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.

The whole party agreed to establish a colony at this place, which they named Santa Maria el Antiqua del Darien, the first part of the name being that of a church in Seville, and Darien being the Indian name of the river.  Balboa being now in great credit with the colonists, and brooding revenge for the former threats of Enciso, secretly plotted to deprive him of the command, alleging that they were now beyond the limits of Hojedas government, who had no authority in this place.  While this was in agitation, Enciso thought proper to prohibit all the colonists from trading with the Indians for gold, under pain of death; but they, believing that he did this entirely for his own advantage, unanimously threw off all subjection to his authority, alleging that his command was void for the reasons already mentioned, and others.  They then proceeded to choose alcaldes and regidores, being the titles of the chief magistrates in the towns of Old Spain, and Balboa and Zamadio were elected alcaldes, and Yaldibia regidore.  The people, however, were dissatisfied with this mode of governing, repenting that they had deposed Enciso, and the whole colony divided into parties.  One party alleged that it was not proper to be without a commander in chief, and that Enciso ought to be restored till another governor was appointed by the king:  A second party said that they ought to submit to Nicuessa, because the place they were in was within his grant.  The third party, being the friends of Balboa, wished to continue the present frame of government; but if the majority were for a single commander, they insisted that Balboa ought to have the command.

In the midst of these disputes, Roderic Enriquez de Colmenares arrived with two ships, having on board provisions, military stores, and seventy men.  This captain had met with a great storm at sea, and had put into the port of Santa Maria, which the Indians call Gayra, 50 or 60 leagues from Carthagena.  On the boats going on shore for water, the cacique came forwards with twenty of his people, dressed in a kind of cotton cloaks, though the natives of that part of the coast usually go naked.  He advised them not to take water from the place where they were, saying that it was not good, and offered to shew them another river of better water.  But on coming to it, they could not get their boats to the place, owing to a heavy surf, and returned to the first place.  While filling their casks, about seventy armed Indians rushed suddenly upon them, and before the Spaniards could stand to their defence, forty-five of them were wounded by poisoned arrows.  The wounded men swam off to the ships, as the Indians had staved their long-boat, and all of them died save one.  Seven of the Spaniards saved themselves in a large hollow tree, intending to swim off at night; but those on board supposing them all killed, sailed away much dejected, for Uraba, to inquire after Nicuessa.  Finding no person on the east side of the bay, where

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 03 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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