be served. The will of his Majesty having thus been revealed to the governor, he determined to go to found a colony on the island of Cubu, which he did, naming it El Nombre de Jesús. He left this colony populated by forty or fifty colonists, giving them some villages and islands in the immediate environs. From that island he returned to the above-named island of Panay, whence he decided to sail, with the rest of his men and all his munitions of war, to the island of Luzón. He was detained here, however, for five or six months, during which time the people suffered great distress from the lack of rice in the island, because of the swarms of locusts which had prevailed for two or three years. Therefore the father provincial preached to us each day, and strongly urged the governor, in all his public sermons and private conversations, that he should depart from this island and not permit the people to suffer so great distress. Therefore, influenced Page 132by the prayers and warnings of the said father, and because he saw that there was reason therefor, he decided to sail out of the said river of Panay with all his fleet and army, to settle the island of Luzón.
Accompanied by the ships necessary for such an expedition, the governor set sail in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-one, on the day after Easter, taking with him the father provincial, Fray Diego de Herrera, the master-of-camp and all the other captains, and two hundred and thirty arquebusiers. It was on the twentieth of the month that he set sail, and with fair weather he arrived at the island of Mindoro with his whole fleet of twenty-six or twenty-seven ships, large and small, including both our own and those of the natives who came with us. He remained on that island fifteen or sixteen days, and from thence set out for the island of Luzón, where we arrived a week later, at the bay which I have before mentioned and on which Manilla is situated. When the natives knew that the governor had come with his entire force to settle upon their lands, and when they saw him entering the bay, they set fire to their village of Manilla (which they had rebuilt after its burning, a year before, by the master-of-camp); and this time many of the houses were consumed and many remained standing, while the natives crossed to the opposite shore, to the village of Alcandora. The governor having arrived at the port of Manylla one day in the middle of the month of May, at two o'clock in the afternoon, Alcandora came out in a little boat to welcome him in peace and friendship, and speak to him on behalf of Raxa Solimán and Laya, begging that he would treat them with Page 133friendship, and pardon them for having taken up arms the past year against the master-of-camp. He said that on the following day they would come, under safe conduct from him, to talk with him and make peace. The governor received him very well, and told him through an interpreter to retire for the night to his house and to come on the next day with the two Raxas, saying that he would make peace with the latter, and would treat them as sons; for he had no ill-feeling toward them, but rather regretted that they had resisted the master-of-camp. Thus with these assurances, Alcandora took his leave, going to his house greatly pleased. The next day the governor disembarked in Manilla and the three chiefs came to talk with him and declare themselves his friends. It should not be understood in Nueva España or in España that the chiefs in this land are absolute rulers, or that they have great authority or power. Rather the very opposite is true, for there exist among them the most primitive conditions to be found in any race. It often befalls that in one village, however small it may be, there are five, six, or ten chiefs, each of whom possesses twenty or thirty slaves, whom he has the power to sell, or treat as he pleases. Others there are who are called timaguas (that is to say, freemen), over whom the chiefs have no power—except that the timaguas are under obligation to follow their own chief when war arises between the different factions; and even this service is not compulsory and cannot be obtained by force. As I have said, there prevails among them the utmost rudeness and lack of harmony; so that if one says “basket,” the other responds “crossbow.” He who has the most gold and riches is the greatest chief and Page 134of the highest nobility, and is the most respected, in accordance with the vanity and vainglory of this world. It occurs to me now that this is borne out by the proverb current among the Spaniards, namely, “Dost thou wish to know thy value? see what thou hast.”
These three chiefs, having become our friends, offered to bring all the surrounding country to terms of peace with us, a thing which they did not succeed in accomplishing, for they were not sufficiently powerful, as I have said, each village having its own chiefs. Indeed there are but very few chiefs who have authority over as many as two or three villages, for the reason which I have given above. The character and customs of these people, and their clothing, ornaments, and mode of government I shall describe further on—that is to say, of the people of this island of Luzon and of the other islands round about. As for those farther away in China, we are informed by those who come from there to trade with these islands that they are a cleanly, well-clothed race, and of higher morals. This is worthy of some belief, on account of the Chinese who come to these islands to trade, and whom we see walking about, well and decently clothed. Leaving this subject for its proper time and place, I shall continue to relate the governor's actions after disembarking in Manilla, on the sixteenth of May of the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-one. At the end of a week he published an edict that, in accordance with the command of his Majesty, he would give lands and repartimientos to those who desired to settle in the city of Manilla, which he was founding in the name of his Majesty.
Accordingly, all those who came Page 135with him, captains, soldiers, and gentlemen, settled as citizens in this city; but up to the present, and it is now about a year since the city was founded, there are very few who have repartimientos or even homesteads. This is, as I have said, a very unsatisfactory manner in which this city was founded and settled. I shall now return to relate briefly the war with the natives, which the Spaniards have carried on even to the present day.
All that I have above related having taken place, it was decided to make peace with the nearest villages, some of whom had come to beg it from the governor, and others would not. Among those who would not come was a village called Butas, situated on an inlet on the other side of the river flowing past Manilla, and about a league and a half away. This village, uniting with the others near by, sent word that they did not wish peace or friendship with the governor; and had the boldness to come as far as the village of Alcandora, quite close to Manilla, whence they sent defiance to the governor and the captains. Having endured this a number of times and having made offers of peace, it finally became impossible to endure such insolence; and the governor had to send the master-of-camp, with seventy soldiers and several native leaders, by sea to fight with those Indians at their village, where they were waiting with twenty or thirty of their boats, with one or two culverins in each boat. He set out (after having heard mass) on the day of the Feast of the Holy Ghost, which was the third of the month of June in the year above mentioned. The master-of-camp, having embarked with the soldiers, arrived at the place where the enemy were assembled at twelve o'clock on that day. Page 136When they saw that he was entering the port, they sailed out to attack him with their boats (which were, as I said, twenty or thirty in number), and with a great outcry began to fire their culverins and many arrows. It was God's will that they caused no injury to our forces. Taking note of the order used by the enemy, the command was given for the Spaniards to fasten their boats by twos, and to row slowly toward the opposing forces. When they were in close proximity, all the arquebusiers began to shoot and to cause injuries among the enemy—who, not being able to endure the firing, which killed many of them, began to turn their backs and retreat to the land. When the Pintados Indians who accompanied the master-of-camp saw the enemy in retreat, they threw themselves into the water in pursuit, and caused great slaughter among them; for they are bitter enemies of the natives of this island of Luzón. And thus they attacked them on land, capturing all their boats and taking two hundred of the natives prisoners; and later they captured two or three hundred more. On the land there were five or six culverins in a little fort, which was captured. In this manner were routed those Indians, who had shown so much pride and had so little courage. On the morning of the next day the master-of-camp came to the city with all the booty, and divided the prisoners as slaves among the soldiers, reserving a fifth for his Majesty.
A few days having passed in peace and rest, there came certain Indians who told the governor that in the province of Capanpanga there were many densely-populated rivers; and that most of the people thereon did not desire to have friendly relations with the Spaniards. The master-of-camp had to go therefore Page 137upon this conquest with one hundred soldiers. When he had entered the said province, some of the natives retired to forts which they had built, and tried to resist him. He routed them, and took from them some culverins in their possession and they were left pacified. While he was subjugating this province, there came news that two ships had arrived from Nueva España, sent by the viceroy Don Martín Enrriquez, with a reënforcement of one hundred soldiers, under the captaincy of Juan López de Aguirre. The governor thereupon ordered the master-of-camp to go to Panay, to send the said ships to this port of Manilla, and to bring back his wife, who was in Çubú. In consideration of this service the first repartimiento in this island and a river called Bonbón was allotted to him.
At this same time of which we have spoken, there came down from up the river which flows by Manilla, several chiefs of a village named Caynta, to proclaim themselves friends of the governor. This said village had about a thousand inhabitants, and was surrounded by very tall and very dense bamboo thickets, and fortified with a wall and a few small culverins. The same river as that of Manilla circles around the village and a branch of it passes through the middle dividing it in two sections. Now when they had made their declarations of friendship to the Spaniards, and saw our situation and condition in Manilla, they came to think lightly of us; and, after their departure to their village, sent word that they did not care to be friends, but would rather fight with the governor and his men. They said that, if the Spaniards would come up the river for this purpose, they would see how the people of Caynta would hurl Page 138them from their lands. The governor gave them a month or two to return to their allegiance, and sent certain friendly Indians to treat with them; but no conclusion could be reached until the governor sent his nephew Juan de Sauzedo with one hundred soldiers to conquer them, or rather to destroy them. During this interim there arrived the two ships coming from Nueva España, which had been lying in port in the island of Panay. I have already told above how the master-of-camp had gone to order them to come to this port of Manilla. On the fifteenth of August, the day of the Assumption of our Lady, they arrived; and on the same day Captain Juan de Sauzedo embarked in a galley, with his hundred soldiers and three pieces of heavy artillery, to go to the fort of Caynta. He ascended the river for three days before he reached the fort. After his arrival, the captain, following out the orders of the governor, waited three days longer, summoning them to return to the terms of peace and friendship with the Spaniards which had been arranged with the governor at Manilla. The ill-fated creatures were intractable, on account of the confidence which they had in their miserable fort; and for response told the captain that they desired to fight. They called upon their hearers as witnesses of the fact, saying that on the day of the battle it would be seen that their God was better than the one worshiped by the Castilians. This latter statement was shown to be a falsehood; for God our Lord was vindicated, and they and their demons, whom they call gods, and worship, were proved liars. Thus on the third day, when the period set for summoning them had passed, the captain prepared his men; and, leaving the galley and the three Page 139pieces of artillery in a bend in the river with sufficient men, made a detour with the rest, and, on the side where the fort appeared the weakest, they entered. As they were entering, the enemy killed two men with a very small culverin which they had; and another man they pierced through his coat of mail and all with a lance of fire-hardened palm-wood, so that there were three dead. I have already said at the beginning of this relation that the lances of palm-wood are harder than iron. The fort having been entered, as I have told, the enemy made no resistance after the Spaniards were within. Whoever was able to flee to save his life fled, and of the Indians there were slain, men and women, four hundred persons. The rest who had escaped came thereupon, and made terms of peace and friendship. The fort and all the bamboo thickets surrounding it were destroyed, and the people are today very humble and submissive. There were found in this fort but four culverins. Their having artillery, and the source of their knowledge of casting it, I shall state in a few words, for I forgot to do so at the beginning. According to the natives of the province of Capanpanga and Manilla, there were two Spaniards, from the first fleets which came to this land, who had been captives among them. One of these was a Fleming, the other a Vizcayan; and from them they learned to cast artillery. I do not affirm this, although, as I say, the natives make this assertion. I am inclined rather to the belief that they have learned it from the Moros of Burney, with whom they had dealings. The fort of Caynta was destroyed, as I have related. This fort or village was very near a great lake of fresh water located about four leagues from the city of Manylla. Page 140It was reputed to be very large and thickly populated along the shores; but it is not one tenth so thickly populated as they say. With regard to the lake, I shall state what it is like, for I have gone all around it afoot, and seeing gives authority. It is more than twelve leagues long and two wide, and is fresh. Its freshness is caused by the fact that a great number of streams enter it, and only two flow from it; and for this reason also it is very deep, because much water enters and there is but little outflow. The villages about this lake, containing about twenty-four or twenty-six thousand men, were pacified by the captain Juan de Sauzedo. From here the latter crossed with sixty men to the opposite coast of this island, in quest of some mines which the natives had told him were very rich and abounding in gold. The galley was left in the lake above mentioned. These mines are on the opposite coast of this island, which is the northeastern, and the natives call them the mines of Paracali.4 When the captain had arrived at the mines with his soldiers, who had suffered much on the march because it was in the wet season, they found them excellent and very rich, and more than thirty or forty estados in depth. The natives were afraid and did not await the coming of the Spaniards. Some of the soldiers complained also that the captain conducted himself badly. And thus they returned having lost by death four soldiers, among whom was the sergeant Juan Ramos, newly come to this land. I believe, according to reports, that possession of these mines will be taken, and the whole coast thereabout conquered—for it is a very rich Page 141land—if our Lord will it and give his divine sanction thereto, for here we are gaining little profit.
I have told above how the master-of-camp had gone to Cubú for his wife; arriving there, he returned with her to this city. There was a river in the province of Capanpanga, named Vites, the inhabitants of which refused to be friends of the Spaniards; they were reputed to be very powerful. The master-of-camp had to take upon this expedition one hundred and fifty soldiers, and was accompanied by a native guide from the same river who was an Indian chief hostile to the natives of Vites. This man had come to the Spaniards with the offer to conduct them into Vites in perfect safety, without any danger whatever; and this he did, getting the master-of-camp and the hundred and fifty soldiers with him into the place. When the natives saw the Spaniards so safely within their gates and at their fort, they surrendered themselves in peace and friendship and destroyed their fort. All the other villages round about came to offer their friendship; and thus we gained possession of this stronghold, which, by reason of the reports of the natives, was regarded as somewhat dangerous—but there was no more resistance experienced from it than what I have related. With this expedition was ended the last of the wars which have been waged in this island and in that of Mindoro, the most important being written in this relation.
I shall now give my attention to the treatment of certain facts with regard to the natives of this land, simply telling their manner of living, dressing, and dealing with one another. I shall describe a few things which I have seen as to the idols worshiped Page 142by them, and shall not enlarge upon other details.
In the first place, the men are of medium size, and dark. They wear their hair clipped short, like the Spaniards. They wear a little cloth headdress and a small piece of cloth to conceal their private parts. From the belt upward, some wear a short doublet of coarse material, with half-sleeves and open in front. There is no manner of footwear. Among them the manner of dress and ornamentation is very indecent. The women are exceedingly ugly and most indecent. They clothe themselves with a piece of cloth hanging down from the belt, and a very small doublet, so that their bellies are left exposed. They can only be compared to mares glutted with hay. They have no personality or rank whatever, and eat and drink most vulgarly. There is no difference between the chief and his slave, or between the slave and his master, in the matter of eating and drinking.
As for their sacrifices, each one of the natives, so far as I have seen, has in his house many idols, to whom they pray. They call God, Batala, and the chief idol which they have is thus named; but others call him Diobata5—at least among the Pintados they Page 143give him this name. The natives of this island usually call him Batala, and even consider him God of all creation. Accordingly, after the religious came to this land and commenced to preach the faith of Jesus Christ, and to baptize, the natives have not known how to give any other name in their language to God our Lord, except that of Batala. They are people easily converted to the faith, and in the short time while those religious have been in this island, they have gathered much fruit and have baptized many people—men, women and children, who have all been baptized without any chief or native Indian of this land denying our faith. Quite to the contrary, if they are questioned in regard to it, and preached to about it, they say that it is very sacred and very good. Returning to the discussion of the way in which they conduct their feasts, it is as follows.
When any chief is ill, he invites his kindred and orders a great meal to be prepared, consisting of fish, meat, and wine. When the guests are all assembled and the feast set forth in a few plates on the ground inside the house, they seat themselves also on the ground to eat. In the midst of the feast (called manganito or baylán in their tongue), they put the idol called Batala and certain aged women who are considered as priestesses, and some aged Indians—neither more nor less. They offer the idol some of the food which they are eating, and call upon him in their tongue, praying to him for the health of the sick man for whom the feast is held. The natives of these islands have no altars nor temples whatever. This manganito, or drunken revel, to give it a better name, usually lasts seven or eight days; and when it is finished they take the idols and put them in the Page 144corners of the house, and keep them there without showing them any reverence. As I have said, they all, from the least to the greatest, eat and drink to the point of losing their senses. In the villages nearest the sea some do not eat pork, the reason for their not eating it, which I have already given, being that, in trading with the Moros of Burney, the latter have preached to them some part of the nefarious doctrine of Mahoma, charging them not to eat pork. In this they act most childishly, and when, by chance any of them are asked why they do not eat it, they say that they do not know why; and if one asks them who Mahoma was and what his law commands, they say that they do not know the commandment or anything about Mahoma, not even his name; nor do they know what his law is, nor whence it came. It is true that some of them who have been in Burney understand some of it, and are able to read a few words of the Alcorán; but these are very few, and believe that he who has not been in Burney may eat pork, as I have heard many of them say. They swear by the sun and by the moon, and all the islands have this oath in common—a fact that I have noticed since our coming to this land. It does not seem to me that they are accustomed to worship animals, stars, clouds, or other things which many idolatrous pagans are wont to adore. I believe, nevertheless, that they have many other customs with regard to sacrifices and witchcraft, for they actually practice these; but there is little advantage in wasting the time or burdening the mind therewith, for any rational person will be able to understand sufficiently the rest after reading what is herein written. Among them, up to the present day, I have not observed any sin against nature, which Page 145is saying a great deal of so uncivilized a race; yet with regard to their treatment of women, they are so vicious and licentious that any race whatever might excel them, and this is no insignificant evil and sin. Their custom in taking wives is the following.
Whoever is the richest and has the most gold also has the most wives, and offends most God. There is a law among these natives which is not bad—namely, that however many wives a man has, among them all he regards one as his legitimate wife; and if, when he dies, he has no children by this woman, the children of the others do not inherit. In illustration of the truth of this, one may cite the death of Laya, whom I have already mentioned. When this man died, a Christian, he had no children by his legitimate wife, and although he had many by his other wives, they did not inherit; therefore his property descended to a legitimate nephew of his. It is true, however, that the bastard children may deprive them of their property. I have above shown the characteristics and mode of government among these natives. They do not care to know more than that they are Indians, like all the other Indians. The chiefs are but slightly distinguished in dress from the slaves and freemen. Both women and men wear anklets of gold, and bracelets upon their arms. In regard to the wars waged between them and the Spaniards hitherto, I have already told the principal exploits of captains and soldiers among them. I have already designated the captains who have achieved the most noted deeds in this conquest; and nothing further will be found. If it were necessary to give proof by calling upon all who are in this land, I would be ready to do that. As to what has taken place among the Pintados and Page 146among the Portuguese, my relation does not concern itself therewith; but I claim that the most important events which have occurred on these islands, touching the relations between the natives and the Spaniards, are those related and declared by me. As for the Portuguese, I shall say only that the Spaniards have shown great fidelity and bravery in the service of his Majesty, although they never came to a hand-to-hand struggle with the Portuguese—except in a few ambuscades, where they took some captives, as has been written at great length by many chroniclers who live here. May God grant that they write the truth; for, as far as I can learn, very little credit can be given them except in the case of father Fray Diego de Herrera and Fray Martín de Herrada, who, being religious and strongly attached to the service of God and the public good, will write the whole truth; and yet I do not believe that they will interest themselves in secular affairs. Now that I have written the customs and practices of the natives of these islands, I shall make a few remarks on the Indians of China, for I had begun to state them before. I said that they come to trade with the natives and the Spaniards of this island of Luzón as well as to all the islands in this region, to import and sell silk stuffs, very good cotton robes, and other small articles, very neat and similar in make and style to those worn by them. As I began to say above, both men and women are vigorous and light complexioned. I say women, for some are to be found living in this island of Luzón. These Chinese live among these natives because they have fled from their own country, on account of certain events which took place there. They brought their wives with them; all of them, both men and women, number Page 147about one hundred and fifty. They became Christians after coming here. They are a very unassuming and modest people; they clothe themselves with long robes of cotton cloth and with silk. They wear wide breeches, and sleeves and stockings, like the Spaniards. They are a very ingenious and cleanly people. This, is in brief what we have seen. They wear their hair very long, men as well as women, tied up and well arranged upon their heads. I have treated thus far of various matters; I come now to speak of the fertility of these islands, of what is gathered and sown in them, mainly with regard to those in which I have been.
The island of Mindanao is very large and poorly populated, at least in the part in which I have been, which is from the river of Butuan to the cape of Calamita, about eighty leagues along the coast. It is an extremely rough country. The natives there obtain very pure gold, for the mines are numerous and very rich. The cape of Caahuite, located in this island, and where cinnamon is gathered, lies in five degrees of latitude, and is toward the southeast. It is a very unhealthy country. As I remarked above, I have been at that cape. From the cape to the river Grande de Mindanao, the distance is about sixty leagues. We were very near this river of Mindanao with the small boat of the flagship which was lost in the Ladrones. Up to the present day none of the Spaniards of our number who were in that ship, have been in that river. Near this cape there is an island called Taguima,6 and between the island and the said Page 148cape the vessels of the Portuguese pass on their way to Maluco for cloves. Therefore if the king our lord take Maluco for his own (for people say that his Majesty has a right to it), the ships sent out will be able to carry out two commissions in one voyage, taking on a cargo of cloves and of cinnamon, for Maluco lies in the course, and is a very good port, where they must of necessity touch. I have called attention to what I have seen in this island. Finally, I shall now speak of all the others which are on terms of peace, at least as far as concerns those where the Spaniards have been. The second is the island of Negros, which is absolutely peaceful. It contains about twenty thousand inhabitants, and is divided among the Spaniards who remained in Çubú. There are said to be gold mines there. Next is the said island of Çubú, which is poorly populated. Between these three islands there are many insignificant islets, some of them inhabited and some not. These I shall not mention, in order to avoid prolixity, but in all of them there are mines. Farther to the northwest from Çubú are Baybay, Bayugo, Abuyo, Cavalian, Tandaya, Barciogama, and other islets, among these which I have mentioned. They are divided among the same citizens of Çubú. Very few of them have peaceable inhabitants. With them as with the others, it is best to bring about peace in these islands. Rice, cotton, great numbers of swine and fowls, wax, and honey are produced there in great abundance. There are many mines, as has been shown, and the natives say that they are well populated. There is gold in all of these islands; but the most important thing is wanting, Spanish people to colonize them. There remains to the west the island of Panay, which was Page 149very populous and fertile, and yielded great abundance of rice, swine, fowls, wax, and honey. The natives say that there are gold mines in this island; and, since they say it, it must be true. The gold found there is very pure. When the governor was in that island there fell upon it—because of our sins and those of the natives, or God knows what—an extremely great plague of locusts, which has lasted three years and still continues. No field is sown which they do not destroy. A great famine and pestilence have sprung up among the natives of that island, so that more than half of them have died; and they will continue to die until God our Lord is pleased to remove his anger from over it. From that island to the island of Luzón it is about sixty leagues, and in the course is that of Mindoro. This is an island where much wax and honey is produced. It contains many gold mines, and rivers where gold is gathered. I have been all about it; on the farther coast, which is to the south, it is well populated, while on the northern coast is the village called Mindoro, as well as other thickly-populated rivers. Those who have not seen it or set foot upon it say that it contains about eight thousand men. I shall dare to affirm from what I have seen of it that it has more than fifteen thousand. It is very near the island of Luzón. Between this island and the others above named, lie many small islets, which are friendly, although they have but small populations. As I say, next is the island of Luzón, where the governor resides now, and which was settled in the manner above related. This island is thickly populated and large. The greater and better part of it is still to be conquered, I would say from what I have seen of the villages and land. Page 150It does not seem to me that there will be any more resistance from any of them when they learn of the advantages of friendship with the Spaniards; for they have already been informed of the way in which those are treated who resist. To the present time, all that has been explored in this island is about fifty or sixty leagues along the coast from Manilla to Yvalón,7 which is the landing-place for the ships sailing to Nueva Spaña. On the farther coast, to the north, nothing is explored except the mines of Paracali, which were discovered by Captain Juan de Sauzedo when crossing from Manilla to the other sea with sixty men, as I have told above. Near these mines there is a large and thickly-populated river called Bico.8 According to the reports of the natives, all of it is thickly populated. This island extends a long distance from Manilla toward the west. Toward the south is a province called Yloquio, which is said to be very rich in gold mines; but the Spaniards have not seen it as yet. The natives have not been able to say how far this island extends in longitude. I have already said that all of it is thickly populated, and that it has a great abundance of rice, fowls, and swine, as well as great numbers of buffaloes, deer, wild boars, and goats; it also produces great quantities of cotton and colored cloths, wax, and honey; and date palms abound. In conclusion, it is very well supplied with all the things above mentioned, and Page 151many others which I shall not enumerate. It is the largest island which has thus far been discovered in these regions. As I say, it is well populated and very rich in gold mines. There is much trade with China. That part of it which has thus far been conquered and pacified, the governor has begun to allot to the conquerors.
I could write many other things about this land, and the conditions existing in it; but I omit them, in order to avoid prolixity. Therefore I bring the present relation to a close, to the honor and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, the one and everlasting God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and of the glorious Virgin Mary, our Lady, in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-two, in this city of Manilla, on the twentieth day of the month of April. Page 152
1 Elem: in Retana's text, “el M.” In some old documents appears the name Elen (or Helin); it apparently refers to the islet off the southwest point of Mindoro which is now called Ylín.
