The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century, by Clarence Henry Haring This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century Author: Clarence Henry Haring Release Date: August 29, 2006 [EBook #19139] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BUCCANEERS IN THE WEST *** Produced by Steven Gibbs, David King, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at THE BUCCANEERS IN THE WEST INDIES IN THE XVII CENTURY BY C.H. HARING WITH TEN MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS METHUEN & CO. LTD. 36 ESSEX STREET W.C. LONDON First Published in 1910 PREFACE The principal facts about the exploits of the English and French buccaneers of the seventeenth century in the West Indies are sufficiently well known to modern readers. The French Jesuit historians of the Antilles have left us many interesting details of their mode of life, and Exquemelin's history of the freebooters has been reprinted numerous times both in France and in England. Based upon these old, contemporary narratives, modern accounts are issued from the press with astonishing regularity, some of them purporting to be serious history, others appearing in the more popular and entertaining guise of romances. All, however, are alike in confining themselves for their information to what may almost be called the traditional sources—Exquemelin, the Jesuits, and perhaps a few narratives like those of Dampier and Wafer. To write another history of these privateers or pirates, for they have, unfortunately, more than once deserved that name, may seem a rather fruitless undertaking. It is justified only by the fact that there exist numerous other documents bearing upon the subject, documents which till now have been entirely neglected. Exquemelin has been reprinted, the story of the buccaneers has been re-told, yet no writer, whether editor or historian, has attempted to estimate the trustworthiness of the old tales by comparing them with these other sources, or to show the connection between the buccaneers and the history of the English colonies in the West Indies. The object of this volume, therefore, is not only to give a narrative, according to the most authentic, available sources, of the more brilliant exploits of these sea-rovers, but, what is of greater interest and importance, to trace the policy pursued toward them by the English and French Governments. The "Buccaneers in the West Indies" was presented as a thesis to the Board of Modern History of Oxford University in May 1909 to fulfil the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Letters. It was written under the supervision of C.H. Firth, Regius Professor of Modern History in Oxford, and to him the writer owes a lasting debt of gratitude for his unfailing aid and sympathy during the course of preparation. C.H.H. OXFORD, 1910 CONTENTS CHAPTER I. Introductory CHAPTER II. The Beginnings of the Buccaneers CHAPTER III. The Conquest of Jamaica CHAPTER IV. Tortuga—1655-1664 CHAPTER V. Porto Bello and Panama CHAPTER VI. The Government Suppresses the Buccaneers CHAPTER VII. The Buccaneers Turn Pirate APPENDIX I. English Buccaneers APPENDIX II. List of Filibusters SOURCES AND BIBLIGRAPHY INDEX LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Map of the West Indies Spanish Periagua, From EXQUEMELIN'S Histoire des Aventuriers Trevoux , 1744 A Correct Map of Jamaica, From the Royal Magazine, 1760. Map of San Domingo, From C HARLEVOIX' Histoire de S. Domingue. Plan of the Bay and Town of Portobelo, From PREVOST D'EXILES' Voyages. The Isthmus of Darien, From EXQUELMELIN'S Bucaniers, 1684-5. Plan of Vera-Cruz, From C HARLEVOIX' Histoire de S. Domingue, 1730. Plan of the Town and Roadstead of Cartegena and of the Forts, From BARON DE PONTIS' Relation de ce qui c'est fait la prise de Carthagene , Bruxelles, 1698. {1} THE BUCCANEERS IN THE WEST INDIES IN THE XVII CENTURY CHAPTER I INTRODUCTORY I.—THE SPANISH COLONIAL SYSTEM At the time of the discovery of America the Spaniards, as M. Leroy-Beaulieu has remarked, were perhaps less fitted than any other nation of western Europe for the task of American colonization. Whatever may have been the political rôle thrust upon them in the sixteenth century by the Hapsburg marriages, whatever certain historians may say of the grandeur and nobility of the Spanish national character, Spain was then neither rich nor populous, nor industrious. For centuries she had been called upon to wage a continuous warfare with the Moors, and during this time had not only found little leisure to cultivate the arts of peace, but had acquired a disdain for manual work which helped to mould her colonial administration and influenced all her subsequent history. And when the termination of the last of these wars left her mistress of a united Spain, and the exploitation of her own resources seemed to require all the energies she could muster, an entire new hemisphere was suddenly thrown open to her, and given into her hands by a papal decree to possess and populate. Already weakened by the exile of the most sober and industrious of her population, the Jews; drawn into a foreign policy for which she had neither the means nor the inclination; instituting at home an economic policy which was almost epileptic in its consequences, she found her strength dissipated, and gradually sank into a condition of economic and political impotence. {2} Christopher Columbus, a Genoese sailor in the service of the Castilian Crown, wishing to find a western route by sea to India and especially to Zipangu (Japan), the magic land described by the Venetian traveller, Marco Polo, landed on 12th October 1492, on "Guanahani," one of the Bahama Islands. From "Guanahani" he passed on to other islands of the same group, and thence to Hispaniola, Tortuga and Cuba. Returning to Spain in March 1493, he sailed again in September of the same year with seventeen vessels and 1500 persons, and this time keeping farther to the south, sighted Porto Rico and some of the Lesser Antilles, founded a colony on Hispaniola, and discovered Jamaica in 1494. On a third voyage in 1498 he discovered Trinidad, and coasted along the shores of South America from the Orinoco River to the island of Margarita. After a fourth and last voyage in 1502-04, Columbus died at Valladolid in 1506, in the firm belief that he had discovered a part of the Continent of Asia. The entire circle of the Antilles having thus been revealed before the end of the fifteenth century, the Spaniards pushed forward to the continent. While Hojida, Vespucci, Pinzon and