A Discourse of Western Planting, by Richard Hakluyt

Chap. IX.

The names of the riche townes lienge alonge the sea coaste on the north side from the equinoctiall of the mayne lande of AMERICA, under the Kinge of Spaine.

1. Ouer againest the ilande of Margarita there is a towne called Cumana, wherein is great store of perle. There be divers boates belonginge to the towne, which onely dragge perles. This towne is the farthest eastwarde which the kinge hath on the north side of India. It is environed with their enemyes, viz., the Indyans and Caribes. The victualls come from this towne to Margarita.

2. The next towne westwarde is Carakas, which is very riche of golde. This towne standeth upon the sea, and hath some victualls, but not plentie, and is environed likewise with the Indians, their mortall enemyes.

3. The towne Burborowate was destroyed by 50. Frenchemen, and the treasure taken awaye.

4. The nexte towne to the westwarde is called Coro, which hath greate plentie of golde and victualls. This standeth upon the sea. This is a civill contrie, and some of the Indians broughte to a civill governemente.

5. At Rio de Hacha there is a towne called Hacha, where is greate store of perle and silver, but no golde; and not farr from thence there is a perle house. There is plentie of victualls, the contrie civill, and some of the Indians at the Spaniardes comaundement. Mr. John Hawkins told me he won this towne, and was master of yt three daies, in his laste voyadge.

6. Further westwarde is a towne called Santa Maren, alias Marta, where is greate store of golde, but little victualls. This is envyroned with Indians, enemies to the Spaniardes.

7. The nexte towne is Carthagena, where is greate store of silver, golde, and precious stone. This towne hath a nomber of Indians and Symerons to their enemyes. There is also greate store of victualls.

8. The nexte towne thereunto is Nombro di Dios. To this towne cometh all the golde, perle, stone, and jewells that cometh from Chile, Peru, and Panama oute of the Southe Sea. To this towne cometh halfe the fleete, which taketh in halfe their treasure, and goeth to Havana, and so throughe the Gulfe of Bahama unto the Ilandes of Corvo, Flores, and the Azores, and from thence into Spaine. This towne hath no victualls but such as cometh from Panama and the ilandes by sea. By this towne is a gulfe called Gulnata, where the Symerons and Indians have certaine townes, and kepe warres dayly with the Spaniardes as well as the Indians. At the southende of the gulfe there is not paste five legues over lande into the South Sea.

9. The nexte towne is called Vraga, alias Var, where is moche golde and small store of victualls. This is a civill contrie nere to the towne; the nexte is Nicaragua.

10. At Nicaragua is moche golde that cometh out of the Southe Sea, and there is a place where they make their frigotts. There ys little victualls; the people are civill.

11. In the Bay of Hondoras is a towne called Hondoras, alias Tres Islas, where is golde and hides and greate store of victualls. This towne standeth upon an hill very strongly, and is but simply manned. This towne hath within a mile great plentie of Indians, which are at warr with the Spaniardes.

12. Then there is a towne called Porto de Cavallos, where is store of silver, stones, perles, jewells made and sett with precious stones and perles. To this towne come yerely twoo shippes, that goe from thence to the Havana, and so into Spaine with all their riches. This towne is full of victualls. This porte of Cavallos adjoyneth to the Gulfe Dowse.70

13. All the Bay of Mexico is full of Indian townes and full of victualls. There is one towne named Vera Crux, to which towne cometh all their treasure, from the citie of Mexico, and from thence to the porte of St. John de Vlloa, from thence to Havana, and so into Spayne.

14. In Florida the Spaniardes have one towne, called Sancta Helena, where they have perles, silver, and greate store of victualls. The Floridians be a gentle sorte of people, and used somtymes to heade their arrowes with silver.

15. There is one principall place called Rio de Jordan, alias Rio de Maio, where, in an iland, standeth a forte which was Ribaults; which river ronneth throughe the lande into the Southe Sea, from whence greate plentie of treasure is brought thither. There are small pynnesses that use the same river. It is also thoughte that shippes come from Cathaio to the southwest ende of the said river. This is very full of victualls. A speciall note of a passage. There was note by Peter Melanda of a river cutt from the Citie of Mexico to Rio de Maio,71 so that moche treasure is broughte from thence to this forte with small pynnesses.

All that parte of America eastwarde from Cumana unto the River of St Augustine in Bresill, conteyneth in lengthe alongest to the sea side xxj. C. miles, in whiche compasse and track there is neither Spaniarde, Portingale, nor any Christian man, but onely the Caribes, Indians, and sauages. In which places is greate plentie of golde, perle, and precious stones.

On the coaste of Bresill is one goodly ile called Trinidada, conteyninge C. xx’ti. miles in lengthe, and lxxv. miles in bredthe, and is onely inhabited by gentle Indians and sauages borne in the said ilande. In this ilande is greate plentie of maiz, venison, fishe, wooddes, and grasse, with divers faire frutes and other comodities. Yt hath also divers goodly havens to harborowe yn, and greate stoare of tymber for buildinge of shippes. The Frenche. With the kinge of this ilande wee are in league.

70 Golfo Dulce.

71 No such river was ever cut. — C.D.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:00