2 Pintados (“painted”): a term applied to the inhabitants of the Visayas (and afterward extended to those islands), because they painted their bodies with red clay—or, as some writers say, on account of their being tattooed.
3 The name Manila is derived from a Tagal word, manilad, meaning “a place overgrown with nilad”—which is the name of a small tree, bearing white flowers (Ixora manila).
Some writers claim that the name is a corruption of Maydila, from the Tagal words may and dila, meaning “the place that has a tongue”—alluding to a tongue-shaped island formerly at the mouth of Pasig River.—Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A.
4 Gold and other minerals are still obtained from the mines of Paracale (in the province of Ambos, Camarines), Luzón.
5 Blumentritt says (Dic. mitológico de Filipinas, pp. 34, 35), of the appellation Bathala: “This name, of Sanscrit origin, is or was given to various gods of the Malay Filipinos. The ancient Tagalos called their principal god Badhala, or Bathala mey-kapal [“God the creator”], and gave the same name to the bird Tigmamanukin, ... and sometimes to the comets or other heavenly bodies, which, in their opinion, predicted future events.” This is analogous to the manner in which the North American Indians apply such terms as “Manitou,” “wakan,” or “medicine,” not only to their divinities, but to any phenomenon that is mysterious or incomprehensible to them.
The term Dîwata (devata, diobata), also of Sanscrit origin, is applied variously by different races in the archipelago—sometimes to the souls of ancestors (whom they invoke); sometimes to any inferior spirits, whether good or bad (ut supra pp. 45, 46).
6 A reference to the island of Basilan, off the southwest point of Mindanao; it was formerly called Taguima. The route for ships here mentioned was through the strait of Basilan.
7 Yvalón (or Ibalón) was the ancient name of Albay; it was sometimes applied to the entire island of Luzon.
8 The Bícol river, which crosses the province of Ambos Camarines (Sur), while Paracale is in the same province (Norte); both are on the opposite coast from Albay. Yloquio is probably Ilocos; but that province is north, not south, of Manila.
Foundation of the City of Manila
I, Hernando Riquel, notary-in-chief and governmental notary for his Majesty in these islands of the West, do hereby certify most solemnly, to whomsoever shall see this present, that the most illustrious Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, governor and captain-general in these said islands, gave the title of city to this colony of Manila, on the third day of the month of June of the past year, seventy-one; and on the twenty-fourth day of the same month and year, which was St. John's day, he appointed two alcaldes in ordinary, one alguacil-mayor, and twelve regidores; and on the day following he appointed one notary for the cabildo and two notaries public for the court of the said alcaldes,1 as is set forth in greater detail, and appears by the list of the said appointments, which are in my possession. Therefore, that this might be manifest, I have been ordered by the aforesaid governor to draw up the present document; which is done in the said city of Manilla, on Page 153the nineteenth day of the month of June, in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-two.
[Endorsed: “June 19, 1572. Copy of the [notarial record of the] bestowal on Manilla of the title of city, and the establishment of alcaldes and regidores.” And, in another hand: “For the first article of the 7th, consult the viceroy.”] Page 154
1 This municipal organization may be thus defined: The cabildo was the municipal official corporation—nearly the same as the American city council; the regidores were members of it. The alguazil was an official who executed the orders given by the cabildo, or by the alcaldes (judges). Regarding this subject, see Historical Introduction, Vol. I, p. 56; also Dic.-Encicl. Hisp.-Amer, art: Cabildo, Alcalde, etc.
Documents of 1573
- Expenses of expedition to Western Islands, 1569–72. Melchior de Legazpi; March 2.
- Affairs in the Philippines, after the death of Legazpi. Guido de Lavezaris; June 29.
- Relation of the Western Islands, called Filipinas. Diego de Artieda.
- Letter from the viceroy of New Spain to Felipe II. Martin Enriquez; December 5.
Sources: The first two documents are from MSS. in the Archivo de Indias at Sevilla; the third, from a MS. in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid, collated with another copy at Sevilla; the fourth is taken from Cartas de Indias (Madrid, 1877).
Translations: The first document is translated by James A. Robertson; the second, by Arthur B. Myrick; the third, by Alfonso de Salvio; the fourth, by Francis W. Snow. Page 155
Expenses Incurred for the Expedition to the Western Islands 1569–72
I, Melchior de Legazpi, chief accountant for his Majesty in this Nueva España, hereby certify that from the original books and orders for payment pertaining to his royal accountancy, now in my possession, it appears that from the twelfth of February of the year five hundred and sixty-nine—when the alcalde Bernardino de Albornoz entered upon his duties as royal treasurer in this Nueva España—until the end of December in the year five hundred and seventy-two, there has been audited and paid from his royal chest (the three keys of which are in charge of the treasurer of the royal estate) the sum of three hundred and twelve thousand one hundred and seventy-six pesos, seven tomines, and eight grains of common gold, each peso of the value of eight reals.1 Page 156This sum includes whatever pertains to the expedition of the Western Islands—for the crews and outfits of the royal ships that were built to send aid to the said islands; the tackle, food, and necessary armament for the said ships; the wages of the soldiers and mariners sailing therein, besides the wages of the sailors who have been serving in that capacity in the said Western Islands since before the years above mentioned, and those of other men; the furnishing of provisions to those who for the said time have been engaged in the work of preparing and despatching the said vessels; and the gunpowder, artillery, military supplies, and other necessary articles sent in the vessels to his Majesty's camp, established in the said islands in his royal name. All this is as set forth in detail in the said books of his Majesty's accountancy, to which I refer.
In certification of the above, and in order that by the same it may be manifest, I give the present—by command of the most excellent Don Martin Enrriquez, viceroy, governor, and captain-general for his Majesty in this Nueva España—in duplicate, in Mexico, on the second day of March in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-three.
Melchior de Legazpi
[Endorsed: “Expenses incurred by the royal estate for the expedition to the Western Islands in the years dlxjx. lxx. lxxij.”] Page 157
1 The peso was a money of account, commonly supposed to be worth fifteen reals vellón. There was also a silver coin called a peso, which was valued at eight reals of silver, and weighed one onza (a trifle more than the English ounce). The real (=34 maravedis) is equivalent to nearly five cents of United States money; it is no longer coined, but is still a unit of value throughout Spain. The tomin for gold was equivalent to 8.883 grains (United States weight), and for silver to 9.254 grains. From a document published in Doc. inéd. Ultramar, vol. ii, pp. 461–463, it appears that seven tomines of gold were equivalent to one peso of gold.
Affairs in the Philippines After the Death of Legazpi
Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty:
When I came to these islands in company with the general Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, I gave your Majesty an account of the events of the expedition. Since then I have not done so, understanding that the governor sent word by every ship, as was proper, how affairs were going here. Now was our Lord pleased to take him from this life, and I, being treasurer of the royal exchequer, succeeded him in the office by a royal provision, emanating from the royal Audiencia of Nueva España. To make myself better understood, your Majesty perhaps knows that in the year forty-two, I came to these regions as accountant, with General Villalobos, who sailed from Nueva España, sent out by the viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoça. I was in the Maluco Islands, and went thence to Yndia and from there to España and Nueva España, to inform your viceroy of the success of the expedition. I brought with me from Yndia the ginger root, which has grown so well in Nueva España. Don Antonio de Mendoca sent me to España to inform your Majesty of the proceedings that should be taken in this discovery. After that mission, I returned with your Majesty's despatch to Nueva España, Page 158where they were commencing to build the ships and fleet in which General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came for the discovery of these islands. In his company, I passed thither, for the second time, in the year sixty-four—serving your Majesty as treasurer of your royal exchequer until, as I have said, Miguel Lopez died, on the twentieth of August in last year, seventy-two.
In a chest was found the royal decree, by which, in your Majesty's name, he enjoyed and exercised his office as governor and captain-general. Before his death, the said Miguel Lopez had founded, on the island of Cubu, where we first resided, a city called El Santisimo Nombre de Jesús [“the most holy name of Jesus,”] because of an image of the child Jesus that we found there. Here in this island of Luçon, he founded the city of Manilla, where from that time until his death he resided, with all his people. He had commenced to levy taxes, and was assigning repartimientos in the islands and towns that were being pacified; and I am now doing the same. This island of Lucon is large and well populated. The greater part of it has been explored and reduced to your Majesty's service. On account of the lack of men, and the little time that we have spent here, we have not been able to investigate everything. The land contains many rich gold mines. The natives in general acquire, possess, and trade great quantities of gold. The country abounds in provisions—rice, wine, fish, hogs, Castilian fowls, and wild buffaloes; in short, it is so well provided that it can maintain many Spanish settlements, which will produce good fruit, both spiritual and temporal. Ships from China come to trade at many Page 159ports of this island. It is understood as certain that the mainland is very near us, less than two hundred leagues; so that, if we are reënforced, I hope in our Lord that much fruit and service will result to God and your Majesty. For reënforcements have come to this island so slowly that, in eight years, only seven hundred soldiers have arrived; and, moreover, when some arrive others are dead as a result of the hardships and distress that have been encountered. Nevertheless, our Lord indeed be praised for having given us, now and in the future, greater repose in a larger land.
Of the natives of this island, some are Moros and Mahometans, especially those living near the coast. Those in the interior are pagans. Their arms are numerous and good, namely: culverins, large and small; lances, daggers, and arrows poisoned with herbs. They wear corselets of buffalo-hide and of twisted and knotted rope, and carry shields or bucklers. They are accustomed to fortify themselves in strong positions, where they mount their artillery and archery, surrounding them outside with ditches full of water, so that they seem very strong. But our Lord (who assists us, because his holy faith is at stake) has always given us the victory, to his and your Majesty's honor and glory.
The Chinese have come here on trading expeditions, since our arrival, for we have always tried to treat them well. Therefore during the two years that we have spent on this island, they have come in greater numbers each year, and with more ships; and they come earlier than they used to, so that their trade is assured to us. Those that come here are, like the people of this land, almost naked, on account of Page 160the hot climate. They do not bring to sell the silks and beautiful things that they take to Malaca. They say that, if there were any one to buy them, they would bring all we wanted; and so, since trading with the Spaniards, they bring each year better and much richer wares. If merchants would come from Nueva España, they might enrich themselves, and increase the royal customs in these parts—both through trade and through the mines, the richness and number of which are well-known to us.
Your Majesty knows how antagonistic the Portuguese are in everything here. When they can do us no harm in their own persons, they try to do so through others. Last year Chinese vessels came to this city to trade and told us how the Portuguese haa asked them not to trade with us, because we were robbers and came to steal and commit other depredations, so that these people wonder not a little if this be true. As the treatment accorded to the Chinese neutralizes these reports, more vessels came this year than last, and each year more will come. I advise your Majesty of this, because it is better to have certain peace or open war with the Portuguese, and not to be uncertain, and not to have them trying to harm us at a distance. Every year we are disturbed by fears of their coming. This year I had news from Moro merchants, who came from the island of Borney, that last year their king had collected a large fleet to descend upon us. After having embarked, he gave up for the time the voyage because of the severe storms; but gave out that he would return this year and bring the Portuguese with him. I exerted myself to get together the Spaniards, who were pacifying these islands and had the island of Page 161Borney reconnoitred in two parts, by oared vessels of the sort that the natives use. I instructed them that if they could get any of the Moros from Borney, they should bring them, in order to get at the truth; and so they did. The people whom I sent for this purpose arrived near Borney, and because they did not dare bring small boats near the island itself, they halted about eight leagues from it, and captured six Moros. By these I was informed that the coming of the king of Borney was uncertain, and that he lives in great privacy and prudence, keeping himself informed about us. With the people that I sent for this purpose was a pilot, who had mapped the islands and lands that he saw on the way. He said that it was about two hundred leagues to the west from here to Borney. With this relation I send your Majesty the map of this island, and of those near Borney and China.
Last year, seventy-two, the governor Miguel Lopez despatched two ships to Nueva España a few days before his death; but, as it was late when they started, and the weather bad, they could not that year make the voyage. They came back, therefore, much disabled and disordered. After the death of the governor, who had made liberal provision for their repair and [the MS. is torn here] rigging and pitch, which it has been no little trouble to find. This year, therefore, God willing, three ships will go, so that they may not for lack of vessels neglect to send reënforcements.
Since the death of the governor, Miguel Lopez, I have had made from the gold that has been brought and given by the natives as tribute and service, some jewels, which I send to your royal Majesty and to Page 162the Queen our mistress, with some specimens of the articles brought by the Chinese. These two ships now carry one hundred and thirty-six marcos1 of gold, just as it was obtained from the natives who gave it as tribute. I hope in our Lord, that henceforth your Majesty will be better served with the first fruits of this land. I am also sending to Nueva España three hundred and seventy-two quintals of cinnamon, which I had brought from the island of Vindanao, where there is a great quantity of it. There is no longer any necessity for the Portuguese to export hereafter any more cinnamon into your Majesty's kingdoms and seigniories; because a greater quantity can be brought from these districts than can be sold in Europe, if ships are supplied. I am sending also to Nueva España shoots of the cinnamon and pepper trees, so that they may be planted there and benefit your Majesty. I have also sent previously a tamarind tree, and have been informed that it is already bearing fruit in Nueva España. I have tried to have some rigging for the ships made on this island, because what is brought from Nueva España is completely rotten and useless, and for want of rigging the vessels have many times been unable to sail. God has been pleased that we should succeed in our endeavors—a thing that will be of great service in the despatching of the fleets that your Majesty will cause to be constructed here. I have also procured pitch for the same purpose; and, although there is not much of it, what has been discovered will be of great assistance. Page 163
The baptism of the natives steadily continues, and they are being received into our holy faith and religion. I hope in our Lord that the spiritual and temporal good will continue to increase day by day, to the glory of our Lord and to your Majesty's honor. It will conduce much to the conversion of these natives to have some religious of the society of Jesus, and friars of the order of St. Francis, come to these districts; because it has a most edifying influence upon the covetous disposition of these barbarians, to see that those fathers do not receive or have anything to do with money—which will be a good example for them. May your Majesty provide in this regard according to your pleasure, for it would certainly greatly rejoice everyone to see those holy people here.
As the labors that have been endured and are being endured in this expedition are prolonged and heavy, it has happened that many of the encomenderos2 to whom repartimientos were given have died. Understanding that it will be for the good of your Majesty's service, I have reapportioned and am reapportioning the Indians, as is done in Gautemala and other parts of the Indies. I beg your Majesty to favor this and send confirmation of it, because in no other way can this island be maintained for the present.
I send to beg your Majesty to grant me favor regarding certain petitions made in my own name. I am confident of receiving this as from a lord and prince so magnanimous that he will take into account that I have busied myself almost all my life in Page 164your royal service. So also those who have served your Majesty in these regions send, severally and jointly, to beg your Majesty to reward them, having recourse to your Majesty as to a fountain of all liberality, all being confident of receiving what they ask, as they are continually receiving favors.
Martin de Goiti has served and serves your Majesty in this country in the capacity of master-of-camp. With great faith and diligence has he served, and serves, notwithstanding his age or sufferings. On the contrary, he is just as ready today to undergo hardship as he was the first day. So on account of his qualities and his experience in warlike matters and the Christian spirit which he shows in all dealings with the natives, and the fidelity and truth that has always been found in him, I recommend him in general terms to the most important office in your Majesty's service. I most humbly beg you that all favors may be granted him, because he is worthy and deserving of them.
Juan de Salcedo, grandson of the governor Miguel Lopez, has served and serves your Majesty in these districts in the capacity of captain of infantry. He is one who has exerted and does exert himself in whatever he has been commanded—not only in the conquests, discoveries, and pacification of these islands, but in everything else that has occurred and occurs from day to day in your Majesty's service. In all of these, and in expeditions of great importance entrusted to him in this land, he has given a very good account of himself. He merits, and it is fitting that your Majesty should resolve to grant him, some favor. In paying his grandfather's debts and for the repose of his soul, he has spent all his possessions. Page 165What the governor left was but little, and did not suffice for this, because he had spent his income in helping some poor soldiers, and in other matters of your Majesty's service, and was therefore poor and needy.
The governor, Miguel Lopez, in this city of Manila appointed in your Majesty's royal name certain regidores to serve as long as it should be your Majesty's pleasure. I did the same in the town of Santísimo Nombre de Jesus.3 The said governor changed the cabildo of the said town at the end of the year, and I believe would have done the like in this city, had he lived; because I assure your Majesty that it is a thing of great inconvenience and disturbance to have perpetual regidores. The regidores in this city from its foundation discharged their duties little more than a year, during which time there were among them parties and factions; as a result of this, the governor, seeing certain of them maltreat or affront one of the alcaldes-in-ordinary in the town-hall, sent two of the said regidores with the record of their trial, referred to your royal Audiencia in Nueva España. I removed the said cabildo, and appointed new regidores, as in the first town. And so I think it a matter very important to your Majesty's service that, for the present, there should be no perpetual regidores in these parts, but those who are elected annually; because in this way they will do their duties well, understanding that the office is to last but a short time. On the contrary, they will, if elected in perpetuity, become Page 166careless, as experience shows. I advise your Majesty of this so that if perpetuity of these offices is demanded, you may do what seems best.
After the departure of these ships if it be our Lord's will, I shall continue the repartimiento of this land, in those places discovered by Captain Juan de Salcedo and the master-of-camp in this island of Luzon, on the coast of Yloco; for it would be impossible for this fleet to sustain itself in any other way, on account of the great privation and poverty endured in the past and present by the soldiers, especially since they are not now permitted to make raids. These were wont to be made formerly, in order to support themselves; but they proved of great harm and prejudice to the natives; and by them God our Lord, and your Majesty were not served. With this remedy these evils cease. Everything will be done which is thought most suitable for the service of your Majesty, and the support of this your camp and fleet. May our Lord for many and fortunate years guard and prosper your Majesty's state with increase of greater kingdoms and seigniories, as we, your Majesty's faithful vassals, desire. Manila, June 29, 1573.
Your Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty's faithful vassal and most humble servant, who kisses your royal feet.4
1 The table of weights to which the marco belongs is as follows: 12 granos = 1 tomin; 3 tomines = 1 adarme; 2 adarmes = 1 ochava or dracma; 8 ochavas = 1 onza; 8 onzas = 1 marco; 2 marcos = 1 libra (= 1.016097 United States pounds).
2 Encomenderos: persons to whom repartimientos or encomiendas were granted (see Vol. II, note 18).
3 The name first given to the present city of Cebú, on the island of that name. Another early name was San Miguel, given because the settlement was founded on St. Michael's day.
4 Bound with this MS. is an abstract of the same, evidently made for the royal council by some secretary. In the margin are noted, opposite the various points, instructions for the governor of the islands. In reply to this letter Lavezaris is to be thanked for his care, and exhorted to continue it. The licentiate Francisco de Sande is about to go from New Spain to the Philippines, to take account of Legazpi's administration and to act as governor. The Page 167nking is advised to reward Lavezaris, and suitable rewards should be given to Martin de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo. Sande is to be instructed to accord good treatment to the Chinese, in order to invite their trade and win them to the faith. Peace and friendship must be maintained with the Portuguese. The lists of encomiendas granted by Legazpi and Lavezaris, with full information regarding them, must be sent to the government. Sande should be instructed to do what he considers best, in regard to the appointment of regidores.
Relation of the Western Islands Called Filipinas
(Captain Artieda, who went to those islands for the king, wrote this relation.)1
Nueva España has two ports in the South Sea. That which is called Acapulco is [very] good and can give shelter to many ships, no matter how large they may be; it is in seventeen and one-half degrees of north latitude. The other is called Puerto de la Navidad; its entrance is shallow, and it can therefore give shelter to small ships only. It is in nineteen and one-third degrees of north latitude. From whichever of these ports one goes to [any of] the Western Islands, the best route is to sail strictly in the latitude in which lies the island that one wishes to reach; for in the season of the brisas, which is the right time to make the voyage, favorable stern winds are never wanting. The season for the brisas lasts from the end of October to the end of April. From the end of April to the end of October the vendaváls Page 169blow,2 which will be of help on the way back; but let it be remembered that he who wishes to return ought to take a higher degree of latitude, because there the winds will not fail him.
In view of your Majesty's command and orders from Don Luis de Velasco, viceroy of Nueva España, the expedition commanded by Miguel Lopes de Legaspi has discovered since November twenty-first, 1564, the following islands to the west, in the South Sea:
North-southwest from Puerto de la Navidad, in about ten degrees of north latitude, and at a distance of eleven hundred and twenty leagues, were found some islands running east and west. The inhabitants were dressed in a sort of cloth made of thin palm-bark. The men wore long beards, and for that reason the islands received the name of Barbudos.3 No weapons were found among them, from which we can infer that they are a peaceful people, and that they had never come into conflict with other men. They live on cocoanuts, roots, and fish. It was learned that they kept some Castilian fowls. These islands may be about one hundred and seventy-five leagues from Nueba España [S: Nueva Guinea]. Page 170
[Further west by a distance of four hundred leagues lie the islands called Chamurres or Ladrones, which, according to report, number thirteen islands. The largest of all is not forty leagues in circumference. They are all alike in appearance, trade, and food products. I have seen but the island of Guahan. Their weapons consist of slings and clubs hardened in fire, which they use instead of lances. They hurl stones to so great a distance with their slings, that they are beyond range of the arquebuses. They live on rice, bananas, cocoanuts, roots, and fish. They have great quantities of ginger.]
Further west is the island of Mindanao, with a circuit of three hundred and fifty leagues. It is in its greatest measurements one hundred and forty leagues long, and sixty leagues wide. The northern promontory juts out between the two rivers of Butuan and Zurigan, famous for their gold, although the Spaniards who went there were able to find but little—or, to be more accurate, none. According to what I have learned, all the gold mines of this island are so poor that the natives offer their labor for a gold maes4 or three reals per month. In this island cinnamon grows. I believe that, if good order be established there, we shall be able to barter for eight hundred quintals, and even [one thousand]5 for a year of this article; for I was present at the barter of Page 171that which was lost with the flagship. In one month we bartered for more than six hundred quintals of cinnamon at three reals per quintal, this money being reckoned in iron of that land. This island contains pitch. [I do not declare here the trade, rites, clothing, weapons, and food of this island, because many others are just like it; and I will place this information at the end of these islands, in order to avoid prolixity.] The middle of the island lies in fully seven and one-third degrees of north latitude.
Northeast of Mindanao is another island called Tandaya. There are certain rocky islands with an island called San Lorenzo in their midst. The fact of their being small and uninhabited does not debar anyone who wishes from finding them on the chart. Tantaya has a circuit of one hundred and forty leagues, and is almost triangular in shape. [The clothing, weapons, rites, and food of this people are the same as that above.] Its center lies in fully twelve degrees north latitude.
Nearer the island of Mindanao than the above-named, and extending in a north and south direction ten leagues from the point of Mindanao, is another island called Baybay. It has a circumference of ninety-eight leagues, and forms a strait on the east with the island of Tandaya, less than a league wide; and another on the south with a very small island, called “Panae the little,”6 through which strait one cannot pass, except in a small and light vessel. West of this strait is the island of Mazoga. It is reported Page 172here that this island is very small, and that it has a population of six or eight Indians. [It forms another strait, which can be passed by any ship.] The center of the said island of Baybay is in eleven degrees of latitude. [It has the same people, weapons, trade, and customs as the islands above.]
There is another island, called Zubu, where the camp was established, and remained until broken up by the Portuguese, on account of the excellent harbor formed by it with another island called Mattan—which is almost uninhabited, unwholesome, and a large part of it covered with swamps. It is here that Magallanes was slain. The port has two entrances, opening northeast and southwest. Through my influence and with [S: against] the consent of most of the men, the camp was removed to the island of Panae. I went there by order of the governor, and drew the plan of a fort, which now is being built. [It has the same people, and trade, and customs as the islands named above.] The center of it is in about ten and two-thirds degrees of latitude.
Farther west is another island, called Buglas, or Negros, because the inhabitants are black. It is one hundred and twenty-five leagues in circumference with a distance north and south of forty-five leagues, and east and west of twenty leagues. Its center lies in ten and one-third degrees. [It has the same people and weapons as the islands above.]
