A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 3 - By Robert Kerr












































































































 -  Those of the other provinces
were rated at a quarter of an hundred weight of cotton. The cacique
Manicatex, who - Page 530
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Those Of The Other Provinces Were Rated At A Quarter Of An Hundred Weight Of Cotton.

The cacique Manicatex, who had headed the great insurrection, was condemned to pay monthly half a gourd, or calabash full of gold, which was worth 150 pieces of eight.

To ascertain the regular payment of this tribute, certain medals of brass or copper were coined, every time the tribute fell due, and every tributary Indian received one of these to wear about his neck, that it might be known who had paid. Guarionex, the principal cacique of the Royal Plain, represented to the admiral that his subjects knew not how to gather the gold which was exacted from them, and offered to cultivate corn for the Spaniards all across the island, from the town of Isabella to where St Domingo was afterwards built, provided he would demand no gold from him. The distance between these two places is 55 leagues[1], and the grain produce of this vast territory would have sufficed to maintain the whole population of Castile. The admiral was conscious that he was obnoxious to the ministers of their Catholic majesties, being an unprotected stranger, and that he could not support his interest in Spain, except by the transmission of treasure, which made him eager to procure gold from the natives: But the pressure of this tribute was so intolerable upon the Indians, that many of them abandoned their habitations and roamed about the island, to avoid the tax which they were unable to pay, seeking a precarious subsistence in the woods.

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