Клемент Маркхэм. Завоевание Новой Гранады.




K.C.B.. D.Sc. (CAM.)


Siempre la brevedad es una cosa

Con gran razón de todos alabada,

Y vemos que una platica es gustosa

Quanto mas breve y menos afectada.

Araucana. Canto xxvi




All rights reierved


(by permission)






SOME knowledge of the civilisation of the Aztecs

and Incas, of the conquests of Mexico and Peru as

told by Prescott, with the stories of Cortes and

. Pizarro, is part of a liberal education. But the

civilisation of the Chibchas and the story of the

conquest of New Granada by Quesada has found

no Prescott, and is unknown to our English


A great many years ago, General Mosquera—

a former well-known President of New Granada

—dined with Sir Roderick Murchison at the Geo-

graphical Club, and took me in his carriage to the

meeting. In conversation the General expressed

regret that although Mexico and Peru had found

a historian, writing in the English language, bis

own country—the story of which was quite as

interesting—had not. General Mosquera was

himself an author.1

1 Geografía de la Nueva Granada, por General Tomas Cipriano de

Mosquera (New York, 1858). General Mosquera was born at

Popayán in 1798. He was a comrade and intimate friend of

Bolivar. President, 1844-49; again in 1863 and 1866. , He died

in 1878.



I pondered over this expression of regret by

an eminent Colombian. At that very time I was

consulting the most important of the New Granada

chronicles, by Fray Pedro Simon, for another

purpose.1 I was then led to read ‘ Piedrahita/ a

later chronicle, and to translate 6 Cieza de Leon *;

and I received encouragement to write on the

subject from Sir Woodbine Parish.

But I waited for some more competent person

with greater local knowledge to undertake the task

of presenting to English readers the story of

Chibcha civilisation and of the conquest of New

Granada. I have waited for fifty years.

My personal knowledge of Colombia is confined

to Santa Martha, Cartagena, and the Isthmus.

But I have had occasions for studying the geo-

graphy of that interesting country for official

purposes. It became an object, in connection

with chinchona cultivation in British India, to

obtain and publish the valuable drawings of plants

of the chinchona genus growing in Colombia,

by Mutis, which I found in the tool-house of the

Botanical Gardens at Madrid. I then obtained

sanction for their publication under the editorship

1 I was writing the Introduction to a volume of the Hakluyt

Society entitled The Search for El Dorado,



of an eminent Colombian botanist, Don José

Triana.1 Afterwards I employed Mr. Cross, a very

able gardener and traveller, to explore the region

of the G. Pitayensis, to the east of Popayán and

Timaná. He brought me back a detailed descrip-

tion of that interesting region. I also published,

in 1867, translations of the works of Dr. Mutis and

of Dr. Karstan on the chinchona genus, with intro-

ductory notes and lives. A letter from Señor Don

Narciso Lorenzano, dated March 1864, on the sub-

ject of the cultivation of chinchona-trees in their

original habitat, led to my publication, in Spanish,

in 1867, of a handbook of chinchona cultivation for

the use of Colombian proprietors. I subsequently

had some official correspondence on Colombian

forest conservancy, and was elected an Honorary

Member of the Historical Society of Antioquia.

In obtaining the MS. of the fourth part of the

work of Mutis at Madrid, and printing it for

the first time, M. Weddell was so good as to say

that I rendered great service to the memory of

the illustrious botanist of Colombia.

I mention these transactions to show that

circumstances have conduced to a continuance of

1 Nouvelles études sur les quinquinas accompagnées de facsimile

des dessins de la quinologie de Mutis, por J. Triana (folio, Paris,




that interest in the land of the Chibchas which

was first aroused by my conversation with General


I submit the following brief account of Chibcha

civilisation and of the conquest of New Granada

without any thought of its taking a place by the

side of the works of Prescott. My intention is far

enough from that. Its object is only to stop a

gap in English literature until such time as it

may be worthily filled by another more detailed

work from the pen of some one who is intimately

acquainted with all the localities, as well as with all

the original sources of information, some of which

are still undiscovered. I trust that such a future

author may already exist, or will exist in due

course. I have to offer my cordial thanks to His

Excellency Don Ignacio Gutierrez-Ponce for assis-

tance and advice. Don Ignacio is descended from

three of the companions in arms of Quesada.



September, 1912.







Reports of actual actors in the scenes they describe: Vasco

Nuñez de Balboa, Pascual de Andagoya, Heredia, Cieza

de Leon, Gonzalo Jimenes de Quesada, Castellanos, Pedro

Simon, Piedrahita, Zamora, Fresle Ocariz, Cassini,

Herrera, Oviedo, Duquesne, Lugo, Uricoechea, Acosta



Influence of environment—Mountains and Rivers of Colom-

bia*—Tribes of the Cauca Valley—Cemetery of Zenu—

Country of the Chibchás—Chibcha People: their agri-

culture, appearance, commerce, manufactures, houses,

progress—its causes…….



The great • first cause—Sun-worship—Myths—The Bachue

myth—The Bochica myth—Deities—The Garachacha

myth—The Tequendama myth—The Guatavita myth

and festeval—El Dorado—Gold in the Guatavita Lake—

The Temples—Human Sacrifices-Sun and Moon—Their

marriage—Link between celestial and anthropomorphic

ideas ………






The language progressed with the advance of the people—

Now a dead language—Grammars and Vocabularies—

Grammatical construction—Words for degrees of relation-

ship—Numeration—Times and Seasons—Hieroglyphics of

first ten numerals—System of intercalation—Duquesne’s

explanation of the Calendar—the Cycle—Point reached

in civilisation……..31



The Zipa, the Zaque, and the Iraca—Rule for succession

—Capital and pleasure houses of the Zipa—Interments—

the Zaque of Tunja—the Zipa Saguanmachica’s wars

—the Zipa Nemequene’s wars—the Zipa Thisquezuza—

Influence of the Iraca—the Great Chief Tutasua—

Retrospect of what is known of the Chibchas—Preserva-

tion of their history—Lost Work of Quesada … 40



Expedition of Bastidas—Ojeda and Nicuesa—Defeat of

Ojeda—Ojeda in the Gulf of Urabá—Failure and death

of Ojeda and Nicuesa—Relief expedition of Enciso—

Rise of Vasco Nunez de Balboa—Expedition of Pedrarias

—Description of the coast by Enciso …. 49



Early days of Vasco Nuñez—Took command of Ojeda’*

starving colony—His capacity—His measures—His good

treatment of natives—Account of Coiba and Comogre

—Natives of the Isthmus—Vasco Nuñez received informa-

tion of Dobaibe and his gold—Love for the daughter of


Careta—News of the Pacific Ocean—Ships arrive with

provisions—Letter to Charles V.—Discovery of the Pacific

Ocean—Arrival of Pedrarias—Pedrarias brings robbery

and murder—Atrocities of Morales—Vasco Nuñez writes

again to Charles V.—Character of Pedrarias—Stores

and fittings for shipbuilding—Building of the ships—

Betrayal of Vasco Nuñez—Murder of the great discoverer

—His death a calamity—Panama founded—Nicaragua—

Death of Pedrarias—Destruction of the natives of the

Isthmus—Retreat of survivors—Brave defence and inde-

pendence ………



Bastidas, first Governor of Santa Martha—His murderer—

Palomino the second Governor—Vadillo and Palomino

—Garcia de Lerma, fourth Governor of Santa Martha—

Exploring the Magdalena—Oidor Infante, fifth Governor—

Pedro de Heredia, Governor of Cartagena—Expeditions

of Heredia and Cesar—The Velzer rule in Venezuela-—

Cruelty of Alfinger—Expedition of George of Spires—

Expedition of Pederman……



Story of. the discovery of the Cauca Valley—Origin of

Sebastian de Belalcazar—Founding of Popayán by Belal-

cazar—Aldana appointed to supersede him—Vadillo’s

flight from justice—Cieza de Leon—Vadillo’s expedition—

Cesar’s experience—The chief Nutibara and his brother—

Defeat of Spaniards by Nutibara—Buriticá chief burnt by

Vadillo—Vadillo reaches the Cauca—Death of Cesar—Dis-

covery of the Cauca Valley—Vadillo sent home—Robledo

appointed by Aldana—Cruelty of Robledo—Cartago and

Antioquia founded—Robledo sent to Spain—Andagoya

lands at Buenaventura—Character of Aldana—Añasco—

Founding of Timaná—Andagoya at Popayán—Return of

Belalcazar—Services in Peru—Belalcazar and Heredia—



Return of Robledo—Executed by Belalcazar—Belalcazar

condemned—His death, and character—Shipwreck and

death of Heredia……..92




Parentage and birth of Quesada—His boyhood and educa-

tion at Granada—the Adelantado, Pedro Fernandez Lugo

—Made Governor of Santa Martha—His son Alfonso Pedro

to be his Lieutenant—Quesada to be Chief Magistrate—

Arrival at Santa Martha—Expeditions—Alfonso Luis

steals gold and deserts—Expedition up the Magdalena—

Quesada to command—Expedition starts—the Captains—

Flotilla on the Magdalena to meet troops coming by land—

The march—Touching scene—Mother and Son—Quesada

reaches Sompallon on the Magdalena—Adventures of the

Flotilla—Arrival at Sompallon—Sufferings on the march

—Reaches La Tora—Mouth of the Opon—Firm resolution

of Quesada—Ascent of the River Opon—Argument from

trade in salt—Disaster to the Flotilla on return—March

up the mountains—Arrival in sight of the Chibcha country 110



Scene of peace and plenty—The Zipa in his palace—The

news arrives—The Zipa marches to encounter the enemy—

Rout and retreat of the Zipa—Quesada at Chia—Flight

of the Zipa—The Spaniards reach the Zipa’s capital—

Exploring expeditions—The Panches defeat the Spaniards

—Search for the emerald mine—March to Tunja—Palaoe

of the Zaque—Plunder of the Zaque’s palace—His death—

Temple of Suamo burnt—Last of the Iracas—The chief

Tutama—Battle of Bonda—March to the Valley of Neyva

—Distribution of plunder—Zipa’s camp betrayed—Death

of the Zipa Thisquezuza—Attacks of Sagipa, the last

Zipa—Fatal error of Sagipa in trusting the Spaniards-

Combined forces defeat the Panches—Torture and



death of Sagipa—Quesada decides upon returning for

reinforcements—Name of New Granada—Founding of

Santa Fé de Bogotá—Arrival of Federman and Belalcazar

—Quesada, Federman, and Belalcazar set out for Spain

—Quesada’s brother Hernán Perez left in charge—Deso-

lation of the Chibchas . . . . . • .127



Character of Hernán Perez de Quesada—The encomiendas—

Expedition of Lebrón—Agreement between Lebrón and

Hernán Perez — Lebrón retires —Wheat crop — First

wheaten bread—Hernán Perez resolves on a search for

El Dorado—Tunja founded by Captain Suarez—Murder

of the last Zaque—Hernán Perez sets out on his expedition

—Captain Suarez left in charge—Sufferings of Hernán

Perez and his men—Glorious fight for liberty of Tundama

—Murder of Tundama—Fate of Tundama’s nephew—

Flight of the people to the rock of Tausa—Leap of Olalla—

Massacre at Tausa—Treachery of the Spaniards—Chib-

chas sink into slavery and despair—Spanish cruelty—

Many exceptions—The next blood-sucker . . .145



Arrival of Quesada in Spain with the royal fifths—Quesada’s

return home—At Court—His claim—Stories against him

—Description of Quesada at that time—Claim before the

Council of the Indies—His rival A. Luis de Lugo—Lugo’s

Court interest—Some members of Council for Quesada—

Lugo appointed—Sails—Persecution of Quesada—False

stories against Quesada-—Travels in France and Italy, and

literary pursuits—Lugo’s plunder at the pearl fishery—

Francesquillo attacks Lugo on the river—Arrival of Lugo

at Bogotá—The first cattle—Lugo had come for plunder—

Captain Suarez Roiidon imprisoned—Hernán Perez and

Francisco Quesada imprisoned—Their deaths by lightning

«—Departure of Lugo with his plunder—Made to refund



at the pearl fishery—His crimes unpunished—Denuncia-

tion by Las Casas—Receives a command in Italy—His

death—Claims of his descendants. . . . .158



Expedition to find the gold mines led by Hernán Vanegas—

Battle with the Panches—The Magdalena crossed—Gold

mines found—Victory of the Panches—Wise policy of

Vanegas—Alliance of Vanegas and the Suitamas—Final

submission of the Panches—Armendariz as Juez de Resi-

dencia—Pedro de Ursua in charge at Bogotá—Arrival of

Armendariz—The New Laws promulgated too late—

Resume of the New Laws—Publication of the New Laws at

Bogotá—Expedition of Ursua—Pampluna founded—

Musus and Colimas—Procurators sent to Spain to petition

for alteration of the New Laws—Result—Audiencia of

Bogotá appointed . . . . . . .171



Tardy justice done to Quesada—Quesada made Marshal and

Adelantado—Quesada accompanies the judges to Bogotá

—Licentiate Mercado’s death at Mompox—the other

two judges take charge at Bogotá—Expedition against

the Musus—Ibague and Marquita founded—Quesada

leads an expedition in search of El Dorado—Death

of Medrano—Sufferings of Quesada’s party—Reach the

Guaviare—Return—Armendariz arrested and sent to

Spain—The two judges arrested—Lost in a Shipwreck—

Montano and Bríceño in charge at Bogotá—Quesada and

his Los ires ratos de Suesca—Quesada suppresses an

insurrection in the Magdalena Valley—Retirement and

death of Quesada—His heirs—Burial at Bogotá—Character

of Quesada^—Government of New Granada by Presidents

of the Audiencia, later by Viceroys—Depopulation—

Loss of the Chibcha language—An American race of



Spanish descent—Antioquia and Manuel Restrepo—

Mutis—Caldas — Zea — The botanist Triana — An en-

lightened and progressive people in Colombia. . . 182







ENCOMENDEROS . . . . . . .210


JIMENES DE QUESADA . . . . . 217





LAND OF THE CHIBCHAS . . . At end of text.






THE story of the Chibcha civilisation and of the

conquest of New Granada ought long ago to have

taken its place by the side of the stories of the

conquest of Mexico and Peru; but there has been

no Prescott for New Granada. Yet Quesada is

quite, as important and interesting a figure in

history as Cortes or Pizarro. The materials from

which such a story must be compiled are sufficient.

We have at least half a dozen reports or

narratives from the actual actors in the scenes

they describe. There are several detailed letters

from Vasco Nuñez de Balboa,1 the discoverer of the

1 In the Navarrete Collection.



Pacific Ocean. There is the memoir of Pascual de

Andagoya, narrating the later proceedings of Nuñez

de Balboa, and his own subsequent experiences

at Popayan.1 There is a long letter from Pedro de

Heredia, the Governor of Cartagena, to Charles V.2

Pedro de Cieza de Leon has described the ex-

peditions of Vadillo and Eobledo and the discovery

of the Cauca valley. He was a youth of eighteen

or nineteen at the time, but a keen observer, and

everything he says is to be relied upon.

Gonzalo Jimenes de Quesada, the actual dis-

coverer of New Granada, was a scholar and author.

On his return in 1539 he sent in a report, entitled

e Epitome de la conquista del Nuevo Reino de

Granada/ 3 which is chiefly occupied with a de-

scription of the new country and the people. He

also wrote a report on the services of his comrades,

“Memoria de los descubridores y conquistadores

que entraron conmigo a descubrir y conquistar

este reyno de Nueva Granada/ In his old age

he wrote a much more important work, which he

called c Los tres ratos de Suesca/4 It was

1 In the Navarrete Collection, and translated for the Hakluyt


2 Muñoz Collection.

3 Printed by Espada in his pamphlet on Castellanos, 1889.

4 See chap. xv.



unfortunately lost; but the manuscript was in

Bogotá when the chroniclers wrote, and they

were able to use it in the compilation of their


Two of Quesada’s captains, San Martin and

Lebrija, wrote interesting reports, which were

preserved at Simancas. They are in the collection

of Muñoz, and were translated into French and

published by Ternaux Compans.

The first chronicler was Castellanos. He went

out to the Indies as a cavalry soldier, and was

engaged in forays against the natives. His con-

science seemed to have been disturbed by their

treatment, and he went to Cartagena and entered

Holy Orders. He became a canon of the cathedral

there, and eventually went up the Magdalena and

was cura of Tunja for many years. Castellanos had

conversed with several of the first settlers, probably

with Quesada himself. He first composed his

chronicle in prose, and then—unfortunately, as I

think—he turned it into rhyme, with the title

‘ Elegias de ilustres varones de Indias/ A good

deal of accuracy and precision of statement is

sacrificed to the exigencies of metrical treatment.

Castellanos was also very credulous, and repeated

some wholly incredible gossip. Jimenes de la

B 2



Espada published a very severe criticism on his

work in 1889. But the rhyming chronicler, from

his position and diligence in collecting materials,

is quite indispensable, and was much used by

subsequent writers. The first part appeared in


Friar Pedro Simon is a more important authority.

He was born near Cuenca, in Spain, came out to

Bogotá at the age of thirty, and joined the Order

of Franciscans. He arrived in 1604, became

Provincial in 1623, and began to write his c Noticias

Historiales/ He had travelled a good deal in

New Granada, and in 1607 had accompanied Juan

de Borgia, President of the Audiencia, in his

campaign against the Pijaos Indians. He had

the advantage of being able to use the manuscript

history of the conquest, by Friar Pedro Medrano,

who perished during Quesada’s expedition into the

eastern forests, leaving his work to be used by

others, and then to be lost. Simon’s first volume

is on the discovery of Venezuela, and the expedition

of the pirate Aguirre down the Amazons, which

is told in great detail.2 The two other parts

1 The fourth part is lost, but the MS. was seen and used by Simon

and others. The three parts were published in one volume at

Madrid, in 1847.

2 Translated and edited for the Hakluyt Society.



are occupied with the Chibcha civilisation and the

Spanish conquest of New Granada. It is believed

that Father Simon died in Spain. His work is

very valuable, and the most authentic account

that has come down to us.1

The work of Lucas Fernandez Piedrahita is

better known, and is based on the chronicles of

Castellanos and Simon. This author was born at

Bogotá in 1618, the son of Don Domingo Fernandez

Piedrahita and Catalina Collantes.2 In his youth

he was good-natured, vivacious, and full of humour.

He was fond of poetry, and even wrote some

comedies—now lost. He entered Holy Orders,

was cura of Fusagasugá, and canon of the cathedral

of Santa Fé de Bogotá. A judge, who had some

spite against the canon, trumped up false accusa-

tions ; and there was a lawsuit which obliged

Piedrahita to go to Spain. It lasted for years.

It was during this long period of waiting that he

wrote his history. He had the use of Quesada’s

work, the fourth part of Castellanos’s, and Simon’s.

Piedrahita’s work is well arranged, he adheres

well to his authorities, and writes in an agreeable

1 The second part was printed at Cuenca in 1627.

2 Piedrahita, on his mother’s side, was descended from the

Incas of Peru. His mother’s great-grandfather, Juan Muñoz

Collantes, married Prancesca Coya, an Inca princess.



style. The lawsuit at last ended in his complete

exoneration, and he was appointed Bishop of Santa

Martha. He proved a most devoted prelate,

visiting the “uncivilised Indians, and going about in

rags that he might spend all his income in charity

and in the work of rebuilding the cathedral. In

1676 he was translated to Panama; but before he

could start for his new see, Santa Martha was

surprised by buccaneers. The bishop was tortured

to give up his supposed treasure, carried off because

he could not pay any ransom, dreadfully ill-treated,

and at last brought before the buccaneer Morgan

at Providence. That prince of buccaneers released

him, and even presented him with some canonicals

he had stolen. Piedrahita at last reached Panama,

and was installed as bishop. He there preached

in the streets as well as in his cathedral, gave his

whole income in charity, and devoted much of

his time to the Derien Indians. This devoted

prelate and excellent writer died at Panama in

1688, aged seventy.

The Father Friar Antonio de Zamora was born

at Bogotá, but was some twenty years younger

than Piedrahita. He was the historian of the

Dominican Order in New Granada, and was a mere

panegyrist so far as the brethren of his Order were



concerned. He, however, consulted all the manu-

scripts and official documents within his reach, as

well as those of Simon and Piedrahita, but he was

credulous and without any gift of criticism. His

work was finished in 1696, and printed at Barcelona

in 1701.

There is a manuscript written by a native of

Bogotá named Juan Rodriguez Fresle, son of one

of the conquistadores, who wrote in 1636. He

brings the history down to 1618 ; but its chief

interest is local, being concerned with the affairs

of the city of Bogotá.

Juan Flores de Ocariz was an officer of the

Bogotá municipality, who wrote a work on the

genealogies of the settlers in New Granada, which

was published at Madrid in 1634. A lady, in more

modern times, Doña Soledad Acosta de Samper,

also wrote biographies of the more illustrious and

notable men of the new kingdom of Granada.

Cassini, the Jesuit historian, gives an account

of the missions of the Company; but the Jesuits

did not arrive in New Granada until 1598. His

work was printed at Madrid in 1741.

The general histories of Herrera and Oviedo

must be consulted by the student of the history

of New Granada; but Herrera seldom gives his


authorities. Oviedo passed some time in the


The writers who have devoted their studies

specially to the Chibcha people call for attention,

but they have been referred to in the chapters on

Chibcha civilisation. These are Domingo Duquesne,

who wrote a dissertation on the Chibcha calendar;

Bernardo de Lugo, a native of Bogotá, whose

grammar saved the Chibcha language from oblivion;

Joaquin Acosta, who has given an excellent general

view of Chibcha culture in chapter xi. of bis

larger work; and Ezequiel Uricoechea. The last-

named scholar published a valuable memoir on the

antiquities of New Granada and the Chibcha

religion and government, at Berlin in 1854, and

a grammar and vocabulary of the Chibcha language,

at Paris in 1871.

The admirable work of Colonel Joaquin Acosta,

entitled ‘ A historical compendium of the discovery

and colonization of New Granada in the sixteenth

century/ published at Paris in 1848, of which

the chapter xi. above referred to forms a part,

deserves very special notice. The author had

carefully studied every available authority, whether

printed or in manuscript. He has condensed

them, and discriminated between them with critical



skill and sound judgment. His work is admirably-

arranged, and bis style is agreeable and scholarly.

Colonel Acosta bad a great advantage in being

well acquainted with the countries in which the

memorable scenes of the conquest were enacted.

With the Quesadas he had penetrated into the

Amazonian forests; with Vadillo he had explored

the valley of the Cauca; he had lived among the

pure-blooded Chibchas ; and had visited the tribes

on the shores of the Gulf of Darien. He then went

to Spain to examine the archives of the Indies and

the great collection of Muñoz. Thus equipped,

Colonel Acosta1 produced a standard work which

must have been of essential service during the

last sixty-four years to successive generations of

the youth of Colombia.

Colonel Acosta suggested to Mr. Prescott that

he should write the history of the conquest of New

Granada, as he had done those of Mexico and Peru,

offering him all the materials he had collected.

But Mr. Prescott declined, having commenced bis

history of Philip II.

1 Joaquin Acosta was born at Guaduas in 1800. A patriotic

soldier and diplomatist, as well as a geographer and historian.

He published a new edition of the Semanario of Caldas, at Paris

in 1849, and his own historical work the previous year. Colonel

Acosta died in 1852:



At present, a younger generation is giving

its attention to the early history of Colombia.

especially the members of the National Academy

of History. Ernesto Restrepo Tirado has just

published an excellent monograph on the Quimbaya

tribe in the Cauca valley. Another monograph

on the Panches is from the pen of Eugenio Ortega.

and we have a very interesting paper on the

epitaph of the great Sugamuxi from the pen of

the same writer. Señor Carlos Cuervo Márquez

has written important papers on the origin of

the Chibchas and other tribes in Colombia, on

the Caribs, on their invasion of Colombia, and a

very interesting series of essays on his journeys

over various parts of the country.



THERE was a rising civilisation in the north-west

part of South America, now the Republic of

Colombia, which has received less notice than

it deserves. Eor it is a striking example of the

influence of geographical environment on the

development of mankind. This will be seen by

a consideration of* the main features of the

region, some 600 by 400 miles, which is now

known as Colombia.

The great mountain chain of the Andes divides,

in about 2°N. Lat., into four cordilleras, cut

deep by three principal rivers flowing north: the

Atrato, nearest to the Pacific Ocean; the Cauca

and the Magdalena, which unite about ninety miles

before they “reach the Carribean Sea.1 The cor-

dillera nearest to the Pacific Ocean continues

• 1 The Magdalena is the fourth in rank of the great South American

rivers. Its length is 1240 miles, of which 807 are navigable.



along the Isthmus of Panama, thus connecting

the Andes with the mountain system of North

America; and the Atrato, draining its eastern

watershed, falls into the Gulf of Darién or Urabá.

The Atrato is separated from the much longer

and more important Cauca valley by a cordillera

which, in its northern part, was known to the

early Spanish explorers as the Sierra de Abibe. A

lofty cordillera, called the Sierra de Pijaos, divides

the Cauca from the Magdalena valley. Lastly,

the Eastern Cordillera, covering a much wider

area, has the Magdalena on one side and the vast

tropical forest of Venezuela, chiefly in the basin

of the River Meta, on the other.

This magnificent region of snowy mountains,

noble rivers, and rich tropical vegetation was well

peopled by numerous tribes, both on the coast1

and in the river valleys. The central river, Cauca,

was inhabited by several tribes, often at war with

each other, who had made some advances in the

arts and crafts.2 The Armas andQuimbayas3 appear

1 Three hundred miles of coast facing the Carribean Sea, besides

the Pacific coast.

2 An interesting monograph on the Quimbayas, by Ernesto

Restrepo Tirado, was published at Bogotá in 1912.

3 Described by Cieza de Leon, who served under Vadillo and

Robledo in the first discovery of the Cauca valley. See my trans-

lation of his Crónica, printed for the Hakluyt Society in 1864.


to have been the principal Canea tribes. The

former, settled on the right bank of the river, over

an extent of thirty or forty miles, were supposed

to have numbered 20,000 souls, living in villages

consisting of large round dwellings fortified with

stakes. In war they put on circlets of gold,

breastplates, and beautiful plumes of feathers.

They had banners, darts, bows and arrows, lances,

clubs, and slings. They were bold and valiant.

They worshipped idols and had incensors of clay

burning before them, the figures being very rudely

carved in wood and stone. An immense number

of small gold figures were found in their tombs.

As to their cannibalism there is some truth in the

statement; but the accusation is made by the

Spaniards against all valiant defenders of their


No porque alii comiesen carne humana

Mas porque defendían bien su casa,1

as old Castellanos sings. There were only slight

differences between the Armas and the other tribes

of the Cauca and Magdalena. They grew maize

and cotton; and Enciso tells us that on the coast

1 Not because they ate human flesh,

But because they bravely defended their homes..—

Elegías, part ii, canto 3.


they had fruit-trees bearing delicious fruit, and

made channels for irrigation. Their advances

towards civilisation did not go further. It is

true that a vast cemetery was found at Zenu, near

the Sierra de Abibe, with an immense number of

sepulchral mounds, all containing gold ornaments

very skilfully worked to represent every kind of

animal from a man to an ant.1 It has been con-

jectured that the cemetery at Zenu represented

an ancient civilisation which had disappeared like

that of Chiriqui, with which it may have been

allied ; but this is doubtful.

These tribes of the Cauca and Magdalena

valleys had not advanced beyond a certain stage

which was alone adapted for their surroundings.

For they dwelt in deep valleys with tropical vege-

tation, and on steep mountain sides suitable rather

for hunting than for cultivation. Very different

was the progress of the same race when endowed

with a more favourable environment.

1 On the death of a chief or important person they embalmed the

body with certain herbs, and wrapped it in cotton of various colours.

At a place called Catorapa, Enciso says that he found upwards of

twenty of these mummies kept in the houses with the living. At

Zenu the great men were buried in the sepulchral mounds, it is said,

with their wives and favourite servants, with jars and pottery,

and many gold ornaments.


On the lofty plateau, where the Magdalena

rises, there are ruins and carved stones which

appear to be the remains of a prehistoric race in

the valley of San Agustín, which had established

a civilisation, though not very advanced, over

South Colombia. These people may have been

connected with the megalithic empire of Peru.

The San Agustin remains have recently been

carefully investigated by Señor Carlos Cuervo

Márquez and by Dr. K. Theodor Stoepel of


In the Eastern Cordillera, between 4° and 7°

N”. Lat., there is an elevated region in a temperate

climate, with extensive plains and fertile valleys

separated by uplands with alpine lakes. Here

a more advanced stage of civilisation might be

expected, attained by the same race; and here it

was found. The country of the Chibchas is about

150 miles long from north to south and about

40 miles wide, covering 600 square miles, with a

population, before the Spanish cataclysm, of

1,200,000, or 2000 to the square league. It is 240

miles from the sea at Santa Martha. To the north

is the Eiver Sogamoso ; to the south rise the lofty

mountains of Suma Paz ; to the west is the great

Magdalena Eiver; and to the east the cordillera sinks



down into the primeval forests of the Amazonian

basin. The northern half of this favoured region is

drained by streams flowing northwards as tributaries

of the Sogamoso, which falls into the Magdalena.

The River Funza drains the southern half, flowing

from the Eastern Cordillera over the fertile plain

of Bogotá. It then forces its way through a

rocky barrier, and descends in one rush into

the Magdalena valley by the magnificent falls of

Tequendama, one of the highest waterfalls in the


The inhabitants of this favoured region were

called Chibchas. The Spaniards thought the

name was ‘ Muysca/ but this was merely the word

for a man in the Chibcha language. These Chibchas

must needs have led very sober and laborious fives.

Without any domestic animals either for food or

for draught, they depended solely on their skill

and hard work to raise crops of maize, potatoes,

some other edible roots, and beans for their sus-

tenance, and on their prowess as hunters. They

also had constantly to defend their homes against

two fierce tribes on their western frontier, the

Panches and Colimas.1 They were sturdy, thickset

1 There is believed to have been a great invasion of the formid-

able Caribs; and these Panches and Colimas were of the Carib race.



men with less oval faces than the Peruvians, noses

less aquiline, it would seem from the appearance of

their descendants, but the same bright intelligent

eyes. Their bearing was that of a brave and

hard-working, yet imaginative, people. Quesada

said that they were the finest people he had seen

in the Indies: the men well formed and strong;

the women handsome, dressed in white robes, with

a mantle round the shoulders, and a garland on

their heads. Colonel Acosta wrote in the highest

terms of the valour, constancy, coolness, and

discipline of the descendants of the Chibchas as

soldiers. Their fives of hard work, passed between

agricultural pursuits and defensive warfare, had

probably continued for ages. Their country was

healthy and productive, but its height above the

sea debarred its inhabitants from the use of many

things needful for progress. Commerce was essen-

tial for any great advance in civilisation; and by

slow degrees the practice of exchange of products

rose to a well-established system, an increase in

knowledge and in needs coming with it.

Besides their cereal and root crops, the Chibchas

were fortunate in possessing important salt-mines.

The manufacture of this salt, from, the mines of

Zipaquirá and Nemocon, gave rise to a considerable



trade. The products of the Chibcha plateaux ~

were exchanged for fruits, coca, skins, birds, canes,

and timber from the eastern forests; for gold-

dust and cotton from the Magdalena and further

west; and for silver from the south. The chief

market was at Coyaima on the banks of the Mag-

dalena River. There was another, frequented by

the northern tribes coming for salt, on the Sarabita

River. Another market was at Turmequé, to

which the Chibchas brought emeralds from


Commerce led in course of time to manufactures.

The Chibchas became excellent weavers of cotton

cloths, there were extensive pottery factories, and

the people of Guatavita were renowned workers

in gold. The men of rank wore cotton tunics to

below the knee, generally white but sometimes dyed

black or red, and confined round the waist by

a broad belt. Their caps were of the skins of wild

animals, with plumes, and in front a half-moon of

gold. They also wore bracelets and ear-rings.

The women wore a square mantle, brought round

to the front and fastened by a wide belt, and a

small mantle over the shoulders secured by a

great pin of gold. All their clothes were home-

made. Finally, they were beginning to export


their manufactures, made from articles that had

been imported.

The houses of the Chibchas were built of stones

and clay, the rooms having their walls adorned

with cane covered with ornamental reed matting.

The roofs were thatched. They were beginning

to erect important edifices of stone for temples and

palaces, though their principal place of worship

at Suamo was still of the immemorial materials.

But it is reported by a recent writer1 that he found

the site of a stone temple, at Eamiriqui in the

province of Tunja, built east and west, and of

great extent. There were twenty-seven cylindrical

pillars, very well worked, lying near each other.

We have thus seen a people of the same race

as the rest of the inhabitants of the region now

called Colombia, by steady hard work and intelli-

gence, advancing far beyond any of their com-

patriots in the paths of civilisation. That this

progress was due entirely to their geographical

environment there cannot be a doubt. Blessed

with a temperate and healthy climate, inhabiting

a fertile land of wide plains and open valleys,

surrounded by grand scenery, they had every

1 Velez Barrientos {Bulletin de la Société de Géographie de Paris,

Aug. 1847, p. 97).

o 2


qualification and every incitement for advancing

step by step towards a goal wbich they were never

destined to reach, as the Incas did, to predomin-

ance and empire. When the cataclysm destroyed

them they had just reached the stage which the

Incas occupied previous to the Chanca War. But

hard work alone, industry alone, had not raised

them to the point they had attained, nor would

industry alone have taken them further. It was

their care for their ancient traditions, their devoted

loyalty to their rulers, their patriotic fervour

in defending their country against invaders, their

zeal in extending the dominion of their kings

which, combined with habits acquired by long

ages of industry, would have led them on to


The religion and traditions and the civil

government of such a people are worthy of record

and of study, because they reflect the genius of

a nation on its way to achievement: not because

it will throw any light on their origin, for it will

not. The Chibchas had always been where they

were found, though their civilisation may have

been partly due to extraneous help, as we shall

presently see.



THE religion of an agricultural people would

naturally centre round tlie beneficent influences

which presided over their sowing and their harvests.

