George Hooker Colton.

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passed by Carpenter's River, and on the 14th
came to Monkey Point, near which we found
one Captain Allen, who had been ship-
wrecked in the bad weather which happened
about three weeks before. He had saved
his people and goods, and had them lodged
in a house which they had built. Here I
found a letter, as I had done before at the
Pearl Keys, from Captain Stuart. The for-
mer signified that he had stayed the num-
ber of knotts agreed on, and was gone four-
teen days before I came there. By the
latter he was only six days before me, and
Avas gone to Coccelec. He had left one
Blacketer, to help Allen or me as there
should be occasion, who had been a prisoner,
as he said, near two years in Mexico and
the adjacent towns, and spoke very good
Spanish. So I despatched a periaugua
with him to overtake Captain Stuart. But
in vain ; for when he was come to Bocca
del Drago, the Muskito captain would go no
farther. Whether Blacketer had used him
ill or no, I can't tell ; for I found him after-
wards a very diflferent from his appear-
ance, and a general aversion to the Indians
against them. So we lost all hope of join-
ing Stuart. When we came to Bocca del
Di'ago, the Muskito men would, contrary to
my desire, trade with the Indians upon the
key ; for I proposed, at coming back, offer-
ing them the fairest terms — if they were not
accepted, cutting them off in the fairest
manner imaginable. They are the briskest
Indians I ever saw, and the women, I am
told, the handsomest in America. 'Tis a
thousand pities they are such perfidious sav-
age monsters; for by the best inquiries I can
make, murder is a mere diversion to them ;
and I find Muskito men are not a little



1851.



Unpublished History of the New World.



99



afraid of them. Hopkins' body and those
of his crew lay unburied and stuck through
with lances upon the Careening Key. They
have lately killed four English soldiers who
had either deserted or been blown off the
coast of Jamaica in a long-boat, and two
negroes. Between the keys and the main
is the largest and most commodious harbor
in the West Indies. From the first Bogue
to the second are five leagues ; from that
to the third, seven — all gradual anchoring
gToilud; turtle, mantee, &c., in the greatest
plenty, and the sweetest I ever tasted.
There is said to be gold enough upon the
opposite main, especially among the Oalien-
tas, who are a few leagues to the eastward,
but are as feared and savage as any. And
some are said to be among the Helaskees,
who are a mild, good-natured nation. The
Muskito men once made a commerce with
them, but an Englishman called John Lock
broke it in a scandalous manner. He was
afterwards sorry, and tried to renew it by send-
ing up two of the slaves he had stole, to let
them know he was coming up the river in a
friendly manner. They sent him woid to
begone, or they would cut his head off;
which he not regarding, they met him and
Avere as good as their word. I write this
letter from Cherokee, one of their rivers, and
would gladly go up to try what can be done
%ith them ; but the Muskito men tell me
"tis vain. The names of the Indian nations
from Blanco are, first, the Blancos, the Sien-
ebos, the Tenibes, the Sangumas, the Helas-
kees, the Cocas, a nation of whom the
Bocca Dragos tell an incredible story. But
since the Muskito men all believe it, and
two Bocca Dragos whom we kept till yester-
day affirm they have fought with them often,
I must tell it to make up a travelling-
letter. They are people with long tails
hj which they hang to the ridge-poles of
their houses, and sleep all the day. At night
they awake and walk about. The men
nurse the children ; the women fight ; their
*rmor is three or four lances in their left
hand, and a target of mountain cowhide on
that arm. One lance in the right, with
which they are very dextrous and too hard
for their neighbors, who perhaps upon that
account have raised this piece of Indian scan-
dal. But the Muskito men are very posi-
tive. Was Bocca Drago cut ofli" and the
commerce with the Helaskees renewed, this
sa\age part of the world might soon be ex- •



plored. Next to the Cocos and the Vaheu-
tos, who extend almost to Coccelees, some of
them by the sea-side have small pcriauguas,
in which they carry some shell to Porto Bello.
From them I know of no Indians till the
Samblas, whom I would gladly have visited,
in order to have tried to repair Smie's
affair, and to have made a commerce
between them and the Muskitos. But it
was impossible to get them so far along.

