1 CHAPTER III THE FOUNDING OF SANTA MARTA AND CA RTAGEN A I. The expedition of Bastidas. 11. Vadillo as governor. III. Lermas administration and his interim successor. IV. Heredia the founder of Cartagena. V. The pillaging expedition to the graves of ZenO in DURING the period of the early efforts to explore and colonise New Andalucia, more successful attempts were made to establish settlements on the northern coast of South America, farther towards the west. In 1525, Rodrigo de Bastidas left Santo Domingo for the continent with four ships.' and on the 29th of July of this year founded the town of Santa Marta. He brought to his undertaking a determination to gain the good-will of the natives by humane and considerate treatment. He formed treaties of peace with the tribes who occupied the territory about the place which he had selected for his settlement. But this policy was not approved by his associates. He determined ) moreover, not to distribute among his men the gold which fell into his hands, until the expenses of his military equipment had been met. On this point there was also a disagreement, as well as with respect to the plan to take nothing from the Indians by force. Some of the members of the expedition, irritated by the designs of Bastidas, and led by his lieutenant, Juan de Capitulaci6n que so tomó can Rodrigo de Eastida para la poi> Iacion do Ia provincia y puerta do Santa Maria, Doc. ismtd., xxii. g
2 SANTA MARTA AND CARTAGENA 47 Villafuerte, formed a conspiracy to murder him. They broke into his quarters, stabbed him, and left him for dead. Captain Rodrigo Palomino answered his call for assistance, and drove off the conspirators when they returned to finish their work. Defeated in their second murderous assault, they fled to the forest to escape the vengeance of the indignant settlers. In the forest they were pursued by the Indians, and were obliged to seek refuge in the town. They were here arrested, and sent to Santo Domingo for trial, where they were condemned and executed, Some of the conspirators, who did not dare to return to the town, were lost in attempting to cross from Tierra FiTMC to Santo Domingo in a boat. Bastidas appointed Palomino his lieutenant-general, and empowered him to manage the affairs of the colony and in this manner he recognised the services of Palomino, who had defended him. Bastidas then went to Santo Domingo to be treated for his wounds, and died a little later in Cuba.' 1 Groot, Hiseoria cit Nueva Granada (Bogota, xssg),. 5. Castellanos states the reason of Bastidas destruction in Bib. deane. Esp., iv. 26o. Segn Ins quo mas saben do rate cuento, Fue principle y origin do sus males No consentir hacer mattratamiento Ni robes an aquellos naturales." Lorento, Coiquisia del Peru, 7, describes Bastidas as ' uno de los pores; Europeos quo on aquella época de erodes injusticias buscaban a Ins indios, no para explotarlos desapiadadamente, 5mb para atraerlos A la civilizacion con Ins gores apacibles del cemercie." Pedro Simon, Las Conquistas, ii. 3, refers to Bastidas as a ' vecino de Triana en Sevilla, hombre do buena fama, sangre, calidad y estima.' Piedrahita, lib. iii. cap. i. See " capitulacion quo so tooth con Rodrigo do Bastidas para Ia poblacion do la previncia y Puerto de Santa Marta," Madrid, November 6, The metrical chronicle of Juan de Castellanos, in its relation to the early history of New Granada, calls to mind Ercilla's Araucana in its relation to the early events of Chilean history. Castellanos was born in the little town of.alanis, in the province of Seville, in the first part of the sixteenth century. He left Spain as a soldier, began his military career in Porto Rico, and was later at Paria and in the islands of Trinidad and cubagea. He was transferred to the island of Margarita after the earthquake which caused all of the colonists of cubagua to remove to Margarita. In 5550 he was living at Cape
3 48 THE SPANISH DEPENDENCIES II When the death of Bastidas became known to the audiencia of Santo Domingo, that body appointed Pedro Vadillo to be the governor of Santa Marta. Palomino, however, refused to yield the post of authority to Vadillo, and an armed conflict appeared to be inevitable. Vadillo had under his command a body of only about two hundred men, not enough to \valtant him in undertaking to suppress Palomino by force. Fortunately the two parties agreed to unite and recognise both leaders as equal in authority until the return of the messengers from Spain with the decision of the court. Palomino, continuing his campaigns against the Indians, was drowned by his horse losing his looting in attempting to ford a river. The disappearance of Palomino left Vadillo without embarrassment in exercising his rapacious designs with respect to the natives. He