Northwest of Buglas lies Panae, an island abounding in rice and all kinds of provisions. The camp was moved thither, and, as abovesaid, I drew the plan of the said fort between the two arms of a river, because it is impossible to effect an entrance by one arm. In the other arm and below the fort, fourteen Page 173gabions were made and twelve large pieces of artillery mounted for the defense of the entrance and passage. The fort is situated two and one-half leagues inland, and the ground all the way to the fort is a swamp, covered with tangles of bushes; so that enemies can approach the said fort only through the river, where are planted the above-mentioned gabions and artillery. The position is excellent, and such that it needs only a few men to defend it against many. The bar of the river is not more than one braza deep; and its coast thereabout, for more than twenty leagues, is very forbidding. Its center lies in about eleven and one-third degrees of latitude.
Northeast of Panie is the island of Masbat, with a scanty and poor population. There were found gold mines from two to four estados7 in depth, somewhat more or less, although I have not measured them. I understand that the mines yield very little on account of the scanty population, and its trade is of slight value. [The people are the same as those of the above islands.] The center of this island lies in thirteen degrees of latitude.
Farther to the northeast of Masbat lies the island of Ybalon or Luzon. It is a large island, with many rivers, in which gold is found—although, as I have ascertained, in but little quantity, because its most influential inhabitants are Moros. While I was in Panae, [S: the leading man among its people] sent a Moro, his steward or treasurer to trade there; but he could hardly get for me one marco of gold in exchange for four of silver, which he bought for me. Buffaloes are to be found here. We have [M: not] Page 174explored much of its coast, and I have seen no one who could inform me fully concerning its south-eastern, southern, and eastern parts, because no one has sailed around it. Between this island of Ybalon and that of Panae, lies Masbat. Farther on, and lying north and south, are some other small islands, in one of which is to be found much brazil-wood. Although all the others have it, I mention this because the Anglis [S: Sangleyes] from the mainland of China come for it, in order to dye their silk.8 In this island of Luzon are three settlements of Moros, who do not know the law of Mahoma in its entirety. They eat no pork, and pay reverence to the said Mahoma. [The rest of the inhabitants are the same and have the same customs as those above.] The southern portion of this is in about thirteen and one-third degrees of latitude.
South of [that island of] Zubu, between it and Mindanao, is another small one, called Bohol; between Bohol and Matan lie [as already mentioned] many small islands—uninhabited, except for game; for which reason they contain many deer and wild boars, as is generally true in most of the islands. However, this is so warm a region that the game spoils on the very day when it is killed. This island contains many palms and roots, on which the natives live. Rice is lacking.
Southwest by south from the port of Cavite, which is in six and one-half degrees of latitude in the island Page 175of Mindanao where cinnamon grows, lies a small island, called Taguima.9 There the natives captured from the Portuguese a small vessel, killing or making prisoners many of its crew. The latter were ransomed by the people of Jolo, with whom the Portuguese are on friendly terms. We have not seen this island of Jolo. Its inhabitants are pirates.10 It lies to the southwest. Goats are found in Taguima, but no rice is harvested. Civet cats are found there. While we were bartering for cinnamon, men from two towns of that island came to us, and asked to be received as subjects and tributaries of your Majesty. One of these towns lies in seven degrees of latitude.
There are no lords in these islands. Each man is master of his own house and slaves; and the more slaves one owns, the greater and more influential is he reckoned. The people are divided into three classes. The Datos, who correspond to knights, are the most important; the Tigamas [S: Timaguas] are the freemen; and the Orispes are the slaves. The Datos boast of their old lineage. These people rob and enslave one another, although of the same island and even kindred. They are cruel among themselves. They do not often dare to kill one another, except by treachery or at great odds; and him who is slain his opponents continue to strike even after he is dead. Page 176
The word for mourning is marabae [S: marahaze; margin: magarihe]. Among their customs is this: that when some relative is killed, they do not cease mourning until they have avenged him [(on the Spaniards)]. If the dead person is a near relative, they quit mourning, when they have either killed a man or taken captive a woman. They cut their hair. In time of mourning, they withdraw into the house of the principal and nearest relative; and there, covered with old and filthy blankets, they crouch on the floor and remain in this position without talking or eating, for three days. During this time they only drink. After the three days, they eat nothing which has come in contact with fire until they have taken vengeance or observed their custom [S: ceremony]. They place on their feet and wrists some rings of a certain wood, called bejuco.11 When the reasons for mourning are not so serious, they are released from it by striking with a lance or a dagger a deer or a wild boar, even if the animal be already dead.
In every port [S: village] we find that the people have their god. All of them call him divate [S: Diuata], and for surname they give him the name of their village. They have a god of the sea and a god of the rivers. To these gods they sacrifice swine, reserving for this especially those of a reddish color. For this sacrifice they rear such as are very large and fat They have priests, whom they call bailanes; and they believe that the priests talk with their gods. When they are about to perform the sacrifice, they Page 177prepare the place with many green branches from the trees, and pieces of cloth painted as handsomely as possible. The bailan plays on a heavy reed pipe about one braza in length, such as are common to that land, in the manner of a trumpet; and, while thus engaged, the people say that he talks to their gods. Then he gives a lance-thrust to the hog. Meanwhile, and even for a long time before commencing the rite, the women ring a certain kind of bell, play on small drums, and beat on porcelain vases with small sticks—thus producing a sort of music which makes it very difficult for them to hear one another. After the hog is killed, they dress it, and all eat of the flesh. They throw a portion of the dressed animal, placed in nets, into the river or into the sea, according to the location of the village; and they say that they do this in order that the god of the river or that of the sea may eat it. No one eats of the part touched by the lance-thrust, except the bailan. These people believe that their souls go down below; and they say that world is better, and that [since] it is cooler than the world above, where the heat is so great. They are buried with their riches—blankets, gold, and porcelain. When chiefs die, slaves are killed and buried with them, so that they may serve their masters in the other world. If the dead man is renowned as a seaman, they bury with him the vessel in which he sailed, with many slaves to row him, so thathe may go in it to the other world.12 Page 178
Considering their size, those islands are very thinly populated. The people are generally very dark, more so than the natives of Nueba España. There are but few islands where blacks are not found among the mountains. The inhabitants of the lowlands are of the former kind, and are accustomed to tattoo their bodies, arms, legs, and even their faces, where a beard should grow, with very carefully-drawn and handsome figures. The greater the chief, or the more valiant he is, the more he tattoos himself, leaving untattooed only the parts covered by the breech clout—the [clothing or] dress worn by them, and which covers only the privy parts. Both men and women suffer no hair to grow on their bodies except on the head. They wear the hair long and take good care of it so that it will grow. The men bind their hair on the crown of the head with a small piece of gauze, and the women bind it with bands made of the hair itself. All of them, both men and women, are fond of [wearing] beads, earrings and perfumes. The garment worn by them [the women] is made of linen drawn together like a bag or sleeve with two very wide openings. The amount by which this garment is too wide they gather up into many folds upon the left side, which, knotted with the same linen, rest there. A small, tight-fitting shirt is worn, which does not reach to the knees [S: waist], and covers no more than the breasts. They wear garlands of flowers on their heads. It is a very immodest dress, for it leaves uncovered the greater part of the legs and body. The women are generally depraved. They are given to abominable lustful habits.
The weapons they use are the following: shields, Page 179breast-high, and little more than half a vara13 wide; lances, two and a half varas long, with iron and steel points a third as long as the lance, and as wide as the hand. In some districts the lance-points are long and ground to a very fine edge. Cutlasses or daggers, from a half to three-fourths of a vara long, are made of the same shape as the lance-points. Those people have armor consisting of cotton-lined blankets, and others of rattan. Some wear corselets, made of a very hard black wood resembling ebony. They use bows which are very strong and large, and much more powerful than those used by the English. The arrows are made of reeds, the third part consisting of a point made of the hardest wood that can be found. They are not feathered. They poison the arrows with a kind of herb, which in some regions is so deadly that a man dies on the same day when he is wounded; and, no matter how small the wound is, there is no remedy, and the flesh will surely decay unless the antidotal herb, which is found in Luzon, be first applied to the wound. Arrows are also discharged through blow-guns with the same effect, although not with the same range. The Moros, who trade with the Japanese and Sangleyes [S: Indians or Japanese], possess in their houses, and bring in their vessels, bronze culverins, so excellent and well cast, that I have never seen their equal anywhere.
Rice is the main article of food in these islands. In a few of them people gather enough of it to last them the whole year. In most of the islands, during Page 180the greater part of the year, they live on millet, borona, roasted bananas, certain roots resembling sweet potatoes and called oropisa, as well as on yams [yuñames] and camotes14 whose leaves they also eat, boiled. They eat Castilian fowls and pork. In the islands inhabited by Moros, some goats are raised; but there are so few of them that wherever fifteen or twenty Spaniards arrive, no goats will be seen for the next two or three years. The cocoa-palm offers the greatest means of sustenance to the natives, for they obtain from it wine, fruit, oil, and vinegar. These people eat many kinds of herbs which grow both on land and in the sea. Some of these herbs have been used by our people as articles of food. The scarcity of all kinds of food here is such that—with all that is brought continually from all these islands, in three frigates, one patache, and all the other native boats that could be obtained—each soldier or captain could only receive [as his rations] each week two almudes of unwinnowed rice—which, when winnowed, yielded no more than three cuartillos. This ration was accompanied by nothing else, neither meat nor fish.
The natives sustain life by eating little and drinking much—so heavily, that it is a marvel if they are not drunken all the time, or at least from noon on. And the more important their position, the more intoxicated do they become, for they have more to spend for this purpose. The inhabitants of the coast are fishermen who barter their fish and buy from those living inland, who till the soil, the above-named foods. They eat all kinds of shell-fish and slimy plants which grow at the bottom of the sea. Page 181
They are but ill supplied with cloth. They use a kind of cloth made of wild banana leaves15 which is as stiff as parchment, and not very durable. The natives of Panae and Luzon manufacture a cotton cloth with colored stripes, which is of better quality. This cloth is used by the Spaniards when they can find it; otherwise they use the cloth above-mentioned. Both kinds are so scarce, that we are suffering great privations for lack of clothing. The people are very poor. There are few islands where, as it is reported, gold does not exist—but in so small quantities that quite commonly [as I think I have said] a native can be hired to dig, or to work as he is commanded, for three reals a month. A slave can be bought for fifty reals, or sometimes for a little more. It is therefore evident that it is not possible to save from the mines much gold, as can be seen by any man who zealously wishes to serve your Majesty who laments the great expenses of both men and money incurred here.
In that land people buy and sell slaves to one another in great numbers, and even bring them to the islands of the Moros. Most slaves are children and grandchildren of slaves from time immemorial. In this connection, it seems to me that it would be less troublesome, and that God would be better served, if the Spaniards bought these slaves and took Page 182them to Nueva España, where they would become Christians; they would thus supply the great need for slaves there, and would prove a resource for the Spaniards who live there.
Farther north than the aforesaid islands are others, the nearest to Luzon being called Xipon [S: Japan]. We have not seen this island, and what I shall say about it has been related to us by the Moros who carry on trade with that land. It is said that the island possesses silver mines, and that silks and other necessary articles from China are purchased with the silver; for all the people, both men and women, are well clad and shod. And because of being so near China, they have acquired the civilization of that country. These people manufacture very good cutlasses, which they call legues. These have single or double hilts, are very sharp, and are curved like Turkish cutlasses. On the side without any edge, they are about half as thick as the finger, but the edge is very sharp. It is said that Theatin religious have gone thither from Portugal; but I do not know the result of their mission. The Portuguese tell me that the natives of that land are considered very warlike. The women are virtuous, modest, and very jealous of the men [a very rare thing for these regions]. They [S: the men] shave or pluck out the hair from their heads.
A little to the east between these islands and China are the islands of Lequios. They are said to be rich; but we have been unable to learn much about them, for I have not seen any one who has been there. For this reason I conclude that they must be small, and that the people are not much given to commerce.
Likewise immediately north is the mainland called Page 183China. This is a vast country—so much so that, as we are assured, it extends as far as Tartary; for merchants who have traded there say that the two nations are at war with each other. The Chinese are highly civilized. They work iron with tools. I have seen iron inlaid with gold and silver, as cunningly and skilfully wrought as they could be in any part of the world. In like manner they work in wood and all other materials. The Portuguese say that the Chinese are good people—that they possess somewhat of the light of the world, but they see it with only one eye. They make gold into threads as is done in Milan, and weave raised designs of it on damasks and other silken fabrics. They possess all kinds of weapons that we have. Their artillery, judging it by some culverins I have seen that came from China, is of excellent [S: better] quality and better cast than ours. They have also a form of government; but they do not elect a governor (or captain, as they call him) unless he is a great astrologer and has first foretold the weather, future events, and the true outcome of things; so that he may be able to provide for future necessities. In each city and province there is an armed garrison. The people dress well; they wear beards and are as white as ourselves. The women are very beautiful, except that they all have small eyes. They wear long shirts and robes, reaching to the ground. They dye and dress their hair carefully, and it is even said that they rouge and color their faces. It is said that the king of that land is so great a lord, that his camp is composed of three hundred thousand men, two hundred thousand of whom are mounted on horses. On painted articles I have seen pictures of horsemen Page 184armed with coats of mail, Burgundy helmets, and lances. The country is so fertile and well provisioned, that it is believed to be the best country in the world. The Moros with whom I have talked have told me that the Chinese are not as warlike as we are, and are heathens. They possess matrices16 with which they have printed books from time immemorial.
If your Majesty desires to have this land explored, I am at your service provided I be given two ships of about two hundred and fifty tons each, with forty soldiers to each vessel, and all the artillery, ammunition, and provisions that will be necessary. Then, with our Lord's help, and bearing some power of ambassador to the lord of the land, I will enter the country myself, returning by way of Nueva España after having explored the coast. I will ascertain how both trade and conquest must be carried on there. I will carry out all other orders that your Majesty may be pleased to give me, as well as whatever your service shall demand. Page 185
Southeast [S: west] by east from the island of Zubu are the islands of Maluco, where cloves are found; and it is not known whether they exist in any other regions. They lie below the equatorial line The names of the islands in which cloves are found are: Maluco, Gigolo [S: Jilolo], Maquian, Motel, and Momoy. Near those islands [it is said is one called Sunda, which contains pepper. To the east of those islands], at a distance of one hundred and twenty-five leagues, is Nueba Guinea, and three hundred and thirty-two leagues west of them is the island of Burney. This island is well-provisioned; and according to what some Moros, natives of Burney, told me, it belongs to one lord. It is said that there are a great many pearls of enormous size, even as large as pigeon's eggs; but my opinion is that all the natives of that land are great liars, and exaggerate things.
All these islands with more than two hundred and fifty leagues hereabout, are included in the compact which the sacred Majesty now in glory made with the most serene king, Don Juan of Portugal. Even if it were outside of the compact, if your Majesty does not wish to continue the spice trade, on account of the great expense and the little profit that it now yields, or will yield in the future, I think that it would be advisable to withdraw the people from the islands, as your Majesty can hope to draw no other profit from this land. I say this as a loyal subject of your Majesty, for it grieves me to see so much money wasted on a land which can be of no profit whatever.
If your Majesty prefers the spices, I think that it would be better to break the agreement, since it is for so small an amount, that three hundred and fifty Page 186thousand ducats17 would be gained in two ships going from Nueba España to those regions. When this is done, your Majesty's domains will extend as far as Maluco, according to what was told me by the Augustinian friar, by name Fray Martin de Herrada, a native of Navarra, who was prior at the time when I left the Western Islands. He is a great arithmetician, geometrician, and astrologer [—one of the very greatest in the world]. He has measured this, and told me so. He has also written a book on navigation and the measurement of the earth and the sea, east and west. I believe that he will send the book by Fray Diego de Herrera, prior of the aforesaid islands of your Majesty. Then we shall be able to trade in spices with the whole world; for as I have said before, cloves cannot be found save in the five islands of Maluco.
I have written all that can be said on this subject; and I say this because I have seen other accounts both in print and in manuscript, which depart very much from the truth. In order that your Majesty may not be deceived, I sign this account with my name.
If your Majesty should desire to know especial details about that land, I will, at your command, give oral information.
[Endorsed on Sevilla MS: “Superb! Excellent! Relation of the route to the Western Islands.” And in a more modern hand: “By Captain Juan de la Ysla. Islands of the West.”] Page 187
1 Regarding the authorship of this document, see Bibliographical Data. In its presentation here, we have interpolated in brackets the additional matter found in the Sevilla copy; and likewise words which alter the sense, prefixing to these “S:”, to indicate the different reading of the Sevilla document. Matter in the Madrid copy which would give a different meaning from that at Sevilla is indicated by “M:”. The title of the latter is: “Relation of the Western Islands, and the route thither from Nueva España.”
2 The brisa is the north, northeast, or east wind, the vendavál the south or southwest wind. The observations made for a considerable period at the Jesuit observatory in Manila indicate the main prevalence of winds as follows: north and northeast, November to January, inclusive; east, February to April; south and southwest, May to October. See Algué's account of these winds, in his Archipiélago Filipino, vol. ii, ch. iv; also (with additional observations, and citations from other authorities) in Report of the Philippine Commission, 1900, vol. iv, pp. 227–256. In these is discussed the question whether these prevalent winds can be properly termed monsoons.
3 Probably some of the Marshall Islands.
4 The Chinese tael (weight) is equivalent to 1 1–3 United States ounces avoirdupois. The mace (masse) is one-tenth of the tael, and equals 60.42 grains. These terms are also applied to moneys of account in Chinese trade.
5 The words “one thousand” do not appear in the Madrid copy, having probably, in the course of time, been worn off (as have other words or letters) from the edges of the paper.
6 Now Panaón; separated from Leyte (here called Baybay) by Panaón Strait. Tandaya was the early name of Samar Island, which is separated from Leyte by San Juanico Strait. Mazoga is the same as Massava of other early writers; it is now Limasaua Island.
7 The estado was equivalent to 1.85472 English yards, having nearly the same value as the braza.
8 Probably the sibucao (Cæsalpina sapan); its wood produces a red coloring-matter which is highly valued, especially by the Chinese. Some varieties of it are more highly esteemed than are those produced in Brazil. These “Brazil” Islands are apparently the small groups north of Luzón, now known as Batanes and Babuyanes.
9 An archivist's marginal note on the Sevilla MS. reads: “Doubtless this should be Bassilani”—which is the modern Basilan, an island southwest of Mindanao.
10 Regarding piracy in the Philippines, see Barrantes's Guerras piraticas de Filipinas (Madrid, 1878); and Montero y Vidal's Historia de la piratería en Mindanao, Jolo y Borneo (Madrid, 1888).
11 A term (imported from America, and from the Nahuatl language) applied to several species of Calamus: the rattan—a plant of great use to the natives for many purposes.
12 Compare the custom among the Norse vikings—a warrior, at the approach of death from natural causes, embarking alone in his vessel, floating out to sea, and setting it afire, that he might perish with it.
13 The table for Spanish measures of length: 12 puntos = 1 linea; 12 lineas = 1 pulgada; 6 pulgadas = 1 sesma; 2 sesmas = 1 piè (the foot, = 11.128 U. S. inches); 3 piès = 1 vara; 4 varas = 1 estadal. Also, 9 lineas = 1 dedo; 12 dedos = 1 palma. The legua of 8,000 varas equals 4.2151 United States miles.
14 Camote: the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas.)
15 An interesting reference to one of the earliest and most characteristic industries among the natives of the Philippines. The “wild banana” is the abacá (Musa textilis); its product (made from the fibers of the leaves) is commonly known as “Manila hemp,” and is one of the chief exports from the islands. Two kinds of cloth are now made by the natives from the abacá, called sinamay and tinampipi; in making them, they use only primitive handlooms. See Zúñiga's description of this manufacture, in Estadismo (Retana's edition), vol. ii, pp. 41, 42: cf. pp. 94, 95, where he praises the cotton cloths made in the Philippines.
16 The Spanish word is moldes; this sentence regarding the art of printing in China is not in the Sevilla MS. Gonzalez de Mendoza gives an interesting account in his Hist. gran China (Madrigal edition, Madrid, 1586), part i, book iii, ch. xvi, fol. 87–87b; he says that the Chinese understood and used the art of printing more than five hundred years before Gutenberg. He supposes that this invention was carried to Germany via Russia and Muscovy, or by way of the Red Sea and Arabia. The Augustinian Herrada and his associates took to the Philippines a great many books, “printed in various parts of that kingdom [China], but mostly in the province of Ochian [the former province of Hu-Kwang, now forming the two provinces of Hou-Nan and Hou-Pe] ... for therein were bookshops of the largest size,” where books were sold at low prices. In ch. xvii (fol. 89–91), Mendoza enumerates the subjects treated in the books procured by Herrada; they included history, statistics, geography, law, medicine, religion, etc. See also Park's translation of Mendoza (Hakluyt Society, London, 1853), vol. i, pp. 131–137, and editorial note thereon regarding antiquity of printing in China.
17 See the Treaty of Zaragoza, Vol. I, pp. 222–239.
Letter from the Viceroy of New Spain to Felipe II
Royal Catholic Majesty:
On the fifteenth of November there arrived at the port of Acapulco one of two ships, which sailed from the Philipinas islands on the first of July. The second, the flagship, entered on the twenty-fourth, for it was leaking so badly that they succeeded in making port only with great difficulty. On account of this danger, knowing the nearness of the land, the flagship had determined to keep off shore,
thinking this course possible because of its better sailing qualities. Ultimately they availed themselves of the land only for the purpose of taking aboard water because their supply was failing. They entered harbor without having lost either any people or any of their cargo. Don Pedro de Luna, the captain, died of illness two hundred leagues away from land, as did a few sailors also.
Fray Diego de Herrera had taken passage in one of these vessels. It was his intention to continue the journey to Spaña to give your Majesty an account of the wrongs committed in those islands, because of the lack of justice; and to tell you that the soldiers, inasmuch as they are unpaid and receive no rations, are being supported at the Indians' expense, and that Page 188on this account many extortions are practiced. The factor Andres de Mirandaola, Captain Juan Pacheco, and Juan de Morones, sergeant-major, also came. The factor and sergeant-major were sent because of certain crimes which they are said to have committed; however, I do not think that these are very serious. By these men I have been informed of matters relating to those islands, and of the nature of the land. They give a very good account thereof, especially of the island of Luzon, where there are settlements very thickly inhabited, by both Indians and Moors [Moros], although the latter must not be thought of as really of that race, but only as having had the name attached to them.1 It is not believed that they are very sincere in the profession of the Mahometan religion, as many of them both drink wine and eat pork. There are many gold mines, which are worked similarly to the silver mines here. A few of some depth were seen there, although the people, naturally indolent, work them but little—and then only to the extent of their necessities, when the opportunity of barter is offered them—declaring that whenever they have any need for the gold, the mines are close by. Fray Diego de Herrera gave me an account of many other things likewise. I am sending an abstract of his report today, which has been confirmed by those who have come from those regions.
Every one asserts that the chief deficiency of that land is justice; and without justice there is no safety. Page 189He who at the present time exercises the duties of general is not, I believe, held in much esteem; for they knew him when he held the inferior position of a bookseller here. To enter into this subject is very disagreeable to me, but, as your Majesty's servant, I am obliged to mention this; for I am convinced that, if this venture is to succeed, as I hope in God that it will succeed, your Majesty must appoint a man to that office who will be respected and esteemed, and who possesses the necessary qualifications both for peace and war. I beg your Majesty not to make trial, especially in the case of those who are to participate in the administration of justice, of men from the Indias.
As for the question of helping the Philipinas islands, I have up to this time adhered to the instructions which your Majesty has ordered to be given me. Since I came here, I have never failed in any year to send a ship or ships with reënforcements and munitions; but sea and land and climate have their effect, and the number of men is constantly diminished; so that, although people are regularly sent thither, they are actually but little increased in numbers. The object and plan which should be pursued in matters yonder I do not know; but, whatever it may be, people are necessary, for the islands are many. As for the mainland of China, it is so large a land and so thickly settled that one of its hundred divisions, according to report, is as big as half the world itself. It is learned from the Chinese that they admit strangers only with reluctance to their land. For this reason, more and better soldiers would be needful than those who could go from this land, for those born here are but little used to hardship—although Page 190it is also understood that the people of China, in spite of possessing weapons, horses, and artillery, are but little superior in valor to the Indians. Commercial relations are now beginning to be established with the Chinese; but until this is definitely completed the hopes of the merchants here will not rise, in spite of all I do and contrive with them to encourage and spur them on; for, to tell the truth, no certain information comes of a nature to induce them to go. And one of the difficulties consequent upon this commerce and intercourse is, that neither from this land nor from España, so far as can now be learned, can anything be exported thither which they do not already possess. They have an abundance of silks, and linen likewise, according to report. Cloths, on account of the heat prevalent in the country, they neither use nor value. Sugar exists in great abundance. Wax, drugs, and cotton are super-abundant in the islands, whither the Chinese go to obtain them by barter. And thus, to make a long matter short, the commerce with that land must be carried on with silver, which they value above all other things; and I am uncertain whether your Majesty will consent to this on account of having to send it to a foreign kingdom. I beg your Majesty to consider all these matters, to inform me concerning them, and to give explicit orders to the person in charge here so that no mistakes may be made.
