Page:Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila (Haklyut, 34).djvu/52

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NARRATIVE OF

on the banks of a river, a league and a half from the sea. A year before these people arrived at that province, the captains Diego de Nicuesa and Alonzo de Ojeda departed from San Domingo, each one with his fleet. Ojeda went to the coasts of Paria and Santa Martha, where most of his people perished in the wars with the Indians or from disease. The survivors took Francisco Pizarro, who was afterwards governor of Peru, as their captain or leader, and followed the coast until they reached Darien, where they established themselves, and sent a ship to San Domingo, with the news of what had happened. The judges who were there, appointed the said Vasco Nuñez as alcalde mayor. Diego de Nicuesa went with his fleet to the coast of Veragua, where he was lost.[1] Leaving the remainder of his people on a hill

to inform Vasco Nuñez of his arrival, who found the great discoverer in a cotton shirt, loose drawers, and sandals, helping some Indians to thatch a house. Vasco Nuñez sent back to say that the colonists were ready to receive the new governor. The colony consisted of 450 soldiers, while Pedrarias had a force of nearly 1500 men. On June 30th, 1514, Pedrarias landed at Darien, and, as Herrera tells us (dec. i, lib. ix, cap. 3), treated Vasco Nuñez in a most malicious manner, appointing his old enemy Enciso to hold his Residencia, fining him several thousand castellanos, and for some time keeping him in confinement.

  1. For an account of the proceedings of Ojeda and Nicuesa see my translation of Cieza de Leon(note at p. 34).

    In a letter to the king, dated from Darien January 20th, 1513, Vasco Nuñez says:—"We have lost three hundred men of those I commanded, of those under Alonzo de Ojeda, and of those under Diego de Nicuesa. With much labour I have united all these parties together. I sent to order that all the people who were in the settlement of Diego de Nicuesa should be brought to this town, and I treated them with all the attention that was possible. If I had not helped them they would have been lost, five or six dying every day, and the survivors being thinned by the Indians. Now all the men who were left behind by Diego de Nicuesa are in this town. From the first day of their arrival here they have been as well treated as if they had been sent by order of your most Royal Highness; for there has been no difference made with them, any more than if they had come here on the first day. As soon as they arrived here they were given their pieces of land for building and planting, in good situations, close to those occupied by the men who came with me