Of the second provision attempt undertaken to subdue the coast of Cumaná, and to punish the Indians for their already mentioned rebellions, and of the fortress founded there to guard the Cumaná River, which is on the coast of the Mainland, and seven leagues from the Pearl Islands, known as Cubagua.
Translated by Mehr Nasir-Moin ’21
After Captain Gonzalo de Ocampo returned to this city of Santo Domingo of the island Hispaniola, the admiral, Don Diego Columbus, and the judges of this Audencia Real and the officials of Their Majesties sent another captain to the conquest of Cumaná, and this was Jacome de Castellón, a neighbor of this city, sent to mend the errors of the past captains as I have told, and to collect the people who had remained from those brought there by Captain Gonzalo de Ocampo and the Licenciado Bartolomé de las Casas, although of the farmers, the least useful among them, very few were left alive. The captain was given very substantial powers to gather all the people who were in Cubagua and lead them into waging war on the Indians of that coast of the Mainland: having arrived in Cubagua in the month of October of the year 1522, he gathered the soldiers belonging to the forces who had accompanied Captain Gonzalo de Ocampo: and with the artillery and necessary war equipment they crossed over to the Mainland and to the Cumaná River at the end of the month of November, and he entered through the river and took possession of the land, and established his camp and base near the mouth of the river, which the Christians then held freely and without opposition, and served the inhabitants of Cubagua for their sustenance; and from there he began to wage war on the Indians who had been involved in the evils and damage already reported in previous chapters, and he inflicted much punishment on them with many dead and captured, and sent a quantity of them as slaves to this island of Hispaniola, and took possession of the land and reduced it to the service of Their Majesties. And he built in Cumaná near the river a castle of lime and stone with a very good foundation and a tower, in which he raised the royal standards and became the foundation for a fortress, which took place on February 2 of the year 1523, and he appointed himself its mayor, a title later bestowed on him by His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor, our lord, who confirmed him in the same office. And from that time forward they began without fear to purposefully establish a town on the island of Cubagua and called it Nueva Cádiz, since given the security provided by the castle I have mentioned, and with the many good pearl fisherman among the Indians who had been captured in the war joining the enterprise, the neighbors profited greatly and they began to establish their town and dwelling houses with much use of lime and stone, and a very well built church was founded; and the first who began to build a stone house was a noblemen from Soria named Pedro de Barrionuevo. After what has been told, Captain Jacome de Castellon made peace with the Indians and opened trade and communication between them and the Christians, which remains and is most useful and beneficial to both parts, and the land and coast remained under our control and the island of Cubagua safe and very experienced in the fishing and farming of pearls.