A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 03.
of a sovereign tribunal at St Domingo, the members of which had large salaries, induced some considerable persons of more advanced age and experience to go there, in whose train a number of young people of quality went over in search of profitable or honourable employments.  By the continual struggle for power between this new tribunal and the young admiral, a jealousy and competition was excited between the dependents of both parties; which, whatever trouble and perplexity it might occasion to their superiors, had very favourable effects on the colony in the main, and greatly promoted its advancement and success.  In the third place, The great dislike which prevailed in Spain against Charles V. especially at his first coming to the crown, on account of his partiality for his countrymen the Flemings, induced the Spanish gentry to prefer advancing their fortunes in the West Indies, to which none but Spaniards were permitted to go, rather than in the service of the court, which they believed not willing to discern their merits, or to reward them as they thought they deserved.—­Harris.

[1] Harris, II. 49.

[2] Harris, II. 62.  This introduction is transposed from Harris, who
    places it at the end instead of the beginning of his summary.—­E.

SECTION I.

Improvements made in the colony of Hispaniola by Nicholas de Obando, and the great value of Gold produced in that Island during his Government.

It is natural to begin this chapter with some account of the progress of the Spaniards in Hispaniola after the settlement of a regular government, by which the value of the discovery became apparent; as owing to the great wealth derived from this colony at the first, the Spaniards were excited to continue their discoveries.  This source of wealth has been long dried up, and we now hear nothing whatever of the gold of Hispaniola; which yielded more in proportion at its first discovery than even Peru has done since.  The early prosperity of Hispaniola was in a great measure owing to the care and judicious industry of Nicolas Obando, who, in the first place, employed a skilful pilot to sail round the whole inland, and describe its coast and harbors, and afterwards took much pains to examine and survey all the provinces of the island.  A mine of excellent copper was discovered in his time near the town of Puerto Real, but after a great deal of money had been expended on the adventure, its produce was found inadequate to the expence.  The 300 Spaniards who inhabited the island at the first coming of Obando, lived in a very disorderly manner, and had taken to themselves the most beautiful native women of the island, and of the highest families, whom they kept as mistresses, though the parents of these women considered them as married.  This lewdness gave great offence to the Franciscan friars, who made representations to the governor to remedy the evil. 

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