It was so with the Chibchas. The sun and, in a

less degree, the moon were the objects of their

reverential adoration; while the more thoughtful

among them recognised the existence of a great

first cause. An imaginative people, preserved

traditions of ancient worthies who had conferred

benefits upon them in times past, and who had been

converted, in the course of ages, into mythical

heroes and demigods. Such legends became, to

some extent, interwoven with the main religious

ideas of propitiation of the supernatural powers,

who could grant or withhold success for the


The Chibchas held that, in the beginning of all

things, the fight was enclosed in a great receptacle,




which cannot be described, called Chiminigagua,

or the Creator. The first things that came out

from this creative force were black birds, which,

flying over the world, sent forth a resplendent air

from their beaks which illuminated the whole earth.

The origin of the human race is thus explained.

Soon after the dawn of the first day a beautiful

woman, named Bachue (or Fuzachogua), came out

of Lake Iguaque, four leagues north of Tunja.

She had with her a child of three years old. When

the child grew up he married Bachue, whence

came the human race. Then both disappeared

into the lake and became serpents. The Chibchas

venerated Bachue and the child, and made

statuettes of them in gold and in wood.

These people believed that the souls of the dead

went to the centre of the earth: first passing a

great river in boats made of cobwebs—for which

reason it was not permitted to kill spiders.

Bochica appears to have been a great ruler

or benefactor of the Chibchas at some remote

time, and became a demigod residing in the sun,

a beneficent being, and the tutelary deity of the

chiefs called Usaques. A deity called Chibchacum

was the guardian deity of the Chibchas, though

not a very beneficent one, it would seem.



Nemcatacoa watched over weavers, woodmen,

drunkards, and was represented as a bear covered

with a cloak. Chaqué was the guardian deity

of boundaries, crops, processions, and festivals;

Bachue took care of the bean crops; Cuchavira,

the rainbow, was invoked for childbirth and

fevers, and was a messenger of the sun.

Garachacha1 (sometimes confounded with

Bochica) was some ancient worthy who preached

at several places, and disappeared at Sogamoso,

where a great temple was raised for his worship ;

and before his departure2 he arranged the method

of selecting the High Priest or Iraca, intended to

be a peacemaker and mediator.

There was an interesting legend to account

for the great waterfall of Tequendama. The

guardian deity of the Chibchas had become in-

dignant at the excesses of the inhabitants of the

plain of Bogotá, and determined to punish them.

Suddenly two rivers, which had hitherto flowed in

another direction, were turned into the plain and

1 He had other names—Nemterequeteba, Chinzapagua, and Xue.

He is said to have preached at Bosa, Muequeta, Fontibon, and

Cota. Crowds came to hear him.

2 When they heard the legend, the monks promptly gave

Garachacha a long white beard, made him come from the East,

and declared that he was either St. Bartholomew or St. Thomas.


converted it into a lake. The people took refuge

in the hills. They prayed to Bochica, who appeared

one afternoon at sunset, on a rainbow, and offered

to remove the evil. His powerful aid was gratefully

accepted. Bochica struck the rocks of Tequendama

with his golden sceptre, and an opening was made

by which the waters precipitated themselves.

The plain once more appeared, more fertile than

before. Bochica, to punish Chibchacum for hav-

ing afflicted the people, obliged him to support

the land, which was previously held up by firm

props of lignum-vitae. Unfortunately, this retri-

bution was not without inconvenience, for from

that time there were earthquakes. The natives

explained this by saying that they were caused

by Chibchacum passing his burden from one

shoulder to the other. Doubtless the minds of

this imaginative people wrought out many

other legends of the same kind, but they are

lost to us.

The Chibchas had temples, but they preferred

to make their offerings to great rocks, to lakes

or waterfalls in the midst of grand scenery, es-

pecially when the offerings had reference to some

romantic legend of the past. The lake of Guata-

vita was annually the scene of one of these solemn



offerings. It is three miles from Siecha, on the

top of a high mountain—a small tarn not more

than a stone’s throw across. There are some low

bushes on its banks, and a strange being used to

appear on its waters to whom offerings of gold

and emeralds were made, the priest having

watched for its appearance. The story was that

the wife of the chief of Guatavita committed

treason with a courtier, and it became known to

the chief. The man was put to death. The wife

jumped into the lake with her child, and was

drowned. The chief repented of his wrath, and

ordered the principal magician to restore the wife

and child to him. The magician plunged into the

lake, but came back to report that the wife and

child were lodged better than if they were in the

chief’s house, and would not return.

The story had a strange effect on the people,

which was not a passing delusion but lasted, and

the resort to the lake grew in importance. The

offerings continued to increase, and came from

many of the principal chiefs. It was believed that

a lady appeared on the lake naked to the waist,

her lower half wrapped in a red cotton mantle.

Annually the chiefs went to the centre of the lake

in boats to offer the gifts with certain ceremonies.



The chief of Guatavita, perfectly naked, was

anointed all over, and then covered with gold-dust,

so that he appeared to be a golden man, El Dorado.

He then dived, while offerings of gold were thrown

into the lake. The banks were crowded with

devotees, all with their presents. It must have

been a strange ceremony—indeed, quite unique.

This love of the mysterious and devotion to the

heroes or heroines of strange legends was a phase

in the character of this interesting people.

It is said that when the Spaniards came, much

gold was thrown into the lake of Guatavita. The

chief of Simijaca alone threw forty quintals of fine

gold into it. Spaniards, thirsting for gold, tried

to drain the lake. Lázaro Fonte tried. Then

Antonio de Sepulveda of Bogotá undertook the

work in 1580. The soundings gave twenty-five

fathoms. About 6000 ducados of gold were found

near the shore; but funds were short and the

attempt was abandoned. An account of a more

recent attempt to drain the lake, by José Ignacio

Paris in 1822, was given by Captain Cochrane, R.N.,

in his book of travels.1 Humboldt has given a

view of Lake Guatavita2 in the ‘Vues des

1 Travels in Colombia, ii. 193-208.

2 Plate 60 of folio ed.; i. 19, 8vo ed.



Cordilleras/ It was a dreary place enough.; only

a little mountain tarn, in the absence of the golden

chief, the gorgeous ceremony, and the attendant


Fond as they were of this romantic hero-wor-

ship, in which they could indulge at Guatavita and

many such places where folk-lore was stored.

the real business religion of the Chibcha people

was the worship and propitiation of the celestial

body which could give or withhold a plentiful


The temples of the Chibchas were large buildings,

the most sacred being that of the Iraca at Suamo

(Sogamoso), near Tunja. Round the walls stood

large vases of different shapes to receive offerings.

Some were figures of clay with holes in the upper

part; others were simple jars buried in the ground,

except the mouth. The priests, called Jeques,

had dwellings near the temples, and they had

schools into which those destined for the priesthood

entered very young, for a long and careful train-

ing was essential. It was most important that

1 Rumours of ‘ El Dorado ‘ spread over Europe. The Spaniards

sought for him in the basin of the Amazons, the English on the

Orinoco, the Germans in the Venezuelan forests; while all the time

he was the hero of a local ceremony in a tarn of the Chibcha




the neophytes should thoroughly understand the

principle of the Chibcha calendar, which was rather

complicated, and the religious system which was,

in great part, based upon it.

The only deity to which a human sacrifice was

ever offered was the sun. The stones which re-

ceived the first rays of the rising sun were anointed

with the young victim’s blood. All connected

with this solemn sacrifice had a symbolic relation

to the division of time, the calendar, and the

ingenious intercalations dominating the course of

sowing and harvest.

The sacrificial victim was taken as a child,

and very carefully trained and educated by the

priests. He was called the Gueso, or c homeless one.’

He had another name, Quyhyca, meaning a ‘ door’

and a ‘ mouth.’ On attaining his fifteenth year, the

ceremony was performed with great pomp. There

was a wide, level road from the chief’s house to

the sacrificial post, down which the procession went.

The people came in batches, dressed in skins of

pumas and jaguars and adorned with jewels.

Behind, was a throng of dancers and singers. It

was all symbolic. The victim was fastened to the

carved post by a rope, the heart was cut out, and

offered to the solar deity. f What I loved best, to



thee I gave/ Less precious gifts were offered

also: parrots and macaws from the distant

forests, deer and partridges from their own


As the civilisation of the Chibchas advanced

there would probably have been something substi-

tuted for the human victims, such as a ram caught

in a thicket or two pigeons. This was the case

in Peru, llamas taking the place of human beings.

At the time when their existence as free agents

ended, the Chibcha legislators thought that the

dramatic character of the sacrifice was calculated

to arouse the religious feeling of the people, and

impress them with the duty of worshipping and

sacrificing to the sun; for on the beneficent care

of the solar deity depended their means of


Thus the Chibchas believed in a creator, or

great first cause, called Chiminigagua—a venerated

name, but needing no special propitiation or worship.

Their principal deities were the sun and moon,

which were earnestly prayed to and propitiated,

and to the sun alone was a human sacrifice offered.

Not only were these celestial bodies supposed to

control and have power over all the different phases

of the crops on which the people’s subsistence




depended, but they were also intimately connected

witb all calculations needed for the adjustment

of their calendar. The marriage of the sun (Sua)

and the moon (Chie) refer to the complicated

system of bringing the lunar in unison with the

solar year. Bochica, with close solar connection,

if not actually dwelling in the sun, seems to form

a link between the celestial and the anthropomorphic

phases of the Chibcha religion. His intervention

to create the waterfall of Tequendama, and his

guardianship of the rulers of the people, partake

of the latter character, and bring him, as it were,

into fellowship with the demigods, heroes, and

heroines created by the Chibcha mind when

imagination was given full play. These people

seemed to need something nearer and dearer than

the great solar deity to which to bring offerings,

and on which to indulge their religious tendencies,

after giving due worship to their sun-god.



IN considering the civilisation of the Chibchas.

we must always have it in our minds that it was

a civilisation advancing on its own lines and in its

own way—still crude and unformed in many ways

—but with an onward progress. In this condition

a destructive cataclysm came, like a bolt from the

blue, and there was an end. The Chibchas had

long been an agricultural people, probably for

many ages. One reason for this belief is that,

in their language, there were so many words for

different kinds of the products of their crops.

For various sorts and colours of maize there

were eight, for potatoes ten words. This means

centuries of cultivation.

Thus the language made progress as the needs

for a fuller vocabulary increased. Some notice of

it is desirable in a study of the Chibcha civilisa-

tion, because it is so closely connected with the

details of the calendar; and the correct principle




on which that calendar is founded is one of the

proofs that the culture of the Chibchas had reached

a stage beyond that of barbarism.

Chibcha has been a dead language for upwards

of two centuries.1 The only printed grammar

and vocabulary actually taken from the mouths

of the people themselves was written, under orders

from his superiors, by a native of Bogota, early

in the seventeenth century. This was a priest,

who was an excellent Chibcha scholar, Dr. Bernardo

de Lugo, whose work was published at Madrid in

1619. It is now very rarely to be met with.2

Another native of the Chibcha country, an eminent

antiquary, Don Ezequiel Uricoechea, has written

a more complete grammar and dictionary of the

language, based on the work of Lugo and on three

manuscripts, concerning the history and character

of which he does not, however, supply any infor-

mation. His work is the best and most detailed

1 Only eight words have survived, and are now used by the

natives of Bogotá, of Spanish descent. These are: chajuá, rest;

chiguaca, purslain; chiza, the larva of a beetle; chucua, a fishery;

cuba, a younger brother; afutynsuca, rot in potatoes; guapucha, a

small fish; iomgo, the share of the potato harvest given to those

who have helped; and chunso, small idol of gold or other metal.

3 Gramática de la lengua Chibcha por Bernardo de Lugo

(Madrid, 1619). Colonel Acosta mentions a dictionary and grammar

of the Chibcha language in MS. with no author’s name. Grammar,

96 pp. in 12mo; dictionary, 200 pp.



that exists on the subject. It was published at

Paris in 1871.1

The language, with a fairly full vocabulary,

is somewhat lacking in grammatical construction.

The nouns, substantive and adjective, have no

cases, except, in some words, a possessive genitive ;

no genders and no plurals. Cases are provided for

by prepositions following the word. The plural

is indicated sometimes by the actual number

being given, at others by the verb. The pronouns

denote the persons of the verb substantive, gue,

which only has one mood and two forms for tenses,

gue for present and preterite, nga for future. There

is also a negative verb substantive. The verbs

have two endings for the first person indicative,

scua and suca, the participle forming in nca.

As is the case with several other South American

languages, there are a good many words to de-

note different degrees of relationship. There are

twenty-nine in the Chibcha language.

The system of numeration is complete. The

first ten numbers are counted on the fingers;

for the next ten the numbers were repeated with

1 Gramática, vocabulario, catecismo y confesionario de la lengua

Chibcha, según antiguos manuscritos anominos e inéditos, aumentados

i corregidos por E. üricoechea, p. 252 (Paris, 1871).




the word quihicha added, which means a toe.

There is a special word for twenty, gueta, and

the former twenty words for numerals are re-

peated with the addition of the word asaquy

(and more) up to forty, and so on, to a hundred

in twenties, a hundred being gue hisca (five


There is a close connection between the unit

numerals and the calendar, which is thus explained.

The day was sua, the night za. The two

together had four divisions : from sunrise to noon

called sua mena, noon to sunset sua meca, sunset

to midnight zasca, and midnight to sunrise cagui.

Three days made a week and ten weeks made

a month. The days of the months were denoted

by the ten numerals repeated three times. So

that ata (one) is the first, eleventh, and twenty-

first of each month.

The ordinary year consisted of twenty months

and was called Zocam. There was also an

astronomical year of the priests and other initiated

persons which consisted of thirty-seven months,

or three of our years and one intercalated month,

to reconcile the difference between the lunar and

solar years. The cycle consisted of twenty of these

astronomical years, or sixty of our years.



The names of all the first ten numerals had

hieroglyphic figures attached to them which had

reference to the phases of the moon, to the seasons

connected with the sowing, growth, and harvesting

of their crops, and to their superstitions, and

thus they lead us directly to the formation of the


One was Ata, represented by a toad in the act

of leaping, which was the symbol for water. The

time of sowing.

Two was Bosa, the sign of which was a nose

with open nostrils. It represented a sowing round

the central sowing to preserve the latter from harm.

Three was Mica, for which the sign was two

eyes open. Time for selecting seed.

Four was Muyhica, two eyes shut. The

dark and rainy season.

Five was Hizca. The hieroglyphic was two

figures united, denoting the wedding of sun and

moon, rest and a green earth.

Six was Ta, the sign being a post with a rope

attached, the G-uesa sacrifice. Harvest.

Seven was Cuhwpcua, of which the sign was two

ears. Time for storing in granaries.

Eight was Suhuza, the sign being a tail or the

end, after the harvesting.

D 2



Nine was Aca, two toads one on the other,

the time of generation.

Ten was UbcMhica, the sign being an ear. Time

of full moon.

Twenty. Gueta, had for its sign a toad displayed

or spread out, symbol of felicity. Home and farm.

Evidently the Chibchas were on the eve of

inventing a system of hieroglyphic writing.

The ordinary year consisted of twenty moons

or months. When it was terminated they counted

another twenty months, and so on until they had

completed twenty of these twenties. The inter-

calation of a month became necessary after the

thirty-sixth month, to make the lunar correspond

with the solar year. The ordinary year of twenty

months was used by the people without the inter-

calation being noticed, while the initiated had

their astronomical year of thirty-seven months

in which months were intercalated at the right

time, in succession, through the cycle. Carved

stones have been found, with the object of illus-

trating the intercalation of the different months

indicated by their symbols. These stones were

usually circular, but some were pentagons, to

signify that they refer to five intercalary years,

the twelfth part of the cycle. The Chibcha cycle



of twenty years of thirty-seven moons each, equal

to sixty of our years, was divided into four periods

of ten Chibcha years, equal to fifteen of our years.

A grand sacrifice of the Guesa took place át the

end of each of the fifteen years. When the cycle

is completed, Ata, the first numeral and month

when the cycle began, returns to that place again,

all the other months having held it in turn, during

the interval.

It was a priest named Dr. Don José Domingo

Duquesne de la Madrid, the Cura of the Chibcha

village of Gachancipá, who made a special study

of the Chibcha calendar, discovering and de-

cyphering some astronomical stones, and he fully

discussed the system by which their intercalation

made the lunar year periodically conform to the

solar year. Dr. Duquesne’s manuscript was shown,

by Dr. José Celestino de Mutis, the eminent

botanist, to Baron Humboldt at Bogotá, who

published some account of it.1 But the whole text

was first published by Colonel Acosta.3

1 Vues des CordilUres, et monuments des peuples indigenes de

VAmerique, par Alexandre de Humboldt (Paris, 1810).

2 ‘ Disertación sobre el calendario de los Muyscas dedicada a

Señor Dr. Don José Celestino de Mutis por el Dr. Don José Domingo

Duquesne de la Madrid, Cura de la Iglesia de Gachancipá.’ It

forms an appendix to Colonel Acosta’s work—Compendio Histórico

de la Nueva Granada (Paris, 1848).


The system of intercalation worked out auto-

matically and the initiated were enabled to regulate

the times and seasons with ease and accuracy.

They taught their sons with care and tenacity.

marking the seasons by festivals, and by the

periodical sacrifices, in order firmly to impress

the memory.

But observations for times of solstice and

equinox are essential to initiate such a system,

and to adjust and confirm the calculations. None

are mentioned. The Peruvians made such obser-

vations regularly to correct the lunar year, and

inserted the required intercalations. With the

Chibchas there were none. Yet at some time or

other, when their system was worked out, observa-

tions must have been taken. This seems to

suggest that there is a foundation of truth in their

traditions that in the distant past, strangers

arrived to instruct them—Bochica and Garachacha.

If so, I should be inclined to think that their

most probable origin was the ancient megalithic

empire of Peru, which flourished previous to that

of the Incas. The traces of these instructors are

to be found in the two Quichua words, topu, a

pin of gold, and the word for a rainbow, which

has a resemblance in the two languages. They



got imbedded in the Chibcha.1 In the Andean

region the advance was ever from the south north-

wards, of which there are many indications. The

subject has been discussed elsewhere.3

It will, I think, be seen that there is reason to

conclude, from all that is known of the Chibcha

language, religion, and calendar, that their civilisa-

tion will bear comparison with that of the Aztecs,

and of the earlier period of the Incas before their

great conquests were commenced. There is no

evidence of any foreign communication, beyond the

possible arrival of the two instructors, venerated as

demigods in after ages. Allowing for the possi-

bility of that ancient help the Chibchas were

working out their civilisation without further

assistance from without.

1 Cuchavira was the name of the Chibcha rainbow god, but

the ordinary word is Chuquy. In the Inca language it is Cuychi,

The Inca word for a gold breast-pin is topu, and it is the same in


2 See The Incas of Peru, chap. ii.



THE Chibcha people were governed by two

sovereigns: the Zipa in the southern half of the

country, including the plain of Bogotá; and the

Zaque in the northern half. There was also a

religious chief called Iraca at the great temple of

Suamo, about twenty miles from Tunja, the

capital of the Zaque. This office, and the suc-

cession to it, was instituted by the mythical

civiliser Garachacha. The Iraca was to be

elected alternately from among the inhabitants

of two districts 1 by four chiefs.2

The Zipa and Zaque were despotic, ordaining

laws, administering justice, presiding over festivals,

and leading their armies. The veneration of their

subjects was profound. They were surrounded

by Usaques, or chiefs of provinces. When,

previously, independent chiefs were reduced to

1 Tobaza and Firábitóba.

2 The chiefs of Gameza, Busbanza, Pesca, and Toca.




submission they were not deprived, but continued

to bold their territories as fiefs of the sovereign.

The Zipa had many concubines, called Thiguyes,

but only one recognised wife. The law of succes-

sion was one which also existed in other far-distant

parts of the world. It was not the son of the

sovereign who succeeded, but the eldest son of his

sister. This heir was obliged to enter a house of

seclusion at Chia, a hill rising out of the plain of

Bogotá, at the age of sixteen. Here he had to

receive instruction and to undergo a series of

fasts. This peculiar law ensured the absolute

certainty of descent from ancestral Zipas, though

not in the male line. The heir became Usaque, or

chief of Chia.

There was the same rule of succession in the

family of the chief of Quito, and among the tribes

in the Cauca Valley, as we are told by Cieza de

Leon; nor was the rule peculiar to the New World.

The Zamorin of Calicut, the Rajahs of Cochin and

Travancore, all the Nairs of Malabar and the

people of Cañara have the same law of succession;

also the chief of Tipperah, the Khasias of Sylhet,

and the Bintennes of Ceylon. In North America

the Natchez and Huron had this kind of succession,

as well as the aborigines of Hayti; also some



Malays in Sumatra, the Malagazis, Fijis, and

certain negro tribes of the Niger.

The capital of the Zipa was at a place called

Muequeta, surrounded by lakes and branches of

the river. Here were the various buildings and

storehouses which together formed the sovereign’s

palace. The walls were of wood and adobe, and

the roofs were thatched. The interior was more

suitable for a regal court. The walls were lined

with canes secured by cords worked into patterns

in various colours, while cotton cloths covered the

wooden thrones and chairs, and the ground was

carpeted with matting. But no detailed description

of the Zipa’s palaces has come down to us.

The Zipa also had several pleasure houses

in the country. There was one at Tabio, with

gardens and baths of thermal waters ; another at

Tinansucá on the descending slope of the cordillera ;

another at Theusaquillo on the site of the present

city of Bogotá. The Zipa was carried in a litter,

a privilege which he alone enjoyed. On his death

the Zipa’s body was embalmed and placed in

the trunk of a hollowed tree, lined with gold.

The secret of the place of sepulture was well kept,

and never disclosed to the Spaniards. The bodies

of Usaques were buried in vaults, with jewels,



gold ornaments, their arms, and food. From one

cemetery gold worth 1000 golden ducats was


The Zaque of Tunja lived in similar state, and

had the same despotic powers. It is uncertain

how far back the dynasties of the Zipa and Zaque

traced their descents. A record of their transactions

has only been preserved by the Spaniards for

about three generations. But their origin must

go far back into remote ages, for some of them

have mythical legends attached to their names.

Thus one of the ancient Zaques, named Tomagata,

is said to have had only one eye, which was made up

for by his having four ears, and a tail like that of

a jaguar. He lived for more than a hundred years,

and was given power by the sun to change himself

into a jaguar, a serpent, or a lizard. On his death

his subjects passed him up to the starry heavens

as a terrifying comet. He was childless, and was

succeeded as Zaque by his brother Tutasua. The

sovereigns of Tunja were gradually losing territory

to the Zipa.

The first Zipa, whose name and deeds have

been preserved, was reigning in about 1450. His

name was Saguanmachica. The submission of

surrounding chiefs was enforced, and six important



Usaques1 tad been subdued shortly before this

Zipa’s reign began. Saguanmachica appears to

have been a brave warrior bent on defending his

western frontier from the Panches, and on extending

his dominions in other directions. These Panches

were very formidable enemies, recklessly brave

and constantly on the war-path. The Zipa

always kept a strong force on the western frontier

to repel the inroads of this formidable enemy.

The arms of the Chibchas were slings, darts,

bows and arrows, and for close quarters lances and

clubs. The first project of Saguanmachica, after

his accession, was to reduce the Sutagaos and their

chief, Usathama, to submission. They possessed

fertile lands at the foot of the western mountains,

known as the valley of Fusagasugá. A chief named

Tibacui came to the assistance of his friend Usa-

thama. The Zipa was victorious, and Tibacui, who

was wounded, advised the Sutagaos to submit and

become subjects of their powerful antagonist.

Saguanmachica then turned his attention to

his northern and eastern frontiers, which alarmed

Michua, the Zaque of Tunja, who assembled his

army and advanced to oppose the aggression.

1 The chiefs of Ebaque, Guasca, Chiatavita, Zipaquirá, FuAoga&uca,

and Ebate.



The two armies met at a place called Chocontá,

and the battle was fiercely contested. Both the

sovereigns were slain, fighting valiantly, and the

contending hosts retired to celebrate the obsequies.

Saguanmachica had reigned for twenty years.

He was succeeded by his nephew Nemequene.

The first act of the new Zipa was to send his heir,

Thisquezuza, to chastise a rebellion of the Sutagaos.

With this object the young general made a broad

road over the mountains of Subyo, the vestiges

of which were to be seen for many years afterwards.

The Zipa himself attacked Guatavita, and reduced

that important province to final submission. With

Guatavita many chiefs of districts who were under

its influence also became subjects of the Zipa.

The next enterprise of Nemequene was the reduction

of Ubaque and the whole of the valley to the east-

ward of Bogotá,1 a campaign which occupied him

for several months.

Nemequene then assembled his whole force and

resolved to march against the Zaque at Tunja, to

avenge a quarrel of long standing. The Zaque,

strengthened by the adherence of the priestly

chief of Suamos and his followers, encamped near

Chocontá. It is said that the Zaque proposed to

1 Caquesa.


settle the dispute by single combat, but that the

Usaques, who were with the Zipa, would not consent,

considering that it would be beneath the dignity

of their sovereign.

The two armies then encountered each other,

and there was a well-contested battle, which con-

tinued all day. The Zipa was badly wounded

and carried off the field by his attendants, and the

Zaque gained a victory. But the Chibchas very

seldom followed up their successes. The Zipa

was carried back in his litter, to his capital at

Muequeta, with extraordinary rapidity by relays

of new men, but died of his wounds after five days.

He was succeeded, as Zipa, by his nephew


The influence of the Iraca, named Nompaneme,

secured a peace, or at least a truce of twenty months

which might lead to peace, between the Zipa and

the Zaque. This was an example of the influence

that could be used for good by the official

peacemaker and mediator of the Chibcha nation.

Quemunchatocha was the last Zaque but one, and

the last Zipa but one was Thisquezuza.

At this time the territory of the Zaque extended

to the Cordillera overhanging the tropical forests

to the east, to Suchica and Tin jaca on the west, to


Turmequéonthe south, and on the north to the terri-

tory of the valiant chief Tutasua,the last hero of the

Chibcha nation. He was practically independent.

The above meagre records are all that have come

down to us of the actual historical events in the

Chibcha kingdoms. Still, there is a good basis

on which to form a conception of the people,

their conditions, their aspirations, and their daily

life. We see them in a fertile land with a healthy

climate, securing the means of subsistence by

hard and intelligent labour. We see them, when

their wants increased as they advanced in civi-

lisation, establishing markets in the territories of

their neighbours and receiving the fruits of other

lands in exchange for their own products. We see

how their religion combined a worship of the deity,

upon whose goodwill their harvests depended,

with many imaginative legends. We see with

what skill and intelligence their calendar recon-

ciled the lunar with the solar year. We see their

loyalty and veneration for their sovereigns, and,

in these few records of events, we see them as valiant

in arms as they wer$ steadfast and progressive

in the arts of peace.

We leave them, in the last days of their exis-

tence as a nation, hstening to the advice of an



arbitrator and establishing peace within their

borders. Even then, though they knew it not,

dark threatening clouds were rising up on all

sides, and they were to be plunged by the fell

destroyers into black despair. Alas! for the

brave Chibchas and their dawning civilisation

about to be annihilated in flames and blood.

The Chibchas have not been fortunate in the

preservation of their story. Castellanos, Simon,

Piedrahita have told us something, but posterity

might and ought to have received much more.

The actual conqueror, Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada,

was an educated and accomplished man, and a

keen observer. He, it would seem, not only

collected information about the conquered people

and their history, but wrote it down. He was the

author of a work, which must have been valuable

and important. It was entitled ‘ Los tres ratos

de Suesca/ The meaning of this curious title is

that he wrote his work on the Chibchas during

three holidays (ratos) passed at his farm of Suesca

near Bogotá. He even obtained leave to print it

on November 4, 1568. Yet it is not now known

to exist, and we have to be satisfied with what

less able and less well-informed writers have been

able to hand down to us.



THE black clouds were gathering round the doomed

Chibcha nation, though still far below their horizon.

Even to the people on the coast the first warning

was, as it were, a little cloud out of the sea, like a

man’s hand. The wonderful apparition scarcely

portended what was to come. Two small vessels

were seen sailing along the coast. They were

wonderful, for such canoes, so large and so high

out of the water, had never been seen or heard of.

Then strange men came on shore, and bartered

with the natives for pearls and gold. In their

dealings they were kind and just, and the natives

were consequently quite friendly.

This was the small exploring expedition of

Rodrigo de Bastidas, a scrivener and a native of

Seville, who obtained a licence for his expedition

on June 5, 1500. The two small ships left

Cadiz in October. The expedition of Alonzo de

Ojeda had just returned, having discovered the

49 33



coast of what is now Venezuela, a name indeed

which Ojeda gave, as far as Cabo de la Vela, the

most northern point of South America. Bastidas

continued the discovery of the coast thence to the

Gulf of Darien, a distance of about 360 miles.

In those small ships there was a company of very

distinguished men. Bastidas deserves to be re-

membered for his justice and friendliness to the

natives, which eventually cost him his life. His

pilot, Juan de la Cosa, the companion of Columbus,

was one of the best, and certainly the best known,

cartographer of that age. He was a native of

Santoña, the ‘ Gibraltar of the North/ 1 in the

Spanish province called the ‘ Montaña/ and was

a man of substance. Last, but not least, one of

the greatest of the Spanish discoverers, Vasco

Nuñez de Balboa, was with Bastidas. He was

equally just to the natives, but perhaps more

influenced by the dictates of a wise policy than

by motives of humanity.

They were in some danger at the mouth of a

great river, to which the name of Magdalena

was given. This was in March 1501, and the

expedition sailed on to Zamba, to the harbour of

1 Nearly all writers, copying each other, erroneously call Juan

de la Cosa a Basque.



Cartagena, to the River Zenu, to the Gulf of Urabá,

and as far as Cape Tiburón where the isthmus

commences. Thus the whole coast of what is now

Colombia was discovered by these two little

vessels. If all future expeditions had been con-

ducted like that of Bastidas, there would be a

very different story to tell.

No doubt there were other visitors to the coast

who behaved very differently. One Christoval

Guerra was there, and carried off a number of

natives to slavery, thus altering their feelings for


Treated with kindness and justice, the natives

did not show themselves to be fierce and warlike.

But when robbery and outrage were attempted,

they soon taught the invaders that they had no

timid and submissive victims, like the natives of

Hayti, to deal with.

Some years passed away before another black

cloud lowered over the natives of the coast. In

1508 concessions were made for the settlement of

the Spanish main. Alonzo de Ojeda was appointed

Governor of the country from Cabo de la Vela

to the Gulf of Urabá. He had been a companion

of Columbus in his second voyage, and he had

commanded an expedition of his own, when he

B 2



discovered the coast of Venezuela. Recklessly-

brave, Ojeda had no other qualities fitting him for

command. He was not an organiser, was hasty

and imprudent, cruel and unjust to the natives.

He had with him his old shipmate, the great carto-

grapher, Juan de la Cosa. His government received

the name of New Andalusia. Another adventurer,

Diego Nicuesa, a well-to-do planter in San Domingo,

was, at the same time, appointed Governor of the

coast of the isthmus from the Gulf of Uraba to

Cape Gracias a Dios, his government being named

Castilla del Oro. There was a delay of two years

in Spain and at San Domingo. Ojeda was very

jealous of Nicuesa, because his wealth attracted

better men to his standard. It ended in a quarrel.

Ojeda hurried his departure and refused to be on

good terms with his colleague. In January 1510

Ojeda sailed from San Domingo, intending to

build the first fort and found his first town at

Calamar (Cartagena).

Ojeda arrived and disembarked his men, with

the intention of treating the natives as slaves,

their lives and property to be used as he pleased.

He seized seventy natives, and burnt eight because

they defended their houses. The rest retreated,

and the Spaniards followed them as far as a place



called Turbaco, where they were reinforced and

made a desperate stand. There was a fierce and

stubborn battle. The natives all joined in the

defence of their homes. Women fought by the

sides of their husbands, girls by the sides of their

brothers. The Spaniards had found their match.

They were entirely defeated with a loss of seventy

men. Juan de la Cosa was among the dead.

Ojeda fled into the forest, and eventually reached

the beach, where he was luckily seen from the ship

and taken on board, half dead from fatigue and


A few days afterwards Nicuesa arrived with his

squadron. Ojeda did not like to go on board his

colleague’s ship, not knowing what reception he

would have after his conduct at San Domingo.

But Nicuesa, when he heard of the disaster, at

once sent to offer help. A combined force was

landed and marched to Turbaco, taking the people

by surprise. There was a massacre of men, women,

and children. The expedition then went on to the

Gulf of Urabá, where the two leaders parted com-

pany. Nicuesa proceeded to his government of

Castilla de Oro, on the shores of the isthmus,

where, after much suffering and many disasters,

he at last abandoned hope. He returned to Urabá,



and embarking in a crazy boat for San Domingo

was lost at sea.

Ojeda built a stockaded fort on the west side

of the Gulf of Urabá, and about thirty huts for

his people, calling the place San Sebastian de Urabá.

Ojeda was a type of the worst kind of Spanish

‘ Conquistador/ Absolutely without fear either of

immediate danger or of consequences, he was

rash, imprudent, and improvident; and he treated

the natives with horrible cruelty, looking upon

them as slaves only fit for outrage, robbery, and

ill-treatment. At Urabá he found his match again,

for the natives were equally brave, and though not

so well armed, still well able to defend their homes

and retaliate in kind.

Ojeda’s first proceeding was to make an incursion

in order to obtain supplies by robbing the natives,

with every sort of cruelty and outrage. These

raids were continued until a chief, named Tiripi,

gathered his forces together and disputed the

advance of the marauders. There was a battle,

in which the Spaniards were defeated and fled

back to their fort, with their commander wounded

by an arrow There was serious loss, the fort was

invested, and the Spaniards who had taken refuge

there feared to come out. Soon they were threatened



with famine. They still had two small vessels.

Ojeda determined to go in one of them to San

Domingo for help. The rest were to follow if he

did not return in fifty days. He was shipwrecked

on the coast of Cuba, and after much suffering

and the lapse of several months, he reached San

Domingo and died there.

Ojeda, as a young man, was remarkable for his

skill in all martial exercises and for his reckless

daring. He was alike cool in moments of danger

and absolutely without fear. But he was undis-

ciplined, impatient of any control, and unjust.

His bad qualities increased with age, and his

misfortunes were due to his own misconduct.