The management of affairs here is attended with great difficulty, especially concerning the people who shall go; for it is almost necessary to force them to go. Also with regard to the ships, which are taken wherever they can be found. Usually they are miserable little vessels, which draw but little water, and cost Page 191almost as much in employing them as a ship of six hundred toneladas—necessitating, as they do, pilot, master, mate, and sailors. Nor is it possible to get along with less, especially for the different watches, for otherwise the vessels could not possibly be navigated. And, inasmuch as it does not appear that the merchants are inclined to buy and fit out ships with a cargo, I am not sure, if this business is to go on at your Majesty's expense, whether it would not be wise to have two ships of about five hundred toneladas constructed; and to arrange that one of them should not return the same year it went, in order to have time to collect thoroughly all the articles of barter; but that it should return the following year, and another ship then set forth from here. In this way, and in accordance with this plan, after the first expedition a ship would sail from there every year, while another would depart hence every year. One of them alone would be sufficient to contain the people going to those islands, and keep business progressing and increasing there, since there is no regular expedition.
These ships bear one hundred and thirty-six marcos of gold for your Majesty and some few gold jewels and other things, as your Majesty will order confirmed by this memorandum which the general sends. Likewise they carry almost two hundred and eighty quintals of cinnamon, besides some belonging also to individuals, which I have not seized from them, but have paid them a moderate price for it, of which a previous account has been given to your Majesty. Since your Majesty has not had any answer sent me regarding it, I gather that your Majesty does not desire that this should be done. Likewise I infer the Page 192same with regard to other things to which your Majesty has had no answer made me. And besides all this, the ships carry silks of different colors (both damasks and satins), cloth-stuffs, a little gold, and a lot of cotton mantles, both white and colored; a quantity of wax, glazed earthenware; and other knick-knacks such as fans, parasols, desks, and numberless other little manufactured articles. On account of its being an initial attempt, and because the merchants' interest in this commerce has not been roused or acquired, the matter of import and export duty, as I have written your Majesty, has not yet been settled upon. For the future, however, I will see that they make payment like the rest.
I do not believe that the cinnamon will prove a success in this land, for it is very little used, because of the use here of other spices which grow in these regions. I beg your Majesty to order what disposition is to be made of the same; and likewise to be pleased to advise me whether cinnamon imported by individuals shall be allowed to be brought here.
They say that in an island called Cauchi, not two hundred leagues from Manilla (where the Spaniards are settled now), there is a great quantity of pepper, and that the Chinese resort thither for trade. This seems to be the best site which could be chosen, and to secure it would obviously be attended with but little difficulty. I see no other objection in this, other than that I fear the opportunity for general trade, which is desired there, may not exist; and that the Chinese will resent being deprived of their trade, which must be very lucrative to them, or having to depend upon the Spaniards to carry on the same. But all the ability to remove these obstacles, and to arrange Page 193everything satisfactorily, depends upon the person whom your Majesty may place there to administer justice, and to see that no wrongs are done; for in the absence of unjust conditions, self-interest will attract people.
Your Majesty orders that no Portuguese shall go to the islands; yet it is understood that some have gone there, and have married Indian women. Will your Majesty please order whether they shall, on this account, be allowed to remain; or whether they, together with the Indian women, shall be sent away?
I had given orders that, when any ship should come from the islands, it should reconnoiter the coast of China on the way, in order that more information of the land and its commerce might be obtained. I gave your Majesty an account of this before the step was taken; and I likewise enclosed the instructions concerning the procedure, which I thought should be observed. General Miguel Lopez had ordered that it should be adhered to; but when he died, it appeared to Guido de Labezarii to be a dangerous enterprise on account of the coast being unfamiliar and unknown, as well as a region where our ships might fall in with Portuguese or other people. This is a fact, but nothing of importance can be done without danger. Still we shall postpone the carrying out of this until your Majesty shall arrange matters concerning that land; and the person who manages affairs there will make all suitable provision, since he will have more information upon the subject.
As I have already written your Majesty, there is a lack of artillery here, for those islands take it all—so that I have no artillery for a ship which I am now despatching, and which was built in the port of Page 194Acapulco; and I shall have to take some of that brought by the other vessels coming here. In future, will your Majesty kindly order some to be sent both for an emergency like this, and for these royal settlements?
Together with this ship, I will endeavor to send one of those that have arrived here which may be repaired; and in them I wish to send all the people able to go—a number not in excess of one hundred and eighty men—and some munitions. The flagship, which is of larger tonnage, will be repaired and put into shape, for it is in bad condition; as well as another ship which was to sail thence within twenty days. Afterward, the vessels will remain, in order that they may go from here in a year, and take more people with them. Meanwhile, your Majesty will have time to make such provision as you think best.
The rigging which is bought here is that conveyed by the ships from España, and is very costly and very inferior in quality; but nothing else can be done. I beg your Majesty, therefore, to send from yonder a large quantity of rigging, both small and cable size, for ships of small tonnage and for larger vessels (provided your Majesty think it is well to do so). Please have sent also a lot of canvas. Your Majesty will have to order the officials to make selection of both, and to see that it is very good; or else let them send to Vilbao [Bilbao] where they say the best rigging is made, and at the most reasonable prices. This must come, moreover, with the fleet, if it is to be utilized by these ships.
The accountant Melchor de Legazpi, on hearing of the death of his father, wished to go to throw himself at your Majesty's feet, in order to beg you to remember his father's services, and how he had died in your royal service; and he had for this purpose sold his property, and was poor and even not free from debt. However, I prevented him from going, by telling him to write to your Majesty, and recall his father's services to your Majesty. Certainly, from the accounts I have received, his father did perform such services; and I understand that he was a good man, and served with all possible loyalty.
The boon which his son desires does not lie in those islands, but must be given by your Majesty in this land, and to the extent that seems best to you, in order that certain of his sisters, who are of a marriageable age, may not be left unprovided for. In those islands he was to have had a repartimiento which they say was a very good one. This repartimiento possessed a large amount of provisions, and is called Vitis and Lau. I believe that it was this which General Miguel Lopez wished your Majesty to grant him and the same thing is desired by the successor to his office. My opinion is that it would be well to annex it to the royal crown, in order to supply soldiers and sailors with provisions from it. Your Majesty could order the accountant Legazpi to be given such recompense in this land as your Majesty may be pleased to give him; for by remembering the dead your Majesty will encourage the living—so that, in addition to the mere duty involved, they may die for you with the utmost zeal. Whatever your Majesty may do for him, moreover, I shall consider as a favor done to myself.
As for the procedure which this royal Audiencia is to adopt with the Inquisition, there is only a mere document which bears no signature; a copy of which I send which relates thereto. Neither the auditors nor alcaldes are satisfied with this, and they think that they should possess more authority than an unsigned paper. Your Majesty will send whatever orders seem best to you, for there is no other provision here save the general order which your Majesty gave for all the Inquisitions.
I am sending your Majesty today copies of some letters which were Written to me from the islands, in order that your Majesty may have an account of those regions, up to the departure of these ships. One is from General Miguel Lopez Legazpe, and another from Guido de Labezarrii; two from Fray Martin de Rada, and two from Fray Francisco de Ortego. I am sending also a copy of the list of gold mines of the islands; the certificate of the villages which have been annexed to the royal crown; the procedure adopted by the master-of-camp, Martin de Goyti, in making the treaty with the Indians; the peace made with Indians of Manilla; the account, given by a Chinese, of the coast of China, and the picture of the same; a little book which Fray Martin de Rada sends your Majesty, de latitudine et longitudine locorum invenienda, the memorandum sent by General Guido de Labezarii to your Majesty; and, finally, the instructions which I had given to the person who was to go to explore the Chinese coast. I enclose also the ordinances which your Majesty ordered sent to the officials of Veracruz with affidavit of delivery; and a copy of the decrees which Cardinal de Siguenca, inquisitor-general, sent.2 May our Lord preserve the royal Catholic person of Page 195your Majesty many years, and grant you the increase of kingdoms and seigniories, as we your Majesty's servants desire. Mexico, December 5, 1573.
Your Majesty's loyal servant, who kisses your royal hands,
Don Martin Enriquez
[Superscription: “To His Royal Catholic Majesty, King Philipe our sovereign, in his Royal Council of the Indies.”] Page 196
1 The term Moros (“Moors”) was applied by the Spaniards and Portuguese to these Malayans, simply because they were, at least nominally, Mahometans. Their residence was mainly in the islands of Mindanao, Jolo, Paragua, and Balábac. Most of them were pirates, who for centuries harassed not only the Spanish settlements, but those of the Filipinos.
2 A note by the editor of Cartas de Indias says: “The documents here named do not accompany this letter.”
Documents of 1574
- Letter to Felipe II. Andrés de Mirandaola; January 8
- 3Las nuevas quescriven de las yslas del Poniente Hernando Riquel y otros; January 11
- Decrees regarding Manila and Luzon. Felipe II; June 21
- Opinion regarding tribute from the Indians. Martin de Rada; June 21
- Reply to Fray Rada's “Opinion.” Guido de Lavezaris, and others; [June?]
- Two letters to Felipe II. Guido de Lavezaris; July 17 and 30
- Slavery among the natives. Guido de Lavezaris; [July?]
Sources: The second of these documents is from a MS. in the archives at Simancas; the third, from Doc. inéd. Amér. y Oceanía; the remainder, from the Archivo general de Indias at Sevilla.
Translations: The second document is translated by José M. Asensio; the third, by Frederic W. Morrison; the sixth, by Alfonso de Salvio; the remainder, by Arthur B. Myrick. Page 197
Letter from Andres de Mirandaola to Felipe II
11. The1 mines of which we have been informed, and which have been seen thus far are those of Masbad, which are good, from the rivers of which it is said to be taken. Much gold is found in the island of Vindanao, in the districts of Butuan, Curigao, and Parasao. It is said that much gold is mined there and that it is the loftiest of all these islands. In the island of Luzon, where we are at present, are the following mines and rivers: In Patro there are mines, as well as in Bondo and Pacorago, and in Malabago, in the district of Galvan. There are mines likewise in the province of Ylocos, in the neighborhoods of Balatao, Turrey, Alingay, and Dinglas. These are very rich mines from which, it is said, much gold is extracted, and that there are many metals and rivers which have not been examined. On the other coast there are also mines, which are called those of Paracali, and a river is near by; from there much fine gold is taken Page 198out. In other parts there are more mines, which will yield a great deal of gold throughout, if Spaniards operate and work them.2
12. The kinds of gold that are found among the natives of the city and vicinity of Manila are: Bizlin, which is worth two pesos a tael. The weight of a tael is one and one-eighth ounces. The second kind is Malubay, and the third is Linguinguin. These are the kinds of gold with which the natives trade and barter. The Malubay gold is worth the same as the Bizlin. The Linguinguin gold is worth four pesos. There is another kind of gold which the Spaniards call orejera [earring], which is worth five pesos. The Indians call it panica. There is another finer sort of gold which they call ylapo and another which they call guinuguran. From what I have heard this last is the standard, because in assay it is equal to the wrought gold of Spanish jewelry. All these fine golds in the possession of the natives are never used by them except for some marriage or other important affair. For goods for which they trade and barter, they use Malubay and Bizlin and Linguinguin.
13. And if your Majesty attempt henceforth other and more important things in this land, it will be necessary to have towns and ports here, because this land is in the near neighborhood and almost in the midst of other lands—Japan, China, Jaba, Borney, Malucos, and Nueva Guinea, so that one can go to any of those regions in a short time. It is a Page 199healthy land of tolerable climate, and it has sufficiently good harbors where there is abundance of wood and timber, and other things necessary for the building of ships; and it would cost but little to bring workmen, sails, and some articles which are not to be had there. It is also necessary to make a good harbor there, in order that ships from outside may find anchorage. It is very dangerous for large and deep vessels to pass among so many islands, with their shoals and tides. It would therefore be necessary to build there galleys and light-draught oared vessels, in order to go to those regions that I mention above, and to carry cargoes which the heavy vessels would have to carry to this Nueva España; the latter would not leave any port of those islands which might be settled for this purpose. They could thus cruise and trade in all places in a very short time; and the heavy ships would only have to go to the harbor, to take on their cargoes and return.
14. Of the mainland I will make a report conforming to what I have heard, and what I have been able to get from the natives of it—both those who lived in Manila, and those who have traded between the city of Manila and the mainland, whence come the ships that have visited the Spanish settlements. From what I have heard, there are, for two hundred leagues (rather less than more), towns and fortresses ready for conquest, on the coast whence have come these ships, as far as Canton. On one river there is a fortress, containing a certain number of soldiers as a garrison; but their number I could not ascertain from those people. There are at the mouth of the river a few islets and shoals. There is another fortress and town, about fourteen leagues farther up the Page 200coast, in a little bay, called Occia. Opposite the bay are a few islets, which are apparently uninhabited. About ten leagues farther up the coast there is another river, with a town and fortress called Sihua. Farther up the coast about twelve leagues there is another large and very swollen river which from what I have heard makes a junction with the river of the city of Canton. There is a town and fortress here called Cincin. It is understood that from that port sail the ships that come to Manila, and others that go to Vindoro, Balayan, and Elen.3 Farther up the coast is a large bay with many islets at its mouth, one of which is called Amyhu. Within the bay there is a fort and a town called Aycum. Farther inland there is a very broad river that leads to Canton; about two leagues up there is another fort Page 201and town called Cionciu, from which ships also come hither for our trade, because, as I learned from the natives, that is a large province, and has a great amount of commerce. About ten leagues farther up the coast there is a broad river with a fort and a town named Tisciu. Opposite this river there is an island called La Mao. About fourteen leagues farther is the great river of Canton where it is said there is a large fort with an ordinary garrison—as nearly as I could make out, of about six or seven hundred soldiers, who guard the fort, and their captain and governor, from the city and province of Canton. Opposite this river are islets where the Portuguese go to trade, because they are not allowed to enter Canton.4 The first of these islets, as one enters the river, is called Tanquian; and then come the islands where the Portuguese anchor their ships, where there are neither houses nor anything else; but it serves as a harbor for their vessels. The place where they are is called the quiao of Canton. Even as far as Paquin [Peking], which is the city of the king of China, it is said that one would have to be on the road a year; and all the route would be found full of cities and large provinces. Those on the road are Chincheo, Cantun, Hinchiu, Mimipou, Ouchiu, Yrinari, Sisvan, Conceonau, Nanguin, and Paquin, where the court and the king reside. There are Page 202other provinces, namely Suchiu, Veou, Histau, Cencay. The last king, who died two years ago, was named Ontee, and his son who succeeded him is called Tayçii.5 The latter has issued a general pardon for all those, who were out of their native lands, who should return freely to the condition in which they were during the life of his father; for, before, there was a law that he who did not return to his country within a year should be condemned to death, and his goods confiscated for the expenses of justice. But this new law ordered that the former law would not be enforced for four years, within which time those who wished to return to their former conditions might do so freely. Therefore some of those converted to our holy faith, who were in the city of Manila, have returned with their wives and children. Father Fray Augustin de Alburquerque who is charged with the conversion of the Chinese, wished to go to the mainland this year with these Christians and the traders who came to the port of Manila. It seemed that there was no way of getting there—because, as we are told, a law had been passed that no foreigner whatever might enter the mainland under the penalty of losing his life; and those who convey them thither should receive the same punishment. Accordingly, no one dared to take foreigners thither. The fertility, abundance, riches, and curiosities of die land need not be related here, on account Page 203of the notoriety that, from the beginning, exists regarding these things. Of all the things that Europe has, cloth and velvet are the only ones lacking in this country; in all else it is better supplied—both in food, and in other particular and interesting articles. In the City of Mexico, January viii, MD. LXXIIII. Catholic royal Majesty, your Catholic royal Majesty's faithful servant, who humbly kisses your Majesty's royal feet, and commends himself to your royal favor,
1 The latter part only of this document is here presented; for somewhat more than half of it is practically a duplicate of Legazpi's Relation of 1570—which see (ante, pp. 108–112), with footnotes indicating all important variations therefrom found in the first half of the Mirandaola letter. The part appearing here is matter additional to the Legazpi Relation.
2 For localities in which gold is found in the Philippines, see Philippine Gazetteer, pp. 83, 84. See also Combés's Hist. de Mindanao, lib. 1, cap. iv, with Retana's note thereon, col. 787; in the note is information apparently obtained from this document of our text.
3 The viceroy of New Spain, Martin Enriquez, makes the following interesting comments on the Chinese trade with the Philippines, in a letter to the king dated January 9, 1574: “Since I wrote to your Majesty by the despatch ship, I have seen some of the articles which have been received in barter from the Chinese; and I consider the whole thing as a waste of effort, and a losing rather than a profitable business. For all they bring are a few silks of very poor quality (most of which are very coarsely woven), some imitation brocades, fans, porcelain, writing desks, and decorated boxes; indeed, did I not have respect for more than the good government of this land, I would not permit a single one of these things to be brought into this kingdom. To pay for these they carry away gold and silver, and they are so keen that they will accept nothing else. I am told that they took away more than forty thousand ducats in gold and silver from the islands; and if this were not regulated, they would always have the best of it—although, if the Spaniards who traffic there with them were business men, they themselves would reject the goods carried to them, and would try to ascertain what goods the Chinese have and their value, and arrange so that the exchange should be profitable. I tell your Majesty of this because I shall write the general no more than that he must not permit Spaniards to carry on barter with gold that has not paid the tax.”
4 In 1560 the Portuguese obtained the loan of a spot near the mouth of the Canton estuary, where they were permitted to establish a trading-post, which was named Macao. Before many years elapsed, more than five hundred Portuguese merchants resorted thither annually to trade. “By the regular payment of their rent (five hundred taels a year), as well as by a judicious system of bribing, the Portuguese long enjoyed the practical monopoly of the external trade of the great mart of Canton with the West.” See D. C. Boulger's History of China, ii, pp. 146, 169.
5 The Chinese rulers here referred to are known in history by different names from those here given, even after making allowance for their pronunciation by Spaniards. Moutsong, twelfth emperor of the Ming dynasty, died in 1572, and was succeeded by his son Chintsong, better known under the name Wanleh. As this prince was then but six years old, his mother acted as regent during his minority.
Las Nuevas Quescriven de Las Yslas del Poniente Hernando Riquel y Otros
Sienpre e ydo dando aviſſo delo de por aca y aſi Lo haze de Presente Rrefirendo algunas Cosas delo q aſubcedido despues q sCriui y di Razon enlos Vltimos nauios q llegaron aeſe rreyno el ano pasado de 1570. y tocarelo mas Notable dexandolo que no loes para otros autores mas desoCupados rremitiendome a los capitanes pasajeros y otras personas q Van en estos nauios.
A 17 de nouj delaño pasado de 1570 partio El sr. goueror. Miguel lopez delegaspi del rrio de panai a cubie y conforme ala orden q tenia de su magd. poblo vna villa concinqta. vos. a los quales dio rrepartimio de yndios con parecer del prouincial fray min de herrada y del mre, de Campo y capitanes.
ACauada de aſentar esta poblon ſe boluio a panae a donde llego y estubo hasta q se apresto para la jornada de manila ques ē la ysla de luzon adonde al preſente está la prinçipal poblacion y Campo de su Magd. Partio a diez y seis de abril de mill e qnieo y Page 206setenta y vno segundo dia de pascoa de Reſurreſion enbarcoſe ē la galera nonbrada La leona despaña q ſe aCauo en esta sazon enel Camino se detubo 32 dias aſi llego ala dha poblaçion de manila y antes de llegar a ella como quatro leguaſ Vino Vna espia la qual ēbiaron los prinçipales atomar tiento del yntento q ſe traya y entendido del sr. goueror. queera toda Paz y amistad y q pa tratarlo como Conbinieſe y mas a gusto delos prinçipales y naturales venia en psa. la espia mostro alegrio particular deentenderse y entonces ſe declaro como venia auer lo q esta dho y aſi fue muy satisfho y rregalado de su senoria y ſe boluio y el goueror ſiguio su viaje endemahda del puerto con buen biento galerno y Como desde la poblon nos Vieron y no auia llegado la espia començaron a poner fuego a los Casas el ql llegado fue pte pa q no paſaſe adelte ynçendio porque entendiero de la espia como ybamos de paz y aſiſe aseguraron y dispuſieron a benir nos a Reçiuir al Camino los prinçipales rraxa El viejo y aljandora y el maguno marlanauay y sale laxa que son los mas prinçipales desta trra el Raxa soliman por temor delo q hizo el año pasado no Vino en Conpa destos y entendiende el gouernador q poreste temor no Venia ēbiole conestos prinçipales seguro debaxo del qual Vino el dia siguie sienpre mostraua temor dio disCulpa delo pasado façil y discreta y en ſuma dixo estas Razones no tube Culpa Page 208enlo q ſe hizo[?] porque ya saues que en esta trra no ay rrey ni Caueca ſola ſino q Cada vno tiene ſu parecer y opinion y aſiſiguen lo q mas gusto les dá Vbo algos q pudieron mas q yo pues ſin licencia mía rronpieron la paz y amistad y hizieronme Caer en falta y ſi esto no fuera aſi y por mi pte y Consejo ſe hiziera mereçía Pena y ſi fuera Rey desta trra como ſoy ſolo sr. demihazienda noſe quebrara la palabro que di po Como dependio de muchos yo no pudemas se oy adelte ē lo que ami tocare por mi psa ſugetos y amigos poCurare de q ſea cierta la paz y amistad q ſe asento aviendo entendido el goueror. el Razonamito conçediole perdon general por lo paſado con Cargo que enlo presente y futuro Cumplieſe lo que prometia y haziendolo aſi en ne. de su magd. ſele hazia toda mrcd con estos Razones y otras y muchos rregalos fueron este Raja y todos los demas muy contos de auer aſendo. las pazes y el Campo ſe alojo trra y abemos hecho Cosa lo mejor q ſe pudo y Cada diaſe Van haziendo.
El dia de Pascoa de Spiritusanto Vinieron a la Costa desta poblaçcion çiertos moros de la Comarca della con ns. de To[?] y tantos naujos y ēbiaron a dezir al goueror. qe Venian a pelear con ſu gente rrespondioles qe mirasen bien lo qe dezian porque el no queria mandarlos matar ni hazer daño ſino todo buen aCogimiento y Veçindad pa qe Con liuertad Page 210pudiesen hazer suscontrataçiones y otros muchos Razones pomeſas rregaladas y exortaçiones Xptianas y no basto antes ſe ensoberbeſieron mas pertinazmte. Visto esto mdo el goueror. que elmre. de Campo min. de goyti fueſe a ellos el qual lo hizo con mucha presteza lleuando Conſigo la gente que le pareçio lo qual ēbarco en alos de los naujos que auia [?] aComodados'y dexo[?] orden que le siguiesen los ſoldados que dexo ſeñalados y llego al ſitio que ſe senaloē Vnos esteros de mar pa darſe la batalla naual como ſe hizo y desbarato y rrindio a todos los enemigos con muy poco daño delos Espanoles con ſer los Contrarios mucha gente de guerra y traer artilleria Visto qe por tan pocos Xptianos fueran Rendidos ſe admiraron y puro temor en toda la trra pa que los naturales temen en mucha figura esta gente y Con este buen subceſo estubo algos dias quieto este Campo.