On the 21st of May we left this place,
(Cherokee,) and sailed for Coccelee ; stopt
at several rivers, from one of which I sent
four dories with three men to surjn'ise the
look-outs. In the mean time a sloop ap-
peared in the offing, whom we could not
tell what to make of; so made a fire the
next morning, and bushed all the periauguas
except two, believing if he was a Dutch
trader that he would send his canoe ashore,
as he did. But oversetting in the surf, only
a Spanish Indian and a negro got ashore.
The rest with much difficulty righted the
canoe, and, perceiving the Muskitos, rowed
Oil" in a hurry ; which, with the suspicious
account of the Indian, gave us room to think
her a Spaniard. We push'd out directly
with fifteen periauguas to take her. The
rest of my line-of-battle vessels left us and
stay'd behind. When we came almost up
with her, we plainly saw she was a Dutch-
man ; so left the chase and hastened to
Coccelee, where we were informed that sev-
eral thousand pieces of eight were coming
down the river from Panama, St. Jago, and
other towns, to trade with the Dutchman.
That in the first were forty thousand pieces
ready for that purpose, besides what was in
the others. I sent dories ahead to paddle
softly up the river, and that night they
intercepted a prebend of Panama with 290
pieces of eight and 3 ingots of gold weigh-
ing about 1000 castellanas. (We had taken
about 500 pieces from the canoe and look-
outs before.) Next day they took about 750
pieces from two Spanish peasants, and 103
small lumps and balls of gold. We row'd
up the river all that night and the next day,
and the third night about 10 o'clock came
to the branches of the river, where I left a
white man and ten Muskito men to intercept
all that came down and to guard the Indian
prisoners, of whom I left ten bound. Two
of the best, with the padre and six Spaniards,
we took with us for pilots, and row'd up with
the utmost expedition for the Barcadore of



100



Stray Leaves from the



August,



that branch which belonged to Panama ; from
which to the town the march is not above
one day and a half, though 'tis upon the
south sea side. Next day fell heavy rains,
and we row'd against the stream with much
labor and difficulty, which still increasing,
we took to our dories, and bush'd most of
the periauguas ; but were forced to stop and
sleep that night in the woods, within about
four hours' rowing of the Barcadore. That
night I gave the governor and admiral the
strictest orders to secure their prisoners
Avell, which they say was done. But in the
night, the rain ceasing and the river falling,
some of the governor's Indians took four
dories and one Spanish mulatto for a pilot,
whom they had half hanged the day before
in private^ and rowed away contrary to
orders, in hopes, I suppose, of ])lundering
and stripping the look-outs at the Barcadore,
or whoever they met, or from a worse
motive. They wisely untied his legs, and
about half way up he got the rope off his
hands and jump'd overboard. Five or six
jump'd after him ; but he got away from
them all. So they returned with the dole-
ful news, and it was then impossible to get
the Muskito men a step farther. I begged
of the governor if he would not go on to
hang up two of his Indians before the padre,
that he might not be suspected by the Span-
iards of cowardice. But all in vain, for I
only prevailed with much ado to have ropes
put about their necks, which I told him were
to hang them with at their return home, or
at the river's mouth. And to save the credit
of the Muskito men, I told the Fryer that
as this war was occasioned chiefly by the
Queen and people of Old Spain, your Excel-
lency knowing the just inveteracy of the
Muskito Indians against all Spaniards in
general, had sent me to attend fheir expedi-
tions, and to prevent the effusion of blood
as much as possible. Wherefore, as I found
them excessively provoked at the mulatto's
escape, and as I knew the money could be
removed, which I wanted more than slaugh-
ter, I would not suffer them to proceed.
Whether he took me for a coward or not I
am not at all solicitous, if he did not think
the Muskito men so. But I fancy my rea-
sons were plausible enough, for he was ex-
tremely grateful in his expressions. He was
a very reasible priest, and spoke the best
Latin of any I ever met with amongst them.
Our conversation turned upon the most



occasional subjects, which I shall communi-
cate to your Excellency at Jamaica. I used
him with the utmost kindness, and to be
sure saved both him and the other Span-
iards' hves by being there, which they all
acknowledged. But I told him Englishmen
reckon'd that no obligation. But if they
please to remember that Muskito men had
spared them, perhaps they might have a
better opinion of those Indians for the future.
So we gave them a dory, flint and steel, and
came away.