The miserable remnant of Ojeda’s men was

left in charge of Francisco Pizarro, the future

Marquis and destroyer of Inca civilisation. The

fifty days expired, and they got on board the

remaining vessel, which was scarcely seaworthy,

to make their way to San Domingo.

Near Cartagena they met two vessels under

the command of the Bachiller Martin Fernandez de

Enciso, who was on his way to Urabá with rein-

forcements and supplies. In spite of their entreaties

he obliged the miserable remnant of Ojeda’s

expedition to turn back with him. He wanted


them for guides. On Enciso’s arrival at Cartagena

a remarkable thing happened. When the natives

found that Ojeda was not in command, and that

no robbery or kidnapping was intended, they

willingly brought supplies and became friendly.

Enciso next touched at the Zenu River, where his

avarice was aroused at the sight of gold brought

to barter, and he departed from the wise policy

he had adopted at Cartagena. He attacked the

village and committed outrages in searching for

the riches which he failed to discover.

On entering the Gulf of Urabá a great disaster

befell the expedition. The largest ship was wrecked

and everything was lost, arms, ammunition, stores,

provisions, and live stock. The native chiefs had

ordered the fort to be razed to the ground. They

were completely victorious, and have maintained

their independence to the present day—the Canas

and Casimanes.

The Spaniards were reduced to a hundred men

and two small vessels. They did not venture to

try conclusions with their gallant enemies, but

landed on the other side of the gulf, where they

succeeded in obtaining some supplies from the

natives and about 10,000 fesos of gold by




Then a great man rose up, a born leader, wise,

prudent, and humane. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa

was, I think, the greatest man that the discovery

of Spanish America called forth. He took command

at Urabá, and sent Enciso back to San Domingo,

and to Spain.

The news of gold found in such quantities

made a deep impression on the Spanish Govern-

ment. It was resolved to send out an expedition

on a very large scale. Much depended on the

commander, and as usual a bad choice was made.

Cortes, Nuñez de Balboa, Pizarro, Quesada were

not selected by the Spanish Government; they

selected themselves, or were appointed, as in the

case of Quesada, by local governors who knew

their worth. The Home Government only recog-

nised them when they had already won their way

to fame. Pedrarias, Nuñez de Vela, Alfonso de

Lugo were the sort of men selected by the Home

Government, either worthless or incapable or both.

In this respect the Spanish Home Government

does not stand alone among Home Governments.

Very much the contrary.

Pedro Arias Davila, brother of the Count of

Puñonrostro, was a colonel of infantry, and had the

name of ‘ El Justador ‘ in his youth from his skill



as a j ouster. He was arrogant, jealous, and self-

sufficient, and liad few qualifications for his new

post. He was accompanied among others by

Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, the well-known

historian; by Martin Fernandez de Enciso, a very

eminent geographer; by Pascual de Andagoya, who

recorded the history of the expedition;1 and by

other men of mark. The expedition consisted

of 1800 men in fifteen ships, and they sailed from

Spain on April 10,1514, arriving at the port of Santa

Martha in June, where they remained for some days.

We are mainly concerned with the expedition

of Pedrarias in this chapter, because it sailed along

our Colombian coast, and because it was honoured

by the presence of an eminent geographer per se.

Its history belongs to that of the isthmus.

The presence of Enciso gives lustre to the ex-

pedition. He was a cartographer, a good observer,

and he had the gift of lucid description. His

latitude of Cabo de la Vela is absolutely correct,

and it is from him alone that we have an intelligent

description of the coast. In his famous work,

the c Suma de Geografía/ there is a very interesting

account of the coast almost amounting to sailing

1 See my edition of the narrative of Pascual de Andagoya,

taken from Navarrete’s Collection, in the Hakluyt Society’s



directions, with latitudes, the distances between

anchorages, and other particulars.1

After leaving Cabo de la Vela he mentions

Yaharo, a good port with fertile land on the skirts

of the snowy mountains. Among other edible

fruits, Enciso here first became acquainted with

what we call the alligator (avocado) pear. He

describes the inside as like butter ‘ with such a

wonderful flavour, and a taste so good and pleasant

that it is wonderful/

He gives the latitude of Santa Martha, and

describes it as the best harbour on the coast. The

land, he says, is irrigated by hand and by channels,

the cereal and other crops they raise being thus

watered. It is an open country with lofty bare

mountains beyond, abounding in wild pigs and

deer. The people are warlike, and use poisoned

arrows. They also grow much cotton and weave

cloths. They have a great deal of gold and copper,

and have discovered an excellent way of gilding

the copper.

Enciso describes a sort of upas-tree with wild

poisonous fruit. He says that when a man eats

1 La Suma de Geografía del Bachiller Martin Fernandez de

Enciso, Alguazil Mayor del Castilla del Oro (Seville, 1519), eighty

leaves. The work of Enciso is extremely rare, and fetches

extraordinarily high prices.



one of these apples, maggots breed in his body,

and if be rests under the tree his head begins to

ache. If he stays long his sight begins to fail,

and if he sleeps under it he loses his sight.

Enciso adds that he has seen all this and knows

by experience.

Erom Santa Martha the coast turns south for

sixty miles, and further on the great Eiver Magda-

lena enters the sea. Then the coast turns more

west to the Port of Zamba in 11°30′ 1ST., the land

being flat, in beautiful savannas, and well peopled.

Enciso gives useful directions for entering the

harbour of Cartagena. He described the people as

being well disposed but warlike, using bows and

arrows, and the women fight as well as the men.

He captured a girl of eighteen, who was particu-

larly warlike. The young lady told him that she

had killed eight Spaniards before she was

taken. Enciso adds that these people grow maize

and make good bread which is very nourishing,

and a fermented liquor. Sailing onwards he next

mentions a large and good harbour at the mouth

of the River Zenu, where they make salt, twenty-five

leagues from Cartagena in 9° N. He describes

the method of interring the chiefs at Zenu. At

this place there was much fine gold, the people


using it for ornaments. They said it came from

mountains whence flowed the River Zenu.

Finally, as regards our Colombian coast, the

distinguished geographer came to the Gulf of

Urabá, fourteen leagues long. Enciso gives a very

interesting account of the animals he saw in Darien,

especially of the tapirs, jaguars, peccaries, and

alligators, and he praises the flesh and eggs of the

iguanas as excellent food. Here we must leave

our illustrious guide, who describes so well and

clearly the whole sea:coast with which this history

is concerned.

These visits of Spaniards to the coast, with

their attendant robberies and outrages, were the

threatening black clouds which hung over the

unfortunate natives, and would burst upon them

with destructive force when the permanent settle-

ments commenced.



VASCO NUNEZ DE BALBOA was born in 1475, and

having gone out to the Indies at an early age,

he joined the expedition of Bastidas, and thus

became acquainted with the Spanish main from

Cabo de la Vela to Darien. He also became

impressed with the wisdom of Bastidas in treating

the natives with fairness and humanity. Of the

next eight or nine years of his life nothing is known.

It was probably passed at San Domingo. For

when Enciso sailed with succour for the starving

remnant of Ojeda’s expedition in the G-ulf of

Urabá, Vasco Nunez was on board one of the

ships, headed up in a cask, to escape from his


We have seen that the expedition of Enciso

met the Ojeda remnant at sea in a crazy vessel

under the command of Francisco Pizarro, and

that he forced the starving people to return, but

he brought no help, for he wrecked his largest



ship, with the provisions and stores on board,

at the entrance to the Gulf of Urabá. The miser-

able colony found itself in a worse plight than it

was before, for there were many more mouths to

feed. Enciso was sent back to San Domingo.

They had no use for him. He was an eminent

geographer, but no good in an emergency.

Vasco Nuñez de Balboa was at once received

as leader of the forlorn body of starving men in

the Gulf of Darien. Francisco Pizarro, though

several years older, at once accepted a subordinate

position. No one, indeed,, would seek for such a

command, except a man who sometimes rises

with the occasion, and whose genius tells him that

he alone can stem the tide of ruin and despair.

Vasco Nuñez was such a man. His first care

was to gather together the miserable remnants

of the expeditions of Ojeda and Nicuesa. Some

were in the so-called town of Santa Maria la

Antigua, in the Gulf of Urabá or Darien; others

scattered along the coast, or with native chiefs.

He brought them all together, nursed the sick,

allotted houses and patches for cultivation, and

made them all feel that theirs was a born leader

of men to rule over them and care for them.

It was necessary to make long excursions in


search of food; and in all these journeys Vasco

Nuñez was not only with his men. but leading

them, and pioneering the way through dense

forests and fetid swamps. Sometimes he had to

take them for a league or more stripped naked,

with their clothes on shields on their heads ; then

through dense forest, then another morass; and

this for many days, to obtain supplies and induce

the natives to trade.

One secret of the success of Vasco Nuñez was

his constant care to prevent the natives from being

robbed or ill-treated. Excepting some savage

tribes to the south, he was successful in drawing

them into friendship. They were very friendly

when fairly treated, but valiant and indomitable

when attacked or attempted to be enslaved.

Vasco Nuñez, by his wise policy of conciliation,

obtained much information from them. He was

welcomed by the chiefs in their houses, and gained’

influence over them, especially over two powerful

rulers in the isthmus named Careta, lord of Coiba,

and Comogue. He found them in a beautiful

country, clear of forest, except groves of trees

near the banks of mountain streams.

There were no villages, each chief having a

few houses close together on his land where the



crops were sown: one such, settlement inland,

and another on the coast. The house of the

Comogue chief was 150 feet long by 80 feet broad.

Here the chief sat in judgment and settled all

disputes. Each principal stated his case and

never dared to lie, so that no witnesses were

required. The chief then gave his decision and

there was an end of the matter. The chief received

no rent nor tribute, only personal service. He

was feared and loved. He had one wife; only

her sons succeeding. The people had maize and

bean crops, and also hunted game and fished in

the rivers. Their weapons were darts and clubs.

Deer and peccaries abounded, the latter in large

herds; and among game-birds the curassow,1

doves, and water-fowl. When there was a great

hunt the people lighted fires in the grass, and the

deer, half blinded by the smoke, came out within

easy range of the stone-tipped darts. The jaguars

were numerous and sufficiently dangerous to make

it necessary to close the houses against them at


Of the religion of the Darien Indians little can

be known, for the superstitious Spaniards thought

1 Turkeys are Mexican birds, not found further south than




that the deities were devils, the priests were wizards,

and their prayers were talks with the devil. There

is a more authentic account of the customs con-

nected with interments, for Andagoya was present

at the ceremonies on the occasion of the death of

the chief of Pocorosa.

The body was wrapped in the richest cloths

adorned with gold. The relations then suspended

it from the roof with cords, and lighted charcoal

fires under it. The body melted with the heat,

and when it was quite dried, it was suspended in

the new chief’s palace. During this process the

mourners sat round the body, in black mantles,

day and night, no one else entering. They had

a drum giving out a deep sound, and they struck

blows on it from time to time as a sign of mourning.

On the anniversary festival the body was burnt

to ashes.

Vasco Nunez obtained much information from

the chiefs Comogue and Careta. He heard that

most of the gold came from the south, found

either in the mountains or by washing the river-

sand ; and that there was a great chief in those

parts, named Davaive or Dobaybe, who bartered

for the gold with the tribes that collected it, and

had great store, with appliances for smelting.


In his visits to Careta, Vasco Nuñez fell in love

with the beautiful daughter of the chief, and

maintained an unswerving attachment for her to

the day of his death. From a son of the Comogue

chief he received the important tidings that at a

distance of three days’ journey were the shores

of another great ocean, which was always smooth

and never rough like the Carribean Sea, and that

in it there was great store of pearls. Hence-

forward it was his principal object to discover

the Pacific Ocean.

By the same vessel in which Enciso was sent

back, Vasco Nuñez wrote entreating the Admiral1

to send succour at once, for if it did not come

soon it would not be necessary to send it at all.

At length two vessels arrived with provisions,

and the title of’ Alcalde Mayor 9 from the Audiencia

of San Domingo for Vasco Nuñez.

Thus had this gifted man, by an extraordinary

combination of qualities—tact and sympathy in

dealing with his own countrymen, a policy of

humanity and justice in dealing with the natives,

prudence, firmness, marvellous energy and per-

severance—converted a starving and despairing

crowd into a prosperous colony. He now

1 The son of Columbus.

v 2


proceeded to make preparations for his great

discovery. But first he wrote a dispatch to the

Emperor, dated January 20, 1513, after two

years of untiring work in his sovereign’s service.

It is a document of the deepest interest,1 explain-

ing all that had been done, furnishing all the

information that had been collected, asking for

the supply of materials for shipbuilding, for

arms and reinforcements, and requesting that he

might be appointed Governor of the colony he

had created. Vasco Nunez sent an officer, named

Sebastian del Campo, in charge of the dispatch

and of 370 pesos de oro. This dispatch never

appears to have been answered. The only reply

was the dispatch of an incompetent malignant

old officer to supersede him, undo his excellent

work, and kill him.

It was on September 1, 1513, that Vasco

Nuñez de Balboa set out from Darien on his

memorable expedition. Francisco Pizarro was

among his chosen companions. He went by sea

to the Port of Coiba where his father-in-law, the

chief Careta, had supplied him with guides, warriors,

1 It has been preserved in the Collections of Navarrete, torn iii.,

No. 5, p. 375. There is a translation in the Introduction to the

narrative of Pascual de Andagoya, printed for the Hakluyt

Society, 1865.



and provisions. They were led through dense

forest, partly along the banks of the Chucunaque

Eiver, then up the cordillera until they reached

the summit, when the vast expanse of the Pacific

Ocean burst upon their astonished view. They

descended the slopes and reached the shores of

the Gulf of San Miguel. Then Vasco Nuñez de

Balboa plunged into the sea, waving the banner

of Castille above his head. He had discovered

the Pacific Ocean, the greatest discovery, and the

greatest achievement, at least in its consequences,

that was made and done in that age of der-

ring do. For it was due as much to his humane

policy as to his courage and resolution; as much

to his statesmanship as to his skill as a leader

of men.

From that time the mind of Vasco Nuñez

was set upon the building of ships to explore the

ocean he had discovered, a work of extreme diffi-

culty. He returned to his colony at Santa Maria

la Antigua, which consisted of 450 souls, and

continued to work with inexhaustible energy.

He had fortified the place with double pallisades

of strong wood, with clay between, and surrounded

them with a deep ditch.

Pedrarias arrived at Santa Maria la Antigua



in the end of June 1514 as Governor, with a great

staff of officials, a bishop, and 1200 men. When

he sent to apprise the Alcalde Mayor of his arrival,

the messenger found Vasco Nunez, who was never

idle, in cotton shirt, loose drawers, and sandals,

helping some natives to thatch a house. The

new Governor landed on June 30, and immediately

appointed Enciso, who was supposed to be his

enemy, to take the residencia of the Alcalde Mayor.

Nothing could be proved against him, but some-

thing was pretended, and he was heavily fined

and for some time under arrest.

The grand work of the illustrious coloniser was

ruthlessly destroyed. Robbery and murder took

the place of justice and conciliation. The first

act of Pedrarias was to send Juan de Ayora, one

of his captains, to build forts in Comogue and

Pocorosa. Ayora proceeded to torture and burn

the natives for gold, and then sailed away with it.

Bartolomé Hurtado, another of the Governor’s

men, was sent in search of Ayora, devastated

the country and brought back many slaves.

Then one Gaspar de Morales, the most infamous

of the gang, was sent across the isthmus to seek

for pearls in some islands off the coast, with eighty

men. The chiefs and people were very friendly.



In return he had the chiefs torn to pieces by blood-

hounds, killed many men and a hundred women

and children, burnt the houses and all the stores

of corn, and carried off many of the surviving

women. The enraged natives hung upon his

rear as he retreated. So he murdered the women

one by one. leaving their bodies in the road to

check the pursuit. ‘ He committed greater cruelties

than have ever been heard of among Arabs or any

other people/ The memory of Francisco Pizarro

must bear the infamy of having been second in

command in this expedition.

The feelings of Vasco Nuñez may be imagined

at witnessing all his wise and good policy destroyed

by these atrocities. At last, on October 16,

1515, he wrote to the Emperor Charles V. He

said : f He who would bring the colony back into

the condition it once was must neither sleep nor

be careless. The natives, formerly like sheep,

have become as fierce as lions. Once they came

out with presents. Now they go forth to kill.

Not a single friendly tribe is left, except Careta

who remains neutral/ Vasco Nuñez then gave

an accurate summary of the character of Pedrarias.

‘He is an honourable person, but very old for

this country and ill of a serious disease. He is



excessively impatient and very indifferent to the

welfare of his soldiers,1 yet he never punishes their

evil deeds and murders. He is much pleased to

see discords between one and another, fostering

it by speaking evil to one of the other. In him

reigns all the envy and avarice in the world. He

encourages tale-bearing, more easily believing evil

things than good; and he is without judgment

or any genius for government.”

Vasco Nuñez de Balboa was full of zeal and

anxiety to get ships afloat on the Pacific Ocean,

and to explore the vast unknown region. He sent

a friend, Francisco G-aravita, to Cuba for materials

to build ships and for shipwrights. Garavita re-

turned with what was required. But Pedrarias

was furious, declaring that it was done without

his sanction. Vasco Nuñez was arrested, and

confined in the Governor’s own house. Then the

good bishop, Dr. Quevedo, who had always been

a true friend to Vasco Nuñez, intervened. He

explained to the jealous old incapable how much

the plans of the great man he was persecuting

would redound to his own credit, and at last per-

suaded him to sanction and assist in the great work.

If he would refrain from hindering, it was all that

1 They were dying like rotten sheep.



was wanted. The bishop so gained npon Pedrarias

for the moment, that he actually consented to the

betrothal of Vasco Nunez with his daughter, who

was in Spain. It was a mere political arrange-

ment, for the true lover remained staunch in his

attachment to the fair daughter of Careta until


Thus temporarily freed from obstruction Vasco

Nuñez set to work with his never-failing energy

and forethought. He first formed a settlement

at Acia, a convenient port on the Atlantic side

whither the ship from Cuba was brought. The

stores and fittings were then landed, and the

tremendous problem of conveying all through

the dense forests, over the mountains to the

Pacific side, and building the ships had to be

solved. Vasco Nuñez was the man to do it.

The natives believed in him and trusted him.

No other man could have done it. The labour

was tremendous. Beams, planking, masts, sails,

ropes, ironwork, provisions had to be carried over

this terrible journey. Vasco Nuñez was fortunate

in finding a young comrade inspired with the same

lofty aims as himself. His name was Francisco

Compañón, and his aid was invaluable. He

worked himself, encouraged others, helped those



who broke down, and established a half-way bouse

with provisions on the summit of the cordillera.

Vasco Nuñez selected the shore of the Rio de la

Balsa, on the south side of the G-ulf of San Miguel.

as the place for building the ships; or at

Pegueo on the north side, according to another

authority. Many and great difficulties had to be

met and overcome. Huts had to be built and

the needs of his people attended to, always his

first care. There was much trouble with un-

seasoned timber, and some had to be felled on the

spot. At length the ships were completed, and

Vasco Nuñez was ready to start. The moment

he had longed for was very near.

The news arrived that a new Governor, named

Lope de Sosa, was appointed who might stop

the expedition. A messenger, named Botello, was

sent to Acia, to ascertain the truth.1 In the

same evening Vasco Nuñez had a conversation in

his hut with his friend the Licentiate Valderra-

bano. Their conclusion was that if the new

Governor had arrived the expedition should start

at once, but that if Pedrarias was still Governor

they would wait for some more stores that were due.

1 Lope de Sosa was on his way, but, unfortunately, he died at




It was raining, and a rascally sentry liad taken

skelter under the eaves, and was listening outside

the wall of canes. He quite misunderstood what

was said, and thought, or pretended to think, there

was a plot against Pedrarias, so he went off next

day to report it, and get a reward.

The malignant old man was eaten up with

jealousy and spite, and resolved to make this an

excuse for getting rid of Vasco Nuñez. He had

long ago repented of the reconciliation negotiated

by the good bishop. He proceeded by sea to Acia,

with his officials, and sent a message to Vasco

Nuñez requesting him to come to Acia, as he

wanted to consult him on business of importance,

and to give him his final instructions.

Vasco Nuñez suspected no treachery. A

warning was sent by a friend, Hernando de Aguello,

but the letter was intercepted. The great adminis-

trator had 300 men and four small vessels (called

‘ bergantins ‘) in the Gulf of San Miguel and could

have defied Pedrarias. The pity of it! He had

no suspicion. He went with his friend Valderra-

bano and a few servants. Outside Acia he was

met by Pizarro and a guard, who arrested and

chained him. He said: ‘ What is this, Francisco ?

You were not wont to come out in this fashion to


receive me/1 The royal officials came to the

illustrious prisoner, and he solemnly declared that

the testimony against him was false, and that

he was and always had been loyal to the King

and to his Governor. No one really doubted it.

But Pedrarias ordered the Alcalde Mayor, the

Licentiate Espinosa, to condemn Vasco Nuñez

and three of his friends to death. Espinosa

refused and protested, unless Pedrarias gave the

order himself in writing. This was done. Espinosa

then declared that the great services of Vasco

Nuñez should be considered and that there was

the right of appeal. This was refused, and the

four prisoners were brought out for execution.

Most unluckily the good Bishop Quevedo was not

at Acla. When the executioner cried out € This

is the justice of the “King and of our Lord Pedrarias

on a traitor and usurper/ Vasco Nuñez exclaimed

in a loud voice ‘ It is a he. It is false. I declare

this to God before whom I go, and I would that

1 Pizarro has only been seen as yet as an incompetent leader

of the Ojeda remnant, as a monster of cruelty under Morales, and

as a base traitor to his benefactor and friend. He afterwards proved

his capacity and indomitable resolution in the discovery and

conquest of Peru, but still with the taint of cruelty and treachery

upon him. In his last years, he certainly rose to the occasion, and

with great power and responsibilities he became another man;

but never such as Vasco Nuñez de Balboa.



all the King’s subjects were as faithful as I have

been/ He was beheaded over the trunk of a tree.

Then Valderrabano and Botello met the same fate.

The wretched old murderer was close to, gloating

over it, with his eye between the canes of a thin

wall. It was past sunset. The people came to

him and entreated him to spare Aguello, who

had tried to send the warning. He replied: 61

would sooner die than spare one of them/

The miscreant was never punished. The

authorities at San Domingo protested against the

outrage; but Pedrarias had interest at Court.

His wife was a niece of the Countess of Amoyo,

a powerful lady ; so the crime was condoned, and

the subsequent residencia of Pedrarias was a farce.

The death of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa was one

of the greatest calamities that could have happened

to South America at that time. He had collected

his little fleet in the Gulf of San Miguel, and was

about to sail into the unknown ocean which he had

discovered. The conquest of Peru would have been

a very different story from that which is inter-

woven with the ill-omened name of Pizarro. For

Vasco Nuñez was a very different man. He had

the true genius of a statesman and a warrior, was as

humane and judicious as he was firm of purpose


and indomitable of will. His death took place in

1517. aged forty-two.

The rest of the story is sad enough. Pedrarias

and his followers thought of nothing but seizing

the natives to sell as slaves. Those who resisted

were mutilated or burnt. The Spanish camp

was disorganised and dissolute. Pedrarias himself

was an inveterate gambler. His captains followed

his example. They gambled for slaves. All the

good work of Vasco Nuñez was undone. ‘ In a

short time neither chiefs nor Indians were to be

found in all the land/ says an actor in these

scenes of horror.

Pedrarias crossed the isthmus in 1519, em-

barked with his followers in the ships of Vasco

Nuñez, and sailed along the coast to Taboga,

eventually founding the city of Panama in 1519.

All the inhabitants of Santa Maria in the Gulf of

Urabá were forced to remove to the new settlement.

There was great loss and a frightful expenditure

of human life, through mismanagement and in-

capacity. In the end of 1519, Diego Alvites, a

more humane man than any of the other followers

of Pedrarias, founded Nombre de Dios on the oppo-

site side of the isthmus. The site was so unhealthy

that the town was abandoned and a settlement


was formed further west, in the time of Philip II,

and called Porto Bello, a mule track being made

thence to Panama.

An expedition was dispatched from Panama

under Hernando de Cordova, who discovered and

conquered Nicaragua, founding the city of Leon

as its capital. Pedrarias followed him to Leon,

and beheaded this subordinate, the discoverer of

Nicaragua, of whom he had become jealous. At

last a new governor was sent to Panama, in the

person of Pedro de los Rios, in 1526. Pedrarias

remained in Nicaragua, and died at Leon in 1530.

Panama, in future years, was ruled by an

Audiencia, or High Court with the President in

charge of the executive government.

The survivors of the natives of the isthmus

retreated further south into Darien, and, with

great bravery and determination, have retained

their independence down to the present day.



LIKE the discovery of the coast, the first settle-

ment was made by the same humane and good

man Rodrigo de Bastidas. He was settled in

San Domingo and fitted out his expedition there.

The Spanish Government had conceded to him

the right to build a fort and form a settlement

on any part of the coast between Cabo de la Vela

and the mouths of the Magdalena River. He

left San Domingo with four vessels in July 1525,

and sailed across to the Spanish main, anchoring

off Santa Martha and landing there. He con-

tinued his wise policy of treating the natives with

kindness and justice, and succeeded in making

friendly treaties with tribes called Gairas, Tagangus,

and Dorsinos. His own men were cutting wood

to build houses at the new settlement, but Bastidas

would not allow the natives to be forced to work.

Bastidas also obtained a considerable amount of

gold which he refused to distribute until the




expenses connected with, fitting out the expe-

dition had been repaid. These things caused great

discontent, as the natives had always hitherto been

treated as slaves.

A plot was formed to murder the G-overnor.

at a time when he was confined to his bed with

a fever. The ringleader was the lieutenant of

Bastidas, named Juan de Villafuerte. The villains

broke into his room, stabbed him in several places,

and left him for dead. But he was still alive and,

calling out for help, one of his captains, named

Rodrigo Palomino, came to his assistance. The

other settlers were indignant, and the murderers

had to take refuge in the surrounding forests.

Most of them were eventually captured and sent

to San Domingo where they met with the fate they

deserved. The unfortunate Governor appointed

Palomino as his successor, and proceeded to San

Domingo to be cured of his wounds. They got

worse during the voyage, and Bastidas died on

his arrival at Cuba, the victim of his own humanity

and love of justice. His memory deserves to be

preserved, for it is the fashion to denounce all the

Spanish ‘ Conquistadores9 as cruel and ruthless

oppressors. This was not so. Much of what was

done was due to the age, and not to anything



specially bad in the Spanish character. There

were revolting barbarities, and the thirst for gold

seemed to turn men into fiends. But there were

some ‘ Conquistadores/ indeed not a few. who

belonged to the type of the good and true knight.

Rodrigo de Bastidas.

Rodrigo Palomino, the successor of Bastidas

as Governor of Santa Martha, was a bold and re-

sourceful captain, but if he ever treated the natives

with any forbearance it was from policy and not

from any higher motive. His plan was to behave

fairly well to the tribes in the immediate neighbour-

hood, in order that they might continue to bring

in provisions, and to plunder and enslave those at

a distance. He was a good leader, and the wild

spirits he was associated with became attached to


In pursuance of his policy Palomino made

raids into the countries of the more distant tribes,

despoiling them of all their property and taking

many to be sold as slaves at San Domingo. Mean-

while Santa Martha was frequented by vessels,

supplies of all kinds arrived, houses were built,

and the place began to assume the appearance

of a town, while corn and seeds of vegetables were

sown in the adjacent lands.



But the neighbourhood began to be exhausted

of supplies, and Palomino felt obliged to undertake

a more distant foray. He invaded the rugged

mountains of Bonda to the south, a country so

wild and difficult that horses could not be taken.

Here the brave defenders of their homes had an

advantage. They knew the country and could

oppose the advance of their enemies at every turn,

and select their own position for resistance. The

Spaniards were defeated and fled back to Santa

Martha, followed into the plain by the victorious


On hearing of the death of Bastidas, the Royal

Audience1 of San Domingo appointed Pedro Vadillo

to succeed him as Governor of Santa Martha.

His lieutenant was Pedro de Heredia, and he

took with him a force of 200 men. But Palomino

refused to give up charge or to let Vadillo land,

maintaining that he, as lieutenant to Bastidas,

was his legitimate successor. Vadillo then landed

further up the coast, and began to construct a fort,

which Palomino intended to attack. A priest

intervened, and it was agreed that Palomino and

Vadillo should be joint Governors until a decision

arrived from the Cíourt of Spain. The two

1 High Court of Justice with some executive powers.

G 2



marauders continued their attacks on the natives.

Their first combined raid was on a well-peopled

slope of the mountains near the source of the

Ciénaga, inhabited by a branch of the Tairona

tribe. The Spaniards were repulsed with loss.

Next they set out to pillage a populous country

up the coast, called La Ramada. The people had

been most hospitable to the Spaniards and had

given them gold without payment. Vadillo

marched with 300 foot and seventy horse, arriving

unopposed. Palomino followed with an escort,

but in crossing a river his horse slipped and fell.

Palomino was carried down by the current and

his body was never found. Having devastated

La Ramada, Vadillo went on to the valley of Upar,

converting a fertile land and happy people into

desolation and mourning. The same fate befell

the dwellers in the valley of Eupari. Returning

to Santa Martha he began to imprison, torture,

and kill the followers of Palomino. His conduct

became known, and it was resolved to supersede

him. Garcia de Lerma was selected as the new

Governor of Santa Martha, and he sent an officer,

the Factor Grajeda, in advance, to examine into

Vadilk/s conduct. This judge lost no time. As

soon’ as he arrived he imprisoned the disgraced



Governor and began to torture him. This

was stopped on tbe arrival of Garcia de Lerma,

and Vadillo was sent to be tried in Spain. But

bis sbip was wrecked, and tbe cruel wretch was


The new Governor improved the state of affairs,

built houses and a church, and a masonry house

for himself. He caused several raids to be made

into the mountains in search of provisions and

gold. But his chief service was the dispatch of

expeditions to explore the Magdalena. He em-

ployed a Portuguese, named Melo, who went as far

as Malambo, and on his return submitted a plan

for further exploration, but he died. Another

party, with boats, got up the river as far as the

junction with the Cauca, and then went up the

Cauca for some distance. But they suffered so

much from insects and the heat that they returned

to Santa Martha in 1532. They found that Lerma

was dead, and the Oidor Infante was in temporary

charge. Reportimientos of natives had been granted

to various adventurers whose only thought was

plunder, and every sort of outrage was being com-

mitted, totally regardless of the humane orders

and instructions of the Spanish Government.

Thus a settlement was established at Santa Martha,


such as it was, whence the chief danger to the

Chibchas was fated to come.

Pedro de Heredia, who had served under

Vadillo at Santa Martha, had returned to Spain

and obtained a concession on the coast from the

mouth of the Magdalena to the Gulf of Uraba.

Heredia was a native of Madrid, and had led a

wild life in his youth. He got his nose slit by some

roysterers in a street brawl, and the revenge he

took being of a decidedly illegal character, he

fled to San Domingo where he inherited an

estate from a relative, and on his return to Spain

his escapades were forgotten, and he found no

hindrance in fitting out his expedition. He

appointed Francisco Cesar, an able colleague, as

his lieutenant, and was well supplied with imple-

ments, tools, arms and ammunition, clothing, and

provisions. Leaving Cadiz in 1532, and touching

at Puerto Rico, he obtained many recruits at San

Domingo as an addition to his original 150 men,

and forty-seven horses, of which twenty-five

died on the voyage. His goal was the harbour

of Cartagena, so named by Bastidas, where

he arrived on January 14, 1533. This was

the second settlement established on the coast.

Heredia landed with fifty foot and twenty



horse, and he was accompanied by a native of

Zamba, named Catalina, a girl who had been

carried off to San Domingo, where she learnt

Spanish, so that she could act as an interpreter.

A place called Calamar was selected for the site

of the city of Cartagena. Regidores or magis-

trates were appointed, and a municipality was

established. Heredia made peace with the neigh-

bouring chiefs, so as to secure supplies for the new

city. At this period, whether from policy or any

better motive, he was humane and conciliatory to

the natives. In his very first expedition he came

back to Cartagena with gold amounting to

1,500,000 ducats, including a figure of massive

gold, found in a temple, which weighed five

arrobas. He had reached the famous cemeteries

of Zenu.

Cartagena progressed rapidly, and in January

1534 Heredia set out on another expedition in

search of gold, with his brother Alonso. His

lieutenant Cesar also made an important discovery

by crossing the mountains of Abibe and entering

the Cauca valley, where he found the people

numerous, clothed, and in good houses.

There was much discontent among the Spaniards,

as time went on, from the belief that the Governor


had concealed a great deal of gold, and when the

Oidor Vadillo arrived to examine into the state of

affairs, Heredia and his brother were thrown

into prison. They were sent to Spain in 1538,

where they were exonerated from all blame, and

the Governor Pedro de Heredia returned to

Cartagena again with full powers.

The two settlements of Santa Martha and

Cartagena were firmly established on the coast,

creating a terrible though unknown danger to the

Chibchas from the north. Another danger was

also threatening them on their eastern side.

The Velzers, merchant princes of Augsburg,

made a contract with the Government of Charles V

to conquer and make settlements in Venezuela.

A German, named Alfinger, was selected by the

Velzers as Governor of the new colony, and he

proceeded to Maracaibo in the end of 1530 with

a suitable force. The western limit of his jurisdic-

tion was the Cabo de la Vela. He found that the

neighbourhood of Coro was too barren to sustain

a permanent colony, so he set out on an expedition

to the westward in search of more fertile lands.

His party consisted of about 200 Spaniards and

hundreds of native porters. These natives were

chained together in a long fine, each man having



a ring round his neck attacked to the chain. When

one of the unfortunate prisoners was too ill or too

exhausted to go on. a servant of Alfinger. to save

time in unfastening, cut the poor creature’s head

off, and so let his body drop out.

This horrible incident leads to the conclusion

that the cruelties belonged to a cruel age, and

not specially to the Spanish character. For this

leader was a German. The Spaniards were often

very cruel in their eager thirst of gold, burning

and torturing the natives. They perpetrated

these atrocities when excited by a violent though

base passion. But for cold-blooded callous

brutality there is nothing equal to Alfinger’s

method of clearing his chain.

