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arres

R: de cacio R: Dermeere

HISTORY OF BARBADOS.

PART II.

NARRATIVE OF REMARKABLE EVENTS.

CHAPTER I.

PERIOD FROM THE SETTLEMENT OF THE ISLAND TO THE INSURRECTION OF SLAVES IN 1649.

THE researches which I have devoted to the earlier historians of the New World have afforded me proofs that Barbados was known to the Spaniards as early as the commencement of the sixteenth century, and apparently supplied Indians as slaves for their mines in Española. Las Casas, through his generous and constant exertions in favour of the natives of South America, procured from Charles the Fifth some amelioration of their condition; and the Licentiate Rodrigo de Figueroa was sent as Juez de Residencia to Española, with instructions to allow the Indians to live by themselves in their own villages, and that all who requested it should be set at liberty: and as the Indians from Trinidad had been taken for slaves, under the pretext of their being Caribs, the evil was to be remedied, and all who had been brought to Española from the Barbados and Gigantes were to be treated as natives. The mere occurrence of the name of the Isla de los Barbudos might be considered accidental, had not Herrera identified it in the geographical description of the islands appended to his history, where the situation is so far correct that it cannot be mistaken. Charles the Fifth issued his instructions to Rodrigo de Figueroa in 1518; Herrera published the first part of his history in 1601;

The expressions in the letter of instruction to Figueroa are as follows:-"I haviendo dicho el Lic. Bartolome de las Casas, que los Indios de la Isla de la Trinidad se caulivaban con nombre de Caribes, nolo siendo, que en ello se pusiese remedio; i que los Indios que se havian traido de la Isla de los Barbudos i Gigantes, estuviescen en la Espanola de la misma manera que los Naturales, i con el misma tratamiento." -Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firma del mar Oceano, par D. Antonio de Herrera, Dec. ii. Libro iii. p. 73.

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