ANDAGOYA, Pascual de – 1540. NARRATIVE OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF PEDRARIAS DAVILA IN THE PROVINCES OF TIERRA FIRME OF CASTILLA DEL ORO


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ANDAGOYA, Pascual de. NARRATIVE OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF PEDRARIAS DAVILA IN THE PROVINCES OF TIERRA FIRME OF CASTILLA DEL ORO (1540).

NARRATIVE OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF PEDRARIAS DAVILA IN THE PROVINCES OF TIERRA FIRME OF CASTILLA DEL ORO,
AND OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE SOUTH SEA AND
THE COASTS OF PERU AND NICARAGUA.
WRITTEN BY
THE ADELANTADO
PASCUAL DE ANDAGOYA.

TRANSLATED AND EDITED,

WITH NOTES AND AN INTRODUCTION

CLEMENTS K. MARKHAM.

LONDON:
PRINTED FOR THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY

M.DCCC.I.XV.

LONDON : T. RICHARDS, 37, GREAT QUEEN STREET.

INTBODUCTION.

PASCUAL DE ANDAGOYA was one of the officers who
accompanied Pedrarias, when he went out as governor
of the newly discovered isthmus between the North and
South Seas in 1514. Andagoya was engaged in several
of the exploring expeditions which were despatched from
Darien, and he was the first Spaniard who obtained au-
thentic information respecting the rich empire of the
Yncas. His discoveries led to the expeditions of Pizarro
and Almagro, and Andagoya himself was eventually
governor, for a very short time, of the provinces round
Popayan. His narrative is that of an eye-witness of
some of the most stirring events which preceded the
discovery of Peru. The conquest of the isthmus and the
establishment of a colony at Panama were the necessary
preliminaries*to Spanish dominion along the shores of
the South Sea. An account of these events, written by
one of the actors in them, therefore, possesses peculiar
interest, and the narrative of Pascual de Andagoya1 has
1 It is printed in the work of Navarrete. Coleccion de los
viages y descrubrimientos, que hicieron por mar los Espanoles, desde
fines de siglo xv. Seccion iii. Establicimientos de los Espanoles
. i el Darien. Tom. iii, 'No. vii, p. 393. The original MS. is pre-
v srved in the Indian Archives at Seville.
b

INTRODUCTION.

accordingly been deemed worthy of a place in the series
of volumes printed for the Hakluyt Society.
A famous discovery had been made, before the arri-
val of Pedrarias and his train of officers and lawyers,
by one of the greatest men that the age of Spanish
conquest in America produced. Vasco Nunez de Bal-
boa, in March 1511, found himself the leading and
most popular man in the forlorn colony of Darien.
The expeditions of Nicuesa and Ojeda had failed,
chiefly through the incompetence of their unfortunate
leaders.1 The man who, a few short months before,
had been a fugitive debtor headed up in a cask, was
now the commander of a great enterprise. An in-
capable though learned lawyer, the Bachelor Enciso,
alone stood between Vasco Nunez and his ambition,
and such an obstacle was at once removed. The erudite
author of the Suma de Geografia was shipped off to
Spain, and Vasco Nunez commenced his short but
brilliant career of discovery.
/ His acts, during his government of the colony of
If Darien, stamp him as a born ruler of men. His policy to-
wards the Indians was humane and statesman-like, while
j his sympathy for the sufferings of his own men ensured
him just popularity among the wild and reckless spirits
who formed his colony. There is more of diplomacy
and negociation, than of massacre and oppression in
the history of this great discoverer's career; but there
was no want of that dauntless spirit of enterprise, that
resolute endurance of incredible hardships and suffer-
ings by which alone the conquest of the New World
1 See note at p. 34 of my translation of Cieza de Leon. J
' 1 !

INTRODUCTION.

