We have already had occasion to notice the mean and scandalous behaviour of King Ferdinand to Columbus, in depriving him and his family of their just rights, for services of such high importance, that hardly any rewards could be a sufficient recompense. After the death of the discoverer of America, his eldest son and heir, James Columbus, succeeded to his father’s pretensions, along with which he inherited the dislike of King Ferdinand, and the hatred of Bishop Fonseca. He long endeavoured by petitions and personal applications at court to obtain his rights, but could never procure any satisfaction, being always put off with fair words and empty promises. Being at length wearied with ineffectual applications for redress, he petitioned the king to allow his demands to be decided upon by the courts of law; and as that could hardly be denied with any decency, it was granted. This suit, as may well be supposed, was tedious and troublesome; yet at length he obtained a clear decision in his favour, and was re-established by the judges in all those rights which had been granted to his father; in which he assuredly obtained nothing more than a judicial recognition of a clear right which ought never to have been disputed. To strengthen his interest at court, he married Donna Maria, daughter to Don Ferdinand de Toledo, brother to the duke of Alva, and cousin to the king; thus allying himself with one of the most illustrious families in Spain. By the interest of his wifes relations, he at last obtained the government of Hispaniola, in which he superseded Obando, the great enemy of his father; but he had only the title of governor, not of viceroy, which was his just and undoubted right. Don James Columbus went out to his government of Hispaniola in 1508, two years after the decease of his father, accompanied by his brother Don Ferdinand, and his uncles Bartholomew and James, with many young Spanish noblemen. His lady was likewise attended by several young ladies of good families; so that by these noble attendants, the lustre of the new colony was restored and augmented. His power in the government was no way greater than that which had been confided to his predecessor, and was soon afterwards considerably circumscribed by the establishment of a new court at St Domingo, under the title of the Royal Audience, to which appeals were allowed from all parts of the Spanish dominions in the New World.
While Ponce de Leon was occupied in the discovery of Porto Rico, Don James Columbus came out to assume the government of Hispaniola in the room of Obando, bringing with him from Spain a governor for the island of Porto Rico. But Ponce de Leon, who had made the first settlement on that island, disputed this new appointment; on which the young admiral set them both aside, and appointed one Michael Cerron to the government, with Michael Diaz as his lieutenant. De Leon, however, procured a new commission from Spain, through the interest of his friend Obando with which