Upon a former occasion, the author had stated
that there were four
principal caciques in Hispaniola, each of whom commanded over seventy
or eighty inferior chiefs, so that there may have been 300 caciques
originally. The particulars of the death or massacre of the eighty
caciques here mentioned are nowhere mentioned by our author; who,
confining himself to the actions of his illustrious father, says very
little more about the affairs of Hispaniola.—E.
Account of the Fourth Voyage of Columbus to the West Indies.
We set sail from Cadiz on Monday the 9th of May 1502, and departed from St Catharines on the 11th of the same month for Arzilla, intending to relieve the Portuguese in that garrison who were reported to be in great distress; but when we came there the Moors had raised the siege. The admiral sent on shore his brother D. Bartholomew and me, along with the other captains of our ships to visit the governor, who had been wounded by the Moors in an assault. He returned thanks to the admiral for the visit and his offers of assistance, sending several gentlemen on board for this purpose, among whom were some relations of Donna Philippa Moniz, the admirals former Portuguese wife. We sailed from Arzilla on the same day, and arriving at Gran Canaria on the 20th of May, casting anchor among the little islands, and on the 24th went over to Maspalomas in the same island to take in wood and water for our voyage, and set out next night for the Indies. It pleased God to give us a fair wind, insomuch that on Wednesday the 15th of June, without handing our sails the whole way, we arrived at the island of Matinino. There, according to the custom of those who sail from Spain for the Indies, the admiral took in a fresh supply of wood and water, and ordered the men to wash their linens, staying till the 18th, when we stood to the westwards and came to Dominica ten leagues distant from Matinino. So continuing our course among the Caribbee islands we came to Santa Cruz, and on the 24th of June we ran along the south side of the island of St John; and thence proceeded for St Domingo, where the admiral proposed to have exchanged one of his ships for another. The vessel he wished to part with was a bad sailer, and besides could not carry sail without running its lee gunwale almost under water, and was a great hindrance to the voyage. His original design was to have gone directly to the coast of Paria, and to keep along the shore to the westwards till he should discover the straits, which he concluded must be somewhere about Veragua or Nombre de Dios. But on account of the fault of that ship he was forced to repair to St Domingo in hope of exchanging her for a better.