Alfinger reached the Magdalena by following

down the River Cesar to its confluence, and suc-

ceeded in collecting 60,000 pesos of gold. Ascending

the Sierra de Cachiri, many Spaniards without warm

clothing and 300 naked porters died of the cold.

The natives made constant attacks, and one is

glad to know that in one of the encounters Alfinger’s

servant, who cut off the heads, met with his deserts.

Soon afterwards Alfinger himself was wounded

in the throat and died after three days. The

retreat was most disastrous ; many died of hunger,



others were reduced to eating the flesh of the

native porters. The remnant reached the banks

of a river which they could not cross. Seeing

some canoes coming down with provisions, they

made piteous signs for help. The natives in the

canoes, moved by compassion, came to them and

gave them food. The wretches stabbed the man

who was landing provisions for them, and seized

the canoe. After three years the survivors reached


The next German Governor of Venezuela was

George of Spires, who expected to find populous

cities and fertile cultivated lands in the dense

forest of the Amazonian basin. He set out from

Coro with 300 foot and 100 horse, and after waiting

several months for the inundations to subside,

he directed his march to the south. In the second

rainy season he was encamped on the banks of the

Opia. The lofty mountains, the land of the Chib-

chas, were in sight to the westward, but luckily

the idea of George of Spires was to find a new

Peru to the south, so this danger was averted.

They pushed onwards, suffering terribly from hard-

ships of every kind until August 1536, when they

thought they had got definite news of a rich country

to the south. It was quite illusory, and at length,



decimated by fevers, attacks of natives and of

jaguars, tbe intrepid German explorer resolved

to return, reacting Coro in May 1538. George

of Spires was an upright honourable knight, and

he died while still Governor of Venezuela in 1545.

Another German, named Federman, who was

lieutenant to George of Spires, was equipped to

undertake another expedition. He was a brave

and expert commander beloved by his men, and

humane in his treatment of the natives. He set

out with about 200 men, reached the river Meta,

and eventually approached the land of the Chibchas

from the east.

The Chibcha people were in complete ignorance

of the dangers which were gradually surrounding

them. There was great danger in the formation

of the settlements at Santa Martha and Cartagena,

from the certainty that, sooner or later, the ruth-

less invaders would extend their incursions further

to the south. There was danger from the colony

of the Velzers to the east. Clouds also were

gathering to the west and to the south. But

the final doom came upon them as a bolt from

the blue.



THE doom of the Chibcha civilisation was closing

round the unfortunate people. We have seen

the two threatening settlements formed on the

northern coast whence the crushing blow was

to come. We have seen how the Spaniards, led

by the Veker Germans, had actually been in

sight of the Chibcha mountains to the east. Black

clouds were also gathering fast to the south and

west. The story of the discovery of the Cauca

valley and the loftier plateaux near its sources is

rather complicated, and it will be well to tell it

briefly in this place, though it overlaps and goes

beyond the period of the Chibcha conquest or,

rather, cataclysm.

We must picture to ourselves a very muddy

road near a village on the borders of Estremadura

and Andalusia in the south of Spain, where an

ill-conditioned young ruffian is brutally maltreating

a donkey, which could not get as fast as the savage



lad wanted through, the deep mire of a country-

lane. He ended by killing the poor beast. This

is the type of a ‘ Conquistador/ cruel, pitiless.

much enduring, and capable. The future 6 Con-

quistador 9 was afraid to go home after what he

had done. For it was the family donkey, and his

father was a very poor peasant. He ran away

to Seville. At that time Pedrarias was preparing

his great expedition to the isthmus. The young

ruffian offered himself as a soldier, a likely looking

lad enough so far as personal strength was con-

cerned. When asked for an account of himself

he only knew his Christian name, which was

Sebastian/ and that he came from a village called

Belalcazar. So they enlisted him, gave him the

name of Sebastian de Belalcazar, and he sailed

for the New World.

Young Sebastian displayed remarkable sagacity

in getting Pedrarias out of a serious difficulty on

an occasion when he was lost in the Darien forests.

From that time his fortune was made. Pedrarias

gave him a command in an expedition to Nicaragua,

and he took part in the founding of Leon. He

joined the expedition of Pizarro to Peru, who left

him in command at San Miguel de Piura. His

1 His father’s name is believed to have been Moyano.



next service was the conquest of Quito, under-

taken under orders from Pizarro and ably carried

out with 140 well armed men. He remained

there for some time as Pizarro’s lieutenant. But

his ambition was great. He was incapable of

gratitude or fidelity, and he conceived the idea of

carving out a dominion for himself. Resolving

upon an advance to the north, he sent some of

his captains before him. In 1536 he discovered

the plateaux of Pasto and Popayán. The natives

defended their country with desperation; horrible

cruelties were perpetrated on them, and at last

their resistance was crushed. Many fled to the

mountains, and vasts tracts of land were left

uncultivated. The city of Popayán was founded

by Sebastian de Belalcazar in 1536, in an excellent

and healthy situation on a high tableland. From

this centre the invader made incursions in various

directions. In his raid to the north-east, along

the head waters of the Magdalena, he was in sight

of Suma Paz, the lofty mountains south of Bogotá.

He also extended his devastating incursions down

the valley of the Cauca, and founded the city of

Cali. The natives fought desperately, and they

refused to sow their crops, so that famine ensued

and vast tracts of once cultivated land remained



waste. The native populations of the localities

conquered by this ruthless invader were nearly

exterminated. Satisfied with his work. Sebastian

de Belalcazar set out for Spain in 1539, with the

object of obtaining a concession of Popayán and

the valley of the Cauca, as a Governor independent

of Pizarro.

After his conquests Sebastian de Belalcazar

ceased to correspond with or acknowledge his

chief to whom he owed his position—a debt of

gratitude he entirely ignored. Pizarro sent an

officer he could thoroughly trust, named Lorenzo

de Aldana, to arrest the recalcitrant Belalcazar

and assume command. Aldana was a knight of the

highest character, and one of the few who, like

Bastidas, never allowed the natives to be treated

with cruelty or injustice. He marched from

Quito to Popayán, founding the city of Pasto on

his way. At Popayán he found that Belalcazar

had departed, and that the Spanish inhabitants

were threatened with famine. He therefore

hurried down the Cauca valley as far as Cali, and

with difficulty made arrangements for supplies

of provisions to be sent to Popayán.

It is now necessary to turn our attention to

the proceedings on the coast, for it was from there


that the whole length of the Canea valley was


It will be remembered that the Juez de Residencia

Vadillo came out to Cartagena to examine the

accounts and proceedings of the Governor Heredia.

that he threw him into prison, sent him to Spain

for trial, and seized his treasure. Vadillo’s robberies

and conduct generally were so outrageous that the

Licentiate Santa Cruz was sent out as Juez de

Residencia to examine into his conduct. On

hearing this Vadillo’s guilty conscience filled him

with apprehension for his own safety. He was

a man of considerable energy and ability, and

he determined to leave Cartagena, organise an

expedition, and undertake some great discovery.

He persuaded Heredia’s lieutenant, Francisco

Cesar, a splendid explorer and efficient officer, to

go with him.1 There was also with him a most

intelligent young lad, a native of Llerena in

Estremadura, named Pedro de Cieza de Leon.

He was only nineteen, yet, while diligently

attending to his duties as a solider, he used

1 He had been with Sebastian Cabot in his voyage to the River

Plate, and joined Heredia at Puerto Rico. He had already headed

an expedition which crossed the Abibe Mountains, and reached the

valley ruled by the chief Nutibara, taking 40,000 ducats’ worth of

gold from the tombs.


his spare time in recording the events of the


Vadillo started from San Sebastian de Uraba in

1538 with all the force he conld get together and some

horses, and, under the guidance of Cesar, they pro-

ceeded to scale the Abibe Mountains. These heights

were covered with dense forest, the only paths being

in the tortuous beds of mountain torrents. It was

difficult enough for the men to make their way up

the mountains and down the steep declivities on the

other side, and almost impossible for horses. At

length they reached a vast extent of fertile country

governed by a warlike chief named Nutibara.

Cesar was not without experience of this brave

defender of the homes of his people. During his

former raid the army of Nutibara, under the

military direction of his brother Quinunchu, en-

countered the Spaniards and there was an obstinate

battle. The chief was present in person, carried

on a litter richly inlaid with gold. The Spaniards

were hard pressed, and would have been defeated

if it had not been for the death of the opposing

general. The natives then retreated. There was

1 See my translation of the travels of Pedro de Cieza do Leon

contained in the first part of his Chronicle of Peru (Anvers, 1554)»

printed for the Hakluyt Society in 1864.



a very pathetic scene. The great chief. Nutibara,

always reverently carried in a litter, sprang out of

it and caused his brother’s body to be put there

in his place. The retreating host marched in a

long line over the hills, and Nutibara was seen for

miles, running by the side of the litter, mourning

for his beloved friend and brother.

When Vadillo reached the territory of Nutibara

in the following year, the subjects of that great

chief were equally hostile. Nutibara constructed

a fortress on a height unapproachable by cavalry.

The Spaniards assaulted the place. They were

not only repulsed, but entirely defeated and put

to flight. If it had not been for the skill and

valour of Cesar in defending a narrow place with

a rear guard, there would have been a fatal disaster.

Nutibara was victorious, and Vadillo continued

his march without again venturing to attack him.

The next valley they reached was called Nori,

where the natives defended their homes with the

same valour and persistence. The chief, however,

named Nabuco, to get rid of the invaders, presented

them with some gold, and assured them that they

would find much more in the next province to the

south, called Buriticá. The march was through

dense forest, and on reaching the place it was



found that the people were entrenched on an

almost inaccessible height which was promptly

assaulted and carried, the Buriticá chief and his

family being found there with some gold ornaments.

The chief would not disclose the sources of his

wealth, so the savage Vadillo burnt him alive.

He had nobly surrendered himself as ransom for

a young wife who had been captured, and his cruel

death horrified even the hardened followers of the

fugitive Juez de Residencia.

Vadillo soon afterwards reached the banks of the

great River Cauca. His followers were threatened

with hunger in their painful struggle through the

dense forest; but at length they reached a well-

cultivated valley, called Iraca. The inhabitants

fled to the mountains; but abundant supplies were

found, and the explorers rested, as many were

sick and unable to march. When they again pro-

ceeded up the Cauca valley they were constantly

harassed by the natives. Reaching a place called

Cori, it was there that the gallant Cesar, worn out

with fatigue and illness, departed this fife. ‘ Cesar

certainly showed himself to be worthy of so great

a name/ This is a grand epitaph, written by a

comrade in arms. The men of Vadillo’s expedition

were in despair at the loss of so able a leader in



whom they placed all their confidence. They

clamoured to be allowed to return, dreading the

dangers of an advance without a competent leader.

Vadillo was furious, and refused to listen for a

moment. He was a fugitive from justice, and

knew that only a prison awaited him on his return.

Unwillingly, the sorely tried men continued their

march until at length they arrived at Cali, where

Belalcazar had formed a settlement and founded

a town. They were reduced to half their number

and the survivors mutinied, positively refusing any

longer to follow Vadillo. He went on, almost alone,

to Popayán. There the Governor, Aldana, sent him

by Quito to the Port of Payta, whence he returned

to Spain. His lawsuit lasted for his lifetime. He

died in poverty at Seville before it was concluded.

Vadillo had made a very important discovery.

The valley of the Cauca is 420 miles long, con-

taining many rich and fertile districts, and the

best gold-mines in the whole region. Aldana

saw its importance, and resolved to send an expe-

dition down the valley to form settlements and

occupy the country. He selected for this duty an

officer named Jorge Robledo, who had been a

follower of Belalcazar. Aldana impressed upon

him the duty of treating the natives with kindness



and justice, and dismissed him with a well-equipped

force to occupy the extensive region discovered

by Vadillo. Meanwhile, Vadillo’s Juez de Resi-

dencia—the Licentiate Santa Cruz—had arrived at

Cartagena, and immediately sent two officers up

the Cauca valley with a small force to arrest the

fugitive from justice. They were too late; but

they joined Robledo’s party, as did the survivors

of Vadillo’s expedition.

Robledo founded Anzerma, and in the end of

1539 he fought a desperate battle with the tribe of

Pozos. He was victorious, and perpetrated the most

atrocious cruelties on the vanquished, massacring

women and children and burning their houses,

in total disregard of the humane instructions of

Aldana. These tribes of the Cauca valley were

tenacious defenders of their homes and very war-

like. On very important occasions they had a

custom of eating their prisoners. This cannot be

doubted when so reliable an authority as Cieza de

Leon was an eyewitness. They also adorned the

outsides of their houses with the heads of their

enemies. But they consisted of tail, well-developed,

brave men and fair women, who were cultivators,

miners, and weavers. With proper treatment they

might easily have been civilised.



Early in 1540. Robledo founded Cartago, giving

tbe name in honour of those followers who came

from Cartagena. He also founded Anzerma and

Arma. In 1541, he was in the fertile vale of

Aburra where he found abundant supplies; and

towards the end of that year he founded the city

of Antioquia in the district of the Buriticá gold-

mines, forming a mining establishment on the

river flowing from the Buriticá Hill. Robledo

here conceived the idea of going to Spain with a

report of his services, and obtaining a concession

as Governor of a province to be carved out of the

territories of Heredia and Belalcazar, whose boun-

daries were very uncertain. He crossed the Abibe

Mountains, almost alone and without a guide,

and arrived, starving and almost naked, at San

Sebastian de Uraba. Instead of being treated

hospitably, he was thrown into prison and even-

tually sent to Spain under arrest.

The ruthless Sebastian de Belalcazar had been

very successful in his negotiations at the Court of

Spain. He obtained the rank of Adelantado,

and the government of the province of Popayán

and of the whole valley of the Cauca. When this

news reached Popayán, Lorenzo de Aldana

retired to Quito. That excellent governor after-



wards took an important part in the affairs of

Peru. One of the most just and most humane

of the Spanish ‘ Conquistadores/ Aldana’s name

deserves to be honoured by posterity. By his

will he left all his fortune to the Indians of his

enwmienda for the payment of their tribute.

In the end of 1537, Pascual de Andagoya—who

had served on the isthmus with Pedrarias. but was

then in Spain—received a concession as Governor of

the country bordering on the Pacific, from the Gulf

of San Migualto the River of San Juan. Leaving

Toledo in 1538. Andagoya enlisted sixty men. and

left San Lucar with them early in 1539. At

Panama he increased his numbers to 200, and

sailed for his government, with three ships and

two brigantines, February 15. Andagoya dis-

covered the port of Buenaventura, and the

town was founded, under his direction, by Juan

Ladrillo. He then began to cross the forest-covered

mountains with the greater part of his force, leaving

fifty men with his ships. The natives were at first

inclined to be hostile, but as Andagoya treated them

with kindness and allowed no robbery, they soon

became friendly. It was a very rugged country

through which he had to make his way, but he at

length reached Cali. He proceeded thence to



Popayán and assumed the government. He was

undoubtedly beyond his jurisdiction, and withia

that of Belalcazar; but the state of the country

fully justified the course he took.

After the departure of Aldana. a young knight,

named Pedro de Añasco, had advanced to the

eastward, with a Captain Osorio as his companion,

and had founded the town of Timaná at the sources

of the Magdalena Eiver. They had with them fifty

Spaniards and some horses. They were closely

besieged by the inhabitants of the surrounding

country, and sent to Captain Juan de Ampudia,

who was in charge of Popayán, for help. That

officer assembled sixty men and marched to raise

the siege of Timaná ; but Osorio and Añasco had

managed to get out, and were making their way

down the River Paez when they were attacked by

the Indians and killed with all their followers.

Ampudia was encountered by the Indian besiegers.

He routed them three times on three successive

days; but on the fourth he was killed, his men

were almost all slain with him, and the victorious

Indians advanced on Popayán.1

This was the state of affairs when Andagoya

1 See my translation of the narrativo of Pascual de Andagoya,

“written by himself (Hakluyt Society, 18C5).


arrived at Popayán. The Indians were repulsed.

and order was restored in the immediate neigh-

bourhood. In his narrative. Andagoya gives an

interesting account of the country and people

round Popayán. He treated the natives with

kindness and induced many to be baptized.

Meanwhile, Sebastian de Belalcazar left Spain

to take up the command of the vast territory that

had been conceded to him. He went by Panama

to Buenaventura, and. arriving at Popayán, he

arrested Andagoya and sent him as a prisoner to


The position of Popayán near the northern

frontier of Peru brought Belalcazar into contact

with the disturbances among the conquerors of

that country. When Vaca de Castro arrived at

Popayán on his way to examine into the conduct

of affairs by the Marquis Pizarro, Belalcazar

escorted him to Quito and thence to Piura. When

the unfortunate Viceroy Blasco Nunez de Vela

was hunted by G-onzalo Pizarro, he took refuge

at Popayán, and Belalcazar marched with him to

1 Pascual de Andagoya was an able, upright, and humane man.

Herrera was violently prejudiced against him, and his remarks are

untrue and unjust whore Andagoya is concerned. After his return

to Spain ho mado the acquaintance of the President, La Gasea,

went out with him to Peru, and commanded a battalion of infantry

at Sacsahuana. He died at Cuzco on June 15, 1548.


Quito to attack his enemies. They were defeated

at the battle of Anaquito, the Viceroy being killed

and Belalcazar wounded. Gonzalo Pizarro allowed

the latter to return to his government at Popayán.

Again, when the President, La Gasea, was marching

against Gonzalo Pizarro, he called upon Belalcazar

for help, who complied, and was in command of

the cavalry at Sacsahuana, returning to Popayán.

Belalcazar was masterful in his claims, and

soon disputes arose respecting boundaries between

the Governor of Popayán and Pedro de Heredia,

the Governor of Cartagena. The bone of con-

tention was the city of Antioquia, founded by

Robledo. Heredia proceeded to the place and

took possession. Belalcazar sent Juan Cabrera,

who surprised Heredia, and sent him a prisoner

to Popayán, but Belalcazar allowed him to return

to Cartagena by way of Panama. In 1544

both Santa Martha and Cartagena were sacked

by French pirates. After that disaster Heredia

again marched to occupy Antioquia, the site

of which had been altered by Cabrera. Alonso

Heredia, the brother of the Governor, had founded

the town of Mompox, at an important point near

the junction of the Magdalena and Cauca, in 1540.

When Heredia returned to Cartagena, he


found that a new Juez de Residencia had arrived

in the person of Miguel Diaz de Armendariz, who

brought with him the new laws, sending a copy

to Belalcazar.

Although Jorge Robledo was sent to Spain as

a prisoner, he managed to make interest at Court,

received the rank of Marshal, and a concession of

territory between the grants of Heredia and Belal-

cazar. This was very vague. It is deplorable to

note the reckless way in which these concessions

were granted, in total ignorance of the country that

was being cut into overlapping slices. Much of the

trouble in the colonies arose from these disputed

frontiers. The new Marshal collected a small

force, was joined by some former comrades, in-

cluding Cieza de Leon, and reached Antioquia.

He then advanced up the Cauca valley with about

seventy men. The towns of Anzerma and Cartago

refused to receive him. But he pushed on to Pozo

and formed a camp there. Belalcazar was at Cali.

He made a forced march with 150 men, and sur-

prised Robledo’s camp on the night of October 1,

1546. The Marshal could have escaped, but he

preferred to surrender to his old chief, not dreaming

of the consequences.

We are now reminded of the brutal young


ruffian in the miry lane in Estremadura. Belal-

cazar must have had some personal grudge against

the unfortunate Robledo. He broke out into

violent abuse and declared he would kill him by

strangling. Robledo entreated that at least he

might be beheaded, as became his rank, but this

was refused. He was hanged on October 5,

with five of his officers. The bodies were buried

in a hut which was set on fire, and Belalcazar

returned to Cali. It was believed that the Indians

of Pozo dug up the bodies and ate them.

Even then the Nemesis was approaching. The

Juez de Residencia, Briceño, was on his way to

Popayán. It is surprising what implicit obedience

was paid to these functionaries even by the

most turbulent and masterful pro-consuls. Briceño

condemned the powerful Governor of Popayán

to death for the murder of Robledo. Soon after-

wards the judge married Doña Maria de Carbajal,

Robledo’s widow, and was therefore accused of

partiality. Yet the sentence was as just as it was

bold. Belalcazar appealed to the higher court

in Spain, and sorrowfully set out on his long

journey. He arrived at Cartagena, where he was

hospitably treated by Heredia, and there he died

in 1550.



There can be no question of tbe remarkable

ability, prowess, and strength of character pos-

sessed by Sebastian de Belalcazar. There must.

too. have been some good in him, for he was popular

and had many followers who were devoted to him.

But the boy was father to the man. Beginning

with the crime in the miry lane near home, he

ended with the crime at Pozo which concluded

his career. His savage cruelty to the natives,

while foolish as a question of policy, was evidence

of a hard and callous nature.

Heredia began a voyage to Spain in 1554, but

never arrived, for the ship in which he had em-

barked was wrecked at sea. He had been Governor

of Cartagena for twenty years.

The events related in this chapter overlap the

Chibcha cataclysm by several years. Still, the

arrival of Belalcazar at Popayán and the discovery

of the Cauca valley are about contemporary.

With their frequent markets, and commercial

intercourse with neighbouring tribes, the Chibchas

had probably heard rumours about the ruthless

strangers gathering, like threatening clouds, on

their southern and on their western horizons.





destroyer of Chibcha civilisation, and his attempt

to record its history is lost to us. His family seems

to have come from Baeza in Andalusia, in the days

when Moors and Christians were still at war. But

young Gonzalo himself was born at Cordova,

in the ward of Our Lady of the Holy Fountain,

being the son of the Licentiate, Gonzalo Jirmenes,

and of Dona Isabel de Quesada. The date of the

child’s birth must have nearly coincided with that

of the taking of Granada. When he was quite

a little boy his parents removed to Granada,

where his father was an advocate in the law courts;

so that all his reminiscences in after life were

connected with the Moorish city and its beautiful

Vega. He was educated with great care under

his father’s supervision, studied law, and, like his

father, he became an advocate in the High Court



of Justice at Granada. He was practising in that

Court when he received the appointment which

took him to the New World, and led to his future


The Adelantado, Pedro Fernandez de Lugo, had,

by marriage, become hereditary Governor of the

Canary Islands. It so happened that one of the

soldiers of Bastidas came to the Canaries, and

painted the riches and other advantages of Santa

Martha in glowing colours. The news of the

death of Garcia de Lerma, the Governor, had also

come.1 So the Adelantado resolved to send his

son, Luis Alonso de Lugo, to Spain to apply for a

concession of the government of Santa Martha.

Accordingly, in February 1535, a royal order

nominated Pedro Fernandez de Lugo to be Governor

and Captain-General of the province of Santa

Martha, with succession to his son. The River

Magdalena was to be the boundary between

Cartagena and Santa Martha. The greater part

of the year 1535 was occupied in fitting out the

expedition at Santa Cruz de Teneriffe. The Ade-

lantado^ son was appointed his lieutenant, and

the appointment of chief magistrate was offered

to and accepted by the young barrister at Granada,

1 See p. 85.


Gonzalo Jimenes de Quesada. His age was then

thirty-six. More than a thousand men were enlisted

and went on board the ships of the Adelantado,

and the expedition left Santa Cruz de Teneriffe on

November 3, 1535, and anchored off Santa Martha

in the middle of December, after a voyage of

forty days.

Santa Martha, in those days, was a sorry abode

to come to, after the charming homes at Laguna

and Orotava. The hereditary Governor of the

Canary Islands had made a poor exchange. There

were some thatched houses, one of stone, and a

wretched church, but not sufficient accommoda-

tion for half Lugo’s followers. The greater part

of the force had to live in tents, provisions were

scarce, and there was a general feeling of depres-

sion. Then an epidemic of dysentry broke out.

The Adelantado visited the sick, and gave up all

his own stores for them, living on the same rations

as the men.

In order that those in good health might be

employed, and to collect provisions and, if possible,

gold to pay the freight of the ships, an expedition

was undertaken in the direction of Bonda, led by

Don Pedro Lugo himself and guided by some

officers of experience. The natives had chosen a


strong position and gallantly defended it, and

when it was carried with serions loss to the invaders

the defenders took np another equally strong

position higher up the mountain side. Nothing was

found in their village. The Adelantado returned to

Santa Martha with the wounded, ordering his son to

continue the march along the coast, while Captain

Suarez was to take a parallel route in the mountains.

Suarez met with desperate resistance, and was

obliged to come down to the plain country with

thirty-eight wounded, and join Don Luis de Lugo.

The two raiders succeeded in storming a strong-

hold in the mountains of Tairona, after a stubborn

resistance, and secured gold ornaments to the value

of 15,000 castellanos de oro. Other finds of gold

were made, and Luis de Lugo’s duty was to return

with it for his father to pay the freight of the ships,

and to distribute the rest amongst his followers,

reserving the royal fifth. But the infamous thief

was tired of such hard work. He signalled to a

passing ship, and went on board with all the gold,

intending to steal it and to return to Spain, leaving

his father in the greatest difficulty and embarrass-

ment. A vessel was sent in pursuit, with an

officer who represented the theft in Spain. Luis de

Lugo was imprisoned; but his impudent assurance



and lies, coupled with interest at Court, secured

his release after a short time.

The Adelantado was not only left in great

difficulties, but he was borne down by grief at the

infamy of his son and the disgrace brought upon

his name. It was felt, by himself and his officers,

that a great expedition of discovery must be

equipped to employ the men, and, after careful

consideration, it was decided that the exploration

of the course and origin of the great River Mag-

dalena should be undertaken on an adequate scale,

in the expectation that rich and fertile provinces

would be discovered.

Everything depended on the choice of the right

man to command the expedition. There were

a number of captains all with equal claims, or

at least they thought so. To appoint any one

of them would be sure to cause jealousy and

ill-feeling among the rest, and the probable

consequence would be failure. Some qualities

were needed which are not the exclusive property

of soldiers. Don Pedro de Lugo had seen such

qualities in the chief magistrate during a very

trying time. He nominated Gonzalo Jimenes de

Quesada to be his lieutenant-general and com-

mander over the 800 men—horse, foot, and flotilla


—composing the expedition. It was no drawback,

rather the reverse, that he should be an accom-

plished man of letters, and an experienced lawyer,

if he also had fortitude, resource, endurance, resolu-

tion, and the gift of imbuing those under him

with his own spirit. Lugo believed that he had

seen these qualifications in Quesada, and he

proved to be right. The appointment was made

April 1, 1536.1

The expedition started on April 6, 1536,

consisting of 600 soldiers in eight companies and

100 horses,” accompanied by a flotilla of five large

boats to ascend the Magdalena, manned by 200

soldiers and sailors. There were seven principal

captains with the land force—Juan de Junco (who

was to succeed if anything happened to Quesada),

Gonzalo Suarez Rondón, Antonio Lebrija, and

Juan de San Martin (whose narratives have

been preserved),3 Céspedes, Valenzuela, and

Lázaro Fonte. In the boats were Captains

1 Fray Pedro Simon gives the text of the appointment with the

date 1537. The question is discussed by Colonel Acosta, who shows

that Castellanos, Herrera, and Piedrahita all give 1536 as the dato.

The subsequent discovery of Quesada’s own narrative settles the


2 Quesada’s own narrative. Other authorities give tho numbers


3 In the collection of Muñoz.

I 2



Urbina, Cordova, Manj arres, Chamarro, and Ortun


The Eio Grande, or Magdalena, had already

been ascended as far as a place called Sampollon,

150 miles from the mouth, on the right bank ; and

rumours had been received of the existence of a

rich and powerful kingdom in the interior. .But

the settlers at Santa Martha and Cartagena had

feared the dangers and hardships involved in the

further ascent of the river. Quesada, in his nar-

rative, says that those of Santa Martha were

content with robbing and desolating the small

but rich province of La Ramada (which was much

nearer), without regard for the public good, but only

for their own interests ; while those of Cartagena

rested satisfied with the gold in the cemeteries

of Zenu. The great discovery was left to the

accomplished lawyer of Granada, who now showed

that he was also an able and resolute leader of men.

We have the advantage of Quesada’s brief

narrative1 for the proceedings of the invaders,

which affords landmarks, though it is only a

summary of the events. The soldiers were divided

1 Printed by Marcos Jimenes de la Espada, in bis critical review

of Castellanos (Madrid, 1889), from the Archivo Histórico. Herrera

had it, and used it without giving the author, as was his oustom.



into eight companies, and each, man carried his

spare clothes and rations on his back. They were

to advance through an unknown country to the

confluence of the Cesari with the Magdalena.

The flotilla consisted of three large and two small

boats, to be propelled by oars and by towing

along the bank when possible. They were to

make their way from Santa Martha to the mouth

of the Magdalena, and ascend that river to the

confluence of the Cesari, where they were to meet

Quesada and the land force.

Quesada took his leave of the unhappy Adelan-

tado, Pedro Fernandez de Lugo, who had organised

the expedition, on April 6, 1536. Broken down

by difficulties and disappointments, and by grief

at the perfidy and villainy of his son, the Adel-

antado died at Santa Martha in the following


The march was difficult, over a wild uninhabited

country, in the Sierra de Chimiles. Provisions

were beginning to run short when the invaders

entered a valley where the people were reaping

their harvest of maize. They were all made

prisoners and forced to carry their corn into the

enemy’s camp. The forlorn natives had put

down their loads and were standing disconsolate,


as prisoners awaiting their fate. Suddenly a

woman, in floods of tears, rushed into the camp

and embraced a boy who was one of the prisoners.

She had come to give herself up. in order that she

might share the fate of her beloved son. Quesada

was much moved at the sight. He at once gave

the woman and her son their liberty. Soon

afterwards he released all the rest, except one who

was kept as a guide.

The invaders next came to the River Ariguani,

which could not be forded. The men and horses

swam, and a line was got across by which the

stores and provisions were brought over. Twelve

days were occupied in the march thence to the

lagoons of Tamalameque. The Cacique’s residence

consisted of a number of thatched houses built

round an open space, at the end of a long penin-

sula called Pacabuy. The houses, embosomed

in trees, seen across the deep blue waters of the

lagoon, were a grateful sight after the wearisome

marches through the forest. Here the tired soldiers

rested for a few days, and Tamalameque helped

Quesada in his final march to the confluence of

the Cesari and Magdalena. The flotilla had not

arrived. Quesada had lost 100 men, and there

were many sick. Tired of waiting for the boats,



he moved up the river to a place called Sampollon

on the right bank, not far from the site of the city

of Mompox on the opposite side, which was founded

four years afterwards.

The flotilla had met with disaster. Leaving

Santa Martha; the boats made their way to the

mouths of the Magdalena. One was wrecked in an

attempt to enter the river; only the two smallest

got through and reached Malambo near the mouth.

The two others went on to Cartagena where the

crews deserted. Manjarres, one of the captains,

made his way back to Santa Martha and

reported the disaster. There were three old boats

there, of good size, which were fitted out and

dispatched. They succeeded in entering one of

the mouths of the Magdalena and joined the two

smaller ones at Malambo. The flotilla then pro-

ceeded up the river, often harassed by the natives,

who assembled round them in canoes and annoyed

them with poisoned arrows. At length, after

many weeks of anxious waiting, Quesada welcomed

their arrival at Sampollon. The sick were at once

put on board.1

1 The names of the captains of these boats arc uncertain. None

of those given by Quesada himself aro the same as those recorded

by other authorities.


Quesada resolved to continue the advance up

the Magdalena, the bulk of the troops forcing their

way through the dense forest on its banks, and the

flotilla keeping company on the river. It is prob-

able that a great part of the route on land had

never before been traversed by mortal man, for

the natives passed in canoes. Every foot of the

way had to be cut and cleared with wood-knives.

To the misery of incessant rains were added the

torment of mosquitoes, ants, and hornets, and the

danger from snakes and wild beasts. The nights

were more perilous than the days. One soldier

was taken out of his hammock by a jaguar. His

cries awoke his comrades who rescued him. On

the next night he slung his hammock much higher

up. Still the jaguar got at him and dragged him

out. His comrades were snoring so loudly that

his cries were not heard, and the wretched man

was carried off. Many died in the forest. There

were long delays in crossing rivers, although help

was given by the crews of the boats. Trees had

to be felled and rough bridges made.

When they reached a place where the Kiver

Opon joins the Magdalena, called La Tora, it was

a month since they had seen a single native or

a sign of cultivation. The alligators had become



so bold, and bad carried ofi so many men, that

tbe survivors did not dare to go near tbe edge,

and they got their water by fastening the pot to

the end of a long pole.1 It was eight months

since they left Santa Martha. To continue such

marches was felt to be quite beyond human

endurance. A hundred men had fallen by the way.

The feeling of the captains, as well as of the

men, was that it was absolutely necessary to

return to Santa Martha if anyone was to survive.

The oldest and most experienced officers were

San Martin and Céspedes. They were deputed

to represent the feeling of the rest to the General,

which they did.

Quesada replied that a retreat would be much

more fatal than an advance, for there was not

room for the soldiers in the boats, and they would

again have to struggle through the dense forest.

He reminded them that the good Adelantado had

expended all his fortune in fitting out the expedition.

He declared that he would not abandon the enter-

prise while his life was spared, and that he would,

in future, hold him as an enemy who should

1 Since those days a great trade has sprung up in alligator skins

on the Magdalena. After 1901, when it began, the annual export has

been 30,000 skins.


propose a course so pusillanimous and so contrary

to Castillian valour.

The captains submitted without another word

to the resolution of a lawyer who carried arms for

the first time in his life. The boldest course was


The mountains whence the Opon River flgwed

were in sight to the east, and Quesada was inclined

to leave the river, with its terrible forests, and

attempt the ascent. He first sent Captain San

Martin with twelve men in three small canoes up

the River Opon to reconnoitre. On the second

day, in a turn of the river, they suddenly came

upon a canoe with two natives, who jumped out

and swam to the shore. The canoe was captured.

Some finely woven mantles were found in it, and

some white salt very different from that made

from the sea-salt. Next, San Martin came to a

hut containing more salt. This was one of the

depots for the trade in the salt of Zipaquirá.1 San

Martin made an excursion inland, saw cultivated

tracts, and had an encounter with the natives,

making one prisoner. He then returned full of

hope that a rich and fertile land would be discovered,

and made his report to the General.