penetrated the interior of the country, crossed the sierra Tairona, and ) by a military occupation of many months, converted flourishing and happy valleys do to Vela, and a little later he is known to have been at Santa Marta, where he remained until lie was in Cartagena when that town was taken by pirates in While here he became a priest, and was appointed to lie the treasurer of the cathedral, but he refused to accept this office, and removed from the diocese. He was finally established at Tunja as the parish priest, and here he wrote his Elegies de varones i7usrres de Ins!,zdios. At. Turin he spent his old age its peace, but the time of his death is not known. It is known, however, that ho was living in 188, for ITS his writings he refers to events which occurred in that year. The first part of the Elegies was printed in 189 the second part was printed near the end of the century and the three parts were issued together in the Iliblioteca de Antares Españotes, in the fourth volume. Reference may be made to three accounts of Castellanos. The first is contained in the Introduction to the Hisioria del Nueva Reino de Granada, by Antonio Paz y Mélia (Madrid, 1886), vol. i The second is a thin volume of one hundred and six pages, by Marcos Jiniénez de La Espada (Madrid xssg), called Juan de Castellanos y so hisloria del Nueno Reino de Granada. The third is Schumacher's Lebensbild, found in Iiamburgsche Feslschn'fl sot Erinne;'nng an die Enldeckitng Anteri/ca's (Hamburg, 1892), ii
4 SANTA MARTA AND CARTAGENA 49 into scenes of desolation and misery. From this campaign, which lasted a year, Vadillo returned to Santa Marta with a large quantity of gold and jewels, and as many slaves as the soldiers could take charge of, who, like thousands that had preceded them ) were destined to perish miserably under the tasks imposed upon them in the islands. Reports of Vadillo's avarice and cruelty having reached the court, he was sent to Spain for trial, but he was lost off the coast of the Peninsula. Thus, like both of his predecessors, the third governor of Santa Marta met a tragic fate.' El Garcia Lerma succeeded Vadillo as governor of Santa Marta, and the beginning of his administration was contemporaneous with the establishment of the rule of the Welsers in Venezuela. In this period the authorities in Spain made another attempt to ameliorate the condition of the Indians. The new governor was required not to sanction the enslavement of the natives but to exercise all possible diligence in discovering, in the islands and elsewhere, the Indians who had been drawn from his territory and reduced to slavery. At the same time it was made his duty to restore such persons to the districts from which they had been taken and the audiencia of Santo Domingo was ordered to assist in this work of justice and humanity. It was presumed that the governor would be assisted in attempts to execute these orders by the twenty ecclesiastics who had accompanied him to America, and particularly by the famous preacher, Tomas Ortiz, who bore the title of Protector of the Indians. But the plan involved in these orders, like other pious designs of the Spanish government, was frustrated, because it was in opposition to the interests of the colonists. Acosta, Nueva Granada, yo gi Simon, Los cairqnislas do Tierra Th yme, ii. r g, See C.H. 4 Sri Afaçestad de Rodrip de Granada, Jul y 15, 1529, Doe. laid., 4 1, 284. VOL. 1. D
5 5 THE SPANISH DEPENDENCIES Governor Lerma brought several kinds of seed from Spain for the purpose of encouraging the cultivation of the soil, yet his attention was directed mainly to the exploration of the interior. Sometimes the members of the companies employed in this enterprise were received by the Indians in a friendly manner; but often they encountered open hostility, or were decoyed into positions where the natives might destroy them without danger to themselves. The Chimilas sometimes hung articles of gold at their doors, and then concealed themselves hard by, where from their ambush they might despatch the Spaniard with their poisoned arrows when he came to take away the gold. A number of attempts were made to explore the Magdalena River during Lerma's administration. An expedition under the leadership of JerOnimo Melo, a Portuguese, was fruitless, owing to the death of Melo in an early period of the undertaking. Under the direction of the priest, Viana, the river was explored to its junction with the Cauca. Viana and his men then followed this latter stream to its confluence with the San Jorje. Throughout their long and wearisome journey they found no inhabitants who seemed to have the gold they sought; and, finally, worn out, half-starved, and discouraged, they constructed rafts and floated down the river, and reached Santa Marta in the beginning of 1532.' For the support of the ecclesiastics of the colony Governor Lerma granted an encomienda, which was to be held by Ortiz in their behalf. A little later Ortiz appears as the first bishop of Santa Marta. He undertook to make more humane the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards, but he was able to accomplish little or nothing in opposition to the greed of the settlers and the practices already confirmed by custom. He, therefore, Benedetti, Historia de Colombia (Lima, 188), : Groot, Historia de Nueva Granada, i. 6, 7 Acosta, Nueva Granada, 97 too Carta e relacion tie Garcia tie Lenna, January ig, 1630, Doe. med., 41,
