And now having got the three negroes in our possession, who were not ignorant of the transactions at Acapulco, we were soon satisfied about the most material points which had long kept us in suspense: And on examination we found, that we were indeed disappointed in our expectation of intercepting the galleon before her arrival at Acapulco; but we learnt other circumstances which still revived our hopes, and which, we then conceived, would more than balance the opportunity we had already lost: For though our negro prisoners informed us that the galleon arrived at Acapulco on our 9th of January, which was about twenty days before we fell in with this coast, yet they at the same time told us, that the galleon had delivered her cargo, and was taking in water and provisions for her return, and that the viceroy of Mexico had by proclamation fixed her departure from Acapulco to the 14th of March, N.S. This last news was most joyfully received by us, as we had no doubt but she must certainly fall into our hands, and as it was much more eligible to seize her on her return, than it would have been to have taken her before her arrival, as the specie for which she had sold her cargo, and which she would now have on board, was prodigiously more to be esteemed by us than the cargo itself; great part of which would have perished on our hands, and no part of it could have been disposed of by us at so advantageous a mart as Acapulco.
Thus we were a second time engaged in an eager expectation of meeting with this Manilla ship, which, by the fame of its wealth, we had been taught to consider as the most desirable prize that was to be met with in any part of the globe. As all our future projects will be in some sort regulated with a view to the possession of this celebrated galleon, and as the commerce which is carried on by means of these vessels between the city of Manilla and the port of Acapulco is perhaps the most valuable, in proportion to its quantity, of any in the known world, I shall endeavour, in the ensuing chapter, to give as distinct an account as I can of all the particulars relating thereto, both as it is a matter in which I conceive the public to be in some degree interested, and as I flatter myself, that from the materials which have fallen into my hands, I am enabled to describe it with more distinctness than has hitherto been done, at least in our language.
An Account of the Commerce carried on between the City of Manilla on the Island of Luconia, and the Port of Acapulco in the Coast of Mexico.