1 See Chap. L, p. 17.


Quesada reflected that all the salt he had hitherto

seen in use by the natives was poor granular

sea-salt. But the salt found by San Martin

was quite different: in loaves like sugar-loaves,

and very fine. It was clear that they had different

origins. If one came from the sea he argued that

the other came from a land beyond the mountains,

and he thought, from the form of the salt and its

evident commercial value, that it must be a rich

and important land. He therefore resolved to

ascend the mountains, following the ravine down

which the river flowed. The flotilla was to go

down the Magdalena with the sick, and bring back

reinforcements to fill the places of the numerous

unfortunate men who had succumbed in the forests.

One, Gallegos, was in command of the boats, and

received strict orders not to molest the natives,

but to take the sick down the river as quickly as

possible. Instead of this he made attacks on

villages near the banks, killing and plundering,

until at last the natives combined against him.

Three of the boats full of sick were sunk, and only

one escaped with Gallegos; badly wounded. This

is an instance of the difficulties surrounding an

able general with such men to deal with. The

moment his back is turned there is disaster caused


by truculence or incapacity; and disobedience.

Quesada bad given strict orders about tbe just

treatment of tbe natives, and was stern in en-

forcing them. He even caused a soldier to be

executed for robbery, although the chaplain and

the captains, who did not see much harm in it,

interceded for him. .

Quesada commenced the ascent of the mountains

with 200 of the best men he could select, and 60

surviving horses. The difficulties were great, and

people have since wondered how horses could

possibly have been got up those rocky heights

and almost perpendicular precipices. He only

lost one in the ascent. The cold became intense;

and the men were quite unprepared for it; while

the rains made it impossibe to light a fire, and they

had to live on raw maize. Twenty died, and one

went out of his mind. At length they reached

the summit of the Opon Mountains, fully 6500 feet

above the level of the sea. With almost delirious

joy they saw stretched out before them a vast

cultivated plain: groves of fruit-trees, lakes and

murmuring streams, with villages and towers

scattered here and there. It seemed to them like

a land of enchantment covered with fairy castles.

Quesada called it’ el valle de alcázares’—* the valley



of palaces/ The surviving invaders numbered 166,

with 59 horses. It was joy to the Spaniards, but

death and destruction to the ill-fated Chibcha

nation. Dark clouds had long been threatening

round their horizon. Their doom had now appeared

on the summit of that Mount of Opon.



THE Chibcha nation was at peace. There was a

truce between the two sovereigns. A strong force

guarded the western frontier. The fields, with their

growing crops, stretched for leagues around the

Zipa’s capital. The villagers were all at work,

happy and contented. The lofty houses of the

Usaques, scattered here and there, rising out of

clumps of trees, enlivened the landscape. Over

the mountains trains of laden wayfarers might be

seen passing to and fro, frequenters of the distant

markets. From the salt-mines of Nemocon and

Zipaquirá, down the Opon River to the market

on the Magdalena, there was a ceaseless flow of

commerce. Cotton, gold, and tropical fruits came

in return, coca and wood for lances came from the

eastern forests, while the products of the Chibcha

pottery factories and cloth industries went down

in exchange. A busy hive of industry: all




seemed happiness and prosperity, with nothing

to mar its continuance.

The Zipa in his palace at Muequeta under the

hills, with bright lagoons around it, was the centre

of all this well-being, reverenced and almost

worshipped by his subjects,1 and surrounded by

faithful warriors and councillors. Fair women,

too, good to look upon, as Quesada bore witness,

enlivened his Court, and added a charm to the

palace whose walls their industry had beautified.

It seemed that nothing more was wanted to fill the

cup of happiness. Yet there was a vague feeling

of dread, no one knew why. Rumours had come

from east and west, from south and even from the

north. The handwriting was already on the wall.

Thisquezuza, the gallant Zipa, was in council,

surrounded by his advisers, in the great hall of the

Muequeta palace. Suddenly a breathless messenger

rushed into the presence. He came from the loyal

chief of Suesca. Strange men had come down

from the mountains, as if from the sun and moon—

‘ Suchies’ they were called. They were accompanied

by still stranger animals, causing terror in all who

beheld them. They were not numerous but their

1 * Es grandissima la reverencia que tienen los subditos a sus




arms were irresistible, the animals terrible to behold.

They had overawed the chief of Guachetá and

were now directing their march to the salt-mine of

Nemocon. The terrified people were bringing in

provisions to propitiate them.

The news was appalling, yet there was a feeling

of relief at first, when actual tidings arrived,

however bad, to relieve the tension caused by

unsubstantial rumours. Now there could be action.

The valour of Thisquezuza had been proven in

many an encounter, both in the time of his uncle

and during his own reign. He resolved to meet

these terrible invaders in person. Six hundred of

the best and bravest of his warriors were carefully

selected. The mummy of the Zipa’s predecessor,

the glorious Nemequene, as was the strange custom

of the Chibchas, was borne in front of the little

army to arouse the enthusiasm of the warriors. The

Zipa himself was carried in the royal litter, ready

to rush out and fight when the moment arrived.

On the second day he came in sight of the invaders

and gazed upon them, with their strange arms and

attire, and their terrifying animals. Quesada,

with the main body, had already passed on, and

the Chibchas made a gallant attack on the rear-

guard. They were gaining ground, led on by the



Zipa, when they were surprised in flank and rear

by the Spanish cavalry. There was a fearful

slaughter, the sacred mummy was overthrown

and trampled in the dust, and the survivors fled

in all directions. The Zipa returned to Muequeta,

plunged into deep despondency. He was convinced

that the invaders were irresistible, and that his

country was doomed. He resolved upon flight, and

to delay the arrival of the enemy as long as possible

by negotiating and sending presents.

Quesada had advanced to the hill of Chia in

the plain of Bogotá, the residence of the heir

apparent, who fled, after concealing his treasure,

which was never found. The Zipa sent the invader

presents of venison and game, and messages were

exchanged with reference to a personal interview.

Meanwhile, there were hurried preparations at

Muequeta. There was no alternative. The an-

cestral home, the centre and capital of the Chibcha

civilisation, must be abandoned, and safety must

be sought in flight to some secret retreat—a secret

which the Zipa knew that his faithful people would

keep. Thence he might direct operations and

await events.

The Spaniards were eager to reach the Zipa’s

capital, expecting to find great stores of the gold,



for which they thirsted. Quesada, therefore, set out

from Chia; but in crossing the River Funza he met

with opposition from the loyal troops of the Zipa.

Their devoted loyalty quite overcame the too

natural terror which paralysed the action of most

of the Chibcha people. The Spaniards forced

their way onwards and reached the palace of

Muequeta, but found it deserted and dismantled.

A party was sent in search of the Zipa to the country

palace of Tinansuga, but he was not there. The

headquarters of the Spaniards were established

for some time at Muequeta, where they were sub-

jected to incessant attacks from the Zipa’s troops,

who easily evaded the cavalry charges by retiring

among the impassable lagoons.

Quesada’s plans were frustrated and the Spanish

absorbing thirst for gold was unsatisfied for a time.

The general resolved to send out two exploring

expeditions to the south and west under the com-

mand of his veteran captains, Céspedes and San

Martin. The party of Céspedes went southward,

and suffered so terribly from the cold on the lofty

tableland in the direction of Suma Paz that the

attempt to penetrate farther was abandoned-

San Martin entered the country of the valiant

Panches, on the lower slopes towards the Magdalena.


Their villages were perched on inaccessible ridges

of the mountains, and the warriors were called to

arms by the blowing of horns from peak to peak.

Their army was soon assembled, and the Spaniards

met with such a reception that San Martin made

a rapid strategical movement to the rear. He

received some reinforcements from the General,

and sought the aid of the Zipa’s frontier force,

which was conceded. The Chibchas of the

frontier force were called Guechas, a word

which means a general or leader of an army.

Here it is used to describe a force of specially

selected warriors.

The valley of Fusagasugá is the last within

Chibcha territory. The combined force crossed the

hills which separate it from the rugged descending

slopes of Pati and Apulo. The Panches gathered

together to the sound of their horns, and formed

in disciplined troops, with coronets of brilliant

plumes on their heads, and armed with clubs,

lances, and bows with poisoned arrows. No

impression could be made on their serried ranks

by the combined force of Spaniards and Guechas.

If, after fighting with desperate valour, they fell

back, they left neither wounded nor prisoners in

the hands of their enemies. The Spaniards also

K 2



retreated, repulsed and beaten. San Martin

returned to headquarters: Both the expeditions

sent out by Quesada had failed; he gained nothing

by seizing the Zipa’s palace, and his soldiers were

discontented, and clamouring for gold.

A report had been received that the emeralds

came from mountains to the north-east, so Quesada

led his followers in that direction, marching by

Guatavita to Chocontá, the limit of the Zipa’s

dominions. Captain Valenzuela, with a small

force, was then sent on to the emerald mine at

Samondoco, which he reached. But he found that

the mine was only worked in the rainy season

owing to the scarcity of water at other times for

washing the earth. He, however, obtained a few

emeralds with which he returned to the main body

at Turmeque within the Zaque’s territory. An

advance was made to Lengupa, the last Chibcha

village to the east. Beyond was the illimitable

Amazonian forest, reaching to the horizon—a

magnificent view, so striking that San Martin was

sent with a small party to explore. But his orders

obliged him to return before he could reach the

level forest. Quesada was now in the territory

of the Zaque of Tunja, and the thirsters for gold

thought by a rapid march they might take the



Zaque completely by surprise, and seize all tbe

treasure before any of it could be concealed.

Quemuchatocha, tbe reigning Zaque of Tunja.

was an old man. revered by bis subjects and

renowned for bis justice and valour. He bad heard

of the march of these terrible invaders, and of the

awfuL charges of cavalry, and he felt that his

country was doomed. Conciliation offered the

only hope, and that a faint one, of humane treat-

ment. He was fearless and resigned to the fate

decreed by the gods.

When the dreaded enemy was seen to be ap-

proaching rapidly, the Zaque sent presents and

requested the Spaniards to wait outside until he

had prepared for their reception. The Spaniards

pushed the messengers aside without stopping.

Quesada and his men forced their way through a

terrified crowd and broke into the palace. Then,

with drawn sword, and followed by his officers, he

entered the great hall of audience. The venerable

Zaque was seated on his throne like an old Roman

senator, with his chiefs around him. He was tall,

very old, and of fierce aspect. He showed neither

fear nor anxiety. To eager questions about

treasure he maintained a profound and majestic

silence. He merely said: ‘ My body is in your


hands. Dispose of it as you please. But my will

no one shall command/ Quesada was firm on

this occasion and would not allow the Zaque to

be tortured or treated with violence. He was

imprisoned, but his women and servants were

allowed to attend upon him with the reverence

to which he had been accustomed.

The pillage then began, and was continued

throughout the night—a colossal burglary. The

loot, forming an immense heap, was placed in the

centre of the courtyard of the palace. Much of

it consisted of rich cotton cloths, beautiful orna-

mental matting, and other furniture; but there

were also 191,390 pesos of fine gold, 37,288 of less

pure gold, 18,390 of silver, 1815 emeralds—about

£125,000 of our money.

The Zaque died of a broken heart, a few days

afterwards, and was succeeded—if not to his sove-

reignty, at least to the hearts of his people—by a

young and popular prince named Aquimin, the

last Zaque.

This small increase in the amount of loot to

be divided, only whetted the insatiable appetites

of the gold-seekers. They had heard of the rich

temple of Suamo, and clamoured to be taken there.

It was there that the religious chief called Iraca


had his residence. This was an office supposed to

have been instituted by the mythical civiliser,

Garachacha, and the holder of the office was to be

the head of the Chibcha religion, and an arbitrator

and peacemaker among chiefs and people. The

temple of Suamo was the most sacred place in the

country, and the Iraca was held in the deepest


The vale of the Iraca was about twenty miles

north-east of Tunja, a pleasant and fertile spot.

As the Spaniards approached, the unfortunate

people attempted resistance, but were soon terrified

and fled. The despoilers advanced to the temple

and broke open the doors. A single old man

alone barred the way. This priest stood there

dauntless and alone. Behind him the Spaniards

could see a long row of mummies adorned with

gold plates. Even those ruthless marauders

paused in awe before the aged priest. Suddenly

flames broke out, and they fell back. The temple

was on fire and was burned to the ground. The old

priest preferred death in the flames to surrender.1

1 The Iraca himself, named Sugamuni, nephew of his pre-

decessor Nompaneme, became a Christian, and survived until

about 15C0. The Franciscans engraved his epitaph, in the Chibcha

language, on a stone : 1 The best man in Cundinamarca, the crown

and honour of his nation. Friend of the children of the sun, who,

in the end, adored the eternal sun. We pray for his soul.’



The gold-seekers were more ruthless than the fire.

So perished an institution which gave the Chibchas

their highest claim to be considered a civilised


Bordering on the valley of the Iraca to the north

was the territory of the brave chief, Tutama, who

only owned a nominal allegiance to the Zaque.

On hearing of the awful sacrilege at Suamo, he

called together his warriors, a well disciplined array,

and advanced against the enemy. It was in

October 1537. The fight, well contested and long

doubtful, was near the hills of Duitama. Quesada

fell with his horse, and was in some danger. At

length Tutama’s force retreated in good order to

the fastnesses of Bonda, which consisted of morasses

with islands rising from them. The fight was known

as the battle of Bonda. The Spaniards also

retreated and formed a defensive camp at Suesca,

under the command of Hernán Perez de Quesada,

the General’s brother.

Plunder was the main object of the Spanish

captains and soldiers. Unsatisfied by the result

of their robbery in the Zaque’s palace, and foiled

at Suamo, they continued to clamour for more

gold. There was a rumour that the gold owned

by the Chibchas came from the valley of Neyva;


and tliey must needs be led in that direction.

Quesada conducted bis forces across tbe cordillera,

and with great difficulty tbey made tbeir way to

tbe banks of tbe Magdalena. But tbeir guides bad

escaped from tbem. Tbe inhabitants bad crossed

to tbe other side of the river, and the Spaniards

beg^n to suffer from fevers and want of provisions.

Leaving several comrades who had died of exposure

and fever, the rest made their way up the mountain

slopes, with their thirst for gold unsatisfied.

Quesada once more fixed his headquarters at

Muequeta, the deserted palace of the Zipa, in

January 1538; and, in order to give some satis-

faction to bis avaricious followers, he determined

to distribute such treasure as had been collected.

For the royal fifth he set aside 40,000 pesos of fine

gold and 562 emeralds.1 Each foot-soldier got

520 pesos9 each cavalry soldier 1040, each officer

2080, seven officers’ shares for Quesada himself,

and nine for the Adelantado de Lugo.

The Zipa Thisquezuza had retreated to a

secluded forest to the westward,3 where he held his

1 Manuscript reports of the captains, San Martin and Lebrija,

quoted by Acosta. Colonel Acosta thinks that vast sums were

secreted by Quesada and his ofnoers, and that the real amount was

double what was officially stated.

2 Near Facatativá.



Court, and whence he directed the operations of his

faithful followers. But he seems to have despaired

of ultimate success. He and his councillors felt

that the gods had passed a doom upon his people

from which there could be no escape.

Quesada was long unable to find out whither

the Zipa had gone. His subjects preserved^ the

secret, the discovery of which was eagerly desired

in the belief that more gold would be found. At

last two boys, suspected of coming from the Zipa

as messengers, were captured. Both were cruelly

tortured. One died rather than divulge the secret.

The other succumbed under the excruciating agony

and consented to guide the marauders. Quesada

set out with a chosen body of men, marching all

night. At dawn he surprised the royal camp and

broke into it. The Zipa was mortally wounded,

but safely carried off by his guards and attendants.

After the first panic the Chibchas rallied and

fiercely attacked the Spaniards, who retreated

hastily, closely followed, their retreat soon being

converted into a flight. They had only found

two golden drinking-cups, brought there for the

Sovereign’s own use.

Thisquezuza died of his wound, and was

secretly interred. Thus fell the last reigning



Zaque and the last reigning Zipa. An advancing

civilisation was destroyed with them, and their

ill-fated subjects saw the last of their days of

prosperity and happiness. They passed under

the yoke of ruthless and cruel oppressors.

But resistance did not cease with the Zipa’s

deafh. It aroused his warriors to renewed efforts.

The constitutional heir was the Usaque of Chia,

but he had shown pusillanimity and weakness.

Another nephew was chosen to succeed Thisquezuza,

a gallant young warrior named Sagipa. He led

renewed and incessant attacks on the Spanish

camp at Muequeta, until he obliged Quesada to

beat a retreat and form another camp at Bosa,

where the plain was open and better suited for the

operations of cavalry.

The Panches, emboldened by their successful

encounters with the Spaniards, began to make

destructive raids into the Chibcha country. Then

Sagipa made a fatal mistake. He went to the camp

at Bosa, with presents of gold and emeralds, and

requested the Spaniards to assist him against his

enemies the Panches. Quesada and his officers

were much struck by the noble bearing of the young

Zipa and at once acceded to his request. A few

days afterwards a combined army of Chibchas


and Spaniards advanced into the country of the

Panches—the former under the command of Sagipa,

the latter led by Quesada himself. The Panche

warriors were ready to dispute the further progress

of their foes. It was arranged that the Chibchas

should meet the brunt of their attack, while the

Spanish cavalry, from an ambush, was to charge Jbheir

flank. These tactics were carried out with success,

and at length the Panches were really defeated.

This important encounter was known as the battle

of Tocarema.

Then followed one of the most shameful acts

in the whole sad story. The Spaniards began to

believe that there must be a great Zipa treasure

concealed somewhere, and that Sagipa knew the

secret. They thought that a ransom might be

extorted, like that of Atahualpa. The Spaniards

became incarnate fiends—no other words can ex-

press the truth—when gold was concerned. Sagipa

was their guest and their companion in arms.

Their word was given for his safety. Yet, regard-

less of honour and good faith, the officers petitioned

Quesada to imprison him and load him with chains,

that he might be forced to deliver up the treasure of

the Zipa. Quesada weakly complied. The Chib-

chas were horrified, for their Sovereign had joined



the Spaniards and entered their camp on promise

of safety. Sagipa told Quesada that he had no

gold, that the late Zipa certainly had treasure,

but that he distributed it all among his chiefs before

his flight from Muequeta. This was the simple

truth. The Spaniards then began to inflict the

most frightful tortures on the unfortunate Zipa,

to extort a confession when there was nothing to

confess. They kept him alive for many days, but

the brave prince uttered not a word. At length

he died in excruciating agony. As to the fiends

who perpetrated this hideous crime words fail to

describe them. Quesada no doubt disapproved,

but the mutinous violence of the gold-seekers over-

awed him, and he weakly allowed the crime to be

perpetrated. On him falls the blame. It has left

a stain on his memory that nothing can wash out.

Quesada now contemplated the necessity of

obtaining reinforcements to complete his work,

and he decided that he must himself return to

obtain recognition of his services. The great plain

of Bogotá reminded him of the Vega of Granada.

He there founded a city on August 6, 1538,

and named it Santa Fé, after the city built by

Ferdinand and Isabella in the Vega. The sur-

rounding heights reminded him of the hills round



the Moorish capital, and he even saw in the hills of

Suacho a resemblance to that known as c El ultimo

suspiro del Moro/ Full of these reminiscences

of his youth he gave his discoveries the name of

New Granada. The new city of Santa Fé de

Bogotá was on the site of one of the country houses

of the Zipa called Tuesaquillo. A dozen large

buildings were erected of sufficient size to house

all the Spaniards, and a wooden church on the site

of the present cathedral. Municipal officers and

magistrates were duly appointed.

In the midst of these proceedings the news

arrived that a large body of Spaniards were march-

ing up the valley of Neyva. This proved to be

Sebastian de Belalcazar on his way to Spain.

Immediately afterwards there arrived a report

that another body of Spaniards was coming down

from the lofty plateaux of Suma Paz. It was the

German Nicolas Federman with his veterans who

had traversed the Amazonian forests. It was an

extraordinary meeting. The three chiefs, Quesada,

Belalcazar, and Fredeman, resolved to return to

Spain together. Boats were got ready for them

at La Tora on the Magdalena. Before their

departure it was resolved to found two other cities.

One was to be on the River Suarez at the northern


frontier of the Zaque’s dominions, which was to be

founded by Captain Martin Galiano, and named

Velez in memory of Velez Malaga near Granada.

The other city was to be at Tunja, on the site of

the Zaque’s capital, to be founded by Captain

Gonzalo Suarez Rondón who had served in Italy,

at the battle of Pavia.

Quesada left his brother, Hernán Perez de

Quesada, in charge of the government of this new

kingdom of Granada, with the title of lieutenant-

general. In May, 1538, the three generals embarked

at Guataqui on the Magdalena, arrived safely at

its mouth in twelve days, and proceeded to Carta-

gena, to embark for Spain. Quesada sought for

confirmation of his appointment as Governor of

his important discoveries, and Belalcazar hoped to

receive an independent grant of Popayán and the

Cauca valley.

Quesada had arrived in the country of the

Chibchas and found wide plains and beautiful

valleys thickly peopled by an industrious and

intelligent race. He found an advancing civilisa-

tion guided by two sovereigns of ancient lineage,

with a third sacred personage acting as arbitrator

and peacemaker. He found chiefs and people happy

and contented. When he departed all was changed.


There was confusion and terror, cultivation neg-

lected, some of the people in flight, others forced

to work as slaves. He had killed two sovereigns,

tortured another to death. Destruction had come

upon Chibcha civilisation, and desolation brooded

over the once prosperous land. True: but Quesada

was taking home a box containing 758 emeralds

for the emperor Charles V.



THE country of the Chibchas, on the departure of

Gonzalo Jimenes de Quesada, was left at the mercy

of his brother, Hernán Perez de Quesada, a very

different man. Hernán Perez was callous and

inhuman. Bitten by the gold fever as deeply as

the most ignorant soldier under his orders, he was

as guilty as any of his companions—indeed, more

guilty—in connection with the atrocious murder of

Sagipa, the last of the Zipas.

The unfortunate country had been divided up

into encomiendas, or tracts of land, with their

inhabitants—probably identical with the old chief-

ships, or one chiefship may have formed two

or more encomiendas. These encomiendas were

granted to the captains under Quesada, and to

some of those who had accompanied Belalcazar

and Federman, and had remained in New Granada.

The grants were for two lives.1 The inhabitants

1 See lists in the Appendix.

145 L


became tbe slaves of tbe encomenderos, who de-

manded tribute from them to an amount it was

impossible for them to pay. and used them in any

way they pleased—to work in the fields, or for

personal service, or as porters forced to carry

weights far beyond their strength. It was a

grinding and crushing tyranny.

Quesada’s lieutenant and brother had first to de-

fend his claims against a formidable competitor. The

Licentiate. Jerónimo Lebrón, had been appointed

Governor of Santa Martha by the Audiencia of

San Domingo. He considered that the discoveries

of Quesada were within his jurisdiction, and he

set out, with a well-organised expedition, to take

possession. He had seven boats manned by 100

soldiers, and 200 more men were to march by land

to the mouth of the Cesari. It was the same plan

as that adopted by Quesada. The Licentiate,

Lebrón, took the first Spanish women to New

Granada, and a supply of corn and vegetable seeds.

The conduct of the expedition was entrusted to

three able and experienced captains. The boats

met with great difficulties at the bar of the

Magdalena and had to throw some of their cargoes

overboard; and the crews suffered from incessant

attacks by the natives in canoes while ascending


the river to Sampollon. Higher up there were few

incidents, and Lebrón, ascending the mountains,

arrived at Velez in December 1540, after six

months of hard work, and the loss of many of his

followers. He was received as Governor by the

settlers at Velez.

When Hernán Perez de Quesada heard of this

unexpected arrival he sent a messenger to Lebrón

to warn him that the municipalities of Bogotá and

Tunja could not acknowledge that an appointment

as Governor of Santa Martha by the Audiencia of

San Domingo was sufficient authority for super-

seding the discoverer. Hernán Perez then marched

with a force of 200 foot and 100 horse1 to oppose

him. Lebrón, reinforced by the settlers at Velez,

advanced with an equal force. A battle seemed

imminent. But Captain Suarez Rondón intervened,

and an interview was arranged. The majority

of the settlers were resolved not to receive Lebrón

lest he should revoke or disturb the grants of

encomiendas. Seeing this, Lebrón wisely decided

that his best plan was to retire. He made a small

fortune by the sale of horses, slaves, clothing, and

arms at exorbitant prices, and embarked at

1 Some horses had been left by Belalcazar, raising the number

from fifty-nine to a hundred.

L 2


Guataquí on the Magdalena, with only twenty-

five followers. The rest remained. When he

reached Santa Martha he heard of the appoint-

ment of a new Governor in the person of

Luis Alonso de Lugo. So he retired to his

house at San Domingo with the small fortune

he had made.

His followers increased the Spanish population

of New Granada. The women he brought found

husbands. His seeds were sown and yielded

abundant crops. Captain Jeromino Aguayo reaped

the first harvest of wheat, and Elvira Gutierrez,

wife of Juan de Montalvo, was the first woman

who baked wheaten bread.

Hernán Perez de Quesada, still craving for gold,

had the idea of a search for El Dorado put into his

head. A young adventurer named Montalvo de

Lugo, a relation of the Adelantado, had arrived

from Venezuela, and reached Bogotá after having

followed the route of Federman through the

forests. He certainly had not found El Dorado,

but he had theories about the locality and the

direction to take. He excited the sordid avarice of

Hernán Perez to a high pitch, and the Lieutenant-

General resolved to undertake the search with an

expedition on a large scale. But he added tenfold


to his crimes, before he started, by committing

several cold-blooded murders.

Aquimin, the young Zaque, had succeeded his

uncle in little else than the love and devotion of

his people. When the Captain Suarez Rondón1

founded the Spanish city of Tunja, seventy-five miles

north-east of Bogotá, he had seized the Zaque’s

palace and land to divide amongst the new citizens.

This was on August 6, 1539. But the young

Prince had shown no resentment at this robbery,

and no hostility to the Spaniards. He was beloved

by the people for his charming manner, his charity

and generosity. Hernán Perez resolved to murder

Aquimin, the last of the Zaques, and he came to

Tunja and had him seized and beheaded. He gave

no reason except that it was as well to make all

safe while he was away. Even the hardened

citizens of Bogotá and Tunja were shocked at this

cold-blooded injustice, and when Hernán Perez was

struck by lightning some years afterwards it was

looked upon as a judgment. Not content with the

murder of the Zaque, he also caused to be killed

the chiefs of Samaca, Turmequé, Boyaca, and

1 The name Rondón (a watchman, or one who goes the rounds)

is said to have been added to the name of his ancestor by King

Alfonso XI, after the taking of Algesiras.


several other principal men of the Chibcha nation.

This revolting cruelty causes a feeling of disgust

and loathing for the perpetrator. At the time, the

people were stunned and horrified at the loss of

their leaders. It was a calamity from an historical

point of view because the murdered chiefs were

those who knew all the traditions of their race.

They were the men of learning, who could have

handed down the full story of a people, fast

advancing in civilisation, to posterity. Now it is

nearly all lost to us.

Hernán Perez de Quesada, red-handed with

the blood of murdered men, prepared to depart

on his absurd search for El Dorado. The captain,

Suarez Rondón, was left in charge of the govern-

ment of the new kingdom of Granada. Hernán

Perez took with him 200 Spaniards, some horses,

and a number of unfortunate Chibchas as porters.

He first marched to the country of the Laches and

went thence down into the eastern forests, turning

to the south. He followed much the same route

as that of George of Spires, suffering the same

miseries from insects, rains, the labour of forcing

a way through tangled underwood, and famine

caused by failure of provisions. Many died; the

explorers were reduced to eating the horses. At


last they were obliged to kill and eat a favourite

donkey named ‘ Marubare9 on which Father

Requejada rode. The poor old donkey was a great

traveller, having done much good service at Santa

Martha. The famished party, much reduced in

numbers, arrived at a place where the cordillera

was in sight. They succeeded in reaching it, and

at length arrived at Pasto, whence they journeyed

on to Bogotá, where Hernán Perez de Quesada

met with a reception he little expected. There can

be no doubt that the origin of the story about

El Dorado was in the custom of gilding the chief

at the Lake of Guatavita. This tradition was

wildly exaggerated, and the locality was altered

to suit the whims and theories of insatiable gold-


In the unhappy land of the Chibchas the cruel

exactions of the Spanish encomenderos became

more and more intolerable. The chief of Guatavita

rose in arms, but his defeat was followed by a

horrible massacre. The people began to hide their

wives and families among rocks and fastnesses,

or on islands in lagoons and morasses. Tundama,

the chief of Duitama, was the bravest and most

resolute of the Chibcha patriots. Very few leaders

or chiefs had survived, and to him alone could his


countrymen look—in him alone was there a vestige

of hope left. The Duitama territory had been

granted in encomienda to one Baltasar Maldonado.

Tundama fortified an island in the Lake of Bonja,

which was connected with the mainland by a

narrow causeway. Stakes, sharpened at the ends,

were placed across the causeway, and along ^that

side of the island. The other side was believed to

be safe, for it was not foreseen that the water would

have subsided considerably, making it fordable.

The brave chief let Maldonado know that he and

his people preferred death to seeing their wives and

children torn by bloodhounds, and themselves

cruelly tortured when unable to satisfy the

insatiable avarice of their oppressors. Tundama

did not wait for the enemy to traverse the causeway,

but defended the entrance to it, and, after a des-

perate fight, the Spaniards were defeated and had

to retreat. Next day they unfortunately discovered

that the lagoon was fordable at the back of the

island. Wading across at night, they attacked

the patriots in the rear, taking them entirely by

surprise, and overpowering them. There was a

dreadful massacre, those who were not killed by

their enemies being drowned in the lake. A few,

including Tundama himself, escaped by swimming.


The brave patriot raised another force of his

devoted tribesmen, and continued to harass the

invaders. But at last he became despondent. He

could see no hope. Collecting all the gold he could

get together as tribute, he went to Maldonado and

surrendered. The tribute consisted of ornaments

and vessels. The ruffian had a hammer in his hand,

to smash them flat before weighing. He insisted

on more being brought. Tundama said that

there was no more. Some words followed, and

Maldonado murdered the unarmed chief by a blow

on his head with the hammer. Thus perished the

brave and valiant patriot, the last hope of the

Chibcha nation.

Tundama’s heir was his young nephew. The

youth was seized, and tortured to divulge the place

where there was more gold. There was no such

place. He was then stripped naked, loaded with

chains, driven through the street of Duitama, and

then thrown into prison. He committed suicide,

unable to survive such an indignity.

The people were leaderless and crushed. Yet,

in their despair, they still resisted. The inhabi-

tants of Tausa, Suta, and Cucunuba secretly took

their wives and families, with provisions, to the

rock of Tausa. Huge blocks of stone were heaped



on the only path that led to it. On the other sides

there were sheer precipices. When the news came

to Bogota, a hundred Spaniards were sent against

the fugitives. Great stones were hurled down

upon them from above. But the Spaniards

were well led. Advancing in single file, with huge

wooden shields, they succeeded in reaching a

sort of shelf above the position of the Chibchas.

Amongst them were arquebusiers; for, though the

original supply of powder had run out, saltpetre

and other ingredients had been found near Tunja,

and a fresh supply had been manufactured. A

fire was opened on tbe women and children, and

under its cover the rest of the Spaniards dashed

down among them, to slaughter without mercy.

The despairing Indians succeeded in hurling some

of the Spaniards over the tremendous precipice.

One young captain, who had come with Federman,

named Olalla, was so treated. He would have been

dashed to pieces if his fall had not been broken

by trees and underwood. He escaped by a miracle,

with only a broken leg and his face cut by his own

sword. The place was known as c The leap of

Olalla/ Indescribable horrors followed. There was

a hideous massacre, and many threw themselves

over the precipice to escape the Spanish knives.



Again there was desolation and despair, crowds of

turkey-buzzards and other birds of prey gorging

themselves on the heaps of corpses.

In another part of this unhappy land the people

of Simigaca took refuge among some lofty rocks

surrounded at their bases by dense underwood.

In the first attack the Spaniards were defeated, but

in the end the catastrophe of Tausa was repeated.

The poor Chibchas were without their natural

leaders. Their chiefs had all been murdered. Yet

they made several desperate attempts to obtain

better terms. They fell at last, but they did

not fall ingloriously. In the end of 1541 the

people of Ocavita and Subachoque rose. The

veteran Captain Céspedes was sent against Ocavita

and was twice defeated. Subachoque was attacked

by Captain Juan Pineda, but the inhabitants

defended themselves with such courage and skill

that he was forced to retreat. Captain Suarez

Eondon then came in person with his whole force ;

yet treachery and not valour won the day. One

Alonso Martin sent to the leader of the Ocavitas,

earnestly requesting him to grant an interview

and arrange terms, promising to come alone to

meet him. The chief came out, trusting to the

officer’s word. Meanwhile a strong force of soldiers



had crept up among the bushes, and. as the confer-

ence began, they rushed into the stronghold and

threw off the mask. After this the Chibchas seem

to have submitted, sinking into slavery and black


The phase of Spanish character shown in such

a lurid light during the course of their conquests

in South America was not, it should be admitted,

inherent in them as a race. It is to be attributed

to the age. The most cold-blooded act of cruelty

in the whole record was due to the German, Alfinger.

We should remember the number of humane soldiers

and statesmen among these conquerors of South

America. We have already had to consider the

humanity and benevolence of Eodrigo de Bastidas,

of Lorenzo de Aldana, of Pascual de Andagoya, of

Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, of Heredia, and of Cieza de

Leon. Not a few more names can be added to the

honourable list. That of Serra de Leguisano should

always be remembered. These never swerved from

the advocacy of humane treatment of the natives.

There were others who, although not without

feelings of humanity, were mainly influenced by

considerations of policy, seeing the stupidity and

waste caused by a course of cruelty and oppression.

They sometimes weakly yielded to the violent


pressure of their followers. In this category-

must be placed Gonzalo Jimenes de Quesada, the

discoverer of New Granada.

After his departure there was a carnival of

cruelty in New Granada until all the wealth had

passed into the hands of the invaders. The next

bloodsucker would have to bleed the Spaniards,

for the unhappy Chibchas were already sucked dry.