6 SANTA MARTA AND CARTAGENA 51 went to Spain to give the king an account of the condition of affairs in the colony, but died almost immediately on reaching the Peninsula.' The alcaldes and regidores of Santa Marta issued a statement concerning the administration of Governor Lerma, in which they called attention to the hostility hc had aroused among the Indians, and to the avarice and injustice he had displayed. They affirmed that when he arrived, a Spaniard might safely go alone forty leagues into the interior, and that the Indians would give him whatever he needed without doing him any harm; but, at the time of their writing, a company of fifteen mounted soldiers would not dare to go two and a half leagues from the port. In the beginning the Indians were so friendly that when the chiefs visited the governor they brought gold and jewels, and these things lie received without sharing them with any other persons ; whereas, in justice, having paid the part due the king, he should have given some part of them to the people. And when a soldier came to him to ask permission to go and excavate a grave which lie had seen, lie would grant this request only on condition that the soldier would give him a certain part of the spoil. They affirmed, moreover, that the governor, who had brought two miners, or stone-cutters, with him from Spain, by employing these and other persons in his service, he caused a number of graves to be plundered secretly before they were known to anyone else. On the truth of these and various other charges of greed, injustice, and favouritism, the alealdes and regidores were willing to stake their lives and property.' Before the return of Viana's expedition, the audiencia of Santo Domingo had appointed one of its members, the (hoot, Historia tie Nueva Granada, I. ii Acosta, Ni:eva Granada, 9'....' decimos que fbi obligainos, nuestras cabezas y haciendas, a hacer verdad y probar con toda esta cibtiad lo que en cite mona) se conhiene, pie vá firmado dc nucitros nonibres." Dot. mid., iii. 499.
7 52 THE SPANISH DEPENDENCIES oidor Infante, to occupy the post made vacant by the death of Governor Lerma. The only noteworthy record of the three years of this interim administration is that of violence and plundering, of which the natives were the victims. The governor was not disposed to abate these evils, since he received a part of the price of the Indians sold, and a part of the proceeds of tribute and pillage.' lv More important than the foundation of Santa Marta was that of Cartagena, made by Pedro de Heredia. Heredia had already played a part in Santa Marta before the arrival of Governor Lerma. lie had been the lieutenant of Vadillo, and had had much experience in dealing with the natives. He had acquired more knowledge of their character than the majority of his associates. He was brave, resolute, and endowed with the ability to make his orders obeyed by the adventurers who found in the exploration of America scope for their restless spirits. He had inherited property in Santo Domingo, and this gave him a position sufficiently prominent to cause Vadillo to make him his lieutenant. 'While in the service of Vadillo, he conceived the idea of providing for himself a career of greater independence. Therefore,! shortly after the accession of Garcia de Lerma to the governorship of Santa Marta, Heredia returned to Spain, and obtained a grant covering the then unoccupied coast region extending from Piedrahita, His/oria ge,utral eel ivicvo Reino de Granada, jib. iii. cap. 3. On the 19th of April 1531, Governor Lerma wrote to the king, informing him ' pie a Ins veinte e seis do dicho mes de liebeero pasado, perrnitió thus Nuestrn Seffor, por nuestros defectos, que a media noclie se quemara toda esta cibdad sin quedar cosa alguna on ella, ansi mantenymientos, como todo to deinas de questaha bien bastezida, mas quo nunca 10 estuvo, que a side a todos mucho e muy general dailo e perdida: salvose esta casa do vuestra Magestad, pie fize per su mandado, p05' see de otros materiales pie las otras, ques de piedra, barro e ladril]o." Doe. med., xli. 33'.