Despues desto ſe trato con ynstancia paz con los naturales desta trra por buenos medios afixando la qe ſe auia tratado con los primeros y algos qe no auian ſido en ella dezian qe no querian paz ni amistad Con el goueror. ni Con ſu gente ni verlos ni oyrlos porque no ſe les seguia prouecho y por esto vbo demandas y rrespuestas y vista ſu pertinaçia fue neceso ēbiarles a hallanar y aſi ſe hizo en diferentes ptes especial a vna proujn qe tiene mucha gente nonbrada panpagan comarcana a esta çiudad de manila y a todos ſeles Page 212hazian rrequerimientos y amonestaçiones qe vinieſen a obidiencia de su magd. y alos que nolo quiſieron hazer fue neceso pelear pa rrendirlos y aſi ſe Hizo ſin daño notable.
estDo en este estdo las Cosas desta trra tubo el goueror. rueba dela llegada delos dos naujos Santiago y San Jun qe dio tanto Conto como ſe puede ēCarecer y avnque llegaran muy travajados ſe rrepararon lo mejor qe ſer pudo pa qe hiziesen ttorna viaje a eſa nueua spaña y el mismo Conto ſe Reçiuio con el auer llegado dn po deluna conel nauio SpirituSanto y aſi ſe despacharon delos tres los doſ El año paſado y paſales tarde hallaron en la mar tpos contros y les fue forçado a Ribar y aſi saldran aora medte. nro Senor a prinçipio del mes de Julio deste año de 1573.
a los 20. de ago del ano pasado de 1572. fue nro Señor ſeruido de llevar pa si al gouernador miguel lopez de legaspi murio rrepentinamte. aviendoſse aquel dia leuantado sano en ſu scriptorio ſe hallo Vna proujon. de ſu magd. librada por eſa rreal avda. en el tiempo qe tubo en ſi el gouierno por muerte del viſſorrey dn luis de velco ē la qe ſenalaron ſubceſores del Cargo de miguel lopez y al que Pertineçio de presente fue al theso. guido delabasaris y aſi ſe le entrega el gouierno por el mre. de Campo y offiçiales de su magd. y por el cavildo dela çiudad y otros offiçiales y todo està paçifico y ē ſeruiçio de su magd Page 214
De Presente Residimos en esta çiudad de manila ē la ysla de Luzon que es lo mejor destos distritos el goueror. pasado y el preſente Repartieron la trra y moradores della qe estan paçificos y aſiſe yra rrepartiendo lo qe ſe paçificare aſe hecho tasaçion delo qe Cada tributao a se dar ē Vn año que es vna manta de algodon de qe ay mucha abundançia en esta ysla de diez varas de largo y dos de ancho es rropa de que vsan los naturales pa bestirſe delgada aſi mismo an de dar dosas. de arroz y vna gallina entiendeſe lo daran ſin peſadunbre porla mucha abundançia qe de todo tienen ay mucha jente, aſi ſe entiende ſeran algos muy principales Repartimientos de mucha Renta.
en esta ysla ay muchas minas de oro y pte dellas ſean Visto por espanoles y dizen que las labran los naturales como en la nueua spaña, las minaſ de plata y el metal lleua ſu veta ſeguida como la plata an hecho dello enſayes y aCude atanta rriqueza qe no lo ſcriuo porqe no entiendan que me a largo el tpo descubrira la verdad.
deste oro Vsan Los naturales y lo mezclan con metal de Cobre tan ſutil mte. que enganaran alos diestros artifices despaña.
Anſe desCubierto enesta trra muchos grangeros y aſi ſe entiende los abra y la mejor contron qe auido ni ſea desCubierto en todas las yndias. Page 216
De Vn año a esta pte, binieron al puerto desta çiudad tres naujos dela china y a las yslas comarcanas otros 5. y los que aqui llegaron traxeron mrcas. delos qe vsan entre ellos como lo ſuelen hazer de ordo. ay poco Camino desde esta ysla ala trrafirme tardoſe en nauegar Como 8. dias.
Como estos naujos llegaran a la Vista del puerto desde la mar ēbiaron a pedir ſeguro el goueror. ſe lo dio y ſe les hizo muy buen tratamito. traxeron algos menudencias avnque poca Cantidad porque los naturales con quien principalmte. bienen a Contratar lo qe comunmte. Vsan y pa ellos ſe trae ſon tinajas grandes y boca basta hierro Cobre estaño y otras cosas a ſu modo y pa los prinçipales algos pieças de ſeda y porçelanas finas y esto no delo muy Curioſo pa espanoles traxeron alguna loçafina y otras Cosas lo ql Vendieron muy bien porque alos que aqui estamos noſ ſobra dineros y a los chinos les falta q Vender fueron tan engoloſinados qe cierto bolberan de aqui a 6. o 7. meſes y traeran Cosas muy Curiosas y ē mucha abundançia.
traxeron muestra de muchos generos de Cosas qe ay ē ſu trra pa entender el precio en que los podran vender como eſ azogue, polbora pimienta Canela fina clauo acucar hierro Cobre estaño laton ſedas texidos de muchos ſuertes y en madexas rrexalgar alCanfor loça de diferentes ſuertes rrica naranjas dulçes y otros Page 218mill generos y menudas qe no traen mas los flamencos aſi mismo traxeron ymagenes de cruſificos y ſellos muy Curiosos en que ſe asentar a nro modo la Causa desta Venida demaſ dela orda que ellos tienen fue algos chinos qe an estado entre nosotros y eran esclauos y ſe les dio liuertad y pasaje pa ſu trra los qales dieron notiçia, desta poblaçion ala qual podian venir con ſeguridad y Contratar con liuertad y Paz a entender esto vinieron Con los naujos y Cosas ya rreferidos.
aſe entendido que esta gente ſon muy delicados ē ſu contraton. traxe y Costumbres y Cada dia ſe entendera mas porque ay algos Vos desto poblaçion qe ſon naturales dela china de quien ſe ētiende ques trra muy rrica y poblada y que el rrey tiene muy buena orden de guerra y ſus fronteros muy fortificados con muchos fuerças y artilleria y gente, de guarniçion y Cuidado enellos dizen que desde la çiudad de Canton ques Vna delas mas fuertes poblaçiones dela maritima de trrafirme ay distançia de Camino de Vn año pa llegar a paquin ques donde esta el Rey esto ſe entiende por trra costa a Costa y enel Camio ay muchas poblaçiones de Ciudades muy populoſas pero ſi ſu magd. fuese ſeruido ſe podria allanar y Conquistar con menos de 60 españoles buena gente.
Otros menudençias auia de qedar Razon de Xolo se hazer porque ſe entenderan delo que van en estos naujos lo mas eſençial delas Cosas desta trra es lo qe Page 220tengo rreferido el dia de oy a Conto enella porlo mucho qe promete la rr queza y contrataçiones todo ſea pa ſervir a nro sr.
Relon délo q traen los dos nauios q Vinieron delas yslas del ponite y otros Cosas qe á esto tocā qe ſe ponen pa qe mejor ſe entienda la Calidad de aquellos proujas.
448. marcos de oro de diferentes quilates.
712 pas de todas suertes deſedas.
312 qes de canela.
22U300 pas de loça fina dorada y de otras ſuertes.
11U300 mas de algodón qe cada vna vale a 2 pas de oro Comun y mas.
930 as de çera qe Cada aa vale 15 pos de oro Comun.
334 as de hilo de algodon qe Cada aa vale a 17. y 20 pos del dho oro.
otras muchas Cosas de menudençias traen qe no ſea valian por no entenderſelos preçios dellos.
en otro nauio q esta a la Carga, y ſe eſpera Cada dia ſe ētiende
Vendra mucha Cantidad de todos las Cosas qe estos dos naujos traxeron.
Para ſus magds. En Particular ēbian deaquellos proujas. muchos joyas y Coronas de oro ſedas porcelana y tinajas rricas y otras Cosas muy Primas qe los Prinçipales ēbian en reConoçimio de ſu vaſallaje y por premiçias deaquella trra de Preſento ſe alistan Page 222dos naujos en que Yran 200 Soldados de ſocorro enel entre tanto qe ſe adreçan mas naujos en que ſe entiende yra gran Cantidad de gente, ſegun a ſonado esta bua nueua la ql ſe ēbia a ſu magd. por dos duplicados en diferentes naujos qe nra ſenor lleue enſaluo, de mexo xj de henero 1574. aos
[Endorsed at beginning: “Relon De Las nueuas quescriuen delas yslas del ponite herDo rrequel scriuo degouernaçion dellas y otros Cuyos Cartas binieron e Vno de dos nauios que partieron del puerto de manila a primero del mes de Julio de 1573. aos y surgio enel puerto de Acapulco desta nueua spaña, a 15. de nouje. del dho ano.”]
[Endorsed at end: “Nuebas Delas yslas phelippas.” In another hand: ”anos 1573 y 1574 Noticias de las Yslas del poniente hoy Filipinas y de la china escritas por Hernando Requel Secretario de la Gobernacion de ellas, y otros en el año de 1573. enviadas desde Mexico el año 1574. adonde las dirigio.”] Page 205
News from the Western Islands by Hernando Riquel and Others
I have always given advices of affairs hereabout, and therefore do so at the present, referring to some things which have happened since I last wrote—a letter sent by the last ships which arrived in that kingdom in the year 1570. I will mention the most notable events, leaving other and unimportant matters for other writers who may be less occupied than I; and I refer you to the captains, passengers, and other persons who go in these ships.
On the seventeenth of November of the year 1570, the governor Miguel Lopez de Legaspi left the river of Panai for Cubie.1 According to the orders given him by his Majesty, he established a town of fifty inhabitants, to whom he allotted repartimientos of Indians,2 with the approbation of the provincial, Fray Martin de Herrada, and of the master-of-camp and the captains. Page 207
After establishing this town3 he returned to Panae, where, after his arrival, he remained until he prepared for the expedition to Manila—a city in the island of Luzon, and at present the principal settlement and camp of his Majesty. He set out on the sixteenth of April of the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-one, on Easter Monday. They embarked on the galley called “La Leona de España,” completed in that season. On the way, they were detained thirty-two days before arriving at the said town of Manila. Before arriving there, and at about four leagues' distance, there came a spy sent by the chiefs to ascertain the purpose of the Spaniards in going thither. He was told by the governor that his purpose was one wholly of peace and friendship; and that, in order to confer about this more conveniently, and further to please the chiefs and natives, he was coming in person. The spy appeared greatly pleased at this, and then it was explained how the governor happened to go there, as has been said. He was well satisfied thereat, and, having received some presents from his Lordship, he returned to his people. The governor continued his voyage toward the port, with a mild and favoring wind. As the spy had not yet returned, the people of the town, as soon as they perceived us, commenced to set the houses on fire. As soon as the spy came, he made them put out the fire, explaining that our purpose was peaceful. They were thus reassured, and the chiefs—the aged Rraxa [Raja], Aljandora, Maguno, Marlanavay, and Salelaxa, the principal men of that land—prepared to come to receive us on the way. Page 209Raxa Soliman, through fear on account of what he did last year, did not accompany the others. When the governor learned that he did not come because of fear, he sent him by these chiefs assurance of safety. On the following day he came, but displayed continual fear. He excused himself for the past with fluency and adroitness; and, according to the reasons which he gave, there was no guilt in his actions. “As you already know, there is no king and no sole authority in this land; but everyone holds his own view and opinion, and does as he prefers. There were some persons more powerful than I, for, without license from me, they violated the peace and friendship, thus obliging me to be guilty of a lapse of duty. But if it had not been done in this wise, and they had done it with my approbation and advice, I would merit punishment. If I were king of this land, instead of being only the master of my own estate, the word I had given would not have been broken. But as this depended on the many, I could not, nor can I henceforth, do more than personally endeavor that my subjects and friends keep the peace and friendship that was established.” When the governor understood the cause, he granted general pardon for the past, charging that now and in the future the promises made must be fulfilled. Therefore, in the name of his Majesty, he granted full grace. Because of these and other reasons, and by means of many presents, this Raja and all the other chiefs were satisfied, and peace was well established. A camp was formed in the land, and we have established a settlement, as well as we could; and every day more is being accomplished.
On the day of Pentecost there came to the shore Page 211of this settlement certain Moros of the region hereabout, some seventy in number, and with as many boats; they sent word to the governor that they came to fight with his troops. He replied that they must consider well what they were doing, as he was not willing to command that they be killed, or to inflict any harm upon them. On the contrary, he offered asylum and right of residence, that they might freely carry on their traffic. Many other arguments, promises, and presents were given them, and Christian exhortations made; but to no effect, for they stubbornly grew more boisterous. At this, the governor commanded that the master-of-camp, Martin de Goyti, should attack them. This the latter did with exceeding promptness, taking with him such troops as he chose. They embarked on several of the ships which had been made ready, leaving orders that the soldiers whom he had designated should follow him. They proceeded to a place marked by certain estuaries, to engage the enemy in naval battle. This was done, and the enemy were completely defeated; and they surrendered after inflicting but little injury upon the Spaniards, notwithstanding the great force of the enemy, and their many pieces of artillery. When they saw that they were conquered by so few Christians, they were astonished; and fear was inspired in all the natives of the country, who hold the Moros in high estimation. By this success, the country remained quiet for some time.
After this earnest efforts were made to come to friendly terms with the natives, and they were told of the treatment which had been accorded to the first ones. Several of those who had not been in this group declared that they desired no peace or friendship Page 213with the governor, or with his people; nor did they wish even to see or hear them, as no profit resulted to them thereby. On this account arguments were given pro and con; and in view of their obstinacy it was necessary to undertake to subdue them. This was done in many places, especially in a well-populated province named Panpagan [Pampanga], near this city of Manila. Demands and admonitions were given to all that they should render obedience to his Majesty. Those who refused to do so, it was necessary to fight and subdue, which was accomplished without much damage.
When the affairs of this country were in this condition, the governor heard of the arrival of two ships, the “Santiago” and the “San Juan.” This caused universal satisfaction; and although the ships arrived in a bad condition, they were repaired as well as they could be, in order to make the return voyage to that Nueva Spaña. The same pleasure was experienced at the coming of Don Pedro de Luna4 in the ship “Spiritu Santo.” Of the three ships, two Page 215were despatched last year; but on account of their late departure they experienced stormy weather on the sea, and were compelled to put into port again. Accordingly, God willing, they will sail at the beginning of the month of July of this year, 1573.
On the twentieth of August of the past year, 1572, our Lord was pleased to call to Himself the governor, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. He died suddenly, having that day arisen in good health. In his cabinet a provision of his Majesty was found, issued by that royal Audiencia during his administration, on account of the death of the viceroy, Don Luis de Velasco. Therein were designated the successors of Miguel Lopez; and the office at this time fell to the treasurer, Guido de Labasaris. The authority was therefore delivered to him by the master-of-camp, his Majesty's officers, the cabildo of the city, and other officials. Everything is at peace and at his Majesty's service.
At present we reside in this city of Manila, in this island of Luzon, which is the most important of these districts. Both the former and the present governor apportioned the land, and the inhabitants thereof who were pacified. Thus as the land is subdued, it will be divided. Taxation is imposed in such a manner that every tributario must pay annually a piece of cotton cloth, which is very abundant in these islands. It must be ten [?] varas5 in length and two varas wide. It is a thin cloth used by the natives for their clothing. Moreover, there must also be given two arrobas of rice, and one hen. It Page 217must be understood that this can be levied without difficulty, as there is an abundance thereof, and everyone possesses these articles. There are many people, so it is evident that there will be some very important repartimientos, yielding good profit.
In this island, there are many gold mines, some of which have been inspected by the Spaniards, who say that the natives work them as is done in Nueva Spaña with the mines of silver; and, as in those mines, the vein of ore here is continuous. Assays have been made, yielding so great wealth, that I shall not endeavor to describe them, lest I be suspected of lying.6 Time will prove the truth.
The natives use this gold and mix it with copper, so cleverly as to deceive the best artisans of España.
Many traders have been encountered in this land; so, it is plain, the country will have them and the best trade which has been or may be discovered in all the Yndias.
A year ago there came to the port of this city three ships from China, and to the neighboring islands five more. Those which came here brought merchandise such as is used among the Chinese, and such as they bring here ordinarily. The distance from this island to the mainland is not great, the voyage lasting about eight days.
When those ships came in sight of the port, they sent from the sea to ask for assurance of safety. The governor granted it, and they were treated very well. They brought some trifles, although but a small quantity, Page 219as the natives, with whom they come principally to trade, commonly use, and for them are brought only large earthern jars, common crockery, iron, copper, tin, and other things of that kind. For the chiefs, they brought a few pieces of silks and fine porcelain; but these goods are not especially out of the common. For the Spaniards they brought some fine ware and other articles, which they readily sold, since we who are here have plenty of money, and the Chinese need it. They are so delighted that they will surely return in six or seven months, and will bring a great abundance of many very rare articles.
They brought specimens of many kinds of goods peculiar to their country, in order to arrange the price at which they can be sold—such as quicksilver, powder, pepper, fine cinnamon, cloves, sugar, iron, copper, tin, brass, silks in textiles of many kinds and in skeins, realgar,7 camphor, various kinds of crockery, luscious and sweet oranges; and a thousand other goods and trifles quite as many as the Flemings bring. Moreover, they brought images of crucifixes and very curious seals, made like ours. The cause of this unusual visit is that freedom, and passage to their own country, were given to some Chinese who were slaves among us; those people spread the news of this settlement, where they could come with safety and trade freely; accordingly they came, with the ships and goods to which we have already referred.
It must be understood that those people are very peculiar in their traffic, costume, and customs; every day this is more evident, since some of the inhabitants of this city are natives of China. From them it is Page 221learned that the land is very rich and thickly populated. The king is well prepared for war and the frontiers are well fortified with many forts with artillery and garrisons wherein strict watch is kept. They say that from the city of Canton, one of the strongest towns on the coast of the mainland, there is a distance of one year's travel before arriving at Paquin [Pekin], the residence of the king; this means from coast to coast of the land. There are many very populous cities on the way, but if his Majesty would be pleased So to command, they could be subdued and conquered with less than sixty good Spanish soldiers.
There are a few other small matters to be mentioned concerning Xolo, which will be made clear by what is sent in these ships. The matter most essential to this country is what I have already referred to today, regarding trade. May the good prospect of riches and traffic be all to the service of our Lord.
Relation of what was brought by the two ships which came from the islands of the West, and other things referring thereto given that the resources of those provinces may be better understood.8
448 marcos of gold, of different degrees of purity.
712 pieces of all kinds of silks.
312 quintals of cinnamon.
22,300 pieces of fine gilt china, and of other kinds of porcelain ware.
11,300 pieces of cotton cloth, each worth 2 pesos or more of common gold.
334 arrobas of cotton thread, each arroba worth 17 to 20 pesos of said gold.
Many other small articles were brought, the value of which cannot be given as it is not known.
By another ship which is now being loaded and which we expect every day, it is understood that there will come a large quantity of all the goods which these two ships have brought.
For their Majesties individually, are sent from those provinces many jewels and crowns of gold, with silks, porcelains, rich and large earthen jars, and other very excellent things which are sent by the chiefs in token of their allegiance. For the first fruits of that land two ships are being prepared in which reënforcements of two hundred soldiers will be sent. In the meantime, more ships are being prepared in which it is understood that many people will sail. This good news is forwarded to his Majesty by two duplicates in different ships, which, may it please our Lord, may arrive in safety. From Mexico, January xj, 1574.
[Endorsed at beginning. “Relation of the news written from the islands of the West, by Hernando Rrequel, government notary thereof, and others, whose letters came in one of two ships which left the port of Manila on the first of the month of July, 1573, and anchored at the port of Acapulco of this Nueva Spaña on November 15 of said year.”]
[Endorsed at end: “News of the Phelippinas Islands.” In another hand: “1573, 1574. Information about the Western (now Filipinas) Islands and China, written by Hernando Requel, government notary thereof, and others in the year 1573; sent from Mexico in 1574, whence he addressed them.”] Page 224
1 The Ultramar MS. (see Bibliographical Data at end of this volume) reads, “the river of Panaca to Cubo.”
2 From this point this paragraph in the Ultramar MS. reads as follows: “As justly as possible. But although it was done thus, complaints were heard, because not so many natives were found as the list made by the person who had visited this district gave us to understand. This list was so summary that it could not be true. The encomenderos urged that the governor should make the number of each repartimiento equal to the list. Therefore each encomendero received the number for which he petitioned.”
3 The Ultramar MS. reads here: “named Cebu, he set out for Prognal.”
4 Martin Enriquez writes to the king (January 9, 1574), urging that a new governor for the Philippines be appointed: “I beg your Majesty to appoint, within a very short time, some person who shall have the necessary qualifications for governing that land; for otherwise neither Christianity nor the royal estate will be able to make much progress there. Even since I wrote to your Majesty, I have heard fuller details of certain things from among the many which are bound to occur, and all through lack of justice. I had charged Don Pedro de Luna to bring me a detailed relation of everything that he should hear concerning matters there, and, as he died at sea, I sent word to the Alcalde Mayor of Acapulco to look through his coffers for all his papers, and send them to me, suspecting that I would not like to trust everything to his memory. In this way I have ascertained from them that there is beyond question need that your Majesty should endeavor to secure better administration of justice there, and provide some one to take greater care of your Majesty's finances.”
5 The Muñoz letter (see Bibliographical Data at end of this volume) says, “four varas.” The reading of our text is uncertain, as the number is not written in full, but is designated by a contraction difficult to read.
6 The Ultramar MS. has the following: “It is enough to say, and I swear it on my oath as a Christian, that there is said to be more gold in this one island than iron in Vizcaya.” This is very similar to the reading in the MS. copied by Muñoz.
7 The red sulphuret of arsenic.
8 This and what follows was apparently added by the officials in Mexico.
Two Royal Decrees
Bestowing Titles on Manila and Luzon
Don Phelipe, by the grace of God, etc.
Inasmuch as we have been informed by the council and by the judicial and executive departments of the city of Manila, in the island of Luzon of the West, that the citizens and inhabitants of the said city have served us with much faithfulness and loyalty, and have endured great hardships; and that, after the said island was discovered and pacified, and the said city founded therein, the governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (now defunct), in our name, gave to the latter the title and designation Ynsigne e siempre leal Cibdad, [“Distinguished and ever loyal City”], and to the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla [“New Kingdom of Castilla”]; and inasmuch as supplication has been made to us, for the greater welfare of the said city and the perpetual remembrance of the services of its citizens, that we order the confirmation of the said title Insigne e siempre leal Cibdad de Manila, and to the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla, and that it might be our will that they be so designated and named, or however else might be our pleasure: now therefore, we, after careful consideration of the above, and of the good and loyal Page 225services that the said city and its citizens have rendered us, do regard favorably the above supplication; and by the present we do confirm and approve, to the said city of Manila, the title Insigne e siempre leal Cibdad, given it, in our name, by the said governor, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi; and to the said island of Luzon, the said title and appellation Nuevo Reyno de Castilla. And we do consent that the said city of Manila bear forever the designation and title Insigne e siempre leal, and the said island of Luzon that of Nuevo Reyno de Castilla, which we, by this, our decree, grant as title and appellation, with leave and permission to be so designated and called as abovesaid, and to place the same on any or all documents that are drawn up and contracted, and on all letters that are written. And we do hereby order the same, under our hand and seal, and with the confirmation of my Council of the Indies. Given at Madrid on the twenty-first day of June, in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.
I The King
Granting to Manila the Office of Corredor de Lonxa for the Estates of the City
Don Felipe by the grace of God, etc.
Inasmuch as we are aware of the services which the city of Manila in the island of Luzon, entitled el nuevo Reyno de Castilla [“the new Kingdom of Castilla”], and its citizens and inhabitants, have rendered us; and considering our desire for its honorable increase and colonization: it is our pleasure to bestow upon the said city of Manila, as we do, by this Page 226 present, the office of corredor de Lonxa1 thereof, for the estates of the city, for such time, and no more, as may be our pleasure. And it is our wish that in said office be vested the jurisdiction and administration of the same according to and in such manner as our corredores de Lonxa have exercised and do exercise it, in the cities, towns, and villages of these our kingdoms and seigniories, as well as in those of our Indias, islands, and Tierra-Firme of the Ocean Sea; we will also that there be appointed for said office of corredor de Lonxa, the person or persons whom the city may see fit to appoint; and that the said person or persons through the said appointment, and by virtue of this, our decree, shall be authorized to enjoy and exercise the said office in all cases and matters pertaining to it, in such wise as the other corredores de Lonxa of the other cities, towns, and villages of these our kingdoms, and of our aforesaid Indias, enjoy and exercise it. And they shall enjoy the income and fees annexed and pertaining to the said office, provided that the income which said persons shall give each year be for the estates of said city, to be expended and distributed for the common welfare of the same, and not for any other thing—for which purpose we direct the present decree to be given, signed by my hand and countersigned by our secretary. Madrid, June twenty-one, one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.
I The King
1 Corredor de Lonja (Lonxa) is undoubtedly a commission merchant: apparently the decree confers upon the city the right to appoint brokers of this class.—A.P. Cushing.
