Of certain farmers who came from Spain at this time to settle in Montecristi and Puerto Real, on the northern coast of this island, through the request of a neighbor of this town named Bolaños.
Translated by Chloe Richards ’22
In the same year of 1533, at the end of the month of August, up to sixty farmers, most of them with their wives and children, whom His Majesty had ordered to be helped in this enterprise, arrived in a carrack to this city and port of Santo Domingo of the Island Española in order to settle in Montecristi and Puerto Real. After resting some days in this city of Santo Domingo, they went to establish their settlement, and they had brought with them certain agreements, exemptions, privileges, and freedoms conceded to them by Their Majesties as mercies so that they could better settle that town or village they wanted to establish.
In the first printing of this story, I asked God to give them grace to survive and live; because the land spares no one who is not first tested by sickness upon arrival, which is not surprising, moving so far away from where they were born and changing their diet and air in such very different climates and regions. The land they went to settle is among the best and most fertile in this island and near the gold mines; and they took with them ornaments and clergymen for the church they were going to found. And in truth, what this man did was a praiseworthy thing and worthy of thanks, since his intention and work in bringing this people here seemed directed to the service of God and Their Majesties and for the growth of the population of this land, an effort towards which Bolaños invested a large part of his estate. And the town had already been populated and unpopulated, for the Indians who had served the former neighbors and population had died, and this man thought to rebuild or restore it with those he brought, as I have mentioned, motivated by their understanding of cattle and agriculture.
At present, since God has brought us to the time of the second printing of these histories, I remind the reader that this population did not survive, because of what happened after the great news of the discovery of riches in Perú, and even because by the time they arrived here some of the new settlers had passed on to the other life, and of those who remained some went to Perú, dying even further away from Spain, and others went elsewhere. And this sinner was left a worn out and sick person since it had not turned out as he had thought, as time never consults those who will bear the brunt of what it disposes. Those who came lost their homeland and peace of mind, because of Bolaños’ preaching and words, and thinking they could escape poverty and earn a living, not happy with their position or way of life, they died with their dream, plagued by greater need, exiled, and by chance unburied. And this other man, tempted by the title of captain, abandoned his artisanal craft, from which he earned his bread, and lost what he had acquired before this desire to command others grew in him, which not all know how to do.