He was on his way.





the kingdom of New Granada, a precious jewel

in the crown of Spain, arrived at Seville in October,

1539. He submitted a report entitled ( Epitome

de la conquista del nuevo reino de Granada.’ It

mainly consists of a description of the country,

its inhabitants, and resources.1 He also brought

with him, as the royal fifths, a box containing 567

emeralds and 11,000 pesos of pure gold. The

emeralds, arranged in sizes, were in eight paper

parcels. An order came from the Court that they

were to be sent at once to Madrid. Quesada’s

first thought was to see his parents and the beautiful

home in the Vega of Granada once more. He then

went to Court to ask for the government of the

1 It was sent to the Council of the Indies, and came into the hands

of the Cosmographer, remaining in his department. It is now in

the Archivo Histórico. It was printed by Jimenes de la Espada,

in his pamphlet on Castellanos, in 1889.




country lie had discovered. He found that an

underhand attack was organised against him by

the spread of slanders and false statements. It

was said that he was so unmannerly as to appear in

a coloured dress when the Court was in mourning

for the Empress ;1 that he had improperly kept

back for himself much of the gold and emeralds;

that he had been found illegally playing at dice

in a hostelry; and other such rumours were spread

by an enemy who soon came out into the open.

At that time the Licentiate Gonzalo Jimenes

de Quesada was a man of forty, rather bald, but

with a fine presence and courteous bearing.

Though fond of the society of ladies he was rather

careless of the conventionalities of the Court,

being conscious of his own merits. But it must

be remembered that these qualities appeared

after he had brought to a conclusion one of the

finest achievements connected with the Spanish

conquests, without unnecessary bloodshed and,

except in one case, without causing outrage to an

1 Castellanos repeats one of these fabrications. It was said that,

although the Court was in mourning for the Empress, who had only

been dead six months, Quesada came in a scarlet dress covered with

gold lace and fringe. The Emperor’s Secretary, Francisco de los

Cobos, saw him enter the courtyard from a window, and exclaimed:

4 What madman is that ? Turn him out !’



honest conscience. The riches he made were for

the Crown and for others. Poor he went to his

work of discovery, and poor he returned from

the kingdom he had given to the Crown of


The claim of Quesada came before the Council

of the Indies in due course. He, however, had a

too powerful rival. Luis Alonso de Lugo, it*may

be remembered, committed a theft of an excep-

tionally disgraceful character, for he stole the gold

from his comrades and, still worse, from his own

father who was left in distress and embarrassment.

His father sent home evidence of the theft,

with a request that the villainy might be punished.

The thief was imprisoned by the authorities in

Spain, but not for long. On the arrival of the news

of his father’s death, the villain became hereditary

Adelantado of the Canary Islands and Governor

of Santa Martha—a post which had been granted

for two lives. He claimed that Quesada’s dis-

covery of New Granada was part of the Santa

Martha territory. The matter of the theft was

hushed up. For Lugo had married Doña Beatriz

de Noroña y Mendoza, and she was a sister of

Maria de Mendoza who was the wife of Francisco

de los Cobos, Comendador Mayor de Leon, and the



all-powerful Secretary of the Emperor Charles V.

Against such interest, quite unscrupulously used,

the case of Quesada stood no chance.

Yet the shamefully used discoverer was not

wholly without friends in the Council of the Indies.

A statement was signed by the Cardinal Arch-

bishop of Seville, the Bishop of Lugo, the Count of

Osorno and some others, in which it was represented

that Quesada made the conquest by exposure to

great dangers, hardships, and privations; that

he conducted the enterprise as a God-fearing

Christian without injuring anyone, either Spaniard

or Indian; that the Adelantado, Lugo, trusted him

more than his own son, for the many high qualities

he found in him ; that he brought back great store

of gold and emeralds: for these reasons, and

because Don Luis de Lugo is married and not so

well fitted to rule over Spaniards and Indians,

the charge should be given to the Licentiate

Quesada. No complaint of him had come, but

many petitions that he might be appointed. He

was the son of an eminent jurist, an advocate

in the High Court at Granada, and it seemed

a great injustice not to reward such services

because once, by chance, he played at dice

with another licentiate, his countryman, in a



hostelry at Madrid. Besides, it was only for small


All was of no avail. The ladies were all-

powerful with the Secretary, and the Secretary

was all-powerful with the Emperor. On the tenth

of September 1540, Charles V appointed the most

unfit and the most undeserving man in all Spain

to be Governor and Adelantado of Santa Martha

and the new kingdom of Granada, in place of the

discoverer whose great services were ignored. The

order is dated at Brussels. Luis Alonso de Lugo

made his preparations and sailed from Cadiz in

the following December.

The Secretary, Cobos, continued his persecution

of Quesada by spreading and encouraging false

reports about him, and by using Villalobos, the

Fiscal of the Council of the Indies, as his tool.

Quesada was accused of disembarking at Malaga

that he might conceal large quantities of gold:

at least, his landing there was considered suspi-

cious. Next Villalobos trumped up some false claim

of old standing, and demanded 12,000 ducats.

When Quesada went to France he was accused of

1 The dignitaries of the Church and others, who signed this

report in favour of Quesada, are said to have been open to bribery.

It is very likely. But there are no grounds for supposing that they

were bribed on this occasion.


going there because the price of emeralds was

higher in France. Stories were told of the reckless

way in which he spent the riches he had improperly

acquired. It was said that he was put in prison

at Lisbon for wearing an embroidered shirt, and

that when he was let out he gave the jailer’s wife

100 ducats. Also that, playing at dice with

Hernando Pizarro and another at Madrid, when

his friends gave small coins to the girl who waited

on them, he poured two handfuls of ducats into

her apron. These lies were busily circulated.

The real Quesada was very differently employed.

He travelled, to escape persecution, in France and

Italy and in Portugal, and he was occupied a

good deal in literary pursuits. Among other

essays which are lost, he wrote a review of the

history of Paulo Jovio in Latin, because ‘ he was

grieved to see such a good style and so little

truth, nor could he suffer so much abuse and

discourtesy of the Spanish nation, without answer-

ing it/ It was upwards of ten years before

the great discoverer was allowed to return to

New Granada. He did so in 1550, in company

with the judges of the new High Court of

Justice, with the title of Marshal, but without

any jurisdiction.

M 2



Luis Alonso de Lugo went to his government

with the sole object of plunder. When he arrived

at the pearl fishery at Rio de la Hacha he demanded

a twelfth as his perquisite as Governor of Santa

Martha. Castellanos, the Royal Treasurer, refused

to allow the chest containing the pearls to be

opened, and refused to give up the keys. At last

Lugo found the key in a small purse hidden in

the Treasurer’s nether garment. The plunderer

then opened the chest and took what he chose;

while the Treasurer wrote a complaint to the

Council of the Indies.

Lugo did not go to Santa Martha, but he sent

some of his officers there to procure boats and bring

them up the River Magdalena to a point where he

was to join them, coming by land. It has been

suggested that he was ashamed to go to Santa

Martha. Such a man as Lugo was incapable of

any feelings of that kind. He landed in the valley

of Upar and had to fight his way, through hostile

tribes, to the banks of the Magdalena, where he

found his boats ; nor did his difficulties end there,

for in working his way up the river he was sub-

jected to incessant attacks.

The cause of those attacks is not without its

romantic side. The Spaniards of Santa Martha,



in one of their raids on the river, had captured a

little Indian boy, a very clever little boy, so clever

that they would have been wiser if they had left

him alone. He was brought up as a servant,

whipped and ill-treated, and christened Frances-

quillo. One day he was missing. He had escaped

to th^ river and proved to be a genius of a kind.

For he almost immediately gained an extraordinary

influence over the tribes of the Magdalena. He

was barely sixteen years of age, yet thousands of

Indians were ready to obey him. Francesquillo

gave Lugo an uncommonly disagreeable time during

his ascent of the Magdalena, and subjected his

party to heavy loss. With any number of canoes

at his disposal, the audacious boy organised an

attack almost every day, pouring showers of

poisoned arrows into the laden boats.

At last Lugo’s party reached the mouth of the

Opon, and he made the ascent of the mountains

with much loss and difficulty. When he reached

Velez, he was acknowledged as Governor, and

travelling thence to Santa Fé de Bogotá he

assumed command, at once superseding Captain

Suarez Rondón. The expedition of Lugo brought

the first cattle, which rapidly multiplied on the

rich pastures of Bogotá and Tunja.



Lugo had come for plunder, and he began at

once. It is not altogether without a feeling of

satisfaction that we see the robbers and plunderers

of the Chibchas robbed and plundered in their

turn. They had sucked the unhappy natives dry,

and now they were to undergo the same process

themselves. Lugo may be compared witji the

robber skua.

The new Governor’s first act was to arrest his

predecessor, Captain Suarez Rondón, and throw

him into prison, confiscating the whole of his

property. This brought him in 50,000 ducats.

His next proceeding was to recall all the encomienda

grants on the plea that they were not in correct

legal form, and that they must be made anew.

In the interval, which he made a long one, he sent

his agents round to extort the tribute for himself.

When Hernán Perez de Quesada returned

from his wanderings in the Amazonian forests, any-

one with a spark of humanity would have received

him with a show of hospitable treatment. Lugo

was devoid of any such feeling. He at once

closely confined him in a prison, and shut up his

brother Francisco, who had just arrived from

Peru, in another prison. Eventually he banished

the two brothers, and they went down the



Magdalena to the coast. When on board a ship

bound for San Domingo they were both killed by


After more than three years of robbery and

spoliation, this precious Adelantado Luis Alonso

de Lugo, received the news that the inevitable

Juez de Residencia was on his way to take him

to account. So he resolved to evade the investiga-

tion by returning to Spain. He carried off 300,000

ducats in gold, and took Captain Suarez Rondón

and some others as prisoners. Having bought a

ship at Santa Martha for his voyage to Spain, he

touched at the pearl fishery at Rio de la Hacha.

The authorities there detained the vessel until

Lugo had refunded the value of the pearls he had

stolen on his way out. They also caused Suarez

Rondón and the other prisoners to be liberated,

as Lugo was quite capable of murdering them on

the voyage home, lest he should have to refund

any of their property. Lugo arrived in Spain,

and all his misdeeds were condoned through the

influence of the two ladies who were powerful

enough to induce the Secretary Cobos to represent

things to the Emperor in a false light. It is as-

tounding that such a miscreant should have been

allowed to follow his career of robbery with


impunity. It is still more wonderful that the wild

soldiery in South America should have been such

venerators of authority, and so law-abiding as to

tolerate Lugo’s exactions.

It was not due to ignorance that the Secretary

and the Emperor allowed this oppressor to commit

the crimes of which he was guilty. Las Casas, the

protector of the Indians, took good care of that.

Las Casas wrote the following letter to the

Emperor Charles V, from San Domingo in 1544.1

f One of the most cruel tyrants and the most

irrational and bestial, with little brain and less

conscience than Barbarossa, is Luis Alonso de

Lugo. They say that he is a brother-in-law of

the Comendador de Leon’ss wife, Dona Maria

de Mendoza. This tyrant has done out there the

same things that he did when his father was alive,

and more incredible things still. Eor he has had

absolute command of time and place. He has

now done what I told your Majesty and the same

Comendador Mayor, and to all the Court he would

do. I am satisfied with this prophecy. He has

robbed God’s honour, he has robbed your Majesty,

1 In the Archivos Hist. National, dated September 15, 1544.

Printed by Espada in his review of Castellanos.

2 Francisco de los Cobos, the Emperor’s Secretary.



he has been able to skin both Indians and Christians,

not leaving a single peso in all the kingdom of New

Granada that he has not stolen for himself. We

shall see who will give the strict account God will

require. I truly believe that the hardest and

most rigorous will be that which the Comendador

must give, and those of the Council who had so much

respect for his wishes. They knew what manner

of man Don Luis Alonso de Lugo was, from the

evidence in the process which his own father

instituted against him. Knowing all this, they

yet gave the knife of justice to a man so bad as

this man. As the Licentiate Cerrato has sent your

Majesty an account of his wicked deeds, I do not

desire to say more/

This is certainly a damning indictment of the

shamelessly corrupt practice of Secretary Cobo

under the influence of his wife and sister-in-law.

The man himself must have had an amount of

audacious assurance, which is perfectly astounding,

and, it must be assumed, some outward grace of

manner which endeared him to those powerful

ladies of the Court of Charles V. He was also a

favourite of Prince Philip and of the Duke of Alva.

Lugo was not only allowed to evade justice and

retain his plunder, but he received an excellent



appointment. He was given the command of

3000 well-trained soldiers to restore order in the

Island of Corsica. He was afterwards stationed

at Naples and at Sienna. He then appears to

have gone to Flanders where he died, probably at


This was the man who was allowed to deprive

Quesada of his just reward for the discovery of

New Granada.

Lugo’s descendants had the assurance to clamour

for money they claimed to be due to him, and

litigation was carried on by his grand-daughter,

the Princess of Asculi, until 1592/

1 Viera y Clavijo and Piedrahita say that he died in Flanders,

the latter naming Ghent. Simon says Milan.

” Luis Alonso do Lugo, by his wife Beatriz de Noroña y Mondoza,

had two children: (1) Luis Alonso Fernandez de Lugo, married to

Maria de Castilla. He was bewitched, and died young and childless.

He was surnamed ‘ The Beautiful.’ (2) Luisa, married to Nieolo

Marini, Duke of Terra Nova, and had a daughter Porcia Madalena,

married to Antonio Luis de Leyva, fourth Prince of Asculi. She had

four sons: (1) Antonio, (2N Jorge, (3) Luis, (4) Pedro Fernandez.



THERE was still an important but difficult piece of

work to be acbieved for tbe encomenderos of New

Granada. The sources of gold were reported to

be on the other side of the River Magdalena,

and the fierce tribe of Panches barred the way.

It was a young but very able and judicious

officer named Hernán Venegas who solved this


Venegas equipped a small force, consisting

mainly of infantry, but with some cavalry and

bloodhounds, and left Bogotá to discover the gold-

mines. He descended the slopes of the cordillera

as far as the junction of the River Vituimita with

a stream flowing down a deep ravine. Here he

encountered the army of the Panches under their

chief, Siquima. There was a fierce encounter;

but the Panches, who did not fear the horses, were

terrified by the bloodhounds, and fled to their



heights. Venegas then sent a message to Siquima

asking him for terms. The chief consented to

allow the Spaniards to pass down to the Magdalena

without further molestation.

Venegas succeeded in collecting canoes, in

which his followers crossed the Magdalena; and

he was guided by a native to a river, which .yvas

named the Venadillo because the inhabitants on its

banks had domesticated some small deer. Near

it, the Spaniards discovered the gold-washings and

diggings which were the object of the expedition.

Venegas returned to Bogotá. The next point

was to reduce the Panches; for with this warlike

tribe in the way, and always hostile, the gold-mines

would be useless.

Venegas set out with seventy men, horse and

foot; but he had to fight a desperate battle with the

Panches, in which he was certainly not the victor.

He gave up the plan of a front attack and direct

fighting, and resolved to deal with them by a

system of strategy directed to their flank and rear.

With this object he began to negotiate with cognate

tribes in and near the valley of the Magdalena.

The Panches occupied the slopes of the cordillera

for about ninety miles with a breadth of ten

or twelve, and were supposed to number 50,000



fighting-men. To the north were the Colimas—a

still fiercer race ; and to the south, the Sutagaos.

The Tocaimas, on the Magdalena and Pati, were

more peacefully inclined; but the neighbouring

tribes—Suitamas, Lachimis, and Anapuimas—

were more warlike.

Passing the Lachimis, Venegas was successful

in making an alliance with the chief of the Suitamas

named Guacana who, after taking counsel with his

old men, decided on receiving the Spaniards, and

sending them presents. Venegas then resolved to

found a city on the river Pati, the same as the

Funza, only below the magnificent Tequendama

Falls. This was in April 1544. Guacana gave his

consent, and the new city received the name of

Tocaima. The Lachimis and Anapuimas were

hostile. A combined army of Spaniards and

Suitamas marched against them, and they were

entirely defeated. Spanish influence was firmly

established along this part of the Magdalena, and

Venegas gained his object—which was to work

round the rear of the Panches, and cut them off

from their markets. Those dwellers in mountain

fastnesses were more or less dependent on the

markets for their existence. Especially, they were

unable to exist without salt, and of that necessary



of life they were entirely deprived. It was thus

that the indomitable warriors were reduced to

submission, and the skilful management of the

campaign reflects great credit on the ability and

skill with which young Venegas conducted it.

Lugo, when he fled from justice, had left a

relation, named Montalvo de Lugo, in charge of

the government of New Granada. But the Juez

de Residencia, Dr. Miguel Diaz de Armendariz,

had already arrived. He was detained on the coast

for some time, taking the residencia at Cartagena.

He therefore sent his nephew, a gallant and very

handsome young knight of Pampluna, named

Pedro de Ursua, to take charge until his arrival

at Bogotá. Ursua was well-intentioned, but too

young. He was, however, accompanied by an

experienced adviser in the person of the veteran

Captain Suarez Rondón, who Lad escaped from

Lugo at the pearl fishery. On their arrival at

Bogotá, Montalvo de Lugo was arrested and Ursua

assumed the government.

Soon afterwards Miguel Diaz Armendariz, the

Juez de Residencia, arrived at Bogotá. He was

commissioned not only to make a strict scrutiny

of previous administrations, but also to publish

the New Laws for the protection of the Indians.



The representations of Friar Bartolomé de las

Casas respecting the cruel treatment of the Indians,

which was causing a rapid diminution of the

populations in South America, at length aroused

the anxious attention of the Government of

Charles V. Several councillors of great weight

and experience advised caution, for many grants

had already been made and their revocation would

cause great discontent and probably rebellion.

But the statements of Las Casas were corroborated

by persons who returned from the Indies, on

whose truth and good faith reliance could be

placed. Many orders and decrees had been sent

out for the protection of the Indians, and had

been invariably ignored. Charles V now ordered

the New Laws to be very solemnly published and


It was of no use. The fact was that it was too

late. The harm had been done. Grants had been

made. The beasts of prey had their teeth firmly

fixed in the flesh of their victims and could not be

beaten off. In Mexico there was a statesmanlike

Viceroy who saw this. He suspended the pro-

mulgation of the New Laws until they could be

reconsidered, and they were never enforced. In

Peru, a Viceroy was sent out to enforce the New



Laws. He was devoid of judgment or tact.

The consequence was that there was a formidable

rebellion, the Viceroy was driven out of the country

which was nearly lost to Spain, and the New Laws

became a dead letter. There was a burst of furious

discontent everywhere. Yet the New Laws were

admirably framed, and the humane intentions of

the Emperor and his advisers deserve the warmest


It was enacted that the tribunals should make

it their particular care that the Indians were well

treated, and that their disputes were decided not

by ordinary law, but according to their own usages

and customs.

‘ That no Indian is to be made a slave, either

owing to being taken in war, or in rebellion, or for

ransom, or on any other pretence whatever; but

that they are to be treated as free men, and vassals

of the royal Crown of Castille.

c That no person may oblige any Indian to serve,

in any way whatever, against his will.

c That the Tribunals, without any trial, but only

on ascertaining the fact, shall set at liberty the

Indians who have been slaves, if the persons who

hold them in servitude cannot show a title to prove

that they hold them legally ; and the judges shall



appoint a suitable person to take the part of the


‘ That the Indians shall not carry loads, and if in

any part they cannot be excused, the weight is to

be moderate, and not such as to endanger life or

health ; and they are to be paid for their work, and

must do it of their own free wills.

* that no one employed by the King, nor by

monasteries, priests, or religious fraternities shall

hold Indians in encomienda, and those they hold

are to be made vassals of the Crown. If anyone

offers to resign rather than lose his Indians, it is

not to be allowed.

e All persons who hold Indians without a title,

but only by their own authority, shall give them up

as vassals of the Crown.

c As it is understood that the grants made to some

are excessive, the Judges shall reduce such grants

to an honest and moderate amount, the excess

being vested in the Crown.

‘If any Encomenderos deserve deprivation by

reason of their ill-treatment of the Indians, their

property shall be vested in the Crown.

‘For no reason or cause whatever shall any

Viceroy or Tribunal, or any other person, be em-

powered to grant Indians ; and on the death of any



person holding them, they shall be free as vassals

of the Crown. If, by reason of the services of the

deceased it seems proper to give the widow and

children a sustenance allowance, this shall be done,

by the Judges, from the tribute paid by the Indians.

6 The Judges shall take great care that the

Indians are well treated and taught the things

pertaining to our Holy Catholic Faith.

c Those who are making discoveries shall assess

the tribute to be paid by the Indians with modera-

tion, paying attention to their well-being, and

with such tribute the explorer may be helped ;

so that the Castillians shall have no power over

any Indian, nor rule over them, and this is to

be expressly stipulated in all new discoveries/

Such were, the New Laws. The object was

that the tribute, or land-tax, hitherto paid to the

Encomenderos and to an excessive amount, should

henceforth be moderate, fixed by law, and paid to

the Crown. In so far as this object was secured

the New Laws did unmixed good.

When the Judge, Armendariz, arrived in Bogotá,

he published the New Laws with great solemnity.

At once there was a howl of rage and discontent.

Procurators were nominated by the settlers to go

to Spain and petition for their revocation, especially



the clause which precluded the widow and children

from succeeding to the encomienda of the deceased.

Armendariz wisely suspended the execution of the

New Laws until the result of the mission was


Meanwhile, expeditions were undertaken and

new cities were founded. Pedro de Ursua was eager

to undertake an enterprise which would lead to

new discoveries. He was a young knight who

united an excellent education with amiability.

sweetness of temper, and proved valour. He

assembled a force of 140 men at Tunja, with Ortun

Velasco, an experienced soldier, as his lieutenant,

and in 1548 he set out, through the country of the

Laches, to explore the cordilleras to the north-east.

His expedition met with some success, and he

founded a new city, named Pampluna, after his

native place, a designation which it has retained

to the present day. Ursua was afterwards engaged,

under the Viceroy of Peru, to lead an expedition

down the great River of Amazons. The terrible

story of his murder, and of the mutiny of the

monster, Aguirre, was told in detail by the Friar

Pedro Simon in his ‘Noticias Historiales/1 but it

1 Translated and edited for the Hakluyt Society in the volume

entitled The Search for El Dorado.

x 2



does not come within the scope of the New Granada

story. Before parting from his uncle, Ursua led

an unsuccessful expedition against the fierce Musos

Indians, who were not finally subdued until many

years afterwards. Their homes were north of

the Colimas, and a valuable emerald mine was

afterwards found in their country.

The mission of the Procurators to Spain to

petition the Emperor that the New Laws might

be abrogated only met with partial success. They

succeeded in getting the clause annulled which

provided that the widow and children should not

succeed to the encomienda of a deceased husband

and father. The grant for two fives was allowed to

be re-enacted. A more important consequence of

the mission of the Procurators from New Granada

was an order respecting the government of the

country. It was enacted that the chief judicial

and executive power should be entrusted to a

royal Audiencia or High Court of Justice, consisting

of three Oidores or Judges. They were nominated

by the Emperor, and were the Licentiate Mercado,

a lawyer of great experience, and two much younger

men named Gongora and Galarza. They were to

sail for South America in 1549. They took out

an order that the royal Seal was to be received



as if it had been tbe Emperor himself. It was

to enter the city of Santa Fé de Bogotá in

procession, on a richly caparisoned horse, with a

canopy borne over it on four wands or poles carried

by magistrates on horseback.




FOR more than ten long years the illustrious

discoverer of New Granada had waited for that

justice which came at last. He had passed his

time in travelling through France and Italy, in

literary pursuits, and a good deal, no doubt, with

his parents at their home in Granada. In 1549 his

father and mother were probably dead, both his

brothers had been killed by Hghtning, his sister

was married, and the home at Granada was broken

up. He began to long for his former active life and

to re-visit the country he had discovered, though

he was now turned fifty. His application to the

Emperor was favourably considered. There was a

feeling that he had been very unjustly treated, and

perhaps some regret. Quesada was given the title

of Marshal, and afterwards of Adelantado,1 with

leave to return to New Granada, where he was to

1 Maroh 5, 1565.




receive a pension from the royal treasury at Bogotá.

But lie was given no jurisdiction. He was treated

with great respect, often consulted, sometimes

employed on important public business, but be

was never given tbe actual government of tbe

country be discovered.

Quesada arranged to go out witb tbe Judges of

tbe Audiencia. Some Franciscan and Dominican

friars were also of tbe party. Unfortunately, tbe

most experienced Judge, tbe Licentiate, Mercado,

died at Mompox on tbeir way up tbe Magdalena.

Tbe two others, Gongora and Galarza, assumed the

executive power at Bogotá in conjunction with

Armendariz. They were very young for such a

position, but were conciliatory, efficient, and

humane to the natives so far as that was compatible

with retaining the friendship of the Encomenderos,

for they were very popular. Quesada resided

chiefly at Bogotá, occasionally retiring to a country

house at Suesca. Among other public employ-

ments he went to Cartagena, at the request of

the Judges, to hold a residencia.

Several expeditions were organised by the

Audiencia in the years between 1550 and 1560.

There were two campaigns against the Musos, the

most fierce of the native tribes. In June 1550,



Andres Galarza was sent to form a settlement near

the gold-mines, and in February 1551, he founded

the city of Ibague in a charming spot near the

Magdalena and close to the silver-mine of San

Anton. Mariquita was founded, in August of the

same year, by the side of a limpid stream of cold

water flowing from the cordillera, in the midst of

lovely scenery, by Francisco Nunez Pedroso. It

is two leagues from the Magdalena. There was

also an unsuccessful expedition into the eastern

forests in search of gold, led by Juan de


When the Adelantado, Gonzalo Jimenes de

Quesada, was approaching his seventieth year,

unwarned by the failure of his brother and others,

he undertook to lead an expedition in search of

El Dorado, in the forests to the eastward, to be

equipped at his own expense. It would seem

that this wild enterprise originated from Spain,

and that the Adelantado, Quesada, had a hint that

he would receive a marquisate if he succeeded.

Francisco Aguilar contributed, and 300,000

pesos de oro were expended before the expedition

was ready to start. It consisted of 300 Spaniards,

including some women, and 1500 native porters.

Sickness attacked them very soon after entering



the forests. There were many deaths, and the

invalids were allowed to return. One serious loss

was that of the priest, Medrano, who died of fever.

He went as chronicler of the expedition, and he left

behind, in manuscript, a history of the discovery

and conquest of New Granada which formed the

base of Friar Pedro Simon’s subsequent history.

In spite of all difficulties, which to most explorers

would have been insuperable, Quesada pressed

onwards. At last only forty-five men were left,

and he allowed twenty to return. Still the intrepid

old veteran, with a small selected band, continued

his march until he reached the banks of the Guaviare

near its junction with the Orinoco. This is one of

the most remarkable journeys on record. At last

Quesada was obliged to return “unsuccessful, only

because success was impossible, coming back to

Bogotá deeply in debt. He had been absent three

years, and his age was now over seventy-two.

^ There were changes in the government of

New Granada. A judge named Montano arrived

as Juez de Residencia and arrested Armendariz,

who was sent to be tried in Spain. The accusations

against him were disproved and he was completely

exonerated. He then entered Holy orders, and

died a canon of Siguenza. The two other judges,



Gongora and Golarza, were also arrested and sent 4

for trial in Spain, by Montano, with nothing against

them except their friendship for Armendariz.

Unluckily they embarked in the same ship as Don

Pedro de Heredia, the Governor of Cartagena, and

were drowned in the shipwreck, to the grief of the

whole New Granada Colony, where they were

deservedly beloved. The Judge, Montano, with a

colleague named Briceño, ruled in New Granada

for several years. Montano was said to have been

a harsh, severe man, and he was very unpopular,

but he has the merit of having enforced what

remained of the New Laws with inflexible justice.

The Adelantado, Quesada, had written his

important work on the discovery and conquest of

New Granada before his journey in search of

El Dorado, for a licence to print it was given on

November 4, 1568. It was entitled ‘Los tres

ratos de Suesca/ because it was written during

three holidays (ratos) at his country house of Suesca.

It consisted, we are told by Simon, of three books,

but, though a licence was given, it was never

published, and the precious manuscript is lost.1

1 Don Marcos Jimenez de la Espada, in a note to his review of

Castellanos, says that the manuscript of Los tres ratos de Suesca

was in the library at Santa Fé de Bogotá, but disappeared in the

first third of the nineteenth century. In a letter of the distinguished


A few years before bis death, Quesada wrote a

report on the merits and fortunes of the fifty-three

smwiving companions who were with him at the

conquest of New Granada. It has been preserved,

and there is a copy among the Muñoz MSS.1

Quesada also wrote some sermons to be preached

on tfye festival of Our Lady.

In 1573 there was a rebellion of a coalition of

Indians in the valley of the Magdalena, under

Yuldama, chief of the Gualies. The judges, re-

quested the Adelantado, Quesada, to take command

of an expedition to restore order. The loyal old

veteran undertook the duty, and marched to

Mariquita with seventy men. He surprised the

insurgent chief, who died fighting, and the rebellion

was quelled. This was the last service of the


As age advanced, Quesada was attacked by some

cutaneous disease, and he went to Tocaima to be

near the sulphur-baths, where he lived for several

Argentine Aurelio Prado y Rojas, dated Madrid, August 30, 1878,

it is stated that in an excursion he made into the north of Spain

he met a Señor de Salamanca, who said that he possessed a MS. of

Quesada and wished to publish it, but that he had not the means.

Don Aurelio died soon after he wrote the letter. The MS. is believed

to be the Tres Ratos, which may still exist.

See Appendix II.


years. Towards the end, he removed to Mariquita l’

where, surrounded by lovely scenery, he died on

February 16, 1579, aged eighty. He left no

children, and his brothers were also childless. His

representatives and heirs were the descendants of

his sister, two families named Oruña and Berrio.

The body of the illustrious discoverer was removed

to Bogotá in 1597, and buried in the cathedral.

The standard of the conquest was placed over his

tomb, and every year it was taken in procession

on August 6, the day on which Quesada founded

the city.

Gonzalo Jimenes de Quesada, the illustrious

discoverer of New Granada, was no ordinary man.

He left Spain at the age of thirty, after having

received a good education, acquired legal know-

ledge, and been imbued with literary tastes. Yet

the Adelantado, de Lugo, saw in this young lawyer,

or thought he saw, a leader of men, a resolute and

courageous captain, and an able administrator

endowed with foresight and the other qualities

needed for a commander in a difficult enterprise.

1 Mariquita was the botanical headquarters of Dr. Mutis. Here

he instructed draughtsmen, made collections, and completed a portion

of his large collection of plants. He resided at Mariquita for seven

years (1783-1790). His collection consisted of 24,000 dried plants

and 5000 drawings of plants by his eight pupils.


The Adelantado was right. Quesada turned out

to be endowed with more indomitable resolution,

and greater moral courage, than any of the military

captains. He showed this when, at the turning-

point, he stood firm, but alone, against retreat.

He showed it still more when, in his old age, he

made that wonderful journey through the forests.

He was naturally humane both in his own character

and from policy, though he was responsible for one

atrocious act of perfidy and cruelty. That he

yielded to the violence and greedy avarice of others,

unwillingly, cannot be accepted as an excuse.

Momentary weakness cannot palliate such a crime.

Quesada was a very able administrator, as well

as a born leader of men. In adversity and disap-

pointment he was dignified and resigned. Always

ready to serve his country, ever loyal and zealous,

he remained in harness until after his seventy-

fourth year, and died at a good old age, respected

and revered. He takes his place in the first rank

among the great men who gave the Indies to the

Spanish Crown, greater than Pizarro, greater in

some respects than Cortes.

With the death of Quesada, the story is com-

pleted. The kingdom of New Granada continued

to be ruled by the Presidents of the Audiencia or



High Court of Justice until, towards the end of the

eighteenth century, New Granada was raised to a

Viceroyalty. That the government was a bad

one, as regards the natives, is proved by the rapid

diminution of the population. In Ibaque there

were 18,000 natives at the time of the conquest;

in 1610 only 600 ! In Mariquita the population was

30,000 when the Spaniards arrived ; in the seven-

teenth century 2000 ! It was the same throughout.

The Chibcha language had quite ceased to be

spoken in the beginning of the eighteenth century.

Yet a native race of pure white descent was

rising up in New Granada which was destined to

found another civilisation in the land which had

witnessed the destruction of that of the Chibchas.

Many families of that race can trace descent from

the first settlers. From generation to generation

that race, though hampered by Spanish monopolies,

continued to develop liberal sentiments, feelings

of humanity, desire for knowledge, and love of

literature and science. By the latter half of the

eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries

there was a distinct development of those traits

of character in that kingdom of New Granada.

Let us take one example out of several. It will

be remembered that the city of Antioquia was



founded by tbe unfortunate Robledo. It bas not

been often visited by travellers since. Humboldt

was never there, nor Captain Cochrane, nor Molliens,

nor Holton. Yet here we find the inhabitants

making progress in literature and the arts. One

distinguished citizen of Antioquia, in those days,

was José Manuel Restrepo 1 who, in 1809, wrote a

very* able account of his native province. Up to

that time this rich and fertile region was entirely

unknown to geographers. No astronomical or

other observations had ever been taken in it, and

its rivers and other features were either not marked

at all or put down in false positions on the maps.

Restrepo surveyed his native province and con-

structed the first map in 1807.2 He triangulated

the whole province, corrected his bearings by sun’s

azimuths, took meridian altitudes of stars for his

latitudes, and deeply regretted that he had no

instrument to enable him to fix his longitudes

by observing the eclipses of Jupiter’s satellites.

Restrepo also wrote a detailed description of tbe

valley of the Cauca.3

When Don José Celestino Mutis was employed

by King Charles III. of Spain on a botanical

1 Born at Envigado (Antioquia) in 1782 ; died at Bogotá 1864.

2 Now in the Map-room of the Royal Geographical Society.

3 Semanario de la Nueva Granada, pp. 194r-228.


mission to New Granada, lie found that Eestrepo.

did not stand alone, and that there was the same

talent, the same desire for knowledge, and the same

zeal for the cause of science in Bogotá as in Antio-

quia. Caldas,1 the leading man of science in those

days at Bogotá, was the friend of Mutis. That

eminent botanist undoubtedly gave a spur to

scientific inquiry among the rising genei&tion

of that time in New Granada. Caldas, after a

most valuable career, during which he promoted

and advanced civilisation, enlightenment, and

progress, finally met with a patriot’s death. Fran-

cisco Antonio Zea, born in 1770, was another

eminent Colombian, a diplomatist and statesman,

as well as a botanist.