Thus was disappointed one of the most
hopeful expeditions for plunder since Sir
Francis's [Drake. — Ed.] time. The padre
drop'd befoi-e he knew which branch of the
river we designed ; for that in Panama was
a rich church and \]ias\ many miraculous
images, which made me lay my design
thereon. To rush into the town at day-
break, and with half the Muskito men to

surround the church and take the

arms, and padres, who were six. To push
the captive padre in first, and give him time
to aid the others secure the host (which I
was to be show'd with the consecrated plate)
all which was to be ransomed for the weight.
The white men with a fourth part of the
Muskito men to surround the governor's and
bring him to the church, whilst the other
fourth were to make the best of their way
upon such horses and mules as should be
found, to a town or village about three miles
off, to secure and fetch three ecclesiasticks
more, and when all these were in our power
we could easily have prevented a [word ille-
gible] by bringing them to the front ; tho'
the whole country had rose upon us, for we
were but 100 short and fifty lances. Black-
eter was to call out liberty and quarter to
all Indians, mulattoes and negroes, and all
Spaniards that expected it to come to the
white men. But I ask pardon for troubling'
your Excellency with a design that has mis-
carry'd, and which perhaps might have been
a great hindrance to the main one ; for the
Muskito men, notwithstanding my oider^
and their own promises, abused and beat the
Indians, and when I interposed, threatened
to kill one of them before my face. No
doubt but the case would have been the very
same or worse in the toAvns. So that I have
kept my promise, if I did no good, to do no
harm. The men I left at the forks inter-
cepted nothing. But when we came to the
river's mouth, the mulattoes slept with me



1851,



Un^mhlished History of the JVeiv World.



101



at the lookout house. The Indians, being-
ashamed, left the river contrary to orders,
and just as we were going out next morning,
a Spanish canoe appeared. We sent two
after her, who took her and five Indians, 850
pieces of eight and some silver bowls and
candlesticks, and a letter to the Dutch cap-
tain from a Spaniai-d at Panama, who told
him he had 18,000 pieces more ready to
come down at the return of the messenger.
I immediately shared the prize among
those that were present, but neither that nor
any iutreaties could prevail on them to tarry
two or three days longer, in which time we
might probably have intercepted twice as
much as we got ; for these people had come
down a different branch from that the pris-
oners had gone up ; and there was no
doubt more upon the same road; besides
a third branch which the padre came down,
who came not from Panama, but from the
province of Chomes, whither he with most
of the eclesiasticks and dons of Panama had
returned upon the news of Porto Bello being-
taken. He applauded Admiral Vernon's
[word illegihle] (as he called it), and said
the people of New Spain all did the same,
and exclaimed against their own govern-
ment, which he said was next to none ; for
the people all did what they pleased.

The King of Spain had wrote to them to
defend themselves as well as they could;
for he hoped in a little time to send them a
powerful assistance. I would have brought
him with me, but that I know the fatigue of
a periaugua voyage would have killed him ;
and he assured me with all possible sin-
cerity that he had a sister who was left a
widow by an extravagant, with five children,
all which depended on him for support.
And the other prisoners confirming the
same, I could not think of my own family
at home and keep him, though he w\as
certainly a valuable person. He gave me
a direction at Mr. Don Antonio De la Rios,

• in Panama, and I gave him

one to me, so that I expect a correspond-
ence. I had not uow taken any rest or
been \asleep\ any day for four days and
nights, yet my greatest fatigue was to come,
viz.: sharing the plunder so as to satisfy my
white gentry. Neither were the Muskito men
80 easily pleased as I e^cpected ; and I was
determined to do to all strict justice. The
best way I could think of was to advise the
Muskito men to leave off keeping what



they [Imd'] or sharing alike, and share after
the English manner, which they agreed to.
So I proposed six shares to the king, five
to the governor, five to the admiral, what
they pleased to myself above one share out
of those periauguas whom I had fm-nished
with powder and ball ; three to every captain
of a periaugua, three to my corporal, two
to those that took the look-outs, and what
remained after division to be left to my dis-
cretion to give amongst the most deserving.
Every one was satisfied with the disposal,
yet at, and for several days after the sharing,
there was such bawling and squabbling
among my white hell-hounds, that I had
rather fight six battles than undergo the
like again. Though the Muskito men
generously allowed them iis much of the
gold as came to four or five Muskito men's
shares, yet they squabbled my poor corpo-
ral out of a share and a half; and for my-
self, I got one of the ingott's value 343
castellanas, and near 250 ps. of 2-8. Their
cabals came to that height that I was coun-
selled to take care of myself; iipon which
the Muskito men ofl:ered to put them all in
irons or to death whenever I pleased to
speak, which I suppose they are apprehen-
sive of, for we are now pretty quiet. But
the ownei's of the schooner which came with
us, and is the same I came in from Sandy
Bay, have got most of the Muskito men's
money from them for goods they had on
board, whilst I, being destitute of that con-
venience, was forced to leave your Excel-
lency's goods at Sandy Bay, except some
trifles which I have sold for about the value
of £25 or £30 currency in broken bits of
gold. They offered me a better share
than the king, which I refused, and chose
an equality with the admiral. Notwith-
standing, they assured me, had not the
white men been there, I should have had a
better present.

