Of the governors of the island of Saint Johan after the licenciado Velazquez went there as resident judge.
Translated by Andrea Tellez ’21
It has been told how the licenciado Velazquez was named resident judge on the island of San Juan, an office he managed in such a way that there were many complaints against him; therefore, it was decided by His Majesty that the Licenciado Antonio de la Gama would be the resident judge of that island, and he did what he knew how to do. After which he married a maiden named Doña Isabel Ponce, daughter of the Adelantado Juan Ponce de León, of whom you have heard that he governed and first populated this island; and they gave a great dowry for her, and he settled on the land and was charged with the governorate of the island by the King while he held the rank of resident judge. After which he withdrew from his charge and the Admiral Don Diego Columbus named as his lieutenant Pedro Moreno, a resident of the island, of whom there were also many complaints, although not as many as against those who had governed previously. And during this time there was a great deal of strain between Antonio Sedeño, bookkeeper of that island, and the treasurer Blas de Villasancta. And both were in the court in the year 1523 and 1524 and even longer, suing and accusing each other before the gentlemen of the Royal Council of the Indies, so that there was occasion for that proverb that says: The comadres quarrel and the truth comes out. And Licenciado de la Gama was not forgotten among the other disputes of this Villasancta, which is why they sent the Licenciado Lucas Vazquez de Ayllón, oydor of this Royal Audience of the island of Hispaniola, who at the time was in Castilla negotiating a governorate (where he later went to die) to go to the island of San Juan to make sense of the differences between the officials and take evidence from Pedro Moreno and the Licenciado de la Gama, which he did. And de la Gama had been widowed and his first marriage had come to an end, and he was married for the second time to Isabel de Cáceres, who had been the wife of Miguel Diaz, of whom mention has been made before, a very rich woman, and this her second husband had been named resident judge in the Mainland, in the province and governorate of Castilla de Oro, and we will hear more about his administration of that office when we deal with matters pertaining to that land in the second part of this history. So, after the Licenciado Ayllon took their evidence, Lieutenant Pedro Moreno returned to his post on the island of San Juan and held it and governed it until he died: after whose death the post has been held until now by Lieutenant Francisco Manuel de Olando, a good gentleman and a noble person who has governed very well, and does his job with the approval of the people and as befits his service to God and Their Majesties, and more to the benefit of the land than the lawyers had done, as has been shown time and time again. And it is not without reason that Their Majesties in Castilla del Oro and other parts prevent lawyers and attorneys from taking charge, because it is well known that they are pestilential as managers of other people’s estates and put in contention those who without them would live in peace. And as to these positions dealing with justice, I would not want them to be held by those who know the most about the law, but by those with the fairest consciences; and there can be few differences among neighbors that those of good judgment cannot tell them apart if the judge has a clear heart and has closed the door to greed, without Bartolus or other legal scholars having anything to do with it.