Restrepo, Zea, and Caldas have had numerous

and very able successors down to the present day.

To mention one example, when the precious

drawings of Chinchona plants of many species, by

the hands of Mutis and his pupils, were rescued

from a tool house in the Botanical Garden at

Madrid, it was a Colombian, Done José Triana, a

distinguished botanist and a high authority on the

1 Francisco José Caldas was born at Popayán in 1776. Friend

of Mutis and Humboldt. He fixed positions by astronomical

observations, and drew maps and plans. He edited the Semanario

de la Nueva Granada. Shot by order of Murillo in 1816.


^genus Melastomacece, who was found to be tbe best

editor of tbe work containing tbe drawings of

Mutis. Nor bave tbe writers on tbe early civibsation

of tbe Chibchas, and on the conquest been less

distinguished. It is only necessary to mention the

names of Acosta and of Uricoechea among others.1

The civibsation of the Chibchas has passed away,

but ft ought not to be forgotten. It is succeeded

by that of an enlightened and progressive race—

the people of the Republic of Colombia.

1 Such as Don José Antonio de Plaza, the author of Memorias

para la Historia de la Nueva Granada, desde su descubrimiento

hasta el 20 de Julio de 1810 (1850); Josó M. Vergara y Vergara’s

chronological Quadro of the rulers of the country; Don Liborio

Zerde’s El Dorado; Uribe-Angel on the geography of Antioquia;

several memoirs by Calcedo-Rojas Quijano Otero, Vicente Restrepo,

Posada, and Ibañez, on the early history of Now Granada and on

national history.




THE Muyscas 2 counted by the fingers. They only have

special words for the first ten numerals and for twenty:

1, Ata; 2, Bosa; 3, Mica; 4, Muyhica; 5, Hisca;

6, Ta; 7, Cuhwpcua; 8, Suhuza; 9, Aca; 10, Ubchihica;

20, Gueta. On finishing the fingers they turned to the

toes, repeating the same words with Quihicha placed

before them, which means a toe.

Gueta means a house and sown field—a homestead.

On reaching twenty, they turned to count another twenty,

uniting with the first, until they reached twenty of twenty.

Just as the mathematicians have given the circle 360

degrees for the facility with which that number can be

sub-divided into others to make any calculation, so they

divided their numerals into four parts grouped in fives.

So that their most privileged numbers were 5, 10, 15, 20,

and these served to regulate all their transactions.

The moon was the object of their observations and

their worship. This star, which was ever before their

eyes, gave them the model of their houses, temples, work—

in a word, of all their affairs. They fixed a pole in the

1 Omitting a long account of the sacrificial ceremonies.

2 Muysca was the name given by the Spaniards to the Chibchas.

It means ‘ a man ‘ in the Chibcha language.

195 o 2



ground as a centre and traced a circle round it with a cord,.

This pole and cord, if the characters and symbols described

in the table are considered, will be recognised as the principal

elements by which they are formed. The different mean-

ings which these numerals have in their language, all have

reference to the phases of the moon, the work of sowing, the

superstitions of their idolatry, and so lead us directly to the

formation of their calendar.

The Muyscas had these symbols at hand mentally just

as musicians have the signs of the system of Aretino.

Thus, by merely a turn of the fingers, they knew the state

of the moon and the rulings of their affairs and their crops.

The year consisted of twenty moons, and the cycle of

twenty years. They began to count the year from the

opposition, and full moon was figured by Ubchihica (10)—

meaning, brilliant moon; then, counting seven days from

that point, beginning with Ata, which follows Ubchihica,

finding the quadrature in Cuhupcua (7), counting seven

from there they found the next immersion of the moon in

Muyhica (4), which means something black, and the day

following the conjunction, symbolised in Hisca (5), was in

their conception a union of the moon with the sun, repre-

senting the nuptials of the two stars, the main dogma of

their belief. Counting eight days they reached the other

quadrature in Mica which means varyings, to indicate he

continual phases or variations. The first aspect of the first

phase they symbolised by Cuhupcua (7), and as the quad-

rature falls in this symbol, they gave it two ears, and called

it deaf, for reasons connected with their superstitions.

The same symbols served for counting the years, and

contained a general system for the order of sowing.

Ata (1) and Aca (9) represent the waters, by a toad.

The more frequent crouching of that animal serves as a

sign that the time for sowing is at hand.



” Bosa is a sowing round the principal sowing, to protect

the central part from harm.

Mica (to seek, to choose small things), means the selec-

tion of seeds for sowing.

Muyliica: anything black. It symbolises a time of rain

and gloom. Its root means the growth of plants, the

crops increasing from the benefit of irrigation.

Hisca : anything green. The rains have made the fields

beautiful and pleasant. The plants growing give hopes

of fruit.

Ta, the sixth month of sowing, corresponds to harvest.

Cuhwpcua: their granaries have the shape of a shell

or a ear.

Cuhutana, which has the same root, means the corners

in the house where the grain is kept—the granary.

Suhuza—the tail—meaning the end of the work from

sowing to harvest. (Allusion to the pole on their causeway,

where the solemnities took place on the completion of the


Ubchihica may refer to their feasts.

Gueta (homestead), symbolised by a toad displayed, an

emblem among them of felicity.

The Indians looked upon these symbols as so many

oracles. They taught their sons with tenacity this doctrine

of their elders, and, not content with these precautions to

preserve the rule of the year, they marked it by the blood

of many victims.

They never used the word zocam, a year, without the

corresponding number as zocam ata, zocam bosa. The same

rule prevailed with the word suna, a causeway, where the

sacrifices were made at sowing and harvest: suna ata, suna

bosa (the causeway, two causeways). In this way the

localities were like a book for registering the calculations.

Twenty months made a year. These ended, they



counted another twenty, and so on, turning in a continual

circle until they reached twenty of the twenties. The

intercalation of a month, which it is necessary to make ‘

after the thirty-sixth month, to make the lunar correspond

with the solar year, was arranged with the greatest facility.

For, as they had the whole calendar in their hands, they

sowed two sowings running with a sign in the middle, and

the third sowing with two signs.

Distributing the signs on the fingers, this finger ^tablet

will give us all the combinations. We will suppose that

Ata, which is the first finger, corresponds with January

and that it is a month proper for sowing. Running on

the fingers the second sowing corresponds with Mica,

skipping Bosa which is between Ata and Mica. Therefore

this sowing falls on the thirteenth month with respect

to Ata.

Carrying on the fingers from Mica, the sowing falls in

Hisca, skipping Muyhica which is between Mica and

Hisca, so that the sowing is placed in the thirteenth

month with respect to Mica.

Carrying on the finger from Hisca the sowing will be in

Suhuza, passing over two signs Ta and Cuhwpcua, which are

between’ Hisca and Suhuza. This is in the fourteenth month

with respect to hisca.

The month Cuhwpcua (which in their language means

deaf) is the one that is intercalated, because it is the

seventeenth of the second muycsa year whose number,

added to the twenty months of the first year, makes thirty-

seven, and so the lunar and solar years become equal, and

Suhuza becomes a true January.

This intercalation, which was continually verified,

letting the thirty-seventh month pass as deaf, makes us

perceive. that between the two ordinary years, each of

twenty months, there was another occult astronomical



* year of thirty-seven months, so that the thirty-eighth

month would be a true January. The Indians, without

understanding the theory of this proposition of the month

that must be added at the end of each three lunar years,

being the twelfth before the twelve months and the third

of the thirteenth, yet possessed a high faculty for the

practice of their intercalation, following the established

method, and in that way maintaining the astronomical

year without the common people noticing any difference

in tfieir vulgar years, each of twenty months.

The vulgar year of twenty months served for truces in

war (as appears in their history), for buying and selling, and

other ordinary business. But the astronomical intercalated

year of thirty-seven months, covering three sowings, was

used mainly for agriculture and for religion. Thus the

elders and priests made their calculations in much detail,

noting the epochs for special sacrifices, graving them on

stones by means of symbols and figures, as is seen on a

pentagon which I have in my possession, and will explain

at the end of this paper.

The cycle of the Muyscas of twenty intercalary years of

thirty-seven months each, corresponding to sixty of our

years, was composed of four revolutions counted by five

and five, each one consisting of ten years of the Muyscas

and five of ours, until twenty is completed, when the sign

Ata returns to the place where it began. The first revolu-

tion closes in Hisca, second in ubchihica, third in Quihicha,

and the fourth in Gueta.

An understanding of these calculations is necessary for

the comprehension of ancient history, and deciphering of

symbols and figures, for without that they cannot be under-

stood. We have therefore thought it indispensable to

make a Muysca chronological table, by which all the

economy of their cycle may easily be perceived.



The week was of three days, and marked by a market •

on the first day at Turmeque.

They divided the day sua and the night za. From

dawn to noon suamena, noon to twilight suameca, twilight

to midnight zasca, and midnight to dawn cagui.

Ata had for a symbol a toad in the act of jumping, to

denote the opening of the year.

Aca, another toad from whose tail another begins to form.

Gueta a toad displayed, meaning abundance and felicity.

To other numbers human features were given.

Bosa, represented by nostrils.

Mica, two eyes open.

Muyhica, two eyes closed,

Cuhwpcua, two ears.

ubchihica, one ear.

Ta, suhuza, the pole and cord.

Hisca, union of two figures.

We have seen the Muy sea calendar on the fingers.

They also engraved it on stones by means of symbolical

figures. I have in my possession one which expresses

this, according to my way of thinking. The toad is cer-

tainly the symbol of the first month of the year and cycle.

The Indians depicted it in various ways. The act of

jumping is the first sign Ata, and so it is found engraved on

various stones; on others with a tail, which denotes

Quihicha Ata, or the number twelve. I have observed

several stones showing the toad without feet, which means


On the pentagonal stone a is a toad in the act of jump-

ing, b is a kind of finger denoted by three thick lines, c the

same but placed outside the central position of the others,

d is another preserving the central position, e is the body of

a toad with a tail but without feet, / is a small snake, g is

a circle.



On this stone the first revolution of the Muysca cycle

is symbolised, which commences with Ata and ends with

Hisca, including nine years and five months of the Muysca


a—The toad in the act of jumping means the beginning

of the year and cycle.

b—A sort of finger with three notches means three years.

c is omitted, being out of the central position.

d—Another three years which, added to those in 6,

make six.

This denoted the intercalation of Quihicha Ata, which

occurs exactly at the sixth Muysca year, as will be seen

in the table.

e is the body of a toad with a tail, but without feet;

symbol of Quihicha Ata, and the absence of feet is proper

for expressing the intercalation—not being counted, it is

imagined without feet or movement.

/—A small snake, the sign of Suhuza, the month which

is intercalated after Quihicha Ata; two years indicated by

two fines on the back.

g is a closed temple.1

The three circles are thus explained : the inner one

represents the twenty months of the vulgar year; the

second expresses the years corresponding to the intercala-

tion of each sign ; the outer circle shows the order of the


To find, for example, in what year the sign Mica inter-

calates.—Look for 3 in the inner circle; 2 will be found

to correspond in the second,3 which is the year sought for.

On the outer circle is the number 19, showing that the

intercalation of Mica is in the nineteenth of the cycle.

1 The references for the second figure are not given.

2 56 (?).





Memoir of the conquerors and discoverers who entered with

me to discover and conqwer this new kingdom of Granada.

SOME are dead, and these are the majority. Others are in

Spain who have been here, but who have returned home.

Others have gone to other parts of the Indies. Others

remained in this kingdom, but have died during the subse-

quent thirty years. So that at the time that this Memoir

is being written only fifty-three survive, whose names will

be recorded here, and it is to be understood that they are

named in the order of the value of their labours and services

in the discovery and conquest of this kingdom—that is,

those who are still alive. Also the rewards for services will

be found here which each has received, and what else is

needed to complete this memoir, very briefly stated;

so that when some of them arrive in Spain, seeking rewards

for services, it will only be necessary to refer to this memoir

to see who are among the first, and whether or not the

reward that is deserved has been given.

1. The Captain, Juan de Céspedes, one of those who is

still living, is one of those who did most work and rendered

the most valuable services in this discovery and conquest,

He was one of the eight captains who entered with me into



this kingdom. He has merit. He possesses three reparti-

mientos in this city of Santa Fé, in which there are 1500

Indians, more or less. They are called the repartimientos of

Ubaque, Caqueza, and TJbatoque. He is well provided for

in this kingdom.

2. The Captain, Antonio de Olalla, Uves and has provision

in this city of Santa Fé. He did not enter this kingdom

with me, but came afterwards and served under me as an

ensign of infantry. He has 800 or 1000 Indians in a good

repartimiento called Bogotá, and thus is well provided for in

this country and is a man of merit.

3. Juan Valenciano,1 though he did not enter this

kingdom with me as a captain, but only as a corporal, he

worked and served well in this discovery. He had some

repartimientos, but owing to lawsuits, or in other ways, they

have been taken from him by those who have governed,

also by reason of absences and journeys he has made,

among them one to Jerusalem. So that he now has not

any repartimiento nor provision. He deserves some reward,

and has merit.

4. Captain Gonzalo Suarez is a man of merit. He entered

this kingdom with me as a captain, being one of the eight

with that rank. He lives and has property in the city of

Tunja, consisting of three repartimientos, with 3000 Indians.

They are called Icabuco, Tibaná, and Guaneca. He is very

well provided for.

5. Captain Antonio Cardoso has merit, though he was not

one of the eight captains who entered with me2 ; but he had

been a captain before the discovery. He lives at Santa

Fé, and is well provided for by a repartimiento called Suba

and Tuna, with 900 or 1000 Indians.

1 Not in the earlier list.

2 Cardoso \ras one of Quesada’s eight captains. There is a

mistake here.



6. Captain Gonzalo Garcia Zorro 1 has merit. Though

he did not enter with me as captain he came with me as a

cornet of horse. He is reasonably well provided for by a

repartimiento in the city of Santa Fé called Fusagasugá with

about 500 Indians.

7. Captain Hernán Venegas 2 did not enter with me as

a captain, but only as a cavalry soldier. Those who have

governed here have since made him a captain, and he has

merit. He lives at Santa Fé and is very well provided for

by a principal repartimiento called Guatavita, with about

2000 Indians.

8, 9. Juan de Ortega and Francisco de Figueredo are

two men who my conscience will not allow me to put either

of them first, so I put them equal. Juan de Ortega lives

in the city of Santa Fé, is a rich man and has some merit.

He came in the cavalry. He is less than moderately

provided for. He has one repartimiento called Capaquira

and another called Pacho, with 300 or 400 Indians, more or

less. Francisco de Figueredo came as a cavalry soldier,

and also has some merit. He has a repartimiento in this city

of Santa Fé, where he lives, though not a large one, called

Cipacon, with 200 or 300 Indians, a little more or less.

10. Captain Salguero did not come as a captain, but only

as a cavalry soldier. He has some merit and lives at Tunja,

where he only has a moderate provision consisting of three

little villages, one called Vra; but I do not remember the

names of the others. He may have 200 Indians, more or less.

11. Captain Juan Tafur entered with me, not as a

1 Not in the earlier list.

2 He received the title of Marshal, and was the only founder of

Santa Fó de Bogotá, except Quesada, who received a grant of

arms. In 1669 he married Doña Juana Ponce de Leon, great-

great-grand-daughter of the Duke of Cadiz: Marshal Venegas

died in February 1583, and was buried in the cathedral of Bogotá.


captain, but only as a cavalry soldier. He is a man of

merit, but is very poor because the repartimiento of Pasca

was taken from him by Montalvo de Lugo, owing to a

sentence of the Royal Council of the Indies.

12, 13. Gomez de Cifuentes and Domingo de Aguirre,1

are another couple whose services I consider to be equal.

I put Cifuentes first by chance. He is a man of moderate

merit, hving at Tunja, where he is moderately provided for,

and even more than reasonably. He has a repartimiento

called Paypa with 700 or 800 Indians. Domingo de

Aguirre, as well as regards services and other things, holds

the same place as Cifuentes. He lives in Tunja and has a

repartimiento in Sogamoso, with about the same number of

Indians as the other, and so is reasonably well provided for.

14. Bartolomé Camocho 1 fives in Tunja, and is provided

for by a small repartimiento.

15. Andres de Molina fives in Santa Fé. He has merit

and is well provided for, both as regards wealth and Indians,

for he has a very good repartimiento called Choconta.

16. Diego Romero lives in Santa Fé and is well off, for

he has two repartimientos, one called Une, which is a good

property, and another, the one with 400 Indians, and the

other with 150.

17. Paredes Calderón lives at Tunja, a man with some

merit and well off. For his repartimento called Somondoco

is rich, and includes 300 Indians.

18. Juan de Quincoces 1 is a person of merit who is rich

in land and in Indians. He fives in Tunja and has three

towns which, though small, are very profitable.

19. Miguel Sanchez is a man of some merit and is well off,

living at Tunja. He has a very fair property consisting of

two repartimientos, one reasonable,and the other very good,

called Onzaga.

1 Not in the earlier list.


20. Pedro Rodriguez de Carrion is a person of merit and

is rich. He lives at Tunja and has a repartimiento of 300


21. Diego Montañez has merit and is well provided for

by a large repartimiento with 500 Indians. He lives at


22. Francisco de Mestanza lives at Santa Fé, but has

no property. He was despoiled of a repartimiento called

Cajica by the Audiencia, and it is now Crown property. It

was i£>und that he had treated the Indians badly.

23. Francisco Gomez 1 lives at Santa Fé. He has merit

and is well provided for. His two repartimientos are called

Tibacuy and Cueca, good and profitable, with 400 Indians.

24. Anton Rodriguez Cazalla 1 lives at Tunja. He has

few Indians and is badly off.

25. Juan del Olmos lives at Santa Fé. He is only

moderately meritorious, and but moderately well off.

For though he has three repartimientos called Nemocon,

Tasgala, and Tivito, with 400 Indians, they are not very

good, nor are they very bad as regards profit.

26. Pero Ruiz Herrezuelo lives in Tunja. He is moder-

ately meritorious. He has two repartimientos, one with

200, the other called Pangúela with the same number of


27. Alonso Gomez Sequillo 1 lives at Velez. He is very

badly provided for, having few Indians though formerly

he had much more.

28. Roa lives in Tunja. He has some merit, and is

well off with a repartimiento called Tensa.

29. Pero Gomez 1 lives at Pamplona and is well provided

for there, having sold his property at Velez wherehe formerly


30. Juan Sanchez de Toledo 1 is moderately well off at

1 Not in the earlier list.


Santa Fé where he resides. He has no repartimiento

because he sold the one he had called Gachancipá, went to

Spain, and returned.

31. Juan de Montalvo lives at Santa Fé. He has no

repartimiento, because he sold the one he had. [He was

the last survivor and died in 1591.]

32. Ramirez lives at Tocayma, but is not well off, his

repartimiento being small.

33. Francisco Rodriguez lives at Tunja and has merit,

but is less than moderately well off, having only one village

called Sora, with 200 to 300 Indians.

34. Monrroy lives in Los Remedios, and had no pro-

vision, but the President has recently given him a small


35. Macias lives in Tunja, and had more than he has

now, having given much away as dowries for his daughters.

36. Antonio de Castro has some merit, and lives at

Tunja. He is well provided for by two repartimientos, one

called Tinjaca, the other Cerinza, with 700 Indians in one,

200 in the other. He bought the latter from another


37. Juan Rodriguez Parra lives at Tunja. He has

some merit and is well off with repartimientos called

Chicamocha and Tequia.

38. Solazar lives in Velez and is badly off.

39. Antonio Bermudez bves at Santa Fé. With a

moderate share of merit he is badly off, he sold his reparti-

mientos of Ubaté, Suta, and Tausa, spent the money except

enough to buy another small repartimiento with 200 Indians

called Chivachi.

40. Juan Rodriguez Gil lives in Tunja and is very

well off.

41. Castil Blanco lives in Velez and has no Indians

because he has sold them. [Came with Federman.]


42. Juan Alonso has Indians in Velez where he lives.

43. Ledesma lives in Velez. I believe he has sold what

he had.

44. Juan Lopez Eves at Tunja. He has some merit

and a profitable repartimiento with 500 Indians called


45. Juan Gomez lives at Santa Fé and has a reparti-

miento with 200 or 300 Indians called XJsme.

46. Monteagudo lives at Tunja. He is fairly well off,

witk two repartimientos.

47. Pero Rodriguez de Leon also lives at Tunja with a

good repartimiento.

48. Pedro Sotelo has no repartimiento. He sold one

that was given to him in Marquita.

49. Manchado Uves in Tunja. He has no provision and

is poor and infirm. He is blind from a wound.

50. Diego de Torres hves in Pampluma and has a small

repartimiento, being very badly off.

51. Pedro de Madrid hves at Tunja and has a very

profitable repartimiento with 600 Indians.

52. Juan de Salamanca Hves at Tunja. He has one

small repartimiento, having sold another called Sutatasco.

Besides these first discoverers and conquerors of this

kingdom, there were others who were second, third, fourth,

fifth, and sixth, and who were employed in the risings and

rebellions of the natives, but to treat of them would be

endless, so I do not attempt it.


July 5, 1576.



(IP.)—Came with Federman. (B.)—Came with Belalcazar.

Places granted in encomienda, from a list of Encomenderos

compiled by Colonel Acosta from the various chronicles.

BOGOTA.—Antonio de Olalla (see SANTA FÉ).

BOYACA.—Hernondo de Alcocer.

BONSA.—Pedro Nunez Cabrera.

CHIA.—Cristoval de San Miguel (Royal Treasurer).

CHIBATA.—Pedro Bravo de Rivera.

CHINGA (in SANTA FÉ).—Cristoval de Toro.

CHÍTALAS AL.—Pedro Rodriguez de Salamanca.

CHOACHI.—Antonio Bermudez (but went to Carthagena).

CHOCONTÁ.—Andres Vasquez de Molina.

CHUSBITA and SAGEA (which see).

CUITIBA.—Pedro Lopez de Monteagudo.

CUNXTBA (in TUNJA).—Diego de Paredes Calvo.^

COTA.—Francisco de Tordehumos.

DUITAMA.—Baltazar Maldonado.

EUGATISA.—Diego Romero.

FACATATIVÁ.—Alonso de Olalla (F.), who made the wonderful

leap at Simijaca.

FURAQUIRA.—Juan de Quincoces de Liana.

GAMEZA.—Ortun Ortiz.

GUACAMAYA (in TUNJA).—Francisco de Monsalvo.




• GTJACHETA.—Hernán Venegas, Ensign, then Captain, finally


GUATAVITA.—Hernán Venegas.

IBAGUE.—Domingo Lozano (E.): founded Buga ; old soldier at

sack of Rome.

ICABUCO.—Gonzalo Suarez Rondón.*

IGUAQUE (in TUNJA). Pedro Rodriguez Carrion de los Rios

y Mantilla,

MACHETA (see TIBIRITA).—Juan de Rivera.

MESVA.—Francisco de Céspedes; (also SUAQUE and TUNJAQUE).

MONGUA.—Francisco Solguero.


NEMOCON.—Juan de Olmos; (and PACHO).

OCAVITA.—Mateo Sanchez Cogolludo.

ONZAGA.—Miguel Sanchez.


PANCHES.—Cristoval de Miranda. CHILAGUA.—Antonio


PANQUEBA.—Pedro Ruiz Herrezuelo.

PASCA.—Francisco de Mestanza.

PESCA.—Captain Juan de Madrid and Juan Tapur.

SACHICA.—Juan Lopez.

SAGRA.—Pedro Rodriguez de Leon.

SESQUIBE.—Cristoval Bernal.

SERREZUELA.—Alfonso Diaz (came late).

SIQUIMA.—Pedro de Miranda; (and TOCAREMA).

SOBACHOQUE.—Juan de Guemes.

SOMONDOCO.—Diego Paredes Calderón.

SORA.—Francisco Arias Maldonado.

SORACA.—Francisco Rodriguez.

SOTAQUIRA.—Diego Suarez Montonez.

F 2




Gonzalo Garcia Sorro.

Francisco Gomez de Feria.

Juan de Torres (Q.).

Cristoval Ruiz.

Domingo Ladrón de Guevara (F.).

I Mateo Sanchez Rey.


SUBA.—Antonio Diaz Cardoso.

fHernán Gomez Castillejo.

\ Cristoval Rodriguez.

S USA.—Luis Lanchero (F.).

SUTATENZA.—Cristoval de Roa.


TABIO.—Cristoval Gomez Nieto (F.).

TEUSACA.—Gaspar Méndez.

TIBIRITA.—Cristobal Arias de Monroy ; (and MACHETA),

TINJACA.—Juan de Avendaño (B.).

TOCANCIPA.—Hernando de Velasco Ángulo.

(Hernando del Prado.

Lorenzo Vilaspasas (F.).

Pedro de Molina (F.).

Juan Diaz Hidalgo (B.).

TOACA (in TUNJA).—Anton de Esquivel (B.).


TOPAIPI (in LA PALMA).—Pedro de Acebo Sotelo (Secretary

to the General).

TUNA.—Antonia Diaz Cardoso.


TURMEQUÉ (in TUNJA).—Juan Torres Contreras.

f Estevan de Albarracin.

Francisco Nuríez Pedroso (founder of Mariquita).

Francisco Ruiz.

Gomez de Cifuentes.

Martin Hernandez de las Islas.

Miguel de Patarroyo.

Pedro Yañez.

Pedro de Duza de Madrid.

^ Juan de Yillanueva (F.).

TURA (in VELEZ).—Luis Hernandez.




•UBAQUE.— Juan de Céspedes,* captain of cavalry.

UBATE.—Diego Rodriguez de Valderas (P.).

USMA.—Juan Oomez Portillo.

VELEZ.—Miguel Seco Moyano.

VIRACACHA.—Erancisco Martinez.

ZIPACOA.—Francisco de Figueredo.

ZIPAQUIRÁ.-—• Juan de Ortego (The Good).


*—Came with Quesada. (Q.)—In Quesada’s Report. (B.)—Carne

with Belalcazar. (F.)—Came with Federman.

Albarracin, Estevan de

Alcocer, Hernando de

Ángulo, Hernán Velasco

Avendaño Juan de (B.)

Bermudez, Antonio (Q.)

Bernal, Cristoval

Cabrera, Pedro Nunez

Calderón, Diego Paredes (Q.)

Calvo, Diego de Paredes

Cardoso, Antonio Diaz (Q.)

Carrion, Pedro Rodriguez

Mantilla (Q.)

Castillejo, Hernán Gomez .

Céspedes, Francisco de* (Q.)

Céspedes, Juan de

Cifuentes, Gomez de (Q.)

Cogolludo, Mateo Sanchez .

Contreras, Juan Diaz .

Diaz, Alfonso

Esquivel, Anton de (B.)


los RÍOS
























Faria, Francisco Gomez de.

Figueredo, Francisco de (Q.)

Guemes, Juan de

Guevara, Domingo Ladrón de .

Hidalgo, Juan Diaz

Hernandez de las Islas, Martin Luis

Hernandez, Luis

Herrezuelo, Pedro Ruiz (Q.)

Lanchero, Luis (F.) .

Llana, Juan de Quiñones de

Lopez, Juan (Q.)

Leon, Pedro Rodriguez de (G.) ,

Lozano, Domingo (F.)

Madrid, Juan de

Madrid, Pedro Diego de (Madrid Pedro de

Daza (Q.) ….

Maldonado, Francisco Arias (B.).

Maldonado, Baltazar .

Martinez, Antonio

Martinez, Francisco .

Méndez, Gaspar

Mestanza, Francisco de

Miranda, Cristoval de

Miranda, Pedro de .

Molina, Andres Vasquez de (Q.) .

Molina, Pedro de

Monroy, Cristoval Arias de (Q.) .

Monsalve, Francisco de

Monteagudo, Pedro Lopez de (Q.)

Montonez, Diego Suarez (Q.)

Moyano, Miguel Seco




































.Nieto, Cristoval Gomez (F.)

Nuñez, Pedro Francisco

Olalla, Antonio de (Q.)

Olalla, Alfonso de (F.)

Olmos, Juan de (Q.) .

Ortego, Juan de (Q.) .

Ortiz, Ortun

Patarroyo, Miguel de .

Pedroso, Francisco Nunez

Portillo, Juan Gomez .

Prado, Hernando de .

Rey, Mateo Sanchez .

Rivera, Juan de

Rivera, Pedro Bravo de

Roa, Cristoval de (Q.)

Rodriguez, Francisco (Q.)

Rodriguez, Cristoval .

Romero, Diego (Q.)

Ruiz, Francisco .

Ruiz, Cristoval

Salamanca, Pedro Rodriguez de (Q.)

Sanchez, Miguel (Q.) .

San Miguel, Cristoval de

Solguero, Francisco (Q.)

Sorro, Gonzalo Garcia

Sotelo, Pedro de Acebo (Q.)

Suarez Rondón Gonzalo* (Q.)





























* Original captains under Quesada : Juan de Céspedes; Juan

de Junco (returned to San Domingo); Gonzalo Suarez de Rondón ;

Juan de San Martin (returned to Spain); Lázaro Fonte (died

in Quito); Pedro Fernandez Valenzuela (went home to Cordova,

became a priest); Antonio de Lebrija (died childless); Juan de

Montalvo (oldest soldier, died 1597).


Tapur, Juan (Q.)…..PESCA.

Tordehumos, Erancisco de . . . . COTA.

Torres, Juan de……SANTA FÉ.

Toro, Cristoval de …. CHINGA»

Valderas, Diego Rodriguez de (F.) . . UBATE.

Venegas, Hernán (Q.) ….

Vilaspasas, Lorenzo (F.) …. TOCAIMA.

Villanueva, Juan de (F.) …. TUNJA.

Yañez, Pedro……TUNJA. •




DON CARLOS and Dona Juana &c. With regard to you,

the Licentiate Gonzalo Jimenes, who had been Lieutenant

of the Governor of the new kingdom of Granada, which is

in our Indies of the Ocean Sea, we have been informed that,

about twelve years ago, you went to the Indies with the

desire of serving us. Being in the province of Santa

Martha you went, by order of Don Pedro Hernando de

Lugo, Governor of that Province, as his Lieutenant-General

for his expedition of discovery up the great river. You took

with you 500 men and 90 horses, eight of them being your

own, which you took for our service in that expedition,

with many other things. With great difficulty and labour

you succeeded in finding the entrance to that mainland.

To do this it was necessary first to take certain Indian

towns. Having found the entrance you ascended the river

with certain brigantines, and the further you ascended the

less food you found for your people, the Indians becoming

more warlike. Yet you continued to prosecute your

voyage until you came to a place called La Tora, and from

there you went on until you reached the said kingdom of

New Granada, enduring on the way much labour and many

infirmities, all for our service. Arriving in the kingdom

of New Granada with your followers, who were few, for




most of them had died on the road, you conquered and.

subdued the natives, and put them all under our yoke and

royal lordship, whence our fifths consisted of great quanti-

ties of gold, silver, and emeralds, being in addition to what

we always received previously, from the said land. In the

encounters, skirmishes, and fights which continually took

place with the said Indians, you were ever the first, and in

all this you served us as a good and loyal vassal, passing

through much labour, hardship, and want, as appears from

a report which you have made and presented to us in^our

Council of the Indies. In it you pray that, in reward for

these services, you and they may be kept in perpetual

memory. We have therefore ordered that you shall be

given the following shield of arms. Parted per fess in

chief gules a Hon or with a naked sword in its fore-paw,

in memory of the bravery and resolution you showed in

ascending the river in the face of such hardships, and in

discovering and subduing the said new kingdom. In base

or a mount proper over waters of the sea azure and argent,

semée of emeralds vert, in memory of the emerald mines

which you discovered in the said new kingdom, and at the

foot and on the top of the mount some trees vert. On a

bordure azure four suns or, and gules four moons argent.

Crest on a closed helmet with a baldrequin azure and or,

a lion or with a naked sword in his fore-paw, and eagles’

wings issuing from the helmet.1

Given at Madrid on the 21st of May, 1546.


1 Nobiliario de Conquistadores de Indias (le publica la Sociedad

de Bibliófilos Españoles), por el Señor Dr. Don A. Paz y Melia.

(Madrid, 1892).


ABIBE, Sierra de, 87; crossed by

Cesar, 87 ; by Vadillo, 97 ; by

Robledo, 102

ABXJERÁ, fertile valley, visited by

Robledo, 102

AOLA, station formed by Vasco

Nuñez, 73; Vasco Nuñez

murdered at, 75, 76

AMAZONIAN Basin, 16; Hernán

Perez de Quesada’s search for

El Dorado, 148; expedition of

Pedro de Ursua, 179; search

for El Dorado by G. Jimenes de

Quesada, 184, 185

ANAPUTMAS, tribe in the Magda-

lena valley, 173

ANAQT/ITO, battle of, Belalcazar

at, 196


ANSEBMA. founded by Robledo,

101, 102

ANTIOQUIA, founded by Robledo,



ABIGTJANI, river, 118

ARMAS, a tribe in the Cauca

valley, 12, 13




chosen, 142 ; city founded, 142 ;

burial of Quesada at, 188;

New Laws, 178; Quesada at,

183 ; Luis de Lugo at, 166 ;

Armendariz at, 178 ; seven

encomiendas in, granted to

Olalla, Sorro, Feria, Torres,

Ruiz, Guevara, Rez, 212

BONDA, mountains, near Santa

Martha, invaded by Palomino,

83; Lugo sends an expedition

to, 112

BONDA (Chibcha), battle with

Spaniards, 136

BONJA, lake: island fortified by

Tutama, 152

BONSA, encomienda’ of Pedro

Nuñez Cabrera, 213

BOSA, Nemterequeteba began

his preaching, 23 {n.)