Those doings are really infectious, and
show the necessity of regular forces. I am
ashamed to describe the contrast between
the thoughts had before and after the shar-
ing; for the white men's ingratitude made
me repent (and I fear more than I ever did
of my vices) that I had not concealed the
Fryer's iugotts ; for they were brought to
me in the night among the silver, unknown
to any soul but the Father and myself. The
sume of them would have made my afiairs
in England tolerably easy ; and it is remark-



102



Straij Leaves from the



August,



able that the whole was withhi a few pistoles
the very sume totall that I owe.

I am now going to some river near Blanco,
where I design to wait for Mirauder, who is
expected to load cocoa at Carpenter's River.
Whitehead, whom I was bound for in Ja-
maica, will goe into the river with his pcriau-
gua, having a demand upon him ; and if he
informs me that he sells powder, ball, or
provisions to the Spaniards, when his cocoa
is on board, I hope to take him, when my
voyage will be crowned.

The Muskito men, to whom I have read
a great part of this letter, say that they are
sorry and ashamed of their behavior on
this expedition, but desire your Excellency
to consider that they are poor, and have
been a long time teazed out of the fruits of
their labor by the white men that live among
them. That it is not now with them as in
King Wilham and Queen Anne's wars, when
King's ships and privateers came to their
shore and encouraged them. Further, a
command was carried over their young men,
who now do as they please, and despise the
old ones. That would your Excellency or the
King of England be pleased to send soldiers
among them to set them an example, and
goods at reasonable and certain prices, I
should see whether they would not fight to
get money to pay for them. The Governor
talks of taking Carpenter's river, and send-
ing up all the cocoa that is ready for Mi-
rander into Whitehead's sloop, and sending
it up to your Excellency, (for they v»'ill
trust no body else,) to be laid out in arms.
If they and the white men agree about it, I
shall readily forego my share of Mirander's
sloop to forward their good intentions.

The fatigue has been horrid, and I fear
worse before I get to Sandy Bay, the rainy
season being now sett in. From thence I
shall hire a periaugua to Generall Hobby's,
and then to Messrs. Pitts and Atkins, so if
I cannot get a Pilott to a certain people, to
Jamaica.

I am obliged to trust this letter to a com-
mon sailor; one of the owners on board
having fingered some pistoles, and the other
having done some bad things, are not to
be depended on to deliver it. Whitehead,
who is a third joint owner, has kept him-
self pretty clear. I am sorry that I am not
yet able to send my account of the English
people at Black River, neither time or
opportunity permitting me to goe threw



before we sett out upon this expedition.
These occurrences I have truly related, and
submit all to your judgment what may be
made of the said people. I am farr from
despairing to see them answer expectation.
They are very desirous of smiths, carpenters
and gunsmiths settling among them. The
way of invading and harassing the Spaniards
is obvious, and may be done at a trifling
expence and without any more such fatigues.
This, as I shall prove to your Excellency at
Jamaica. I am in hopes of returning the
greatest part of your Excellency's money
again. Your Lady's cargo is yet entire. I
have heard no manner of news from Ja-
maica since I left it, only the Padre told me
that Chagre was taken. We had the vanity
to design attempting [if] ourselves, but all
has ended in robbing a priest and some
j^easants.

Had I a command of Regular people, I
would not despair of a Bishop or a Governor,
for by Avhat I can learn of their condition,
many of the great dons of New Spain would
be ambitious of the honor which I enjoy, of
being

Your Excellency's

Most Devoted and Obedt.
Humble Servt.,

Robert Hodgson.



