« PreviousContinue »
An address of the president and Council of fameicg to the king an&
queen • • 238
JnJlruSliom to Mr. Ifcathcote, &c. from the Council end assembly of
Jamaica • • 240
A short account of the affairs of Jamaica hi relation to the assembly called by the duke of Albemarle, m 1688; with -reasons why the laws made by that assembly Jliould not pass 244
An address of the council and assembly of Jamaica to the king and queen. 247
A narrative by sir William Beeston of the descent on Jamaica by the French ^ 24-9
A letter from the council in England to sir William Beesiont in answer lo his narrative , 260
An address of the assembly of Jamaica to sir Wil'iam Beeston 262
Resolutions of a council of war, held at Pajsage-Fort, February 8, 1695-6 263
Queries proposed to sir Simon Harcourt 265
A spe,c'i of Hi excellency general Selwyn to she assembly 267
The di/lrihtti'oi of the rbt/al dmatioe, which king Charles II. sent to the officers and Jb.diers in Jamaica 259
A journal kept by colonel Bee/ton, from his first coming to Jamaica 271
INTERESTING INTERESTING TRACTS,
RELATING TO THE
ISLAND OF JAMAICA.
A PROCLAMATION OF THE PROTECTOR,
RELATING TO JAMAICA.
WHEREAS, by the good providence of God, our fleet, in their late expedition into America, have poslesled themselves of a certain island called Jamaica, spacious in its extent, commodious in its harbours and rivers within itself, healthsul by its situation, sertile in the nature of the foil, well stored with horses and other cattle, and generally sit and worthy to be planted and improved, to the advantage, honour, and interest, of this nation.
And wTiereas divers persons, merchants, and others, heretofore conversant in plantations, and the trade of the like nature, are desirous to undertake and proceed upon plantations and settlements upon that island.
We, therefore, for the better encouragement of all such persons, so inclined, have, by the advice of our council, taken care, not only for the strengthening and securing of that island from all enemies, but for the constituting and settling of a civil government, by such good laws and customs as arc and have been exercised in colonies and places of
A the the like nature, have appointed surveyors and other public olicrs, sol the more equal distribution of public right and justice in die said illan J.
And,' for the surther encouragement to the industry and gool affection os such persons, we have provided and given orders to the commissioner* of our custom?, that every planter or adventurer to that mind shall be exempt and free from paying any excise, or custom, lor any manusactures, provisions, or any other goods or necessaries, which he ortheyshall transport to the said island of Jamaica, within the space of seven years to come from Michaelmas next.
• And also that sufficient caution and security be given by the said commissioners, that such goods shall be delivered at Jamaica only. And we have also, out of our special consideration of the welsare and prosperity of that island, provided that no customs or other tax, or impost, be laid or charged upon any commodity, which shall be the produce and mtive growth of that island, and shall be imported into any of the dominions belonging to this commonwealth: which savour and exemption shall continue for the space of ten years, to begin and be accounted from Michaelmas next. We have also given our special orders and directions, that no embargo or other hindrance, upon any pretence whatsoever, be laid upon any ships, seamen, or other passengers or adveuturers, which shall appear to be engaged and bound for the said island.
* And we do hereby surther declare, for ourselves and succeslors, that whatsoever other savour, or immunity, Or protection, shall or may conduce to the welsare, strength, and improvement, of the said island, shall from, time to time be continued and applied thereunto. Given under our hand, Sic.
A lMTWi #!ROM CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, A^^Ky IN JAMAICA,
TO THE KING OF SPAIN.
DIEGO MENDEZ, and the papers I send by him, will shew your highness what rich mines of gold I have discovered at Veragua, and how I intended to have left my brother at River Belen, if the judgments of heaven and the greatest misfortunes in the world had not prevented it. However, it is iussicient your highness and successors will have the glory, and advantage of all, and that the sull discovery and settlement are reserved, for happier persons than the unsortunate Columbus. If God be so mercisul to me as to conduct Mendez to Spain, I doubt not but he will make your higbnefs and my great mistress understand that this will not only be a Caitile and Leon, but a discovery of a world of subjects, lands, and wealth, greater than man's unbounded sancy could ever comprehend, or avarice itself covet. But neither he, this paper, nor the tongue of mortal man, can express the anguish and afflictions of my mind and body, nor the misery of my son, bi other, and friends; for here already we have, been above ten months lodged upon the open decks of our ships, tliat are run ashore and lashed together; those of my men that were well have mutinied under the Porras' of Sevilla; my friends tliat were saithful are mostly sick and dying; we have consumed the Indian's provisions, so they do abandon us; all therefore are like to perish by hunger, and these miseries arc accompanied with so many aggravating circumllanccs tliat Tender me the most wretched object of misfortune this world slitll ever see, a? if the displeasure of heaven seconded the envy of S pain, a nd veuld punish as criminal those undertakings and discoveries, that former ages would have acknowledged as great and meritorious. Good heaven! and you holy saints that dwell in it, let the king Don Fernando, and my illustrious mistress Donna Isabella, know that I am the most miserable mast living, aud that n.y zed for their service and interest hath brought me to
A 2 it, il; lor it is impossible to live and have afflictions equal to mine. I fee, and with horror apprehend, (and for my sake,) those unsortunate and deserving people's destruction. Alas! piety and justice have retired to their habitations above, and it is a crime to have done or performed too much, as my misery makes my lise a burthen to myself, to I sear the empty titles of perpetual viceroy and admiral render me obnoxious to the Spanish nation. It is visible enough how all methods are made use of to cut the thread which is breaking, for I am in my old age, and loaded with unsupportablc pains of the gout, and am now languishing and expiring with that and other insirmities am-^ng savages, where 1 have neither medicines nor provisions for the body, priest nor sacraments for the foul. My men mutinying, my brother, my son, and those that are saithsul, sick, starving, and dying.. Ihe Indians have abandoned us; and the governor of St. Domingo, Abando, has sent rather to see if I am dead, than to succour us, or carry me alive hence, for his boat neither delivered a letter nor spoke, or would receive any from us, so I conclude your highness ofsicers inten4 here my voyage and lise shall end. O blesled mother of God, that compassionateth the miserable and oppressed, why did not cruel Bonadilla kill me, when he robbed me and my brother of our dear purchafc4 gold, and sent us for Spain in chains, without hearing, trial, crime, or shadow of one! 1 hese chain* are all the treasures I have, and (hall be bur ried with me, if I chance to have a colsin or a grave; for I would have the remembrance of so unjust and tragic an act die with me, and, for the glory of the Spanish name, be eternally forgot. Had it been so (O blessed virgin !) Obando had not then forced us to be dying ten or twelve months, and to perish per malice as great as our misfortunes. O let it not bring a surther insamy on the Castilian name, nor let ages to come know, there were wretches so vile in this, that thought to recommend themselves to Don Fernando, by destroying the unsortunate and miserable Christopher Columbus, not for his crimes, but for his services in discovering and giving Spain a new world. It was you, O heaven ! that inspired and conducted me to it, do you therefore weep for me, and Ihew pity; let the earth, and every soul in it that loves justice or mercy, weep for me. And you, O glorisied saints of God, that know my innocency and see my sufferings, have mercy. If this present age is too envious or obdurate to weep for me, surely those that are to be born will do it, when they are told Christopher Columbus, with his own fortune, at the hazard of his own and brother's lives, with little or no expence to the crown of Spain, in twelve years, and four voyages, rendered greater services than ever mortal