BOYA OA, chief of, killed by Hernán

Perez, 149; encomienda, Her-

nando Alcocer, 210

BUENAVENTUBA, port of, 103

BtJGA, 211

BTJBITICÁ, Vadillo at, 98, 99; Rob-

ledo at, 102

BT/SBANZA, elector of the Iraca, 40

CAOHIBÍ, cordillera : ascent by

Alfinger, 89

CALAMAB, native name of site of

Cartagena, 52, 87

CALI, founded by Belalcazar, 94;

Vadillo at, 100; Andagoya at,

103 ; Belalcazar at, 107 *

CANAS, independent Darien tribe,


CAQT/EZA valley, 45 (».)

CABETA, 66, 67, 68

CABIBBEAN Sea, 11, 57


CARTAGENA, named by Bastidas,

51 ; Ojeda at, 52 ; Enciso at,

60; settlement formed, 86, 87 ;

Quesada held a residencia at,


CARTAGO, founded by Robledo, 102

CASIMANES, independent Darien

Indians, 56


CATORAFRA, Mummies found at,

14 (n.)

CAUCA, 12; valley entered by

Cesar, 87, 97 ; river reached by

Vadillo, 99 ; valley discovered

by Vadillo, 100 ; tribes of, see

ARMA; march of Robledo up

the valley, 107

CESARE river, Alfinger at, 89;

confluence with Magdalena, 117

CHÍA, Chief of, heir to Zipa, 41 ;

Quesada at, 129 ; encomienda

of Cristoval de San Miguel,

Royal Treasurer, 210

CHIBATA, ; encomienda of Pedro

Bravo de Rivera, 210, 215

CHIBCHA, country of the, 15, 16 ;

position, agricultural, 15, 16;

appearance, commerce, 18, 19;

manufactures, 18 ; dress, 18 ;

houses, 20 ; general character,

17 ; religion, 21-36 ; legends,

24, 25; temples, 27; human

sacrifice, 28 ; language, calen-

dar, 31-39; civil government,

40 – 48 ; their doom, 144 ;

murder of chiefs, 149


of Antonio Martinez, 214

CHIMTLES, Sierras de, crossed by

Quesada, 117

CHUTGA, in Santa Fó : encomienda

of C. de Toro, 210, 216

CHTTALASAL, 24.0; encomienda of

Pedro Rodriguez de Salamanca,

210, 215

CHOACHI, 220; encomienda of

A. Bermudez, but he gave it

up and went to Cartagena,


CHOCONTÁ, battle between Ziüa

and Zaque at, 45; Spaniards at,

132; encomienda of Andres,

Vasquez de Molina, 210, 214

CHOCUNAQUE, river, 69

CHUSBITA (with SAGRA), encomi-

enda of Pedro Rodriguez de

Leon, 210, 214

CIÉNAGA, river near Santa Martha,


COIBA, 54, 65

COLIMAS, fierce tribe bordering on

the Chibchas to N.W., 16;

north of Panches, 173

COLOMBIANS, distinguished, 192,



CORDILLERAS, 11; Abibe, Sierra

de, 87, 97 ; Eastern, 15

CORI, in the Cauca valley : death

of Cesare at, 99

CORO, in Venezuela, German

governors at, 88, 91

COTA, 23 {n.)> Nemterequeteba

preached at, encomienda of

Francisco de Tordehumos, 210

COYAIMA fair, 18

CUCUNUBA : natives rise against

the Spaniards, 153

CTJITIBA, encomienda of Pedro

Lopez de Monteagudo, 210

CUNTJBA in TUNJA : encomienda

of Diego de Paredes Calvo, 210

DARIEN, Gulf of (see URABA).

DOBAYBE, gold possessed by Chief

of, 66

DORSINOS, tribe near Santa Martha,


DUITAMA, hills of: territory of

Tutama, 135; Tutama, chief

of, 136; death of chiefs, 153;

encomienda of Baltazar Mal-

donado, 210, 214

EBAQUE, chief of, submits to the

Zipa, 44 {n.)

EBATE (now UBATE) chief submits

to the Zipa, 44 (n.)

EMERALDS, 18,132,144

EUGATISA, 210; encomienda of

Diego Romero, 210


FACATATIVÁ, near the place of

refuge of the Zipa, 137 (n.); en-

comienda of Alonso de Olalla,

who fell down the precipice

at Simijaca, 210, 215

FIRABITOBA, electors of the Iraca,


FONTIBON, 23 {n.)

FUNZA River, drains the Bogota

plain, 16 ; crossed by Quesada,

130; called PATI below the

Tequendaina falls, 173

FURAQUIRA, 210; encomienda of

Jufin de Quincoces de Liana, 210

FUSAGASUGÁ valley, chief submits

to the Zipa, 45, 131

GATRAS, tribe near Santa Martha,


GAMBZA, elector of the Iraca, 40(n.);

encomienda of Ortun Ortiz, 215

GBAOIAS A DIOS, end of territory

granted to Nicuesa, 52

GUACAMAYA in Tunja, 210 ; en-

comienda of Francisco de Mon-

salve, 214

GUACHETÁ, chief of, overawed by

Spaniards, 128; encomienda

of Hernán Vanegas, 211

GUALIES, rebellion in valley of

Magdalena, 187

GUASCA, chief of, submits to the

Zipa, 44

GUATAQUÍ, place of embarkation

on the Magdalena, 143

GUATAVITA, lake of, 24, 25;

legend, 25, 26 ; search for gold,

26 ; chief submits to the Zipa,

44 (n.); Spaniards at, 132; en-

comiendaoí Hernán Venegas, 205

GuAViARE River, reached by

Quesada, 185



IBAGUE, founded by Galarza, 184;

depopulation, 190 ; encomienda

of Domingo Lozano (F.) who

founded Buga, 211

ICABUOO, 211; encomienda of

Captain Suarez Rondón, 215

IGUAQUE in Tunja : encomienda

of Pedro Rodriguez Carrion de

los Rios y Mantilla, 211

LACHES, tribe to N.E. of Chibchas,


LACHIMIS, tribe in the Magdalena

valley, 173


LEON, capital of Nicaragua, foun-

ded, 79

MACHETA (with TIBIBITA), 215 ;

encomienda of Juan de Rivera,


MAGDALENA River, 11; west of

Chibcha country, 15; name

given, 50; Enciso off mouth,

60; lower reaches explored,

85 ; boundary between Car-

tagena and Santa Martha, 111 ;

great expedition up, 114;

Quesada’s flotilla, 116; Fran-

cesquillo attacks the Spaniards

on, 165

MALAMBO, on the Magdalena, 119


MARIQUITA, founded by Pedroso,

184 ; death of Quesada at, 188 ;

depopulation, 190


JA QUE), 211; encomienda of

Francisco de Céspedes, 213

META River, 12

MOMPOX, founded by Alonso

Heredia, 106; death of the

Judge, Mercado, at, 183

MONGUA, 215; encomienda of

Francisco Solquero, 211

MUEQUETA, capital of the Zipa,

42 ; Zipa at, 127 ; preparations

of the Zipa for flight from, 129 ;

occupied by Quesada, 130,137 ;

Quesada evacuates, 139

Musos, campaigns against, 3 80,183

MUYSCA, Spanish name for Chib-

chas—a mistake, 16,37 (n.)



NEMOCON (with PACHO) salt mines,

17, 128; encomienda of Juan

de Olmos, 211

NEW GRANADA, name given by

Quesada, 142

NEYVA Valley, expedition of Que-

sada to, 136

NICARAGUA, discovered, 79

NOMBRE DE DIOS, founded, 78

O OA VITA : people rise against the

Spaniards, 155; encomienda of

Mateo Sanchez Cogolludo, 211

ONZAGA, 215; encomienda of

Miguel Sanchez, 211

OPON, river, entrance reached by

Quesada, 120 ; ascended, 123 ;

Mountains, ascent of, by Que-

sada 123 ; L. de Lugo reaches,


PIJAOS, Sierra de, 12


POCOROSA : funeral ceremonies for

chief, 66


POPAYÁN, 94, 100, 104, 105, 106,


Pozos, cruelties of Robledo among,

101; murder of Robledo at, 107,


QUITO, 94, 100, 105

RAMADA, LA, fertile district near

Santa Martha, 84

RAMIRIQUI, ruins of a stone

temple at, 19

PACHO Valley (see NEMOCON).

PACIFIC Ocean: news of, 67 ;

discovery by Vasco Nuñez, 69

PAEZ River, 104

PAMPLUNA, founded by Pedro de

Ursua, 179

PANAMA Isthmus, 65-78; city

founded, 78

PANCHES, tribe on W. frontier of

the Zipa, 16; war with the

Zipa, 44; defeat Spaniards,

131; defeated, 172; retreat,

final submission, 173; encomi-

enda of Chr. de Miranda, 214

PANQUEBA, 214; encomienda of

Pedro Ruiz Herreguelo, 211

PASCA, 214; encomienda of

Francisco de Mestanza, 211

PASTO, 94; Hernán Perez reaches,


PATI, river, 131, 173

PAYTA, 100

PEARL Isles: expedition of Morales,


PESCA, elector of the Iraca, 40 (n.);

encomienda of Juan de Madrid

and Juan Tapur, 211


SAGRA, encomienda of Pedro

Rodriguez de Leon, 211

SALT-MINES at Nemocon and

Zipaquirá, 17

SAMACA, chief of, killed by Hernán

Perez, 149

SAMPOLLON, Quesada’s flotilla at,

on the Magdalena, 119 ; Lobrun

at, 147

SAN JUAN River, 103


SAN MIGUEL, Gulf of, 69



141, 142 (see BOGOTÁ)


arrival of Pedrarias, 69

SANTA MARTHA, 80; Enciso’s

account, 59 ; first governor, 80;

affairs at, 82; Lebrón, gover-

nor, 146 ; L. Lugo, 164; P. F.

de Lugo, governor, 111

SERREZUELA, encomienda of

Alfonso Diaz, 211

SESQUIBE, encomienda of Cristoval

Bernal, 211

SBUJAOA chief threw his gold



# into Lake Guatavita, 26 ;

* natives rise against the Spani-

ards, 155

SIQUIMA {with TOCAREMA), encomi-

enda of Pedro de Miranda,


SOBACHOQUE, encomienda of Juan

de Guemes, 211


SOGAMOSO, river, to north of

Chibcha country, 15

SOMONDOCO emerald mine, 18;

Spaniards at, 132 ; encomienda

of Diego Paredes Calderón, 211

SOBA* encomienda of Francisco

Arias Maldonado (B.), 211

SOBACA, encomienda of Francisco

Rodriguez, 211

SOTAQUIBA, encomienda of Diego

Suarez Montarez, 211

SUAMO {now SOGAMOSO), most

sacred temple, 40; temple

burnt by Spaniards, 135

SUABEZ, river, 142

SUBAOHOQUE : people rise against

the Spaniards, 155

SUBYO, road over mountains,

made by Zipa, 45; encomienda

of Antonio Diaz Cardoso, 212

SUCHICA, in Zaque’s territory to

W., 46, 211

SUESCA, Quesada’s work written

at, 48 ; chief of, sent news of

Spanish invasion to the Zipa,

127 ; Spaniards at, 136 ; Que-

sada’s country house at, 186;

encomienda of Hernán Gomez

Castillejo and Cristoval Rodri-

guez, 212

SUTTAMAS, tribe in the Magdalena

valley, 173; alliance with

Spaniards, 173

SUMA PAZ, range south of Chibcha

country, 15; expedition of

Céspedes, 130

SUSA, 212; encomienda of Luis

Lanchero (F.) 214

SUTA : natives rise against the

Spaniards, 153

SUTAGAOS, tribe in the Magdalena

valley, 173

SUTAGAOS, subdued by the Zipa,



TABIO, country house of Zipa,

thermal spring, 42; en-

comienda of Cristoval Gomez

Nieto, 215

TABOGA, Pedrarias at, 78

TAGANGUS, tribe near Santa

Martha, 80

TAIROMA, tribe near Santa Martha,



TAUSA, natives rise against the

Spaniards, 165

TEQUENDAMA Falls, 16; legend,


TEUSAOA, 212; encomienda of

Gaspar Méndez, 214

THEOSAQUELLO, country house of

Zipa, site of Bogotá, 42


TIBURÓN, Cape, 51

TIMANÁ, founded by Añasco, 104

TINANSUCÁ, country house of Zipa,


TINJACÁ, west border of Tunja, 46;

encomienda of Juan de Aven-

daño, 212

TOACA in Tunja, 212 ; encomienda

of Anton de Esquival, 213

TOBAZA, electors of the Iraca,

40 (n.)

TOCA, chief of, elector of the Iraca,


TOCAIMA : tribes in the Magdalena

valley, 173; Quesada living

at, 187; encomiendas of

Vilaspasas, Prado, Molina,

Hidalgo, 212

TOCANCIPA, 212 ; encomienda of

Hernando de Velasco Ángulo,



TOPAIPI, 212, 215

TORA, LA, on the Magdalena, 120,




TUNA, 262 ; encomienda of Ant

Diaz Cardoso, 213

TUNjA, capital and palace of the

Zaque, 43; sacked by the

Spaniards, 133, 134; city

founded, 149; nine encomi-

endas of Albaoracin, Pedroso,

Ruiz, Cifuentes, Hernandez de

las Islas, Patarroyo, Ya&ez,

Madrid, Villanueva, 212



TURBACO, near Cartagena, defeat

of Ojeda at, 53

TURMEQUÉ, south border of Tunja:

fair, 18; Spaniards at, 132;

chief killed by Hernán Perez,

149 ; encomienda of Juan Torres

Contreras, 212

UBAQUE : invaded by the Zipa,

44 (n.); encomienda of Juan de

Cespedez, 213

UBATE (see EBATE), 44 (n.); en-

comienda of Diego Rodriguez

el Valderas, 213

UPAR, Luis de Lugo landed in

valley of, 164

URABÁ, Gulf of (or DABIEN), 53;

Ojeda at, 54; JEnoiso at, 55;

animals of, described by Enciso,

61; Vasco Nuñez, 63

USMA, 213 ; encomienda of Juan

Gormez Portillo, 215

VELA, CABO DE LA, 51; Latitude

by Enciso, 59

VELEZ, founded, 143; Lebrón

arrives at, 147 ; encomienda of

Miguel Saco, Moyano, 213

VENADTLLO River, Vanegas at, 172

VENEZUELA : name given, 50;

Velzers’ contract, 88; German

expeditions, 89-91

VIRAOACHA, 213 ; encomienda of

Fran Martinez, 214

VITUIMITA River, 171



ZAMBA, Bastidas at, 50 ; inter-

preter from, 87

ZENU cemetery, 15

ZIPACOA, 213; encomienda of

Fr. de Figueredo, 214

ZIPAQUIRA salt-mines, 17 ; chief

submits to the Zipa, 44 (n.);

encomienda of Juan de Ortago,




AQUIMIN (ZAQUE), 134; the last of

the Zaques, murdered by Her-

nán Perez Quesada» 149

BACHUE, Mother of all mankind,

22; legend, 23

BOCHICA, mythical demigod, re-

siding in the sun; legend of

Tequendama, 22, 24

CARETA, a chief of Darien; friend

of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, who

loved his daughter, 68, 73

CHAQUÉ, deity of boundaries,crops,

festivals, 23

CHIBCHACUN, deity of the Chib-

chas 22; legend of Tequen-

dama, 24

CHIE, the moon, 30

CHTMINGAGUA, the Creator; great

first cause, 22

CHTNZAPAGUA, another name for


COMOGUE, a Darien chief; his

son gave the first news of the

Pacific Ocean, 64

CUCHA VIRA, rainbow deity 23



GARACHACHA, a great civiliser of

ancient times; he instituted the

office of Iraca, 23

GUECHAS, war captains of the

. Chibchas, 131

GUESO, victim for the human

sacrifice to the sun, 28

IRACA, high priest of Suamo;

office of arbitrator and mediator,

instituted by GARACHACHA, 40,

134; mode of election, 40 {n.)

46 ; the last Iraca, 135 {n.)

JEQUES, name for the Chibcha

priests, 27

MICHUA, the Zaque slain in battle

with the Zipa, 44, 45

NEMCATACOA, deity of weavers,

woodmen, drunkards; repre-

sented as a bear, 23

NEMEQUENE, second known Zipa;

reduced Guatavita to submis-

sion; andUbaque; defeated by

the Zaques, 45, 46

NEMTEREQUETEBA, another name

for GARACHACHA, 23 [ri).



NOMPENEME, the Iraca; his

mediation secured a peace

between the Zipa and Zaque, 46

NUTIBARA, a powerful chief south

of the Sierra de Abibe; grief

at his brother’s death ; success-

fully resisted the Spaniards, 97,



Tunja, 133


killed in battle with the Spani-

ards, 97

QUYHYCA (a door, a month),

another name for the GUESO or

victim for sacrifice, 28

SAGIPA, last of the Zipas, bravely

resisted the Spaniards, 139; then

leagued with them against the

Panches, 139, 140; died under

torture inflicted by the Spani-

ards for gold, 141

SAGUAMA CHICA, first-known Zipa;

submission of chiefs ; defence

against the Panches; reduced

the Sutagaos; slain in battle

with the Zaque, 44, 45

SIQUIMA, chief of the Panches, 171

SUA, the sun, 30

SUGAMTJNI, last Iraca, 135; Epi-

taph, 135 (n.)

TAMALAMEQUE, a chief near the

Magdalena, who helped Quesada,


THIGUYES, concubines of the Zipa,


THISQTJEZUZA, third known Zipa;

services under his predecessor,

46; fight with Spaniards, 128;

flight, 129, 137 ; death, 138

TIBACUI, chief assisting Elsa-

thama; after defeat he advised

his friend to submit to the Zipa,


TIBIPI, a valiant Darien chief;

defeated Ojeda, 54

TOMA GATA, a mythical Zaque, 43

TUNDAMA, valiant Chibcha chief, of

Tutasua, 151,152, 153 •


Us A QUE, a chief; Chibcha name,


USATHAMA, chief of the Sutagaos;

submits to the Zipa, 44

XUE, another name for GARA-

OBLA CHA, 23 {n.)

YULDAMA, chief of the Gualies in

the Magdalena valley; his rising

put down by Quesada, 187

ZAQUE, sovereign of the northern

half of the Chibcha nation, 43-


ZIPA, sovereigns of the southern

half of the Chibcha territory,




(The Encomenderos in another list—App. II and III.)

ACOSTA, Í Joaquim : work on

the discovery and conquest

of New Granada; its value,

8, 9


biographies of notable Neo-

Granadinos, 7

AGUAYO, Captain, Jeromino raised

the first wheat-crop in New

Granada, 148

AGUELLO, Hernando, his warning

to Vasco Nuñez intercepted; his

execution, 75, 77

AGUILAR, Francisco, supplied

funds for Quesada’s search for

El Dorado, 187

ALDANA, Lorenzo, Governor of

Popayán, 95; kindness to

natives 103; sent Robledo

down the Cauca Valley, 101;

character, 103, 156

ALFINGER, German leader in Vene-

zuela employed by the Velzers,

88; his expedition ; cruelty;

death, 89

ALVA, Duke of, friendly to Luis

Alonso de Lugo, 169

ALVITES, Diego; founded Nombre

de Dios, 78

AMOYA, Countess of; aunt of the

wife of Pedrarias ; powerful at

Court, 77

AMPUDIA, Juan de; desperate

battle with natives between

Popayán and Timaná ; finally

defeated, 104

AÑASCO, Pedro de; founded

Timaná ; besieged by natives ;

flight down Paez River; taken

and killed, 104

ANDAGOYA, Pascual de; his nar-

rative, 2; received a grant along

the coast, Pacific side, 103 ;

reached Popayán ; arrested by

Belalcazar, 104 ; humanity to

natives, 104, 156; subseqeunt

career and death, 105 (n.)

ARMENDARIZ, Miguel Diaz de, Juez

de Residencia at Cartagena,

174; at Bogotá; arrest; becomes

a priest, 185

ASCULI, Princess of, litigating for

many years about claims of her

grandfather, Luis Alonso de

Lugo, 170 (n.)

AVENDAÑO Juan de, 184

AYORA, Juan de ; one of the cap-

tains of Pedrarias ; his raid and

flight with gold, 70

BALBOA, Vasco Nuñez de, 62; his

letter to Charles V., 2 ; voyage

with Bastidas, 50 ; early years ;

head of the Darien Colony, 62,

63; wise policy, 64; discovery

of the Pacific, 69 ; builds ships,

73 ; execution, 75


Q 2


BASTIDAS, Rodrigo de; his voyage

along the coast, 49, 50; first

Governor of Santa Martha, 80,

81; his good treatment of

natives; murder, 81

BELALCAZAR, Sebastian de, 93 ;

conduct as a boy, 93 ; with

Pedrarias, 93; with Pizarro, 94 ;

reduces Quito, 94; discovery of

Popayán ; return to Spain, 95,

142, 145 ; made Adelantado,

102; service in Peru, 105;

execution of Robledo; Resi-

dencia; death, 108

BERRIO family, heirs of Quesada;

descent from a sister, 188

BORJA, Juan de, President of

Bogotá; Audiencia; war with

the Pijaos; accompanied by

Pray Simon, 4

BOTELLO, sent by Vasco Nuñez for

news about the new Governor,

74; execution, 77

BRICEÑO, Juez de Residencia of

Belalcazar ; condemned him to

death, 108

CABRERA, Juan, sent by Belal-

cazar to occupy Antioquia, 106

CALDAS, a very eminent man of

science and letters at Bogotá,


CAMPAÑON, Francisco, efficient

aid of, to Vasco Nuñez, in

bringing materials for ship-

building across the isthmus, 73

CAMPO, Sebastian del, sent to

Spain by Vasco Nuñez with

letter and gold for Charles V,


CARBAJAL, Dona Maria de, widow

of Robledo ; married the judge

Briceño, 108

CASSANI : history of Jesuit Mis-

sions in New Granada, 7

CASTELLANOS, Juan de, rhyming

chronicler ; value of his work, 3

CASTRO, Cristoval Vaca de, assisted

by Belalcazar in journey to Peru,


CERRATO, Licentiate: his report

on Lugo’s misconduct referred

to by Las Casas, 169

CESAR, Francisco, lieutenant to

Heredia at Cartagena, 87 ; expe-

dition to Nut iba ra’s country,

87; expedition with Vadillo ;

fine character ; death, 96, 99

CÉSPEDES, one of Quesada’s cap-

tains 115; expedition towards

Suma Paz; sent against Ocavita,


CHARLES V.; letters of Vasco

Nuñez, 2, 71; letter of Heredia

to, 2; emeralds for, 144 ■%

CHAMARRO, one of the captains

in Quesada’s flotilla, 116

COBOS, Francisco de, Secretary

to Charles V., 159 (».); his

conduct in maligning Quesada

and appointing Lugo, 160, 167,


COCHRANE, Captain, R.N.: account

of the attempt to drain the

Guatavita Lake, 26

CORDOVA, Hernando de, dis-

coverer of Nicaragua; founded

Leon ; execution by Pedrarias,


CORDOVA, one of the captains in

Quesada’s flotilla, 116

COSA, Juan de la, cartographer;

with Bastidas, 50 ; with Ojeda ;

death, 53

CROSS, Mr. Robert: his report on

region east of Popayán and

Timana, vii

DTJQUESNE, J. Domingo: his

explanation of the Chibcha

calendar, 8, 37

ENCISO, Martin Fernandez do:

sent for relief of Ojeda 55;

return to Spain 57 ; in expe-

dition of Pedrarias 58; his

descriptive work 59-61; holds

a residencia on Vasco Nuñez, 70


ESPINOSA, Licentiate: condemned

Vasco Nuñez under pressure

from Pedrarias, but protests,


FEDERMAN, Nicolas: German in

Venezuela, 91; his expedition,

91; reached Bogotá ; return to

Spain, 142, 145

FONTE, Lázaro, one of Quesada’s

captains, 115, 26

FRESLE, Juan Antonio : author of

a history of New Granada down

to 1618, MS., 7

GALANGA, Oidor of the Audiencia

of Bogotá, 180, 183, 186

GALARZA, Andres, founder of

Ibague, 184

GALIANA, Martin, founded Velez,


GALLEGOS, Licentiate: misconduct

when in charge of Quesada’s

flotilla, 123

GARA VITA, Francisco : sent to Cuba

by Vasco Nuñez de Balboa for

shipwrights and materials for

bunding, 72

GASCA, Pedro de la: summons

Belalcazar to help him against

Gonzalo Pizarro, 106


Venezuela for the Velzers;

expedition into the interior;

death at Coro, 90

GONGORA, Oidor of the Audiencia

of Bogotá, 180, 183, 186

GRAJADA (Factor) of Garcia de

Lerma; his treatment of Va-

dillo, 84

GUERRA, Cristoval: depredation

of coast of Spanish main, 51

GUTIERREZ, Elvira: made the

first wheaten bread in Bogotá,


HEREDIA, Pedro de: letter to

Charles V., 2; served under

Vadillo, 86; early life in Madrid,

86; Governor of Cartagena 87 ;

expeditions ; policy 87 ; Resi-

dencia, 88 ; dispute with

Belalcazar, 106; many years

Governor; death in shipwreck,


HEREDIA, Alonso de, brother of the

Governor Don Pedro ; founded

Mompox, 106

HERRERA, Decades: general ac-

count of the conquest of New

Granada, 7

HULTON : travels, 191

HUMBOLDT, Baron: view of Lake

Guatavita, 26 ; account of the

Chibcha calendar, 37

HURTADO, Bartolomé, one of the

marauding captains of Pedrarias,


INFANTE (Oidor), temporarily

Governor of Santa Martha after

the death of Lerma, 85

Jovro PAULO, Quesada’s criticism

on, 163

JUNCO, Juan de, one of Quesada’s

captains, 115

LADRILLO, Juan : founded Buena-

ventura, 103

LAS CASAS : His denunciation of

Luis de Lugo 168; the New

Laws, 175

LEBRIJA, Antonio de : his report,

3; one of Quesada’s captains,


LEBRÓN, Gerónimo 146 : claim to

New Granada ; expedition re-

tires, 147

LEON, Pedro de Cieza de, 96 ; his

account of expeditions of Vadillo

and Robledo, 97, 156

LERMA, Garcia de, Governor of

Santa Martha, 845 85; death,111

LORENZANO, Don Narciso, vii


LUGO, Adelantado Pedro Fer-

nandez de, Governor of Santa

Martha, 111; selects Quesada to

command his expedition 115;

death, 117

LUGO, Bernardo de : his grammar

of the Chibcha (Muysca) lan-

guage, 8, 32 (n.)

LUGO, Bishop of: favourable to

Quesada in the Council of the

Indies, 161

LUGO, Luis Alonso de, son of the

Adelantado, 111; deserts, steal-

ing the gold, 113; fortunate

marriage, 160; Governor at

Bogotá, 164-167; returns with

plunder, 1G7; denounced by

Las Casas, 168 ; impunity, 169

LUGO, Luis Alonso Fernandez,

son of Luis; married, but died

young, 170 (n.)

LUGO, Luisa, daughter of Luis,

wife of the Duke of Terra

Nova, mother of the Princess of

Asculi, 170 (n.)

LUGO, Montalvo, cousin of Luis;

in temporary charge at Bogotá,


MALDONADO, Baltasar; encomen-

dero of Duitama; murderer of

the patriot chief, Tundama, 152,


MANJARRES, one of the captains in

Quesada’s flotilla, 116

MARTIN, Alonso: treachery to

the Ocavitas, 155

MEDRANO, Fray Pedro: his MS.

used by Simon; death in the

forest, 185

MELO, sent to explore the Magda-

lona, 85

MENDOZA, Maria do, wife of

Francisco do Loa Cobos, Secre-

tary to Charles V., 160

MERCADO, judge of the Bogotá

Audiencia; diod at Mompox,


MOLLIEN’S travels, 191

MONTALVO, Juan de, husband

of Elvira de Gutierrez (whom


MONTANO, Juez de Residencia;

arrested the other judges ; long

in charge at Bogotá, 185

MORALES, Gaspar de: atrocious

cruelty ; one of the captains of

Pedrarias, 70

MOSQUERA, General President of

New Granada, vii, x

MUNOZ : Coll. reports of San

Martin and Lobrija, 3

MUTIS, Don José Celestino, bo-

tanist : his botanical work, vii.

188 (n.); showed the work*of

Duquesne on the Chibcha

calendar to Humboldt, 37

NICUESA, Diego, Governor of Cas-

tilla dol Oro; misfortunes and

death, 52, 53, 54


wife of Luis de Lugo, 160

OCARIZ, Juan Floros do: wrote

a work on the genealogies of tho

first settlers in New Granada, 7

OJEDA, Alonso de, Governor of New

Andalusia, 51 ; character, 52 ;

defeat at Turbaco, 53 ; mis-

fort unos at Uraba, 54; death, 55

OLALLA : thrown down a precipice

at tho rock of Tausa, attacking

a native stronghold, 154

O RUÑA family, representativos

and heirs of Quosada, 188

OSORNO, Count of: in favour of

Quesada’s claims in the Council

of the Indies, 161

OVIEDO : accompanied Pedrarias,

58; historian, 7

PALOMINO, Rodrigo, successor of

Bastidas at Santa Martha, 81;

death crossing a river, 83, 84

PARIS, Juan Ignacio : his attempt

to drain tho Guatavita Lake in

1822; account by Captain

Cochrane, R.N., 26


PEDRARIAS, Podro Arias Davila,

57; arrival at Darion, 69, 70;

his character, 71, 72; execution

of Vasco Nuñez and others, 74,

75, 76; founds Panama, 78;

death at Leon, 79

PEDROSO, Francisco Nuñez, foun-

der of Mar quit a, 184

PHILIP, Prince: favoured Luis do

Lugo, 169

PIEDRAHITA, Lucas Fernandez, 5 ;

birth, 5; descent from the Incas,

5 (ra.); priesthood ; canon, 5 ;

his work on Now Granada, 6;

Jbishop of Santa Martha, 6;

captured by buccaneers, 6;

bishop of Panama; death, 6

PINEDA, Juan do: sent against

tho natives of Oca vita, 155

PIZARRO, Francisco, 55; with

Ojeda’s remnant, 02; with

Blasco Nuñez at the discovery

of tho Pacific, 68; with Morales,

09; arrests Vasco Nuñez do

Balboa, 75, 76 (ra.)

PUNONROSTRO, Count of, brother

of Pedrarias, 57

QUESEDA, Gonzalo Jimonos de:

lawyor in Granada; father of,


QUESADA, Gonzalo Jimonos do

110; his reports ; birth; early

years, 110; lawyer at Granada,

110; joined Lugo expedition,

111; selected to command tho

expedition up the Magdalena,

114, 115; firmness and courage,

115; disco vory of Chibcha

country, 118-125; conquest,

120-129; sack of Tunja;

burning of Suamo; guilt con-

nected with murdor of Sagipa ;

founds Bogotá; return to Spain;

unjust treatment, 160-163;

life in Europe, 163; return to

Bogotá, 183; services, 183;

search for El .Dorado, 184, 185;

literary work, 186 ; death, 188;

character, 189

QUESADA, Hernán Perez, brother

of the Conqueror, 129, 136;

cruelty, 149; search for El

Dorado, 150, 151 ; imprison-

ment; death, 166, 167

QUESADA, Francisco, brother of

tho Conqueror; arrival at

Bogotá ; death, 166, 167

QUESADA, Isabel, mother of the

Conqueror, 110.

QUEVEDO, Dr., bishop of Darien ;

friond of Vasco Nuñez do

Balboa, 72

RESTREPO, Manuel; memoir on

Antiochia, 191

Ríos, Pedro do los; superseded

Pedrarias as Governor of

Panama, 79

ROBLEDO, Jorge : sent by Aldana

down the Cauca valley to form

settlements, 101; wont to Spain,

102; return, 107; execution by

Belalcazar, 108


SAN MARTIN, Juan do : his report;

one of Quosada’s captains, 3;

went up the Opon River, J 23;

sent to explore, 132; dofeatod

by Panchos, 131

SANTA CRUZ, Licentiate : sent out

to tako a residencia of Vadillo

at Cartagena; found tho bird

flown, 96

SEPULVEDA, Antonio de, of Bo-

gotá ; his attempt to drain tho

Guatavita Lake, 26

SEVILLE, Cardinal Archbishop;

signed a favourable report on

Quosada’s claims, 161

SIMON, Fray Pedro do: his

Noticias Historiales; their

value, 4

SOSA, Lope do; now governor to

supersede Pedrarias, but he

diod at Darion, 74


SUAREZ, Capt. Gonzalo (RONDÓN) :

one of ^Quesada’s captains, 115 ;

founded Tunja, 143; in charge

of Bogotá, 147; imprisoned by

Lugo, 166, 174

TERNAUX COMPANS : publication

of reports of San Martin and

Labrija, 3

TRIANA, Jose : eminent Colombian

botanist; editor of a great

work on the Chinchona-trees

of Colombia,, with the drawings

of Mutis, vii

URBINA, a captain in Quesada’s

flotilla, 116

URICOECHEA, Ezequiel: works on

Chibcha antiquites and grammar,

and vocabulary of the Chibcha

language, 8, 32

URSUA, Pedro de, a captain who

founded Pampluna, 174, 179

VADLLLO, Pedro, governor of Santa

Martha; cruelties and death,

84, 85

VADDLLO (Oidor): Juez de Resi-

dencia at Cartagena 88; ex-

pedition, 96, 97 ; discovery of

the Cauca valley, 100; return

and death, 100

VALDERRABANO, Licentiate: con-

versation with Vasco Nuñez de

Balboa, 74 ; execution, 77

VALENZUELA, one of Quesada’s

captains, 115 ; expedition to the

emerald mine at Samondoco,


VANEGAS, Hernán: encounters

with the Panches, 171; expedi-

tion to the gold-mines, 172;

league with native tribe, 173 ;

final submission of the Panches;

wise policy, 173

VELA, Blasco Nuñez de (Viceroy):

takes refuge with Belalcazar,


VELASCO, Ortun, in the expedition

of Pedro de Ursua, 179

VELASQUEZ, Ortun, one of the

captains in Quesada’s flotilla,


VELZERS of Augsburg: their

contract to colonise Venezuela,


VTLLAFUERTE, Juan de : murderer

of Bastidas, 81

VILLALOBOS : fiscal of the council

of the Indies; demands on

Quesada, 162

ZAMORA, Fray Antonio de: his-

torian of the Dominican Order

in New Granada, 7