XV.



am



Salt Creek, near Carpenters River,
July 12th, 1740.

Sir : — My paper being all spoil'd, I
obliged to write to your Excellency upon
this, to let you know that we have taken
Carpenter's River and about 50,000 weight
of cocoa. We met with a sloop since I
wrote last, belonging to Mr. Forbes of St.
Andres, by whom I send this, and whom I
have loaded with ] 90 serons of cocoa, being
my own share and those of my friends and
such as behaved best. The Muskito men
allow me an English captain's share, which
is 3-8, and what is above that is to be laid
out in goods and sent down to the Muskito
shore. The rest is to be sold partly to
Mirander, (who arrived here on the next
day after we had taken the river,) and part
is to be put on board the schooner, (the
owners of which have five or six periauguas
belonging to them.) And if this cocoa
comes to a good market at Jamaica, and



1861.



Unpublished History of the New World.



103



•what exceeds my share is sent down in
goods for the best now, it will make me
able to manage the rest; for without rewards
and punishments nothing is to be done. I
have explained to them the difterence be-
tween Mirander's price and the price of Ja-
maica. So when these people's shares that
ai'e most to be depended on arrive, I ex-
pect it will open the eyes of the rest. A
periaugua that was with Forbes brings me
word that there is a packet for me at Pitts
& Atkins, to which place I will hasten.
But General 1 Hobby has sent me word that
his people have taken an Estaictea near a
large town, which he will not attempt till I
come back and make him understand your
Excellency's pleasure better.

I must not forget the governor's good be-
havior in Carpenter's River, who at my
request released above 100 Indian prisoners
and negroes, whom I made to play upon
their strum-strums, whilst their masters
worked at filling the serous. There was
only a mulatto shot dead, three wounded,
and one broke his neck in running away. I
am not yet able to prevail with the Muskito
mulattos to free the Coccelee Indians, though
the better half of them ai-e run away. I am
greatly afraid that your Excellency will think
that I have had an eye to my own interest
more than to the common cause in this ex-
pedition, (which I assure you I have not,)
for in the first place I was obliged to leave
the choice to the Muskito men ; and in the
second I imagine that a trial of the Muskito
men, w'hether they have any sentiments of
liberty at a distance from the place where
I provided they shall make a full declaration
for that of their brother Indians, Avould be
the securest proof of them.

I don't know how Hobby's guard may
prove, but am sure the Indians are much
preferable to the mulattoes that have been
"with me. They say themselves that the
trade at Carpenter's River has spoil'd them.
I beg your Excellency to send me down at
least 20 blank commissions, 2 carpenters, 1
taylor, 1 gun-smith, and that you will be so
good as to give my corporal his discharge.
He will be necessary to me in future expe-
ditions, which I hope will redown more to
my reputation than this. For here has been
no opposition. But Dolu and Yucatan will
surely afford some sport. Could I but have
30 select men out of the companies, it would
he a fine help to me ; for it is impossible to



describe the fatigue I am forced to suffer for
want of such a guard. I entreat your Ex-
cellency to depute somebody to dispose of
my cargoe to the best advantage ; and that
you will be so good as to keep my share for
me 'till my return, and, likewise, that you
will accept 3'our own £150 out of it; for I
have already near £40 in gold and silver for
what I have sold of your Excellency's goods,'
and I doubt not the remainder will nearly
make up your money.

I presume, as this cargo is sent up by
King Edward for himself, me, and the best
of the Muskito men, that it will not require
the formality or expense of a legal condem-
nation. Experiments cannot be made at a
smaller expence than I make them.

I beg you will send me an account, if
possible, of the very spot where the revolt
happened in 1733. I am in greiit want of
hand mapps. The chief Muskito men's
minds are thoroughly afloat in expectation
of your Excellency's favor of good return
from Jamaica, so that my credit, and per-
haps my life is at stake.

1 have been often in more danger from
them than from the Spaniards. I entreat
your Excellency once more to excuse my
paper, and to send me down a great deal of
ball and some powder. I am just taken
with the country feaver, so that I hope my
loose manner of writing will be excused too.
I have thrice lost my limbs for an hour or
so, but the use of them returned again.
There is no manner of harm in this climate
if people will but refrain from spirituous
liquors. And I can without the least osten-
tation challenge all privateers that have
preceded me to show equal fatigues. Should
I prove a vox et preterea nihil, of which I



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