iii

could be achieved. His treatment of the cacique of
Coiba secured the little colony of Darien a most valu-
able ally. His visit to the wealthy chief Comogre,
from whose son the first news of the existence of the
great South Sea was received, added another nation to
the list of his allies. His romantic expedition in search
of the golden Dobaybe was unstained by the atrocities
which usually marked the proceedings of Spanish ex-
plorers. Finally, his memorable discovery of the Pacific
Ocean could not have been achieved if his humane
•diplomacy had not secured the friendship of the Indian
tribes in his rear.
Eeduced to the greatest distress by the neglect of
the authorities in Spain and St. Domingo to send him
succour, and surrounded by dense forests and pesti-
lential morasses, Vasco Nunez never lost heart. He
overcame difficulties which to most men would have
appeared insuperable, and won the proud, distinction
of having equalled Cortes and Pizarro in bravery and
perseverance; while he is among the few Conquista-
dores who showed any sign of such qualities as hu-
manity and generosity, when the unfortunate natives
were concerned. Vasco Nunez fully explained the
difficulties which surrounded him, to the Spanish Go-
vernment, in a long letter dated January 1513 from
Darien, six months before his discovery of the South
Sea; and the words of the man himself convey the
best idea of his position. He says :—
'1 Most Christian and most puissant Lord,
i: Some days ago I wrote to your Majesty by a caravel
which came to this town, giving your very Royal Highness
b 2

I

iv

INTRODUCTION.

an account of all that has happened in these parts. I also
wrote by a brigantine which left this town for the island of
Espafiola, to let the admiral1 know that we were in extreme
distress; and now we have been supplied by two ships laden
with provisions. We were then reduced to such extre-
mities that, if succour had been delayed, it would no
longer have been necessary. For no remedy could then
have delivered us from the consequences of famine; and in
our great need we lost 300 of the men we found here of
those I commanded, of those of Uraba under Alonzo de
Ojeda, and of those under Diego de Nicuesa at Veragua.
With much labour I have united all these parties together,
as your Royal Majesty will see in another letter which I
write to your very Royal Highness, where I give an account
of all that has taken place here. I sent, most Royal High-
ness, to order that the persons who were in the settlement
of Diego de Nicuesa should be brought to this town, and
I treated them with all the attention that was possible.
Your most Royal Highness will be aware that, after-Diego
• de Nicuesa came to this town and thence departed for
Espafiola, I took as much care of the people that were
left in his settlement, as if they had been under my own
charge, and had been conveyed from Castile by order of
your Royal Highness. When I found that they were in
want, I remembered to send provisions to them one two or
three times, until after a year and a half I conveyed them to
this town, seeing that I should thus further the service of
your most Royal Highness. For if I had not helped them
they would have been lost, five or six dying of hunger every
day, and the survivors being thinned by the Indians. Now
all the men who were left behind by Diego de Nicuesa are
in this town. From the first day of their arrival here they
have been treated as well as if they had been sent by
1 The son of Christopher Columbus, who had inherited that
title, and the government of Hispaniola, from his father.

INTRODUCTION. V
order of your most Royal Highness, for there has been no
difference made with them, any more than if they had come
here on the first day. As soon as they arrived here they
were given their pieces of land for building and planting in
a very good situation, close to those occupied by the men
who came with me to this town, for the land was not yet
divided, and they arrived in time to receive some of the best
pieces. I have to inform your most Royal Highness that
both the governors, as well Diego de Nicuesa as Alonzo de
Ojeda, performed their duties very ill, and that they were
the causes of their own perdition, because they knew not
how to act, and because, after they arrived in these parts,
they took such presumptuous fancies into their thoughts
that they appeared to be lords of the land. They imagined
they could rule the land and do all that was necessary from
their beds; and thus they acted, believing that they had
nothing further to do. But the nature of the land is such
that if he who has charge of the government sleeps, he
cannot awake when he wishes, for this is a land that obliges
the man who governs to be very watchful. The country is
difficult to travel through, on account of the numerous
rivers and morasses and mountains, where many men die
owing to the great labour they have to endure, for every
day we are exposed to death in a thousand forms. I have
thought of nothing, by day or by night, but how to support
myself and the handful of men whom God has placed under
my charge, and how to maintain them until your Highness
sends reinforcements. I have taken care that the Indians of
this land are not ill-treated, permitting no man to injure them,
and giving them many things from Castile, whereby they
may be drawn into friendship with us. This honourable
treatment of the Indians has been the cause of my learning
great secrets from them, through the knowledge of which '
large quantities of gold may be obtained, and your Highness
will thus be well served. I have often thought how it will be

VI

INTRODUCTION.

\ possible for us to sustain life, seeing that we have been as
badly succoured from the island of Espafiola as if we had
not been Christians. But our Lord, by his infinite mercy,
has chosen to supply us with provisions in this land, though
we have often been in such straits that we expected to die of

ANDAGOYA, Pascual de – 1540. NARRATIVE OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF PEDRARIAS DAVILA IN THE PROVINCES OF TIERRA FIRME OF CASTILLA DEL ORO
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