Opinion of Fray Martin de Rada on Tribute from the Indians
Most Illustrious Lord:
Your Lordship1 asks me to give, in writing, my opinion of affairs in this land; and to invent a remedy which shall result more to the service of God, our Lord, and of his Majesty, and to the security of the consciences of those who live in this land. I say the same that I said lately in conversation with your Lordship, when your Lordship asked me in the autumn whether it would be right that the Indians should give tribute. I told your Lordship that I had determined to call an assembly of all the religious that were in this land, so that all of us in common could discuss the affairs of the country. Until then, it did not seem to me that any change should be made, except that the Spaniards should raise tribute by similar methods to those employed farther down on the coast—namely, a small amount of rice, equivalent to seventy gantas,2 and a piece of cloth, for each Indian giving tribute. Having assented to this—although some religious, and that rightly, have found fault with the tribute, both in the pulpit and in the Page 228confessional, and in other and private discussions—I waited until all should come here, and the conference should be called as I desired, in order that everything might be better reasoned out. Seeing now the great delay of some, and that we would have to leave this town—some alone, and others in company—have taken the opinion of all the fathers who were to be found here. They unanimously affirm that none among all these islands have come into the power of the Spaniards with just title. For, although there are many and just causes for making war on some nations or towns, no governor or captain can do so without an express mandate for it from his Majesty, excepting only that war which is waged in defense of their persons and property, others being unjustly undertaken; since neither in the first instructions that we received, nor in later ones, has his Majesty ordered us to make war on the natives of these islands. Rather did he order the contrary, in a letter that Juan de la Isla brought from his Majesty, written from the Escorial to the governor (who is now in glory), and which I saw. That letter declared that any conquest made in these islands by force of arms, would be unjust, even if there were cause for doing so. All the more unjust are these conquests that in none, or almost none, of them has there been any cause. For as your Lordship knows, we have gone everywhere with the mailed hand; and we have required the people to be friends, and then to give us tribute. At times war has been declared against them, because they did not give as much as was demanded. And if they would not give tribute, but defended themselves, then they have been attacked, and war has been carried on with fire and sword; and even on Page 229some occasions, after the people have been killed and destroyed, and their village taken, the Spaniards have sent men to summon them to make peace. And when the Indians, in order not to be destroyed, came to say that they would like to be friends, the Spaniards have immediately asked them for tribute, as they have done but recently in all the villages of Los Camarines.3 And wherever the Indians, through fear of the Spaniards, have left their houses and fled to the mountains, our people have burned the houses or inflicted other great injuries. I omit mention of the villages that are robbed without awaiting peace, or those assaulted in the night-time. Pretexts have been seized to subjugate all these villages, and levy tribute on them, to such amount as can be secured. With what conscience has a future tribute been asked from them, before they knew us, or before they have received any benefit from us? With what right have three extortions, of large amounts of gold, been made on the Ylocos, without holding any other communication or intercourse with them, beyond going there, and demanding gold of them, and then returning? And I say the same of Los Camarines and of Acuyo, and the other villages that are somewhat separated from the Spanish settlements. In all this is it not clear that tribute is unjustly raised? Likewise he who sends them for it or orders it, as also the captain in the first place, next the soldiers and those taking Page 230part in it, and those who advise it; and those who, being able to, do not prevent it; and those who, being able to make restitution, do not do so—all these together, and each person individually, are entirely responsible for all injury. And it is the same in the villages in the neighborhood of the Spanish settlements; because, although they may have some religious instruction, and under the shelter of the Spanish are safe from their enemies, and some injuries which have been done them have been redressed, they do not fail to receive great molestation and injury through the continual presence of the Spaniards, and never-ending embarcations. Finally, they were free, and, to speak openly, not reduced to vassalage. And when base and foundation fail, all that is built thereon is defective—all the more as the Indians are not protected from their enemies, nor maintained in justice, as they should be. Many piracies go on as before, and those most thoroughly subdued suffer the worst, because, being robbed by others who are not so subject, they are given neither any satisfaction nor allowed to secure it for themselves. And there is not sufficient reason for his Majesty to have ordered that the land shall be allotted and divided into encomiendas; because his Majesty was ill informed, as appears by his own letter, since he had been assured that, without any war, they had of their own accord become his Majesty's vassals. Therefore it seems to have been entirely against his Majesty's will. If at any time we have been of opinion that the land should be allotted, as indeed it now seems to us, or likewise if the land is to be maintained, it was and is to avoid greater injury and robberies, which are committed without any Page 231remedy, when there are no repartimientos. Therefore, only one thing now works injury. We are trying to render the land orderly, and not turbulent as it was before, when no one knew anything about it. Even now some of the Spaniards treat the natives very ill. More than all, the tribute which is now raised (three maez [mace] for each Indian) is excessive, in our opinion, considering what we saw from the beginning among them and our intercourse with them, and our knowledge of their labors, and of the tools with which they cultivate the ground, and their great difficulty in supporting themselves—for they even live a part of the year on roots; and the common people can scarcely obtain a robe with which to clothe themselves. Whence it happens that, at the time of collecting the tribute, some of them demolish their houses—which at the least would be worth as much as the tribute itself, if they should be sold—and go into hiding, in order not to pay the tribute. They say that afterward they will return to build, with the labor of a month or two, another house. From others it is necessary to demand the tribute with arquebuses and other weapons, and men, in order to make them give it; and most of them it is necessary to imprison to make them provide the tribute. Therefore most of the owners of encomiendas maintain stocks, in which they keep as prisoners the chiefs or timaguas [freemen] who do not supply the amount of the tribute from their slaves when they themselves cannot obtain it from the latter. Thus, considering all this and other inconveniences, that, in order not to go into greater details, I do not set down, it was the opinion of the majority of the fathers, that—even if the whole affair were Page 232justified, and the Indians maintained in peace, justice, and religious instruction—for the present, and until the Indians have other opportunities, and other and better tools to cultivate the land, and until the land is more fertile, all that is taken from each Indian, in general, above the value of one maez, in food and raiment, is cruelty, and oppresses them too heavily.
Your Lordship should consider that in Nueva España, the Indians at first gave nothing but food (then worth a great deal) and service. And all times are not alike, for now they can give little, but in course of time, the earth growing more fertile, they can give more; so that what is collected of all this that the Indians now, in strict justice, do not owe, and that which until now has been raised, has been unjustly raised, on account of the evil way in which these Indians have been conquered, and because his Majesty's orders regarding them have not been obeyed.
And because your Lordship asks my opinion as to what ought to be done, I say that, considering that the land is already subjugated and divided into repartimientos—and for many reasons which, in order not to be prolix, I omit—there is no reason to abandon it, since it is very necessary that those who reside here should be supported. Your Lordship ought, in the opinion of the majority of the captains, to send his Majesty a true, simple, and clear report, without dissimulations, of the methods that have been adopted in all this conquest; and of its present condition, and the methods adopted in collecting the tributes, so that his Majesty, as a thorough Christian, may decree what is to be done in the matter. In the meanwhile, the least amount of tribute possible Page 233should be taken for the support of all, considering that it is not owed; and those who have repartimientos should support those who have not. It seems to me that if the tributes should be regulated to the one maez of food and raiment for each Indian, which I spoke of above, there will be sufficient for both classes if our people aid themselves with other profits that may be obtained. In order that this may be collected with some tribute, your Lordship should in every way try to protect these natives, and to do them justice; and to abolish abuses and punish pirates, etc. We on our part, shall do what we can to aid them, instructing them in our holy faith. Since this is my opinion I sign it with my name. Done at San Pablo of Manila, on the twenty-first of June, one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.
Fray Martin de Rrada
[Endorsed: “These opinions are to be kept on file, in order that they may be passed upon by the Council.”] Page 234
1 This document is evidently addressed to the governor, then Guido de Lavezaris.
2 The ganta = 8 chupas = 3 liters.
3 An ancient province of Luzon, so called from the name given in Manila to the many porticos constructed out of the nipa palm. It was erected into a province during the governorship of Guido de Lavezaris, and was conquered by Salcedo. It is mountainous, and contains rich mines of various metals, and a fertile soil. It is now (since April 27, 1901), under American government, known by the name of Ambos Camarines.
Reply to Fray Rada's Opinion
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
Replying to the opinion that was given by the father provincial, Fray Martin de Rada, of the order of St. Augustine, on affairs in this land, and on the raising of tribute from its natives, we confess that it was zealously done, in the service of God, our Lord, and for the security of our consciences. In this estimation we hold and repute him. But, as sometimes the very wise are misled—now through too great zeal, and again by their ignorance of some things, which if they had understood fully, they would not have been misled—we shall not fail to point out in the “Opinion,” certain things which we consider harsh, harmful to this whole community, and very prejudicial to the development of this land. Taking up the principal point to be answered in the “Opinion”—namely, that his Majesty was ill informed of the affairs of this land, as thus appears by his letter which Captain Juan de la Ysla brought, we affirm that it is very erroneous. For what his Majesty says in his letter is the same of which report was made before he wrote it, and the same which was occurring when the report was made of the affairs of this land, and so to say, more clear, public, and notorious—namely, that the governor (who is now in glory), Page 235when he entered this land, entered it in peace, inviting to his friendship all the natives. Thus in the island of Ybabao which was the first of these Filipinas islands of which possession was taken, Indians came to the ships from the shore, who made friends and rendered obedience to his Majesty. These came of their own will, to make friends, and at the first, before any bartering of food and other small articles was made, and without anything of their possessions being asked. The same was done on the river Calayan, where were Captain Andres de Ybarra and father Fray Diego de Herrera. Peace was made, and nothing was asked or taken from them; and they remained friends. And although in the island of Ybabao certain Indians treacherously killed there Francisco Gomez and another Spaniard, no war was made upon them for that reason. Rather the governor was always calling for peace from all the natives of the islands where he went, without making war on anyone. So in Bohol the chiefs gave their obedience, and came to the ships of their own will. From that place a contingent was sent to Butuan to make friends with the chief. Captain Juan de la Ysla and that same father provincial went there and made friends with Limanpao, lord of Butuan. From there they went to Cubu, where they summoned and from the small boats invited the natives to make peace, proclaiming for two or three days the summons, until those natives shot arrows from the shore at those in the boats, who were continuing to summon them peaceably to make peace. Therefore father Fray Andres de Urdaneta, he who was calling upon them for peace, made a harangue to the people, saying that they were apostates, and that war could be Page 236made against them legitimately. The governor disembarked there, with the opposition of the natives. After having planted a colony there, many Indians of the neighborhood, and even those of Cubu, came in peace to render him obedience. Thus a true report was made to his Majesty, for many Indians became friendly in these islands and made submission without war being waged upon them. Nor would it have been made against any others, without first quietly and pacifically calling for peace, making much of them, and giving them clothes, articles of barter, food, and other small articles, which they asked for. If afterward any occasion arose for making war for the pacification of the friendly Indians who were disturbed by the others who were not friendly, it cannot be said on that account that a false report was made to his Majesty; for whatever was going on in the land at our arrival there has been written to him, and true reports of what has happened have always been sent him. Therefore, by the above, it is clear and manifest that true and faithful reports have been made to his Majesty.
The “Opinion” says further that no land among all these islands has come with a just title into the power of the Spaniards. To this we have only to reply that we came to these districts by his Majesty's order, and therefore are here, obeying his royal mandate; and, as we are not lawyers, we shall cease discussing the justice, title, or cause that his Majesty has or can have in these islands. In what concerns the robberies and injuries that have been committed (if any have been) in this land, the natives have given the occasion for it, some of them being traitors and breaking the peace, as they have broken it at different Page 237times, especially in this city of Manila. The master-of-camp, Martin de Goiti, having come hither the first time and entered in peace, and having made and ratified it with the rajas of Manila, without the Spaniards on their part giving them any occasion, the natives tried to kill the latter, discharging at them five or six pieces of artillery, the greater part of which hit the junk on which was the said master-of-camp. Thus the Spaniards were forced in self-defense to fight and enter the city, as it was entered. And, if the city was burned, it was for the security of the few Spaniards who had entered it, that the natives might not attack them among houses closely joined together. The same natives confessed that they themselves had begun the war. Further, as for assaulting villages at night, this has been done in the case of rebellious villages that defied the Spaniards. It was necessary for the security of our friends to break and crush their pride, to avoid greater evil. If some have gone to excess in this matter, it is the individual excess which casts blame on the community in general, because the instructions that the governors have given and do give, whenever any expedition is made, are Christian in tone, and quite in conformity with those which they have from his Majesty. If sometimes the commanders have inflicted injury or waged any war, it is because the malice of the natives is so great, that wherever they sally out in war, with their ambuscades and other treacheries they provoke the Spaniards to self-defense. If the latter go with the mailed hand, it is for the security of their own persons; for, if they were unarmed and unprepared, the natives would kill them—as they have done to many Spaniards whom they have Page 238caught astray and alone, killing them and practicing great cruelties upon them. Therefore it is necessary to go everywhere with weapons in hand, for the security of the Spaniards; for there is so little justice and reason among these natives, and they never obey one another, or have lords or headmen among them, but all sorts of disorders, clans, and factions. Before the Spaniards came hither, the natives killed one another in their own villages for very slight causes. Wherefore it is clear that wherever the Spaniards go, they must go ready and prepared to defend themselves, as they are but few among many infidels, and loyal among traitors. Therefore it is a perfectly good argument to say that wherever they go they go with weapons in hand. As to the matter of maintaining the natives in peace and justice, it is a just one. Therefore we try in every way to protect those who are friendly to us. Those who are in the neighborhood of the Spaniards are very well protected and defended—not only from their enemies, who aforetime were wont to make war on them, but even from their servants and the members of their households, who among them were wont to kill, punish, and enslave one another, a thing not done now. And if this is done in any remote district, it is in places in which, on account of their remoteness, no remedy can be had from the Spaniards. Thus it is of great use and profit that the Spaniards have come to the natives hereabout, on account of the security that they have from one another, and because they have free recourse to their trade and interests without being hindered or robbed by any one. They were not accustomed to this security before the Spaniards came hither, because it is a thing publicly known and Page 239notorious that even in their own houses they were captured and robbed. They were not free to go fishing on the sea without being captured. Now not only are they safe in their houses, but they go safely to different places, without any harm being done them. If there are piracies, they are very far from this town and in places where the Spaniards do not go. It is a very ancient custom that the natives had among themselves, of capturing, robbing, killing, and imprisoning one another. Now there are few injuries committed, in comparison with what used to be committed before the Spaniards came here. Every day there will be fewer, because we are ever striving to take and punish such pirates, as today there were some taken in this town. In regard to the tribute that has been raised, and the amount of tribute in gold that is collected from Los Ylocos and Los Camarines, without giving them any greater benefit than going there and collecting the tribute, it is a matter clearly to be understood, that, for the support of those who live in this land, it is quite necessary that the natives assist with tribute as they do in the other part of the Indies. They are not considered friends, nor do they have any security, without first having paid the tribute—which is, in proportion to their condition and wealth, very little; and which they are willing to give gladly and without compulsion. In each island, district, and village, the natives give what they please, for in some places they give provisions, and in others wax, cloth, and other things which they obtain from their harvests. To them it is little, and almost nothing, because they have those things abundantly. If gold has been collected from the Ylocos and the Camarines, it is because Page 240the land is very rich in mines, and because they have great quantities of gold. Cloth and provisions are worth more to them than in other districts, and so the natives would rather give the tribute in gold, of which they have an abundance, than in cloth and provisions, which they lack. If up to this time the said districts and villages have not been settled, it is on account of having so few men in the land and because it is not possible to do anything else. Moreover, Captain Juan de Salcedo has already settled in Los Ylocos, has built a village there, and has a cleric to instruct them in the tenets of our holy Catholic faith; and he made a settlement in Los Camarines shortly after they were pacified and discovered. Although we have not gained a complete knowledge of the nature of the land and settling it, because Spaniards are going about everywhere still, exploring and making an end of pacifying it. When there is any possibility of settling it, that will be done, as has been done in the other districts where the natives have made and are making peace.
As regards the excessive tribute which in the “Opinion” is said to have been collected from the natives, to generalize from individual cases is to confuse the whole matter. We say this because a great part of this country is taxed differently in different places, and the natives vary in wealth. In some parts they are rich, in others farmers, in others merchants, in others miners; and, again, in others they live by robbery and assault. So the late governor taxed this bay of Manila and its vicinity—being informed of, and having seen with his own eyes, the quality and fertility of the land, and the wealth of its natives—two fanégas each of unwinnowed rice for a Page 241year's tribute, and a piece of colored cloth of two varas in length and one in breadth; and, in default of this, three maes of gold—in gold, or in produce, as they prefer. This said tribute is so moderate, that with six silver reals, which an Indian gives to his encomendero each year, he pays his tribute entirely. A maes of gold is commonly worth two reals, and, when gold is worth more, the maes is worth two reals and a half; so, even at that, it is not half the tribute that the Indians pay in Nueva España. The Moros pay this tribute of three maes as being more wealthy people, and because they are excellent farmers and traders. They are so rich that, if they would labor and trade for four days, they would gain enough to work off the tribute for a year. They have various sources of gain and profit; and so they have an abundance of rich jewels and trinkets of gold, which they wear on their persons. There are some chiefs in this island who have on their persons ten or twelve thousand ducats' worth of gold in jewels—to say nothing of the lands, slaves, and mines that they own. There are so many of these chiefs that they are innumerable. Likewise the individual subjects of these chiefs have a great quantity of the said jewels of gold, which they wear on their persons—bracelets, chains, and earrings of solid gold, daggers of gold, and other very rich trinkets. These are generally seen among them, and not only the chiefs and freemen have plenty of these jewels, but even slaves possess and wear golden trinkets upon their persons, openly and freely. To say, then, that the Indians are so wretched that they live on roots during part of the year, and in some places are accustomed to support themselves for a certain part of the year on sweet Page 242potatoes, sago bread, and other vegetables they find, is wrong. It is not so in all districts, but only in some of the Pintados1 islands; nor is this through any lack of prosperity, but because they are vicious, and eat all sorts of food. They are so lazy that they will not go four leagues out of their villages to buy rice, but spend their time in drunkenness, idolatries, and feastings. As they get along also with those eatables until they harvest their rice, they do not miss it; because they are a people who, when any of their relations die, will, as mourning, willingly go without eating rice for four or six months, or even a year. They live on other foods and grains that they possess, and in many parts of the Pintados they live a part of the year on borona, millet, beans, fish, swine, and fowl, and many kinds of wine. Not for that reason do they fail to be rich and have golden jewels, slaves, lands, and gardens. The Pintados are not as rich as the natives of this island of Luzon (who are called Moros), because they are not as capable in labor and agriculture. So they are taxed to a less amount, each Indian being taxed for a fanéga and a half of unwinnowed rice, and a piece of cloth, white or colored, woven from a plant.2 In other districts they have other tax-rates, each suitable to their prosperity. Up to this time the natives have not been injured, nor are they now injured, by paying the tribute which is imposed upon them, because it is so moderate that they can pay it without any labor. For by breeding four fowls under their houses every year (which can Page 243be done without any cost), they can pay their tribute, over and above which they have many advantages and profits. Now more than ever, with the stay of the Spaniards in these regions, they have established and increased their trade, and they continue to increase it every day. The “Opinion” states that the encomenderos can be supported with the one maes that each Indian gives every year. It is very certain that no one can be supported on so small a tribute, because there are many encomenderos who cannot be supported on a tribute of three maes, and they live in great poverty, through having so few Indians. One of these encomenderos has for his share less than three hundred Indians, and many five and six hundred, and as very few have over a thousand, especially are they in need where goods are so dear and gold is valued so slightly. A pair of shoes is worth a half-tael of gold, which would be the tribute of eight Indians. A shirt is worth six pesos, and so on; all other Castilian articles are worth double their price in Nueva España. Then, if the Indians here should pay every year two reals (the equivalent of one maez) as tribute, one could not live here by any means, especially since the natives are so rich, and have so many profits and sources of gain, and are more rich in lands than those of Nueva España. They have a great deal of cloth with which to clothe themselves; many silken fabrics worked with gold, greatly esteemed and of high value; many porcelains and fine earthenware jars; lances, daggers, bells, and vases; and many adornments for their persons, of which they make use. They also have great quantities of provisions, which they gather every year from their irrigated lands; palm wine, and wine of the nipa palm, which they Page 244collect ordinarily every day during the whole year and many other wines, made from rice or cane—to say nothing of the great profits they make from wax and gold, which are ordinarily produced in all the islands. There is a great deal of cotton, which they work and spin, and make into fine cloths; these are very valuable to the Indians in their trade. The Chinese bring them many silks, porcelains, and perfumes; with iron and other articles, from which they make great profits. For all this and many other reasons and causes, which are well known everywhere, the said natives can pay the tribute which is imposed upon them, and much more, without any difficulty. If some natives in some of the villages decamp in order to avoid paying the tribute, as is stated in the “Opinion,” it is not on account of any lack of means, but because the natives are spirited, and make it a point of honor to pay the tribute only when forced. They like to be compelled to do so. This is not the case with all of them, but only with some who, after debaucheries and guzzling of wine, come to the Spaniards, and say that they have nothing wherewith to pay the tribute. This is not true of whole villages, but of certain individuals, who, as they seldom obey their chiefs, do whatever wine incites them to. All this is no reason to detract from the prosperity and riches of the natives; for if some Indians go without robes and loin-cloths, they must be slaves and laborers—not because they lack cloth, since it costs them so little to make a robe that there is no one who cares to work who has not one; and not only robes, but many other valuables. For all these causes and reasons, then, although the “Opinion” of the father provincial and the other Page 245religious has been given with good and holy zeal, it is, nevertheless, exceedingly harmful to the augmentation and settlement of this land, and the perpetuation of the Spanish rule therein. To the natives themselves it is pernicious; because, if they do not pay tribute to the Spaniards, the latter have to take from them their provisions and such things as they possess, in order to support themselves—as was done before the land was divided into repartimientos, and before the natives paid tribute. It is, therefore, most useful and profitable for the natives to pay tribute, by which the said Spaniards can be supported comfortably, and without vexation to them; and if the tribute is too small and the Spaniards can not be supported on it, it will come to the point of taking away their property on the sea, as was done before the land was divided into repartimientos, but does not happen now. On the contrary the natives are all very secure and quiet, and come and go to trade, and are altogether much profited and enriched by the repartimiento.
Guido de Lavezaris.
Martin de Goiti.
Luis de la Haya.
Salvador de Aldave.
Joan de la Ysla.
Amador de Arriaran.
The licentiate Chacon.
Gabriel de Rribera.
Martin de Goiti.
Luis de la Haya.
Salvador de Aldave.
Joan de la Ysla.
Amador de Arriaran.
The licentiate Chacon.
Gabriel de Rribera.
In my presence,
1 The early name of the islands now known as Visayas (or Bisayas)—the group lying between Luzón, Mindanao, and Mindoro; so named from their inhabitants, known as Pintados (“painted men”) from their tattooed bodies.
2 Referring to the abacá, or wild plantain (note 68).
Two Letters from Guido de Lavezaris to Felipe II
Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty:
In the past year of seventy-three, I sent to your Majesty, by two ships despatched to the kingdoms of Nueva España, a written account of what had occurred in these regions until that time. A few days after the departure of these two ships, I despatched another one, which had taken more time in its preparations. The last-named vessel followed a different course from the others, and put into a harbor again, after having sailed all around this island of Luçon, on account of the bad weather with which it met. The ship has been detained until now in order to repair it, and to make all the necessary preparations. We are waiting every day for the arrival of the ships from Nueva España, for it is already time that they should arrive; but, in order that the vendavales may not prevent the navigation of this ship, we shall not detain it here until the others arrive—although it would have been much better for the service of your Majesty to receive an explanation of matters regarding which an answer was expected.
With the service of God and that of your Majesty in mind, as soon as the ships left for Nueva España, I despatched Captain Juan de Salcedo in July, Page 247seventy-three, with one hundred and twenty soldiers in vessels like those used by these natives, to win over and conquer Bicor River and the province of Los Camarines, on the east side of this island of Luçon. He brought under the dominion and obedience of your Majesty all that region, with about twenty thousand of its natives, with as little injury as possible. Some villages paid their tribute in gold. They have abundant stores of food, and possess goldmines. The people are the most valiant yet found in these regions; they possess much good armor—as iron corselets, greaves, wristlets, gauntlets, and helmets—and some arquebuses and culverins. They are the best and most skilful artificers in jewels and gold that we have seen in this land. Almost all the people of Los Camarines pursue this handicraft. Close upon the province of Los Camarines and Bicor River are the mines of Paracali. As soon as the ships arrive, I shall try to effect a settlement near those mines with the people that may come, for I consider it a matter of importance for the service of your Majesty; and I shall continue the apportionment of the discovered and peaceful district of that region.