8 SANTA MARTA AND CARTAGENA 53 the mouth of the!vlagdalena River to the Gulf of Darien, or Urabá. This concession imposed essentially the same conditions as that under which Bastidas had founded Santa Iviarta.' From the spoils of his excursions among the natives, Heredia was able to employ a large sum to meet the expenses of his expedition. Instructed by his experience, lie knew what articles would be useful, and was thus able to avoid the mistakes made by some of the previous explorers, who had burdened themselves with things that might have been suitable in Spain, but were illadapted to the circumstances of the New World. At Seville Heredia enlisted a hundred and fifty men, constructed two ships, and provided also a small vessel for exploring inlets and rivers which the larger vessels could not enter. He sailed from Cadiz near the end of He touched at Porto Rico and Santo Domingo, where a number of other persons joined the expedition. Among these was Captain Francisco Cósar, who had been one of Sebastian Cabot's companions on the voyage to the Rio de la Plata. Heredia arrived in the Bay of Cartagena in January He had appointed Francisco César to be his chief lieutenant, and on the 21st of January he established a municipality at the site of the present city of Cartagena. After the death of Ojeda and La Cosa, the poisoned arrows of the Indians inspired a well-grounded fear in the settlers, and they accepted San Sebastian as the patron saint of Cartagena, because, as it was affirmed, he had been killed by poisoned arrows, and would, therefore, be especially solicitous to ward off similar assaults by the Indians.2 The most peacefully-disposed governor could not always avoid conflicts with the natives for, on account of the treatment which they had previously received at Dot. med., xxii Benedetti, Historia dc Colombia, 226 Groot, if istoria de Nncva Granada, L Acosta, Nueva Gra,,ada, Piedraliita, pp
9 4 THE SPANISH DEPENDENCIES the hands of the Spaniards, it was difficult to make any tribe attach great importance to Spanish professions of friendship. Hostility became, therefore, almost inevitable whenever a European settlement was made on or near territory occupied by Indians. Heredia wished to enter into such relations with the natives that he could trade with them, yet, in spite of his wishes, he found himself, in the beginning, involved in conflicts with several tribes. But in the course of time he drew to his side some of the tribes, by offering to assist them against their enemies, and by rendering them various services which indicated his friendly spirit. It was not difficult for him to see that to establish peaceful relations with his neighbours was in keeping with a wise commercial policy; for with the inexpensive wares which he had brought from Spain for distribution among them, he might expect to gain more gold than by hostile military operations. In his most successful expedition into the interior, Heredia pursued a policy of conciliation. He required his men to camp at some distance from the Indian towns, in order by this means to avoid all violence and disorder. From this expedition he returned to Cartagena with treasure amounting to more than a million and a half of golden ducats. Each common soldier received from this sum six thousand ducats after the royal fifths, the governor's portion, and the parts reserved for the hospital, the captains, and other purposes had been withdrawn. Among the spoils there was a figure of massive gold, weighing about one hundred and forty pounds, and representing a porcupine. It was found in a temple, and Acosta says, they took it away instantly, saying they could not consent to such beastly idolatry." Nueva Granada, 118.
10 SANTA MARTA AND CARTAGENA 55 V The fame of the riches acquired by Heredia and his men soon made Cartagena the most frequented point of Tierra Firme its excellent harbour attracted vessels bound from Spain to the Isthmus; and the abundance of gold distributed among the inhabitants introduced a certain luxury and movement not characteristic of any other settlement. Owing to the favourable attitude of the neighbouring Indians, and their willingness to furnish the products of their fields, there was no lack of food ; and the vessels from Santo Domingo brought an abundance of the various kinds of supplies that were needed. The town grew rapidly in population, and the large amount of easilyacquired wealth gave it the appearance of great prosperity. In the beginning of 1534, a new expedition was undertaken. It involved two hundred and fifty men, fifty of whom were mounted; and it was more thoroughly equipped than any of the expeditions that had preceded it. It was noteworthy for the rich spoils derived from the cemetery at Zend, in which the natives of the district had been accustomed to bury their dead, together with certain articles of value. At this point in the progress of the expedition, Heredia departed from his policy of peace and conciliation, and ordered the cemetery and the neighbouring town to be pillaged. From the temple he took a number of bells of gold, the value of which amounted to one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and from the cemetery and other sources enormous sums which cannot be definitely and accurately stated in terms of a modern measure of value. The graves at Zenfl continued to be exploited, as if they were mines, long after the return of this expedition to Cartagena; but when they were exhausted, and subsequent expeditions failed to reveal other extraordinary sources of wealth, the adventurous spirits of many of the inhabitants urged them to exploits in other fields. The
11 S6 THE SPANISH DEPENDENCIES province of Darien, and the unexplored valleys of the Atrato and the Cauca appeared to be the most attractive fields within reach. In 1536, Governor Heredia undertook an expedition against the Dobaiba on the Atrato, but he was not more successful than those who had failed in a similar undertaking previously. The next year Francisco César penetrated the valley of the Cauca, which was then the most densely populated and most thoroughly cultivated of the territory which to-day is embraced in the province of Antioquia."' But during the period of these campaigns, dissatisfaction with the conduct of the governor had appeared in Cartagena, and the complaints which were made warranted the appointment of a visitador to examine the charges that had been brought against him, and to subject him to the trial known as the residencia. The person appointed by the court to conduct the trial having died on the voyage from Spain, the audiencia of Santo Domingo conferred the office upon Juan de Vadillo, a member of the audiencia, who was a brother of Pedro de Vadillo, formerly governor of Santa Marta. The evidence in the hands of the visitador seemed to incriminate both the governor and his brother, Alonso de Heredia, and both were arrested. The most serious charges were that they had defrauded the public treasury in the distribution of the gold taken from the graves at Zenü, and had ma!- treated and enslaved the Indians. This event closed the first period of Heredia's administration in Piedrahita, See letters of Juan de Vadillo to the king, dated at Cartagena, February ii, October 13, and October 15, 1537, Doe, med., xli