In July of the past year, seventy-three, a ship despatched by the viceroy Don Martin Enriquez arrived at these islands from Nueva España. It brought us news which caused great joy and satisfaction in this camp of your Majesty. We learned that God had granted the Queen, our lady, the delivery of a prince,1 so much desired by all, and that her Majesty is enjoying the good health so needful. Our Page 248Lord was pleased to grant us such a marked favor, and we beseech Him to preserve your Majesty, the Queen our lady, and his Highness many years for us; for only thus shall we not fear any adversity, nor can we desire greater things in this new world.
In order that we might better celebrate this news, we heard at the same time of the victory won by the most serene2 of Austria over the fleet of the Turk, a victory which has proved as great and signal as we expected from the zeal of his Holiness and from your Majesty; for God having seen that both had taken His honor so at heart, has been pleased to show part of His strength, so that in a single day He has made your Majesty master of the sea. Considering the great Catholic zeal of your Majesty, God will be pleased also to make your Majesty master of the land in which His holy faith is exalted, and afterward He will grant you a share in heaven, as one employed in matters so holy deserves. I pray that God may preserve your Majesty and so great a brother many years for the welfare and prosperity of Christianity.
On account of the necessity of visiting the islands of Cubu, Panae, and others near by, and for the arrangement of matters therein necessary for the service of your Majesty, and the preservation of those natives, I went there in the month of November, of last year, seventy-three, and found that the town of Nombre de Jhesus in the island of Cubu was almost deserted, and that its inhabitants were roaming about in the neighboring islands. I ordered them to Page 249assemble and resettle the said town; and since in doing so they would be poor and needy, I gave and distributed among them in the name of your Majesty all that was near at hand. Then I visited all the other towns until I reduced all things to the order and arrangement necessary, and left the natives quiet and reconciled. It took me four months to accomplish this so that I returned to the city of Manila in the month of March of this year.
As I considered the friendship of the king of Borney an important matter for the service of your Majesty, I sent to him a Moro, a native of this island, as messenger, with certificates of security so that his people may freely come to these islands to trade, as they were accustomed to do. For the friendship of this king and the commerce will open us a way for the establishment of a community and the erection of a fort in that island; and if people come [hither from Nueva España] it will be necessary for me to go or to send others to settle that island, for the service of your Majesty requires it.
The lord and chief of Bindanao River3 has also notified me, through letters, that he wishes to be our friend and your Majesty's vassal. This is also an important matter, for the place is suitably situated for your royal service. That river is the most important one in the island and the latter receives its name from it. If I have the opportunity I shall send men there; and, if convenient, we shall make a settlement there.
In case I have people and ships enough, I intend to send men to discover the islands of Lequios [Liu-Kiu] on this side of Japan. This will be of Page 250much importance to the service of your Majesty.
Inasmuch as this island of Lucon is so large, and as, for the preservation of the natives, we need some settlements of Spaniards to protect and defend them, and teach them our holy Catholic faith, it seemed best to send Captain Juan de Salcedo with seventy or eighty soldiers to people the coast of Los Ylocos, on the shores of a river called Bigan. There I ordered him to found the town of Fernandina in memory of the prince, our master4 (may he live many happy years); and I continued to apportion, in the name of your Majesty, all that had been discovered and won over thereabout, reserving for your Majesty what had been ordered me through your royal decree.
The Chinese, in view of the kind treatment that they have always received and do receive at our hands, continue to increase their commerce each year, and supply us with many articles as sugar, wheat, and barley flour, nuts, raisins, pears, and oranges; silks, choice porcelains and iron; and other small things which we lacked in this land before their arrival. This year they gave me a drawing of the coast of China, made by themselves, which I am sending to your Majesty.
There is great need in these regions of Franciscan, Dominican, and Theatin religious, and of some ecclesiastics, for the conversion of the natives. The Theatins are much and especially needed; for, as an eyewitness, I know the great results that they have Page 251obtained in Yndia. With the coming of more people, it will be necessary to found a few Spanish settlements in this island of Lucon, which is large, and in other islands; for already these natives are being baptized daily, and are embracing our holy faith and religion. They are very quiet and reconciled, and will be more so when many religious of the said orders have arrived; for at present we have only ten Augustinian religious here, and they are not sufficient for the great labor demanded of them. I repeat that the service of your Majesty requires the presence here of Franciscan religious and of some Theatins.
This year we have brought from the island of Bindanao three hundred quintals of cinnamon for your Majesty. This ship, being small, will carry no more than eighty quintals, so that we have here three hundred and fifty quintals more to send in the ships which may come later.
I am also sending to Nueva España cinnamon plants, and pepper plants of the round and large variety; also roots taken from Chinese stock, so that they may be raise here for your Majesty.
I am sending a bundle of cinnamon branches with leaves, and three flasks of cinnamon water, for her Majesty the Queen, our lady.
Last year I sent to your Majesty in this ship a cup and fourteen earrings of gold. Now I do the same, and add four daggers of the kind used by these natives.
For his Highness the prince our master, I am sending a crown, two gold chains, and two daggers. Not considering the objects themselves, or the person who sends them, may your Majesty accept them as articles sent from regions so far away, with the desire of serving your Majesty. Page 252
For the good management of your royal exchequer, we need two men to fill the offices of treasurer and of factor. These offices are vacant at present; for while the governor Miguel Lopez lived I served as treasurer, but at his death I succeeded him in his charge, and sent the factor under arrest to Nueva España for certain charges made against him. Your Majesty will also see that we are supplied with an attorney-general, for we are in much need of one.
Juan de Ledesma and Valmaseda, your Majesty's secretaries, sent to this your camp three of your royal decrees, in which we are ordered not to fill again the office of purveyor-general or any other office in these islands; and that from the gold, silver, and jewels discovered, the royal fifths shall be taken.5 This will be heeded and carried out according to the orders of your Majesty. I am also ordered to send a report concerning the slaves of these islands, how and for what reasons they are enslaved; and also concerning the Augustinian religious who are here. In fulfilment of the latter command, I say that at present there are only ten religious of the said order in these islands. As to the slaves, I am sending to the members of your Royal Council of the Indies the report which your Majesty orders me to make, and in which I explain the conditions and causes of their slavery.6 Page 253
We do not notify your Majesty of the many details which arise here, because we have reported, and do report all to your viceroy of Nueva España, who attends to your royal service in all that we need here with much diligence and promptness, so that nothing has been overlooked.
Since we came to this settlement of the city of Manila, the religious who reside in these islands have shown so much scruple in regard to collecting tribute from reconciled and apportioned communities that some of them have several times affirmed in the pulpit that one could not conscientiously levy tribute, and have made other assertions at which all have been grieved. Since this idea is being stirred up now more than ever, I asked the provincial of the order to give me his opinion concerning the matter in writing. He did so, and gave me an opinion which, although prompted by holy zeal and commendable in certain respects, is nevertheless severe; and, if it should be heeded, this land could not be maintained. To anticipate the religious who might notify your Majesty, or send copy of the said “Opinion,” and to keep your Majesty informed of the truth, a reply to the “Opinion” was drawn with the consent of the master-of-camp, captains, and other prominent persons. The contents of the reply will be verified and proved by many Spanish and native witnesses; accordingly, may your Majesty, together with the members of your royal Council, be pleased to provide what is most necessary for the service of your Majesty.
While this ship was on the point of departure, one of two ships which your viceroy Don Martin Enrriquez despatched from Nueva España arrived here, Page 254on the fifth of the present month. Through these ships he sends one hundred and fifty soldiers, some married men, and three Augustinian religious. The other ship has not yet arrived. This camp of your Majesty was much pleased at the news of the birth of the new infante. May he rejoice your Majesty for many years.
The officials of your royal exchequer who reside in Mexico write that they are not empowered by your Majesty to provide this camp with some very necessary supplies which were asked from them for this land. May your Majesty be pleased to exercise your accustomed magnanimity, and order them to provide us with what is necessary for your Majesty's service, and for the maintenance of this camp and commonwealth, according to the memorials which the royal officials of these islands shall send to them.
This last ship brought a decree from your Majesty issued at San Lorenço el Real on June fourth, seventy-two. The decree orders me and the officials of your Majesty to send, by the first ships which shall leave this place, a report of your royal exchequer from the time this land was discovered and settled until the day when the report is sent, and to do so at the beginning of every year to come. This order will be heeded and carried out according to the wishes of your Majesty—although, these ships having already departed, we shall not be able to do so until the departure of the others a year from now.
Last year, I wrote to your Majesty that the Indians who were deserting the encomiendas were again being allotted to the Spaniards who serve your Majesty in this camp. The same is being done now, since it is necessary for the service of your Majesty, and Page 255the preservation of this land. I beseech your Majesty to favor this measure and to confirm what has been already done, and whatever allotment should be made hereafter; for the soldiers have suffered much, and no day passes away without the death of some one. Unless the land were thus allotted, it would lack means of sustenance.
The office of treasurer, which I filled when Governor Miguel Lopez was alive, is now vacant; and since I sent the factor under arrest to Nueva España, thus leaving here only the accountant, I appointed as treasurer for the proper management of your royal exchequer, Salvador de Aldave, until your Majesty be pleased to provide otherwise. He has served almost a year in the said capacity, with all diligence and care, and he possesses all the qualifications required for such an office. From the time he came here, over seven years ago, he has served your Majesty loyally in the discovery, conquest, and pacification of these islands for more than seven years, namely, from the time of his arrival. He fills the office well, and is worthy of whatever favor your Majesty may be pleased to grant him. May our Lord preserve the sacred Catholic royal person of your Majesty, and add greater realms and seigniories, as we your Majesty's faithful subjects desire. Manila, July 17, 1574. Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty, your loyal subject kisses the royal feet and hands of your Majesty.
Guido de Lavezaris
[Addressed: “To the Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty, the King Don Philipe, our sovereign.”]
[Endorsed: ” Philipinas, 1574. To His Majesty. Page 256From Guido de Labezaris, July 17, 1574.” “Let it be made into a relation.” “Received, March 7, 1575.”]
[Remarks by the council, appended to this letter: Answer that I receive it with gratitude, and that the governor appointed by his Majesty will take account of it, and will reward him according to his services.
Let a decree be sent to the viceroy and officials of Nueva España so that with the money received from here they might supply these islands with the articles which may be requested as necessary for war and other emergencies, according to the memorial which the governor and officials may send. Another decree should be sent also to the governor of these islands charging him to strive most diligently to facilitate commerce, and take care that the moneys belonging to your Majesty be sent to the officials of Nueva España, in order that they may provide the islands with the supplies that will be needed, and which will be requested from here. For the fulfilment of this, orders should be sent to the viceroy and officials.]
[The following letter, dated July 30, of this same year, is identical with the foregoing in almost every word, as far as the twenty-sixth section. The new matter in the second letter is herewith presented.]
26. Up to this point, this letter is a copy of the letter which I wrote to your Majesty by the ship “San Juan.” What afterward occurred is, that the said ship left this port on the nineteenth of the present month. May God grant the propitious voyage for which we hope.
27. One of the two ships despatched from Nueva España has not yet arrived, nor do we know anything Page 257about it. I have sent men to look for it in two different directions, with the oared boats of these natives. It is thought that the vessel is detained on account of stormy weather, and that with the help of God it will soon be here.
28. On the twenty-fourth of this month, there arrived at this city Captain Pedro de Chaves, who, when Captain Juan de Salcedo returned from the province of Los Camarines, had remained there with men to continue the exploration and pacification still remaining to be carried on. When Captain Juan de Salcedo returned from that province the whole land was quiet and tranquil, and its natives, as well as those of the province of Albay, were reduced to the service of your Majesty. He had also won over the island of Catanduanes five leagues from that coast The natives of that island were famous sea-pirates, who did much injury wherever they went. The people of that region are well disposed, and possess gold, mines, and plenty of provisions. Now, with God's help, the whole land will be apportioned and distributed among the conquerors of these islands, according to your Majesty's orders. The mines of Paracali, which are a day's journey from Bicor River, will be settled, for they are in a suitable place; and when they are given to the Spaniards and worked by them, the land will increase in population and its commerce will prosper. I have faith in God that from this small beginning He will enlarge and increase the kingdoms and seigniories of your Majesty, and we shall be able to carry the true knowledge of the holy Catholic faith to so many barbarous and blinded men who are found in these regions, including the vast kingdom of China and many others. Page 258Heaven has this good fortune in store for your Majesty, so that it may be fulfilled during these propitious times of your Majesty.
29. Accompanying this letter, I send a map of the island of Luçon and of the coast of the mainland of China, from which it appears that, from the coast and great river of Cagayan at the northern extremity of this island to the nearest point of China, it is but a short distance by sea, a matter of forty leagues or thereabout. By next year when we shall have seen and explored more of this land, I shall send your Majesty a fuller description of it than now.
30. I am also sending your Majesty another paper which I received from the Chinese, upon which is printed a map of the whole land of China, with an explanation which I had some Chinese interpreters make, through the aid of an Augustinian religious who is acquainted with the elements of the Chinese language. They have promised me to bring next year other maps drawn in more detail and with more precision; and, God willing, I shall send them to your Majesty.
31. By the ship “Spiritu Santo,” now about to sail, I am sending to your Majesty's officials in Mexico eighty quintals of cinnamon and forty-six quintals of wax. For lack of room we have a quantity of cinnamon left over. May our Lord preserve the sacred Catholic royal person of your Majesty with an increase of greater kingdoms and seigniories, according to the desire of your Majesty's faithful subjects. Manila, July 30, 1574.
Sacred Catholic Royal Majesty. His loyal subject and faithful servant kisses the royal feet and hands of Your Majesty.
[Addressed: “To his Majesty—from the Islands of Luçon.”]
1 Referring to the birth of a son to Felipe II and Anna of Austria—probably that of Jacobo (or Jaime), born in 1572 or 1573, who died in 1582.
2 The name and title of this commander are, by some lapsus calami, omitted in the MS. The reference, however, is obvious, to Don Juan of Austria, illegitimate son of Cárlos I (but finally publicly acknowledged by him); this prince gained signal renown in wars against the Mahometans.
3 The Rio Grande of Mindanao.
4 The first-born son of Felipe was Fernando, born in 1571; he died at the age of four years. The town named for him is now called Vigan; it is located on Abra River, and is capital of the province of Ilocos Sur, Luzón.
5 Of the decrees here referred to, two may be found in Recopilación de leyes de las Indias (5th ed., Madrid, 1841), lib. viii. One (tit. iv, ley xxiv) provides that vacancies in crown offices shall be filled by the viceroy, or by the president of the Audiencia; the other (tit. x, ley xviii), that gold and silver found in seaports, which has not been duly taxed and stamped, shall, if there be no smelting establishment in such place, be forfeited to the royal treasury.
6 See post, p. 286.
Slavery Among the Natives
Sacred Royal Catholic Majesty:
By one of your royal decrees, dated Madrid, May 18, 1572, your Majesty commands me to send you an account of the slaves that exist in these parts; and how, and with what justification, they are slaves. What has been ascertained about them, to the present time, in this island is as follows:
Some are slaves from their birth. Their origin is not known, because their fathers, grandfathers, and ancestors were also slaves. But although the reason for their slavery is not known, we may believe that it was for some one of the causes here named. Some are captives in wars that different villages wage against each other, for certain injuries and acts of injustice, committed either recently or in ancient times.
Some are made captives in wars waged by villages that have neither treaty or commerce with them, but go only to rob, without any cause. This is because a chief of any village, when he dies, imposes upon it a sort of mourning or grief; all his near relatives promise to eat no bread (which is rice), millet, or borona, and to wear no gold or any holiday dress, until they take some booty, or kill or capture men. They would go to do this, wherever they could, and Page 261where there were no friends or powerful towns who could easily avenge themselves. Some, especially those who pride themselves on valor, have a custom, after gathering their harvests, of going to rob, without any cause, towns with which they have no commerce or relationship; or whomsoever they meet on the sea, where—a thing that causes wonder—they exempt not even their relatives, if the latter are less powerful than they. Some are enslaved by those who rob them for a very small matter—as, for instance, a knife, a few sugar-canes, or a little rice. Some are slaves because they bore testimony, or made statements about some one, which they could not prove. Some are thus punished for committing some crime; or transgressing rules regarding some of their rites or ceremonies, or things forbidden among them,1 or not coming quickly enough at the summons of some chief, or any other like thing; and if they do not have the wherewithal to pay, they are made slaves for it.
If any one is guilty of a grave crime—that is, has committed murder or adultery, or given poison, or any other like serious matter—although there may be no proof of it beyond the suspicion of the principal person against whom the hurt was done, they take for their slaves, or kill, not only the culprit but his sons, brothers, parents, relatives, and slaves.
If any one who is left an orphan come to the house of another, even of a kinsman (unless it be his uncle, Page 262paternal or maternal), for food only, its inmates enslave him. Likewise in time of famine and distress, during which they may have given relatives food only a few times, they have sold the latter for their slaves.
Many also become slaves on account of loans, because these loans continue to increase steadily every three or four months; and so, however little may be the sum loaned them, at the end of little more or less than two years they become slaves. And now, sacred Majesty, if it be forbidden, in those places where the Spanish live, to acquire slaves in any shape or manner—those who were made slaves and were slaves before we came here and are slaves now, and whom the natives buy and sell among each other, as merchandise or other profitable wares that they possess—without them this land cannot be preserved. This, your Majesty, is all known here of the slaves that I have been able to find out, having diligently sought and made the acquaintance of persons who know their language and customs.
1 Apparently a reference to the custom of taboo (or tabu), of which traces exist among primitive peoples throughout the world, but most of all in Polynesia. The word means “sacred”—that is, set aside or appropriated to persons or things regarded as sacred; but the custom, although doubtless originating in religious observances, gradually extended as a social usage. It is among many peoples connected with totemism, and is considered by many writers as the gradual outgrowth of animistic beliefs.
Documents of 1575–76
- Part of a letter to the viceroy. Guido de Lavezaris; [1575?]
- Letter to Felipe II. Juan Pacheco Maldonado; [1575?]
- Encomiendas forbidden to royal officials. Francisco de Sande, and others; May 26, 1576
- Letter to Felipe II. Francisco de Sande; June 2, 1576
Sources: These documents are obtained from MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias at Sevilla.
Translations: The first document is translated by Alfonso de Salvio; the second and third, by Arthur B. Myrick; the fourth, by José M. Asensio. Page 264
Part of a Letter to the Viceroy by Guido de Lavecaris
I am very glad that your Excellency adjusted matters by ordering the return of the negroes and Indians who had been carried from this land; for all of us were very anxious as to the number that we were to send hereafter in the ships which should leave these regions. May our Lord prosper your Excellency's life so that it may be of service to our Lord and to his Majesty, as it has been thus far.
In this voyage our men seized two Chinese junks laden with merchandise, plundered all the goods, and brought here one of the laden junks and four Chinese. Afterward these Chinese, together with the others, who had remained in those islands where they had been seized, were sent back, so that they might return to their own country. I was exceedingly sorry that such an injury should be inflicted upon men who had neither offended us nor given us occasion to justify this action; and what grieves me most in this affair is the news which the Chinese will carry to their own country about us, and about the good deeds which were done to them, and which they saw done to others, for our credit in China.
As a result, most
excellent Sir, the commerce between us and these Moros of Lucon has come to a Page 265standstill, on account of the ill-treatment that they have received at our hands. They carried back to their land all that they could, and in so doing they caused us no little injury; for we had a share in the commerce maintained with them, since the Moros brought and sold to us provisions. This suited us well, for already there was no other place where we could settle in this neighborhood except Lucon; but now I do not know what plan and arrangement can be made. May our Lord adjust matters as it pleases Him best, for certainly there is need of it.
A few days ago I went to the island of Cubu to set free some friendly Indians whom some soldiers had seized in a village which had paid tribute, and which held a deed of security. It was very difficult to get them back, for they had been sold and were already among the Indians. This cost me no little labor; but our Lord, who helps good intentions, favored me, and all the Indians were returned to their village at my expense. This success caused much joy and satisfaction among the Indians of the neighborhood.
Your Excellency should also try to send all the married men who can possibly come. For with the existence of settled communities the natives of this land will feel more secure, and the married Spaniards will devote themselves to sowing and raising the products of the land; but, if married men do not come, order and harmony will be lacking, as they have been hitherto.
The recent arrival of married men caused great joy among all the natives of these islands, for they do not feel safe with us—saying that we do not intend to remain in the land, since we do not bring our wives with us. Up to this time they have mistrusted us Page 266much; but, on seeing the arrival of women, they have become somewhat reassured. If your Excellency orders many to come, and if a community of married people is established, the natives will become totally reconciled and will serve us better.
Between this island of Panae and that of Cubu we have found a pearl-fishery, from which the natives are accustomed to obtain their pearls. This year the governor1 sent there a Spaniard to fish for the pearls, in company with the Indians of an island called Bantayan, which lies near the fishery. Some of the pearls he brought were as large as hazel-nuts, or a little smaller, and others were much smaller. It is said that, on account of bad weather, he was not able to fish there more than two hours, and consequently he did not gather very many pearls. Many fisheries of a similar kind are to be found in these islands.
One of the things, most excellent Sir, which has caused and still causes us much injury, as it concerns both the souls and the peace of mind of these wretched natives, is our incurable greed, which is so deeply rooted in our hearts. The eyes of the understanding are so closed in that respect that only God could uproot it from our hearts. May our Lord remedy it according to His knowledge of what is necessary for His service.
I beseech your Excellency kindly to send me a cipher system, so that I may give notice of what we Page 267need for the service of God and of his Majesty. I beseech your Excellency to forgive my boldness, for certainly my desire and intention is to be fully successful in the service of his Majesty and of your Excellency. Page 268
1 This was Doctor Francisco de Sande, who entered upon his duties as governor of the Philippines in August, 1575. He had previously been a member of the Audiencia of Mexico. While governor, he desired to undertake the conquest of China; but Felipe II ordered him to confine his activities to the preservation of what Spain had already gained in the islands. Sande was recalled in 1580.
Letter from Juan Pacheco Maldonado to Felipe II
Catholic Royal Majesty:
In the year of seventy, your Majesty's camp being in the island of Panae, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, your governor, was informed that the island of Luzon was very fertile and well populated, and afforded a good opportunity for trade. Since the island of Panae was poor, and the men there were in great extremity, he sent the master-of-camp, Martin de Goiti, with a sufficient force to examine the island of Luzon, and offer peace and friendship to its natives. The said master-of-camp, having arrived at the said island of Luzon, at the port and city of Manila, found that the natives had built a fort and mounted six pieces of heavy artillery and a number of chambered guns, and had collected a large force to defend the entrance. The said master-of-camp, seeing that the people of the said town of Manila had taken up arms, required them many times, by means of an interpreter whom he brought, to receive them in peace; because the governor sent them to win their friendship, and to see if there was any place where they might come to settle, and not to do them any harm. The natives of Manila would not admit these reasons, on the contrary they began Page 269to discharge their artillery, trying to sink the vessels that the said master-of-camp brought. The latter, seeing that they made war on him, disembarked his men, took the fort without assault and its artillery. The men fled inland, forsaking the town and fort, where the said master-of-camp awaited them four days, to see if they would make peace, to which effect he questioned them many times. When he saw that they would not accept his terms, he took their artillery and ammunition and returned with these to the island of Panae, where was the aforesaid governor Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. When the latter heard the true report and relation that was brought from that land, he left, in the year following (of seventy-five)1 the island of Panae, where he had settled, for that of Luzon, because the latter is well populated and has a considerable trade with the neighboring islands and the mainland of China. He entered the harbor with his fleet and by means of the interpreter whom he carried with him, using on many different occasions, the necessary means, he urged and notified the natives to receive him in peace, as vassals of your Majesty. He told them that by your Majesty's order the Spaniards had come to that land to protect the natives from their enemies, to instruct them in civilization, and to preach to them the gospel and the way of salvation—for such is the attitude that your Majesty is pleased should be taken toward them—but the said natives would not consider it. They put the governor off with long delays for four days, during which the latter permitted Page 270nothing to be landed from the fleet. Thus he made the natives certain of his intention. At the end of the four days, the chiefs of the said town and vicinity came to seek peace for themselves and their villages. The said governor, in your Majesty's name, received the acknowledgment and vassalage which they owed your Majesty. Peace and friendship being thus effected, the governor disembarked with all his men, and in your Majesty's royal name took possession of the whole island of Luzon. He founded and settled the city of Manila, and called the said island El nuevo reino de Castilla [“the new kingdom of Castilla”]. Having done this, he tried in every way to bring the most of the natives to actual acknowledgment. Many did not do so, nor have they been willing to; on the contrary, they induced others not to submit, saying that the Castilians, as they call the Spaniards, could not remain in that land, since they were so few; and that the people, by making war on them, could make an end of them. So it was necessary to subdue those rebels. This made trouble, because in the end they will be subjected by the said governor and the troops whom he has brought with him. The governor was diligent in reconnoitering the said island, which he found to be very rich in many gold mines, which the natives improve and work, especially in the province called Ylucos. The latter is very fertile, abounding in provisions: rice, fowls, swine, goats, buffaloes, deer, and many kinds of lake-birds, all in great abundance. In this island there are many provinces, and in each one of them there are different tongues and customs. The greater number of the people are Mahometan Moros and Indians; besides other Indians who tattoo Page 271themselves in the fashion of their ancestors, and invoke the demon. They have no native king. Certain of the richest individual chiefs rule the country. They wage war with one another, take prisoners in their wars, enslave them, and sell them from province to province.
This island of Luzon is sixty leagues from the mainland of China. The city and harbor of Manila is in thirteen degrees north latitude. This island measures five hundred leagues in circumference. It has fine harbors, bays, and rivers of good depth, better harbors being found along the south side. This island is little more than one hundred leagues east of the island of Burney. Likewise the islands of Maluco, Filolo [Gilolo], Tidore, Ternate, and Ambon, called the Malucos, are three hundred leagues south of this island of Luzon. So also the rich country of Japan, whence is brought great quantities of silver, is three hundred leagues, more or less, distant from die island of Luzon. Every year Japanese ships come to these islands laden with merchandise. Their principal trade is the exchange of gold for silver, two to two and a half marcos2 of silver for one of gold. Two hundred leagues south of Luzon is the island of Mindanao, whence is brought cinnamon. Likewise about one hundred leagues north of Luzon, and very near the mainland of China, is an island that they call Cauchi, which has a great abundance of pepper. The king of China maintains trade with mis island, and so there are many Chinese there. They have their own agency for the collection of the Page 272pepper. Twelve or fifteen ships from the mainland of China come each year to the city of Manila, laden with merchandise: figured silks of all sorts; wheat, flour, and sugar; many kinds of fruit; iron, steel, tin, brass, copper, lead, and other kinds of metals; and everything in the same abundance as in España and the Indies, so that they lack for nothing. The prices of everything are so moderate, that they are to be had almost for nothing. They also bring a great deal of bronze artillery, very well wrought, and all sorts of military supplies. This island of Luzon is very suitable and convenient for trade with China; men can reach the mainland from this island, because it is so near. On this same island there is very good material for building ships and galleys, if it should please your Majesty to send workmen for this purpose. As has been pointed out above, the said island of Luzon is very clearly shown to be fertile and abounding in provisions, cloth, apparel, and whatever is most necessary for the preservation of human life. Therefore this island ought to be settled and pacified, and what there is in it sought out and discovered, because the island is so large and powerful. For that reason, it is desirable that your Majesty be pleased to provide what is necessary for that purpose, and for his plans for the future, as follows:
The first thing necessary, in order to secure and settle the said island of Luzon, to gain accurate information of what is yet unknown about it, and to sustain the claims that we have advanced, is to send Spanish people—that is, religious and soldiers.
The religious whom your Majesty might send for the present are forty or fifty friars—learned theologians of mature age and good life and habits. With Page 273these and the religious of the order of St. Augustine, who have five monasteries in the neighboring islands—namely, one in the island and town of Cubu, another in the island and town of Oton [in Panay], another in the island and town of Mindoro, another in the city of Manila, and another in Tondo (which is in Luzon)—great results will be achieved; for the religious of these five monasteries have labored much and assiduously in the conversion of the natives, and our Lord has been well served. By the preaching of the gospel to them, which has been done by these said religious, there have been converted to our holy Catholic faith, receiving the water of baptism, a great number of Indians, especially those from the island and town of Cubu, who were pagans,3 and easily converted. And likewise in the island of Luzon, some native Chinese who were settled there, being people of greater intelligence, have recognized the truth of the divine law and are baptized and live as Christians. As the rest of the people are Moros, it has not been possible to secure the desired result, on account of their resistance. This may be attained, by the favor of God, if your Majesty be pleased to send the said number of forty to fifty religious, of the kind above described.
Second, your Majesty will be pleased to send also, with the said religious, a prelate, creating bishop or archbishop of the said city of Manila the reverend Page 274father Fray Diego de Herrera, of the order of St. Augustine. The father is a man of learning and of good life, who has labored much for the conversion of the Indians of those islands. With him send as many of the secular clergy as your Majesty pleases, who can act as prebends, canons, and chaplains; these likewise should be persons of learning and good life, and should all be subject to the above-mentioned prelate.
The third has to do with soldiers. May your Majesty please to send five hundred soldiers here, who may be posted in the said island of Luzon, so that by their help the said governor can subjugate and settle the said island of Luzon, and discover other neighboring islands.
Fourth: These said five hundred men can come at less cost, provided your Majesty be pleased to keep to the following order: that the said troops should be collected in España under the pretext that it is done for the convoy of the fleet which goes from these kingdoms to the said Nueva España.
Accordingly, of the two hundred men who ordinarily are accustomed to go from Sevilla to Nueva España in convoy of the said fleet, one hundred may be left behind, the number of these hundred being supplied on the journey over from the number of the said five hundred; on the return trip of the said fleet from Nueva España to these kingdoms, the places of the said hundred soldiers may be taken by a hundred passengers, from those who generally come. As a result, at each trip and return one hundred soldiers will be spared, and thus between seven and eight thousand ducats saved.
Fifth: When the said five hundred men have arrived Page 275in Nueva España, on the very day when they disembark in the harbor of Vera Cruz, they shall go directly to the harbor of Acapulco, which is one hundred and twenty leagues, more or less, from the harbor of Vera Cruz. For when the said troops arrive at the port of Acapulco, it will be more than two months since the fleet from the said island of Luzon will have arrived at the port of Acapulco. So the troops can be embarked immediately on the said fleet, and make their way to the island of Luzon and other islands. To try to raise the said five hundred soldiers in Nueva España would be impossible, on account of the great cost that would result; because each soldier would cost more than one hundred and fifty pesos as a gratuity (the sum usually given), or even a greater sum; and even if the said expense should be incurred, they could not arrive under the banner of the hundred soldiers above—and that with great trouble and vexation, as is well known.
Sixth: It is necessary, on the arrival of the said five hundred soldiers, at the said islands, to effect immediately the purpose for which they were brought—namely, to subjugate, settle, and explore both the said island of Luzon, and those regions nearest China: the Japans, the Lequios, and the island of Escauchu; this is a very important matter. It is necessary that your Majesty should send us workmen, masters to build ships and galleys, locksmiths, and blacksmiths to the number of fifty. For all of these workmen your Majesty, if he so please, could take the negro slaves whom your Majesty has on the fortifications of Habana, considering that the fortifications are finished now, and the men are no longer needed there. Page 276
Seventh: When the said fifty workmen have arrived, considering in these islands the great plenty and abundance of wood, iron, and other materials most necessary for building the said ships, the said workmen should build three or four vessels each year, so that the trip can be made from Nueva España to the said islands and return, with two fleets. Likewise from the larger islands can be made voyages of discovery, subjugation, and colonization, and thus ascertain thoroughly the secret of the so great riches and trade possessed by the said islands, in order that your Majesty may be best served in everything. I beseech and supplicate this, and especially that your Majesty be pleased to provide promptly everything thus requested—seeing that delays might cause bad results, because of the small number of the Spaniards, and the great work to be done at present in this island of Luzon; and because those here deserve all the reward and kind succor that your Majesty may extend to them.
1 Thus in the original (setenta y cinco); but it must be a slip of the writer, since Legazpi removed to Manila in May, 1571, which was organized as a city a year later—as is shown by the “Documents of 1571–72,” ante.
2 The marco was the unit of weight used in weighing gold and silver in the different Latin countries. In Spain it was equivalent to O.507641 lb.
3 “Most authors use this nomenclature: 'Moros' are Mahometans, of more or less pure Malay race, in whose civilization are the remains of Oriental barbarism; 'infidels' or 'pagans,' [gentiles], Filipinos whose only religion is one of the idolatrous rites, more or less absurd, which are natural to savages: and 'Christians,' the Indians whom our meritorious religious have converted to the faith of Jesus Christ.”—Retana (Zúñiga, ii. p. 9*).
Encomiendas Forbidden to Royal Officials
In the city of Manila, on the twenty-sixth day of May, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, the very illustrious doctor, Francisco de Sande, governor and captain-general for his Majesty of these islands of the West, and auditor of his royal Audiencia established in the City of Mexico in Nueba España, declared that it is an encumbrance and damage to the royal treasury for his Majesty's officials to hold encomiendas of Indians; and, as such, his Majesty has forbidden this by laws, and recently in a letter which his Majesty wrote to the said officials in the year seventy-four, in which it appears they ask from him permission to own Indians. In this letter there is a paragraph of the following tenor:
“As for what you ask concerning repartimientos of Indians—namely, that favor be granted you, because you have served as discoverers of these islands—such a thing has appeared to us unsuitable, considering your offices; and therefore there is no good reason for acceding to your request in this matter. In other affairs, there will be occasion for granting you rewards (and you will bring it to mind when you send to our Council of the Indies reports of what has been in your charge), and when it has been seen Page 278in what ways you have served. The same will be done in regard to increase in your salaries. Madrid, April twenty-five, one thousand five hundred and seventy-four.”
The governor says the same; and because the aforesaid persons are freed from private affairs in order to fulfil their duties, as they are obliged, he did order, and now so orders, that they shall not hold the said Indians in encomiendas, and retracted those which were granted them by Guido de Laveçares, treasurer of these islands—who at that time filled the office of governor thereof, on account of the death of the governor Miguel Lopez. He said that he placed, and he did so place, the villages which the said officials at present hold, under the rule of your Majesty's royal crown. They are as follows: the natives of Balayan and the river Aguan, and of the villages of Bulabuty, Mata, Amblaca, and Mabulau; the river Mabotan, the mines of Gumun and Gaogao, the river Bacoun, the village of Longos; the river Ysin, and the villages of Minangona and Mina—who, it is reported, are held by the accountant Andres Cauchela; the natives of the coast of Tule who, according to report, are held by the factor, Andres de Mirandaola; and a thousand Indians, who, according to report are held by the treasurer, Salvador de Aldave in the Sunguian Emasingal valley. In order that his Majesty may possess them as his royal property, like the others that he personally holds, the governor ordered the officials of the royal estate, whether present or future, that they shall hold those encomiendas as the royal property, make collections, and have the natives instructed in the tenets of our holy Catholic faith. He charged this upon their consciences, Page 279and in the royal name, relieved his Majesty and himself from that responsibility. And, further, he ordered a duplicate copy of this act to be drawn up, and to send the same to his Majesty.
Doctor Francisco de Sande
In the city of Manila, on May twenty-six, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, I, the notary undersigned, read and made known the act of his Excellency, herein contained, to the accountant, Andres Cauchela, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, who said he heard it, and that he will answer it. Witnesses, Alonso Ligero, and Balthasar de Bustamante.
Diego Aleman, notary-public.
In the city of Manila, in this said day, month, and year aforesaid, I, the notary undersigned, made known and read the act herein contained, decreed by his Excellency, to the factor and inspector, Andres de Mirandaola, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, in his own person, who said that he heard it, and that he will answer what seems to him necessary. Witnesses, Gaspar de Yola and Melchior Corila.
Diego Aleman, notary-public.
In the city of Manila, in this said day, month, and year aforesaid, I, the notary undersigned, made known and read the act herein contained, decreed by his Excellency, to the treasurer, Salvador de Aldave, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, in his own person, who said that he heard it. Witness, Antonio Caballero.
In the city of Manila, on May twenty-six, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, the very illustrious Doctor Francisco de Sande, governor and captain-general for his Majesty in these islands of the West, and auditor of his royal Audiencia established in the City of Mexico in Nueva España, said that whereas, since the officials of the royal treasury have been in these islands, they have collected from the trade and royal estate in their charge, many pesos of gold; and whereas, it is reported that, on account of their salaries, they have—despite the decree of his Majesty in their letters-patent, and notwithstanding this letter which they have also received—held Indians without his Majesty's permission, and contrary to his decrees and letters: therefore the governor said that he ordered, and he did order, that whatever they have collected from the Indians held by them in encomiendas be understood as counted toward the salaries which his Majesty may have ordered to be paid to them; and from this time, each third of the year, when they shall collect their salaries, they shall go before his Excellency, so that having seen the needs and the state of the treasury, they shall be paid proportionally, in accordance with the same. And they shall do nothing contrary to this, under penalty of five hundred pesos for the exchequer for each person and for each violation. Because in this present year of seventy-six, we have been informed that each person has collected the said tributes for the whole year, they, shall all declare, clearly and specifically, under oath, the amount thus collected, and for what persons and by whose hand it was collected, so that when the first third comes due, it may be suitably adjusted, according to the above declaration. From Page 281now on they shall collect no more, except on the account of the royal treasury, under whose royal jurisdiction they are this day placed. This act shall be filed with the other, and a duplicate shall be made of the whole, to be sent to his Majesty. It was signed by Doctor Francisco de Sande.
In the city of Manila, on the twenty-sixth day of the month of May, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, I, the notary undersigned, read and made known the act of his Excellency, herein contained word for word, to the accountant Andres Cauchela, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, in his own person. I took and received his oath, which he made before God and the blessed Mary, with the sign of the cross +, in due legal form; and under this charge he promised to tell the truth. Being asked what tributes he has collected from the villages herein mentioned, the form in which they were collected, and under whose direction and by what persons, he said that in this present year of seventy-six, he sent to the villages of Bacayan (which is his encomienda) Juanes de Betaria, now defunct, to collect the tribute from the natives thereof. This man went thither, and collected nine hundred small pieces of white cotton cloth, three or four of which each one gave him as tribute. Likewise he collected, and brought to this deponent, one hundred and fifty pesos in broken silver and testoons, and six tae[l]s of nejas gold, all of which he has, as said, together with seventy fowls. All this he gave and delivered to this deponent, and said that he had collected it from the natives of the said villages of Bacayan. The said Page 282Juanes de Guetaria [sic] went by the order of his Excellency to collect the said tributes. He declared that, during this said year of seventy-six, he had not collected anything else from the said villages; and from the others that he holds as encomiendas he has not collected anything since he has held them. This is the truth, which he signed with his name, the witnesses being Alonso Ligero and Baltasar de Bustamante.
Before me, Diego Aleman, notary-public.
In the city of Manila, this said day, month, and year aforesaid, I, the notary undersigned, made known and read the act herein contained, decreed and ordered by his Excellency, to the factor and inspector Andres de Mirandaola, in his own person, from whom was taken and received the oath. He swore before God and the blessed Mary, and on the sign of the cross +, in due legal form, under which obligation he promised to tell the truth. This deponent, being asked what tributes he has collected in this present year of seventy-six, from the villages which he is said to hold as encomiendas, in the lowlands of Tuley, and what persons have collected them, and what they collected, says that it is true that this deponent sent to the said villages of the lowlands of Tuley one Pedro de Bustos, a soldier, who collected the tributes from the natives thereof. This was for the present year seventy-six. This said Pedro de Bustos, this deponent being out of this city, went to the villages, and collected a certain number of bales of cotton, which might weigh thirty quintals, a little more or less. This deponent did not receive Page 283anything else, nor did the said Pedro de Bustos give him any account of what he collected, because at that time he was out of this city with the sergeant-major, Juan de Moron. This deponent has not collected anything from the said villages during this present year, seventy-six. This is the truth, and what actually took place, which he signed with his name, the witnesses being Juan de Navarrete and Melchor Correa.
Andres de Mirandaola
Before me, Diego Aleman, notary-public.
On this said day, month, and year aforesaid, I, the notary undersigned, read and made known the act herein contained, decreed by his Excellency, to the treasurer, Salvador de Aldave, official of his Majesty's royal treasury, in his own person. From him I took and received an bath, which he took before God and the blessed Mary, and on the sign of the cross +, in due legal form, under which obligation he promised to tell the truth. Being asked what tributes this deponent has collected from the villages which it is said he holds as his encomiendas in the provinces of Yloco, and the amount thereof, and what persons have collected them in his name, he said, under obligation of his oath, that Bartolome de Vega, a soldier, who about fifteen or twenty days ago came from the province of Yloco, told this deponent that in this year of seventy-six he had collected, from the said villages, tribute from two hundred Indians. This tribute did not come to the hands of this deponent, but went to the factor Andres de Mirandaola in payment of a debt of the royal exchequer, owed to the said factor, and which this deponent Page 284was ordered by his Excellency to pay, although he did not owe it. Thus this deponent has received nothing out of what the said Bartolome de Vega collected this said year, of the said two hundred tributes, beyond one hundred and sixty pieces of white cloth from Yloco, which the said Vega gave and delivered to this deponent—a little more or less, he does not remember exactly. This said treasurer said that he was making this declaration to execute his Excellency's order, and protests that he should incur no loss, because the content of the said act ought not to extend to his case, as he is not the proprietor of the said office and duty of treasurer; and because, in all the time that he has held it, he has received neither salary, gratuities, nor allowances, as will appear by his Majesty's books. To those he refers, because he, as holding and occupying the said office which the treasurer Guido de Lavaçares had held, has conducted and exercised the said office as others have done, who at the present day hold encomiendas of Indians. This he said was his declaration, and he so made it, and signed the same with his name.
Salvador de Aldave
Witness, Anton Caballero.
Before me, Diego Aleman, notary-public.
I, the said Fernando Riquel, had this copy made from the original acts, which are in my possession. Therefore I here affixed my name and customary flourishes, in witness of the truth.
Letter to Felipe II by Francisco de Sande
Catholic Royal Majesty:
Although I have served your Majesty in Nueva España as attorney, criminal judge, and auditor in the royal Audiencia of Mexico, I have not written to your Majesty since the year 67, in order not to disturb you; I have always written to the royal Council of the Indies what I considered meet to your royal service. Now I have come to and reside in these Filipinas islands, where I serve your Majesty as your governor and captain-general. As I am so far away, and have grown old in your Majesty's service, and have examined affairs here, and seen the importance, the isolation, and the dangers of this colony, I venture to address your Majesty briefly. I write at length, however, to the royal Council of the Indies, to whom I give account of the voyage, and its events, and of the needs of this land, and I refer you to that letter; I have also written of its condition, and of matters concerning the mainland of China, with what I consider it fitting for your Majesty to order. I humbly beg that your Majesty be so good as to examine the above-named relation, and provide therefor, as what refers therein to the expedition to China is a matter of great moment to your Majesty's service. Page 286This enterprise would be easy of execution, and of little expense, as the Spanish people would go without pay, and armed at their own cost. They will be chosen from the provinces, and will be glad to pay the expenses. The only cost will be for the agents, officers for the construction and command of galleys, artillerymen, smiths, and engineers, and the ammunition and artillery. Food can be supplied to them here, and the troops are energetic, healthy, and young. This is the empire and the greatest glory which remains for the king of the world, the interest which surpasses all others, and the greatest service to God.
I think that I have drawn a true picture of the people, as they are the best in the world for tributarios. They have waged war against the king of Tartaria.1 If they made war on this coast, his occupation, and even that of both, God helping, would soon be over. They have many enemies in this archipelago, who are more valiant than they and who will be of great help. I beseech your Majesty to provide what is most fitting, that the power and laws of so just and great a king may encircle the world.
In these Filipinas islands there are at present five hundred Spaniards in all, and if there were ten thousand, all would be rich. As there are so few we suffer many hardships, since we are among so many Page 287enemies. Our only consolation, and mine in particular, is that we are serving your Majesty. Our diligence is unremitting, and we hope for your Majesty's favor. Your Majesty will provide in this for your own cause, and that of the Catholic church. As I write at length to your Majesty's Council, this letter is but brief. May our Lord guard the royal Catholic person of your Majesty, and increase your kingdoms and seigniories, is the wish of your Majesty's vassals and servants. Manila, in the island of Luçon of the Filipinas, June 2, 1576. Royal Catholic Majesty, from your Majesty's loyal vassal and servant, who kisses your royal hands,
The doctor, Francisco de Sande
1 Referring to the Tartar chief Yenta, who harassed the Chinese empire from 1529 until 1570—raiding the frontiers, carrying away rich plunder and many captives (in one campaign, it is said, 200,000 persons), and even threatening Pekin itself. Finally (1570) peace was restored, Yenta acknowledging the sovereignty of the Chinese emperor, and receiving in return the title of prince of Chuny. Yenta died in 1583. See Boulger's Hist. China, ii, pp. 141–144, 150, 154.
All the material of the present volume is found in the archives of Spain—mainly in the Archivo de Indias at Sevilla, and in two patronatos therein; from transcripts of these documents our translations are made, except as otherwise noted. One of these patronatos is thus described: “Simancas Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; Cartas y expedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistas en consejo; años 1567 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 6.” Under this pressmark are found the following documents: 1569—letters by Lavezaris and Legazpi (this a copy, perhaps made by the viceroy to send to the king), and confirmation of the latter's title; 1570—the last two; 1573—Lavezaris's relation; 1574—Lavezaris's letters to king; 1576—the last two. The other patronato is: “Simancas—Filipinas; Descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones de las Yslas Filipinas; años 1566 á 1586; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 2|24.” This is the pressmark for the following documents: 1569—Mirandaola's letter, and Legazpi's relation; 1570—the first three; 1571–72—all; 1573—Melchior de Legazpi's certificate of expenses; 1574—Mirandaola's letter, Rada's “Opinion” and reply of officials thereto, and Lavezaris's report on slavery; 1575—both documents.
Mirandaola's letters of 1569 and 1574 are bound Page 289together. Regarding the MS. of “Requisitions of supplies” (1571?), see Bibliographical Data of Vol. II, under “Letter to Audiencia of Mexico” (1565). The account of the conquest of Luzón (1572) has been published by Retana in his Archivo bibliófilo filipino, t. iv, no. 1; our translation is made therefrom. The original MS. of Diego de Artieda's relation (1573) is conserved in the Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar at Madrid; its pressmark is “711, 20–3a, caja no 22.” The MS. ascribed by some former archivist to Juan de la Isla, but apparently almost identical with Artieda's (see notes thereon in the text), is in the Archivo de Indias at Sevilla; its pressmark is: “Simancas—Filipinas; Descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones de las Islas Filipinas; años 1537 á 1565; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 1|23.” It is out of its proper chronological place. We have adopted the Madrid MS. for our text, because it contains Artieda's signature; but have incorporated therein all additional matter, or important changes found in the Sevilla copy, as has been stated ante, note 54. The letter of Enriquez (1573) is taken from Cartas de Indias (Madrid, 1877), pp. 290–296; the material for this publication is found, as stated by the editors, in the Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid; but they do not locate therein the documents selected by them. Riquel's relation (1574) is a MS. in the Archivo general of Simancas; its pressmark is: “Secretario de Estado, leg. 155.” In Museo-Biblioteca de Ultramar, Madrid, is a MS. containing part of the material of this document; it is bound with the Artieda relation. In the Real Academia de la Historia, Madrid, is another MS. (a copy by Muñoz) which is similar to the document of our text, in part; the MS. from Page 290which we translate may be a compilation from these other documents and from other letters written by Riquel which are alluded to therein. The document of our text was written partly on shipboard (in a vessel which left Manila July 1, 1573), and completed at Mexico, from which city it was despatched to Spain in January, 1574. The royal decrees of 1574 are taken from Doc. inéd. Amér. y Oceania, xxxiv, pp. 68–71; the originals are probably in Sevilla. The decree forbidding encomiendas to royal officials is at Sevilla, its pressmark being, “Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; Cartas y expedientes de los oficiales reales de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1564 á 1622; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 29.” Sande's relation of 1576 has been published in Retana's Archivo, ii, no. 1.
It may be well to explain here the method of, arranging and locating documents which is employed in the Sevilla archives. The first division is that of patronatos (sections), designated by names which show the character and source of the documents therein—as “Simancas—Bulas,” that is, papal bulls, which had been brought to Sevilla from Simancas. Each patronato is divided into estantes (shelves), these into cajons (cases), And these again into legajos (packets); the legajo is sometimes further divided into ramos (parts) and números (numbers). Any document may thus be easily and accurately located.